10 Principles for Fathers

1. God made men to find meaning and satisfaction in life through doing difficult tasks. The heavier the load, the more satisfaction is found in lifting it.  2. Freedom and responsibility must always go together, and should ordinarily be kept in equal proportion.  3. Give your children (esp. your boys) as much freedom and responsibility as...

Continue reading
  21 Hits

Lucy Letby & the Destructive Power of Envy

Whenever anyone has done something terrible in recent years, you can count on the fact that friends and family members of the perpetrator will share their shocked disbelief that someone so normal could do something so monstrous. In addition, the news anchors and politicians will usually denounce senseless violence and advocate more governmental pow...

Continue reading
  126 Hits

What Is the Will of God?

Theologians have long debated the best way to try to describe the will of God. There are several different terms that have been used, but some of them contain theological errors or are misleading. The Bible speaks of God's will in two primary categories that may best be described as God's "will of decree" and His "will of desire". Deut. 29:29 refer...

Continue reading
  186 Hits

You Can Make a Difference

I gave an overview of the book of Ephesians on Sunday, and I mentioned that Paul identifies the Christian church and the Christian household as the two most important venues in which God makes known the gospel of Christ and advances the gospel of Christ. We'll consider that idea in much greater detail as we go through the book, but, until then, her...

Continue reading
  129 Hits

The Poison of Relativism

As you've most likely noticed, I've been focusing a lot lately on the dangerous and subtle lie of relativism that spreads its poison into every nook and cranny. Here's the lying logic of relativism: If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then my tastes and preferences are the standard of beauty. And if my tastes and preferences are the standard o...

Continue reading
  128 Hits

Relativism & Beauty

I think it's safe to say that most Christians have completely adopted the aesthetic relativism of the Enlightenment. This is evidenced by the fact that the adage "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is accepted without a second thought. This humanistic relativism is supposed to end all disagreements and quarrels over matters of beauty and forms, ...

Continue reading
  120 Hits

Hearts of Fathers and Children

The Old Testament closes by naming one of the central goals of the Messiah's forerunner: turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest the land be struck with God's curse. This connects to the promise of long life in the land/earth that is attached to the 5th commandment to honor father and...

Continue reading
  120 Hits

God Won't Do Your Job for You

A recurring theme in many of my conversations with people is that they implicitly (or explicitly) believe that God Himself, apart from any human involvement, is supposed to do things that He has commanded us to do. In many cases, there is terrible confusion about the relationship between God's sovereignty and human responsibility that arises from a...

Continue reading
  111 Hits

Confusing Goodness & Weakness

In recent decades, the church at large has confused goodness with weakness, especially when it comes to masculinity. Starting at a very young age, men have been medicated and emasculated into docility. Men have been taught that niceness (never hurting anyone's feelings, especially the feelings of a woman) is the essence of godliness. This feminizat...

Continue reading
  152 Hits

Gratitude Always for All Things

Ephesians 5:20 teaches us that an essential part of wisdom is "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." The grammar of this verse links it back to 5:18, which indicates that the gratitude Paul describes is a result of being filled with the Spirit. This makes perfect sense, of course, because only ...

Continue reading
  204 Hits

The Truth About Calvin & Servetus

Haters of John Calvin (including many Christians) love to blame him for the burning of the heretic Michael Servetus, and they use the execution of Servetus to paint Calvin as a harsh, hateful, soulless Pharisee. But nothing could be further from the truth.--Because Servetus openly taught against the doctrine of the Trinity, he had already been cond...

Continue reading
  210 Hits

A Study in Contrasting Modes of Motherhood

"Here my son, take this musket and never disgrace it; for remember, that I had rather all my sons should fill one honorable grave than that one of them should turn his back to save his life. The door of my cottage is ever open to brave men, but always shut against cowards."--Sam Houston's mother when he left home to join the army"He's never hurt an...

Continue reading
  199 Hits

Aqueducts of Anxiety vs. Springs of Salvation

Isaiah 12:3 is a beautiful description of the limitless blessings of eternal life that Jesus provides: "Therefore with joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation." I pointed out all the water connections with the original Exodus, but there is also an important water connection within the book of Isaiah that helps explain the comfort and ...

Continue reading
  217 Hits

The Heart of Anger

The recent school shooting in Nashville tragically illustrates the principles we've been discussing in the adult Sunday school class over the past few weeks. In our consideration of the 6th Commandment ("Thou shalt not kill"), we talked about what murder means and what the murderer hopes to accomplish by it. Murder is almost always driven by anger,...

Continue reading
  271 Hits

Liturgical Evangelism

The structure of our liturgy—and that of most other ancient liturgical traditions—follows the pattern of God making or renewing a covenant (hence the name "covenant renewal worship"). This biblical pattern also serves as a summary of the gospel, and the cumulative effect of this sort of weekly liturgy gets the gospel deeply ingrained within us. In ...

Continue reading
  240 Hits

The Appeal of Pre-Millennialism

It's well known that Pre-Millennialism has a very pessimistic view of the future of history before the return of Christ. In that view, Jesus tried and failed to establish His earthly kingdom in His first coming and will not be able to do so until He comes again. Thus, the Devil is ruling the world, and history is God's Vietnam. Our only hope is not...

Continue reading
  279 Hits

Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Isaiah 11:6-9 raises the very interesting question of whether or not "all dogs/animals go to heaven". We have some indication that animals go to heaven (the word translated "living creatures" in Revelation is the Greek word for animals), but we have every reason to believe that there will be animals in the new creation. We don't know if every singl...

Continue reading
  239 Hits

How Much Do You Love Your Daughter?

Significant Dates Facebook became available to teens (age 13+) in 2006.Instagram was founded in 2010.The iPhone 4 was released in 2010. It was the first smartphone with a camera meant for selfies.Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, which drastically increased its number of users. Research Findings 1)  Social media usage is more strongly connect...

Continue reading
  280 Hits

The Failure of Psychology

Renowned Ivy League professor of psychology William Kirk Kilpatrick wrote in his 1983 book Psychological Seduction, "However good-intentioned and however nice, it is not at all clear that the psychological establishment knows how to help. Everywhere there are dark hints that the faith doesn't work. Despite the creation of a virtual army of psychiat...

Continue reading
  221 Hits

The Lord and His Tools

Isaiah 10 describes the Lord's use of the Assyrian Empire as His instrument of wrath on rebellious nations like Syria and Israel. Following this theme, my sermon focused on how the sovereign Lord continues to work out His purposes in and through the events and circumstances of history. This includes everything from international politics down to th...

Continue reading
  285 Hits