Confessionalism and a Flourishing Church
Sep14

Confessionalism and a Flourishing Church

Some people are inclined to think that confessionalism has a stifling effect on the Church. They assume that adherence to Bible-based creeds and confessions inhibits vitality or freedom. To them the Church is more about relationship and are suspicious of things that are more formal and less subjective. Others want to be as flexible and inclusive as possible for attracting others and play down doctrine. Are these prejudices about...

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What Do We Mean By God’s Presence?
Sep07

What Do We Mean By God’s Presence?

It’s a phrase that’s used a lot. Yet when you stop to consider it, it’s rather difficult to define. Of course God is everywhere present but we usually mean a felt sense of His presence. Is that purely a subjective sense that borders on a mystical feeling or being emotionally charged? Sometimes it seems like people are speaking of a particular experience or atmosphere. Do we have to feel that God is there to know that...

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6 Ways the Gospel Calls for Holiness
Aug31

6 Ways the Gospel Calls for Holiness

If you are interested in the gospel, then you should be interested in holiness. But, you may ask, isn’t it “a holier than thou” attitude that turns people off the gospel? Perhaps, but real biblical holiness is all about the gospel. It is meant to be something that both attracts people to the gospel and is an expression of the reality of the gospel in our lives. If people notice the difference it may well make them...

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Abandoning Optimism for Real Hope
Aug23

Abandoning Optimism for Real Hope

Hope is essential. But hope is not a gut reaction, mere wishful thinking or putting a positive spin on events that seem negative. Hope and optimism are positive about the future but for different reasons. Abraham had a spiritual hope that was certain, when a hope that is of the flesh would have evaporated. Abraham “against hope believed in hope” based on God’s promise (Romans 4:18). The secular idea of hope involves...

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Why Do We Fear Missing Out?
Aug16

Why Do We Fear Missing Out?

It’s a modern fear apparently, fed by a constant awareness of what is happening in the lives of many others. It’s the anxiety that others elsewhere are having more rewarding experiences from which we are absent. It is often aroused by social media posts. So people may check their phones compulsively in case they miss what is going on. But there’s a deeper fear of missing out where people compare their boring lives to...

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Looking Beyond this World’s Obsolescence
Aug10

Looking Beyond this World’s Obsolescence

Many products we buy have been designed with planned obsolescence. They have an artificially limited useful life so that when it becomes obsolete you have to buy a new one. Such are the empty and lying promises of consumerism. It’s not just man-made products, all material creation is wearing out and passing away: including us (1 Corinthians 7:31). The things on which we spend so much time literally perish with the using...

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