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Christianity Is Not Dull. Just Ask the Angels.

For more than a decade Ive been fascinated by angelsthose mysterious, unseen spiritual messengers. Compared to humans, Peter says that angels are greater in might and power (2 Pet. 2:11), which is why Psalm 8 describes us as a little lower than the angels. Ive long been curious:What do angels do? What are they like?... Read more

The Maddening Paradox of Leadership

The work of a pastor has never been harder, at least in our lifetime, in lands that suffer no persecution. Every few weeks, we must reassess and re-organize the way we worship, make disciples, and care for each other. Churches are politicized. When regional governments change the rules for gatherings, one group advocates submission to... Read more

Should We Anoint the Sick with Oil (James 5:1415)?

As a Reformed, low-church Protestant, Im naturally suspicious of anything that smacks of religious ritualism. Prayer labyrinths? No, thank you; Ill stick with corporate prayer in the church and the private prayer Jesus commends (Matt. 6:6). Candles and incense? Again, Ill take plain preaching and congregational singing. So when asked whether we should anoint the... Read more

Has Cognitive Science Explained (Away) God?

Were often told that science is steadily removing reasons for belief in God. As atheist Jerry Coyne says, Bit by bit, the list of phenomena that once demanded an explanatory God is being whittled down to nothing. Its not that this kind of claim doesnt have force; indeed, I think it requires careful consideration, and... Read more

10 Issues the Gospel Solved in the Corinthian Church

Its not surprising for a church to have sin problems. A church is a group of sinnerssaved and repenting sinners, yes, but still sinners. If thats the case for a group of longtime Christians, imagine a church consisting entirely of baby Christians. When Paul wrote the letter of 1 Corinthians to the church at Corinth,... Read more

Criticize Your Pastor (Rightly)

Pastors might disagree on their least favorite aspect of ministry. One complains about scheduling meetings; another loathes administrative details. But all agree on one thing: the criticism endemic to pastoral ministry. Being the target of verbal flak, write Joel Beeke and Nick Thompson, goes with ministry territory; its part and parcel to the verbal, personal,... Read more

Is the Book of James Really Christian?

We have a lot of books in our New Testament. All of them, we believe, are divinely inspired. And yet we dont spend equal amounts of time reading them. For most of us, our reading pattern is profoundly lopsided, focusing mostly on Paul (especially Romans and Galatians) and the Gospels (with John leading the way).... Read more

A Congregation Is Not an Audience

What is Jesus doing right now? According to Ephesians 4, he is ascended in heaven and is gifting his church for greater mission and unity. Hes giving leaders, who equip all the saints for ministry, so that the whole family can be built up in maturity. By contrast,we all too often create ministry systems that... Read more

Best Defense of Reformed Paedobaptist Covenant Theology

Since the incarnation and work of our Lord Jesus Christ, Christians have wrestled with putting together the Bibles overall metanarrative. Although differences exist among evangelicals, we agree more than we differ. Yet, our disagreements are significant since they lead to different conclusions regarding the newness of the new covenant, how Old Testament promises and typological... Read more

Dominant and Subdominant Cultural Dynamics – The Gospel Coalition

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Jerome Gay: We still see this playing out today when we see the racial divide within the church. We label black and brown churches more style than substance simply because of the emotional... Read more

Why Dont the New Testament Authors Explain the Trinity?

Explaining the Christian doctrine of the Trinity isnt easy. Analogies invariably flounder, and the risk of sliding into some sort of ancient heresy by accident is real. Just ask any ordination candidate how quickly the sharks circle if, due to nerves, you accidentally say, God is made up of three persons. Or ask any parent... Read more

Pastors, Choose Gratitude Over Grumbling

Having a tough year? As church members choose conflict over peacemaking, appear more excited about politics than discipleship, give more weight to a pundits off-the-cuff opinion than your studied convictions, fall for sin rather than follow Scripture, reject the counsel of friends to pursue idols you know will hurt them, make time for school programs... Read more

Help Them Imagine: The Need for Creativity in Evangelism

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Glen Scrivener: I am Glen Scrivener. I am married to Emma. We have a daughter Ruby and we live on the south coast of England. It’s called the sunshine coast. My Australian family... Read more

Pastor, Plagiarism Is More Than Theft

I know a young student pastor who recently discovered that his churchs lead pastor was routinely plagiarizing sermons. This man was preaching other pastors sermons without any citation or credit of the original source, presented to the congregation as the original work of the lead pastor. During my relatively brief time in pastoral ministry, Ive... Read more

Your Virtual Small Group Can Still Be Vibrant

For many of us, attending small group has been a regular routine for years. This past spring brought that routine to a screeching halt. While we all hoped COVID precautions were just a temporary inconvenience, for many churches the need for virtual meetings has remained. The apostles Paul (2 Tim. 1:4) and John (2 John... Read more

Whats Christ Got to Do with Hosea 11:1? Getting a Grip on Typology

Editors’ note:  Take part in TGCs Read the Bible initiative, where were encouraging Christians and churches to read together through Gods Word in a year. May I phone you? Im having a crisis of faith, and I think you may be able to help. Ive had such requests before, including from total strangers, because Ive... Read more

New Calvinists and the Battle for Evangelicalism – The Gospel Coalition

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Collin Hansen: On Gospelbound, I typically interview authors whose ideas intrigue and encourage me. Today is no different with my guest, Brad Vermurlen, author of the new book Reformed Resurgence: The New Calvinist... Read more

Podcast: Covenant Theology 101 (Guy Waters)

This article is part of the The Crossway Podcast series. Understanding Biblical Covenants In this episode, Guy Waters discusses how to understand the biblical covenants and how they can help us read Scripture rightly. He addresses what people often get wrong when it comes to covenant theology, highlights the progressive nature of God's promises in... Read more

The Need for Two-Sided Theology – The Gospel Coalition

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy. Carl Ellis: American Christianity went along with cultural sin. There’s good things in a culture and there are bad things in a culture. So, if you’re in cultural captivity, you conform to the... Read more

Have You Accepted Jesus as Your Lord and Philosopher?

John 6 was an intense day for Jesus and his disciples. Despite having miraculously filled bellies, many stopped following Jesus because of his claim to be the manna in the wilderness that people must eat (John 6:5358). He turned to his band of disciples and asked whether they planned to leave as well. With words... Read more

Dont Adopt That One

Imagine it: the perfect family. The three of them are inseparable. Theirs is a home, overflowing with laughter and lovemagnetic, generous, complete. Nothing missing, nothing needed. Their heartbeat is security, trust, and above all, joy. Love you. Proud of you! Youre the best! They dont need anything. And yet they want to give. So much... Read more

The Hidden Discipline of John Stott

I have a love/hate relationship with duty and discipline. It may be a generational problem. After all, such a statement would’ve been incomprehensible for the so-called Greatest Generation; people just did what they had to do, however nervous or reluctant they might’ve felt. For me, it’s also a personality and temperament issue. Duty often seems... Read more

Masterclass in Evangelistic Apologetics from a Dead Presbyterian

John Gresham Machen (18811937) was, by any measure, one of the towering figures in American evangelicalism in the first half of the 20th century. He was born into a privileged and devoted Presbyterian family in Baltimore, Maryland. His father was a distinguished and scholarly lawyer, an avid reader, a linguist, and a man of theological... Read more

Winter Is Coming: COVID-19 Forces Hard Choices for Churches

When Sonlife Community Church regathered in person on May 31, pastor Paul Devall arranged for social distancing, recommended his congregation wear masks, and opened all the doors and windows. Hes pretty typical. Across the country, churches have been taking advantage of the outdoors, capitalizing on the ability to spread out and the larger volume of... Read more

Dear Younger Pastors in 2020 America

Dear brothers, I dont often write to you like this. But Im thinking of the challenges facing you right now in pastoral ministry, and I want to share a thought with you. As shepherds of Christs flock, one of our responsibilities is to warn the sheep when a wolf is on the horizon. Were in... Read more