Theology

Episode 67 – How to Find a Church!

In the episode, Michael and Cuatro discuss how to find a local church if you are searching. What are some criteria whereby you can discern if a church is for you?

Free Chapter from A Change of Heart: Understanding Regeneration and Why it Matters

I am so excited to be working with Free Grace Press again to publish my third book (2nd with FGP), entitled A Change of Heart: Understanding Regeneration and Why it Matters. We still have some work to do but, Lord willing, we are looking at Summer 2023 (perhaps...

Episode 66 – Book Giveaway! Under God, Over the People!

In the episode, Michael and Cuatro interview Oliver Allmand-Smith, author of Under God, Over the People. Listen to hear how you can enter to win a free copy of this book. Available to US and Canada addresses only. His book, Under God, Over the People, will help you...
Love Hopes All Things

Love Hopes All Things

Forgive this post ahead of time. I don't want you to feel dizzy. I'm truly wrestling here, friend. I'm sifting, filtering, nuking thoughts as they enter my mind. Here's where we'll begin: What now? This is the question I keep asking myself as I watch our Evangelical...

Ep. 018 | Persecution — TAU Roundtable

Ep. 018 | Persecution — TAU Roundtable

In this episode, the guys welcomed our newest TAU member, George Alvarado, and discussed the recent events concerning a Rugby player whose life has been altered because of some biblical comments he made. See the article discussed here:...

Psalm 119:53-56 — Righteous Anger?

Psalm 119:53-56 — Righteous Anger?

The goal of growing in godliness is to become more like Christ and think His thoughts after Him (2 Corinthians 10:5). But what many of us do is to become so committed to “never getting angry anymore” that instead of avoiding anger because it’s sinful and we hate it, we simply avoid the thoughts or emotions that ever even evoke anger from us. We become stoics out of strict pragmatism. We have traded sinful anger for sinful legalism. When what we ought to do is follow the man, Jesus Christ, who experienced all the temptations we do, yet exercised perfect anger, never sinning as the result. Avoiding anger altogether because you indulged too deeply in that sin before conversion is akin to avoiding church because you were a religious zealot before Christ. Put away the old—but put on the new.

Serving Two Masters: STTA!

Serving Two Masters: STTA!

Something To Think About! I believe most Christians understand Christ's teaching about serving two masters. Jesus says "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot...

God Hears Your Prayers: STTA!

God Hears Your Prayers: STTA!

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The first verse of the Bible as well as basic reasoning each point to God as the creator of the world. Nothing exists without Him. He is all-powerful. There is no being greater than He is. No being...

Particular Effects of Particular Atonement

Particular Effects of Particular Atonement

What? Particular atonement is the historic Christian doctrine that Christ only effectively satisfied the wrath of God toward sin on behalf of His people. In other words, anyone who is thrown into hell cannot say, "But Jesus paid for my sins." This is a staple belief...

Psalm 119:49-52 — Comfort Amidst Affliction

Psalm 119:49-52 — Comfort Amidst Affliction

when we are confronted with the temptation to be ashamed of God or His law, our only hope is to continue to trust in God and His Word! Christian, have you ever felt the need to apologize for God? How about when nonbelievers accuse God of evil because He judges His own creation? Or when God has provisions for slave owners in His Word? What about severe penalties for seemingly minor sins in Israel’s civil law? It is precisely because God’s ways are so different from ours that the wicked scoff at Him and His ways. Flee the temptation to apologize for God and to present Him as more palatable to the unregenerate heart—do not turn away from His law and His Word!

Book Review — The Trinity and the Covenant of Redemption

Book Review — The Trinity and the Covenant of Redemption

The Trinity and the Covenant of Redemption by J. V. Fesko, 414 pages. Publisher: Mentor. Overview Rating: 4/5. The main point: The gospel was always the triune God’s plan 'A' for the salvation of sinners. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit made a covenant in eternity...

You Don’t Know What It’s Like

You Don’t Know What It’s Like

During my unintentionally extended tenure as a college student, I recall hearing this quote attributed as an Indian proverb: Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins. I have never walked a mile in anyone's shoes but my own. I have three sisters...

Book Review: Brave Dad by John MacArthur

Book Review: Brave Dad by John MacArthur

While John MacArthur is usually first on my lips when recommending a Bible teacher, I'm not the biggest fan of MacArthur's writing. The eminently gifted preacher isn't a bad writer. In fact, he's written several things that are quite good including a few books that...

Psalm 119:45-48 — A Wide Place

Psalm 119:45-48 — A Wide Place

In verse 48, notice the repetition of the psalmist’s love for God’s commandments with is a little detail added. For what we find our delight in we will soon find ourselves giving our lives to. Is it not so with you, dear saint, that you dedicate the most time, effort, and energy toward that which you love the most? You want to know what a man loves? Direct your attention to where he spends his money, his time, and his gaze, and you will quickly know!

Careful With Your Mocking: STTA!

Careful With Your Mocking: STTA!

Something To Think About! There is no excuse for mocking someone's God-given looks, disabilities or impediments, or incidental things like the name their parents' gave them. It is not only ungodly behavior, but it is ineffective even from a pragmatic point of view. It...

Christ’s Preserving Prayers: The Reason for Our Perseverance

Christ’s Preserving Prayers: The Reason for Our Perseverance

From the world's perspective, there isn't any beneficial reason to continue in the faith. I mean, why would anyone want to swim against the constantly swelling tide of persecution knowing full well it may cost us our friends, family, jobs, and yes, perhaps our very...

Bigfoot, Nessie, and Pastorless Christians

Bigfoot, Nessie, and Pastorless Christians

Boy. Guess I sort of tipped my hand right there in the title, didn't I? I mean, unless you stumbled upon this post because you thought I was about to make the case that Bigfoot really does exist. Well, I'm not. He doesn't. Neither does the Loch Ness Monster. And...

Psalm 119:41-44 — Answering the Taunter

Psalm 119:41-44 — Answering the Taunter

Secondly, we are reminded that the God of the Old Testament is the same God as the God of the New Testament and that He is a God of love. But not only is God love, what is striking is that He loves me. It is God’s love that is on display at the cross, and David well knows that he has no hope of delighting in the path of God’s commandments (Psalm 119:35) or keeping God’s law (Psalm 119:34) unless God “makes the first move.” We love because He first loved us! In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and gave His Son to be a propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:19,10)!

Next Pitch

Next Pitch

It’s springtime and that means Baseball season in America. I thought I’d share an analogy today from baseball for the Christian life. A couple of years ago I had the joy of coaching my sons' baseball team which consisted of mainly 9-year-old boys (the exception being...

How I Met George

How I Met George

The Introduction In early 2016, my friend Ricky Gantz of G220 Radio asked me if I would like to talk on his radio show about whether a person should continue to do evangelism if their local church tells them not to. It was a casual conversation with a guy named George...

Should You Attend a Catholic Wedding or Funeral?

Should You Attend a Catholic Wedding or Funeral?

It's a question which many Christians face: Should I attend my friend or family member's Catholic wedding or funeral? Is that the same as being unequally yoked with non-believers? What if someone there gets the wrong idea about what I believe? Does my presence there...

Forgive Those Who Have Wronged You

Forgive Those Who Have Wronged You

Matthew 6:14-15  (NASB) 14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Forgiveness is a word that gets a lot of use in the...

Giveaway and Review: The Pilgrim’s Progress

Giveaway and Review: The Pilgrim’s Progress

Movie Review I count it a great privilege that bloggers are asked to review movies and books. It gives me an opportunity to preview things before the general public, and in many cases, I probably wouldn't spend the money, so it allows me to enjoy something I otherwise...

Pastors, Preach God

Pastors, Preach God

The following is an excerpt from Before the Throne: Reflections on God's Holiness. You can go here for ordering information. Lewis Allen both encourages and challenges pastors when he writes, Preachers have a single calling, to express who and what God is. This is our...

1 Timothy 2:12 Revisited — The Authority Word Problem

1 Timothy 2:12 Revisited — The Authority Word Problem

In How to Use a "For" Clause: 1 Timothy 2:12 and Egalitarianism, I explained how the two phrases in verses 13 and 14 should guide our understanding of how Paul uses the verb "do not permit" in verse 12. More recently, I came across Defusing the 1 Timothy 2:12 Bomb, an...

Ohio State House Heartbeat Bill Testimony

Ohio State House Heartbeat Bill Testimony

Skip to the video Today, March 26, 2019, Lord willing, I will have an opportunity to speak for up to 5 minutes before the Ohio State House Health Committee regarding a "heartbeat bill" they will be voting on soon. A heartbeat bill is a pro-life bill which seeks to...

3 Ways to Misuse Wealth

3 Ways to Misuse Wealth

We’ve been walking through the book of James at Perryville Second Baptist Church in 2019, and we’ve finally arrived at chapter 5. In this passage, James gives a stern warning to the rich. His point is not that being wealthy in and of itself is sinful, but that there...

Psalm 119:37-40 — Behold God’s Promise

Psalm 119:37-40 — Behold God’s Promise

Turn My Eyes Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. David has prayed throughout this Psalm, and particularly in the first half of the He octave, for a heart that truly delights in God's ways (Psalm...

Psalm 119:33-36 — Seeking The Way

Psalm 119:33-36 — Seeking The Way

Seek Him Psalm 119:33 He Teach me, O Yahweh, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. As we begin the fifth octave, we find the psalmist repeating the desire to be taught by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Knowing that we have no hope apart from the...

Guest Book Review of Before the Throne

Guest Book Review of Before the Throne

Before the Throne: Reflections on God's Holiness is scheduled to print Spring 2019. Dr. David Steele, who also reviewed From Death to Life, graciously agreed to write a review for my new book. I thought I'd share it in hopes of building a bit of anticipation and to...

Lifestyle Creep: STTA!

Lifestyle Creep: STTA!

A few threads on the Bogleheads forum, especially this one, got me thinking lately about "lifestyle creep." Maybe "lifestyle inflation" is a clearer term that requires less explanation, but then I couldn't have put Richard Nixon in the featured image, and that...

When God Turns His Back On You…

When God Turns His Back On You…

Here is a sincere question from a person who is struggling with her faith: "Why does it seem like when people need God the most he turns his back on them?" Here is my answer to that question: When God Turned Away Let me preface it by saying it’s gonna seem like a...

Dad, Are We Going the Right Way?

Dad, Are We Going the Right Way?

It may not sound all that fancy but our family of 7 once took a Mother's Day drive in our then 9-year-old Dodge minivan on some back roads here in Perry County Arkansas. It was a fun time of singing, enjoying each other's company, and seeing some of the beautiful...

How To Make It Through Difficult Books of the Bible

How To Make It Through Difficult Books of the Bible

A common refrain in my 6th grade Bible class around this time of year is "Ugh...we're in the book of Numbers? It's so boring. Do we have to read it?" In some ways, I totally get it. For the first 20 some years of my Christian life, I ignored 4/5 of the Pentateuch....

From Death to Life – Another Guest Review

From Death to Life – Another Guest Review

Grateful to put up another review of From Death to Life: How Salvation Works. This one comes from Jeffrey Perry from Landis, NC. Jeffrey led his youth group through a study on this book and has graciously shared his insight below. I asked him to share because I really...

Draw Near to God – Part 3

Draw Near to God – Part 3

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. This is James 4:8a and what we’ve been looking at together over the last couple of posts. In this final post, we want to look at how to obey this verse and what we are doing when we don’t obey this verse. How to obey this...

Don’t Mention the Tension: STTA!

Don’t Mention the Tension: STTA!

Somewhere along the way, Denny, we have to reckon with the fact that we - myself included - went too far. We put limitations on women that exceeded what Christ demonstrated. We did it instead of wrestling with the tension between the Gospels & epistles. We’re...

Discernment: STTA!

Discernment: STTA!

Something To Think About! If I ordered seeds for my garden, and you replaced my tomato seeds with poison ivy, I'd have no idea! I would have no choice but to plant the seed, water it, and encourage its growth, only to be disappointed (or even poisoned) in the end. But...

Psalm 119:29-32 — Shame Shifting

Psalm 119:29-32 — Shame Shifting

Lying Lips Psalms 119:29 ESV Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! In the first half of the “Daleth” octet, we saw the psalmist confess to God and ask the Lord to guide him to greater understanding, so that he might not continue to sin against...

Before the Throne — Endorsements

Before the Throne — Endorsements

  I have been blessed once again with some great brothers who have been willing to read my second book, Before the Throne, and offer these kind endorsements: I like this book and the direction it takes us. Who can get a complete view of God so that he can sit...

Hey, About Your Prodigal…

Hey, About Your Prodigal…

The Scene John (in regard to "spiritual children") said that he has no greater joy than to hear that his children walk in the truth (3 John 1:4). Inversely, how great is the despair experienced by the parents of a son or daughter who follows the wide road? I have...

Revisiting Andy Stanley’s “Unhitch” Remark

Revisiting Andy Stanley’s “Unhitch” Remark

But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” (Acts 15.11 ESV) Amidst the very negative reactions to Andy Stanley's comment last year that Christians need to "unhitch" from the Old Testament, a discussion Stanley had...

Draw Near to God – Part 2

Draw Near to God – Part 2

We’ve been talking about James 4:8. Last time we looked at how this verse is a command, a commitment, and a comfort. In this post, we want to continue to think rightly about the truth we receive from this great verse. Scripture is God’s self-revelation to man. And...

Psalm 119:25-28 — Thirst and Life

Psalm 119:25-28 — Thirst and Life

Thirsty For Life? Psalms 119:25 ESV Daleth. My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! What is brought to your mind when you read this verse? What does it mean for a soul to "cling to the dust?" I think a good clue is in the second clause: "give...

Trying Times, Faithful God

Trying Times, Faithful God

I wrote recently about a difficult experience in my first pastorate that ended with me finding no other way out but to resign (See: Young, Restless, and Unemployed). My ideas of preaching the Word, seeing a church revitalized, and staying for the long-haul where...

Contentment or Bust: Trinitarian Satisfaction — Part 2

Contentment or Bust: Trinitarian Satisfaction — Part 2

God will work when He pleases, how He pleases, and by what means He pleases. He is not bound to keep our time, but He will perform His Word, honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek Him. Matthew Henry As a Bulls fan and Illinois-boy, Michael Jordan, of...

Conference on Suffering: An Interview with Andrew Rappaport

Conference on Suffering: An Interview with Andrew Rappaport

When I saw that Striving for Eternity was going to hold a conference in March, I was immediately intrigued. I "worked" for Striving for Eternity (paid in sushi and pizza) for a few years with the role or organizing and emceeing the "Fire" conferences on evangelism. I...

Draw Near to God – Part 1

Draw Near to God – Part 1

In preaching through the book of James at Perryville Second Baptist Church, we inevitably came upon James 4:8. Funny thing about preaching through books of the Bible is that you just so happen to cover every verse in a particular book! I think this particular verse is...

Contentment or Bust — Part 1

Contentment or Bust — Part 1

Super Mario Strikers was a totally underrated video game back in the day. It was nuts. It was basically Super Mario Kart on a soccer field, sans cart, which, if you ask me and my friends was perfecto [insert Italian finger kiss]. You collected shells and bananas that...

Psalm 119:21-24 — The Comfort of God

Psalm 119:21-24 — The Comfort of God

When we face trials of any kind, only the comfort of God can truly satisfy a man's soul. Where do we find this comfort? Against what type of trials will this comfort suffice? What do we draw upon and from when the world gives us all it's got? Answers are given in...

Discipleship is Not a Luxury – It’s a Necessity

Discipleship is Not a Luxury – It’s a Necessity

If you could cut me and examine my blood, I imagine aside from the physical components, you would find four elements in there. You'd find love for Christ, love for my wife, love for my football team (or soccer for my American friends), and a love for making disciples....

Patience vs Passivity: STTA!

Patience vs Passivity: STTA!

Something To Think About! The fruit of the Spirit includes patience. Being impatient is sin and ought to be treated as such and mortified. It's a common theme, even among those who are not Christian, to view patience as a virtue. Patience, or impatience, is still a...

The Star Naming God

The Star Naming God

I do not claim to be a scientist or mathematician, but I plan to dabble in both these disciplines a bit in this post. I want us to consider a verse in the Psalms about stars with mindblowing implications. The verse is Psalm 147:4 — He determines the number of the...

46 Years of Failure

46 Years of Failure

It will be known as one of the most truly wicked and shameful moments in United States history. Cheers filled the legislature as a package of legislation had passed with fawning approval. In a moment, New York became the most lethal state in the nation for pre-born...

God is Unchanging: STTA!

God is Unchanging: STTA!

One of the biggest mistakes we make when thinking about God is that He has to be like us in order for Him to relate to us and for us to relate to him. While there are some ways our attributes are like God’s, in most ways He is not at all like us. Most importantly, God...

Psalm 119:17-20 — Open My Eyes!

Psalm 119:17-20 — Open My Eyes!

Welcome to another pSaturday Psalm! This week we enter a new octet. Psalm 119:17 starts with the letter "Gimel." One thing I realized for those who memorize this passage of scripture — when you've finished you'll know the Hebrew alphabet! This octet continues the...

Surplus – A Book Review

Surplus – A Book Review

I had the joy recently to read a new book by Bryan Elliff entitled Surplus: Fearless Generosity in 2 Corinthians 8-9. This is Book 1 in a new series of books called the Bristol Series coming out from Christian Communicators Worldwide (CCW). Disclaimer I know Bryan...

Christian Ethics by Wayne Grudem — Book Review

Christian Ethics by Wayne Grudem — Book Review

Trigger warning! Not only did Crossway provide me with free digital copies of this book in exchange for an honest review, but it also has Wayne Grudem's name on it. That's right — from the guy who is infamously labeled as the greatest academic advocate of the...

Unfathomable Submission: STTA!

Unfathomable Submission: STTA!

Something To Think About! When we study the Bible, we need to be very cautious about assuming things not stated in the text. Our best wisdom will fail us if we rely on it too much. But God has given us minds which are capable of intelligently asking questions of the...

Black Monday

Black Monday

The day after the last day of the NFL regular season is ominously known as Black Monday. It's the day in which an indefinite number of head coaches will definitely lose their jobs. Every franchise pretty much expects to win the Super Bowl with the coach they hire (or...

Before the Throne: Book Excerpt

Before the Throne: Book Excerpt

Lord willing sometime in 2019 I will be publishing my 2nd book—entitled Before the Throne: Reflections on God's Holiness (see synopsis). Today, I share an excerpt from chapter 9 of the book. First and foremost I hope this post helps you deepen your understanding of...

Psalm 119:13-16 — Declare and Delight!

Psalm 119:13-16 — Declare and Delight!

Psalm 119:13-16 ESV With my lips I declare the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. As we've...

What Will it Cost You: STTA!

What Will it Cost You: STTA!

Something To Think About! Being a TAU writer has offered me a view of a process with which I have no personal experience: the sale of a Christian book. Allen Nelson's From Death to Life is available on ThingsAbove.Us, and it was always my impression that when a man...

Before the Throne: Cover Reveal and Book Update

Before the Throne: Cover Reveal and Book Update

I am excited to show off Stephen J. Melniszyn's work on my next book, Before the Throne: Reflections on God's Holiness. Stephen is a talented brother and sound in his theology. This makes working with him a great joy! Before we get to the cover, here is a synopsis of...

Arminian Hopelessness: STTA!

Arminian Hopelessness: STTA!

Something To Think About! The Arminian doctrine which denies the perseverance of the saints (in order that man's "free-will" may remain sovereign and autonomous) is detestable to the people of God. A God who would hold you in His bosom against your own will is not a...

Free Will, God’s Grace, and a Carrot on a Stick

Free Will, God’s Grace, and a Carrot on a Stick

For a long time, Christians have been debating the nature of man’s will (is it free?), the totality of depravity, whether or not man is “able” to come to Christ on his own, and the extent and function of God's grace. For many, God’s grace is like a carrot on a stick...

Psalm 119:9-12 — Purity is the Objective

Psalm 119:9-12 — Purity is the Objective

This week's memory verses bring us deeper into this blessed Psalm and introduce a biblical term which is under-used and not often understood—purity. As we continue to study Psalm 119 and memorize it, I trust that God is causing you to meditate on His Word throughout...

Financial Investment, Gambling, and Sin Nature

Financial Investment, Gambling, and Sin Nature

Our Lord gives us this teaching about the reckless acquisition of wealth in Matthew 6:19–21. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither...

A Short Recounting of George Whitefield’s Conversion

A Short Recounting of George Whitefield’s Conversion

Before Lifeway, there was the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In the Mid-20th Century, this board put out a series of studies for churches to use with their parishioners. One such study was called Soul-Winning Doctrines by J. Clyde Turner...

What To Do When The Bible Becomes Tiresome

What To Do When The Bible Becomes Tiresome

A Pastor by the name of Tom Patton recently told a story about a time he was in seminary and the school president preached a message on the importance of God's Word from Psalm 19. During the message he spoke about a very large, sixteenth century Bible that he had seen...

Myths and Truths About Foster Care, part 2

Myths and Truths About Foster Care, part 2

In my last post, I went through some myths and truth about foster care and focused a bit on interpersonal issues. This time, I want to look at the big picture and talk a good bit about adoption. Throughout this series, I've tried to emphasize the great need for the...

Psalm 119:5-8 — Blessed!

Psalm 119:5-8 — Blessed!

As I meditated on Psalm 119:5-8 this week, I was overwhelmed by the psalmist's obvious love for the Lord Jesus Christ. What is remarkable about my observation is that nowhere in the first 40 verses of this glorious psalm does the term love even appear. The legalist...

Received Into the Number: A Theology of Adoption – Part I

Received Into the Number: A Theology of Adoption – Part I

I have a confession to make. When I was growing up, there was a time when I thought adopted children were not “real” sons and daughters in their family. This was in the 1970s and 80s when adoption tended to be more of a private matter. Whenever an adopted child would...

Myths and Truths About Foster Care, Part 1

Myths and Truths About Foster Care, Part 1

If there's one thing I've learned about Foster Care, it's that people have a great deal of preconceived notions. I was no different, really. I came into foster care believing I knew what I was getting into. The truth is God has used my foster kids, and the whole...

Religion or Relationship?

Religion or Relationship?

Is Christianity about religion or a relationship? I understand what folks mean when they try to say Christianity is about a relationship, not religion, to a point. We need to understand, though, two things: first, that Christianity is a religion. Even in the early...

Three Attributes of God To Fight Depression — Part 2

Three Attributes of God To Fight Depression — Part 2

Read part one here. I’ve heard it said (though I can't remember where) that if we only knew these three attributes of God, you would be set for the rest of your life. Whoever said that is absolutely right. If we really meditated on these three characteristics of God...

Psalm 119:1-4 — Blessed!

Psalm 119:1-4 — Blessed!

What an exciting and blessed year 2019 is going to be. If you don't already know this about me, I am a serious proponent of scripture memory. In fact, I started a website dedicated to helping people memorize scripture. You can see it at memorizethescripture.com. Maybe...

An Encouragment to Journal

An Encouragment to Journal

The word "journaling" may conjure all sorts of emotions for you. Perhaps it makes you think of the grade you got your junior year of English class when you were forced to record a journal entry at the beginning of each class. Maybe it makes you think of the...

Three Attributes of God to Fight Depression — Pt. 1

Three Attributes of God to Fight Depression — Pt. 1

About 20-percent of all teens experience depression before they reach adulthood. This is an amazing stat. One out of every five in this age bracket experience deep, nearly suffocating darkness.     Adults do too. My lovely wife has been living  with...

Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday

Frankly, I have zero desire to be a so-called “discernment blogger.” I simply don’t have the time to fulfill my God given duties of a Christian, husband, father, and pastor while also monitoring all the happenings of the evangelical world at large. Furthermore, I...

Why Did Jesus Weep?

Why Did Jesus Weep?

But it does matter how we interpret the Bible. Our willingness to state things as fact which are ‘open to interpretation’ will affect our life and doctrine in more important areas. And whether or not you are willing to have a traditional understanding of a passage challenged could be an indicator of your own humility. A new understanding of a verse or a passage may not be life-altering, but why wouldn’t we want to be more faithful to God’s Word?

2019 Bible Reading

2019 Bible Reading

As one year ends and a new one begins, we are afforded with an opportunity to assess our lives and consider areas in which we want to improve. Certainly this can be "overdone" in terms of morbid introspections, but, frankly, this usually isn't the way we falter....

The Christian Letter Project – Whitefield to Wesley on Election

The Christian Letter Project – Whitefield to Wesley on Election

The Christian Letter Project at ThingsAbove is about exposing our readers to one of the greatest traditions in our Christian history: writing letters! It is our goal to publish one each Monday. We are not endorsing everything found in each of these letters nor every...

Kindly Let People Ask If Mary Knew

Kindly Let People Ask If Mary Knew

"Mary, Did You Know?" is a Christmas song with lyrics written by Mark Lowry and music written by Buddy Greene. It was originally recorded by Christian recording artist Michael English on his self-titled debut solo album in 1991 (English and Lowry were both members of...

If I Could Choose 3 New Year’s Resolutions for You

If I Could Choose 3 New Year’s Resolutions for You

I don't know you. I don't know if you're the type of person who makes resolutions or not. And it's not my desire to debate whether or not Christians should make resolutions. In general, there's no harm in this, and it is actually quite biblical to think about where...

I’m Kind of Done Upgrading my Logos Bible Software

I’m Kind of Done Upgrading my Logos Bible Software

Some time ago, I started a YouTube channel called Bible Software Guy. Just as many auto mechanics were successful with channels about repairing cars, I thought I'd do one with my own little niche. Sure, there are far fewer people doing work in advanced Bible software...

The Christian Letter Project – Augustine to the Lady Felecia

The Christian Letter Project – Augustine to the Lady Felecia

The Christian Letter Project at ThingsAbove is about exposing our readers to one of the greatest traditions in our Christian history: writing letters! It is our goal to publish one each Monday. We are not endorsing everything found in each of these letters nor every...

Are We Against Santa or For Truth?

Are We Against Santa or For Truth?

"Do you know what your daughter did?" my in-laws asked me. They were clearly quite concerned and disappointed in her. Knowing my daughter's behavioral issues, I readied myself for the worst. "She told her cousins Santa Claus isn't real," they said. Phew! I breathed a...

What I Tell My Kids About Santa Claus

What I Tell My Kids About Santa Claus

Contrary to the dogged assertions of certain people on this blogging team, and despite my generally Grinch like disposition, I love Christmas! I love the songs, the change of weather, the beautiful displays and decorations, and of course I love the food! At least half...

How Not to Be a Heretic this Christmas

How Not to Be a Heretic this Christmas

The great hymn writer Charles Wesley once wrote: Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity, Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel. (source) This is a most beautiful and theologically rich line, but it's not without some historical...

Mental Money Games

Hopefully, this circumstance isn't too obvious in your life compared to how relatively new it is for me. Let me tell you about a certain mental struggle of mine. From 2003 until 2014, I only had salaried jobs. Four years of that were through a Naval ROTC scholarship....

Guess Who’s Coming to Town?

Guess Who’s Coming to Town?

This Christmas I want you to be prepared for someone who is "coming to town." And, no, I do not mean Santa Claus. It seems every Christmas a few people always appear on the scene and present situations where Christians need to respond appropriately. Four people who...

The Christian Letter Project – Calvin to Madame De Falais

The Christian Letter Project – Calvin to Madame De Falais

The Christian Letter Project at ThingsAbove is about exposing our readers to one of the greatest traditions in our Christian history: writing letters! It is our goal to publish one each Monday. We are not endorsing everything found in each of these letters nor every...

Eulogy: Our Friend Donna, the Kindness Ninja

Eulogy: Our Friend Donna, the Kindness Ninja

A friend to many of us at Things Above Us, and to many of our readers as well, died suddenly on December 4, 2018. Donna Guy, also known as "The Kindness Ninja" or Twitter was a warm, loving, and eminently kind older woman whose relentless pursuit in life was to...

The Christian Letter Project – M’Cheyne to His Church

The Christian Letter Project – M’Cheyne to His Church

The Christian Letter Project at ThingsAbove is about exposing our readers to one of the greatest traditions in our Christian history: writing letters! It is our goal to publish one each Monday. We are not endorsing everything found in each of these letters nor every...

A Christmas Gift for You

A Christmas Gift for You

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. - Matthew 1:21 'Tis the Season It's the most wonderful time of the year. But not just because the kids will be jingle belling. I love this time of year because...

A Few Thoughts on Commentaries

A Few Thoughts on Commentaries

I've been regularly preaching now for about 12.5 years. Lord willing, I will continue to grow in both my preparation and delivery of sermons. One of the things I get asked about from time to time is on commentaries. While I hope to always be growing in this area, here...

Judge the Left Rightly

Judge the Left Rightly

Michael Avenatti made headlines a few months back when he represented some women who accused a Supreme Court nominee of various crimes. Regardless of one's political affiliations or feelings toward President Trump, there was reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the...

Envy: Beastmode Gone Wrong

Envy: Beastmode Gone Wrong

Beast mode refers to a state of performing something, especially difficult activities, with extreme power, skill, or determination (dictionary.com). For sports enthusiasts, this is most commonly understood when Marshawn Lynch famously has torn through opposing...

Quit Wasting His Time!

Quit Wasting His Time!

Christians teach about the necessity of good stewardship regularly. Usually, this is in regards to money. But every gift from God is to be stewarded faithfully. Notice in  1 Corinthians 4:2 (ESV) "Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful." I...

Great Traditions of Christmas – Book Review

Great Traditions of Christmas – Book Review

I do not know much about author Ace Collins but I picked up a free copy of his Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas for free from BookLookBloggers in an exchange for an honest review. Summary Collins takes us on a journey of 26 various Christmas Traditions...

Nine Day Queen of England – Book Review

Nine Day Queen of England – Book Review

In October of 2018, I took our church through a Sunday Night Series entitled "Church History Profiles." We looked at various people of the Reformation and sought to explain their significance and how we might learn from them. As an aside, I think this is something I...

Psalm 34 – Conclusion

Psalm 34 – Conclusion

It's been one of my life's great joys to exegete Psalm 34 here on Things Above Us.  Perhaps, to our readers, that will seem like an overreaching comment.  I assure you it is not.  It was weeks of writing, months of reading and research (which was a joy), a Sunday...

The Polar Opposites Express

The Polar Opposites Express

To say that my wife and I are not on the same page in any number of areas would be an understatement. My favorite restaurants (wing places and sports bars) rank among her most hated places to eat. Many of her favorite places are entirely incompatible with my stomach....

Preachertainment

Preachertainment

Yeah I know, I made up the word "preachertainment." Currently, I am the only Southerner on the ThingsAbove.Us writing team. So, sometimes I offer things from my experience that might not be the shared experience of everyone else, or even from our readership. I share...

No One Understands Like Jesus

No One Understands Like Jesus

The idea that a shared experience is necessary for someone to be truly able to help another person is a pretty commonly held belief. It seems to be a truism that someone who has "been there" is able to empathize with an affliction you are suffering in a way others may...

Comprehending Holiness

Comprehending Holiness

The Bible says God is “holy, holy, holy” (read Isaiah 6:1-7 and Revelation 4:5-11). Scripture is sufficient for us to understand the concept of the holiness of God while at the same time showing us that the full ramifications of God’s holiness are incomprehensible. If...

Psalm 34:19-22 He Keeps All His Bones

Psalm 34:19-22 He Keeps All His Bones

In understanding Psalm 34:18, we came to understand that it is within the crisis that God is present. What this means is that God often allows His faithful to suffer and to face various trials. This is exactly what verse 19 tells us: [19] Many are the afflictions of...

Prejudice

Prejudice

The worst job I have ever had was working retail at a large electronics store who claims that their buys are the best. I liked my coworkers, and I was and still am sincerely interested in home theater products. One of the worst parts of the job was dealing with...

From Death to Life Review (Guest Post)

From Death to Life Review (Guest Post)

I am grateful to my Twitter friend, @PJ_Mills15. for writing this review of the book and small group curriculum for From Death to Life! We had the opportunity to meet at the 2018 G3 Conference. For all the headache Twitter can bring, it has also brought about many...

Why I Hope You’re Celebrating October 31st

Why I Hope You’re Celebrating October 31st

Post Tenebras LuxIt means 'after darkness, light' and it's hanging on the wall in my Study and features the pictures of John Knox, Jonathan Edwards, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, and John Calvin. I'm all for free candy, and I think it is certainly permissible for...

When Prioritizing Family

When Prioritizing Family

In today's Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon, the morning reading touched on the tendency of some men to withhold their finances from the work of God, in order that they may take care of their families. You can read the entire devotional here (and I recommend...

Pure and Undefiled Religion

Pure and Undefiled Religion

James 1:27 comes in the context of wrapping up chapter one. While the existing chapter divisions should not dictate how we divide up Scripture, in this case (and many cases) they are probably appropriate. Chapter 2 begins to talk of favoring different groups of people...

The Sinner’s Prayer

The Sinner’s Prayer

*This post is adapted from Appendix 1 in the book From Death to Life: How Salvation Works. Many true believers repeated a prayer at the time of their conversion usually referred to as “the Sinner’s Prayer.” I am not saying that if you came to Christ and prayed this...

Psalm 34:17-18 – He is Near the Brokenhearted

Psalm 34:17-18 – He is Near the Brokenhearted

It never ceases to astonish me how similar suffering is from person to person, even if they are suffering for different reasons. The thing I hear most often with suffering believers is “I pray, but does God even hear me?” Our verses from Psalm 34 today put that issue...

The Father of the Fatherless

The Father of the Fatherless

The divide between the conservative evangelical and the liberal social gospel-ite is undeniably deep; and one of the major fault lines is the how the two groups deal with the needy. In the leftist social gospel camp the issues of the needy are over emphasized and the...

5 People Not to Be During Someone Else’s Trial

5 People Not to Be During Someone Else’s Trial

We recently began a journey through the book of James at Perryville Second Baptist. As I studied through James 1:2-12, I thought about some of the unhelpful people I’ve encountered during a personal trial, or a trial that someone else was going through. In today’s...

Looking Back: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, part 1

Looking Back: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, part 1

Perhaps you've never heard of the term "spiritual formation," let alone Richard Foster or his foundational work, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. The writings of two authors, Richard Foster and Dallas Willard, are the primary drivers of the...

Isaac’s Dilemma

Isaac’s Dilemma

"I'm homosexual," Isaac told me, "and I don't think I could give up the happiness it brings me and deny who I am — for something I am not certain about." This was Isaac's response to a question I asked him. What preceded and what followed the above response is the...

Psalm 34:16 – God Has Chosen Sides

Psalm 34:16 – God Has Chosen Sides

Psalm 34 has a definite structure. The first third of the Psalm is David recounting God's faithfulness. He rehearses it again and again: God answered him, God heard him, God encamps around him, and on and on it goes. There's a give and take, David exalts God and God...

Total Depravity – Misapplied

Total Depravity – Misapplied

The photo to the right made its way around the internet and into my email. The gist is clear — it's designed to exhibit that everyone suffers from "Total Depravity." Haha. I get it. The idea is that the image is fixed and not actually testing anyone for any of the...

Judge Kavanaugh and the Church

Judge Kavanaugh and the Church

Judge Brett Kavanaugh became Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Monday, 10/8/2018 after a long and contentious nomination process. The contention behind the nomination is what makes it remotely interesting to a Christian blogger. Like it or not, the church was...

Book Review: What Do We Believe by Andrew R. Rappaport

Book Review: What Do We Believe by Andrew R. Rappaport

The last book I review here was Inspired by Rachel Held Evans (see links to all seven posts here). I received Andrew R. Rappaport's book What Do We Believe?: A Systematic Theology of the Christian Life for free, like the Evans book, in an exchange for an honest...

Book Review: Agonizing for the Faith by Thomas Coutouzis

Book Review: Agonizing for the Faith by Thomas Coutouzis

As I write, I am sitting at my desk in my study with a dozen commentaries lined up in front of me. On the two shelves behind me, I have at least one commentary on every book of the Bible. I don’t begin with that to ‘collect’ props for how many commentaries I own - but...

When You Sense That “Nudge”

When You Sense That “Nudge”

It’s a universal human experience: a thought pops into your mind unexpectedly. Or suddenly you sense that you should do something. For the Christian who is led by the Spirit of God (Gal 5:25), the question naturally arises, “What (or Who) is that?” Is it God? Is it the Devil? Heartburn? How do we explain these experiences? And how do we use these moments for the glory of God?

Psalm 34:15 – Toward the Righteous

Psalm 34:15 – Toward the Righteous

The magnificence of this last third of Psalm 34 cannot be overstated.  This section is not a theological treatise, but it is not bereft of theology.  It isn't proverbial nor does it necessarily impart wisdom, yet a believer who does not drink it in surely acts as a...

The Perfect Judge

The Perfect Judge

Recently there's been a lot of talk about judges. The MLB playoffs are just beginning so Aaron Judge and his undeniable charm and electrified bat (curse you Judge for making me root for a Yankee) will certainly be making headlines. NFL officials, specifically in...

Strategies for Successful Churches

Strategies for Successful Churches

The age of technology is a beautiful time to be alive. Social media has connected us, and there are resources available to churches like never before at the click of a mouse. I am grateful to live in the digital age. And then again, the age of technology can also be...

God’s Unmatchable Holiness – Part 3

God’s Unmatchable Holiness – Part 3

This is the final post in a series I’ve written on the unmatchable holiness of God (which may or may not work out to be part of a book). Read part 1 here, and part 2 here. Idolatry As we consider the unmatchable holiness of God, it ought to put idolatry into...

Daily Quiet Times?

Daily Quiet Times?

Have you ever felt guilty for going a day without reading your Bible, having a quiet time, a devotion, or some other type of Scripture-centered activity? If so, this post is for you! Let’s quickly see what verses we can point to that might help soothe your conscience...

Trinitarian Prayer

Trinitarian Prayer

Let not your hearts be troubled, dear saint of God. For the Father elected you, the Son paid your debt and the Spirit resurrected you and indwells you. The God of the universe has set His love upon you and even so, the whole trinity works in unity to bring you to perfection through intercession on your behalf. Be of good cheer as you consider this glorious truth!

God’s Unmatchable Holiness – Part 2

God’s Unmatchable Holiness – Part 2

As we consider the unmatchable holiness of God (read part 1), I think there is practical application for worship in the local church. As we think about the heavenly beings described in the last post, may we not learn a few things about what it means to worship a God...

Little Women — Movie Review

Little Women — Movie Review

Little Women, a modern adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott story opens in theaters, Friday, September 28. I believe I was quite privileged to receive a pre-view of this film and recommend that you see it also, with a few caveats. https://youtu.be/U7yNDrTgwBY A...

You Have Dealt Well with Your Servant (Psalm 119:65-72)

You Have Dealt Well with Your Servant (Psalm 119:65-72)

This week's pSaturday Psalm comes from Psalm 119:65-72. Psalm 119 is a wonderful psalm that is really a "love poem," so to speak, about God's word! It is the longest chapter in the Bible — composed of 22 8 verse stanzas where the first letter of each line in a stanza...

God’s Unmatchable Holiness – Part 1

God’s Unmatchable Holiness – Part 1

It’s possible that I will be working on putting another book out in the next year or so. We will see how God’s providence orders things in the coming months (and you can pray about that if you are so inclined!). Regardless, I’d like to share with you a chapter from...

The Saddest Day in Church History NO ONE Talks About

The Saddest Day in Church History NO ONE Talks About

Christ's bride has had many dark days throughout its history.  We've survived persecution in every century.  We overcame theological falsehoods asserted as facts.  We've been downgraded, liberalized, made mystical, and became seeker sensitive.  Charlatans, popes, and...

Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences

In one of the early releases of iOS 11.0.1, Apple introduced a feature to iPhones called Do Not Disturb While Driving. The reason for this feature is obvious: allow people to drive without the distraction of phone notifications, but give the folks who text the driver...

The High Calling of Foster Care

The High Calling of Foster Care

I crept into the room for the 4th time that evening. She was asleep in a bed we bought earlier in the summer, hoping to put it to good use. It was now 2 in the morning, and I just couldn't help but look in on her one last time before bed to make sure she was warm,...

A FREE Chapter of From Death to Life

A FREE Chapter of From Death to Life

“Don’t compare yourself to others who call themselves Christians. Compare yourself to Scripture.” —Paul Washer[1] Dead men live among us. Waiting in line for coffee. Cheering beside us at the ball game. Selling insurance. Liking our posts on social media. Eating at...

Psalm 34:11-14 “Come, you children, listen to me”

Psalm 34:11-14 “Come, you children, listen to me”

This week we find ourselves at the tail end of the second third of Psalm 34 where David gives us short and simple instructions on how to fear the Lord. Verse 11 is, as is typical for this section, straightforward: [11] Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach...

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

If you don’t choose Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you won’t go to heaven. That’s right. I said it. A sinner must choose Christ by faith in order to become a Christian. I don’t know if you’ve been in some of the circles I have before, but there are pockets of people...

How to Change Your Spouse

How to Change Your Spouse

I participated in a Q&A recently where a woman anonymously submitted this question: The Word instructs wives to submit to their husband's and RESPECT them. How can I respect a man who is not respectable in my eyes? Bigger Picture Advice First, my big picture...

A 9/11 Survivor Tells Her Story

A 9/11 Survivor Tells Her Story

September 11, 2001 is a day many people will never forget. My friend Angela Braxton was in one of the buildings that was crashed into that day and survived the tragedy.

At the time she nearly died from the events of 9/11, she was a non-believer abiding in the wrath of almighty God. But God has different plans for her.

Do People Who Commit Suicide Go To Hell?

Do People Who Commit Suicide Go To Hell?

"What is the Reformed Baptist view regarding those who commit suicide?" This question was posted on Facebook. The answers vary between "never saved to begin with," to "Jesus' blood covers it." This is one of those questions that is likely to evoke an emotional...

Psalm 34:8-10 “You His Saints!”

Psalm 34:8-10 “You His Saints!”

So far in this series, we've covered the first third of this psalm which is dominated by couplets.   Verses 1-7 were simple truths, and in this middle third, verses 8-14, we find simple instructions.  Having laid the foundation and displayed the correct attitude...

Children’s Church Part 2

Children’s Church Part 2

I wrote a post last week on Children's Church and why I think churches should move away from it. I received a little pushback on that including from my friend and fellow blogger Jason Marianna. I thought we had a fruitful discussion about it in our Roundtable...

What Children Should See at Church

What Children Should See at Church

Recently, my dear friend and fellow blogger Allen Nelson and I had a pleasant discussion on our new podcast "The TAU Roundtable" on the subject of Children's Church.  Children's Church, in case you are not familiar, is a weekly event some churches practice wherein...

How to Cut Up Your Bible

How to Cut Up Your Bible

It was cold and blustery as the sun was setting. Ice had begun to form along the empty streets outside and Jehudi's teeth chattered as he scurried back to the house having completed his official government business. The contraband he had been dispatched to obtain was...

Seven Books I’ve Read So Far In 2018 (And You Should Too)

Seven Books I’ve Read So Far In 2018 (And You Should Too)

I read books! I told a young friend of mine the other day, "Christians are readers." Obvious sentiment, I know, because there is no such thing as a Bible-less Christian, and, if you don't want to be Bible-less, you have to read. This is a skill every Christian needs...

Difficult Husband…

Difficult Husband…

A question came in from a reader: Hi Michael, I just read the post “An Open Letter to Brothers.” I was hoping to find some encouraging words there. But I didn’t. Not for all situations. What about the husband that attempts to lead, but his leadership is harsh? There...

Pure Logical Milk?

Pure Logical Milk?

1 Peter 2:2 is a major point of contention in the King James Only controversy, but the real issues underlying the passage get lost amidst the standard KJVO rhetoric. ESV (2016) — Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into...

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to a baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound, and he found that he was not. This angered him, and he took the farmer to court. The judge asked the farmer what he was using to...

Reasons Not to Have Children’s Church

Reasons Not to Have Children’s Church

I sincerely appreciate the heart many of my brothers’ and sisters' have toward children, and I do not wish to attack what they are seeing as liberty and wise stewardship of their time with kids by having a "Children's Church" each Sunday during the preaching hour. I...

Psalm 34:6-7 – A Truthful Optimism

Psalm 34:6-7 – A Truthful Optimism

Throughout this series I have been demonstrating that the first third of this Psalm is about simple truths David is clinging to in his time of trouble.  We've also been learning that David is using the literary device of couplets to write this section, speaking first...

Quick Thoughts on Greetings

Quick Thoughts on Greetings

Why does the Holy Spirit tell us to greet one another throughout the New Testament? I believe that the Lord wants us to greet one another, and, like all Christian virtue, we are apt to forget his command or disobey it, as long as we are on this side of glory. I'll let...

You Don’t Have to Get a Divorce

You Don’t Have to Get a Divorce

An older couple once said, "the word divorce isn't even in our vocabulary." I replied with this inquiry, "then how do you know how to pronounce it and define it?" Juuuust kidding. We know what they meant, don't we? Matthew 19:3-9 3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus,...

Book Review — ESV Archaeology Study Bible

Book Review — ESV Archaeology Study Bible

Crossway provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Criticisms of Bible publishers abound, whether they be the current glut of English Bible versions currently available, the resulting glut of study Bibles named [version] Study Bible or [someone's...

4 Illustrations of Saving Faith

4 Illustrations of Saving Faith

Christians are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone. These are precious truths held dear by all true believers. But, what exactly is saving faith? Saving faith is a gift of God (Philippians 1:29), whereby a person is...

Open Letter to Brothers

Open Letter to Brothers

A post came across my feed last week, and I appreciate the courage to post something like this. It was an open letter from a godly Christian wife to her Christian husband who is not leading as he ought. I messaged Michelle Lesley (who had posted the letter), and I...

Psalm 34:4-5 Never Ashamed

Psalm 34:4-5 Never Ashamed

 Verses 4-5 I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed. {Psa 34:4-5 NASB} Verses 4-7 start to develop the themes of brokenness that dominate most of the rest of...

Why We (Still) Warn Against Beth Moore

Why We (Still) Warn Against Beth Moore

Because pop-Christianity runs down stream a few years from the culture, thanks to Twitter, the bread and butter of Evangelicalism these days seems to be this wild, incoherent, seemingly-inebriated version of Hunger Games or Fortnight or whatever violent entertainment...

On Providence

With an incomprehensible God, the human mind will forever fall short of absolute understanding of His works and His being. One of the ways God is understood is through an understanding of how He interacts with His creation. Philosophers, both Christian and pagan, have...

Who’s the Weaker Brother, Here?

Who’s the Weaker Brother, Here?

The Premise Are those who are in opposition to the current SJWCROWD rhetoric concerning racism simply weaker brothers? A kind Christian on Twitter thought maybe that is how the SJWCROWD thinks. His point was that the SJWCROWD obviously considers themselves the...

6 Ingredients to Biblical Repentance

6 Ingredients to Biblical Repentance

The following is an excerpt from my new book From Death to Life: How Salvation Works: Biblical repentance is changing direction. It involves turning away from our sin. It’s not a temporary diet of good behavior, but a life transformation. It is a turning from sin and...

Review: John Huss, The Goose

Review: John Huss, The Goose

"Before Martin Luther there was John Huss, the Bohemian Goose whose gospel preaching set his country on fire. Huss was an early Reformer who was given the incomparable privilege of sealing his testimony with his own blood. His enemies seemed to triumph, but the joke...

Psalm 34:1-3: “Bless the Lord!”

Psalm 34:1-3: “Bless the Lord!”

Introduction: Toward the end of Book 1 of the Psalms lies Psalm 34; an acrostic Psalm of David written during the time David feigned madness before the Canaanite king Achish. This was during his flight from Saul. David left his dearest friend Jonathan, and his father...

Happy 3-Months to From Death to Life!

Happy 3-Months to From Death to Life!

Today, August 9, From Death to Life: How Salvation Works turns 3 months old. It was officially published on May 9, 2018, but the thought process and labor toward that goal go way back. I have been overwhelmed, humbled, and encouraged by the response to the book. I am...

Extrabiblical Revelation: Being Chained to the Ocean Floor

Extrabiblical Revelation: Being Chained to the Ocean Floor

Here in the DFW area, much has been made lately concerning Matt Chandler of The Village Church having encouraged his congregation(s) to seek extrabiblical revelation in the form of visual images. I thought I might relay to you my own story concerning a similar...

Podcasts you need

Podcasts you need

You need sermons It’s important to not only read the word but have it explained in an understandable way. There's a reason God gave us teachers and preachers. Grace to You – John MacArthur is the undisputed best preacher in the world. Grace to You provides 5 new...

Praise Yahweh (the LORD) – Psalm 117

Praise Yahweh (the LORD) – Psalm 117

God has provided us with His Word that we might know Him and praise Him. Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter of the Bible, yet it is packed with God-glorifying wisdom, truth, and comfort. Let's take a look at it! Psalm 117 (ESV) 1 Praise Yahweh, all nations! Extol him,...

Humans > Animals

Humans > Animals

I once made the mistake of commenting on Facebook when a local news station posted an article about animals being left behind during a hurricane. My comment was something along the lines of how unfortunate it was for those animals (dogs, cats and various other pets)...

Podcasts: The Why and the How

Podcasts: The Why and the How

I was in my mid-twenties when I found my introverted self driving a Fed Ex truck for 8-10 hours a day. It's not exactly the kind of job that engages one's mind. In fact, while not a bad job, it's quite boring and, with the exception of the occasional customer and...

A Letter to a New Believer

A Letter to a New Believer

I received a question about how to grow as a Christian and what advice I would offer to someone who was recently converted on how to "practically" mature in the faith. The person specifically stated "I need a literal path, not just read your Bible, attend church,...

A Little Reminder – We Talk Too

A Little Reminder – We Talk Too

Here is a reminder that as part of the Things Above Us Network (TAU Network), we have a couple podcasts we think are edifying to the saints and convicting to sinners. The Bald Calvinist - Stephen Melzynixinskn hosts this podcast. The Rural Church Podcast - Hosted by...

When the Honeymoon is Over

When the Honeymoon is Over

I assume everyone reading this blog is already familiar with the phrase 'the honeymoon is over.' It's the accepted fact that after newlyweds are finished with their honeymoon, (and real-life begins, *gasp*), that the excitement of being married is no longer novel, and...

Money

“Money is the root of ALL evil.” That is the axiom we all know and love. Money is itself an evil thing. It is even more depraved than man. It is not merely totally depraved it is utterly depraved. Money is living in rebellion, and is willing and eager to disobey God....

It Doesn’t Matter What Bruce Waltke Said about Abortion

It Doesn’t Matter What Bruce Waltke Said about Abortion

Here's a tweet that caught my eye in my "Dallas Seminary" TweetDeck column. “Professor Bruce Waltke, of the famously conservative Dallas Theological Seminary, explained the Bible plainly teaches that life begins at birth “God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no...

Everyone is an Evangelist

Everyone is an Evangelist

Christianity seems to be marked by a divide between people who actively evangelize and those who do not. Clearly, some folks are particularly burdened about and gifted concerning the dissemination of the Christian gospel. But it is also generally understood that ALL...

Brittany the Broccoli Hater

Brittany the Broccoli Hater

It was funny at first. Little two-year-old Brittany’s parents thought it was so cute as she’d spit out the green vegetable and then viciously rub her hands on her tongue as though attempting to erase every shred of taste completely out of her mouth. Well, it was sort...

Review: Lemuel Haynes, The Black Puritan

Review: Lemuel Haynes, The Black Puritan

Christian biographies are some of the most enjoyable books to read, in my opinion. I love to hear how God saved a man (or woman), and what good work the Lord did in that person's life, and through that person. The biography of Lemuel Haynes, by Pastor Luke Walker...

The Line of the Promised One

The Line of the Promised One

If you had never heard of the book of Ruth before and then read it for yourself one day, you’d be forced to say it ends rather surprisingly. I’m not talking about the marriage of Ruth and Boaz, although that’s surprising enough in itself. I’m talking about how the...

Help a Brother Out – An Exhortation to Christian Drinkers

Help a Brother Out – An Exhortation to Christian Drinkers

Christians have a variety of opinions on alcohol use. For this post, we are going to work out from the idea that Christians are free to drink alcohol, however, becoming drunk is always a sin. But, although Christians are not required biblically to partake of total...

A Christian View of Immigration

A Christian View of Immigration

What a mess. That, really, is the only way to describe what is happening on the southern border of the United States right now and, frankly, for several decades. In no rational world can the situation there be described as anything other than a complete mess. It is a...

How To be a Fake Christian

How To be a Fake Christian

Writing a post like this is somewhat difficult because I want to maintain balance. On one hand, I don’t want to crush the assurance of genuine Saints. One of the hardest places to be as a true Christian is struggling with whether or not we are really Believers. It’s...

When Comparisons Fail

When Comparisons Fail

June 22, 2018: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was refused service at a restaurant called the Red Hen in Virginia. By all accounts, the exchange went as well as you'd hope an exchange like this to go: those with Sanders sticking by their friend...

5 Reflections from 10 Years of Daily Bible Reading

5 Reflections from 10 Years of Daily Bible Reading

In May of 2008 I was inconsistent with my Bible reading at best. I’ve already recounted some of that story in a previous post, but suffice to say that I was too proud and too lazy to read the Bible every day. One day I challenged myself to see how many days in a row I...

Clarity Not Charity

Clarity Not Charity

Good communication requires the sender and receiver to interact based on the same information. As anyone who has ever lived knows, a lot of communication is nonverbal. "How are you?" "Good." That conversation consists of 4 words but it can be interpreted many...

Book Review — Demons: A Biblically Based Perspective by Alex Konya

Book Review — Demons: A Biblically Based Perspective by Alex Konya

I finally got to reading Demons: A Biblically Based Perspective by Alex Konya this year. It only took more than two years since one of the elders at my church gifted it to me, but hey, seminary had me rather busy. You might want to know why exactly I was gifted this...

Why Understanding How Salvation Works Matters

Why Understanding How Salvation Works Matters

I want to share the following excerpt from chapter 10 of From Death to Life: How Salvation Works. My purpose in doing so is to lay out some real-life examples on why it really matters that we understand how salvation actually works. Christianity is not a game. Real...

The SBC’s 7,000

The SBC’s 7,000

In 1 Kings 19 the prophet Elijah thought he stood alone before the Lord as the last faithful man in all of Israel. In v.18, however, God reveals that there are more faithful people than just Elijah – a lot more: “I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees...

Christian, Stop Saying You’re Sorry

Christian, Stop Saying You’re Sorry

One of the core tenets of Christianity is the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47; Colossians 1:14). To put it another way, without the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of Jesus Christ ceases to make any sense at all. In that respect, the forgiveness of sins is an...

From Death to Life: How Salvation Works – Foreword

From Death to Life: How Salvation Works – Foreword

Today's post is from the foreword of From Death to Life: How Salvation Works. You can click the link to order from Amazon (Paperback or Kindle version available) or just go here for bulk order pricing. There is also a free 9-Week Small Group Study you can get by...

Advice for New Seminary Students, Part Two — The Theological

Advice for New Seminary Students, Part Two — The Theological

Having just finished a seven-year career in the military back in 2014 before moving to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to attend Dallas Seminary full time, I admit that I had been deprived of a great number of life experiences that Americans otherwise get between the ages...

A Willing and Able Redeemer

A Willing and Able Redeemer

I've mentioned previously that we are currently going through the book of Ruth at our church. I had originally planned on 12 sermons, but we are currently in week 17! God's Word is a treasure, and we have been blessed by the vast richness set before us in the book of...

Finding the Gospel in the NBA Finals

Finding the Gospel in the NBA Finals

Start Here The NBA Finals are upon us again. For the 8th straight year Lebron James leads a team from the Eastern Conference while the Goliath of the West, the Warriors, are looking to solidify themselves as maybe the greatest team ever to play. Here at Things Above...

Beth Moore the Broken Clock

Beth Moore the Broken Clock

I suppose I should be thankful for God’s use of Beth Moore. Normally, “thankful for Beth Moore” would cause me great fits of nausea. The woman is, at best, woefully disobedient, and at worst a heretic. She and her all-to-willing-to-cause-trouble quasi-feminist cohorts...

Why I am Not Protestant

Why I am Not Protestant

Forgive my clickbaity title for my post. If you want to nickname me Tim "Click" Bates, then so be it. I won't stop you. My son's name is Calvin and my wife almost divorced me when I asked if we could name our daughter "Lutherina." In hindsight I should have asked her...

A Guide to Family Worship

A Guide to Family Worship

I did not grow up in a Christian family, so family worship was not something that was modeled for me when I was growing up. Additionally, my first decade as a Christian didn't include a lot of teaching or discussion on the topic of family worship. So a few years ago...

Rejecting a God in Our Image

Rejecting a God in Our Image

In From Death to Life: How Salvation Works, I wrote: …we “tolerate a view of God which is vastly beneath the revelation which God makes of Himself in Holy Scriptures.”[1] We are in constant danger of trying to make God out to be like one of us, just a little bit...

Making the Best Use of the Time

Making the Best Use of the Time

The Will of the Lord In Ephesians 5:16, Paul instructs the church to make the best use of the time (commonly known as redeeming the time). The Apostle reminds his readers that the days we are living in are evil, and that only a fool would live in such a way that he is...

Advice for New Seminary Students, Part One — The Practical

Advice for New Seminary Students, Part One — The Practical

I hesitate to write this partially because there's so much advice that's already out there. Also, as is the case with many of these advice articles, whether the advice is followed is an entirely separate matter. Nonetheless, seeing that more and more of my Twitter...

Review: The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible

Review: The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible

The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible is an excellent resource for parents of small children! Positive Review This book is THICK and HEAVY. The pages are strong, able to withstand the awkward turning of toddler hands, which is essential for a book for small children. Each...

Time to Cut the 20 Minute Sermon

Time to Cut the 20 Minute Sermon

Our pastor had recently left for another church and I was taking over a lot of the preaching duties in our local congregation. One afternoon the phone rang in my Youth Pastor’s study. The conversation went something like this: “Hello?” A lady from our church on the...

To My Younger Brothers and Sisters

To My Younger Brothers and Sisters

As the American experiment in liberty slowly succumbs to the cancer of a society in love with sin, a new cultural reality has emerged.  Today's world is one that features a rather bitter culture war.  Many conservatives feel their way of life is slipping away and...

8 Marriage Principles from Ruth 3:10-18 – Part 3

8 Marriage Principles from Ruth 3:10-18 – Part 3

In Ruth 2, Ruth spends a day of hard labor gleaning in the field of Boaz to provide for her and Naomi. Charles Spurgeon once preached a whole sermon on Ruth 2:15 and the importance of spiritual gleaning. What we've been doing over the course of 3 blogposts now is...

The Overwhelming, Never-ending, Reckoning Wrath of God

The Overwhelming, Never-ending, Reckoning Wrath of God

God’s providence was impeccable as I had just so "happened" to be home when I heard the knock at the door. I had just finished my lunch but hadn’t gone back to the office when I opened the door to see an older husband and wife standing there with warm smiles. They...

8 Marriage Principles from Ruth 3:10–18 — Part 2

8 Marriage Principles from Ruth 3:10–18 — Part 2

As a side note, our youngest child turns one today! The year has flown by. Happy birthday to Haddon! Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging... The Word of God is truly a treasure. If we spend time in it regularly we will see that the Lord has given to us even...

Getting a Bible to Kenya

Getting a Bible to Kenya

This is a story of God's sovereignty and meticulous care over His people. Most Christians affirm that God is always watching over us, His eye is on the sparrow, and the hairs of our heads are all counted. I hope that this story will bring you to praise and worship our...

The Worldview of Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville, Part Two

The Worldview of Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville, Part Two

In my previous post, I reviewed an episode of the Seth MacFarlane’s comedy-scifi series, The Orville, in which the show presents its worldview concerning the dignity of women. Whereas "About a Girl," is a positive case for the show's worldview, the following episode,...

8 Marriage Principles from Ruth 3:10-18 – Part 1

8 Marriage Principles from Ruth 3:10-18 – Part 1

Not sure why the number 8 has been so special recently. I wrote a post last week about 8 Practical thoughts on Corporate Singing, and now it's 8 Marriage Principles. Nothing magical about the number 8! It's just how it all shook out. Our church has been going through...

The Urgency of Scripture Memorization

The Urgency of Scripture Memorization

These are just a few of the excuses I’ve heard, and I don’t buy any of them. Scripture memorization being difficult for you is all the more reason you should strive to do it! And I don’t think it’s an unnecessary or legalistic yoke to place on you, as the Scripture itself is full of references which can only be rightly interpreted as requiring memorization. How do you expect to meditate on God’s Word day and night if you don’t have it in your heart? How shall a young man keep his way pure when he encounters temptation? Jesus quoted Scripture from memory in the wilderness, let him be your example.

The Worldview of Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville, Part One

The Worldview of Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville, Part One

Fans of previous Star Trek series have a couple of new options for their television viewing. The official one, Star Trek: Discovery, has been the object of derision from multiple angles. Most notably, it’s exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States, which...

The Problem with Identifying as a “Non-Denominational” Church

The Problem with Identifying as a “Non-Denominational” Church

There is a trend that’s been around a few decades now about having a “non-denominational” church. I think I first consciously remember the terminology when I had a friend in 9th grade tell me he went to a “NonDom” church. I was not savvy to the jargon and he had to...

On the Election of Infants – Part 2

On the Election of Infants – Part 2

Earlier, we reviewed four of the six reasonable categories (Click here to read Part 1) one can fall in concerning their belief about the election of infants. Many folks have argued whether babies go to Heaven for centuries. For the sake of ease of writing, I will use...

8 Practical Thoughts on Corporate Singing

8 Practical Thoughts on Corporate Singing

Pastoral duties, coaching little league baseball, and working to finish both the From Death to Life book and small group study guide have kept me from writing as much as I would like to as of late. Today, however, I was reading Psalm 100 and had some thoughts about...

On the Election of Infants – Part 1

On the Election of Infants – Part 1

What Happens When a Baby Dies? Many folks have argued whether babies go to Heaven for centuries. Instead of putting forth an argument, per se, I want to summarize what the possible positions one can take would be, and at least try to eliminate the ones that seem...

Women Professors and the Seminary’s Place in the Church

Women Professors and the Seminary’s Place in the Church

John Piper controversially opined back in January that women should not teach in seminaries. The essential reason he gave is that seminary professors should be models of the pastoral office that seminary students can emulate. I made some thoughts on the topic known on...

Loving Those Who Question Our Pastoral Authority

Loving Those Who Question Our Pastoral Authority

Pastors, may we be quick to forgive and seek the best for those who question our God-given, Scripture-driven, authority. Imagine having the unique privilege of speaking face to face with the Lord as a man speaks to his friend: candidly, openly. Okay, we can imagine...

3 Things Christian Men Should Stop Calling Their Wives

3 Things Christian Men Should Stop Calling Their Wives

When we write or speak, we are communicating thoughts, and those thoughts either reflect biblical orthodoxy or they do not. Carelessness in speech, although not criminal, is still an outpouring of a heart that isn't really striving for godliness (Matthew 12:36–37)....

Don’t Get Woke. Get to Know Your Local Church Brethren.

Don’t Get Woke. Get to Know Your Local Church Brethren.

Nestled within 1 Corinthians 11, we find a likely familiar passage concerning the Lord's Table which pertains to the current social media conversation on racism and socioeconomic class. Critical race theory is probably the last topic I want to write about at the...

Recent Racist Rhetoric Reflections

Recent Racist Rhetoric Reflections

Hot Take My take on the recent rhetoric about race. There really is evil in the world in the form of racism. Like abortion, some Christians are on the front lines fighting that evil as the outworking of their faith in Christ. This is a good thing. Some Christians are...

3 Reasons not to Baptize Young Children

3 Reasons not to Baptize Young Children

A 2014 Christianity Today article highlighted a growing trend in the SBC of baptizing children age 5 and under. From my personal observation and discussions among other Southern Baptists, I have no reason to believe this practice is slowing down in 2018. It is my...

Christians and Privilege

Christians and Privilege

The idea of one needing to check his privilege first came across my eyes and ears a few years back. I remember thinking, quite naively in hindsight, that this was just a few college students who are professionally and perpetually outraged being coached by some...

Sad Facts About Racism

Sad Facts About Racism

Try to picture this in your mind. It's February 29, 2016. John Connell was stopping at the grocery store to pick up a few items. Seeing a lady exiting the store as he was about to enter, John rushes to the door and opens it for her. Bad move, John! The lady walks...

From Death to Life – Endorsements

From Death to Life – Endorsements

To order the book click here. One of the things about being an unknown author is that some people wonder if it's worth the investment of their time and money to purchase your book. Is this guy a heretic? Will his book even make sense? Is it a worthwhile read? This is...

Run to Him

Run to Him

My older son was outside playing basketball down the street. He had stopped to wave at me as I drove past him on my way home from work. I walked in the door of my house and looked around. My wife was in the kitchen putting the final touches on dinner, and my youngest...

Pray for Their [Eternal] Lives – Comments on March for Our Lives

Pray for Their [Eternal] Lives – Comments on March for Our Lives

March 24, 2018, will long be remembered as the day of the first national March for Our Lives event. My understanding is that over 1 million people participated in March for Our Lives events around the world making it one of the largest protests in history. Setting the...

How to Use a “For” Clause: 1 Timothy 2:12 and Egalitarianism

How to Use a “For” Clause: 1 Timothy 2:12 and Egalitarianism

Did Paul mean in 1 Timothy 2:12 that he is really prohibiting women from teaching or exercising authority over men on a permanent basis? Let's do some grammar work. 12 I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to remain quiet. 13...

Here and There: March For Our Lives, MLK 50, and Loyola Chicago

Here and There: March For Our Lives, MLK 50, and Loyola Chicago

In “Here and There,” we’ll take a brief look at random and important news in the Evangelical, political, and sports world. --March For Our Lives: Washington Post: "Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in the nation’s capital and cities across the country...

I Can Only Imagine – Official Movie Review

I Can Only Imagine – Official Movie Review

If you told me that somewhere in a secret lab a group of scientists spliced the DNA of Sean Astin (Rudy, Amazing Love) and combined it with DNA from Kevin James (King of Queens, Kevin Can Wait) in order to create J. Michael Finley, the main character of I Can Only...

Interview with Franky Collazo – Wrath and Grace

Interview with Franky Collazo – Wrath and Grace

Wrath and Grace is holding a conference June 30, 2018 at Del Ray Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. I sat down with Franky Collazo, who is organizing this event in order to hear from his heart what he and the team at Wrath and Grace hope to accomplish. Michael:...

Paul, Apostle of Christ – Official Movie Review

Paul, Apostle of Christ – Official Movie Review

Well, there are a couple of firsts surrounding this post. I had never 'prescreened' a movie before. I have never written an official movie review before. That's all changed now, thanks to the new movie set to release on March 23, 2018 Paul, Apostle of Christ. I have...

A Primer of Hospice Ministry

A Primer of Hospice Ministry

What is Hospice? Hospice care is a form of palliative (rather than curative) care, wherein the focus is on making the terminally ill patient as comfortable as possible rather than curing the terminal illness. Within the United States, patients become eligible for the...

What is Your Life?

What is Your Life?

Two Men. Two Paths. Luke 16:19-31. I recall as a young man navigating my way through the subways of New York City. Under the streets of the city, thousands of people made their way home, to work, or just to go look at the city above them. I would find myself on the...

The Bible is Sufficient for Calling People to Jesus

The Bible is Sufficient for Calling People to Jesus

We had a great bible study on a recent Wednesday night on Matthew 7:13-14. We've been going through the Sermon on the Mount and seeking to think deeply about how Jesus wanted His followers to understand Kingdom living. But this post isn't about the Sermon on the...

No, We Do Not Need to Own Hitler

No, We Do Not Need to Own Hitler

1 You can hardly visit a social media thread/debate without seeing the commission of countless logical fallacies. The level at which unregenerate people and immature/uneducated Christians commit logical fallacies is only eclipsed by their perceived mastery of them....

Bridging the Knowledge Gap in New Testament Textual Criticism

Textual criticism is the art and science of finding the original wording of a given biblical text when conflicts between manuscripts ("variants") arise. Much has been written concerning King James Onlyism and its variations’ impact upon unity in the local church, and...

Make Sunday Less Spectacular

Make Sunday Less Spectacular

The ushers were friendlier than I expected as we came through the front door. We weren't exactly sure where to go after that, but we sort of just followed the crowd until we found our seats. We chit-chatted with those around us as we waited for everything to start. I...

Varieties of Gifts

Varieties of Gifts

One thing I've noticed over the past several decades of watching the NFL playoffs and Super Bowls is that the teams that go to the playoffs and deepest into the playoffs have the most Pro-Bowl selections. What is striking, though is the team with the NFL rushing...

From Whose Interpretation Comes No Prophecy? (2 Peter 1:20)

From Whose Interpretation Comes No Prophecy? (2 Peter 1:20)

2 Peter 1:20 is a difficult verse to interpret, as it has many things going on which don’t easily translate into English. Moreover, one’s own theological leanings and the choices of Bible translators may cause an average reader immediately to prefer a certain...

Distorting the Gospel by Who You Eat With?

Distorting the Gospel by Who You Eat With?

We recently finished a Bible Intensive Retreat with the brothers from Christian Communicators Worldwide. This was my 5th Intensive and one of the best I’ve attended. We spent 2 days pouring over Galatians 1–2. There was much we learned, much we sharpened one another...

International Women’s Day & Knowledge of God

International Women’s Day & Knowledge of God

If you venture to Google.com on March 8 of any year, you'll find a doodle promoting International Women's Day. I want to draw your attention to this screenshot from 2018's doodle. It's a depiction of women in all sorts of professional roles, presumably roles they once...

Mountains, Molehills, and Dress Shirts

Mountains, Molehills, and Dress Shirts

It's difficult to write about traditionally prickly, and yet non-essential matters without being both divisive and derivative of a particular tradition.  No matter what side of those issues you place yourself, you align with a tradition.  Today's topic, how people...

The Ignoble Duties of a Noble Task

The Ignoble Duties of a Noble Task

So you are interested in pastoring, eh? Paul says you desire a noble task (1 Tim. 3:1). And I think many of the tasks involved in pastoral ministry can be seen as noble from other believers on the outside looking in. After all, you get to stand on a platform week in...

What Do Changes in NASCAR Signal in Our Culture?

What Do Changes in NASCAR Signal in Our Culture?

What matters to you most as a sports fan: that the sport is officiated fairly or that the competition is close until the very end? Another way to ask this might be whether you want it to be fair or to be entertaining. Suppose you could pick only one or the other. I...

Small Prayers, Great God

Small Prayers, Great God

I had just finished listening to a wonderful message from Paul David Tripp at G3 2018 on Parenting. I hung around, chatting with a few folks after the message, and then made my way to the bookstore to grab Tripp’s book on the subject. Sadly, they were already sold out...

From Death to Life – Book Update

From Death to Life – Book Update

(Photo Credit: Stephen J. Melniszyn) I've had several people asking me about where I am on my current book project, so I thought I'd have a place where I could point folks to give them the latest on how things are progressing. I'm pretty new to this book...

The 1st Amendment

The 1st Amendment

Free speech, free expression, and the freedom of religion are excellent rights which our constitution's 1st amendment promises cannot be taken away. These elements, though not the Gospel themselves, allow the Gospel to be proclaimed freely within our borders. Our...

Do ALL Things Without Complaining?

Do ALL Things Without Complaining?

My wife posted the quote below on Facebook in regard to complaining: If you are a sovereigntist, or one who believes in the absolute sovereignty of our God, and you gripe or complain about your circumstances, you're being a hypocrite; for you demonstrate, with your...

Ryle, Reading, and Reverberation

Ryle, Reading, and Reverberation

Reading the Bible consistently and expectantly at the same time can be a bit challenging. We often find ourselves doing one or the other, depending on where we're at. I can read the narrative of Genesis pretty consistently (which I'm doing right now, actually),...

God, Guns, and Good Government

God, Guns, and Good Government

The world watched in horror what is becoming an all too common scene in America's cultural landscape.  Surely most Americans, Christian or not, were disgusted, angry, heartbroken, and desperate for answers in the wake of this horrific tragedy.  It should not escape...

Things Above Us?

Things Above Us?

Colossians 3:1-2 is, in essence, the theme of this blog. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of...

Be Like Mike?

Be Like Mike?

It seems everyone in the conservative evangelical world is trying to think more creatively about what to do to get people in church. Or how to 'be the church', which of course you can't 'be the church' if you're not regularly gathering as a local church. In today’s...

You Don’t Have To Enter Every Argument You’re Invited To

You Don’t Have To Enter Every Argument You’re Invited To

Everyone is made in God's Image Everyone you meet is made in the image of God. Thus, each person you encounter has a level of dignity because of his or her Creator, and you are responsible to treat folks with respect as a consequence of this fact. Individual people...

When the Elect Suffer

When the Elect Suffer

The problem of despair and depression is fundamentally a spiritual problem, even if the world and its systems disagree.  Solutions will be found in Scripture; and when we examine God's inerrant Word we see that God treats these things exactly as we'd expect: a...

An Evil and Adulterous Generation

An Evil and Adulterous Generation

The Argument Matthew 16:4 "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah." So he left them and...

Preparing My Heart For Another Lord’s Day

Preparing My Heart For Another Lord’s Day

My heart aches for Sunday. If I’m honest, I don’t always have this longing as a Pastor. My old nature is very much active still. There are Saturday nights and Sunday mornings that I feel anxiety, worry, and even, dare I say, less-than-thrilled for our worship service....

Paul, Apostle of Christ – Movie Review

Paul, Apostle of Christ – Movie Review

Update (26 March 2018): The review is now out! —GPO Due to a something called a "film embargo," I have been asked to temporarily remove this review until the film releases March 28. I have never been involved in movie pre-screenings so I wasn't even aware of this...

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 4

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 4

This is the 4th and final post in a series on my journey to becoming a Reformed Baptist. If you haven’t read posts 1, 2, and 3 do so here, here, and here! 2018 is my 10 year anniversary of being a committed Reformed Southern Baptist. By Reformed Baptist I mean one who...

It Hurts Right Here

It Hurts Right Here

The Problem A few months ago I developed a tightness in my right Achilles tendon when squatting. When I would hit the bottom of a squat, I would feel a burning sensation where the tendon attaches to my heel. Realizing it was not correct, I stopped achieving full range...

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 3

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 3

If you haven’t read part 1 and 2 yet, you can do so here, and here. When my wife, son, and I moved to Taylorsville, KY, we were ready to conquer the world. The church there loved us well, and we made lasting friendships. My other mission that summer began once I...

You Can’t Make Jesus Lord of Your Life

You Can’t Make Jesus Lord of Your Life

We have some young men in our congregation whom I’ve started texting a Bible thought each morning, usually from my own time in the Word. The other morning I was reading the 29th Psalm. Verse 10 says: The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as...

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 2

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 2

I established last post that the very fact that you're reading this is a testimony to God's grace on multiple levels. If you haven't read that post yet, you'll want to just to have some context for this one. At the age of 17, in 2003, I began helping co-lead our Youth...

Jesus’ Descension To Sheol: What It Is And Isn’t

Jesus’ Descension To Sheol: What It Is And Isn’t

A Twitter-kerfuffle erupted this week when various news agencies reported Hollywood star Mel Gibson is working on a sequel to the wildly popular Passion of The Christ. “The Resurrection. Big subject,” Gibson told USA Today in 2016. "We’re trying to craft this in a way...

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 1

How I Became a Reformed Baptist – Part 1

The incessant beeping confused me at first. The last thing I remembered doing was cashing my check in the bank, and stopping by the Bubble© machine on the way out to waste a quarter on some gum. It was December 20, 2002.  I was 16 years old, and had one of my first...

The Origins of the Calvinist Conversion

The Origins of the Calvinist Conversion

You know the feeling when something finally clicks? I know you know it. It’s the lightbulb that turns on. It’s the moment you scream, “Eureka!” It’s one of those images you hold close to your face, slowly draw it back to reveal an image, but the first ten times you try it doesn’t work. Then, on the eleventh try, you see that rhino, and it’s the most incredible rhino anyone has ever seen.

My Wife’s Stroke and The Upside Down

My Wife’s Stroke and The Upside Down

In Stranger Things episode eight, Chief Hopper and Joyce enter “The Upside Down” for the first time in their search for young Will, who had been abducted by a predatory humanoid creature called a “Demogorgan.” For those of you who haven’t seen the series just yet (are...