• New Banner Books and Giveaway

    The Banner of Truth has some good things out this month:

    The_Mouth_of_God Sinclair Ferguson’s latest is now out. From the Mouth of God: Trusting, Reading and Applying the Bible is the first fruits of Ferguson’s retirement from full time pastoral ministry. The book discusses how the Bible as we know it came into being, why we should trust it, and how our lives will look different as a result: “Why the Bible? The brief answer is that Christians believe God communicates through the Bible. He reveals himself in its pages, speaks in its sentences and does so in order to bring us to trust, know, and love him. Through the Bible God makes himself known to us, just as we make our thoughts and plans known to others through the words we speak. To change the metaphor, it acts as the lens through which we begin to see who he is, what he has done for us, and what his will is for our lives. As a result we come to know him for ourselves and to know ourselves better” (p. 4). Continue reading

  • Of Course Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed

    early dateSo is dating. So is marriage. That’s because the people in all of these situations are sinners, so anything they touch will, in some way, be damaged by sin. But blaming “courtship” (or your Vision Forum straw man version thereof) for “dragon” fathers, spineless spinsters, and poor young men who are getting crushed by the courtship machine seems extreme. At the very least, it indicates the need for an understanding of the biblical concept of covenant headship. The arguments in this article are so fundamentally flawed, one has to wonder what sort of homeschooling education produces this logic, or what social bubble spawned the idea that “courtship dads” are more abusive than others. Caricatures are simply not helpful; here are some counter points that may help clearer thinking about courtship. Continue reading

  • Morality without Godliness?

    Dr MLJ“You cannot have morality without godliness. There in a phrase, it seems to me, I have indicated the whole trouble during the last fifty years in particular. There are good people in the land who are very much concerned about morality; but they are not concerned about godliness. You simply cannot have morality, finally, without godliness. And the last half century has proved that to the very hilt. If we go back a hundred years and more we find that the great emphasis was upon godliness. But then a generation came which said in effect, Morality is very good and it is most essential for the country, but of course we do not want this godliness any longer; we no longer believe in the supernatural, we do not believe in miracles, we do not believe that Christ is the Son of God–He was no more than a great moral teacher–and so, of course, we must shed all this godly part of it. And they did so. They thought that they could preserve morality without the godliness. But you see what has happened. Continue reading

  • Open Letter to a Woman With an Adulterous Husband

    1024px-Briefoeffner_mit_kuvert_und_hand_fcmThe following blog post is an anonymous guest contribution; the author wants to come alongside and comfort women who find themselves in this very painful circumstance.

    I’m so sorry to hear of your husband’s unfaithfulness to you. From my experience there is nothing more deflating, demoralizing and hurtful more than this type of rejection. I could say, “I know how you feel,” but the circumstances and situation from affair to affair are all different. So I can’t say with all confidence that I know exactly how you feel. The truth is, only God knows this type of rejection. Continue reading

  • What Does Faith Look Like?

    latimer-ridley-woodcut-detailWhat does faith look like in the Christian life? What is its character? The Westminster Confession of Faith summarizes Scripture telling us that saving faith “is different in degrees, weak or strong.”

    We can see these contrasts both between Christians, and in any individual Christian. Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer were both courageous in faith during the English Reformation, yet at the point of martyrdom, at the stake to be burned, Ridley was struggling, weak in faith, very much in need of the encouragement of Latimer, his brother in Christ: “Be of good comfort, Mr. Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace, in England, as I trust never shall be put out.” The apostle Peter was so weak in faith as to flat out deny Christ to the servant girl; weeks later, by grace, he was strong in faith, fearlessly “street preaching” in the public square in Jerusalem, in the heart of the city that had crucified Jesus. Continue reading

  • What A Christian Woman Knows About Beauty

    120px-Shadow_me There’s been a lot of talk about beauty around here lately. One friend has even labeled the ongoing conversation TBD—The Beauty Discussion. We’ve dragged Augustine, Reformers, Puritans, philosophers, and the Mahaneys into the discussion to help us and our daughters think about women and beauty as Christians. Here are five points:

    Physical beauty is as real as spiritual beauty. Our culture tells women that physical beauty is all that matters. Some Christians react to this by saying that spiritual beauty is the only real beauty. But that’s not true; God created real, physical beauty, and in this world we see lots of it, including in other people. Something purely physical can be beautiful (a flower, sunset, and Taylor Swift’s hair), and we can be thankful for it. There is a tension between physical and spiritual beauty as we strive to maintain body and cultivate soul, but one is not less real than the other, though one is less valuable than the other. Continue reading

  • Understanding Faith

    Weltchronik_Fulda_Aa88_317r_detailHave you ever thought about what saving faith is or what it does? God’s Word tells us that faith is a gift of grace: our faith has been obtained “by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:1) It is something given to us—without our having done anything to merit it. The theologian Thomas Boston describes our receiving faith this way: “We are born spiritually blind, and cannot be restored without a miracle of grace… There is, in the unrenewed will, an utter inability for what is truly good and acceptable in God’s sight.” Even elect souls attempt to resist “when the Spirit of the Lord is at work, to bring them from the power of Satan unto God.” God’s Word plainly declares our inability to create or conjure up spiritual life, including faith, from within. Continue reading

  • My Mother Doesn’t Live In Town

    Segantini_Le_due_Madri Like millions of other women, I don’t live in the same town as my mother. Some women have bad relationships with their mothers, and so living in another town is a relief. But for most, living in the same town as your mother means you have local encouragement and help from someone who has known you for life and loves you anyway.

    Part of me wants to address the issue by saying to myself, “Boo-hoo, stop it with the princess-martyr complex: ‘My mother’s not in town so I can’t go shopping by myself, nap, or get my nails done every Friday’.” Continue reading