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Scary Witches

Blog, The Kingdom Notes

The Evil of Witchcraft Witches are real, and witches are evil. To be sure, while warts, brooms and cauldrons are also real the caricature that brings them all together is rather far from the truth. God, in His infinite wisdom, told His people Israel not to suffer a witch to live (Exodus 22:18). Our fathers the Puritans followed the same perspective. They rightly saw witchcraft as a great evil. They, in accordance with their times, saw it also as a capital offense. Neither of these, however, is the source of the great horror of the Salem Witch Trials. The Folly of the Salem Witch Trials We are all so comfortable scolding our fathers for their folly before us. Of course they are guilty of folly, not because they came before us, but because they are our fathers. They act foolishly because they are what we are, fools. We are, if…

Ask RC: What’s your new podcast all about?

Ask R.C., Blog

What’s your new podcast all about? So glad you asked. Jesus Changes Everything is a daily 8 minute podcast that seeks to remind us, not surprisingly, that Jesus changes everything. Too often believers seal off their faith from the rest of their lives, indeed from the rest of the world. But Jesus didn’t just come to save our souls. He came to redeem our bodies, and to ultimately remake all of reality. That means, in the end, there is no thing, no time, no place, no event, no anything that is not changed by His life, death, resurrection ascension and return. Jesus changes everything. We will on the podcast, from time to time look to current stories in the news and see how they reflect the eternal verities, seeking to give a perspective that is both faithful to the word, and well, not something you will find in too many…

How should I prepare my son to provide for his family?

Ask R.C., Blog

Don’t Follow the Folly of the World An excellent question. Too often we in the church follow the folly of the world in taking a passive approach to the future. We tend to believe all we have to do is show up, and if things don’t work out well for us, it must be the system’s fault. Another key error we have embraced from the world is this notion — that if we acquire specialized skills we will be able to provide for our families. Such thinking often leads to violating the first principle of sound stewardship — never spend more than you make. The standard American plan is to send our children off to college, borrow tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for it, and hope for a good job that will allow the debt to be paid off upon graduation. Sometimes it works, but…

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…