The beauty of the Genesis narrative is found in the harmony of two notable features: its simplicity and its explanatory power. With straightforward prose through the pen of Moses, God reveals the origin of man and woman, providing us insight into one of the most glorious realities in the universe. Genesis 1:27 gives us a general description of the event: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them. Male and female He created them.” Genesis 2:7-25 fills in the details: Adam was created first, placed in the garden, and given instructions on how to conduct his calling as God’s vice-regent. Continue reading “Contemporary Gender Confusion and Clarity of the Nashville Statement”
Nothing of any significance has ever been accomplished without discipline. That’s true in both the physical and spiritual realm. Talented athletes who rely upon their natural athletic prowess and refuse to put in the work to develop their skills rarely find enduring or memorable success. Wealthy sons who take their financial status for granted instead of laboring to multiply their inherited wealth often stand as pathetic examples of privileged yet wasted lives. There have been great minds who have wasted their massive intellectual gifts because they simply would not discipline themselves to work hard. Regarding this last kind of neglect, I am reminded of the following description of William Coleridge, a 18th-century poet who, despite his literary gifts, fell far short of what many expected him to accomplish. Continue reading “The Vital Importance of Personal Discipline”
Discipleship, in the words of Mark Dever, is helping another person follow Jesus. Said another way (by Dever): Discipleship is doing deliberate spiritual good to another Christian.
Jesus commands Christians to make disciples (Matt 28:18-20), and Christians should count it a privilege to come alongside others to aid them in their walk with the Savior. We should also receive discipleship from others with gratefulness and a desire to learn. In light of Christ’s command in Matt 28:18-20 and, for that matter, the entire structure of the New Testament where believing relationships are an indispensable means of spiritual growth (e.g., Rom 15:14; Heb 3:12-15), discipleship should be central to our individual Christian lives and our corporate church life. Continue reading “Age, Humility, and Discipleship”
You can read part 2 here.
You’ve heard it before.
One reason people give for not being a Christian is that the “church is full of hypocrites.” Why believe the message about Jesus Christ, the argument goes, when that message has no obvious power in the lives of his followers? If Jesus’ professed followers don’t really seem to believe his message, why should we? Continue reading “Is the Church Full of Hypocrites? Part 1”
What happens when you ask the right questions of Scripture? You get the mother lode. Riches pour forth like water from Moses’ rock. In the case of Psalm 119, the text itself makes it clear what questions we are supposed to ask, and the payoff is pretty sweet. Here are the two questions we should ask as we trek through Psalm 119: (1) What does the psalmist pray for; and (2) What is the psalmist’s posture toward God’s word? Continue reading “Two Productive Questions to Ask of Psalm 119”
Youth ministry is in trouble. Not only are most teenagers indifferent about Christ and the gospel, but youth ministers, by and large, have found themselves on the brink of exhaustion, toiling under the weight of unrealistic expectations, acute disappointment, and the perpetual onslaught of daily responsibilities. Add to these discouraging factors the crushing reality of broken homes, one’s regular exposure to unsavory features of youth culture, and the confusion caused by the current lengthening of adolescent development, and it is not difficult to see why Jeff Baxter, author of Together: Adults and Teenagers Transforming the Church, has raised the alarm. Continue reading “Together: Adults and Teenagers Transforming the Church by Jeff Baxter”