Join Hundreds of Believers Growing Together

This sponsored post invites you to join hundreds of believers at Westminster’s new MinistryNetwork. You’ve faced some hard questions if you’ve ever worked or volunteered at a church. • What do you do when a debate breaks out in a Bible study? • How do you keep your church together when you hear rumors of a split? • How do you respond when a VBS kid from an unbelieving family asks about the difference between boys and girls? • How …

White Fragility and Getting White People To Talk About Racism

It seems like the whole world is talking about race and racism and racial reconciliation. Here in 2020 the conversation has come to the fore with renewed force and renewed urgency. Perhaps no author has played a more central role in this cultural conversation than Robin DiAngelo and perhaps no book has been more widely recommended than her White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Though it was first published in 2018, its moment …

Become a Patron

The Day I Was J.I. Packer’s Mailman

You no doubt heard that J.I. Packer died on Friday, and since then many people have shared their memories and tributes. (See Saturday’s A La Carte for a few of them.) Sadly I never met Packer and never even heard him speak, though I was certainly blessed by a number of his books. But my friend Stephen McCaskell met him on one memorable occasion and I thought it would be fun to have him tell you about it. Here’s his …

Respectable Sins of the Reformed World

Jerry Bridges gave many gifts to the church, not the least of which was his 2007 book Respectable Sins. In it he coined a term that describes a whole category of sins that might otherwise escape our attention. “Respectable sins” are behaviors Christians (sometimes individually and sometimes corporately) regard as acceptable even though the Bible describes them as sinful. They are subtle or refined in such a way that we may even dress them up to become a kind of …

12 Key Statements on Human Sexuality

I want to encourage you to read at least part of a denominational ad interim committee report on human sexuality. That may sound rather drab and difficult, but I am convinced you will find it both helpful and rewarding. It won’t even be particularly difficult. So let me set the context and then tell you why you should read it. In June 2019 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America adopted a recommendation from its Overtures Committee which …

Are Churches “A Major Source of Coronavirus Cases?”

The New York Times recently ran a column headlined “Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases.” The lede is alarming: “The virus has infiltrated Sunday services, church meetings and youth camps. More than 650 cases have been linked to reopened religious facilities.” Here’s how the story begins: Weeks after President Trump demanded that America’s shuttered houses of worship be allowed to reopen, new outbreaks of the coronavirus are surging through churches across the …

My Great Daily Challenge As a Christian

The great daily challenge I face in Christian living is not a challenge of knowledge—I know what I need to know in order to live in a way that pleases God. It is not a challenge of discernment—there is rarely any great difficulty in distinguishing truth from error and right from wrong. It is not a challenge of ability—there is no temptation I cannot resist and no sin I cannot turn away from when I am indwelled by the Holy …

Another One of Those Family Updates (Graduations, Cameras, Travel)

Over the past few weeks it has been interesting to see how different jurisdictions in Canada and elsewhere in the world have created and released guidelines for worship services during a pandemic. And then it has been interesting to see how different churches interpret those guidelines. Here in Ontario, we were given broad guidelines from the province that were to then be explained and enhanced by more specific versions from the various regions. But since all of these documents were …

A Mid-Year Bible-Reading Checkup (Don’t Give Up!)

Six months ago many of us were excited to kick off the year with a new Bible-reading plan. We had the plan printed out and the Bible laid open and the time set aside. We began with a lot of discipline and enthusiasm. But along the way, life happened. We missed a day here and there, then missed a week, then realized we had fallen far behind. Now, halfway through the year, many of us have given up and are …

Follow the Way You Want To Be Followed

Most of us lead, but all of us follow. God has so structured authority in this world that almost all of us are leaders in some areas of life and followers in others. Parents lead their children while following government. Managers lead their teams while following the CEO. Directors lead their organization while following the Board. Few of us are without some responsibility toward leaders and some responsibility toward followers. Following comes before leading. We are born under the first …