He Sends None a Warfare Upon Their Own Charges

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The dark waters of the Irish Sea rose to meet the River Bladnoch. The incoming tide moved closer to two lonely figures tied to stakes. What had Margaret McLachlan, in her late sixties, and Margaret Wilson, only eighteen, done to deserve such agonizing deaths? They refused to acknowledge the King’s religion and abjure their brothers…



Avoid Legalism: Emphasize the Law

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Many of today’s young evangelicals have happily thrown off the legalistic fundamentalism of their childhood. They’ve come to a greater understanding of God’s abundant grace, and the gospel has liberated them from slavery to guilt and fear. That’s a very good thing. But I submit that recovering the gospel alone isn’t enough to keep legalism…



Partial Recoveries Encourage Relapses

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I have tried to establish a narrative illustrating the factors that have altered American evangelicalism in the last two centuries and the way in which Baptists in the South experienced the change. The purpose of this series has been to give an interpretive background to the differences of doctrinal perception presently experienced between Calvinists and…



Benjamin Keach’s Covenant Theology and Justification

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Benjamin Keach (1640-1704), one of our early English Baptist forefathers, taught that the doctrine of justification was inextricably bound up with the biblical doctrine of the covenants, and especially with the covenant of grace. According to Austin Walker, “The covenant of grace assumed a central place in Keach’s thinking, so much so that it is…

 

Beware of Your Fictional Church

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His words rang in my ears for days and triggered a few nights of nocturnal unrest. “What were you expecting in the pastorate? You’re not in seminary any more and this church isn’t filled with your seminary buddies. You’re in the real world now, son.” I had been on the job exactly seven days when…



Great Shepherd of Thy People Hear

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How encouraging it is to hear the people of God gathered together for prayer! I’ve enjoyed many opportunities to come to the throne of grace with brothers and sisters in Christ in my local church. We grow stronger as a church when we gather to acknowledge before God and others our weakness and need. Corporate…



Perseverance in Pastoral Ministry

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Repost, from the archives: It’s common wisdom among pastors that no important decision should be made on a Monday. Especially a Monday morning. The nature of pastoral work causes the Lord’s Day to be a day that typically requires a great expenditure of physical, emotional and spiritual energy for a man who gives himself to…



I Am the Captain of My Soul: Billy Graham

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(This post is the latest installment in a series on Billy Graham.  See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.) Graham’s focus on human experience vis-à-vis biblical authority and as an apologetic for the Christian faith provided the bands of attachment to him and his ministry from two directions—both moderates and conservatives found resonance…



Should Christians be Involved in Politics?

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The political season is upon us, and soon we’ll be casting our votes for our chosen political candidates. Some Christians, however, wonder whether we should be involved in politics at all. They think politics are “worldly,” and we’re only faithful to engage the world through evangelism and missions.  Other Christians seem obsessively interested in politics, and seem to think that…