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Discussing Civil Disobedience

If you are in TGC or reformed-type circles you have likely heard about the decision by Grace Community Church in California to defy the state’s orders prohibiting their indoor worship gatherings. This position marks a change from GCC’s earlier stand of compliance with the state. In response to the GCC statement, Jonathan Leeman of 9Marks warned that although GCC may think civil disobedience is warranted, other churches should be careful not to rush to do the same. If you’ve followed this, you know that such disagreements between friends are amplified through the digital echo chamber of social media.  Support for...

“Ill-Advised Zeal for Righteousness”: Calvin and That Awfully Divisive Person in Your Church

The most effective way to discourage your pastor is to be a source of discord in your church. Watching as the cracks of division slowly open is like watching a natural disaster from afar; there’s nothing anyone can do about it but wince. In Reformed circles, we pride theological orthodoxy and are quick to blow Knox’s proverbial trumpet at the slightest theological (or political!) provocation. Heresy is, rightly, seen as disastrous for the soul, but we forget that in the early church schism was as bad as heresy. To be a schismatic was akin to being an Arian. This is...

Expertise for the Just And the Unjust

The struggle for reputable information over the past few months has been frustrating. Whether due to the sheer volume of COVID-19 related publications or the confusing messages issued by public health, it is difficult to know who to trust. The tendency for many of us is to reject the advice of these fallible people altogether. How should Christians respond?  Believing in both God’s good creation and the subsequent Fall, we must be ever mindful of the tension that exists between how experts and their knowledge can be beneficial or detrimental to human flourishing. But in a climate where expertise is...

What Does Christian Political Discourse Look Like?

Given the pandemic, politics has increasingly entered into our minds. Christians have felt the need to equip themselves to understand the political situation. While it is important to so, I want to suggest that we have an even greater need. We need to know how we should talk about politics ethically because we have fallen prey to unvirtuous and so vicious political discourse. Political Discourse Christians have too often given in to the temptation to dismiss and demonize political persons. We have allowed the secular political discourse to renew our minds so that we can only see liberal versus conservative,...

J.I. Packer: Seven Personal Reflections

Image: Regent College / Youtube. I met J.I. Packer in the early 1990’s, and I worked with him (off and on) since 1994. Before I share several things about him, I first want to share a story about someone else that I believe probably captures what he would say about what I am about to write.  Story I used to do a monthly service at a Senior’s residence. The main organizer of the service was a resident I will call Sue. She always insisted that I stay for lunch after the service so that we could chat. She was elderly...

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