Reclaiming the Language of “Temptation” in Christian Discussions of Human Sexuality

I recently sat in (yet another) seminar about how to counsel Christians[1] who are tempted toward same-sex sexual activity or tempted to embrace a gender contrary to their birth sex. I left the seminar helped in a number of ways. But I was struck once again—since I have begun to identify this as a pattern—that … Continue reading Reclaiming the Language of “Temptation” in Christian Discussions of Human Sexuality

What Does “As the Deer Pants for the Water” Mean (Psalm 42:1)?

I used to love Psalm 42. I still do. But now it’s for a slightly different reason. When I was younger, I often quoted the first words of the Psalm as an expression of passion for God. I understood it to be an expression of zeal to know God…an intense longing to be close to … Continue reading What Does “As the Deer Pants for the Water” Mean (Psalm 42:1)?

Personas, Platforms, and Profits

About a year ago I spent a couple hours talking with my long-time friend, Adam Day (a professor at Tyndale Seminary in Amsterdam, the Netherlands), about the question of how much and in what manner it is appropriate for a Christian author to promote his or her writings. We talked about pitfalls, motivations, and the … Continue reading Personas, Platforms, and Profits

What is a “Stronghold”? (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

“We pray against this stronghold…” Have you ever heard someone utter this line in prayer—or have you uttered it yourself? If you have ever used this expression, what did you mean when you used it? What is a “stronghold”? The answer to this question depends upon 1) whether you are trying to define the word … Continue reading What is a “Stronghold”? (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

The Relationship between Revival and the Bible

The final two pages of J. N. Morris’s study on the history of spiritual renewal (Renewed by the Word: The Bible and Christian Revival Since the Reformation) draw a clear relationship between revival and the Bible. Morris’s comments are worth the two minutes it will take you to read them: "If it is the conviction … Continue reading The Relationship between Revival and the Bible

“All Fall Short of the Glory of God.” But What is the “Glory of God”?

What is the meaning of “fall short of the glory of God” (ὑστεροῦνται τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ) in Romans 3:23? (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)  It is not uncommon to hear people in our churches paraphrase this clause as falling short of God’s righteous standard. But where else does … Continue reading “All Fall Short of the Glory of God.” But What is the “Glory of God”?

“Authenticity”

Authenticity. Now there’s an important word in our generation. Young people are fed up with fakeness and sick of sham. Not long ago a youth pastor told me that the kids in his youth group preferred listening to unpolished or even stammering speakers whom they perceived as genuine over speakers who were slick but inauthentic. … Continue reading “Authenticity”

Does Your Mind Wander in Prayer?

This past weekend I participated at a conference on prayer with my colleague David Talley. One of the questions I was asked during a Q & A time had to do with mind-wandering during prayer. Does your mind ever wander when you’re trying to pray?  Here are ten suggestions that might help you when your … Continue reading Does Your Mind Wander in Prayer?

What Does it Mean to be “Reformed”?

I am writing this post with one sort of person in mind: the student who has just discovered the depth and wonders of theology, including Reformed theology. I teach at a theologically conservative evangelical seminary and university that has hired—not exclusively—many professors who are highly appreciative and often deeply indebted to the Reformed tradition. In … Continue reading What Does it Mean to be “Reformed”?

Christian Hospitality

My wife is remarkably hospitable—far more than I. For ten straight years at her instigation, we invited all of my enrolled college students over every week during the academic year for dinner and spiritual conversation. (Fortunately, it never happened that they all showed up on the same evening. Whew!) We have scaled back a bit … Continue reading Christian Hospitality