Dear Media, Please Distinguish Conversion from Conversion Therapy

In 2016, a terrorist went on a rampage inside an Orlando gay night club named “The Pulse.” Forty-nine people were killed, and 53 others were injured. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, The Pulse nightclub shooting became a rallying point for progressives claiming that an anti-affirming stance leads to this kind of violence against gay people.

Two key things have happened in recent days challenging that narrative:

First, it was revealed about a month ago that the terrorist did not target The Pulse nightclub because it was a gay bar. The terrorist’s intended target was a Disney park, but he gave up on that plan because of security outside the park. He chose to attack Pulse after a random Google search led him to the closest night club he could find. A despicable, heinous act of terror? Yes. A targeted attack on gay people? No evidence for that.

Second—and this is the item I am most concerned about—one of the survivors of The Pulse night club shooting is now claiming that he has been converted to Christianity. Luis Javier Luiz shares his testimony on Facebook: Continue Reading →

What about divorce and abuse?

Evangelicals have never been monolithic in their views about divorce. Some believe that the Bible disallows divorce altogether. Others believe that the Bible allows for divorce in certain situations (see Matt. 19 and 1 Cor. 7). There is no one view on divorce that has commanded the consensus of evangelicals. My view is the latter, and I suspect that it is the view held by the majority of evangelicals (though certainly not all).

The reason that so many of us hold the latter view is because of what Jesus and the apostle Paul say about the matter. Obviously, the accent in both Jesus’ and Paul’s teaching is that divorce is generally prohibited because of the nature of the marital covenant: “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matt. 19:6). Yet in the very same passage, Jesus also says this: Continue Reading →

T4G Pre-conference on The Nashville Statement

CBMW hosted a pre-conference at T4G last week, and the topic was The Nashville Statement. Lig Duncan, Al Mohler, Sam Allberry, and myself all delivered messages. All four of us were in the room in Nashville last August when the statement was finalized.

In our talks, we try to make the case for The Nashville Statement as a faithful expression of the Bible’s teaching on male, female, and sexuality. We also commend the statement to ministry leaders as one they might adopt within their own ministries and churches.

I posted my message above. You can see and hear the rest of them at the CBMW website. Here’s a list with each speaker followed by the title of his message.

Session 1: Ligon Duncan, “What does Nashville have to do with Danvers?”

Session 2: Albert Mohler, “Understanding the times; knowing what to do”

Session 3: Denny Burk, “‘Male and female He created them’: Thinking biblically about transgenderism”

Session 4: Sam Allberry, “‘And the two shall become one flesh’: Thinking biblically about homosexuality and the covenant of marriage”

The Strangest Thing about the Christian Faith

The strangest thing about the Christian faith is not our views on sexuality or politics. Those things are not even our most controversial of claims. The strangest thing about us is what the apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:

3 that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He has been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

To be sure, that Jesus died is not the controversial part. Even unbelieving pagans agree with the death of Jesus as an historical fact. They don’t, however, agree with the meaning of his death—that it was a vicarious sacrifice “for our sins” to reconcile us to God. But they do agree that he was dead and buried. No great dispute there. Continue Reading →

An Easter Hymn

O Jesus, Savior of my life,
My hope, my joy, my sacrifice,
I’ve searched and found no other one
Who loves me more than you have done.

So I denounce my lingering sin
Whose power You have broke within
My ever weak and faithless frame.
Its vigor’s crushed in Jesus name.

For your death did at once proclaim,
The Father’s glory and my shame.
And you did seize my cup of guilt
And drank all that the chalice spilled.

No condemnation now I dread
Because you went for me instead
To bear the curse and wrath and rage,
To pay the debt I would have paid.

Yet your work finished not with death,
Nor with your final murdered breath.
For death’s blows could not ever quell
The One whose life is in Himself.

Your passion broke forth full with life,
And foiled the adversary’s wiles.
You broke the chains, destroyed the sting
With which death had afflicted me.

O Savior, who died in my stead,
You firstborn from among the dead,
O Savior, you who saved my life,
Will take me whole to paradise.

So on this resurrection day
I lift my voice with all the saints
And sing with all my ransomed might
Of You, the Savior of my life!

The Innermost Meaning of the Cross

“But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.”
-Isaiah 53:10

“God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation in His blood through faith, in order to demonstrate His righteousness.”
-Romans 3:25

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us– for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’”
-Galatians 3:13 Continue Reading →

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