There is no clear dividing line between biblical repentance and Christ-exalting civic engagement.
By repentance I mean turning from unbelief and sin, and trusting in Jesus as Savior, Lord, and supreme Treasure of your life.
By civic engagement I mean making efforts in the secular public sphere for the sake of a more just and loving social order in the name of Jesus Christ who is Lord of all things.
But while all Bible-believing people agree that God has issued a global call to every person in the name of Jesus to repent, it is not as clear what this means for Christ-exalting civic engagement.
Paul’s sermon in Athens ended like this:
The times of …
It seems that God has indeed designed that the inspired Word of the Bible become uniquely powerful by passing through a Spirit-filled person on the way to make a dead heart live.
Since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)
One reason for this is that the saving Word is gospel, that is, news. News is to be heralded. The news-quality is captured in the kind of speaking that announces, declares, proclaims, heralds, exults over the truth of what God has done in Christ.
Here is Spurgeon’s tribute to the power of “the preached Word.”
Personally, I have to b…
In a recent email update Iain Murray gave an uncommon and fitting exhortation:
With much attention now being given to Calvin, I hope why the Reformation was necessary will be understood afresh. We need the martyr spirit back again, and discrimination between brotherly love and only tepid reaction to God-dishonouring error.
All evangelicals should read the 1994 Catholic Catechism. Pope John Paul when in Australia, and speaking to priests, said, “Jesus did not want a church without priests. If priests are lacking, then Jesus is lacking in the world, as is his Eucharist and his forgiveness. . . . We share in the work of Christ, the eternal High Priest.’ Men and wome…
In the Minneapolis StarTribune last month, we read of the new “baby boomlet.” It illustrates how the vessel of culture sails without a biblical rudder.
Alesha, 36, had her first son at age 18. She had her second when she was 26. In neither case did the Minneapolis woman feel compelled to get married in order to be a good parent or to forge a solid parenting partnership with her boys’ dads. . . .
“I do know other moms like me,” said [Alesha], who is getting married in August. “Some of them are in relationships. Some of them have had in vitro. Some of them may want kids, but may not want a partner. . . .
[She] said it’s not that she wasn’t interested in marrying her sons’…
The abundance of audio and video recordings of preaching today tempts pastors to listen to themselves and look at themselves. One might improve a few things that way. But in general it’s a bad idea. John Stott explains why:
If you look at yourself in the mirror, and listen to yourself on tape, or do both simultaneously on videotape, I fear you may find that you continue to look at yourself and listen to yourself when you are in the pulpit. In that case you will condemn yourself to the cramping bondage of preoccupation with yourself just at the time when, in the pulpit, it is essential to cultivate self-forgetfulness through a growing awareness of the God for whom and the people…
We should seek to stigmatize abortion by associating it with racism as closely as the truth warrants.
People today don’t oppose the enslavement of blacks merely because they think it's wrong. They oppose it because otherwise they would be viewed as Neanderthals. It's easy to oppose it because to do so is fashionable.
That’s a good thing. It always helps when the right thing happens to be P.C.
So let’s be wise in showing the way abortion is closer to racism and slavery than people see.
The Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case of 1857 held that black slaves were property without rights as persons, yet today we view that as unthinkable. So the Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade (…
In Romans 12:13, Paul points out that one effect of God’s mercy on his people is that they “seek to show hospitality.”
Seek. Pursue. Chase after.
They are not merely willing to be hospitablewhen someone comes to the door or asks for a favor. But they seek to show hospitality. They’re looking for and creating opportunities to be hospitable, not just answering the doorbell.
That Paul would point to seeking, not merely being willing to be hospitable, makes sense. After all, it’s an implication he’s drawing from the gospel—a gospel that says God was not merely hospitable to us when we asked him, but he sought to show hospitality.
He took initiative toward us before we showed up at hi…
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
On April 14th at Georgetown University there were "Remarks by the President on the Economy".
Now, there's a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells the story of two men. The first built his house on a pile of sand, and it was soon destroyed when a storm hit. But the second is known as the wise man, for when "the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."It was founded upon a rock. We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity -- a foundation that will move us from a
The week after Easter the pastoral staff got away for our annual pastors and wives retreat for two-and-a-half days in southern Minnesota. The aim is to deepen and strengthen our marriages and our unified vision for ministry at Bethlehem.
My happy job is to serve that goal in ministering the word on our first afternoon together. What I chose to talk about was being “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
The reason for this focus was, negatively, that if this pastoral staff disintegrates in disunity, the damage to the church will be great; and, positively, if God would keep us unified around our mission, the Christ-exalting scope of the impa…