Church

  • Apologetics,  Church,  Ethics,  Old Testament

    What is Marriage?

    We are in the midst of a time where terms are being redefined to suit one’s own purpose. However, if we want to think rightly and accurately about an issue, we need to think in terms of the definitions laid out in God’s Word. Nowhere is this more evident than in the question, “What is marriage?” In contrast to how marriage would have been defined even 10 years ago, the first search result of the question, “What is marriage” (Psychology Today) defines marriage as follows: Read More

  • Church,  New Testament

    Are Apostles for the Church Today?

    Although it is becoming more and more popular to argue that there are Apostles in the church today, this is far from a majority position. Rather, it is generally recognized that the Greek word used for apostles in the New Testament can be used in both a generic sense (simply meaning “sent one”), or in a specific sense. Romans 16:7 is an example of a generic sense where Paul uses the term “apostle” to refer to individuals who are sent out from a church for some purpose. Read More

  • Church,  Hermeneutics,  Theology

    7 Beliefs that Don’t Define Dispensationalism

    Readers of this blog may be curious as to what makes someone a dispensationalist. Simply put, dispensationalism is a set of doctrinal beliefs that deal with hermeneutics (how to read Scripture), ecclesiology (how the church operates), and eschatology (what the end times look like). Hence, a dispensationalist holds a distinctive set of beliefs about understanding Scripture, the role and function of the church, and about the end times. Read More

  • Church,  New Testament

    What Does it Mean to be Filled with the Spirit?

    Ephesians 5:18 commands believers to “be filled with the Spirit.” But what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? Being filled with the Spirit has been understood in a variety of ways. Some have interpreted as some sort of spiritual manifestation of speaking in tongues. Others have said being filled with the Spirit is the same as being filled with Christ. Although there are many notions as to what being “filled with the Spirit” means, I think if we pay attention to the grammar and broader context of Ephesians, we can understand this passage. Read More

  • Church

    Justin Martyr on the Early Church Practice

    Justin Martyr is a name unfamiliar to many. However, Justin Martyr would have been very familiar in early Christianity. He was a first class Christian apologist, and in his writings he defended the peacefulness of Christians by describing the practices of the church around 150 A.D. (within 60 years of the Apostle John’s death). To those who question whether the contemporary practice of church is far different than what it would have looked like for early Christians, I find the testimony of Justin Martyr particularly insightful (First Apology, 67, ca. 150 A.D.). Read More

  • Church

    Church Fellowship in an Age of Technology

    Technology saturates our world. It has infiltrated our churches and replaced biblical fellowship. This isn’t really surprising since technology has captured the minds of the younger generations. Studies have shown that the average high school student is on the Internet nine hours a day! The iPhone and the next generation of smart phones have completely revolutionized how we view the world. You pick your music, you pick what you want to read, you pick who you “friend” or “follow” on Facebook and Twitter. In essence, the technological culture around us today makes us mini-creators. We mold our environment, and whatever we don’t like we don’t allow.  Read More

  • Church,  Culture,  Ethics

    Resources for George Floyd, Social Justice, and Racism

    Given the current events, I wanted to post some links to help people stay informed on how to think through such events biblically. The circumstances we see around us are fruits of seeds planted years ago with the rise of Social Justice and other worldly philosophies. Thankfully there are brothers and sisters in Christ who have done some excellent thinking on these issues and we are in their debt. Here are some of my favorite resources on these issues.  Read More

  • Church,  New Testament

    Elder, Bishop, or Pastor?

    How do you refer to church leaders? Do you use the term elder, bishop, or pastor? If you are confused by these different denominational terms you are not alone. A bishop is typically equated with Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches, although Anglican and a few Lutheran churches also use the term. The term elder is often associated with the Mormon church and the young men you meet in ties on your front porch, though more evangelical churches are utilizing the term elder now. For most people, the term pastor is an easily-recognizable term referring to the spiritual leader of a church. Read More

  • Christian Living,  Church,  New Testament

    Church Discipline: The Forgotten Pillar

    Little known to most people, the 1561 Belgic Confession gives three marks by which the true church is known: (1) preaching the pure gospel, (2) observing the sacraments (i.e., baptism and communion), and (3) practicing church discipline. Throughout church history, church discipline has been an integral component of God-fearing churches. However, a recent survey of pastors revealed that 55% of churches have never formally disciplined a member. Another 21% stated that, although the church had practiced church discipline, it was three or more years ago. Clearly, church discipline has fallen on hard times and is hardly viewed as a pillar of the church. Read More

  • Church,  Culture,  Old Testament

    Joy to the World! (Singing a “Non-Christmas Song” at Christmas)

    Music is such a big part of Christmas. There is always a little extra energy come Christmas time, due in part to the old Christmas songs that we sing. A classic example of those Christmas songs is Joy to the World. Joy to the World is one of Christianity’s most beloved Christmas songs. It is one of those songs that almost everyone can sing along with (even if they are not a Christian). Written by Isaac Watts, Joy to the World is based on Psalm 98 and was first published in 1719 in a collection entitled The Psalms of David: Imitated in the Language of the New Testament and Applied…