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What’s wrong with the KJV only teaching? (in 500 words or less) – KJV only proponents are usually unfamiliar with the science of lower criticism (how to determine which manuscripts and which readings are preferable), and understandably so: it was by far the most difficult class in seminary. In other words, KJV only people don’t understand how the Bible is translated and why manuscripts are accepted or rejected by translation committees. – Clint Archer

What Must We Do about Foster Care? – If churches take seriously Jesus’ command to care for our neighbors in trouble (Luke 10:37), churches should bear any burden necessary to show the love of Christ to children in need of a home. Over the past ten years, a renaissance has happened, at least among one wing of Evangelical churches, toward doing just that — with many congregations now recognized by their states and localities as the model for mobilizing people for foster care. – Russell Moore

Ten Commandments of a Disability-Friendly Church – The church should be a welcoming place for people of all abilities. This is something that is possible for everyone from the largest megachurch to the smallest rural parish. Taking these steps will go a long way toward creating a space where families with disabilities will feel at home. – Stephen J. Bedard

The Bible is More Than Stories of Morality – The simple fact is the Bible is not just a collection of stories with morals for life application; the Bible is the story of God’s grace in redemption through Jesus Christ. There is a soul-endangering consequence in virtue-based Bible study material, centered on life principles or character qualities, and ripped away from the central focus of the Bible—Jesus Christ. – Ed Stetzer

A Brief History of the Altar Call – There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing an altar call, to be sure. In your church, it may make sense as a way to focus nonbelievers on their need to receive God’s offer of forgiveness through Christ. And publicly professing your faith in Christ, which I see as fulfilled ultimately in baptism, has clear scriptural support in passages such as Matthew 10:32-33. Others such as Jonathan Leeman have written compellingly about how you can modify the practice of altar calls in order to avoid their traditional pitfalls. – Thomas Kidd

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The Legitimate Concerns of the Next Generation of Christians in My Denomination – KJV-Onlyism is a direct challenge to the Bible-centered nature of fundamentalism, because it makes void the Word of God by our tradition—by forcing people to read that Word in a language they don’t and can’t fully understand. It also treats the KJV as perfect and inspired, as an act of divine revelation. This is very serious. – Mark Ward

Is temptation sinful? – Temptation is not sinful when it comes at us from the outside. In the wilderness temptation, the enticement to sin came from Satan, not from Jesus. And that is why Jesus was able to be tempted and yet be without sin (Heb. 4:15). But when the enticement to sin emerges from our own sinful nature, that is an entirely different matter. In that case, the temptation itself is sinful. That is an experience that is unique to sinners and that Jesus himself never experienced. – Denny Burk

Can Your Soul Survive Facebook and Twitter? – The church requires a balance between individuality and community. When individuality becomes disconnected from community, one refuses to submit to one another or to serve one another. But the opposite is also true. If I find my identity in the community, or in the community’s perception of me, I am no longer free to serve the community. – Russell Moore

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Man, it has been awhile since I updated this blog!  I used to feature this list of links I found interesting as a weekly post, but for some weird reason I just stopped.  So, here I am picking it up once again…

3 Ways to Have a Good Argument – In his book, A Rulebook for Arguments, Anthony Weston put it this way: “If you can’t imagine how anyone could hold the view you are attacking, you probably just don’t understand it yet.” – Zach Woodyard

What the Church Can and Should Bring to the #MeToo Movement – In our age of moral outrage, it’s important to remember that that no one is more outraged over this evil than God. The church displays the heart of our defender God by assuming this bias toward broken women. We don’t show partiality as we mete out justice, but we do recognize the power structures in place that perpetuate injustice. In response, we choose to move toward the oppressed and vulnerable, creating safe spaces in which they can share their story and be heard, loved, and cared for. – Whitney Woollard

No, ‘Saul the Persecutor’ Did Not Become ‘Paul the Apostle’ – As God’s people we should endeavor to read God’s Word closely and be as faithful to it as possible, in every area. Application that appears to draw on Scripture but isn’t actually scriptural—even if it’s “useful” or “cool”—can easily undermine someone’s faith once they realize they’ve been misled all along. – Greg Lanier

Billy Graham, flawed social justice warrior, RIP – I will take on young Graham over a hundred would-be experts on Bahnsen who geek out over doctrinal minutiae while sitting on their hands. – Joel McDurmon

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A Word of Empathy, Warning, and Counsel for “Narrow” Complementarians – Christians, furthermore, should know how to adjust their volume depending on whether the matter at hand is a straight-line law issue or a jagged-line wisdom issue. I’ll raise my voice—metaphorically speaking—over abortion. I’ll speak more softly in the tougher matters of policy or ethics. Why? Because I recognize that my calculations are just that, mine, not God’s. I arrived at those conclusions only after several sharp bends in the road. – Jonathan Leeman

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Repenting of Confirmation Bias Christianity – The reason we fall into confirmation bias politically is not essentially a political problem. It is a human problem, which is to say, it is a sin problem—which is to say, it is a problem of self-interest and self-worship. The truth is, you and I are prone to conducting our entire lives along the narratives constructed from confirmation bias. – Jared C. Wilson

How to Teach Boys to Respect Women – Do not let the boys and young men around you ever, even for a millisecond, see you waving away or justifying sexual predation, misogynistic comments, or violence against women by a sports figure because he plays for your team or a politician because he belongs to your party or an entertainer because he makes you laugh. Your hypocrisy cannot only point the next generation away from Jesus, but may also point them toward the way of predation. – Russell Moore

9 John Calvin Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know – He had good friends like Philip Melanchthon, Heinrich Bullinger, Martin Bucer, and William Farrel (for a while). Yes, he had some good friends. But considering his personality, making friends didn’t always come easy for Calvin. He sometimes bullied, intimated, and manipulated people. But some of these same people stayed loyal to him, even being there for him on his deathbed. – David Qaoud

3 Reasons Every Christian Needs to Use the Creeds – When our beliefs are written down and we have them informed by those who have gone before us, we safeguard ourselves from our generations peculiarities and from the tyranny of leaders who would abuse their authority. Like roads on a highway, they keep us from driving onto terrain that will destroy our tires or, as Paul says, to prevent us from shipwrecking our faith (1. Tim. 1:19). – Timothy W. Massaro

Billy Graham, flawed social justice warrior, RIP – I will take on young Graham over a hundred would-be experts on Bahnsen who geek out over doctrinal minutiae while sitting on their hands. Graham actually did it, and he did it when it was tough, and when it mattered; and that’s what we should remember. Graham, when he was at his best, was not just a preacher of the Gospel. He was a social justice warrior in his message and his actions, and when he did it, he did it the right way. – Joel McDurmon

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My Pastor Just Bombed A Sermon – Watch your expectations. Were you expecting your local pastor to be as talented a speaker and preacher as the “big names?” If you were, you might have been setting your expectations a little too high. You should expect your pastor to do well and to have done his studying and preparations. But when you expect greatness you are disappointed by anything less. Rather expect your pastor to be who you know him to be. Expect him to faithfully deliver the Word and to do it as he is built to do it. And as you expect your pastor to be himself, support him in that. – Adam Kareus

Don’t Be A Fundamentalist (Calvinist Or Otherwise) – When you elevate your doctrinal system too highly, you become a fundamentalist in a second sense: you start to believe that all of God’s graces, or at least the best of them, are found only within your narrow little camp. Again, I am no doctrinal relativist, but it seems that God has chosen to give greater insight into certain areas of Christian life and teaching to people I disagree with on secondary issues than he has to me and the people in my camp. Fundamentalism doesn’t recognize that–in many ways, can’t recognize that. Fundamentalism believes that if you’re not in our camp, and you’re not on the approved list, there is very little you have to say. The best of God’s grace is only with me and mine.  – J.D. Greear

Jesus Doesn’t Give A Standing Ovation to Sexual Assault – Sexual assault utterly appalls him. A confession of sexual assault is not something to be applauded. Yes, we can be grateful that the event has come to light, but we shouldn’t be applauding a man for a half-hearted confession that should have happened twenty years ago. There is nothing admirable or praiseworthy in admitting you raped someone only after that person goes public with their story. – Stephen Altrogge

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An Apology to My Southern Brethren – I am probably not the first one to note that some of those who seem the loudest to object to the removal of Confederate statues because “Our heritage!” are also the first and loudest to complain of the observance of Black History Month. Apparently, our heritage matters, but theirs does not? You should be offended when someone pokes at your hero, but they are ungrateful, unpatriotic agitators when they are offended at the trampling of theirs?

Why Americans Love Doomsday Prophecies – There’s a high cost to those who would, contrary to Jesus’ explicit command, fix dates and seasons to the end. When many view the world as one constant marketing scheme, those who use the gospel for such ends leave in their wake cynicism and disillusionment. Sometimes people reject the good news of Christianity while never knowing that what they are turning aside isn’t, in fact, anything that Jesus or those he sent said at all. – Russell Moore

The Real Story of Christianity and Abortion – The early church was decidedly, vocally, and courageously pro-life and opposed to abortion. One of the earliest documents of Christianity after the New Testament is the Didache, dated to around AD 80–120. The teaching describes two ways: the way of life and the way of death. The way of life demands that Christians “shall not murder a child by abortion nor commit infanticide.” Both abortion and infanticide were common in the Roman Empire. Christians were forbidden to murder any child, born or unborn. – Albert Mohler

10 Things You Should Know about Systematic Theology – Furthermore, by teaching us to contemplate God and all things in relation to God, systematic theology furnishes the Christian mind with principles for action. Systematic theology informs our faith, teaching us to apprehend God and all things as they really are and to receive all things as gifts from God’s fatherly hand. Systematic theology informs our hope, teaching us to anticipate the fulfillment of God’s eternal kingdom in accordance with God’s promise. And systematic theology informs our love: directing faith and hope to their object in God, we find a light to navigate our path out of the misery of Adam’s race into the bliss of Jesus’s eternal kingdom and to awaken fitting forms of devotion, adoration, and admiration for God, neighbor, and world. – Scott R. Swain

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We’re Not All Called to be Missionaries – Don’t misunderstand me. I believe we need more missionaries. But that means we also need a robust army of happy and contented stay-at-home Christians. We need a revival of honoring the call of hard work at home for sake of the world. We need church members who don’t begrudge a vocation where they live and serve and give in relative insignificance for the sake of the nations. We need churches and young believers who recognize that such a role is not lower in status or value, but is actually strategically critical to the task of the Great Commission. – Elliot Clark
Why Ben Franklin Called for Prayer at the Constitutional Convention – Even stranger, few convention attendees supported the proposal. A couple of devout delegates seconded his motion, but it fizzled among the other participants. Franklin scribbled a note at the bottom of his prayer speech lamenting, “The Convention except three or four Persons, thought Prayers unnecessary!” – Thomas Kidd

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John MacArthur Isn’t That Great – My pastors invite me into their homes. They even welcome me into their cottages. They are happy to talk to me for several hours on the drives there and back. They pour their lives into mine. John MacArthur doesn’t know my name, my pastors do. MacArthur doesn’t pray for me, my pastors do. MacArthur doesn’t preach to me, my pastors do—every week. They preach the word even though its unpopular to do so. They make difficult phone calls. They baptized me. They correct me. They encourage me. They love me. They know me in ways John MacArthur cannot. I know about John MacArthur, but I know them. They are everything MacArthur instructed me to look for in local pastors. – Samuel Sey

Will a Happy Marriage Prevent an Affair? – The best, most secure and stable marriages I know are not typically those that seem “happy” in the sense of self-actualization. They are instead those marriages in which, often through deep suffering, the husband and wife model self-sacrifice and care for the other. Like Christ and the church, their one-flesh union is forged not through demands for the other to meet needs but through a sense of common purpose. In those healthy marriages, one spouse does not look to the other to provide identity. Instead, both spouses find an identity in Christ. – Russell Moore

12 Amazing Bible Studies Coming Out This Fall – The #FakeNews Bible. Featuring commentary from leading conspiracy theorists around the world, this insightful Bible shows how everything you ever believed was a lie. David and Goliath? Proof that 9/11 was an inside job. Daniel and the lion’s den. Goes straight to the heart of the moon landing conspiracy. The darkness during the crucifixion? Proof positive that the earth is flat. – Stephen Altrogge

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Post-Christian America: Gullible, Intolerant, and Superstitious – Here’s the core problem. In the United States we’re replacing an organized, systematic theology with basically nothing. Sure, there’s the moralistic therapeutic deism of the modern “spiritual” American, but its “God wants me to be happy” ethos isn’t quite up to the challenge of dealing with real life. So, we search and search, and in the immortal worlds of the philosopher Aaron Tippin, we learn the hard way that “you gotta stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything” — and “anything” can include indigo auras or the “vibration of a thought.” – David French

How Living Counter-Culturally Can Lead to Your Kids’ Resentment of Christianity – When the message our kids hear is an ongoing stream of don’ts without meaningful explanation—don’t listen to this music, don’t visit these sites, don’t use this social media platform, don’t subscribe to this magazine, don’t join this political movement—they’ll start to wonder if our level of concern about the world is warranted. And meaningful explanation requires demonstrating how the problems actually relate to the Christian worldview. Simply telling our kids that a movie has violence and they shouldn’t watch it, for example, is hardly a meaningful explanation. Why is that a problem for Christians? How can that affect us spiritually? Where should we draw the line? These kinds of questions should regularly be discussed. – Natasha Crain

A Brief History of the Altar Call – By the mid-20th century, altar calls had become a staple of evangelical and Baptist life in America, especially in the South. Many evangelical and Reformed-leaning churches in recent years have stopped doing altar calls, for a variety of reasons. Critics of altar calls have pointed out that they have no strong biblical basis, and that they were part of the “New Measures” introduced by Charles Finney in the later stages of the Second Great Awakening. – Thomas S. Kidd

Calling, Burdens and Being Crushed by Facebook – I scroll through my feed and read about people’s lives. Their broken down, tear-strewn, fractured lives. Cancer diagnoses and flooded houses and political angst and racism. News of police brutality and retaliatory strikes. GoFundMe campaigns for people in dire situations and a lot of people who just want to vent.  It’s like eating a big bowl of depression soup.  By the time I log off, I feel like I’ve watched the world’s worst movie – a tragedy interspersed with random, non-sequitur moments of comedy. – Stephen Altrogge