Friday, February 25, 2022

A Quick Update

 


Hello there.

You may have noticed that I haven't published an article this year. Soon, I will! There are 2-3 articles that are in development right now. However, due to a variety of factors I haven't been able to sit down and write in a focused manner as much as I like. I anticipate having that time soon, though...So keep an eye out!

One of the additional projects I've been working on this year is a weekly podcast series that follows The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (Mormon) Sunday School curriculum. They're going through the Old Testament church-wide this year and I'm coming alongside the study to offer a Bible Church pastor's perspective. I encourage you to check that out even if you aren't particularly interested in Mormon teachings. You can check out that series on Facebook, YouTube, and Soundcloud.

Of course I still host the Do Theology Podcast, too. We always have lots of fun and exciting things going on over there. The episode coming out this coming Tuesday should stir the pot a little. :)

On Sundays, I'm co-teaching Sunday School and finishing up preaching through 1 Corinthians. You can find all of that on our church's YouTube and Soundcloud pages.

This is a lot of content. May the Lord use it to grow us all for His honor and glory.

Thanks for the support and God bless.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

An Open Letter To Women Who Are Missionary Dating



Introduction

Hello there,

You probably don't know me, but I hope you'll heed the advice in this letter. I'd like to spare you some years (or decades) of pain. This is a sobering letter, but I pray it's also life-changing.

There's a man that you love who isn't everything you want him to be. That's not a surprise -- nobody's perfect.

You're a Christian and he's not. It's a big deal, but is it a deal-breaker?

So far your religious differences haven't hindered your relationship. His "shortcomings" haven't changed the way you feel about him. It's a little awkward sometimes to be sure, but you think this issue will take care of itself along the way. You believe that as long as you love one another it will all work out. You think you can still get married and live a happy life. In fact, you believe it's quite possible that once you're married he'll see the light and believe in Jesus. Why wouldn't he? Well...

Many women have been in your shoes and have thought that the men they loved would change.

Very rarely does it happen.

Monday, December 20, 2021

2021: A Christian Music Review

 


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

Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Call to Believe and Think (in that order)

 

Our church didn't meet in person for about six weeks at the start of the...you know...the thing. When we started meeting in person again in April 2020, we agreed to a basic two-step plan:

1. We will study the issues and think for ourselves in order to form our own personal convictions.

2. We will show grace and kindness toward others, whether or not they agreed with our personal convictions.

It's important that the two-step process is performed in that order.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Brad Wilcox's Broken Piano: A Failed Redefinition of Grace


Latter-day Quagmire

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormon Church") is going to change. They've done it in the past and it will happen again soon. Their path, however, is uncertain.

Patrick Q. Mason, chair of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University, recently said to the Washington Post, "I can see multiple futures for Mormonism. I honestly don’t know which way it’s going to go." 

The Church has to change because they have to survive. Jesus is not building that institution; therefore, they're subject to being overtaken by a variety of forces. Currently, many of their members are dabbling with secular humanism. Covid has given many of the members a break from their regular religious routines and many of them aren't coming back. Others have met the one, true God of the universe and are involved in real churches that preach real grace. They're not coming back, either.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Open Theism Is Heresy


Earlier this year I debated Will Duffy, an open theist, on The Gospel Truth YouTube channel. You can watch the full debate with opening statements and cross-examinations on that channel.

Open theists believe that the future is absolutely open; thus, God does not exist outside of time. (He can't exist in what is "future" to us because the future doesn't truly exist.) They believe humans are absolutely free; therefore, God can't know future events. (If He has certain and exhaustive knowledge of future events, the future must be set.)

This is my opening statement from the debate, which has been mildly edited.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Media Offered to Idols: What to Do with the Resources of the Fallen






Introduction

As long as there have been Christians, there have been apostates. However, there has never been an age like the present, where both faithful Christians and apostates have had essentially equal access and influence over the church. The internet has made it possible for anyone to be influenced by anyone at any time, with no responsible gatekeeper necessarily standing in the way to impose wisdom and discernment on the sources of information rushing over the people. There are websites like this one, of course, that attempt to help people pause and think through certain things. But by and large, we're all like tree mice with small voices in a big forest, limited to influencing the creeping things that happen to pass through our tiny spot of land. There's just no way we can compete with those loud, cackling toucans and bellbirds in the trees above.

Sorry for calling you a creeping thing.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Why I'm Non-Denominational




Introduction and Disclaimers

Recently, a large gaggle of Southern Baptists got together in Nashville, Tennessee. Although I'm sure there were many great conversations that took place and lots of edification had by all, the general characterization of the gathering has been one of bickering and backbiting. From discussions about critical race theory and abortion to electing a new president to discovering heresy on said president's church's website, the convention did not disappoint in the excitement department. Yet, as I observed it all as an outsider, I couldn't help but reflect upon how glad I am that I do not belong to a denomination.

Before I get into all that, let me clarify some things that you're probably already thinking about.

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

 


Listen to this episode



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.