Banksy & Pastoral Fame

Be very careful what you wish for. In the world of pastoral ministry (especially the evangelical variety) what seems to be wished for with an increasing frequency is fame. Despite the fact that it is often shrouded in more spiritual terms like “influence” or “maximizing capacity,” there is but a razors edge difference between them […]

The Essential Bookshelf: John Frame’s “Doctrine of the Christian Life”

John Frame’s The Doctrine of the Christian Life is a massive volume, at approximately one thousand pages, and weighing in at nearly half as many pounds! As the third installment of the Theology of Lordship Series, this volume written by the Reformed Theological Seminary stalwart is an extremely important contribution to the field of Christian ethical […]

The Selfie and Self: What Do These Say About Human Nature?

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Perhaps it is merely a sign of the times or, as David Goldman writing for CNN Money dubbed it, “the latest sign of the Apocalypse,”[i] but it deserves some consideration:  Apple is forbidding selfie sticks from its upcoming WWDC Developers Conference. A year ago a similar article appeared on huffingtonpost.com entitled “White House May Prohibit […]

A Glorious Dark

Glorious Dark

  “Maybe it’s not stories that we love; maybe it’s the storytellers themselves we love.” A.J. Swoboda With reflections from Holy Week still looming in our hearts and imaginations it is fitting to offer a review of a book that is suitable reading for the myriad of lenten-like seasons each of us may journey through in […]

PCUSA Church “celebrates” abortion & Planned Parenthood

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Pro-life Presbyterians should protest, but is there a more effective response? “A rally in support of abortion giant Planned Parenthood took place inside a Presbyterian Church in Louisiana last month,” reportsCarole Novielli of LifeNews.com. “Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast organized the “Stand with Women” rally in support of a new abortion facility in Crescent City. The rally took place at […]

The Essential Bookshelf: John Frame’s Systematic Theology

John Frame Systematic Theology

Several weeks ago,  I began an intermittent series on “The Essential Bookshelf” in which I will attempt to recommend some of the most important tools in which a pastor, Bible student, or diligent churchman should invest. In that article, I began with excellent Bibles (of course). This afternoon, I am going to carry on with the […]

Iran and the Resurrection

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Just days before Easter, Western diplomats concluded a preliminary nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Christians who were busy pondering the resurrection and its relevance to the modern world were suddenly forced to ponder negotiations with a regime committed to spreading revolutionary Islamist ideology — and to suppressing the gospel. Making treaties with foreign […]

Secular humanism: “Sounds good to me”

John Connally

I found this humorous anecdote tucked away in Randall Balmer’s excellent faith & politics biography of Jimmy Carter, Redeemer. The context is the birth of the Moral Majority and their looking for the right candidate for the 1980 election. Herein is a description of former Texas Governor John Connally–a man who carried bullet fragments in […]

Is Easter a Pagan Holiday?

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Every year Easter and Christmas are assailed by a small, but very vocal group of very sincere and pious Christians that allege that many of us are participants in paganism. Some of those persons are my close friends. What follows is a response I once wrote to a dear friend that holds this position. Here, I […]

The crowning proof of Christianity

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Today, Christians around the world will gather and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We will do so because the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the cornerstone of our faith. Without it, Christianity would be relegated to the dusty halls of museums alongside the numerous world religions and […]

Ten Practical Ways to Serve Jesus on Resurrection Sunday

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This coming Sunday is huge. This is the day that the Christian church traditionally celebrates the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. But did you know that it is also an extraordinary opportunity to honor Him with your practical service? Here are ten ways that you can glorify Christ be serving Him this weekend.  1. […]

The Last Words of Jesus

Last words

My friend Stu Epperson recently published a book titled, The Last Words of Jesus. Here’s the gist: You’ll experience a fresh encounter with Christ as Epperson recounts the last seven statements uttered by Jesus on the cross, providing unique, thought-provoking insights, and interspersing additional commentaries from many of Christianity’s leading theologians and authors. Earlier this […]

Colossians 4:3-4: Pray That I, At Least, Can Speak Clearly!

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You might call me a news junkie. In a day’s time, I hear four radio newscasts, read the morning newspaper, catch a few articles from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or something else linked by the daily Church and the World news compendium. I read TIME Magazine cover-to-cover every week, watch the Nightly […]

Forgiving and Forgiveness Linked: A Lesson from the Diary of Ronald Reagan

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On this date in 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot by would-be assassin, John Hinckley. Several years ago when I read the then newly released The Reagan Diaries (HarperCollins, 2007)—the edited personal daily entries of President Reagan which he maintained during his eight year presidency—I remember being struck by Reagan’s entry for March 30, 1981. […]

Huckabee: clergy/laity dichotomy is unfortunate and unbiblical

Huckabee vocatio horizontal

Before Mike Huckabee served as the Governor of Arkansas, he served as the pastor of Baptist churches in the state. And, from 1989-1991 he served as the President of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention–a position which a pastor undertakes for a year or two, alongside the work of their local church ministry. As President, Huckabee wrote […]

Saved by beauty

Augustine Confessions

“Come O Lord, and stir our hearts. Call us back to yourself. Kindle your fire in us and carry us away. Let us scent your fragrance and taste your sweetness. Let us love you and hasten to your side.” – St. Augustine, Confessions As a young man, Augustine had believed that his problem was intellectual. […]

Jesus Loves Me, This I Feel: Why Do I Need Theology When I Can Follow My Heart?

A while back, I attempted a social media experiment. I posted a simple question: If you saw two groups of theologians playing dodge-ball, which team would you rather be on, and why? I listed the “RED TEAM” as consisting of men like Saint Augustine, John Calvin, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, John Owen, and living team […]

Why Inerrancy Matters

Francis Schaeffer

On May 15, 1984, the theologian Francis Schaeffer died. His widow and partner in ministry, Edith, would later write about the comfort that she received in those lonely moments. Her confidence rested in the inerrant Bible that her husband had defended throughout his ministry. It was 4 A.M. precisely that a soft last breath was […]

Broken (part 3): Blind Faith?

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Editor’s Note: This is the 2nd of a 3 part series. Find the first post HERE and the second post HERE. Clay is working on a book which integrates his deep love of theology (study of God) with his medical doctor’s reservoir of knowledge about science and the created world.    Blind Faith? Believing that God is […]

Our Historical Anomaly: Is the 300+ Year Bubble of Christian Safety and Security in North America about to Pop?

Bubbles are beautiful. They seem to defy gravity, are resplendent in light, and entertain children endlessly. The only problem is…eventually they pop. As Christians, we have enjoyed a 300+ year historical anomaly; for most believers around the world and throughout history, being a Christian has been a very dangerous proposition. In this unusually sober message […]

Presbyterians and the evolving definition of marriage

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Note: the following is an excerpt of an article I wrote for our friends at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention. The entire article can be found here, along with many helpful resources on a wide range of issues Christians are facing today. The headlines since March 17 have […]

Scripture Verses that the PC(USA) Bible Apparently Lacks

With the recent announcement that the PC(USA) has voted to redefine the institution of marriage, many people are asking a whole lot of questions. One good one is simply, “Gosh, do they have the authority to do this?” The obvious answer is, no. No they don’t. God defined and ordained the institution of marriage in Genesis […]

Broken (part 2)

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This is the 2nd of a 3 part series. Find the first post HERE. Groaning We can think of the marvels of the human body, how ingeniously designed it is.  But in the back of our mind, we know the body breaks down.  Blood clots when it’s not supposed to and sometimes doesn’t clot when […]

The Hermeneutic of Love

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As I read and study the Bible, I am convinced that the two most important verses in all the Bible are found in Matthew 22. In this chapter, the religious leaders of the day were continuously trying to trap Jesus in order that they might have Him arrested. The Pharisees and the Sadducees took turns […]

The summer of ’69: Bill Bright, Hillary Clinton and the soul which longs

Revolution Now

Bill Bright founded Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951 on the campus of UCLA, as an organization for Christian evangelism and discipleship. In 1952, he wrote an evangelistic tract called “The 4 Spiritual Laws” which aided Christians in their communication of simple Gospel truths. Bright knew that tracts could help strip away the fear Christians […]

The Presbyterians Did What?! Rogue Group Besmirches Our Name Once Again

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I hate when this happens. The “Presbyterians” made another statement that flies in the face of biblical orthodoxy, usually in the form of some vote, amendment, or overture. This week the PC(USA) once again  (I’ve lost track of how many times this has happened) did or said something related to approving and supporting gay marriage. […]

The Local Church Pastor as Resident Theologian

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It is practically impossible to be a pastor today. At once, it is expected of a man to be a preacher, a psychologist, a marriage and family therapist, a community organizer, and a church activities coordinator. Added to those titles we might suggest also: social media expert, financial administrator, organizational manager, and head of staff. […]

Broken (part 1)

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An Atypical Night It had been an unusually easy night in the Pediatric Emergency Department (PED). My fellow physician Donna and I were talking, sipping coffee, and yawning. Most nights in the PED weren’t like that at all. They were most often somewhere between frantic and frenzied, but tonight was different. Of course, it was […]

Real Life Disconnect: 4 leaf clovers are good luck while extra chromosomes are cause for abortion?

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4 leaf clovers are prized. My Grandmother was great at spotting them and I collected several as a child. The extra leaf makes a clover more valuable, treasured, and cherished. Why, then, I cannot help but wonder, is an extra chromosome in a human being—rather than being perceived as a rare gift—considered by 75-90% of […]