Why Would God Send Anyone to Hell?

This is one of those questions that tends to come up a lot in conversations with people in the community around me, even amongst professing Christians. When it is raised, it is not typically meant as an exegetical argument that challenges the Christian doctrine of justice, but it is a question that comes from a… Read More

Worship and Wrath: Are they mutually exclusive?

As a child, I grew up singing old hymns of the faith — Isaac Watts, Fanny Crosby, Charles Wesley, and the like. Even today, many of these hymns are deeply ingrained in me. Then, somewhere in my early twenties, praise music became all the rage in the church I attended. And so, I was introduced… Read More

Unity, Busyness, Tolerance, and Compromise: Not Synonymous

One of the attributes of the church, toward which we are called to strive, is unity. Indeed, how “good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1) and how important it is that we strive to maintain the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” that must exist within… Read More

God Said It and Yes, That Settles It

God Said it and Yes, that Settles It: An open letter in response to Adam Hamilton, on the United Methodist decision on the question of homosexuality in the church. (Dr. Hamilton’s Original Post can be found here) One of the benefits of the internet age is that it has allowed communication and ideas to be… Read More

The Art of Dissection and High School Biology

If I ever had any aspirations of going into the field of medicine, High School Biology class dashed them to the wind. Now, mind you, I attended a little Public High School in rural Harford County, Maryland and so “state-of-the-art” was little more than a series of spelling words for us. Nevertheless, we had biology… Read More

I Smell Hell!

It is said that the American evangelist, Peter Cartwright (1785-1872), would pronounce these words when he arrived in a new town to preach: “I smell Hell!” And, much like the other revivalists of his era, he would find a place to set up and he would preach to whomever would listen. And indeed, people would… Read More

Do We Really Need Seminaries?

Let me preface what I am about to say with the statement that I had an exceptional experience in a formal seminary atmosphere. In RTS, Jackson, I had the privilege of sitting under some men who were pastors at heart but who were also exceptional thinkers, communicators, and authors. I also made some friendships that… Read More

The Nations as an Inheritance

“He declares the power of His works to His people; He gives to them the nations as an inheritance.” (Psalm 111:6) I had the joy of bringing the word this past weekend to Ministerios Betesda, a Hispanic congregation in south Florida. This was our second time together for a conference and I was invited to… Read More

Titles and Doctors in the Church

“You are not to be called “Rabbi;” for you have one teacher and you are all brothers.” (Matthew 23:8) In Hebrew, the term “Rabbi” was and is used to someone who is an esteemed teacher in the church — literally, the word means “great one,” which shows you some of the esteem that the Jewish… Read More

Is it Really That Important?

“Okay, Pastor Win, lay it all on the table — you preach a lot about doctrine, you teach the Confirmation students a lot about doctrine, you write books about doctrine, and you debate with people over what doctrines are right and what doctrines are wrong — is it really that important? Doesn’t doctrine just divide… Read More

It’s Not Just a Problem with Kids…

At this stage in my life, I have been in full-time ministry for a little over 12 years and for a decade before that, I served the church in the context of preaching pulpit supply. Over that time, I have filled a lot of pulpits, preached more than a thousand sermons, have taught more Bible… Read More

Declining becomes Refining

Over the last decade, many traditional churches in America have experienced a decline in attendance and the membership that corresponds. Of course, much of that decline is in the wake of the mega-church movement that is built around big entertainment and celebrity pastors while also watering down their theology to make it palatable to all.… Read More

Violence all Around Us

As I sit here this morning struggling to wrap my head around the recent school shootings that have taken place, it has me thinking about the violence of our society. True, when students and teachers lose their lives in what is supposed to be a place of learning, not a place of fear, it shakes… Read More

What Must a Christian Believe?

One of the debates that circulates around Christian church circles has to do with what that core body of information happens to be to which all Christians must assent. There are many who would say that the Apostles’ Creed stands as the most basic test of the Christian faith. Yet, I think that we would… Read More

Naming Names

If you spend much time on this blog, you know that one of my concerns is for the Truth of God’s word to be triumphed in a world that throws so much chaff at you that sometimes you feel lost in information overload and don’t know who to believe. As a preacher, this has often… Read More

Fighting Words

In Calvin’s commentary on Seneca’s De Clementia, he argues that “meaning is a function of use.” Now, we may debate over how that is worked out in Seneca or we may debate on how that gets worked out in the rest of Calvin’s later writings. And, while that might be a valuable conversation, my interest… Read More

The Law of God

The longer I live the more things about the mindset of our culture just makes me scratch my head. When I was younger, we used to talk about “Things that make you go, Hmmm…” Today, I wonder if the phrase should be, “Things that make you go, huh?!?” And one of those things that I… Read More

Christian Delight

Question ninety in the Heidelberg Catechism asks, “What is the birth of the new man?” In other words, it wants to know what it is that distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever…or more personally, what distinguishes your life today as a Christian from the way you lived before as a non-Christian. The answer to this… Read More

Are You Ready to Go to Church Tomorrow?

Okay, the pastor is just on one of his soapboxes, again. Sure, this is a soapbox…but if you are a Christian, it should be your soapbox as well. So, hear me out. You see, many people are simply satisfied that you are going to church in the first place — you remember that kind old… Read More

There’s Something Missing from Our Conversation on the Body

In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul makes an impassioned plea for the unity of the body…a unity that can only built up in love, when the body itself is functioning properly (Ephesians 4:16). Love in the body is indeed the “better way” (1 Corinthians 12:31) toward which we should strive. To make his point,… Read More

A Brave New World: Ariana Grande, Terror, and God’s War Psalms

I must confess, for me, music pretty much ended in the 80’s. Okay, so I exaggerate, but I am a kid of the era where Styx wasn’t so much a reference to a mythological river, Jethro Tull was not a historic agronomist, and The Boss was not someone you worked for, but all were musicians… Read More