As Innocent as a Snake

There is something deep within the human heart, even the regenerate human heart, that enjoys evil. There is something within us that is drawn, almost magnetized at times, toward those things that are improper or even outright vile. At times each of us wants to see, taste, touch, or experience what God forbids. We want to watch things that glorify evil, to participate in what is off-limits, to experience what God says is unfitting. One of the responsibilities of every …

Keep a Close Watch on Yourself!

It happens with alarming, distressing regularity. And it hurts every time. It hurts every time we see a person we love or admire fall into a great sin or deny a precious doctrine. We are always left asking ourselves how it happened. What went wrong? How did we not see this coming? How did they not see this coming? Every one of these situations is unique and uniquely complicated. And yet there is always an inevitable, terrible simplicity as well. …

Become a Patron

Lay Aside Every Suitcase

On August 3, 2016, Emirates airlines flight 521 crashed at Dubai International Airport. The pilots had just set down the plane when they received a warning that they had landed too late—they would run out of runway before the plane could come to a safe stop. They initiated the go-around procedure which would allow them to lift off, circle the airport, and try again. The plane rose off the runway and began to climb, but then suddenly sank back down …

3 Quick Questions Before Quitting Your Church

We all know there are times and circumstances in which the only right course of action is to leave a church. If the church leadership has apostatized or proven themselves unqualified for ministry, if they are preaching a false gospel, if they have surrendered to the culture, we need to get out. We can leave these churches boldly and without looking back, shaking the dust from our feet. But more often than not, we leave churches for what we might consider …

Is Seminary Really Necessary?

The church has been well-served by pastors who ministered without formal seminary training. John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones are standout examples of men who had impactful and long-lasting ministries even though they never attended seminary. No wonder, then, that the question often arises: Is seminary really necessary? Might it be better to get straight into ministry instead of expending so much time and effort in preparing for ministry? Jason Allen provides an answer in his book Discerning Your …

The Beginner’s Guide to Conflict Resolution

One matter of continual concern to me is interpersonal conflict within the church. It’s not the existence or even the quantity of conflict, but the inability or unwillingness to deal with it when it arises, and this despite the Bible’s clear teaching that Christians are to resolve conflict and how Christians are to resolve conflict. It’s simple: As believers we are not permitted by God to have open, unaddressed quarrels with other believers. We are to work to bring any …

Discerning Your Call to Ministry

We know the concept and are well-familiar with the phrase: “called to ministry.” We know that some men are called in a special way to a special task—the task of gospel ministry. But exactly what constitutes the call, exactly how to understand it, exactly how to know we’ve experienced it—these are matters of more than a little confusion. Thankfully we have been well-served in recent years with books attempting to bring clarity. New to the field is Jason Allen’s Discerning …

5 Questions To Ask of a Book Before You Read It

They are far and away the most common questions I receive (beyond, perhaps, how to pronounce my name—it rhymes with “valleys”): Can you tell me anything about this author? Have you heard of this book? Is it safe to read? Sometimes people ask to avoid wasting time or money on a book that would not be worth either one, and sometimes they ask to avoid the influence of false doctrine. Since I can’t answer all the questions, and since I …

What Should We Do with Books by Fallen Leaders?

Today’s article was sparked by a question from a long-time reader of the site. “With the sad removal from ministry of yet another prominent pastor, I’ve been wondering how we are to view their ministry retrospectively. What do we do with their books? With their sermons? With their tweets and blog posts?” He told of a Christian bookseller who has been left with entire boxes of titles by an author who was removed from ministry. Would it be wrong to …

I Feel I Think I Believe

Have you noticed how everyone today seems to tell us what and how they feel? “I feel like we should pray about that before we do it.” “I feel like Hillary Clinton would make a terrible (or wonderful) president.” “I feel like that’s an unfair statement.” I could be wrong here, but aren’t these “I feel” statements more common than they used to be? It may be a matter of mere semantics or a matter of the evolution of the …