Jesus Does Not Ask Us for a Permission Slip: On Killing Sin

The evangelical doctrine of sanctification–growth in godliness–needs a serious shot in the arm. Specifically, we need Jesus back in the mix. Badly. Let me quickly explain. I do not deny that we sinners are needy and broken. We surely are. Our whole life, as Martin Luther said, is a life of repentance. It must needs be. But I do wonder today if we have so focused on brokenness and weakness that we have lost sight of Christ. Christ is not… Read more

Injured Middlebury Prof: “There is no excusing what happened at Middlebury”

Allison Stanger was recently given a concussion courtesy of a rioting mob at Middlebury College. Stanger teaches at Middlebury, and just wrote an eye-opening piece on her experience for the New York Times. It doesn’t mess around; it’s entitled “Understanding the Angry Mob at Middlebury That Gave Me a Concussion.” Here’s a selection: There is no excusing what happened at Middlebury, and those who prevented Charles Murray from speaking must be punished for violating college rules. But what the events at Middlebury… Read more

Weak Sauce: The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf Dismisses “The Bell Curve” Without Reading It

I enjoy Conor Friersdorf’s journalism for The Atlantic. Friedersdorf is an engaging and thoughtful writer who covers tough topics, generally, with balance and insight. In a recent report on the “Middlebury mob,” however, Friedersdorf committed a major intellectual party-foul on Charles Murray. Examining whether Murray’s Bell Curve–the book ostensibly protested at Middlebury–is racist as is alleged, Friedersdorf noted the following: (Like many of the protesters, I’ve never read the bestselling book, which was published when I was 14. Later, reading up on the… Read more

Michael Gungor Gets Blood Atonement Wrong, and Loses Christ’s Benefits

Musician Michael Gungor just popped up and made a number of statements on Twitter decrying the penal substitutionary model of the atonement. His most precise quote: “that God needed to be appeased with blood is not beautiful. It’s horrific.” The heart of the atonement is precisely what Gungor says it is not. Ancient Israel gathered on the annual Day of Atonement so that the priest would offer sacrifices to cover their sins (Leviticus 16:11-19). Their precise need was a sacrifice that… Read more

Is God Finished with New England?

No. God is not finished with my home region, New England. He’s working there in inspiring ways today. I love studying the past of New England. My favorite theologian is Jonathan Edwards, and Edwards gave his life-blood to reach the people of this beautiful place. Edwards faithfully preached the Word for several decades, and his model of ministry is unsurpassed. But there can be a danger with studying a figure like Edwards. One can feel like light once broke out, but… Read more

Breaking Baronelle: Washington Punishes a Florist (a Satire)

We should all breathe a sigh of relief over what just happened in Washington state. Baronelle Stutzman, an elderly florist, was just found guilty of discrimination because she declined to provide floral arrangements for a gay wedding. She’s on the hook now for the ACLU’s legal bills, incredibly. Here’s a quick breakdown of what has just happened. How thankful we should be in this age for a culture that punishes Christians for living out their faith. First, we saw the exposure… Read more

Washington Post Reports New Church Growth Strategy: Conservative Doctrine

The best way to grow a church is to hold conservative theology, and preach it. At least that’s what a recent Washington Post article states. David Millard Haskell (professor at Wilfrid Laurier University) just reported his peer-reviewed research on Canadian churches for the Post, and here’s what he found (emphasis mine): Over the last five years, my colleagues and I conducted a study of 22 mainline congregations in the province of Ontario. We compared those in the sample that were growing mainline congregations… Read more

Eric Metaxas and I Discuss: Are Men and Women Obsolete?

I just had the privilege of discussing the sexes with Eric Metaxas on his radio show. (Listen to it above, or here.) As a host on the Salem network, Eric covers a wide array of topics and produces a show that is intellectually stimulating, spiritually refreshing, and a lot of fun. He is widely-known for his writing, including the best-sellers Bonhoeffer and the recent If You Can Keep It. I have thoroughly enjoyed his hosting of the brilliant Socrates in the City program. During my… Read more

How Can Pastors Have a “Gospel-Centered” Ministry?

There is much talk about being “gospel-centered” today. I’m thrilled that there is. But what does it mean, precisely, for a pastors to minister in a “gospel-centered” way? Here are three quick thoughts. First, the pastor’s theology is gospel-shaped. In other words, the atoning death and life-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very fountainhead of all the pastor’s thinking. For the glory of God, the pastor labors to make the message of Christ’s finished work known to needy, hell-bound… Read more

Chip and Joanna Gaines Are What’s Wrong with America: A Satire

That is what Buzzfeed and Cosmopolitan would have you believe, anyway: Chip and Joanna Gaines are the problem, not the solution. The Gaineses, an evangelical couple that attends an evangelical church in Texas, are under fire because their pastor preached sermons articulating the sinfulness of same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Now, the two outlets are demanding that Chip and Joanna, a couple beloved for their ultra-popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” answer for their transgressions. The mainstream media wants this couple to repent of believing… Read more

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