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Our Lord is at Work Near & Far

Blog, The Kingdom Notes

Trip to Brazil It is a dangerous habit, but a habit nonetheless. When I find myself on my way home from a trip overseas, I take fingers to keyboard and write a piece. I am tired. I miss my family, and I am emotional. I do it, even though it’s scary, because it makes sense. When I see the hand of God at work, I want to write about it. Tonight I write from Sao Paulo, Brazil. A little less than a week ago I landed here eager and ready to preach the Word. I had hopes in me that I might be able to serve the saints here. But, given that this is not my first rodeo, I likewise had this expectation, that the saints here would serve me. Meeting the Saints And I was not disappointed. I met men and women of God, those whose lives have been…

A New Daily Podcast from Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr.

Blog, General

We are glad to announce the debut of Jesus Changes Everything, a daily podcast from Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. that explores the implications of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension on how we should think and live in His world. Available each weekday morning, the podcast will run approximately 8 minutes long with topics ranging from current events to theological issues and more. In the first show, Dr. Sproul discusses the fear of an ebola outbreak in the United States, but explains that there is a far more worrisome disease already on the loose and has infected people across generations. You can preview the first episode here. Daily shows will begin Monday, October 20. For regular updates on this new initiative, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, and to have the podcast delivered to your mobile device, subscribe on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Ask R.C. Jr: What have we lost in the lost art of letter writing?

Ask R.C., Blog

My Dearest Gaulips, You asked about some of the newest features our media consultants are working on, and how you might put them to good use in your treatment of your patient. I will explain a few of them, but do not lose sight of the simple principle — the more we can take these cursed humans away from their bodies, the better off we can be. Entice them with ease, with reach, with speed, with convenience, but take away from them the things that matter the most— actual communication. When we move them from aural communication to written communication we automatically remove all the subtleties of communication, the non-verbal cues that give context, and perhaps more important, social lubricant. Our enemy, however, managed quite well with the written word. I remember those heady days when we lit so many fires in those early churches. And that accursed traitor Paul…

A Man Has a Right to Own Her Body

Ask R.C., Blog

Root Causes of Abortion You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain James 4:2. Seeking to stop the slaughter of the unborn by merely declaiming abortion is like building a bridge by starting in the middle. James reminds us that we murder because we lust. Statistics tells us that nearly 9 of ten women who get an abortion in America are unmarried. That is telling. Abortion & Related Sins Too often we in the evangelical church have taken a binary approach to the problem. Either we separate the sin of abortion from all its related sins and give our time and attention there, or we decide it’s a heart issue, and our only hope is mass conversion. (Forgetting the hard truth that 1 of 6 abortions in America is procured by a professing evangelical.) Feminism Abortion, in the end, is a heart issue. And it…

Ask R.C. Jr: How can I tell if someone has truly repented of grievous sin?

Ask R.C., Blog

The Fruit of Repentance There is one tell-tale fruit, but it may take a long time for it to happen. And even then you likely won’t see it. But here’s the fruit nonetheless — if the sinner ends up in heaven, you will know they had truly repented. If not, they likely had not. I understand the desire to know the sincerity of another’s repentance. I’ve been in countless pastoral situations wherein it seemed like the answer to that one question — is this person truly repentant — determined the answer to every other question about what should be done. Trouble is, God has not been pleased to give us the means to peer into the souls of others. An Example So what do we do? Consider the case of adultery, perhaps the most common grievous sin we face. Suppose I am unfaithful to my wife. Suppose I claim to…

Are We Getting Better All the Time?

Blog, The Kingdom Notes

Horrors in History History is littered with the inhuman. That is, when we seek to take an honest look at those who have gone before us, we find what we manage to think is something different to us. We look at Nazi Germany as if it were some bizarre aberration, the cultural equivalent of a snowstorm in August. Even cultures we might otherwise admire have warts we think we’ve grown beyond. Whether it was the open sexual perversion and abuse of boys that marked the ancient Greeks, or witch hunts of our Puritan forebearers, the skeletons do not hide in the closet but dance across the stage. Trouble is, we miss the family resemblance. Worse Than the Nazis? I have argued before that to compare the German holocaust with the abortion holocaust is unfair — unfair to the Nazis. The German people had some measure of plausible deniability — you…

Ask R.C. Jr: Did God act unethically in asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?

Ask R.C., Blog

A Challenging Question There are any number of challenges that come from this account in Genesis. Some have used it to deny God knows the future, on the basis of God’s declaration, “Now I know that you fear God” in 12:22. Some have used it to argue that God is wicked, either for asking the father to kill the innocent son, or for lying to Abraham, telling Abraham He wanted him to do something He didn’t really want him to do. The first objection is answered easily enough — only God the Father has an innocent Son. While Isaac may not have been guilty of a capital offense on the earthly civil sphere, from his conception he stood guilty before the living God. God had every right to take Isaac’s life, and to call Abraham to be the means of that execution. The Problem Lies With Us Which leaves us…

Lovers (of the World) Gonna Hate

Blog, The Kingdom Notes

Human Trafficking & Abortion Next month I will be participating on a Christian college campus in an intriguing discussion. I have been invited, due to my public labors on behalf of the unborn, to join a panel asking something along these lines, “Why is the slaughter of the unborn so low on the radar of so many evangelicals? Why do we get our dander up over Kony or human trafficking, but not so much over abortion?” Before I get to the remarks I am apt to share, let’s make one obvious thing perfectly clear. Human trafficking is wicked, vile, nauseating evil. So is conscripting adolescent boys to fight in your war. It is not my intention to weigh the relative demerits of these wrongs, but rather to explore the disparity in our outrage and involvement. Evil Near & Evil Far I suggest two reasons. First, abortion is near, Kony and…

What 5 things can I do to best take advantage of a conference?

Ask R.C., Blog

Evangelicals these days seem to have something of a love/hate relationship with conferences. We grumble about the conference junkie who wanders from event to event looking for a greater mountaintop experience, and soon finds himself dissatisfied with home preaching. On the other hand, people can go from one conference to another looking for that experience in part because there are so many because so many seem to be having mountaintop experiences. Perhaps, with some wisdom, we can maximize the benefits while diminishing the dangers. Here are five suggestions. Do not go to see/get close to the celebrity preacher. Go to hear the Word preached. Granted not all conferences provide “preaching” narrowly defined. But all of them ought at least seek to provide wisdom from the Word of God. That is where the power is. Let us hope that the celebrity preacher became such because of his fidelity to the Word,…

The Folly of Keeping Up with the Joneses

Blog, The Kingdom Notes

The Good Mr. Jones I have two sets of neighbors. On the east side is Mr. Jones. He’s a decent man, a loving husband, and an attentive father. He serves at the local soup kitchen at least once a month. He loves to talk to people about Jesus, and all that Jesus means to him. Indeed Jesus is Mr. Jones’ hero — he aspires to be just like him. Mr. Jones is at peace with his life. He’s content with where he is, and has every confidence about where he will spend eternity. The Bad Mr. Smith Mr. Smith, on the other hand, only spends time with his children every other weekend. They spend the rest of the time with their mother, his ex-wife. She divorced Smith after catching him in his affair. Mr. Smith wonders if he might soon end up visiting the local soup kitchen as well. With…