• 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…

  • Church,  Culture

    A Biblical View of Gender and Why it Matters

    LGBT and gender issues continue to be on the cultural forefront. Each day the headlines bring us arguments for gender-neutral bathrooms, news about transgender athletes, or a doctor who loses his job because he holds to a biblical view of gender. The biblical view of gender is antiquated according to some, labeled as outdated, non-essential, and a relic of a bygone patriarchal era. In a secular worldview, gender has no value and the differences must be minimized. Despite obvious physical differences between men and women, these distinctions are minimized or ignored. According to the secular worldview, if someone wants to behave with masculine or feminine gender characteristics that is their…

  • Christian Living,  Church,  Culture,  Ethics

    Slavery Reparations and the Christian

    Slavery reparations are all the rage right now. This week there was a House hearing on reparations, and there were a variety of celebrity testimonies, including Danny Glover and Burgess Owens arguing for or against reparations. This conversation has really ignited over the last year. When the culture takes aim at a topic, the Christian needs to be equipped to think through the issues from a biblical worldview. On the issue of whether slavery reparations are to be implemented, I think there are a couple issues to consider. Read the Whole Article

  • Church,  New Testament,  Theology

    How Many Resurrections are there in Scripture?

    Easter weekend is upon us, and so we celebrate the most important part of Christianity–the fact that Jesus is alive! This is the essence of our hope as believers. Because of Christ’s resurrection we have hope of our own resurrection. I saw an online discussion recently about how many resurrections there are in Scripture, and a question was asked about when OT believers are resurrected. I think it is a worthwhile discussion to have, and I think we can accurately observe four resurrections in Scripture. (This is of course assuming that the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11 and the saints in Matthew 27 are temporary and they die again).…

  • Church

    Are there Songs We Shouldn’t Sing in Church?

    I think most people would acknowledge there are some songs which are inappropriate for church worship. However, the real issue is where do we draw the line? To some, all “Christian songs” are appropriate for use in a church. To others, only a certain kind of music is allowed. How should we think through this issue? Are there any passages which talk about this issue directly? This is the first question to ask in working through any issue. Pertaining to this issue, Colossians 3:16 applies very appropriately (cf. Eph 5:19). Read the Whole Article

  • Church

    Who Should Baptize in the Church?

    Should anyone be allowed to baptize in the church? It is an important question for the church that has been asked by others as well. I recently read a provocative article entitled, “The (In)significance of the Baptizer in the Early Church: The Importance of Baptism and Unimportance of the One who Baptized.” As the title suggests, the author argues that the evidence of the Early Church is to downplay those who baptize in the church. I think there is wisdom in not making the baptizer more than he ought to be. However, at the same time, I think there is wisdom in thinking about this issue and attempting to apply…

  • Church,  New Testament,  Old Testament

    Prophets and Prophetic Revelation

    Since the beginning of time, God has communicated with His people through prophets. We can deduce from Genesis 3:8 that God likely communed with Adam and Eve at regular intervals. We are also told in Luke 11:51 that Abel was among the prophets, and thus received revelation from God. Prophets spoke for God. Perhaps better stated, prophets were God’s mouthpiece. Jeremiah 1:4-10 is quite instructive for the prophetic role. In v. 9, God specifically tells Jeremiah, “I have put my words in your mouth.” That is the role of the prophet—he speaks God’s words. Read the Whole Article

  • Church

    A Man of Whom the World Was Not Worthy

    In life there are few men and women who exemplify what could be called true greatness. This kind of greatness often defies definition and is instead understood by seeing the character within the narrative which makes them special. Today I want to share with you the story of someone who exemplified this kind of character. His name is Eric Liddell. Liddell’s story may be known to some from the 1981 movie, Chariots of Fire. The movie relates Liddell’s story, how at the age of 22 he climbed the ranks of the world’s best 100m sprinters—one of the favorites to win the 1924 Olympics in Paris. However, Liddell learned that his…

  • Church,  Review

    Book Review: Shattered Shepherds – Finding Hope in the Midst of Ministry Disaster

    Conflict is inevitable in life. Even for pastors and church leaders, difficulties are not absent. Some shepherds go through such terrible times in their ministries that it is akin to losing a loved one. For the most part there has been a lack of helpful resources for pastors who find themselves in such situations. Steve Swartz’ book Shattered Shepherds fills this gap. Drawing upon Scripture and his own painful experience, pastor Swartz deals with how a church leader ought to deal with the aftermath of a divisive and difficult situation in church. I was privileged to be able to go to seminary with Steve, and I am thankful for this…

  • Apologetics,  Church

    Is the Pope Biblical?

      We teach and declare that it is a dogma of faith that the Roman Pontiff … is not able to err when, exercising his office as supreme teacher of all Christians, he defines, by his apostolic authority, what must be held as belonging to the faith or must be rejected as contrary to the faith by the universal Church in matters of faith and morals; and his decrees or judgments, irreformable of themselves, must be accepted and held with the full submission of faith as soon as one becomes aware of them (James O’Connor, The Gift of Infallibility, pg 7). Read the Whole Article