The Bible teaches that we are so sinful we are morally unable to please God (Romans 8:7). It also teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Yet salvation is by faith, and we are called again and again in Scripture to believe (Acts 16:31).
How then shall we preach to those who cannot come to Christ, but must come in order to be saved?
John Duncan (1796-1870) was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland and a missionary to the Jews in Hungary. He is often referred to as Rabbi Duncan because of his love for Jewish people. John Macleod wrote that "since the days of the Apostles there is hardly on record such a striking work of grace among the Jews as to…
Come on, dads, have some courage. Just say, “Over my dead body are you going to wrestle a girl.” Of course, they will call you prudish. But everything in you knows better.
Yes, I am talking to the boys’ fathers. If the girls’ fathers don’t care how boys manhandle their daughters, you will have to take the lead. Give your sons a bigger nobler vision of what it is to be a man. Men don’t fight against women. They fight for women.
They called it history-making here in Minneapolis. Yesterday, Elissa Reinsma became the first female to compete in the state high school wrestling tournament. It was not a step forward. Some cultures spend a thousand years unlearning the brutality of men towar…
There are many ways that you can express your pastoral care for those considering adoption and those who have adopted already. As an adoptive father and former pastor, I offer a few thoughts on how to help adoption become a biblically based, heart-led, missional movement in your church and not merely another program on your church’s list.
1. Develop your own heart for the fatherless.
God calls Himself a “father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) and emphasizes throughout Scripture his special care for orphans. In fact, the very heart of the gospel is God’s passion to not only redeem sinners but to adopt them as his very sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:4-5).
Many adoptive parents and…
As long as we are drawing your attention to the ESV Study Bible Online, let me tell you one of the uses I make of it that you might not think of.
Reading through parts of the Old Testament can be heavy sledding—like Leviticus. There is more there than you think, and even the troubling parts are worth thinking about if you have a submissive attitude. But it’s still hard going.
So what I have been doing is going to the Study Bible online and clicking on Leviticus and then clicking on “Listen.” I use “command +” (on a Mac) to make the font bigger. Then I sit back and follow the words on the screen while he reads to me.
The reader is David Cochran Heath, and for my taste he is ver…
Do you, like me, have family members who do not believe in Jesus? If so, we are in good company. So did Jesus. And I think this is meant to give us hope.
According to the Apostle John, “not even his brothers believed in him” (John 7:5). That’s incredible. Those who had lived with Jesus for 30 years really did not know him. Not one of Jesus’ brothers is mentioned as a disciple during his pre-crucifixion ministry. But after his resurrection and ascension, there they are in the upper room worshiping him as God (Acts 1:14).
Why didn’t they believe? And what made them change?
The Bible doesn’t answer the first question. But I’ll bet it was difficult to have Jesus for a brother.…
Some good advice for the aging over at Jay Adams’ blog. He reflects on turning eighty.
Prepare for old age. True, you may never make it; there are former students of mine who have died already. If you don’t have some activity that you can engage in for the Lord, you will probably end up a sour and regretful old person.
The introductory “Word to the Reader” of Today’s New International Version (TNIV) says, “Among the more programmatic changes in the TNIV are the removal of...most instances of the generic use of masculine nouns and pronouns.”
NIV: “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
TNIV: “If a brother or sister sins against you [added] rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
- 1 Corinth…
J. Gresham Machen saw in 1933 what many are trying to say today about the need for private education.
The only way in which a state-controlled school can be kept even relatively healthy is through the absolutely free possibility of competition by private schools and church schools; if it once becomes monopolistic, it is the most effective engine of tyranny and intellectual stagnation that has yet been devised. (J. Gresham Machen: Selected Shorter Writings, 167)
J. Gresham Machen was not persuaded as so many seem to be today that revival and reformation will come to the church only after all the churches in a city experience more “unity.”
That has always seemed backward to me. If the churches had deep unity in the truth and in the Spirit, that would be revival and reformation—amazing reformation! Unity of the kind we need is one of the miracles of God’s reviving and reforming work.
And even when great revivals have come, along with new unity there was new division.
In the mean time faithfulness to the gospel and love for people, no matter how controversial, is the path to reformation.
Souls will hardly…
J. Gresham Machen, one of the great proclaimers and defenders of the Christian faith in the early 20th century, went through a season of fearful doubt on his way to solid confidence. Remarkably, it was his mother who spoke one of the decisive words of rescue. He tells the story:
The question is not merely whether we can rest in our faith, but whether we can rest in the doubt that is the necessary alternative of faith. We pass sometimes through periods of very low spiritual vitality. The wonderful gospel which formerly seemed to be so glorious comes to seem almost like an idle tale. Hosts of objections arise in our minds; the whole unseen world recedes in the dim distance, and w…