Category Archives: Articles on Church

Disciple-Forming Corporate Worship

Disciple-Forming Corporate Worship

Every church has as its mission the making of disciples, but how does that happen? Two weeks ago I made the point that while such discipleship certainly involves teaching truth to the mind, that is not enough since discipleship is more than data transmission. Last week I supported this claim by looking at Scripture itself,… Continue Reading

Beauty and Motivation

Beauty and Motivation

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

As surprising as it might sound, beauty lies at the heart of motive. Why we do what we do is a question of desire, and desire is rooted in what we think is good and beautiful. Jonathan Edwards tackled the questions of motive, desire, and freedom in his work The Freedom of the Will. There Edwards… Continue Reading

Doctrinal Triage for Worship

Doctrinal Triage for Worship

Many years ago, Al Mohler published a widely-read article on doctrinal triage, a method for evaluating the seriousness of doctrines. Kevin Bauder then pointed out that this approach was something that mainstream fundamentalists had espoused for many years, with possibly more sophistication. I’ve thought for a while that we need something like that for the… Continue Reading

Live Images Are Not Living Persons

Live Images Are Not Living Persons

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

Our technologies have come a long way from when John wrote, likely using a reed-pen on a papyrus sheet, “I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face.” (3 Jn. 1:13-14)… Continue Reading

Disembodied Christianity

Disembodied Christianity

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

During last week, I read one man rage at ‘conservative Christians’ for their desire to re-open churches. He then proceeded to point out that Hebrews 10:25 does not really prove that churches need to gather in physical buildings, and that all Christians who call for re-opened churches based upon Hebrews 10:25 are abusing the text.… Continue Reading

Hymns sifted in Satan’s sieve of suffering

Hymns sifted in Satan’s sieve of suffering

In the midst of difficult days, it is helpful to learn from those saints who have endured hard times before us. We are self-centered enough to think that our personal plight is exceptional, when in reality it is not. Paul Gerhardt, born in 1607, was a Lutheran pastor. Today he is remembered best for his… Continue Reading

Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Screens

Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Screens

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

“John, we’d love it if you and Susan would join us for a meal on Thursday evening.” “Uh…well, Mike, thanks but…isn’t that illegal? I mean, doesn’t the lockdown prohibit that kind of social gathering?” “Oh, no, I don’t mean that you and Susan come to our home. We’ll host you online.” “I’m still not following.… Continue Reading

Greet one another with a holy kiss

Greet one another with a holy kiss

If someone was to tell you every day, multiple times a day, that you were an extremely handsome man or beautiful woman, that repeated compliment would do wonders for how you viewed yourself. If someone was to tell you the opposite, that you were extremely ugly, you would become insecure about your appearance. You might… Continue Reading

What I’ve missed while not gathering with my local church (Part 3)

What I’ve missed while not gathering with my local church (Part 3)

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series What's missing in virtual church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The novel coronavirus has resulted in a time where many churches have been unable to gather. This has been unprecedented for most of us alive today. Many churches have opted for a virtual or streaming ministry. Others have encouraged family worship, or sent pastoral guidance to church members to follow. As I have repeatedly said,… Continue Reading

What I’ve missed while not gathering with my local church (Part 2)

What I’ve missed while not gathering with my local church (Part 2)

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series What's missing in virtual church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We’ve all been caged up for a while now. Because of the concerns of governments the world-wide, churches have not been able to gather. In one respect, this ought to seriously concern all of us, for whenever we fail to gather as believers, we disobey Christ. That is, we had better have sufficient and significant… Continue Reading

Wrong Responses to a Loss of Corporate Worship

Wrong Responses to a Loss of Corporate Worship

When Israel lost its Temple in A. D. 70, you might imagine it would have prompted much soul-searching and repentance among the rabbis that had rejected Jesus as Messiah. In fact, the rabbis had known for forty years before that date that something was amiss. Yoma 39b of the Talmud records the strange occurrences from… Continue Reading

Why We Won’t Livestream During Lockdown (Though We Could)

Why We Won’t Livestream During Lockdown (Though We Could)

Left-click the bread icon to consume the bread.  >Click< >>>  Thank you. You have eaten the bread. Left-click the cup icon to consume the cup.  > Click< >>> Thank you. You have drunk the cup. Sound preposterous? Why shouldn’t we do virtual Lord’s Supper? Our technology has made this scenario possible. But is it desirable?… Continue Reading

Church Visibility or Church Publicity?

Church Visibility or Church Publicity?

Church leaders find themselves today harangued and prodded to build an “online presence”. This usually means a busy Facebook page, a Youtube channel, a Twitter account, a static website, live-streamed services and more. Without these, we’re told, a church is mostly “invisible” to the world, and is “failing to reach its community”. It is even… Continue Reading

How Christians Have Responded to the Secularization of Culture

How Christians Have Responded to the Secularization of Culture

Over the past several weeks I have been tracing how western culture was impacted in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the rise of secularism. An initial response to the rise of secularism by Christians was to accept a separation of reason and faith and attempt to affirm both. However, adopting the rationalist redefinition of reason… Continue Reading

The Protection of Preference

The Protection of Preference

This entry is part 50 of 63 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Scripture loves unity among the saints, but does not mandate uniformity. Somewhere Tozer points out that a hundred pianos all tuned with the same tuning fork will all be in harmony with one another. So believers, when conformed to Christ and submitted to the same sound doctrine, will find their Spirit-given unity (Eph. 4:3). But… Continue Reading

Cold water to splash in Despair’s face over Apostasy

Cold water to splash in Despair’s face over Apostasy

Of late many high-profile apostasies have rattled evangelical Christianity. Some of the men who have departed from the faith were much admired and loved for their earlier writings and teachings. After all, they were pastors and Christian leaders. News of their exodus from the Promised Land back into Egypt exploded on social media. Fear and… Continue Reading

The Good and Bad of Christendom

The Good and Bad of Christendom

The legalization of Christianity by Roman Emperor Constantine I (272–337) in 313 with his Edict of Milan marked the beginning of a period lasting up to the Reformation and Enlightenment that some call “Christendom.” Religious toleration in the empire created conditions for the freedom and growth of Christianity to be sure, but when in 391… Continue Reading

The Infant Church’s Continual Commitments

The Infant Church’s Continual Commitments

Christ’s disciples obeyed his command to remain in Jerusalem until he sent them the Holy Spirit and formed his spiritual body. Acts 2 records the amazing event that occurred on the Day of Pentecost—the Holy Spirit descended upon them, attested by visible and audible signs, forming the church and empowering them to accomplish the mission… Continue Reading

Mission: Make Worshipers

Mission: Make Worshipers

After Jesus died and rose again, he appeared to his disciples and many others, beginning a short period of teaching before he ascended back to heaven. During this time, Jesus prepared his disciples for the mission he was giving to them, telling them, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you”… Continue Reading

A Parable About Pop Music in Church

A Parable About Pop Music in Church

Christian 1: So I hear you have a problem with lollipops? Christian 2: Lollipops? No, I think they’re just fine. Christian 1: But you apparently won’t eat them for family meals. Christian 2: That’s true. I prefer my family eats some kind of meat, vegetables or healthier food for their meals. Christian 1: So you… Continue Reading