In the Nick of Time

  • Change or Die

    July 02, 2015
    In a recent blog post, Pastor Travis Smith attributed the closing of Clearwater Christian College largely to a change in its position and standards. I agree with Pastor Smith that those matters certainly played a role. Still, the “change and die” narrative does not really explain why fundamental...

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  • Change and Die?

    June 26, 2015
    I don’t know Pastor Travis Smith, but I like and respect him. For one thing, he has ministered at the same church for thirty years—an exceptional achievement, and one that I believe glorifies God. For another, he has a pretty decent blog, “From the Heart of a Shepherd,” in which he specializes i...

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  • Adoration

    June 19, 2015
    The adoration of God is one of the most neglected practices in American evangelicalism. Many evangelicals could not even describe what adoration is. This neglect is unfortunate. Adoration is the most fundamental aspect of biblical religion. It is the goal of both creation and redemption. The prac...

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  • Providence

    June 12, 2015
    Most of the time I write these essays either in my study during working hours or else sitting upstairs at home in the evening. This one is different. I’m writing from home, but I’m writing after midnight. As I write, my wife and son are playing piano duets downstairs—not for artistic purposes, b...

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  • How To Think About Israel

    June 05, 2015
    The state of Israel is in the news at least weekly, sometimes daily. The United States is still the greatest supporter of Israel, but public perception is that the Obama administration’s backing is less than enthusiastic. In spite of this assessment, the Obama administration was the first to sell...

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  • Some Reflections on Pastoral Love: Part 2

    May 29, 2015
    Michael Riley Last week, I wrote of several ways in which Paul evidenced his love for the very difficult congregation of Corinth. Now, I will add one more item to that list and suggest one very practical application of pastoral love.In Paul’s great excursus on Christian ministry in 2 Corinthian...

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  • Some Reflections on Pastoral Love: Part 1

    May 22, 2015
    Michael P. Riley With only the possible exception of Galatians, 2 Corinthians is the most personally revealing letter that Paul wrote to a church. While good men differ on the precise timeline of events and correspondence that led to the writing of 2 Corinthians, I understand it to be the fourt...

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  • Pastors, Deacons, and Whatsits

    May 15, 2015
    The New Testament specifies two offices for the local church. The apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 3, told his young protégé that he was writing so that Timothy would know how “thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God” (as the old King James puts it). The behavior that Paul had in mind was ...

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  • Who Redefined Marriage?

    May 08, 2015
    The Supreme Court of the United States has heard the case of Obergefell v Hodges, in which the core contention is that marriage between two people of the same sex is a constitutional right. The contention rests fundamentally upon the assumption that civil governments have the right to define marr...

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  • Institutional Alignments and the Unity of the Spirit

    May 01, 2015
    Ephesians 4:4 requires every Christian to endeavor to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. This exhortation assumes that Christian unity comes from the Holy Spirit. Christians do not create unity, but Christians can either damage it or maintain it. Parachurch organizations often...

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