Oh God, Make Us Angry!

Like relentless waves, the news keeps crashing: Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Each one, an image-bearer of God. Each one, beautifully woven by their Maker and bestowed with brown skin. Each one, senselessly killed. These three people, three deaths, three situations point to a larger issue with broad implications. It is godly to get... Read more

Whats So Special About Church?

Throughout the pandemic, Ive refused to wear my pajamas to watch my churchs livestream. Every week, I get dressed in my usual Sunday best. I fix my hair. I even put on makeup. I dont do this out of vanity or pharisaism (I hope), but out of a desire to set apart the activity of... Read more

When a Lesbian Atheist at Yale Came to Christ

Years ago, while living as a gay man (before my radical conversion to Christianity), I briefly dated an exceptionally talented and prolific Hollywood producer. He recently made a deal with a major Hollywood studio worth an extraordinary amount of money. When asked by a journalist what he planned on doing with all that money, he... Read more

J. D. Greears Challenge: How Will You Respond?

The idea that the gospel is weak and irrelevant is a patent lie, yet it continues to be a popular lie for the secular world to embrace and promote. You dont have to look far to encounter portrayals of Christiansespecially those “evangelical Bible-thumpers”as out-of-touch and bad for society.Weve been dismissed as backwoods, judgmental hicks. People... Read more

The Pastors One Essential Responsibility

Whats a pastor to do? Its a simple question, but it’s surprising how different pastors answer it. Some say they’re here to shepherd. Others say they’re here to teach. None would say they’re here to entertain, but a steady diet of their teaching leaves the listener wondering. I once saw a pastor begin his service... Read more

Lets Retrieve Good Theologyand Not Start with Luther

Im often asked in my church history and theology courses, Why does this class matter for the pastorate? Or on the mission field? Or in my home? The idea that historical theology can influence or transform how we minister, proclaim the gospel, plant churches, or raise children is foreign to many of my students and,... Read more

The FAQs: Trumps Middle East Peace Plan and Jerusalems Holy Sites

What just happened? On Tuesday, President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuannounced the outlines of a proposal for Middle East peace. Although the Palestinian government has already rejected the plan, it includes an outline for how future peace plans might address access to Jerusalem, which contains holy sites of three world religionsChristianity, Judaism, and... Read more

Two Scholars Team Up for a New Testament Introduction

Books dont merely tell stories; they have stories. This books story began with Mike Bird suggesting that someone should put N. T. Wrights voluminous writings into a single volume, forming an introduction to the New Testament. That someone became Mike Bird, and the two have produced a unique New Testament introduction,The New Testament in Its... Read more

The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About the Wuhan Coronavirus

What just happened? On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared a global public health emergency because of the spread of a contagion called the Wuhan coronavirus. The U.S. State Department also issued a new travel advisory on Thursday night, telling U.S. citizens not to travel to China, where the current version of the virus originated.... Read more

The LGBT Movements Dangerous Hypocrisy on Conversion Therapy

The Story: Supporters of the LGBT movement are working to ban one form of conversion therapy on minors while endorsing another. The Background: Earlier this week, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill to end conversion therapy for minors. The state of Utah also recently passed a similar law. To date, 18 other states... Read more

The Best Single-Volume Reformed Systematic Theology Youve Never Heard Of

Following the watershed publication of his four-volume Reformed Dogmatics in English at the turn of this century, interest in Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck (18541921) has sharply increased. Indeed, it almost seems as though Bavincks destiny is to influence the 21st century far more than the 19th century, during which he wrote most of his... Read more

The FAQs: What You Should Know About Late-Term Abortion

What just happened? Recent events have brought the issue of late-term abortion back into the news, and into the realm of presidential politics. On Tuesday, during his 2020 State of the Union address, President Trump called on members of Congress to pass legislation finally banning the late-term abortion of babies. The next day, on the... Read more

The Gospel Coalition 2019 Book Awards

The early Christians were considered weird for many reasonsworship of a crucified man, the gospel’s exclusive claims, ethical demands that included ones sexuality, and more. But heres a distinctive that might surprise you: the early church was marked by its bookish religion. According to the late New Testament scholar Larry Hurtado (19432019), Christianity stood outand... Read more

Of Reviewing Many Books There Is No End

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Collin Hansen: Every year at The Gospel Coalition we review about 300 titles between our academic journal Themelios and our regular book reviews section. And the man behind that book reviews section is... Read more

How to Know If Youve Made an Idol of Politics

Have you considered you might have made an idol of politics? Here we go again, I thought. I wasnt surprised by the question. Idol-hunting, after all, is a favorite pastime of my fellow evangelicals. But I was caught off guard by the candidate for the potential idol. Its certainly possible Ive made an idol of... Read more

Richard Dawkinss Latest Case for Outgrowing God

I finally gave up on God when I was 15, Richard Dawkins writes in his latest book,Outgrowing God: A Beginners Guide.He hopes to midwife kids of a similar age through a similarly rational rebirth. Believe in God as a child if you must. If your parents believe, you probably will. But follow the facts, Dawkins... Read more

The FAQs: Is Freemasonry Compatible with Christianity?

Note: Over the past few years, Ive received numerous requests to address the issue of Freemasonry and Christianity. While this is not intended to be comprehensive analysis or explanation, my hope is that it will be sufficient to help followers of Jesus determine for themselves if these two systems of belief and ritualFreemasonry and Christianityare... Read more

TGC Editorial Staff: Books We Enjoyed in 2019

It shouldnt be surprising that we, the editorial staff at The Gospel Coalition, enjoy reading. While our team worked diligently to evaluate the Christian market for ourannual book awards, we also read an eclectic array of titles for professional development, historical awareness, encouragement, and just plain fun. As one of our team members recently reflected,... Read more

The FAQS: What You Should Know About Polygamy in America

What just happened? Earlier this week the Utah Senate unanimously passed a bill that effectively decriminalizes polygamy. The bill, which will be taken up by the states House of Representatives, would make polygamy an infraction, amending the current penalty punishable by up to five years in prison. As the Associated Press points out, while mainstream... Read more

Why I (Usually) Dont Like Devotionals

Ive often felt slightly guilty about my disinterest in devotionals. Devotionals can feel like forced therapy sessions, askingHow does this make you feel?over and over again, as if the pristine covers of doves with olive branches and footprints in the sand want to know. Its not surprising, then, that C. S. Lewissconfessionresonates with me: For... Read more

How Should Christians Talk About the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The spreading outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus (initially called the Wuhan coronavirus) is having a global impact, but has not yet developed into a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). (UPDATE: The WHO reclassified the condition as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.) Our decision about whether to use the word ‘pandemic’ to... Read more

9 Things You Should Know about Lynchings and the Murder of Emmett Till

On Wednesday, after 120 years of failed attempts, Congress finally passed the first federal antilynching law, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act. Here are nine things you should know about lynching, the legislation, and the murdered teen for whom the law is named after. 1. Lynching is the mob killing of a person suspected of a... Read more

Most Important Books for Pastors from the 2010s

Pastors traffic in books. They love to read them, share them, recommend them, talk about them. As 2019 comes to a close, we asked several friends of TGCmany of whom are pastors and church leadersto look back over the past 10 years and point to the most helpful book for pastors that they’d widely commend.... Read more

Lets Deconstruct a Deconversion Story: The Case of Rhett and Link

Confession: When I was a kid, I was in love with Ricky Schroder. He was the only one for me. (Except for a short hiatus after The Karate Kid, when Ralph Macchio was my all in all for a few months.) That tow-headed heartthrob took my breath away with every episode of the 1980s sitcom... Read more

What Christians Should Know About Gender Ideology

Its an axiom for carpenters, mechanics, and lovers of the tool section at Home Depot: you need the right tool for the right job. I once spent an hour trying every saw in my possession to trim one inch off of a door jamb to accommodate new hardwood flooring. None worked. Then I realized theres... Read more

Religious Conflict in America Is as Old as America

Watching todays news, you might get the impression that religious conflict is more acute in America than ever before. Religious belief does infuse almost every political controversy, including the ones about abortion, homosexuality, immigration, and the presidency of Donald Trump. But we should remember that America itself was born in religious conflict, conflict often more... Read more

How Emotions Drive Unbelief

In the last decade or so, the narrative of how we became secular has been presented in a variety of ways. Its seen as a long-awaited emancipation from the stultifying darkness of institutional Christianity (A. C. Grayling), the unintended consequence of Protestantism taken to its logical conclusion (Brad Gregory), the public outworking of the Christian... Read more

Worry is not our friend and panic is not our way.

Author’s note:Since this article was originally published,authorities have increased their concern andthe author agreesthatour vigilance in preventing the spread of COVID-19 should appropriately increase as well. The heightened concern,however,only makes the truths below more important.Respect for others who are more susceptible to illness (including the elderly and immune-deficient)should cause us to operate with prudence and... Read more

New Surveys Find That Religious Schooling Has a Lifelong Effect

The Story: Two recent surveys reveal how educating students at religious schools can have positive effects for them later in life. The Background: A survey conducted by the University of Notre Dames sociology department looked at comparative life outcomes for adults aged 24 to 42 who were educated in one of six school segments or... Read more

Non-Deist America? Yes. Christian America? No.

Both sides of the “Christian America”debate employ the same strategy: posit a world in which everyone is either a Christian or a deist, show the American founders werent in your opponents camp, and then claim, as a result, that they mustve been in yours. If youre promulgating the Christian America notion, interpret everything they said... Read more

(Fake) Sex in a Technological Age

Authors note: The topic and examples in this section are sexually explicit. I leave certain details vague and ask that you not search for these things online. The worlds first sex robot debuted in fall 2018 to much fanfare. Many joined waiting lists to purchase this AI-equipped doll from Abyss Creations. The doll, named Harmony... Read more

The Ancient Problem of Discontentment

Editors’ note:  Taking the advice of C. S. Lewis, we want to help our readers keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, which, as he argued, can be done only by reading old books. To that end, our Rediscovering Forgotten Classics series surveys some forgotten Christian classics that remain relevant... Read more

The FAQs: Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Major Abortion Case

What just happened? On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments inJune Medical Services v. Gee, the first case involving abortion since the court gained a conservative majority. What is the case about? In 2014 Louisiana passed a law requiring doctors who perform abortions in the state to have admitting privileges at a nearby... Read more

Millennials, the Bible Is Not What You Think

Stereotypes about millennials abound. Whether we’re seen as entitled and lazy, or educated and revolutionary, millennials are parodied in various ways. One thing my generation isnt stereotypically known for, however, is an ardent use of the Bible. Why would we be? Riding in on the coattails of modernity and secularism, we know that there’s little... Read more

The FAQs: Coronavirus Explained by an Infectious Disease Expert and Pastor

What is the coronavirus? Since the beginning of this year, we’ve been reading and hearing about a family of viruses known as coronaviruses. There are 69 species of this virus, seven of which can affect humans. The rest of the virus species are contracted by animalsmostly pigs, bats, and other small mammals. Its name comes... Read more

Have We Missed the Honor-Shame Focus in Scripture?

My (Elliot) wife doesnt see cars. Of course, she sees them all the time, but she doesnt necessarily notice them. And she certainly doesnt distinguish between Volvo and Volkswagen or between light compact and all-wheel drive. But when our family recently bought an old VW Golf, she started to notice Golfs everywhere. Mind you, its... Read more

Taking Church Online in a Coronavirus Age

Like most other pastors and church leaders in recent weeks, I’m in the throes of confusion. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has forced upon us an ecclesiological conundrum. What does it even mean to be a church in times like this? How much does it matter that we continue to gather, physically, in the midst... Read more

Can Institutions Save America?

Were living in a golden age of political theory. Because the culture war shows no signs of abating, because we have no shared public philosophy, American intellectuals have been working overtime to explain the political breakdown and prescribe solutions. Some, like Jonah Goldberg inSuicide of the West, argue for a reaffirmation of classical liberal values.... Read more

Neighbor Love in the Era of COVID-19

More than 130,000 confirmed cases. Nearly 5,000 deaths. Entire countries on lockdown. Sporadic access to testing. And no vaccine. Such headlines recall the outlandish scenarios of science-fiction paperbacks, but right now they represent reality as coronavirus grips the world. Unfortunately, responses to the pandemic also seem lifted from the pages of a sensational novel. Public... Read more

How a Fifth-Century Church Father Saved My Faith

Do not hide your face away from me, for I would gladly meet my death to see it, since not to see it would be death indeed. Augustine Confessions is an autobiography, yet it’s much more. It’s a theological treatise, though it’s much broader. It’s a prayer, but it goes much deeper. To read Confessions... Read more

Love in an Economic Crisis

As global cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, many Christians have rightly pointed out that we should not be living in a state of fear and panicGod is still in control amid the apparent chaos of life in a fallen, broken world. Many others have also pointed out that following public-health guidelines and reducing exposure... Read more

Why We Need, More Than Ever Before, a Theology of Mankind

At the turn of the 20th century, the Scottish minister and church historian James Orr famously proffered a theory about doctrinal development. God, he suggested, has given to each age of the church a concern for a particular doctrine. According to Orr, the second century was an age of theological prolegomena and apologetics. The third... Read more