Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Is My Son My Brother?

 

Recently, my seven-year-old son partook of the communion elements with our church body for the first time. As a Christian father who also happens to be a pastor, the whole situation made me nervous. He's our oldest child and this had never happened to us. Though we had been waiting somewhat expectantly for this moment, it became clear in my heart that I wasn't quite ready.

Our approach to local church ordinances (communion and baptism) for our children has been to let them bring it up to us first. We don't want to coerce them in any way. Ultimately, if the Lord has so worked in their hearts to bring them to faith in Jesus Christ, He will work in their hearts to impart His means of grace in their lives. However, I didn't quite feel that confidence when the Lord was actually doing that work.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

5 Marks of Harmful Megachurch Culture

 



Introduction

Megachurches are a modern phenomenon. More specifically, they're a modern American phenomenon. An article from the University of Washington written nearly a decade ago sums up both the definition of a megachurch and just how effective they have been:

Megachurches, or churches with 2,000 or more congregants, have grown in number, size and popularity in recent years, coming to virtually dominate the American religious landscape. More than half of all American churchgoers now attend the largest 10 percent of churches.

Megachurch services feature a come-as-you-are atmosphere, rock music and what [James] Wellman calls a “multisensory mélange” of visuals and other elements to stimulate the senses, as well as small-group participation and a shared focus on the message from a charismatic pastor.

The researchers hypothesized that such rituals are successful in imparting emotional energy in the megachurch setting – “creating membership feelings and symbols charged with emotional significance, and a heightened sense of spirituality,” they wrote.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Good News for the Woke


Introduction

The woke movement is a works-based religion. By nature, work-based religions contradict themselves. They require you to earn your own righteousness, yet your own righteousness is never enough for genuine acceptance or assurance. Religions such as these place you at the bottom of a downward-moving escalator that is running toward the floor faster than you could ever climb upward.

"There's rest at the top," you're told. But no one has ever been there.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Great 3:16s of the Bible

 


For some time, I've been fascinated with the 3:16s of the Bible and how they tell much of the story that God has written -- particularly on the topic of redemption. So, on this 3-16 day, I thought I'd put together a compilation of such verses for some fun edification.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Four Heresies All Mormons Believe



To hear a full conference-style presentation of these issues, please refer to my YouTube channel to see parts one and two.

"Mormonism" is a large, nuanced religion that contains a wide range of beliefs, varying from member to member. However, there are at least four beliefs that every Latter-day Saint holds to, being definitional to the religion in some sense. Each of these four beliefs is heretical, meaning it rejects clear, biblical teaching on the issue. To learn more about what those teachings are, check out this episode of the Do Theology podcast, as well as this chart.


Update: I joined Aaron Shafovaloff for a discussion of this article on his YouTube channel.


1. "The Book of Mormon is true."

This is the most fundamental point of Mormonism. The Latter-day Saint missionaries knocking at your door have one immediate goal in mind: to introduce you to a new testament of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon. It is their goal for you to bear a "testimony" of this cornerstone scripture of their faith.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Postmillennialism in Vogue

 


I was recently asked what big theological issue is burning hottest in the current, broad Evangelical conversation. There are many ways to answer that question, but what first came to mind is the issue of postmillennialism. Before I continue, it would be good for this issue to be defined. Here's a summary from one of my go-to theology sites on the internet.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

What's True for You Is True for You

 




Introduction

There are many decisions we have to make in life that are uncertain. We do our best to hear out all sides, weighing the pros and cons, only to be found a little more confused than when we first started considering these things. This is the most complicated when we're dealing with an issue that is totally subjective, meaning it's a matter of opinion. When there's no "Right vs. Wrong" element, we sometimes feel at a total loss regarding the best choice to make.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Resolve to Inconvenience Yourself


Monday will be the day that many of us get serious about doing better things in 2021. You have goals and dreams -- and that's good. An aspect of Christian stewardship is improving and growing. You should desire to take the gifts God has given you and "excel still more," (1 Thessalonians 4).

This year, many people will be even more serious about making 2021 a better year than the previous one. Let's face it -- 2020 was difficult and presented a variety of unique challenges. But we should not shake our fists at the heavens, as I noted on Facebook earlier this week.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

My Top 5 Most-Viewed Articles of 2020

 Much can be (and has been) said about 2020. For JeremyHoward.net, 2020 was the most successful year yet in terms of traffic. Here are my top five most-viewed articles of the year that was.





5. It's Not Enough: Dustin Kensrue's Turning Away 

Published November 26, 2019

5,000+ views in 2020

This is my explanation of how once-orthodox rocker Dustin Kensrue evolved into a process theologian. At one time, he wrote great songs for the church. Now he mocks evangelical Christianity.







4. 2020: A Christian Music Review

Published December 21, 2020

5,000+ views in 2020

Each year I release a catalog of the year's best Christian music. Tim Challies shares it every year, which helps drive traffic to the site. I'm thankful for that -- and I'm thankful to all of you who look forward to it each year!





3. Stop Inviting the Holy Spirit to Your Church

Published August 17, 2017

6,000+ views in 2020

This is one of the rare articles on my site (perhaps the only article) that gains views each year since publication. The comments on this one are interesting, so you may want to scroll down and look at those.




2. The State of the Conservative Christian Union

Published February 11, 2020

9,500+ views in 2020

In this article, I did my best to articulate the climate of conservative evangelicalism. It's a fascinating and ever-changing world. These days, it's important to know who stands where -- and to know who you can trust.




1. Good Mythical Morning: Not Christian Programming

Published March 1, 2020

13,000+ views in 2020

This is the sad story of two "internetainers" who, at one time, lived Christian lives, then turned away from the faith. The article walks through what they've recounted about their faith and then provides a Christian analysis.

Monday, December 21, 2020

2020: A Christian Music Review




"Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world."
Martin Luther