• Christianity,  Podcast

    Introducing the CBMW Podcast

    The title of this post is a bit of misnomer because this is actually a reintroduction of a podcast that has been around for a while but only with irregular content. Well, that has changed. Colin Smothers and I are now producing weekly episodes of the podcast. For the next several months we are going to be discussing/teaching through the Nashville and Danvers Statements. The first episode has already been posted, and it is available now. We will also be doing interviews with guests from time to time to discuss books and other items of interest. Our first interview is with Dr. Heath Lambert, the pastor of FBC Jacksonville, who…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity

    Jinger Duggar Vuolo Takes on Bill Gothard… and Wins

    I have known of Bill Gothard’s name for many years but have paid very little attention to his ministry. For a long time, my knowledge was pretty limited to “his followers don’t like drums and have an emphasis on family and legalism.” I had heard bits and pieces of his teaching over the years but had never made a study of it. What I had heard gave me the impression that he was a fringey figure. His ministry seemed to me passé, like an 80’s thing that—except for a handful of “hangers on”—was flickering out. After Gothard was exposed as a hypocritical lech in 2014, I thought surely that whatever…

  • Christianity,  Homosexuality,  Theology/Bible,  Transgenderism

    FBC Jax Speaks the Truth in Love about Sexuality

    I just finished watching one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever seen. A megachurch pastor and his congregation took a strong and clear stand on sexuality and gender, and then held an open mic forum for community members (hostile or otherwise) to come and speak or ask any question they wanted of the pastor. I have never seen anything like it, but it was astonishing. You can watch the video below, but first a little background. Some of you will recognize Heath Lambert’s name because he and I were coauthors of a book linked in the sidebar, Transforming Homosexuality. Heath now serves as the pastor of the First Baptist…

  • Sermon

    Examine Yourselves – 2 Corinthians 13:5-7

    I have been preaching through 2 Corinthians and on Sunday made it through verses 5-7 of chapter 13. In this text, Paul tells believers to examine themselves whether they are in the faith. Essentially, he tells them, “You don’t need to be examining me and whether I’m a true apostle. You need to be examining yourselves to see if you are really even in the faith at all.” It’s a very practical text and certainly crucial for us to understand. You can download the message here or listen below.

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    The Bible of “Trumpists”? Hardly.

    Over the weekend, sociologist Samuel Perry raised eyebrows by suggesting that the ESV is the official Bible translation for “Trumpists.” I’m not sure what he was trying to accomplish with this. Was he trying to cast shade on the ESV by showing the nefarious characters who read such a translation? About an hour and a half after posting this, he shared some data that sort of deflates the nefarious connotation of his earlier claim. The data show that readers of the NIV, Amplified, and KJV are also likely Trump voters. He then draws a more limited conclusion, saying that “voters who read evangelical translations vote like evangelicals.” Hardly earth-shattering news.…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Does the Bible Portray the Triune God as Feminine?

    Last night I posted an item on Twitter that received a good bit of negative reaction from some readers. While reading through Chapter 7 of Herman Bavinck’s excellent book The Christian Family, I posted several quotations from the chapter. This is something I frequently do when reading material that stands out to me. You can look through my timeline and see clusters of quotations from books that I believed were worth sharing. But a quotation from Bavinck last night seems to have touched a nerve. Here’s what I posted last night from Bavinck’s work (in order of appearance on my timeline): 12:06am: “People and nations were very different from each…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Can a true Christian lack assurance of salvation?

    Thomas Watson addresses whether a true Christian may lack assurance of salvation: “We must distinguish between weakness of faith and nullity. A weak faith is true. The bruised reed is but weak, yet it is such as Christ will not break. Though thy faith be but weak, yet be not discouraged. A weak faith may receive a strong Christ; a weak hand can tie the knot in marriage as well as a strong; a weak eye might have seen the brazen serpent. The promise is not made to strong faith, but to true. The promise doth not say, Whosoever hath a giant faith that can remove mountains, that can stop…

  • Entertainment,  Humor

    Top 10 YouTubes of 2022

    It’s time for my annual posting of the Top 10 YouTube Videos of the Year (see last year’s list here). This ranking is totally unscientific, and there’s actually more than 10 videos this time. Only one person was polled to compile this list—yours truly. This year’s slate of videos has both humor and humanity with some other odds and ends thrown in. If you think I’ve left something out, let me know. I’ll think about adding an “Honorable Mention” category at the bottom. Enjoy! If you’re interested, here are links to lists from previous years: 2021 |2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 |…

  • Christianity

    A Plan to Read through the Bible in 2023

    In years past, my customary mode for reading through the Bible every year involved starting in Genesis and reading right through to Revelation. I estimated that about four chapters per day would get me through in under a year’s time. The method worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t without its problems. Sometimes I would miss a day (or days) and get behind, and I had no way to keep up with my progress. I needed a schedule so that I could keep myself accountable for finishing in a year. In 2009, therefore, I did something I had never done before. I followed a Bible reading plan. I adopted Robert Murray…

  • Sermon

    Is God Enough When You Suffer?

    Below is a message that I preached to our church at the beginning of the year, and now it seems appropriate to share at the end as well. It’s on the first two chapters of the book of Job. The key question of the book is NOT “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The key question is “How will good people respond when bad things happened to them?” Will God be enough for them? All people suffer. But not all of us suffer in the same way. Not everyone sees God’s hand in their suffering. Even among those who do, not all can accept it. For some people,…