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Archive | Answers

An Emoji Testimony

I want to give you a simple way to share your faith. Not trivialize it, as the title of this post could imply, but help solidify it in your heart and mind as a ready way to share the hope of Christ in you. Let me explain.

In Matthew 13, our Lord told a parable likening the kingdom of God to a sower sowing seeds indiscriminately. Regardless of the soil type – hard, rocky, weedy, or fertile – the sower just threw out the seed. Later, when Jesus explained the parable to his disciples, he told them the seed was God’s Word and the soils represented people’s hearts. Though other applications can be made from this parable, one thing we learn is that we are to be liberally and widely sharing God’s Word with others.

Often, we stop short of testifying to Christ with unbelievers around us, be it a neighbor, a co-worker, an acquaintance, or even a longtime friend because we simply do not know what to say. We are unprepared, and I know many Christians can also feel unqualified to speak.

Yet this parable should encourage us in at least two ways. First, it reminds us that we are not accountable for […]

Is the Write-In Vote that Ill-Conceived? A Brief Response to Pastor Robert Jeffress

I had one of those long, face scrunching moments while reading Dr. Robert Jeffress’ article “Why Christians must vote in this election (staying home is not an option).” It’s found here in the Fox News Opinion section.

My facial contortion began right out of the gate. Here’s how Pastor Jeffress begins,

“I hear the lament often from conservative Christians as I travel the country: ‘How can I vote for either of these candidates with a clear conscience?’

Increasingly, many Christians are choosing the stay-at-home option (or throw away their vote with a write-in candidate option) as a way to maintain their integrity.

Frankly, I understand the appeal of such a choice. Not voting allows Christians to avoid both having to make a difficult choice or defending an unpopular choice to disapproving friends or family members. And let’s face it, playing the “conscience card” allows someone to feel holier than other Christians who sully themselves by getting involved in the political process.”

Now in an election where rhetoric already registers a ten on the Richter scale, one might hope for more charity (expressed through fairness) in the Christian quadrant. But as one might have noticed, that isn’t always […]

So You Want to Dive Into Podcasts and Audiobooks?

I am asked fairly often what it is I like to listen to. That is usually followed up with a question as to how one might go about doing such a thing.

Well, here recently, someone asked that very question, and when I finished writing up a brief overview of the process, I thought it would be good to post my musings here. Perhaps you too would like to dive into the world of podcasts and audiobooks.

If so, here is a simple how to:

Hebrews 8 and the Credobaptist Objection: A Reply

Paedobaptist: So let me get this straight, one your biggest objections to infant baptism rests on the understanding that the New Covenant is comprised of only the elect/regenerate?

Credo: That’s right. Hebrews 8 (citing Jeremiah 31) makes this plain. Everyone in the New Covenant knows the Lord. That’s what makes it unlike the Mosaic Covenant. The old covenant was more ethnic in nature. It included the children of Jews. As such, it was a covenant that included both the regenerate and unregenerate. This is contrasted with that of the New Covenant. Only genuine believers (the regenerate) make up the New Covenant. This fact is a crucial part of its newness!

Paedobaptist: But surely you grant that not everyone in the church is regenerate, right?

Credo: Of course. There are false believers and apostates. But they aren’t part of the New Covenant.

Paedobaptist: But many of these false believers are baptized, right?

Credo: Yes.

Paedobaptist: So they receive the sign of the covenant but are not part of the covenant community?

Credo: That’s right. Only the elect comprise the New Covenant.

Paedobaptist: But isn’t there an external administration of the covenant? In other words, don’t you believe that they are connected to the New Covenant in some sense?

Credo: They are […]

Help! I Struggle With My Pastor’s Preaching

Call me an old school Presbyterian but in my estimation there is nothing as important as the preaching of God’s Word. I don’t think it was overbold for PT Forsyth to suggest: “With its preaching Christianity stands or falls.” Preaching is not merely an appendix to the many activities of the church, an ancillary support to a pastor’s more important tasks, or a supplement for the spirituality of a congregation. It stands at the center. It is the primary method God uses to give faith (Romans 10:17), to save sinners (1 Corinthians 1:21), and to spiritually strengthen (Romans 16:25). It’s for this reason the Westminster Shorter Catechism says: “The Spirit of God makes the reading, but especially the preaching, of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.” That’s why it can be such a spiritual crisis when people struggle with their pastor’s preaching.

I was recently speaking with a friend who was dealing with this problem. For some time he has not felt overly encouraged or built up by the preaching in his local church. It’s not that there’s false doctrine being preached or anything […]

A Few Words For Our Cultural Moment

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but […]

A Brief Reflection on Apologetics and Epistemology

(This is a follow-up to my post which can be found here)

When confronted with evidence supporting the notion of intelligent design, as demonstrated through the finely-tuned nature of the universe, atheist, Peter Millican, appealed chiefly to two different lines of thinking in order to escape the force of the argument: The possibility of a multiverse and the discovery of a new theory or law of nature that would resolve the tension through a more naturalistic explanation.

Allow me to bullet some thoughts:

How Do I Know What God’s Will Is?

I’ve heard it and you’ve heard it, I’ve used it, and you’ve used it: “I think it’s the will of God that I do such and such.” Who should I marry? What should I study? When should I do this? Where should I work? Why has this happened? But the question behind those questions is: how do I go about discerning God’s will? And, I might add, that’s the question that must be answered before we go any further. If we don’t know how God reveals his will to us it will do little good to ask those particular questions.

A bit anecdotally, I remember beginning my college career at a small Christian liberal arts university in Minnesota. Of course, the whole environment of the university was aimed at trying to get young men and women to find their future spouse during their college years. The conspiracy theory was that this would give a good return to the school because regardless of what the academic experience was–or how much it cost–tales of lore would be told that this was the place where two people fell in love. And it wasn’t uncommon, for instance, for a young man to approach a potential […]

Browse Worthy: Our Sad, Sex-Saturated Society

Some sane thoughts for dealing with this culture in which we live.

On Nude Selfies

One of the Kardashians put up one of these on the internet. Practical Theology for Women discusses how “body part” currency is truly a counterfeit one.

Sex Trumps History

No, this is not about the presidential race. Rather, Carl Trueman finds yet another reason (a surprisingly valid one, I might add) for why people do not know history.

The Modesty Debate

Sam Powell discusses that the common emphasis in the church on women dressing modestly can often be a cover up of the wrong kind.

Openness Unhindered

An insightful and lengthy review over at Reformation 21 of Rosaria Butterfield’s book by this title.

Sex, Sin & Salvation

For training and help in this area, on April 21-23 in Pittsburgh, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary are hosting a conference with this title. Speakers include Rosaria Butterfield, Tim Challies, Peter Jones, Heath Lambert, George Scipione, John Street, and Derek Thomas. Click the link or banner to find out more and register.