Author Archives: Michael Riley

Handshakes: More Like Holy Kisses Than Ever

Handshakes: More Like Holy Kisses Than Ever

An interesting observation this morning. Libertarian-ish lawyer Ken White asks about handshakes, and stats and polling guy Nate Silver offers an answer that handshakes mean *more* now. As I’m wrapping up a series on 1 Thessalonians this week, this feels relevant to Paul’s command to greet one another with a holy kiss. I’ve noted before… Continue Reading

Among Yourselves

Among Yourselves

In a couple of weeks, I’m scheduled to head down to Illinois to attend a pastors’ conference. There are several speakers at the conference that I’m glad to hear. One is the pastor of the church I grew up in. Another is the president of one of the seminaries I graduated from. But to be… Continue Reading

Unprecedented

Unprecedented

These are not unprecedented days. That’s important to say, because unprecedented has become one of the most overused descriptors of the past year. To call something unprecedented is to make a very bold statement. It is not merely to say that “this thing hasn’t happened before,” but to say that “nothing even reasonably similar to… Continue Reading

In Memoriam: Jerry Tetreau

In Memoriam: Jerry Tetreau

Michael and Alicia Riley Early this week, Jerry Tetreau, longtime president and chancellor of International Baptist College in Chandler, Arizona, entered his eternal rest. I had the joy of serving under and with him at IBC for four years; my wife was there for five, most of which as Dr. Tetreau’s secretary. It is a… Continue Reading

Social Distancing and Love

Social Distancing and Love

Some readers of this column had parents or grandparents who could recall the Depression. Unsurprisingly, living through that even left a mark on that generation. While it certainly didn’t affect everyone the same way, often those of that era were often especially frugal. They understood that provision can be fragile and that waste is unwarranted.… Continue Reading

COVID-19 and the Christian

COVID-19 and the Christian

Jeff Straub It came as no surprise last Friday when late in the day word came that the seminary’s Friends and Family Banquet, scheduled for March 30, was cancelled. Fourth Baptist Church had already determined to suspend public congregational worship for two Sundays in response to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s request that gatherings of more… Continue Reading

Justification and Life for All Men

Justification and Life for All Men

Michael Riley In Kevin Bauder’s excellent series on Christian suffering, he made an exegetical case for the salvation of those incapable of believing, especially infants. While I agree with Kevin on the hope for infant redemption, I do not find his explanation for that hope rooted in Romans 5 convincing. Kevin argues that there is… Continue Reading

On the value of arguments in defense of Christianity

On the value of arguments in defense of Christianity

In recent weeks, I’ve been corresponding with a young man who has been wrestling deeply with Christianity’s hard questions. As I read him, he has been doing so not only with a view to giving answers to others but also with seeking answers for his own mind and soul. His most recent email to me… Continue Reading

Give to the Max Day 2019

Give to the Max Day 2019

In 1763 Britain emerged from the Seven Years’ War as the world’s leading power. Ten years later George Macartney wrote of British rule as a “vast empire on which the sun never sets, and whose bounds nature has not yet ascertained.” For more than a century it was common to hear that “the sun never… Continue Reading

On a Proof Text for Natural Headship

On a Proof Text for Natural Headship

Hebrews 7:9–10 9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. This passage is a foundational for the argument that we participate in Adam’s sin because we were truly in Adam, so that his act is… Continue Reading

Translation and the Degradation of Language

Translation and the Degradation of Language

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Not all languages have the same natural facility at expressing all ideas. Some of these restrictions are in vocabulary: a language might have a word or phrase that readily communicates a specific concept that another language might require several words (or it might have to borrow a word) to say the same thing. Other distinctions… Continue Reading

Conservatism and the Preservation of Scripture

Conservatism and the Preservation of Scripture

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week, I began a series on the relationship of conservative Christianity to the issues of the preservation and translation of the Bible. My goal is to address the notion that those who use (mostly) old songs would be more consistent if they also used an old translation. Let’s start with the question of the… Continue Reading

Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version: Introduction

Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version: Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

At last week’s Knowing, Loving, Ministering Conference, Scott Aniol opened the floor for a brief discussion about the relationship between conservative Christianity and the use of the Authorized Version. His recent sabbatical in the UK gave him regular interaction with dear brothers in Christ (some of whom I expect will be reading this) who are… Continue Reading

How Shall We Be Like God?

How Shall We Be Like God?

Ponder a paradox with me. In Genesis 1, we learn that God creates humanity in his own image and likeness. Exactly what that means has perplexed theologians for literally millennia. Some say being made in God’s image means that we have a mind, will, and emotions. Some see the image as referring to our ability… Continue Reading

Two brief arguments for the baptism of children

Two brief arguments for the baptism of children

In this brief essay, I’m making several assumptions. The first is that baptism is rightly administered only to professing believers. I don’t intend to engage here with arguments for paedobaptism. The second is that baptism is a strongly ecclesiastical ordinance. Baptism is not a mere personal devotional experience; it is a public profession of faith,… Continue Reading

Helping Those Who Suffer

Helping Those Who Suffer

Jon Pratt In this sin-cursed world suffering is inevitable. Jesus said so: “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Paul said so: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake” (Phil 1:29). Peter said so:… Continue Reading

Paul Against the Contextualizers

Paul Against the Contextualizers

Michael Riley Central Seminary hosted its annual MacDonald Lectures last February. Dr. Paul Hartog of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary of Ankeny, Iowa, delivered four addresses. All four are posted on the seminary’s website and are worth your time. His opening lecture took issue with the popular interpretation of Paul’s pronouncement, “I have… Continue Reading

A Resurrection Psalm

A Resurrection Psalm

Paul commands us to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We can (and do!) debate the identity of hymns and spiritual songs, but we know what a psalm is. And for this reason, our church has adopted the practice of regularly singing the psalms. In particular, we have a “psalm of the month,” which we… Continue Reading