• Should the church support the total abolition of abortion? Question and Answer

    FERGUSON: There’s only one consideration that I think orthodox Christians have ever had in mind regarding abortion, and that is the possibility that one life threatens another. That Is an area in which I think Christians have had a genuine disagreement. That involves very sensitive and difficult issues ethically in the life of Christians. Although there has been disagreement about what to do when one life threatens another, there has been absolute homogeneity throughout history on the value of life. For example, the early Christians stood united against the taking of human life because it is contrary to the law … View Resource

  • Whom has Christ authorized to baptize? Can parents baptize a child at home? Question and Answer

    PARSONS: Christ has authorized His elders of His church, His undershepherds, to baptize. Yet, we also have run across many circumstances where people have been baptized by someone other than an elder of Christ’s church, and that’s where we have to use a great deal of wisdom and discernment. We have to consider the circumstances and how the baptism was performed. It takes the wisdom of the plurality of elders in a local body to discern if that baptism was a legitimate baptism. We have to deal with this quite frequently as a church. People come from lots of different … View Resource

  • What principles of interpretation can help me read the Bible? Question and Answer

    Many of our listeners and students know that hermeneutics is at the very foundation of how we know what we believe in our theology, how we understand Scripture, and how we interpret Scripture. In many ways, hermeneutics was the key for me in coming to understand the doctrines of grace and the doctrine of salvation in Scripture. It was equally significant for me in coming to understand covenant theology and the Bible’s view of the end times and eschatology, or the study of last things. It was also foundational in understanding paedobaptism, or infant baptism. If you don’t study hermeneutics … View Resource

  • How can Christians live as lights in a dark time? Question and Answer

    Matthew 22:39

    CHARLES: A couple of things come to my mind. One is what Burk mentioned, which is the second great command that Jesus gives—to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:39). We, as shepherds in our church, have been trying to think through decisions in a way that reflects that priority for the members of our church so that we, as a church, are reflecting how to love our neighbor in this critical time. It is not just about our own safety, security, priorities, comfort, or whatever you would add to that list. There is a love of neighbor that motivates … View Resource

  • What words of comfort can help me fight fear and anxiety? Question and Answer

    Philippians 4:6-7

    FERGUSON: This is a time for us to prove in our own lives the gospel that we’ve always professed to believe. To start the conversation, in the well-known passage in which Jesus teaches us about living the Christian life during the Sermon on the Mount, there is a section where He underscores for us that the knowledge of God as our loving, caring, heavenly Father delivers us from two things. First, the knowledge of God as Father delivers us from hypocrisy (Matt. 6:16–18). We no longer need to pretend to Him to be something that we’re not. We no longer … View Resource

  • How can Christians continue to minister to one another when large gatherings present a health risk? Question and Answer

    Mark 12:31

    FERGUSON: I never thought I would ever say, “Praise God for technology,” but my wife told me yesterday that our son, who is a minister of a smaller congregation, set up a YouTube channel for the congregation to have their midweek prayer service. It’s a small church without resources that other churches have. Amazingly, God has given us ways and means that no other generation has had for such a time as this. Other generations have known much, much worse than this and never had the technology. When H.B. Charles was talking about waking up with the congregation on his … View Resource

  • How are you praying through the crisis surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19)? Question and Answer

    I’ve been praying for many weeks, particularly when the virus was largely within the Wuhan region in China. I have many friends who minister both in and through China, as I’m sure many of us do. I have a great deal of care for what’s been going on in China even over the past year or two. I’ve been praying for revival in China, even for months leading up to this. With this crisis they’ve experienced, I’ve been praying that God would do a mighty work among them, that God would bring about whatever peaceful revolution is needed, and that … View Resource

  • How is your church maintaining worship and fellowship in a time of quarantines and self-isolation? Question and Answer

    CHARLES: We’re just in the midst of coming here, making plans, and going home, so we’re still working through plans. Hearing the question breaks my heart. The reality just breaks my heart. I woke up this morning with Philippians 1:3, where Paul says, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,” but I feel a longing and yearning for the people of the church that God has made me a part of. As a pastor, I carry a heavy heart of burden and concern that we’re not able to meet together. I hope that those who call Shiloh Church … View Resource

  • What can the “Young, Restless, and Reformed” movement learn from the historic Reformation? Question and Answer

    That’s a big question, and there’s a great complexity to the answer. One thing we need to always keep in mind is that truth is never a fad. When God’s truth goes out, it never returns void. It always goes forth and accomplishes precisely what God has intended. We need to be grateful for God’s truth going forth to the young, to the aged—to all. We need to contend for that truth, continue to proclaim that truth, and be grateful for the truth of the Lord going forth. We need to be faithful in cultivating that truth and discipling the … View Resource

  • Are preachers and pastors more important than other Christians? Question and Answer

    James 3:1

    THOMAS: There is an important Reformation principle behind this question: the priesthood of all believers. That was a profound rediscovery at the time of the Reformation. Religion had been hidden in a language that people didn’t understand by professional people to whom they had no real access. The Reformation discovered that we are all priests before God. The individual can approach God by himself or herself through faith in Jesus Christ rather than through the intermediary of a sacerdotal system. The Bible being given into the hands of an individual was vitally important. That the individual could read and discover … View Resource

  • Is it important to know the moment of our regeneration? Question and Answer

    God knows the moment of our regeneration. Regeneration, of course, is the making alive or the quickening of our souls from death to life when we are made to be born again by the Spirit. There are some instances in Scripture where it seems that we know when someone was regenerated, but we still don’t know the exact moment when that person was regenerated. The theologian Louis Berkhof is very helpful in talking about this in his Systematic Theology. That’s a good place to read on this subject. So, no, we don’t know the moment of our regeneration, and in … View Resource

  • Is it biblical to say “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin?” Question and Answer

    John 1:12

    Yes, it is biblical in the sense that we are sinners, that we have sinned, that we do sin, and that God loves us and hates our sin. The way this question is framed is the way it has often been used both in evangelism tactics and in order to paint a picture of God, who God is, and God’s love that is ultimately not biblical. So, as many hear that phrase, “God loves the sinner but hates the sin,” the reason that’s not entirely appropriate is because it’s not just the sin that God sends to hell. God sends … View Resource

  • Is addiction a sign that someone is not a Christian? Question and Answer

    Hebrews 12:1

    There is language in Hebrews 12 where the author of Hebrews talks about “that sin which so easily besets us,” or “that sin which so easily entangles us” (Heb. 12:1). Historically, people would come and say, “What is your besetting sin?” While we certainly can have one or a few besetting sins, that passage is getting at the reality that sin itself—not just one sin, but all sin—is entangling. It besets us. The image is like that of weeds coming up from the ground and entangling themselves around our ankles. If you’re a runner, imagine weeds coming up and grabbing … View Resource

  • What percentage of our income should Christians give to the church? Question and Answer

    2 Corinthians 9:7

    The Bible very plainly gives us the tithe as ten percent. I think that’s a good starting point in how we give, and the New Testament never repeals it. Paul tells us that the Lord loves a cheerful giver and that we’re not to give begrudgingly (2 Cor. 9:7). But Paul is not arguing against people who are saying that we’re not called to give. I think it was assumed that Christians were still tithing and giving. Otherwise, it would’ve been a pretty significant thing, and we would’ve seen something in the New Testament say, “You no longer have to … View Resource

  • How can I avoid becoming prideful? Question and Answer

    I recently wrote an article for Credo Magazine online and talked a little bit about my own experience in coming to understand the doctrine of salvation in Scripture. I talked about what a difficult thing it was for me, after two and a half years of study, to really come to grips with it. For me, it humbled me. It crushed me. It was a crucible period in my life, and it made me dig more into Scripture. From my vantage point, and from the perspective of friends at that time, I never really went through what many went through—that … View Resource