Second Comings

Writing in a time of chaos and hopelessness, W. B. Yeats subverts the Christian story of the world and paints a dark picture of the end in his poem “The Second Coming.” It is easy to slip into this kind of hopelessness when things are coming apart.

That is why it is imperative that we remember right now that the true story of the world does not end in chaos and destruction. The true story of the world is better than how the anarchy of the moment makes us feel.

The only people prepared to bear witness to this truth in a week like this one are those who know the one who will come to make all things new.

Lord, help us to be faithful in our time both in our words and in our deeds. Continue Reading →

PCA Report Names Sin While Not Being Named by It

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has been facing a great deal of internal controversy over the last couple years because of the Revoice Conference which was hosted by a PCA church in St. Louis. Last summer, the PCA General Assembly addressed the controversy with two crucial decisions. First, the General Assembly voted to affirm the Nashville Statement and to use the Nashville Statement in discipleship materials produced by the denomination. Second (and I believe more consequentially), the General Assembly voted to appoint a committee to draft a statement of belief on gender and sexuality. Kevin DeYoung and Tim Keller are among those who were tasked with drafting the report.

The committee has completed its work and has issued its report today. Their work now awaits consideration at the 2021 meeting of the General Assembly where hopefully it will be approved by the denomination. The report aligns with the teaching of the Nashville Statement but roots its affirmations much more explicitly within the Reformed tradition.

The report is really long, but the heart of it is comprised of twelve affirmations that set forth the consensus of the committee and hopefully of the entire denomination. So even if you are not able to read the entire document, you at least need to read the twelve statements. They address every major point of contention in the intramural debate among evangelicals about gender and sexuality.

Here are some of the most significant items that I noted in my reading of the twelve affirmations: Continue Reading →

Remembering OneDay 2000 and Piper’s “Seashell” Sermon

Yesterday was the twentieth anniversary of John Piper’s famous “sea shell” sermon at the 2000 Passion conference called “OneDay.” Three years ago, I shared with Sarah Zylstra my memories of the event. There was a lot that we talked about that did not make it into her final article. And there was still more that I didn’t even share with her. So I thought I would briefly recount some of those memories here. Here are my top ten memorable memories of the memorable occasion known as OneDay 2000. Continue Reading →

The Best Thing on the Internet

If there’s anything better on the internet today, I don’t know what it is.

These are three dancing sisters from the Netherlands. Their names are Nora, Yarah, and Rosa. Their group name is “Let it Happen.” They have been performing for years including appearances on The Ellen Show.

The video above originally appeared on Instagram with the following message from Norah:

Today we have the privilege to perform live during the “James Brown Birthday IG-live musical tribute” @jamesbrownfamilyfdn .
Thank you @jamesbrowngirl for asking us, we feel honored to be part of this and to remember your father.
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Song: Get on the good foot
Artist: James Brown
______________________________________________
#jamesbrown #godfatherofsoul #ripjamesbrown #letithappen #norahyarahrosa

An Expression of Our Grief, Our Appreciation, and Our Resolve from the Faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary & Boyce College

[This afternoon, the faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary passed a resolution. The full text is below. A PDF can be downloaded here.]

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April 29, 2020

The faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College hereby make a unified statement about the recent hardships our community has faced as a result of this global pandemic. The purpose of this statement is to express three main things in response to these hardships: our grief that beloved colleagues were affected, our appreciation both for their contribution to Southern and for the difficulty our leaders have faced, and our resolve to labor on in faithfulness to God’s Word.

We want this statement to encourage those colleagues, as well as our students, alumni, and churches, who are also enduring these unsettling times.
Continue Reading →

God’s Calling on Men to Be Protectors

Last night, John Piper participated in a panel discussion about complementarianism, and today T4G released an excerpt (see above). I really appreciate the point that Piper is making here. He is pointing out that men have a special obligation to protect and to care for women. This obligation, by divine design, is written into their nature.

Someone may object: “But doesn’t God’s image in every human being establish abuse as an offense against God? Why does gender even matter here?” Yes, God’s image does establish the offense, but it doesn’t by itself indicate greater degrees of moral culpability given a perpetrator’s motive, responsibility, and situation. Continue Reading →

Are policy-makers “encouraging mass civil disobedience”?

I noted on Saturday that the Mayor of Louisville has overstepped by threatening to take down the license plate numbers of cars in church parking lots—even if citizens never leave their cars! His action is a violation of religious liberty that erodes trust. Sadly, it also squanders the community spirit that has led to the vast majority of churches suspending their in-person gatherings.

A Wall Street Journal editorial today cites Louisville as an example of abuses going on around the country. An excerpt: Continue Reading →

If beer is “essential,” so is Easter.

We are having a genuine religious liberty imbroglio here in Louisville, Kentucky, and it is time for Christians to pay attention.

The Courier-Journal reports that late in the week, Governor Andy Beshear and Mayor Greg Fischer doubled-down on their ban on church gatherings. Gov. Beshear mainly focused on churches that are gathering together in person. Mayor Fischer took it a step further and forbade drive-thru services where congregants don’t even get out of their cars. Mayor Fischer says that police will record license plate numbers of anyone caught in a drive-thru service and would possibly subject them to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Continue Reading →

Why couldn’t God just forgive us? Did Jesus really have to die?

Have you ever wondered why Jesus had to die in order for God to forgive us? Why couldn’t God just let us off the hook for our sin? Why did his very own Son have to die in our place?

These are the questions that I attempt to answer in my Good Friday message. And they are the questions that Romans 3:24-25 answers.

Sinners often ask the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This is not a question that ever crosses Paul’s mind because he knows there are no good people (Rom. 3:23). The question that drives Paul is this: “Why is God good to bad people?” Unless you’re asking that question, you won’t understand the cross and why it was necessary.

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