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The dissolution of marriage

  We leaned against the pickup-truck fender out in the front yard. One of my laymen, Rick, was inside, talking with the woman of the house while her kids swirled about. I was taking the man through the Continuing Witness Training presentation of the gospel, leading up to willingness and commitment questions. He’d been tracking…

Part III – The pastor and theological triage

  *Editors note: Read also Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.  The pastor’s stewardship of the theological task requires a clear sense of pastoral priority, a keen pastoral ear and careful attention to the theological dimensions of church life and Christian discipleship. This must be foundational to the ministry of the local church,…

Gaining a balanced picture of gospel counsel

  Whether we engage in the private ministry of God’s Word as pastors, missionaries, counselors or just a concerned brother- or sister-in-Christ, it is important to answer the question, “What is thorough, biblical help?” Surely, the answer to this question must begin with a faithfulness and an accuracy as we study and apply the Scriptures…

Joan or John? A Dilemma in Christian Ethics

  Christian theology is about cleaning up after a suicide. What I mean by that is that biblical doctrine exists not simply as a set of abstract, propositional truths, but as a war plan. What we learn from Scripture is that the entire created order exists in the midst of a vast conspiracy – one…

Part II – The pastor’s calling

*Editors note: Part I of this series can be viewed here. The pastoral calling is inherently theological. Given the fact that the pastor is to be the teacher of the Word of God and the teacher of the Gospel, it cannot be otherwise. The idea of the pastorate as a non-theological office is inconceivable in…

Gay marriage and the eclipse of religious liberty

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled againstthe Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last June in the landmark Windsor v. United States case, it appears that the United States is one lawsuit away from gay marriage being ensconced as a constitutional right. My hunch is that such a lawsuit will come sooner rather than later, and…

Holiness is not the same as forced solemnity

  When I was in college I struggled a lot with being holy and being funny. Now, those who know me best may wonder if I’m particularly adroit with either virtue. But stick with me for a minute. I used to have the notion that holiness meant forced solemnity. I remember as a camp counselor…

Don’t you already have kids? Adding to your existing family through adoption

5 reasons to adopt when you already have children

The Pastor as Theologian — Part 1

  The transformation of theology into an academic discipline more associated with the university than the church has been one of the most lamentable developments of the last several centuries. In the earliest eras of the church, and through the annals of Christian history, the central theologians of the church were its pastors. This was…

Shaping a child’s soul, a task too important to be turned over to the professionals

  I saw something beautiful one day while walking down Breckenridge Lane. In a front yard not far from my home, a young mother was removing a layer of leftover leaves from the fall in preparation for planting spring flowers — an ordinary activity in the middle of an ordinary day. What was extraordinary about…

New Year’s resolutions for 2014: eight SBTS personalities give their goals for the new year

  Matt Hall | Vice president for Academic services Commit myself to writing every day, even if just a paragraph Dig out my running shoes and get ready for a marathon Read more fiction      Maegan Brown | Southern Seminary’s women’s ministry coordinator  To run a 10k —  I am not a runner To serve…

3 questions with Kevin DeYoung

  What advice would you give to seminary students preparing for ministry?  One thing I think seminary students need to understand that not everyone can be the best student. Not everyone can be at the top of the curve. Work hard. Study hard. But it’s better to be a “B” student and have a good…

Broadus on Boyce: ‘a Christian gentleman’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tomorrow, Dec. 28, marks the 125th anniversary of the death of James P. Boyce, Southern Baptist statesmen and the founding president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. At Boyce’s funeral, fellow seminary founder and close friend John A. Broadus described Boyce’s character. The following is a portion of Broadus’ comments selected by Gregory…

What to expect when you’re not expecting Christ’s return

Advent means “coming.” It’s a time for us to celebrate the first coming of Christ, but also to anticipate his return. When we sing, “O come, o come, Emmanuel / To ransom captive Israel,” we’re not just taking a sentimental journey back in time; we’re reminding each other of God’s faithfulness in the past, and…

The coming identity crisis

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is adapted from Boyce College dean Dan DeWitt’s talk at an inauguration luncheon in honor of Russell D. Moore as the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.    Younger evangelicals have worked hard to distance themselves from the fundamentalist baggage of their forefathers. We’ve rejected the “us” against “them”…

‘First Things’ as faithful witness: applying Paul’s ministry manifesto today

I think most of us with any sense of awareness can recognize that we are living in one of those great transitional moments in human history. But there is one thing that must not change: the Christian task of bearing faithful witness to the glory of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some would disagree…

In season and out of season – expository readiness (part 5)

Editors Note: This is the fourth post in a series on Expository Readiness. You can read the other parts of this series here: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.   The Promises  Paul follows those three exhortations with two promises for those who continually prepare themselves: “for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1…

That’s my kind of Santa Claus

In reflecting on this season of the year, I have often wondered how a Martian reporter would write a story about Christmas in the United States. If one only had the dominant cultural icons of TV, movies, news media and retail stores, my guess is that the Martian viewing audience wouldn’t have a clue as…