The Early Bird Gets The Link 

Can We Add to God’s Word?
But for believers caught up in tales of a fresh unleashing of the Spirit, it may be hard to see the difference between what God is saying and doing today and what He said and did in the days when Scripture was being written. We must ask the question: Is there a difference between God’s Word as given then and the word He is supposedly speaking to and through believers today?

Trumping the Gospel

If you are a believer and can vote for Donald Trump with a clear conscience then go for it, but please I beg of you don’t make this a “Christian” decision or try to sanctify a man who doesn’t believe he has a need to repent. Here are a couple ways people are trying to Christianize Trump and why I don’t fall for a single one of them.

What Adoption Has Taught Me

Fourteen years ago today, my wife and I walked out of a Russian orphanage with two little one year-old boys. Suddenly, for the first time, I was a father and she was a mother. Suddenly, little Maxim was “Benjamin Jacob Moore” and little Sergei was “Timothy Russell Moore.” Everything changed, for all of us, for life.

Two Ways that Evangelicals Have Failed Women—And How a New Book Can Help

This book’s snapshots of a mere eight women from a mere two centuries offer an astonishing array of roles and achievements by women in a time when women were not so much second-class citizens as not citizens at all. Yet despite (and perhaps because of) such obstacles, what women have contributed and accomplished is rich and varied. Here in these pages we meet queen, wife, theologian, hymnist, novelist, missionary, daughter, and friend. Even more importantly, we meet women of faith whose lives manifested the grace and glory of God through their faithful obedience to the roles to which they were called, whether in singleness or marriage, in sickness or in health, in riches or in poverty, and, ultimately, in death.

How My Special-Needs Sister Teaches Me to Trust God’s Heart

There is no denying that having a family member with Down’s Syndrome has negatively affected my family in different ways. From the first diagnosis of this disability, to the indeterminate years that follow her graduation, the hand of God has been hard to find. By God’s grace, He has used these moments to point my family towards Himself, not His plan. Amanda is a means by which God has taught us to love Him more. I want to focus on three ways my sister with special needs has taught me how to trust God’s heart.

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

How to Raise an Alien Child
So much of parental decision-making can focus on helping our kids “fit in.” But 1 Peter 2:11-12 calls believers to live as aliens and strangers, in such a way that our unmistakably strange lives bring glory to God. As Christian parents, our greatest hope for our children is that they would grow to know, love, and serve God with everything they have. 
Satan’s Favorite Weapon Against You

Superman is almost unstoppable. I say “almost” because he does have one vulnerability. Kryptonite weakens him, and too much of it can destroy him. Tony Reinke is exactly right when he says, “unbelief is our Kryptonite” 

Thoughts On Bible Study

We’ve all been in that Bible study where we seem to be having a good discussion, people are engaged, the comments are insightful, and then Bob speaks up. Now we all love Bob (bless his soul), but Bob somehow always manages to provide some off-the-wall interpretation about the passage that everyone immediately knows is not quite right. But the question is, how do you know that Bob’s comments are not quite right?

Can an Unchanging God Be Compassionate?

The necessary implication of God’s immutability is that He is not subject to shifting moods, flashes of temper, fluctuating dispositions, or seasons of despondency. In theological terms, God is impassible. That means He cannot be moved by involuntary emotions, suffering, pain, or injury. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith (2.1), God is “infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions.”

How To Give the Devil a Foothold

To give him a foothold or a place would be like giving him a seat at the table—a place where he could interject his ideas, cause us to give weight to his thoughts. Certainly no believer wants to allow him to grab hold of something and say, “Ah, now here…here is a place where I can grab hold of? Here is a place where I can really stabilize myself and make some inroads? Yes, here is a place where I can worm my way into this person’s heart or this church body”.

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16
Where does this fear-filled political mania come from? I think it’s important to note that the political dysfunctions (on both the right and the left) share the same functional idolatries — a zeal for power and a conflating of God’s kingdom with our nation. And I also think, since both the traditionalist evangelicals and the “progressive evangelicals” emerged from the same evangelical culture, we can trace the fractious idolatry of each side of the spectrum back to the same center — namely, the evangelical pulpit.

Why Does Sola Scriptura Still Matter?

The principle of sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) was the Reformers’ way of acknowledging that the unstoppable power behind the explosive advance of religious reform was the Spirit-empowered Word of God.

You Have Enough Time to Study the Bible

Among Christians, I suspect busyness is the top excuse for not studying the Bible. It seems we don’t have enough time for God’s word. I’ve made this excuse many times myself.

But we must confront this Biblical truth: We always do what we want to do.
Why Tax-Funded Abortion Shouldn’t Be a Partisan Issue

The two of us see this issue somewhat differently. One of us (Wear) voted twice for Obama and served him in his campaign and White House. One of us (Moore) voted twice against him, and opposed him throughout the administration on questions of abortion. One of us (Wear) saw in some of Obama’s language a goodwill effort to achieve something of a big tent. The other (Moore) sees it as political rhetoric because the central issue is whether a human being can be denied the right to life simply based on his or her age, size and vulnerability. Nonetheless, we agree that a major American party calling for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment would be a foreboding sign for American civic life.

5 Reasons Christians Neglect Beauty in Theology

It’s no stretch to argue that the evangelical church has largely neglected theological inquiry into the nature of beauty and aesthetics. Most reflection and writing on these subjects come from professionals in philosophy and in the specialized field of aesthetics. Christians are largely on the sidelines. This should not be.

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

I was our last week with my kids and our church on Choir Tour. We had a great week of ministry, I always have a blessed time on that trip. Here are some great reads. 

Stop Trying to Make the Bible Relevant to Teenagers

Yet in our efforts to make Scripture more entertaining, we actually confirm suspicions that it is in fact boring and irrelevant. And when youth workers aren’t as cool as they think they are, their efforts end up looking cheesy, which is the last thing that will help a teenager see the Bible’s importance.

So how do you break through to a young person so they see Scripture’s significance? How do you impress the Bible’s relevance on a teenager who gauges importance by whatever’s atop her social media stream?

The Perfect Spouse Will Not Complete You

But sometimes we cross the boundary from merely trying to be a good shepherd of our hearts to actively trying to wrest control from the almighty and trustworthy God. A little bit of the garden temptation can play out in our own lives (Genesis 3:1–7), Is God’s plan really sufficient? Does he really know what he’s doing? Can he really accomplish it without me?

How Does the Spirit Work Through Scripture?

Instead, the Holy Spirit’s work always centers on the Word of God. Over the last several days we’ve focused on His role in the inspiration of Scripture. But His work did not end with the closing of the biblical canon—today He works through His Word in the lives of His people.

3 Things Sin Can’t Do To the Christian

But a bootstraps gospel is a false gospel. I’m not drifting into antinomianism here, but simply reminding you that your salvation depends on Christ’s obedience, not yours. Below are three things to remember about sin to remind yourself that it has ultimately lost its power in your life. These reminders help us eliminate the shame we feel after disobedience and push us to repent of our sin even when we’re tempted to wallow in it. They are “gospelisms”—truths about the gospel that are easy to preach to one another when we begin to forget the gospel—and I hope that they help you as they have helped me:

Voting in the Age of Clinton and Trump

“it is wrong to think of a vote not cast for Leading Contender A as a de facto vote cast for Leading Contender B.”

How Should Pastors Talk About Politics With Their Churches?

Like Father Like Son

I have been reading Family Worship by Donald Whitney and I am reminded the impact of Biblical example of manhood and the impression it leaves on a son through the recount of a story from John G. Paton. Lord help me to be such a father. 

My dear father walked with me the first six miles of the way. His counsels and tears and heavenly conversation on that parting journey are fresh in my heart as if it had been but yesterday; and tears are on my cheeks as freely now as then, whenever memory steals me away to the scene. For the last half-mile or so we walked on together in almost unbroken silence,—my father, as was often his custom, carrying hat in hand, while his long, flowing yellow hair (then yellow, but in later years white as snow) streamed like a girl’s down his shoulders. His lips kept moving in silent prayers for me; and his tears fell fast when our eyes met each other in looks for which all speech was vain! We halted on reaching the appointed parting place; he grasped my hand firmly for a minute in silence, and then solemnly and affectionately said: “God bless you, my son! Your father’s God prosper you, and keep you from evil!” Unable to say more, his lips kept moving in silent prayer; in tears we embraced, and parted. I ran off as fast as I could; and, when about to turn a corner in the road where he would lose sight of me, I looked back and saw him still standing with head uncovered where I had left him—gazing after me. Waving my hat in adieu, I was round the corner and out of sight in an instant. But my heart was too full and sore to carry me further, so I darted into the side of the road and wept for a time. Then, rising up cautiously, I climbed the dyke to see if he yet stood where I had left him; and just at that moment I caught a glimpse of him climbing the dyke and looking out for me! He did not see me, and after he had gazed eagerly in my direction for a while he got down, set his face towards home, and began to return—his head still uncovered, and his heart, I felt sure, still rising in prayers for me. I watched through blinding tears, till his form faded from my gaze; and then, hastening on my way, vowed deeply and oft, by the help of God, to live and act so as never to grieve or dishonour such a father and mother as He had given me. The appearance of my father, when we parted—his advice, prayers, and tears—the road, the dyke, the climbing up on it and then walking away, head uncovered—have often, often, all through life, risen vividly before my mind, and do so now while I am writing, as if it had been but an hour ago. In my earlier years particularly, when exposed to many temptations, his parting form rose before me as that of a guardian Angel. It is no Pharisaism, but deep gratitude, which makes me here testify that the memory of that scene not only helped, by God’s grace, to keep me pure from the prevailing sins, but also stimulated me in all my studies, that I might not fall short of his hopes, and in all my Christian duties, that I might faithfully follow his shining example.

Until Next Time

Soli Deo Gloria

The Early Bird Gets The Link

Warm Sunshine And Icy Waves
In the 13th Psalm, David experiences despair, but rather than bottle it in he erupts in anguished prayer to God. And he will end, as I hope we all do, in trust to God and his merciful care for us. Listen as David gives vent to his despair.

How Exaggeration Can Undermine Your Joy in the Gospel

Have you noticed how prevalent exaggeration is in our language? Exaggeration is everywhere from the 4-year-old who says he is “starving to death” 15 minutes after lunch to the fisherman who relays the size of his great catch. We love to round-up. We love the superlatives. As the Lego movie taught us (painfully) “everything is awesome.”

But if everything is awesome then nothing is.

A Candid Conversation on Race, Grace, and the Church

Many talk about the unique history between blacks and whites in our land. In too many churches, however, many brothers and sisters never talk about it, making these subjects gaping holes in our discipleship.

How Did God Guide The Biblical Writers?

Nowhere are God’s methods more obvious than in the writing of Scripture. God could have simply dictated His Word through one man, or maintained a consistent tone and vocabulary across several human authors. Instead, as we’ll see today, He worked through a diverse collection of authors and personalities to deliver His Word to His people, without sacrificing the continuity or character of Scripture.

Demonically Good Theology

It is true. You can say the right thing in the wrong way. I want to point out two implications from the above passage. First, we will look at the craftiness of the Enemy. Second we will discover the need for Holy Spirit led discernment.

A Love Like That

Most Reformed Christians like Charles Hodge. And rightly so. He was a brilliant, faithful, and hugely influential theologian. But do not labor for a theology like his without also working hard for a marriage like his.

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

10 Things You Should Know about the Love of God
The contemplation of divine love in its biblical fullness is never something that ends in itself. Our rest in God never finds its fulfillment in ourselves but always leads us out of ourselves toward him and toward others. The love of God is to be lived as well as learned.

Eight Mistakes Churches Make on Their Websites

Many people check your church’s website before they even step foot in your church. 

What Does Unity in the Church Mean for Racial Justice?

A video of Dr. Russell Moore’s session The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation 

C.S. Lewis on the Crux of the Problem

The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting Yourself first—wanting to be the centre—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. 

Three Questions for Bible Journaling

If you’ve never experienced the benefits of Bible journaling, perhaps you find yourself asking the question, “How do I write my thoughts about what I am reading in my Bible?” We like the idea, but have no idea what to write. I wasn’t sure how to begin the process of journaling in my Bible, but asking the following questions about any passage has proved to be a good place to start.