Five Benefits of Regular Family Worship

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Over the years I have asked groups of Christian adults how many of them grew up in homes where there was regular family worship. Early on it was rare to find people (typically of my generation or older) who answered affirmatively. In recent years the number of positive responses has increased dramatically—almost exclusively with younger…

 

How the Bible Relates to Man-Made Creeds

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The pivotal question of how one concedes authoritative force to a creedal, or confessional, proposition holds paramount importance in their use in pedagogical and disciplinary ways. If churches, associations, or denominations as a whole are to use their creeds as instruments of ordination, church instruction, and discipline, then some method of demonstrating the biblical character…



Hymns and Perseverance of the Saints

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Hymns are a treasure trove of doctrinal truth. In the past several posts we have surveyed the rich connection between Hymns and Doctrines. Thus far we have covered the depravity of man, the doctrine of election, Christ’s atonement, and irresistible grace. Now we come to perseverance of the saints. This doctrine consists of two important…



How to Diagnose and Treat Pastoral Authoritarianism

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Suffixes have a way of distinguishing a word from its root, such as –ian. An electrician does not personally hold an electrical charge but he does work with electricity. A Washingtonian may not have the last name Washington but she does live or work in the nation’s capitol. One source states that the –ian ending…



Thoughts on Christian Liberty

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With the resurgence of reformed theology has come a rediscovery of the doctrine of Christian liberty. This doctrine is important for spiritual growth and health because, as Paul succinctly put it in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” There…



He Who Confesses and He Who Does Not Confess: John’s Confession of Faith

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The substantial theological differences that began to emerge in the days of the apostles caused them to develop short, pithy confessional statements that summarized vital elements of the apostolic teaching. These served as a dividing point between teachers of truth and teachers of error. The apostle John found some teachers infiltrating the church who taught…



Five Essential Aspects of Pastoral Ministry

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Whole books have been written on pastoral ministry; so, even an attempt at summarizing it in a short blog post will fall short of the mark. But I would suggest that several principles rise to a high level of importance when considering the subject of pastoral ministry. Much of what passes for pastoral ministry today is…



Resources for Studying the Law and the Gospel

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A proper understanding of the relationship between the law and the gospel is crucial for any minister hoping to be effective in his preaching and counseling. Indeed, a flawed understanding of the relationship between law and gospel leads to all sorts of problems: Errors in this doctrine have spawned dispensationalism, theonomy, the New Perspective on…



Hymns and Irresistible Grace

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One of the most familiar and beloved hymns in Christian hymnody is “Amazing Grace.” This hymn is John Newton’s enduring testimony to salvation by grace alone. Generations have sung and resounded his words. But why did he choose grace as his theme? What is it about grace that makes it amazing? Newton answers that question…