Author Archives: Scott Aniol

The Two Kingdoms and Immigration Policy

The Two Kingdoms and Immigration Policy

I just completed last week a series of posts explaining what I believe to be a biblical doctrine of the differing responsibilities individual Christians and corporate churches have toward culture, and the distinct role government authority has in ruling civil matters. Contrary to many within evangelicalism today, it is very important to recognize these differences;… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 25: Elijah

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 25: Elijah

This entry is part of 1 in the series 25 You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 25: Elijah Weekly memory verse: Philippians 2:8 – “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Weekly hymn: “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” (free download) Weekly catechism: Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even unto… Continue Reading

The Church, Christians, and Culture: Conclusion

The Church, Christians, and Culture: Conclusion

This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Citizens and Exiles You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Over the past several weeks, I have presented a brief sketch of a conservative Christian posture toward culture more faithful to Scripture than much of what constitutes the prevailing evangelical perspective. Despite caricatures by opponents, and extreme abuses by some, this philosophy provides a basis for a rather robust philosophy of cultural engagement, which could… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 24: Solomon’s Reign

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 24: Solomon’s Reign

This entry is part 24 of 24 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 24: Solomon’s Reign Weekly memory verse: 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Weekly hymn: “All People That on… Continue Reading

Restraint

Restraint

This entry is part 12 of 13 in the series Citizens and Exiles You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The Bible does not give the church a social mandate, but as we saw last week, churches should equip their people with how to live Christianly in whatever cultural sphere God has called them. This does not mean churches will have no impact on the society at large. Churches may indeed have an effect upon… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 23: David’s Reign

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 23: David’s Reign

This entry is part 23 of 24 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 23: David’s Reign Weekly memory verse: Psalm 27:1–2 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and… Continue Reading

The Church and Christian Cultural Involvement

The Church and Christian Cultural Involvement

This entry is part 11 of 13 in the series Citizens and Exiles You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week, I made the case that the church’s mission is narrow and unique; it is not cultural or societal transformation, but rather the exclusively redemptive goal of making disciples. Nevertheless, because members of churches may certainly be involved in various cultural endeavors as citizens of the common kingdom, the church does have a secondary… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 22: Absalom’s Rebellion

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 22: Absalom’s Rebellion

This entry is part 22 of 24 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 22: Absalom’s Rebellion Weekly memory verse: Romans 3:23–24 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Weekly hymn: “How Sad Our State” (free download) Weekly catechism: Who is that Redeemer who at… Continue Reading

The Church’s Unique Mission

The Church’s Unique Mission

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series Citizens and Exiles You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Thus far, I have attempted to establish a biblical basis for individual Christian cultural activity, but when Christians gather together as local churches, the picture narrows to a certain degree. This is due to the fact that not everything Scripture commands of Christians as individuals applies in the same way to local churches as institutions.… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 21: The Davidic Covenant

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 21: The Davidic Covenant

This entry is part 21 of 24 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 21: The Davidic Covenant Weekly memory verse: Luke 1:68–69 – “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people  and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.” Weekly hymn: “Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing” (free download) Weekly catechism:… Continue Reading

Vocation

Vocation

This entry is part 9 of 13 in the series Citizens and Exiles You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I mentioned that the common evangelical view of kingdom theology has led to errant thinking about Christian work in society that either dismisses the validity of work other than “full time Christian service” or (more recently) validates work in society by insisting that it is “kingdom work.” A proper understanding of the two… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 20: David Becomes King

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 20: David Becomes King

This entry is part 20 of 24 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 20: David Becomes King Weekly memory verse: Psalm 20:7 – “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Weekly hymn: “Rejoice, the Lord is King” (free download) Weekly catechism: Why must the Redeemer be a true and righteous human? The Redeemer must be… Continue Reading

Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens

This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series Citizens and Exiles You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

There is a real sense in which Christians, analogous to Israel in exile, are dual citizens—resident aliens. Christians are first and foremost citizens of the redemptive kingdom, but they are also citizens of God’s Universal common Kingdom along with every other human being. And thus, Christians contribute to society, submit to and pray for governmental… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 19: The Pursuit of David

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 19: The Pursuit of David

This entry is part 19 of 24 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 19: The Pursuit of David Weekly memory verse: Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Weekly hymn: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (free download) Weekly catechism: What kind of Redeemer must… Continue Reading

Residents

Residents

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series Citizens and Exiles You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last time, we considered the fact that Scripture describes Christians as exiles who are not of the world and must not love or be conformed to the world. Instead, we should consider ourselves distinct from the unbelieving peoples and cultures around us. Yet this is not the complete picture of the Christian situation. The presence… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 18: David and Saul

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 18: David and Saul

This entry is part 18 of 24 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 18: David and Saul Weekly memory verse: Psalm 18:1–2 – “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Weekly hymn: “Be Thou My Vision” Weekly… Continue Reading

Why equating culture with ethnicity is inherently racist

Why equating culture with ethnicity is inherently racist

Despite my many protestations (including a whole book addressing the topic), it is still quite common within Evangelical circles to equate culture and ethnicity. I was recently reminded of this when a popular evangelical leader argued in a well-publicized conference that in order to repair what he believes to be systemic racial divides within evangelicalism,… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 17: Saul’s Rise and Fall

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 17: Saul’s Rise and Fall

This entry is part 17 of 24 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 17: Saul’s Rise and Fall Weekly memory verse: 1 Samuel 15:22 – “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” Weekly hymn: “Jesus Shall Reign” (free download) Weekly… Continue Reading

The church’s mission is not societal transformation

The church’s mission is not societal transformation

The church’s primary responsibility in this age is gospel proclamation and making disciples. Members of the church are destined to reign over a restored earth when Jesus returns. But in this age before Jesus comes again, the church’s mission is not cultural or societal transformation. This does not mean the church has no concern for… Continue Reading