“It is a marvel that any man escapes ruin, the dangers which beset even the best being many and terrible.” –W.S. Plumer Have you noticed 90% of news stories necessitate a person being ruined? Occasionally the ruin is not a result of a bone-headed decision or immoral choice. But more often than not, it is because sin has caught up with someone. And if you and I are being honest we’d have to admit that our absence from the front page isn’t for lack of opportunity but rather because of grace. Psalm 38 is a painful Psalm. David is the guy on the front page whose life is ruined because of a … [Read more...] about What To Do When Your Sin Makes Enemies Pounce
“if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” –Psalm 11:3 In America we are seeing many of our foundations destroyed. There are godly principles upon which for hundreds of years we have stood. These pillars of our society are being decimated by an increasingly liberal and progressive culture. So, what should people of faith do? What will happen to this great nation when these foundations are destroyed? The answer for many of our evangelical leaders is to fight for these foundations while they are only tottering. In their mind, we must keep fighting for these foundations of … [Read more...] about Even If The Foundations Are Destroyed Fear-Mongering is Not an Option
With a name like Rockycana (pronounced Rockitsanna) you have to be destined for greatness. Had competivie bobsledding or battle rapping been invented by 1448 perhaps John Rockycana would be a name that more people would know. But as it stands he’ll have to settle for having been a 15th century Archbishop-elect of Prague. Rockycana was a fiery preacher. In a time when the Bohemian peoples were experiencing great civil unrest Rockycana’s voice cried out against the injustices and hypocrisy of the Catholic priests in his day. He was carrying on the mantle left by John Hus. Many considered the … [Read more...] about The Cautionary Tale of John Rockycana
My son and I went to a community wide service the other day. This began an interesting conversation about the difference between denominations. I tried as best as I could to explain to him all of the different distinctives which both unite us and separate us. Part of our discussion centered around why we’ve been given the name Baptists. This led to an interesting discussion about why I believe in credobaptism (believer’s baptism) and not paedobaptism (infant baptism). While I hold a good many things in common with my Presbyterian brothers and sisters, I remain a Baptist by conviction. And … [Read more...] about How a Presbyterian Principle Reinforces My Baptist Conviction
I try to stay out of most of the discussions in the SBC on Calvinism. It’s been my experience that more heat than light is delivered in these debates. So, it’s with some trepidation that I even write this article. Or rather rewrite this article and update it a bit for our Voices audience. (Original is here) Ken Hemphill seems like a nice guy and a solid choice for SBC President. But I'm a bit bothered by the way in which he is being promoted as the pro-John 3:16 candidate as if JD Greear isn't. Or that Ken Hemphill is a man who can say "whosoever will may come" whereas JD Greear cannot. I … [Read more...] about Brothers, Don’t Make Us Flip the Sign
I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from David Murray’s latest book, Reset. It’s a phenomenal book on preventing burnout. Though not specifically about burnout, I want to share a paragraph I read that was incredibly helpful. In the seventh chapter Murray encourages his readers to assess their calendars. He suggests making statements of purpose over four life areas: spiritual life, family life, vocational life, and Christian service. As he began the section on Christian service, Murray said this: Remember, you are already serving God in your spiritual life, in your family life, and in your … [Read more...] about Does That Ministry Count?
Chew on this: In his wisdom, God has crafted a life for us that does not careen from huge, consequential moment to huge, consequential moments. In fact, if you examine your life, you will see that you have actually had few of those moments. You can probably name only two or three life-changing situations you have lived through. We are all the same; the character and quality of your life is forged in little moments. Every day we lay little bricks on the foundation of what our life will be. (Tripp, What Did You Expect?, 58) This is, in my mind, one of the most helpful chapter’s of Paul Tripp’s … [Read more...] about What If Church Isn’t Meant to Be a Weekly Cataclysm?
I’ve read quite a few articles lately about something sociologists are calling FOMO. That’s short for “fear of missing out”. It’s why you keep your phone with you all the time and are almost constantly checking out social media. But I can save you from FOMO…at least a little bit. Here is what you are going to miss out on this week if you disengage for a little while. I don’t know the details but they don’t matter—or at least won’t matter once the next big story drops. At some point this week somebody important is going to say something dumb and insensitive. Some people will laugh. Most … [Read more...] about How Our Unbiblical View of Forgiveness Perpetuates Social Media Outrage
There is a type of shrewdness that is pastoral. There is another type of shrewdness that is Satanic. Knowing the difference is key to church revitalization. Pastor Jim normally threw away all the ads that piled on his desk on Monday morning. Most of them frustrate him. He’s been pastoring this little church for a few years now. The initial growth which came from the “new pastor” is long gone and his hope is deteriorating every Sunday. They’ve plateaued and he knows it. So all those invitations to conferences about pastoring an awesome church serve as daggers to his weary soul. But one … [Read more...] about One Essential Mark of Church Revitalization
In a sense a depressed Christian is a contradiction in terms, and he is a very poor recommendation for the gospel. –Martyn LloydJones (Spiritual Depression) I’ve labored over this quote for quite some time. I battle depression. So when I read statements like this from a pastor I revere it causes me to be a bit unsettled. Even more so when he says things like, “such people are very poor representatives of the Christian faith”. Now it’s possible that what Lloyd-Jones means by “depression” is different than what I mean by depression. It is a bit difficult to pin down exactly what he means by … [Read more...] about Are Unhappy Christians a Poor Witness?