Can We Be Worthy of God’s Grace?
These are important words, holy words, but they aren’t so popular, and perhaps even for a decent (albeit misguided) reason. They might seem at odds with the gospel of grace, putting too much focus on what we do rather than the finished work of Christ. They might tend toward awakening our inner legalists, confusing us into thinking that we can earn favor from God. To be sure, someone somewhere has misused these words that way.
A Time to Weep
In the Old Testament we read how Nehemiah, a Jew in exile from his homeland, learned about the state of the survivors. The bearers of bad news told him, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
WORLD | Little Sisters rejects government ‘accommodation’ | Emily Belz | Sept. 9, 2014
“The government easily could have eliminated the need for this appeal,” the Little Sisters lawyers wrote. “It could have exempted the Little Sisters as ‘religious employers’—just as it would if the Little Sisters’ homes were operated by Catholic bishops. It could have exempted church plans. It could have adopted the ‘most straightforward’ path of just providing contraceptives itself, such as through Title X or tax incentives. Most simply, it could just allow employees of religious objectors to purchase subsidized coverage on the government’s own exchanges. But instead of these obvious and more direct approaches, the government continues to insist that the only way the United States could possibly distribute contraceptives is with the forced participation of the Little Sisters and their plan.”
EQUIP, Christian Articles, Bible Answer Man | CRI
Should Christians use in vitro fertilization? In vitro-literally “in glass”-fertilization (IVF) is an increasingly popular form of reproductive technology that should raise significant moral concerns in the hearts and minds of believers. First, there are major moral concerns associated with using biotechnology in place of the natural means for procreation. The fertilization of an egg […]
“This is the most confident I’ve ever been in who I am,” he says. “I’m not trying to figure myself out anymore. I think there’s never been an album where I wasn’t trying to figure out who I was or where I stood. I don’t mind being vulnerable and putting myself on display. There’s a lot of stuff I’m sharing about my life on this album that I’ve never shared with anybody. I had to actually call my mother and tell her some of these things before I put it on wax so she wouldn’t just hear it and say, ‘Woah.’”
Anomaly by Lecrae
Anomaly is defined as “something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected”. Well, we asked for something that was so groundbreaking and lyrically deep as Rebel and guess what, he was listening. This album is truly remarkable with its own unique fresh sound that no one could have seen coming. We all knew Lecrae was a mastermind lyrically with his gift from God, however this album continues to elevate him further, proving that he will never reach a plateau. But how could he? After all, The God of all creation is writing his rhymes. Anomaly is certainly a must buy and easily sets the bar even higher than he had set it previously. Praise Jesus for Lecrae.
7 Life Lessons to Teach When Getting Your Kids a Cell Phone - Dad Matters
Whenever you decide to do it, getting your son or daughter a cell phone is a big milestone for them – and another step down Independence Blvd. Given all that you can do with a phone, especially a smartphone, it’s also a big responsibility. We took the plunge and got our oldest his own mobile phone this past week.
Grace to You
In a recent, introductory sermon to the book of Acts, I made some observations about the culture in which early Christians lived. I noted that the environment at the time of the church’s birth was not Christian friendly. The world in which the first Christians...
Five Celebrity Preachers Who Ignored Joel Osteen’s Advice
Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, has written numerous bestsellers encouraging people to “live at [their] full potential” and offering a method of spiritual disciplines guaranteed to open the floodgates of God’s blessings. Countless believers throughout the world have employed these disciplines and reaped the benefits, living lives of abundant happiness without the burdens of sickness, poverty, sorrow, or suffering. But some celebrity preachers have bucked the Osteen trend and opted to embrace rejection and hardship now to live their best lives later. Here are a few notable examples.
The seminary community gathers to worship in Alumni Memorial Chapel on Tuesday and Thursday at 10a.m.
What Is the ‘Abomination of Desolation’?
If a group of Christians sat down to list perplexing passages, it wouldn't take long for someone to mention Matthew 24:15-16: "So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
Andrew Fuller Conference
George Whitefield was not only the most celebrated preacher of the eighteenth century, but he was also a central figure in the creation of modern Evangelicalism. His emphasis on the new birth, his passion for evangelism, his ability to cross denominational boundaries and build networks of Christians based on the gospel and Reformation convictions were central features in what we know today as Evangelicalism. In this conference celebrating the tercentennial (1714) birth of Whitefield, we will explore these key themes of this remarkable Christian’s life and what they meant for his day and mean for ours.
Christianity’s central doctrine being twisted?
“Actually this type of teaching resurfaces on a regular basis. Trace it back 50 years, 100 years, and church leaders were dealing with hyper-grace. One of the claims is that it is new revelation, and John Crowder represents a much smaller sphere of influence, but he’s also stated that after you read his books you want to throw out other books and not listen to your preacher. Claims like that need to be examined very carefully.”
What the Church Can Learn from Chick-fil-A
Chick-fil-A won’t take on new franchise owners just because they have the money. More important than funds is character, integrity, and trust. Which makes finding new operators a lengthy process and slows down the speed of how quickly the chain could expand otherwise. But it’s worth it in the long run. Says Truett, “The most important decision we make at Chick-fil-A is selecting restaurant Operators . . . . Our franchise Operators determine the success of the chain” (64).
The First Genocide to Be Tolerated Out of Social Awkwardness
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has called radical political Islam the “face of tyranny” today and has compared the suffering of Christians in the Middle East with violence against Jews in the past. “It would indeed be awful to think,” he said, “that the West might remain silent as violence rages purely out of a failure to recognize that Christians can be victimized, or out of a reluctance to cast aspersions on certain brands of Islam. It would make this the first genocide in history to be tolerated out of social awkwardness.” Some Muslim leaders have also felt it their duty to speak out, including Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt. He has said that ISIS is a danger to Islam and has accused it of violating “all the Islamic values, the higher objectives of Islamic law as well as universal values shared by all mankind.”
Stirrings of Revival in Latin America
Because of dissatisfaction with superficial Christianity, there is an amazing hunger for the Word of God throughout Latin America. True believers are devouring anything that will help them handle the Word of Truth. More and more we hear of churches turning to sound doctrine for the first time. In a recent conference, I saw more than a hundred pastors from different countries step forward and repent of ministries that did not honor God.
The Pastors.com Daily
The Pastors.com Daily, by Pastors.com: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.
House Church Critiques of the Megachurch: 3 Ways to Make it Better
[W]hat does it look like as methodological diversity increases? There will be Vineyard church plants that are planted similarly to how Johnny Crist planted the Atlanta Vineyard. However, my guess is that there will be communities of faith, house-church-like congregations, that are spread out over areas, not unlike the Nashville Vineyard. So, how can a network that was birthed by planting large, Spirit-filled, multiplying churches expand and embrace new expressions?
Three Questions to Help Diagnose Possible Football Idolatry
For everything we’re so rigid about it amazes me sometimes we turn blind eyes to the evil of football and other professional/college sports I guess. And this is more of a personal inventory I guess because I know something about recruitment practices for college and I suspect if more people did it would make them sick. Money, sex, drugs, alcohol you name the sin it’s used to recruit young men to programs and, honestly, people could care less and I’m not really much different and that’s not really even mentioning the meat grinder that a lot of high level athletics is. Kids being pushed through school, fraudulent academics and not just fraudulent but when kids are on track to graduate that can barely read or write there are some real issues. But, hey, as long as he can run or tackle or throw or catch? No problem.. It’s not all like that of course but there’s enough there, for me at least, to take a bit of the enjoyment out of it. Sorry to pee on lots of Wheaties this morning.
‘I Didn’t Want to Do This…’: Filmmaker Sparks Outrage With Upcoming Movie About a Very Contentious Subject
“I didn’t want to do this movie. When different people kept asking for one that addressed homosexuality, I said an adamant ‘No!’ and I was deadly serious,” he told TheBlaze Tuesday. “It just wasn’t going to happen. One of the major reasons for this was that to speak even slightly against homosexuality nowadays is tantamount to being a hate-filled racist.”
God's Not Dead: Refute Atheism: God is Required for Meaning
Christianity is certain and unavoidable. It,
alone, rejects man’s autonomy. Human beings are not omniscient or omnipotent,
thus humanity cannot account for the immutable universals in the laws of logic
and mathematics without God. The Christian worldview declares that God has
spoken and there is real meaning. Christianity declares a worldview that supplies a means to understand
human experience. It announces that the sovereign God has revealed knowledge of
Himself and the cosmos. All non-Christian worldviews including naturalism are
autonomous and cannot provide the truth conditions for the intelligibility of
the world because they are non-universal and self-defeating.
It's All Gift
A few months ago, a well-known Christian speaker tweeted (and I paraphrase), “I’m not especially gifted. I’ve just worked very hard. If you keep pursuing your dreams, God will accomplish dramatic things through you!” She was well-intentioned, no doubt, and sincerely aiming to encourage others. But her gifts of intelligence, communication, and creativity are far greater than average. She has no way of knowing whether her work rate is unusually high or whether her readers will accomplish “dramatic” things. If the apostle Paul were on Twitter, I imagine he’d respond, “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Cor. 4:7).
In giving a summary of what constitutes the true knowledge of God, we showed that we cannot form any just conception of the character of God, without feeling overawed by His majesty, and bound to do Him service.
You Get What You Are | FullerYouthInstitute.org
One Friday afternoon, another mom and I were invited to watch a “play” that the two five-year-olds had created. In this play, there were no fairies, doggies, or princesses. The “story” (if you’ve watched your five-year-old child’s plays, you know that the quotes are warranted) revolved around my daughter playing me and giving her “daughter” a grim lecture.
J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason"
I recently read a post which called for “discernment concerning the Christian music world.” The author, “EvangelZ” writes: We have been told to be discerning in terms of what types of secular music to not assimilate into our minds if it is degrading, anti-Christ, and vulgar, to name a few. But what about the call … Continue reading →
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy dies, leaves legacy of faith in business - On Faith & Culture
Whether you agree with Cathy’s choice of priorities, it’s hard not to respect his commitment to them for 93 years, even when it cost him personally. There is little doubt that Cathy will be remembered as someone who stuck to what he believed was important. As a result, he has left behind more than a slew of fast food franchises; he has bequeathed a philosophy of faith in business that will doubtlessly live on.
God's Not Dead: Atheistic Evolution: Difficulties Make It Impossible
In a widely cited speech, Nobel
laureate David Baltimore remarked, “Modern biology is a science of
information.” Many … biologists have identified information as biology’s
central problem. For matter to be alive, it must be suitably structured. A
living organism is not a mere lump of matter. Life is special, and what makes
life special is the arrangement of its matter into very specific forms. In
other words, what makes life special is information. Where did the information
necessary for life come from? This question cannot be avoided. Life has not
always existed. There was a time in the history of the universe when all matter
was lifeless. And then life appeared—on earth and perhaps elsewhere. Biology’s
information problem is therefore to determine whether (and if so how) purely
natural forces are able to bridge the gulf between the organic and inorganic
worlds as well as the gulfs between different levels of complexity within the
organic world. Conversely, biology’s information problem is to determine
whether (and if so how) design is needed to complement purely natural forces in
the origin and subsequent development of life (William Dembski).
Interview - A Skeptic No More
I don’t pretend to be an expert in the sense that trained and credentialed theologians and Christian apologists are, but I have pored over the evidence and arguments they’ve adduced over the years, and come to the conclusion, after beginning as a skeptic, that this it is not even a close call. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died for my sins — and yours. Jesus’ work on the cross is finished. He conquered sin and death so that we could live. I want to do my part to share that “Good News.”
What Makes Young Evangelicals Less Conservative? Results of New Study May Surprise You
White Millennial Evangelicals who did not know any non-Christians or non-whites among their closest associations were more likely than white Millennial Evangelicals with diverse social networks to agree that "religion causes more problems in society than it solves," "under God" should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, and disagree that "it is important for children to be brought up in a religion so they can learn good values." The only exception to this trend is that those with the more homogenous social networks were more likely to believe that one needs to believe in God to be moral.
Ed Meese: 'This Is The Most Lawless Administration in the History of the Country'
In an interview just days before the 227th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, former attorney general Edwin Meese III issued a sharp rebuke of President Obama and his administration’s actions. “This is the most lawless administration in the history of the country,” Meese told The Daily Signal. After serving in the Reagan administration, Meese went on to become the Ronald Reagan distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
What if Volume in Worship Became Less About Preference and More About Discipleship? - Zac Hicks Blog - Zac Hicks // Worship. Church. Theology. Culture.
Let me give just one closing example to flesh out what I mean. Perhaps it is at the beginning of a service where you want the people of God to "get" that we are entering into an already moving stream of praise happening in the heavenlies. So, while the music may be energetic, there's headroom for congregational voices so that everyone is subconsciously tuned in to the communal nature of worship. But, perhaps later, you may be singing of the gospel and God's great love for us...and you really hope that it hits home, not only to everyone coprorately but to each individually. So you crank up the volume and intensity as you sing of God's love, creating an environment where the people of God feel like they're receiving a big, sonic hug, which says, "O love that will not let me go!" The highs begin to shimmer, the mids blossom, and the lows deepen, moving the accompaniment from something heard to somethign felt, from something "out there" to something "underneath me, all around me." In that moment, it's probably less important that people hear each other and more important that they know, "God loves you.
After Losing to Hobby Lobby, Obama Fighting Nuns Over Birth Control Mandate
The federal government has decided to continue its legal action regarding a lawsuit from a Catholic order seeking an exemption from the Health and Human Services Department's contraception mandate.
Single, Christian, and a Child of Divorce
We all benefit from getting to witness and take part in healthy, godly families in the church, but it is especially transformative for people who haven’t experienced these kinds of families in any other context. Surrounded by whole and healthy families, the layers of fear we hold onto are peeled back as we become front-row witnesses to what God will do, through good times and bad, when a marriage is committed to Christ and his glory, and as a result, to each other.
Jesus Is a Believer's Justification and Sanctification
You and I cannot save our souls, and we also cannot make ourselves holy. Jesus does it all. When you receive Christ as your Savior, you are instantly justified. And then the Lord begins to produce His holiness in you and through you. The credit goes to Jesus. The glory goes to Jesus. And the believer eventually goes to heaven.
Whale sex: It's all in the hips
Whales and dolphins need their hips, it turns out. The bones that we used to believe were vestigial turn out to be important to reproduction. The muscles that control a cetacean's penis -- which has a high degree of mobility -- attach directly to its pelvic bones. As such, it made sense to researchers that the pelvic bones could affect the level of control over the penis that an individual cetacean has, perhaps offering an evolutionary advantage.
Pennsylvania Democrat Promises to Veto 'In God We Trust;' Says National Motto Alienates Non-Christians
Fitzgerald's promise to veto "In God We Trust" was approved by the council's government reform committee. Many members of the committee agreed that Pennsylvania's motto, "Virtue, Liberty and Independence," or another U.S. motto "E Pluribus Unum," should be displayed instead. The bill proposing an amendment to "In God We Trust" is on the agenda for the council's full meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 9.
Dog and Little Girl are Best Friends and Dancing Partners – Both Full of Happiness! (VIDEO)
It almost seems like these two are having a dance recital together and Zoe has some great moves. You will be giggling from start to finish when you see Zoe and Charlotte playing.
Homeless Man Gives Back to Those Who Helped Him in A Remarkable Way (VIDEO)
Wow! What this man does for the people that give to him is an awesome display of generosity. YouTube prankster Dawson of "BigDawsTV" conducted a social experiment by dressing up as a homeless man and seeing whether people would help him or not. As it turns out, most people he encountered helped him out.
The endeavor sprang up as a separate offshoot from TGC’s two live worship albums when an eclectic gathering of musicians and parishioners began exploring artful re-renderings of Marshall’s songs in a SoHo apartment. Untethered from the expectations of a traditional congregational format, including both length and structure, a musical ethos emerged that was more a companion to reflective prayer and meditation than a typical church experience. Attendance at impromptu gatherings soon filled to overflowing, and led to the recording of a studio album that could be shared on a broader level.
Cal State Universities Derecognize InterVarsity Clubs - Stand to Reason Blog
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s requirement that leaders in their campus clubs be Christian has been declared unacceptable discrimination by the Cal State University system. The clubs were told they must cease enforcing their requirement that leaders hold Christian beliefs. InterVarsity declined, and after a one-year exemption period, the 23 university campuses in the Cal State system “derecognized” InterVarsity. This means the clubs no longer have free access to campus meeting rooms, nor can they receive student activity money, participate in student fairs, or use the university name in the name of their clubs.
Grumbling and disputing
Grumbling has to do with the emotional side of complaint. The English translation is onomatopoeic, meaning that the word audibly represents its definition. Maybe you should wait until you're in private to try this, but if you grumble the word "grumble" over and over again, it has the drone of complaint: "grummmmbblling, umb, umb, umb, umb."
Is God Imaginary? | Reasonable Faith
Is God imaginary? Atheists such as Christopher Hitchens claim he is. But when they are asked to provide evidence for the position they hold, many times they reply that proving the non-existence of God is akin to proving the non-existence of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. However the reasons why one believes in God are significantly different from those for which one may believe in Santa. In this article we examine how certain criteria for evidence works, and why one may be epistemically justified in asking for positive evidence for the atheist’s claim that God does not exist. Unless he can provide good reasons for his disbelief, one may confidently answer the question “Is God imaginary?” with a resounding no.
How Did First iPhone Look? Check Out This Timeline of the iPhone Since the First One, and an iPhone 6 Sneak Peek! (VIDEO)
But, before we jump the gun and get into the new innovative technology that Apple has to offer, let's take a look back at the first generation iPhone and compare it to the latest one that was released. Below is a screenshot of all the iPhones from its release in 2007. They were all given a boot test showing which one turned on the fastest as well.
The Pornification of the Church
Thanks for shouting this from the rooftop (in the ears of Christian leadership, especially); for, Nathan-like, telling God's own people that WE are the guilty ones and WE need to get right before we hypocritically presume to be God's agents to call the world to repentance. We need to start living the gospel we preach. Our root issue--the reason we Christians are silent on this--is pride dressed in shame's attire. We are too proud, too ashamed, to admit our own need for the Son to set us free from sin and our unbelief that He is adequate to do so. We audaciously presume that somehow God will continue to bless our small-c christianity in spite of our being in bondage to the very evils we say Christ came to save people from. If we Christians can't openly admit our guilt and need for the Savior to deliver us (i.e. confess our sins to one another, as James admonished), why would we ever expect the world to come to faith and repentance in an impoverished Christianity that promises but seemingly (as the statistics suggest) can't deliver? God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
2015 The Gospel Coalition National Conference April 13-15, Orlando FL
Our 2015 National Conference seeks to stir longing for our ultimate home in heaven as we explore the sweep of redemption from creation to consummation, Genesis to Revelation. Our plenary speakers will unfold the Bible's teaching on eschatology, a topic of burning importance today. Along with these nine plenary sessions we've planned more than 50 workshops and focus gatherings led by speakers addressing topics including evangelism, homosexuality, student ministry, sexual abuse, faith and work, and much more. Join us as we worship God together in word and song with joyful hope that Jesus is returning soon.
Renewing Your Mind | Saving the Phenomena | September 9, 2014
Through millennia, numerous philosophical and mathematical theories have attempted to explain the predictability of the physical universe. What does all of this have to do with salvation? Why would a Christian pay such close attention to the ever-changing world of science? In this message entitled “Saving the Phenomena,” Dr. Sproul helps us understand the need for Christians to understand the world God created.
The first strength of Big God is that Saer manages to address these hard questions with fresh, accessible language without sacrificing depth of content. Take the topic of God’s will, for instance. Scripture often speaks about God’s will in terms of what he desires from his people: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess. 4:3), and so on. Saer terms this God’s “ideal-will.” It reflects his standards for us. Yet the Bible also indicates that the Lord has a more ultimate “will” for the way things will turn out, which Saer calls God’s “plan-will.” This will can’t be thwarted. It includes how God accomplishes ultimate good through evil human actions (Gen. 50:20) and wields wicked powers to accomplish his purposes, as in the exile of Israel (Isa. 10:5ff) and, most supremely, in the death of Christ (Acts 4:27–28). Any faithful doctrine of God must integrate these two biblical streams of understanding God’s will—and Saer does so masterfully, with engaging case studies and a plethora of scriptural examples.
Chick-fil-A's S. Truett Cathy Remembered for His Strong Faith, Christian Business Principles
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association CEO Franklin Graham posted on Facebook, "I knew Mr. Cathy for many years and had the privilege of riding motorcycles with him. He was a fine Christian gentleman that carried his Christian business principles throughout life. His restaurants were never open on Sunday out of respect for the Lord's day. He was kind and extremely generous and used the profits from his business to help others. He will be greatly missed."
Beautiful Mother Sings a Special Song for Her Dying Daughter (VIDEO)
18-year-old Lindsey Lourenco has been battling leukemia for about six years now. It is heartbreaking for a girl this young to suffer something so tragic. After falling into a coma, her mother does something so beautiful it will bring you to tears.
New Every Morning, New Every Moment
Every single moment is new. Every moment is a completely unique creation by God the Father through God the Son who is upholding the universe at that moment by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:2–3). Never is a moment neglected. Never is a moment repeated. Each moment is a new, infinitely powerful and complex word spoken by the Word with deliberate intention (John 1:1). Every moment God makes he decides to be utterly faithful to his character and his purposes. Every new moment God commits to fulfill what he says he will do.