A Reminder Of Why We Should Not Long For A State Church

The United States of America, for all her greatness, is not the “my people” of 2 Chronicles 7:14. That people was God’s temporary, national people Israel. That national covenant expired at the cross. Since that time God has had no national people, though many have thought and apparently still think that they must be God’s special, national people. God made that promise to national Israel not the USA or to any other civil people. The USA has no more standing before God, as a national people, than pagan Rome or the “Holy Roman Empire,” neither of which exist any longer. Continue reading →

Must One Vote For Nero?

If you were a Roman Christian, whom would you prefer for your emperor? Caligula was murdered on January 24, 41 AD. Claudius died in 54 AD, probably from poisonous mushrooms. Nero “ruled” from 54 to 68 AD, when in the midst of . . . Continue reading →

On Self-Defense

A correspondent asked the other day for a brief account of the biblical doctrine of self-defense. Let us establish some fundamental truths. First, God is sovereign over all things. He is Creator and Redeemer but he administers creation under the sphere of . . . Continue reading →

Between Pearls And Privatization

For Christians this is question of how to relate Christ and culture, or how to relate nature and grace. This is an ancient problem. The apostolic and early post-apostolic Christians faced this problem acutely. Our Lord commanded us to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Matt 22:21). The assumption behind the our Lord’s teaching is, of course, that some things are legitimately Casesar’s and some things are not. Our Lord drew a line in the sand when he informed Pilate that his “kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). The apostles faced this problem acutely when they were commanded to stop preaching the gospel. The Apostle Peter spoke for all of us when he replied, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Continue reading →

Of Conventions, Prayers, And Church

The Importance Of Distinguishing Sacred And Secular

Both the opening and closing of last night’s events are a good argument for doing away with public, shared prayers in such events. It’s not that delegates to political conventions should not pray. They should. It’s not that candidates should not pray. They should. It’s not that voters should not pray. They should. It is dubious, however, whether it is appropriate to open a common, secular, assembly with prayer. To whom are we praying? In whose name? What are we praying? As a Christian minister of the United Reformed Churches in North America I am not free to offer prayers to God that he has not authorized. I am not free to pray to any other deity than the Triune God of Scripture, to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not authorized to approach God in any other name than the name of Jesus. It is not a matter of bigotry. It is a matter of truth, eternal life, and salvation. Jesus was raised from the dead. He is the truth (John 14:6). There are not multiple ways to God. Religion is not multifaceted expression of a common religious experience. It is revealed by God to us. Continue reading →

Office Hours With Senator Ben Sasse

Office Hours

For Reformed Christians there has never been any question whether Christ is Lord over all things. When the Dutch theologian, pastor, and Prime Minister Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) declared in his 1898 Stone Lectures at Princeton that there is not one square inch . . . Continue reading →

Memorial Day: A Time To Distinguish Between Patriotism And Pulpit

Mt Soledad

I love my country. Despite the apparently never-ending efforts of those who seek fundamentally to transform it into a replica of the European social-democratic states (which has provoked a Euro-nationalist-populist reaction), it is still a great country. Pace the president’s casual dismissal . . . Continue reading →

Chrysostom On Two Kingdoms

[11.] But what is this, “When He shall deliver up the kingdom?” The Scripture acknowledges two kingdoms of God, the one by appropriation (oikeiwsin), the other by creation. Thus, He is King over all, both Greeks and Jews and devils and His . . . Continue reading →

With Chris Buskirk On Downstream Politics

I am not a political analyst and I do not play on TV or radio (nor in the pulpit) but Christians do live in a twofold kingdom and I was happy to talk with Chris Buskirk, host of Downstream Politics, about media, . . . Continue reading →