on 01/18/2019

Defending Drunkenness? (Logan Almy)

The consensus position in the Reformed tradition is that Scripture teaches us that alcohol is a good gift from God and that a believer has the right, according to liberty of conscience, to enjoy it in moderation to the glory of God. Drunkenness, however, is a serious sin against the Lord and must be

on 01/17/2019

Dueling for Christ at Dort? (Aaron Denlinger)

As everyone in the Reformed world surely knows by now, 2019 marks 400 years since the Synod of Dort wrapped up proceedings and bequeathed to the Protestant Reformed family of churches that glorious statement of Reformed doctrine known as the Canons of Dort. Commemoration and celebration of Dort and

on 01/15/2019

The Incarnate Confrontation (Caleb Cangelosi)

We've all given and received gifts this past year, and I imagine the majority of those gifts were probably intended to be used in some way, not just owned or placed on a shelf unopened. But it's likely you've had that awkward experience of giving a gift designed to be used, and somehow finding out t

on 01/14/2019

The Disease of Ambition (Bruce Baugus)

Herman Melville's Moby Dick is an intense and rather gothic tale of seaman Ishmael's experience whaling under captain Ahab. It's a well-known story of obsession, revenge, mania, and ruin--the typically edifying material or a great American novel.As everyone familiar with American literature already

on 01/11/2019

Hell to Pay (Nick Batzig)

18 years ago, I heard a sermon on Matthew 27:46--Jesus' cry of dereliction on the cross, "My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?" At one point, the minister who was preaching this message said, "Jesus wasn't really forsaken; he just felt forsaken by his Father in his soul." I remember sensing ang

on 01/10/2019

When Discontent Sheep Show Up (Nick Kennicott)

Most pastors have heard the complaints of visitors coming from other local churches. It is not uncommon for believers to grow discontent with their circumstances and begin looking elsewhere for a new church family at some point in their Christian lives. In America, it is all too easy to leave one co

on 01/08/2019

Ecclesial Theology (Gerald Hiestand)

Throughout much of the history of the church, theological discourse was largely an in-house project. A broad house to be sure, but even during the upheaval and turmoil of the Reformation, both sides agreed with the basic tenants of historic Trinitarian Christianity. Scripture was viewed as authorita

on 01/06/2019

Love and Anger at the Cross? (Nick Batzig)

Last week, Wyatt Graham published a post titled, "The Father Was Not Angry at the Son of the Cross," in which he rightly explained that God the Father never stopped loving the Son--even when the Son hung on the cross. While there are many good and helpful statements in Wyatt's post--and, while he ci

on 01/05/2019

Idols of a Mother's Heart (Rachel Green Miller)

If you're a parent and a Christian, you've probably read your share of parenting books. Of the making of self-help parenting books, there is seemingly no end. If, like the writer of Ecclesiastes, you've been wearied by such study, Christina Fox's new book, Idols of a Mother's Heart, will be a balm f

on 01/03/2019

An Unexpected Friendship (Matt Foreman)

As Christians, it can be sometimes easy to take the Gospel for granted, to not appreciate or fully understand God's gift to us of his Son Jesus Christ, how amazing it is to have a relationship with the God of the universe, that we have "confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus" (Heb

on 01/01/2019

The Rhythms of Grace (Nathan Shurden)

God has placed us in a world that's got a rhythm to it. Each day has a sunrise and sunset. Each week has six days of work and a day of rest. Even the four seasons rise and fall with a predictable pattern.This same rhythmic quality comes into play at the end of one calendar year and the beginning of

on 12/31/2018

The 2018 Year in Review (Editors)

As 2018 winds to a close, we want to express our deep and sincere gratitude to the many faithful readers of Ref21. We continue our commitment to call the church to a reformation that recovers clarity and conviction about the great evangelical truths of the gospel and that encourages their proclamati

on 12/28/2018

Calvin's Institutes for 2019 (Robert Brady)

"For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that nought is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; nay, unless they place their entire happiness

on 12/28/2018

Tempted From Without, Yet Without Sin (Daniel Schrock)

"...real temptation could not come to Jesus from within but only from without..." - Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, 3:315Back in 2015 Sam Alberry and Denny Burke sat down for a Q & A Session at Boyce College engaging issues of ministry to the LGBT community. It is a very pastorally sensitive and

on 12/28/2018

Why Ask Why? (Brian Mesimer)

One of the most difficult things for a Christian worker to do is to wade into the midst of grief with a congregant. There we sit, feeling helpless and disarmed, watching the person across the table from us fall into pieces over their loss. When they gain the composure to speak, almost certainly they