• Facebook, Privacy, and Marital Oneness

    IMG_4614Maybe it’s me, but there seem to be an awful lot of couples posting things on their facebook accounts to each other about their relationship. From “you’re the best boyfriend ever” to “he said ______ when he proposed” to “I’m pregnant, Honey”.

    Now, the emotional side of a relationship is just as real as the sexual one. Making out in public is unacceptable, but the emotional equivalent is almost expected online. Nobody minds if a couple holds hands, or gives each other a peck on the cheek, but even unbelievers keep public displays of affection under control when there are other people around. But so often, Christian couples are “over the top” in their emotional interaction online. Continue reading

  • A Good Elder

    The Ordination of Elders in a Scottish Kirk, 1891 “At the meetings of Session, his genial temper, his strong good sense, his business habits, and his familiarity with the law and practice of the church made him a model clerk.

    But, it was in his relations to the congregation generally, and to the members residing in his own district in particular, that his value as an elder most strikingly appeared. He was always ready with a warm welcome to every new member, and had a kind word even for the stranger who might turn aside to worship in the New North for a single day. His presence at both services on Sabbath could be confidently reckoned on; and those who attended the prayer meeting will not soon forget the simplicity, the directness, and the fervor of his prayers. Continue reading

  • Mentoring 101

    1024px-Pieter_de_Hooch_-_At_the_Linen_Closet“Mentoring is so American,” a friend from another country told me. We were talking about older women mentoring younger women, and she had a different take on it than most people around me. “Where I’m from, people would never do it. They just take part in the life of the church and try to be faithful in their personal lives.” What she meant was that the early 21st century American version of mentoring—more of a Evangelical, programmatic Titus 2 system—was something unique to this culture. And she is probably right: the one-on-one coffee dates, note taking, and arranged, lay shepherding isn’t exactly something that has a timeless or universal feel. Not that this “American” version of mentoring is wrong, it’s just a cultural expression of Protestant America trying to help the older women teach the younger women. Continue reading

  • Thinking About Jesus

    Open Bible“Brothers and sisters, we ought to think of Jesus Christ as we do of God, as judge of the living and the dead. And we ought not to belittle the one who is our salvation, for when we belittle him, we also hope to receive but little. And those who listen as though these are small matters do wrong, and we also do wrong, when we fail to acknowledge from where and by whom and to what place we were called, and how much suffering Jesus Christ endured for our sake.

    What repayment, then shall we give to him, or what fruit worthy of what he has given to us? And how many holy acts do we owe him? For he has given us the light; as a father he has called us children; he saved us when we were perishing. What praise, then, shall we give to him, or what repayment in return for what we have received? Our minds were blinded, and we worshiped stones and wood and gold and silver and brass, things made by humans; indeed, our whole life was nothing but death. Continue reading

  • 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. 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