Archives For Evangelicalism

Thank you all for reading our blog. Everyone who posts is humbled that so many people come here to be encouraged spiritually. We are grateful that you read what his here–we don’t get paid for this, and we don’t sell ads. Really, the only reason we do this is to encourage you, so thanks for reading.

Top TenHere is the list of our top ten posts of 2013, as measured by WordPress’ stats for views. A quick note for other bloggers: WordPress, Google, and SiteMeter all measure views somewhat differently. I’m going with the WordPress stats for total views, and the Google stats for unique views. In other words, the first number is how many times the post was viewed, and the second number is how many unique IP addresses viewed it.

010Shooing away the legalism boogeyman. Eric Davis exposes five ways that a fear of legalism actually hinders Christian growth (11k/6k).   Continue Reading…

December 19, 2013

God with Us

by Nathan Busenitz

It is only 6 days until Christmas.

Visit your local coffee shop, take a trip to the mall, or just drive through your neighborhood at night, and it’s easy to see that the so-called “Christmas spirit” is alive and well in American culture.

Some of the ironies of our culture’s fascination with Christmas are especially evident where I live in Southern California.

• It hasn’t snowed in Los Angeles in years, but snowflake decorations are everywhere.

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Christian Fasting: it’s one of those “fringe” things in Christian belief that people are somewhat aware of but not a lot of people are clear about.  I’ve never actually heard any teaching on fasting from any church I’ve been a part of, and I suspect that’s a fairly typical experience of others.  Due to the lack of instruction I (and many of the people I know) have had, the ideas of fasting range from “something that happened in Jesus’ day that we don’t need to worry about” to “the secret to spiritual break through”.

fasting breakthrough

Both of these cannot be true.  If fasting is irrelevant, it’s not the secret to spiritual break through.  If it is the secret to spiritual break through, it’s hardly irrelevant! Continue Reading…

yoke1The “L” word. It’s one of the ugliest of all words: legalism. Defined as the idea that we can earn right standing with God, it does violence to the glorious gospel of Christ. It says, “No, sorry, it’s not enough,” to the substitutionary atoning work of Christ. It confuses the way to forgiveness, it tarnishes the gospel of grace, it lays up heavy burdens that no one can carry, it crushes hope, and fuels despair. It declares that man possesses finesse to propitiate the just wrath of God due our sin. For that, legalism is deadly and must be opposed at every level. Paul called it another gospel whose proponents are condemned (Gal 1:8-9).

Consequently, labeling something/one legalistic ought to be done with caution. To bring the charge is to say that this thing or person is in danger of propagating an unsavable system and trampling the cross of Christ. So if we label something legalistic, we better thoroughly understand the gospel, the definition of legalism, and what exactly is happening with what we are labeling as legalistic. Otherwise, we are sinning by erroneously labeling something in opposition to the cross of Jesus Christ.

Even so, the legalism card often gets overplayed. More and more I’ve interacted with Christians humbly and faithfully working out their salvation with fear and trembling, only to have the legalism card slapped on them. As such, they’re being fallaciously warned about legalism boogeymen. There are many I’ve heard of lurking in Christendom.

Looking Under BedHere are 5 all-too-common legalism boogeymen we need to shoo away:

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Last week a federal judge ruled that the long standing practice of churches (and synagoges, mosques, dioceses, etc.) giving their pastors a housing allowance was unconstitutional. This story is likely to pick up steam in the media, and my experience with this topic is that most people (including many elders and pastors) have no idea how housing allowances work, or why they are there to begin with. So here are some FAQ’s about housing allowances and the recent ruling striking them down:   Continue Reading…

Yesterday the US Supreme Court declined to take up an emergency appeal from Planned Parenthood concerning a new Texas law that will have the effect of closing some of the state’s abortion clinics. The decision itself was expected, but the way in which it was delivered shows a shift in the fight to end legalized abortion.

Abortion-rights--anti-abortion-supporters-jpg

Back in June, the Texas state legislature passed new restrictions on abortion clinics. The major change was a mandate that doctors that do abortions in a clinic must have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital in order to perform abortions. Admitting privileges are difficult to get, as hospitals have certain requirements for doctors. Many hospitals require doctors to have a certain number of patients at the hospital over the course of the year in order to ensure that the doctors are familiar with the procedures in place, as well as a means of fostering competition between hospitals for the best doctors. Hospitals are unlikely to grant those privileges to a doctor that seldom sends patients there—which is the very reason doctors in many specialties are part of  practices that can leverage their number of patients to gain hospital access.

But then again, abortion is not like other specialties.   Continue Reading…