Category Archives: Practical Theology

Financial support is what the good work is referring to

A Proof Text for Eternal Security? The Real “Good Work” in Philippians 1:6

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)At first glance, this verse seems like a perfect proof text for eternal security (or, perseverance of the saints). God does the good work of saving us and bringing us to Jesus, all by His grace, and by that same saving grace He keeps us in His hand where none may pluck us out. While I agree that this is so, I must say that this is not the meaning of Philippians 1:6. By considering this verse in its immediate context, as well as the context of the epistle itself, we shall see that Paul has something quite different in mind. “Participation in the gospel” (v. 5), and “partakers of grace” (v. 7), as well as “began a good work in you” (v. 6) all sound like Paul is talking about their common faith in Jesus and salvation through him. However, this is only the conclusion of a surface reading. I contend, on the other hand, that Paul is referring to their financial support of his apostolic ministry. Continue reading A Proof Text for Eternal Security? The Real “Good Work” in Philippians 1:6

The Shack: A Sub-Christian Explanation for Evil

The Shack, written by William P. Young and adapted to film in 2017 by Lionsgate media, tells the story of a man named Mackenzie who loses his daughter to a brutal murderer. In his grief, he is later summoned to the shack in which his daughter died by the Holy Trinity manifesting themselves as a black woman, a mid-eastern man, and an Asian woman. The film attempts to provide a Christian understanding of how human suffering and evil can exist when an all-powerful beneficent God exists. However, it ultimately fails to provide either a Biblical or comprehensive solution to the problem it addresses.

Continue reading The Shack: A Sub-Christian Explanation for Evil

nobody struggles with anxiety there is a deeper issue

Nobody Struggles With Anxiety

I promise you that the title isn’t meant to be clickbait. Anxiety is a very real thing that we feel as human beings, and the Scriptures are replete with comforts and corrections for us in our worries. Rather what I mean by “nobody struggles with anxiety” is that an individual’s battle against anxiety is never a war against anxiety particularly. They may feel anxiety and that anxiety may produce a great deal of pain in their hearts, but anxiety is always a product of some greater issue. Continue reading Nobody Struggles With Anxiety

Pray for the persecuted church

5 Ways to Pray for the Persecuted Church

Today I want to address that which is both a highly neglected Christian responsibility and a highly underappreciated Christian privilege. The exhortation from Scripture goes as follows:

“Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.” Hebrews 13:3

Continue reading 5 Ways to Pray for the Persecuted Church

God can still be glorified through our suffering

God’s Glory Through Suffering: A Case Study in the Gospel of John

Todays topic is something we can all relate to: suffering. We have all suffered in one way or another–a physical illness, a death in the family, or even persecution for being a Christian. In the gospel of John, we find examples of each of these. I want to examine an account of each, and glean insight from the narrative as to why we go through hardships, and how God can still shine through our darkness. Continue reading God’s Glory Through Suffering: A Case Study in the Gospel of John

God does not hear the prayers of unbelievers

Does God Hear the Prayers of Unbelievers?

One popular question many Christians ask is, “Does God answer the prayers of unbelievers?” Sincere men and women of all religions attempt to communicate with their god in one way or another. We may readily affirm that God does not let these people into heaven because they follow idols, but does He at least lend them a hand? The Bible has the answer to these and similar questions, but it may not be the answer we’d like. Continue reading Does God Hear the Prayers of Unbelievers?

Paul was a bivocational minister

Paul: A Model for Bivocational Pastors

It could be argued that Paul was the first bivocational minister. We know from a few accounts that he worked on the side as a tent maker (Acts 18:3; 20:34). Other times he received gifts from one church to support him while planting another (2 Cor 11:8-9). Note however that he never had to! In 1 Corinthians 9 he lays down the theological basis for paying pastors and states that as an apostle he had every right to be paid. However, he chose to lay that right aside for the sake of the churches. Continue reading Paul: A Model for Bivocational Pastors

Some preach to please men instead of God

Does Our Preaching Please God, or Men?

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4)

Paul knew Who his Master was. He opens his letter to the Galatians by saying he was sent out “through Jesus Christ and God the Father” (Gal. 1:1). Paul elsewhere labels his calling a “steward of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1), and “an ambassador for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20). Here in Galatians the term is bond-servant, or better, a slave. This signifies how he belonged to Christ and was under the authority of Christ. Thus, when he preached, he was going to preach how and what his Master told him to preach. Continue reading Does Our Preaching Please God, or Men?

Christians need to get to the heart of the issue when debating about morals

Reframing the Debate, part 2

We have seen in the last post that the moral revolution does not have adequate footing on which to stand when it levels its moral charges. We have striven to reframe the debate so that it is no longer stacked against us. Yet embedded in the moral revolution is another contradiction which can be asked as a question: Who, or what, makes a person’s sexuality the way it is? Is it a result of human biology or is it a thing of one’s own determination? Continue reading Reframing the Debate, part 2

we need to reframe the debate to absolute truth and morals

Reframing the Debate

With surprising simplicity, the Christian position in favor of the natural family, binary gender roles, and traditional marriage can be reduced to scorn with the labels “hateful, intolerant, homophobic.” The Christian response to these charges has largely been to go on the defensive, endlessly apologizing for any supposed grievances or slip ups in tone or speech. Christians have become paralyzed by self-consciousness and (if we are honest) a silent shame for holding to doctrines which seem so offensive to a watching world. Continue reading Reframing the Debate