Between The Evangelical Circus And Deconstruction

This has been a strange week in Lake Wobegon. No sooner had the news emerged that an evangelical megachurch, James River Church (Springfield, MO) hired a male stripper/sword swallower—who, according to Julie Roys, “moonlights as a pole-dancing striptease artist at gay nightclubs”—to . . . Continue reading →

Words and Things December 2023—Acts 20:28

Our story begins in the dining room where Dr. and Mrs. Clark recently hosted my wife and I during our recent visit to Westminster Seminary California for a short teaching stint. Since we never want to pass up an opportunity to be . . . Continue reading →

At Work In The Fields Of The Lord

Great crowds, international fame, best-selling books, intense media attention, sniping critics, and simmering concerns among orthodox pastors all swirling around the arrival and work of a great and famous traveling preacher—these phenomena are well-known to us today, but they also marked the . . . Continue reading →

Why Did Arminianism “Win”?

Sometime back, Howard wrote to ask, “How and when did Arminianism become the predominate view?” That is a good question. First, we should distinguish between Jacob Arminius (James Harmenszoon, 1560–1609) and the Arminians (or the Remonstrants). Relative to the conclusions Arminian/Remonstrant theology later . . . Continue reading →

Words And Things: “Semantic Range” (Part 9)

Linguists have provided significant help to biblical scholars, not the least in the area of lexical semantics. Lexical here means words and phrases and semantics deals with meanings, so that lexical semantics is the study of how words mean. One area of . . . Continue reading →

Words And Things: All About “By” (Part 7)

I once preached through the book of Hebrews. When I arrived at the end of the book, I was very excited about preaching on the benediction in Hebrews 13:20–21. I love benedictions. If you study the “mother of all benedictions,” that of . . . Continue reading →

Words And Things: Practicing The Truth (Part 6)

Already in this series we have looked at two things that will be further illustrated here. First, we have to be very careful with the whole notion of a “literal” translation. Literal does not necessarily mean more accurate. The second thing is . . . Continue reading →

Words And Things: All About “This” (Part 5)

“This” is not very interesting. In fact, when studying a foreign language “this,” “that,” and “the other” are the kind of words that are easy to overlook and hard to memorize. Like “who,” “what,” or “why?” Why? In isolation, they seem abstract . . . Continue reading →

A Sketch of the Christian’s Catechism (Ames)

William Ames (1576-1633) plays several crucial roles in the transmission and development of Reformed Orthodoxy. As a student of William Perkins, he carried forward Perkins’ strong Reformed theology. At the same time, Ames ministered among leading theologians in the Netherlands, combining both . . . Continue reading →

Discovering the Reformed Confession (Part 1): Young, Restless, and “Calvinistic”

I first heard the terminology of the “five points of Calvinism” in the mid-1990s from a youth pastor at our evangelical megachurch. He was convinced that Calvinism is true and biblical. One evening, my wife and I went to dinner with him . . . Continue reading →

Review: J. M. Vorster’s The Gift of Life (Part 2): Postmodern Identity Politics Gets A Galatians 3:28 Makeover

At this point it is worth asking: What informs Professor Vorster’s overarching moral vision? Throughout The Gift of Life, the contention is that definitions of human dignity found in the liberal democratic and human rights traditions can be translated into Christian value . . . Continue reading →

Review: Lane Tipton’s The Trinitarian Theology of Cornelius Van Til

We live in an age that has lost the plot. In this case it is not the world at large, but rather the broadly Protestant/evangelical world in the West—many things taken almost for granted by previous generations of Christians are met with . . . Continue reading →