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The Devil Made Me Do It?

James is emphatic that it is "our desires" that lead us into temptation, but what about spiritual warfare? Isn't Satan involved in our temptations to sin?...

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The Crook in the Lot

Thomas Boston's pastoral reflections on facing suffering offer a challenging word to American Christians: Submit. ...

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The Attraction and Danger of Parallel Institutionalism

While reading Stephen Nichols book Jesus Made in America, I came across the term "Parallel Institutionalism" for the first time. What this concept refers to is one that I am sure we are all familiar with - the creating of "christianized" alternatives/counterparts to "worldly" institutions.  An obvious example of this would be in the world of sports and recreatio...

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The difference between "Religion" and Biblical Christianity

What's the difference between "Religion" and Biblical Christianity? Tim Keller, in his book Center Church, has a helpful comparison summarized below.  Religion  Biblical Christianity  "I obey, therefore I'm accepted."  "I'm accepted; therefore I obey."  I obey God in order to get things from God.  I obey God to get God - to...

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What Disney's Frozen taught me about Catechism

As someone who believes that God has given Christian parents the primary responsiblity for raising their children "in the discipline and the instruction of the Lord" (Eph 6:4), I have always been a strong advocate of catechism. But something happened last week that has given me an even greater sense of urgency in catechizing my children: My house was "frozenified."   ...

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The 7 A's of Confession

"I'm sorry I spoke the way I did, but you know I was really tired..." "I'm sorry if  I offended you by what I did..." "Maybe I could have tried harder.." "I guess I was wrong when I said those things about you..." "Let's just forget the past..." What do all of the above have in common? They are examples of apologies to others that fall short of what God calls us ...

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"I believe in the holy catholic church?" What is the Apostles Creed referring to?

At our church we recite the "Apostles Creed" together nearly every week. Nearly every week, then, we all repeat the phrase "I believe in the holy catholic church." For many christians, this assertion is problematic, because it could be understood as an endorsement of the Roman Catholic church. Is this what the Creed is referring to? What exactly are we confessing when we a...

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Do our good works really please God?

The book of James often leaves us in a place of cognitive dissonance.  We know from Scripture (and experience) that all of us continue to sin, even as believers (1 John 1:8-9). We know that even our "good works," if examined closely, are mixed with unbelief and impurity. We know that, because of the indwelling sin that remains in us (Gal 5; Rom 7), we are unable to p...

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Need Wisdom? Ask God, Then Ask Others

James tells us that God promises to give us the wisdom that we need for our lives. But how does he give it to us?...

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The Christian and the 4th Commandment

Last week I read about a recently ordained PCA minister who took an exception to the Westminster Confession's articulation of Sunday as the "Christian Sabbath." It's not suprising to hear of a minister taking exception to the Confession's teaching regarding the restrictions that apply to the Sabbath. Over the years I have heard many ministers express their concerns that th...

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