Don’t Give Up On Lent (pt. 1)

Yesterday my friend Jesse Johnson wrote an article suggesting that evangelicals stop trying to observe Lent. I, on the other hand, have come to appreciate the potential of Lent, and in 2015 I wrote a short series (for a now-defunct blog) defending an evangelical approach to the practice. We’ve decided to offer it in two parts here on PS23 for your consideration. Note that I wrote it in 2015, and I intentionally wrote it after Lent. Here is part 1:

Every February as Ash Wednesday approaches there is a surge of angst among some evangelicals: should we observe the season of Lent?

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Why Movie, When you can Spiritual?

“Why would we go to a movie when we could do something spiritual like pray, read our Bibles, evangelize, or serve the body?” Most of us have heard or used this logic before. I’ve heard (and used) other subjects instead of movies: television, video games, board games, sports, beverage choices, or any hobby. I certainly can remember using this line of reasoning too.

The Problem

The line of reasoning, on the surface, appears holy and god-exalting. I mean, when we really weigh reading Scripture and watching a movie, who would say a movie is godlier than Scripture? The problem often presents itself when this reasoning is used to denounce and judge a person for watching television, movies, or any other “fun” activity.… Continue reading

Accidental Hyper-Calvinists

One of the most common views of salvation in evangelicalism is an Arminian view of the place of God in initiating salvation in a person coupled with a non-Arminian understanding of God’s place in retaining salvation in that same person. In other words, under this view, God is not seen as the first mover in an individual’s faith in Christ, but he is relied upon to keep a person “once saved, always saved.”

The view that a person who is saved will always be saved is a biblical one. Scripture is filled with promises of God’s perfect hold on those who are believers in Christ (John 10:28-29).… Continue reading

Back to the Basics: The Constitution of Man Pt. 3

Today I am wrapping up the series on the constitution of man I began February 1. You can read the first instalment here and part 2 here.  While it may seem an unimportant topic, it is essential to have a right understanding of the constitutional makeup of man if you are to have a scriptural view of man.  This topic impacts other important areas of the christian life and worldview often in unexpected ways.  This post focuses on the dichotomy view of man, which I believe is the biblically correct view. 

Although certainly not universally held, the predominant view throughout church history has been the dichotomist view. … Continue reading

True Spirituality, Dealing with Addiction, and Self-Help Manuals

Dealing with addictions can push a Christian to the limits of patience, trust, and exhaustion. The addiction might involve drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, sex, pornography, power, popularity, wealth, social media, technology, or recreation—and many more. Recovering addicts soon find that they need help—help from God, help from family, help from friends, help from their church. As the battle rages to control the addiction, it has become very common for counselors and addicts alike to turn to self-help manuals. Who hasn’t been helped at least a little by getting some good biblical advice from a significant book like Heath Lambert’s Finally Free,[1] which deals with pornography and lust?… Continue reading