When church discipline is sin

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We all know intuitively that there is a line between giving your child a smack and physically abusing him. While we may draw our lines in slightly different places, all decent people understand that there is a line and crossing it is evil. Church discipline is similar, but when it comes to church discipline, where is the line between loving confrontation and abusive harassment? Recent decades have seen a resurgence in the practice of biblical

Do I have enough faith?

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The strength of your faith is not the big deal you might think it is. Jesus made it clear that even the most minuscule amount of faith (think mustard seed) is enough to move mountains. The issue is not the quantity or quality of your faith. The issue is the object of your faith. For instance, if you are at sea in a typhoon, the issue is not the quality/quantity of your faith in your

Why TR-onlyism is necessarily rooted in Ruckmanism

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Those who hold to a TR-only position like to think that they hold a moderate position. They typically repudiate the extremes of Ruckmanism in the strongest terms while repudiating the "extremes" of contemporary texts/translations just as firmly. It is my intention in this post to explain why I believe it is impossible to build a reasonable TR-only position without rooting it in 1611. In other words, I want to show why you cannot distance yourself

But that’s so dogmatic…

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That's how my friend responded to my gospel assertion. "How can you be so absolute?" he continued. "There are no absolutes." His pluralistic confession came as we sat on the concrete chatting in the car park after a long day's work. Without getting too philosophical, pluralism which is similar in many respects to relativism, is based on the word plural (as opposed to singular) and refers to an epistemological system (a conception of the nature/structure

Why the approval of God OR the wilderness is a false dilemma

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In Mark 1:11, Jesus rises from the waters of baptism and is greeted by God the Holy Spirit and God the Father who states simply his deep pleasure in his son: You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased. The struggling, faltering believer hardly dares to hope for a similar approval from God, and yet Romans 8:38-39 is direct: I am sure that... [nothing] will be able to separate us from the

Did Jesus exist?

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Someone recently told me "I have no reason to think your Jesus ever lived or died." The comment seems absurd to those who live within the orb of Christianity, but are there grounds to question the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth? The question really entails two questions. The first question has to do with whether this character named Jesus did indeed live two thousand years ago. If he did, the second question has to

Why Independent Baptist mission is failing… and some thoughts on fixing it

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Recently, an American pastor, Jeremy Wallace, got a lot of attention when he addressed the topic Why Independent Baptist Missions is Failing. I encourage you to read the whole post. An excerpt follows: Something must change with how we do Independent Baptist Missions.  The current process is a colossal failure... We must be good stewards in the area of missions. Currently, we are not. The process of deputation is simply too long and too costly.

When it rains…

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It's that time of year. For some that might mean perpetual darkness. Or perpetual cold and snow. Or perpetual heat. In the Far North, it means perpetual rain. Of course up here we don't flood. Or where we do, it's little surprise and about as much drama. Not all of Australia is so blessed. "That time of year" is often associated with discouragement. Incidence of depression increases during the long night at the poles, during

Can I take a Christian to court?

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Living in a broken world is messy. It would be nice if everyone saw eye-to-eye and problems were easily resolved. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Even believers sometimes find themselves in bitter disputes with other believers. This raises the question: Is it ok to take another believer to court? A common answer to this question is a straightforward—and sometimes emphatic—no. The Apostle Paul addressed the question directly in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. 1 Corinthians 6 1When

Lost for words

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Have you ever found yourself at that point where you're lost for words? You've tried everything, you've done everything you can, and things still turn out bad? What should we do when we come to that place? Here are some meditations. 1) Move to the centre. When we can't explain it and we can't make sense of it, that's the time to move to the core of our faith. It's easy to be distracted by