Category Archives: Articles on Church

Spiritual Unity Is not Natural

Spiritual Unity Is not Natural

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Diversity and Unity in the Body of Christ You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Despite the God-ordained diversity of giftedness within the body of Christ, and even the providential diversity of gender, ethnicity, educational level, and socio-economic status, we are all members of one, unified body. Now, is this natural? It is not natural for there to be unity right alongside diversity. I mean, it would be difficult enough… Continue Reading

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (2)

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (2)

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Elders in a Baptist Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In some cases, “lay” elders are introduced into Baptist churches because those doing so believe that a plurality of elders is an explicit or implicit requirement of the New Testament. Many believe a church with only one pastor has a sub-standard or sub-biblical ecclesiology, and the pragmatic solution to achieving this supposed requirement of multiple… Continue Reading

Spiritual Unity in the Church

Spiritual Unity in the Church

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Diversity and Unity in the Body of Christ You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul notes the beautiful of the church’s diversity, as the Spirit of God gifts each individual believers with particular functions within the greater church. But then with that as his foundation he moves on in verse 12 to his primary concern in the chapter: “For just as the body is one… Continue Reading

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (1)

Elders in a Baptist Church: Plural, Yea; Lay, Nay (1)

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Elders in a Baptist Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I’ll sometimes hear the claim from some men that a plurality of elders, made up of “staff elders” and “lay elders” in a local church, represents orthodox, biblical ecclesiology and that any church (such as mine) with only one paid elder, several deacons and no lay elders represents a deviation from biblical church polity, or… Continue Reading

Functional Diversity in the Church

Functional Diversity in the Church

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Diversity and Unity in the Body of Christ You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

There is a lot of discussion about diversity and identity today, both in the wider culture and among Christians. Unfortunately, such discussions often are not informed by Scripture, even among Christians. Secularist theories and ideologies plague discourse about these subject in ways many Christians don’t even recognize. Any discussion of diversity and identity, however, must… Continue Reading

Thoughts on Local Church Membership, Then and Now

Thoughts on Local Church Membership, Then and Now

The body of Christ is something bigger than the local church, and believers should in theory be able to serve at one church just as at another. However, heresy, ecumenicism, ungodly living, misunderstanding, and disagreements abound in many churches today, making it necessary for a local church to spell out in detail its confession and… Continue Reading

Spurgeon Uncut and Unpasted

Spurgeon Uncut and Unpasted

Reading Spurgeon is a sheer delight to the heart. At the same time, it is often faintly discouraging to the preacher. How could a preacher manage such eloquence? His sentences are positively dripping with imagery, his prose saturated with trope and metaphor. It seems impossible for such poetic gold to have flowed from a preacher… Continue Reading

What’s wrong with the recent evangelical “social justice” movements?

What’s wrong with the recent evangelical “social justice” movements?

The term “social justice” has become quite a buzz word in evangelical circles in recent years. Social matters like immigration, racial reconciliation, and sexuality are taking center stage in conferences and online discussions, with loud voices expressing strong options. Other voices are beginning to object to the direction of such discussions, expressing concerns over the… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 6: Love for Christ and New Testament Authority

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 6: Love for Christ and New Testament Authority

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This is the sixth post in this series (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5). The whole of the first five parts could be summarized in the final paragraph of the last post: In sum, the Christian religion is subservient to Christ’s authority. Christ gave that authority to his apostles and prophets, and they sealed… Continue Reading

Unicultural Uniformity

Unicultural Uniformity

This entry is part 36 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Of the little pilot-fish words that swim alongside the more commonly mangled word, culture, two of the more frequently heard are multicultural and diversity. In fact, these have become unquestioned, and probably unassailable holy-words in modern culture. A competitive company will have somewhere on its Vision and Mission statement, “Our core-values include a commitment to… 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

Pagan Culture and Apostate Culture

Pagan Culture and Apostate Culture

This entry is part 35 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In discussions of evangelizing the post-modern West, something is often forgotten. Those cultures which were formed by Christianity and have since abandoned it are not reverting to paganism. They are not pagan cultures. They are apostate cultures, and an apostate culture is a much scarier animal than a pagan one. C.S. Lewis wrote on how… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 2: Arguments for RPW

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 2: Arguments for RPW

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In the first post, I introduced Scripture Regulated Worship and the topic of this series. In this post, I consider some of the most important arguments for Scripture-Regulated Worship. Wise Christians have advanced many reasons to regulate Christian worship according to Scripture. The intent here is not to list all such arguments or even interact… Continue Reading

We Don’t Want Your White Man’s Religion

We Don’t Want Your White Man’s Religion

This entry is part 33 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In Africa, particularly where black nationalist sentiments arise, it is not uncommon to hear the title of this post thrown around in conversation. Similarly, half-formed sentiments are uttered about missionaries who replaced the harmonious earth-religion of the peaceful indigenous people with their foreign religion, so as to steal their land and subjugate them. The saddest… Continue Reading

Christian Culture in Church History

Christian Culture in Church History

This entry is part 32 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A common error in the study of church history is to seek to find a version of one’s present branch of Christianity in the past. Since Christian doctrine and practice develop over the centuries, trying to find oneself in church history is like trying to find out how people in Shakespeare’s era texted one another,… Continue Reading

Two Exams, and Two Questions

Two Exams, and Two Questions

I present my children with two written tests. They open the envelope of the first, and see the heading, “Dad Orthodoxy”. A series of questions about me follows, which they find delightfully easy. “What is your father’s first name?” “What color are your father’s eyes?” “What is your father’s favorite meal?” “Where did your father… Continue Reading

On Baby Grands and Expensive Hymnals

On Baby Grands and Expensive Hymnals

“Why this waste?”, said the greediest member of the Twelve. Judas’ supposed concern with helping the poor and for efficient use of ministry finances was really a facade for his unvarnished envy. Judas wanted money, and like every jealous soul, disliked money being spent lavishly on someone else. The sentiment that it is frivolous waste… Continue Reading

Relevance and Intelligibility

Relevance and Intelligibility

This entry is part 26 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Modern Christian champions of relevance mean many things by the term. One use is the concept of intelligibility. When calling for the church to be relevant to this generation, they mean that its message must be understandable, clear, and intelligible. Thus far, no objection. No command exists to make the Gospel obscure or arcane. If… Continue Reading

Relevance and Importance

Relevance and Importance

When some people speak of “making Christianity relevant”, they are referring to demonstrating Christianity’s importance and applicability. They fret over the fact that unbelievers and the wider culture dismiss Christianity and religion so easily. Secularism provides people with enough food, shelter, conveniences, comforts and sufficient diversionary amusements to keep them from truly investigating the claims… Continue Reading