Listen to the Church in China

Christians in the West hear a lot about the church in China. We hear of its growth, of its strength, of its suffering, of its perseverance. We admire it and often laud it, yet in truth know very little of it. Though we often hear about the church in China, we rarely hear from the church in China (for at least a couple of reasons: There is a need for many of those believers to keep a low profile and, …

The Loveliest Place

We can sometimes get dismayed as we think about the church. We can sometimes get frustrated or even embittered. And sometimes our dismay is fair, for the church is made up of people who, though they love the Lord, still sin against God and still harm one another. Though it is a blessing to belong to the church, it can also be a challenge and even a trial. Yet in God’s eyes, the church is beautiful. It is lovely. It …

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What Kind of Men Does the Church Need?

Masculinity has become complicated. At least, it has become difficult to be confident about what it means to be a man—to be a man as God has designed men to be. The culture has plenty to say about masculinity that is toxic, but far less to say about masculinity that is good and honoring. We hear more about women becoming men than men simply being men. And many wonder: What are men meant to be and what are men supposed …

Health, Wealth, and the (Real) Gospel

Wherever the true gospel makes inroads, we can be sure that false gospels will follow close behind. Wherever the true gospel begins to win the hearts of men, we can be sure that false gospels will begin to compete with it. And sure enough, one of the most attractive, most deceptive, and most pernicious of today’s false gospels is the one known as the “prosperity gospel.” The prosperity gospel promises that those who love God will inherit not only the …

Strange New World

Whatever else is true of the modern, Western world, this much is beyond dispute: It is not what it used to be. We have entered into a new world that is very different from the one that came before, a new world that in many ways feels so very strange. Many of us feel like immigrants who have inadvertently found ourselves in a new world and are learning to adapt to its new rules, its new norms, its new mores. …

Is It Unspiritual To Be Depressed?

Is it unspiritual to be depressed? Or perhaps, said better, is it necessarily unspiritual to be depressed? Most of us would agree that the answer is “no.” Of course we would want to include some nuance to affirm that spiritual malaise or emotional despondency can sometimes be the result of sinful thoughts or actions and in such cases there may be a connection with a lack of spirituality. But we also know that sometimes depression appears mysteriously, providentially, and unprovoked …

The Real Cost of Social Media

Like it or not, we live in a world dominated by social media. While many older forms of media continue to exist and to exert their influence, all have in some way had to bow before the ascendancy of new media. It is pervasive, it is ubiquitous, it is addictive, and it is changing everything. Yet because social media rose with lightning speed and so quickly became nearly omnipresent, we may already have lost sight of the influence it has …

Same Words, Different Worlds

I have been meaning to write a review of the latest book by my friend Leonardo De Chirico: Same Words, Different Worlds: Do Roman Catholics and Evangelicals Believe the Same Gospel? Leonardo is a pastor and scholar in Rome whose primary area of expertise is a Protestant perspective on Roman Catholicism. In this review, written by missionary Glenn Ainsley, you will learn why this book is interesting, informative, and helpful. Like most evangelical Christians who were raised under the influence of the American …

You’re Only Human

You know as well as I do that you are a finite being. Yet you know as well as I do that at times you fight against your finitude, you battle against your inevitable limits and boundaries as if they are a problem to be overcome or even a sin to be repented of. Yet what if your limits are not a bug but a feature of your humanity? What if these limitations are God’s gift and, therefore, good and …

50 Ethical Questions

These are confusing times, aren’t they? These are confusing times for those who wish to live according to God’s Word and unto God’s glory. There is a host of questions we need to wrestle with, a host of ethical dilemmas we need to consider. Is abortion permissible? Is it permissible in cases of rape or incest? Is it permissible when a child has been diagnosed in utero with a developmental disability like Down syndrome? What about with a fatal condition …