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Jan 2020 9 Jan 9, 2020

Of all the questions I’m asked by other Christians, one tops the list: what is the meaning of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, or the unpardonable sin, and have I committed it? In earlier articles and in the chapter on this subject in my book, Tough Topics (Crossway), I labored to point out that this is not some inadvertent, singular, or even occasional sin. I also made it clear that those who live in fear and anxiety that they have committed this sin are the least l...Read More

Jan 2020 6 Jan 6, 2020

Yes, I know the Christmas season is behind us now. It’s typical of most Christians, once December gives way to a new year, to turn their attention to other themes and the responsibilities of the new year. But permit me for a brief moment to linger with the Christmas story and the events surrounding the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. As I was preparing to preach on Matthew 2 at Christmas, I couldn’t help but notice how often God employed angels and dreams an...Read More

Jan 2020 1 Jan 1, 2020

It’s time once again for my selection of the best books released in 2019. I’ll list them from 10 to 1. By the way, there were a couple of ties along the way. (10) Matthew Barrett, editor, The Doctrine on Which the Church Stands or Falls: Justification in Biblical, Theological, Historical, and Pastoral Perspective (Wheaton: Crossway), 912 pages. With the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017 there were numerous books devo...Read More

Dec 2019 31 Dec 31, 2019

This article will be short and straight to the point. It may also prove to be the most insignificant thing I’ve ever written. It is largely inconsequential. But I can’t let it pass. I can’t begin to count the number of times over the last several months that I’ve heard or read someone say something about the end of the decade. It usually comes in conjunction with a “Best Of the Decade” series, be it songs, movies, books, athletes, or ...Read More

Dec 2019 23 Dec 23, 2019

There are numerous traditions associated with Christmas that on closer examination are shown to lack any basis in biblical fact. One of them concerns the place of our Lord’s birth. We read in Luke 2:6-7 that while Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, “the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” The traditional po...Read More

Dec 2019 16 Dec 16, 2019

One often hears from the cessationist that a distinction should be made between certain, so-called “sign” gifts such as tongues, prophecy, miracles, and healing, which, they contend, are no longer given to the church, and all other gifts of the Spirit. However, much to the surprise of many, the phrase “sign gift” appears nowhere in Scripture. Cessationists often (always?) create a special category for certain miraculous gifts and speak of them as...Read More

Dec 2019 9 Dec 9, 2019

In his new book, Against the Darkness: The Doctrine of Angels, Satan, and Demons (Crossway, 2019), Graham Cole makes this important observation: “One of the questions that animates so many today is whether we are alone in the universe. The thought that humanity is the lonely product of blind evolutionary processes chills. . . . Indeed the human imagination is not content with such solitariness, and so we find all sorts of alien beings frequenting popular enterta...Read More

Dec 2019 2 Dec 2, 2019

One of the more astounding things that Jesus said is found in John 8:24. There he declares that “unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.” The personal pronoun “he” is not in the original Greek text. Most times in John’s gospel this sort of statement is followed by a more explicit declaration of who Jesus is. For example, he will say things like, “I am the bread of life,” or “I am the good shepherd,” o...Read More

Nov 2019 25 Nov 25, 2019

The news has been filled of late with stories of so-called “de-conversions,” especially among some high-profile professing Christian leaders. I’m not here to analyze their lives or their purported reasons for turning away from Jesus. But it did get me thinking about why I am a Christian and am determined, by God’s sustaining gracious presence and power, to remain one forever. There are, of course, numerous reasons why I find Christianity compelli...Read More

Nov 2019 20 Nov 20, 2019

This will most likely be the last article I write in response to my friend Denny Burk. In case you are just now dropping in on the conversation, Denny has responded twice to my argument that “pastor” in the NT is a spiritual gift, not an office. My conclusion from the way that the terminology is used in the NT is that women may well receive this gift. So, yes, I still maintain that it is compatible with complementarianism for a woman to be called a “pas...Read More