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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every academic community, I suppose, is a colony of writers. That’s holding true at Midwestern Seminary, where I teach systematic theology. President Jason Allen recently released a very helpful book on the call to ministry. Provost Jason Duesing has just edited a terrific new book on religious liberty and released his scholarly work on early Baptist Henry Jessey, an underappreciated but important figure. Jared Wilson is established as evangelicalism’s go-to voice on the theology of pastoral ministry, and recently published a rich… Read more

This is a blistering and fun season for many evangelical scholars. It’s ETS time. Next week, the Evangelical Theological Society meets in San Antonio, Texas (Alamo at right) for its annual conference. I’ve been thankful to be a member of ETS for some time, and I’ll present this year on three separate topics. All three sessions I’m involved in take place on this coming Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 1: A paper on “The Clarity of Complementarity: Transgender in Moral &… Read more

It is not uncommon for evangelicals today to lament that the college campus is secularizing. This is not a silly conclusion, considering the drift of modern elite culture. There is much to be troubled by. But I have been reminded of late that God is on the move at the American university. Some folks will recall that two years ago, the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group at Bowdoin, Bowdoin Christian Fellowship, was officially removed as a campus group (I was involved with… Read more

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