Indiana’s Opportunity

Those of us living in Indiana live at a rare juncture in history. We made big news a month ago with our Religious Freedom and Restoration Act in the statehouse. The waters have calmed for now, and many people wish the whole episode would just disappear. Maybe the whole attempt to pass the RFRA was unwise on the part of the Christians who authored the bill. Whether it was or was not, proponents of LBGT rights have promised to press for more comprehensive protections in next year’s general assembly. Rare is the occasion when a people have the promise of a spotlight and the opportunity to prepare for eight months before taking the stage.

Fellow Hoosiers of various persuasions should take time to serious think through the possibilities and implications that are before us. Whether you are convinced that your side will win or lose the political contest, you will have many open doors for discussion if you live here that could powerfully impact our lives and the lives of those around us. Rather than run from the discussion, let’s embrace the opportunity set before us.

Marvin Olasky has long argued that Bible-believing Christians today are less like the ancient Jews in […]


The Wisdom of God Displayed in the Way of Salvation – Jonathan Edwards

“One end why God suffered Satan to do what he did in procuring the fall of man, was that his Son might be glorified in conquering that strong, subtle, and proud spirit, and triumphing over him. How glorious doth Christ Jesus appear in baffling and triumphing over this proud king of darkness, and all the haughty confederate rulers of hell. How glorious a sight is it to see the meek and patient Lamb of God leading that proud, malicious, and mighty enemy in triumph! What songs doth this cause in heaven! It was a glorious sight in Israel to see David carrying the head of Goliath in triumph to Jerusalem. It appeared glorious to the daughters of Israel, who came out with timbrels and with dances, and sang, ‘Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.’ But how much more glorious to see the Son of David, the Son of God, carrying the head of the spiritual Goliath, the champion of the armies of hell, in triumph to the heavenly Jerusalem! It is with a principle view to this, that Christ is called, ‘The Lord of hosts, or armies, and a man of war,” Exod. xv.3.  And Psal. […]


Poor Laws in an Age of False Beneficence

Whether it is teaching classes on mercy ministry or counseling with others on a case involving someone needy, again and again I find the church struggling to know what to do in helping the poor.  Often I start by telling folks that it is good they are struggling, because every situation will be difficult to discern.  Beware of the one who comes in with the quick, easy answer!

But then I also will ask, “What does the Bible have to say in cases like this one?”  People often fumble around a bit at this question.  Usually a mention of how we have an obligation to care for the needy or a reference to the story of the Good Samaritan is offered by the sensitive, tender-hearted ones on the one hand; and remarks about the poor needing to learn to work or how we cannot be giving handouts to every drunkard comes from the bolder, more stout-hearted folks on the other.  Too infrequently do I hear a reasoned articulation coming from the Scriptures that echoes with the proper Micah 6:8 blend: “to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

The location of this verse just quoted explains why.  Notice Micah 6:8 is in the Old Testament. […]


Training In Christian Piety

Matthew Myer Boulton is president of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He comes from a very different theological perspective than I do, but in seeking to get to know my neighbor better, I have enjoyed his work Life in God: John Calvin, Practical Formation, and the Future of Protestant Theology. There, his educated speculation on the title of John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion is fascinating as he seeks to show how practical Calvin intended his magnum opus to be. Boulton writes:

What should we make of the Institutio’s title? The most familiar English translation, “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” is unfortunate in several respects. First, the phrase “the Christian Religion” rings today as if Calvin is picking out Christianity from among the world’s religions, but the modern notion of “religion” had not yet taken hold in sixteenth-century Europe, and so for Calvin and his early readers, religio meant something quite different. Wilfred Cantwell Smith has argued that in Calvin’s work the term religio refers to a universal, innate “sense of piety at prompts a man to worship”; Brian Gerrish has suggested that “Calvin’s use of the words religio […]


Browse Worthy: Culture Battles

Delighting in Death? – Though no one can truly comprehend the inanity of a woman smiling while wearing a “I Had an Abortion” T-Shirt, Carl Trueman does give some insight here.

The Seed of Divorce – Let Tim Challies help you uproot, by God’s Spirit, this seed that lies in every marriage.

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? – This question is not only a title of the post but the new book Kevin DeYoung has written.  You can read about the book, get a sample of it, and listen as Kevin address this topic in a video-recorded message.

This is How Religious Liberty Dies — The New Rules of the Secular Left – Al Mohler offers insightful commentary on how religious liberty is being limited more and more so as to leave the church with no cultural voice or influence.

Watch Daniel Macarthur’s “Faith Under Fire” Message – The “Bakery Battles” are not limited to the USA.  See the testimony of this general manager of a baking company in Northern Ireland. David Murray also adds some helpful lessons that can be drawn from this situation and others like it.


Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

You must read Nabeel Qureshi’s autobiography. Nabeel vividly tells the story of his conversion from Islam to Christ in his book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity which was published in 2014. Nabeel converted in 2005 after wrestling with the claims of Christ through his college years. Today, this brilliant young man serves as an apologist with Ravi Zachariah International Ministries. You may have seen him in debates online such as this one from last week, or perhaps you have seen clips of him answering questions from Muslims like this.

Nabeel grew up in the West, in a strongly Muslim family with Pakistani roots. Because Nabeel must begin the account by describing his Eastern family environment in the midst of a Western context, the book began a bit slowly for me and for others I know who have read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. Eastern history, names, words, and customs do not immediately resonate with most of us as Westerners. But, within a few chapters, I was hardly able to put the book down. Nabeel recounts the ministry of David Wood, a Christian classmate at Old Dominion University, who quickly became his best friend. The two were evenly matched […]



Is Discrimination a Bad Word?

Well, is it?

There’s been a lot talk about Indiana as of late, which I’m sure you’ve heard about, unless of course you’re a hermit; which if that is the case, you probably aren’t reading this post.

Either way, let me ask the question again. Is discrimination a bad word?

It depends, doesn’t it?

Let’s say that I’m a photographer. And into my shop walks:

A) A heterosexual couple
B) A grandmother looking to marry her sixteen year old grandson
C) A brother and sister in their early twenties wanting to get married
D) Two men and a woman wanting to get married
E) A man and four women wanting to get married
F) An older gentlemen wanting to marry his dog
G) Two women wanting to get married
H) Two men wanting to get married

Which of these, and upon what basis, do you happily agree to shoot (with a camera!), utilizing all the skills in your repertoire to capture their joy with both professional quality and artistic flare?

If the photographer is a Christian, he or she may want to decline the job. Why? The Christian views marriage as a holy covenant and holy institution established by God. Not only is it limited by the Creator of the universe, being […]


Pastoral Care Statement to a Congregation

What if you had a brochure, membership class lesson, or church webpage that explained to people the type of pastoral care they could expect to receive when attending your congregation?  Here is my attempt at what such an explanation by a Presbyterian congregation might contain.

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Our congregation wants to provide pastoral care for you, whether this is your first visit with us or you are a longtime member of the church.  What do we mean by “pastoral care?”

Pastoral Care Defined

When one hears the word “pastoral,” they often think of the minister of the church.  Though the idea of pastoral care includes the work of the minister, we mean more by this term than only what the pastor does.  The word pastor comes from French and Latin words for shepherd and shepherding.  In English, we use the word “pasture” similarly.  Just as sheep (a common Biblical metaphor for Christians) are protected and fed by shepherds, so the people of God are to be watched over and nurtured.  The chief Shepherd of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 23; John 10:11; Hebrews 13:20), who calls upon spiritual leaders in each generation to care for His people by teaching them the Word of […]


Optimistic Thoughts from a Pessimist

In 284 AD Diocletian, then the cavalry commander of the Roman army, was proclaimed emperor of Rome. In 302 he consulted the oracle of Apollo at Didyma and there became persuaded that those who forsook Roman worship needed to be exterminated. His government would usher in the last, largest, and bloodiest of all the official persecutions of Christianity in Rome. Thousands of men, women, and children were burned, drowned, decapitated, crucified, starved, and torn apart, so much so, that Eusebius wrote, “the murderous sword was blunted, and becoming weak, was broken.” While many nobly suffered martyrdom, others could not bear up under the threats and renounced the faith, sacrificed to pagan gods, and encouraged others to do the same.

Persecution has often served to purge and purify the church of Jesus Christ. Our Lord taught that some would hear his word but having no root would only “endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately fall away” (Mark 4:17). It would be good for any who hold to the word of Jesus to consider this teaching seriously and searchingly—and, let me add, with a degree of fear and trembling. It would be far […]