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Should We Pray “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”?

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Posted at Reformation Scotland:

The Pope says, “no” (as has been widely reported recently). “It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation.” There is nothing ambiguous about the wording of the original. Pope Francis does not suggest that the translation needs to be improved because of language but because of theology. It is true that God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13-14) and that the word for tempt can also mean to test. But we also read that Jesus was led by God into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1). We have to acknowledge the role of God’s Providence in this. How should we understand this part of the Lord’s Prayer?

There is a lot more to this phrase than we might first assume. As Samuel Rutherford notes, when we pray “lead us not into temptation” we are acknowledging our dependence on God’s sovereignty. We pray against removal of the spiritual influences that we need to withstand temptation. “We crave the increase of faith and …

Christians, please vet your political candidates and pastors.

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By Angela Wittman


Dear Friends,

I am sickened at the lack of discernment and common sense among God's people when it comes to choosing political leaders, churches and pastors. Please realize that not everyone who claims to be of Christ actually knows Him. You must become familiar with the Word of God and learn to judge a person by the "fruit" their life produces. A man or woman might have all the right religious cliches and be able to cherry pick Scriptures to support their sin, but you have a responsibility to become wise enough through God's Word to detect the falsehoods and discern if something is not right with what you're being told by those proclaiming to be God's messenger.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fr…

Remembering R.C. Sproul, 1939–2017

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By Stephen Nichols - Posted at Ligonier Ministries:


R.C. Sproul, theologian, pastor, and founder of Ligonier Ministries, died on December 14, 2017, at the age of 78, after being hospitalized due to complications from emphysema. Dr. Sproul is survived by his childhood sweetheart and wife of fifty-seven years, Vesta Ann (Voorhis); their daughter, Sherrie Sproul Dorotiak, and her husband, Dennis; and their son, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr., and his wife, Lisa. The Sprouls have eleven grandchildren, one granddaughter deceased, and seven great-grandchildren.

R.C. Sproul was a theologian who served the church. He admired the Reformers not only for the content of their message, but for the way they took that message to the people. They were “battlefield theologians,” as he called them. Many first heard of the five solas of the Reformation through R.C. Sproul’s teaching. When R.C. taught about Martin Luther, it was as if he had met the sixteenth-century Reformer. R.C.’s commitment to sola Scriptura le…

Why Discipleship Works with a Plurality of Elders

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By Josh Buice - Posted at DeliveredByGrace.com:

In Acts 6:2, Jesus’ inner circles was known as “the twelve.” They were serving as the pastors for the early church as it was growing rapidly. However, when a problem arose among the church, servants were established to wait on the tables in order to free up these men to give their full attention to the Word of God and prayer.

The pattern of ministry all throughout the New Testament is clearly established upon a plurality of elders leading and a plurality of deacons serving. Although this is not a blemish-free ministry pattern, it does provide for the most healthy scenario for discipleship in the local church.

Deacons, Elders, and Discipleship

When pastors are free to give themselves to the Word of God, the church will benefit drastically. The pastors who put more priority on pragmatics and less priority upon the study of God’s Word cannot expect their church to rise above their leaders. Interestingly enough, in Acts 6, the early chur…

Politics and Our Christian Witness

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By Shane Vander Hart - Posted at Caffeinated Thoughts:

Mark Galli, editor of Christianity Today, I think nailed it in his op/ed yesterday. His focus was on the outcome of the Alabama Senate Race (written before the result was known, we now know Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore) but can be applied as we consider the future of Christians in politics.

He pointed out the hypocrisy found among some (many?) Christians on the left, right, and in the center.

First, Christians who consider themselves progressive or moderate have been rather smug toward their conservative brothers and sisters in Christ.

Many have dismissed conservative Christians as though we’re tax collectors and sinners. They have believed the worst about us often attributing some of the more outrageous remarks made by conservatives (not even necessarily Christians) to us all. They have not taken the time to understand why we believe what we believe. They have been divisive. They have often overlooked poor conduct in candidates th…

Roy Moore Should Take Responsibility for His Campaign Loss

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By Angela Wittman



Dear Friends,

Frankly I'm relieved the special election in Alabama is over and Roy Moore did not win. But, I am dismayed that some of his supporters are blaming fellow believers for his loss; it seems they feel that the Christians who didn't support Moore are to blame for him not being elected to the US Senate. Plus, I saw a news clip this morning of Roy Moore blaming the allegations of sexual misconduct as a reason his campaign lost.

Friends, if Roy Moore were a man of sterling character like his supporters believe, he would take responsibility for his campaign loss. It didn't have to end this way. When the allegations of sexual misconduct and molestation, plus the stories of dating teen girls as a man in his 30's came forth, the responsible and Christian action would have been for Roy Moore to step aside until he could disprove the allegations. If he had done this, another Republican candidate could have come forth and ran in Moore's place and p…

Theological Roots and Moral Fruits of Reformation

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By Dan Doriani - Posted at Place for Truth:

The leader of a major campus ministry recently said "If forty people approach a campus minister with an objection to Christianity, one worries about Bart Ehrman and his attacks on the authority and reliability of Scripture. The other thirty-nine have moral questions: Why does the Bible have a repressive sex ethic? Why is it silent about abuse of power? Why do evangelical churches support politicians who tolerate racism and misogyny? Why do so many pastors say "God wants you to be rich" and get rich pushing that message? In short, they ask, "Can I look to the church for moral direction?"

The Reformation era had similar questions and they fueled a desire for reform in an era when the church was society's dominant institution. Priests were everywhere and their flaws were clear. For example, Zurich had a population of 5,000 people and about 400 priests – over 20% of the adult male population. They lived beside the pe…

Trying to Avoid the Hot Takes in Alabama

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By Erick Erickson - Posted at The Resurgent:

There are only so many things that can be extrapolated from the Alabama race. Here are the basics.
There are going to be a lot of hot takes about Alabama. I'd like to try to avoid them and stick to the basics here in bullet point fashion.

Credible allegations need to be treated credibly. Whether Roy Moore supporters want to believe it or not, most voters treated the allegations of child molestation seriously and they didn't buy the Moore defenders' excuses that it didn't happen and if it did it was okay. I've been berated in the comments here and it did not matter. What matters was the Moore campaign didn't treat the allegations with the seriousness they should have. Only Trump can behave like Trump. What Moore did was act like the President. He attacked the press, changed his story multiple times, and otherwise never mounted a real rebuttal to the accusations. He probably could not because of their veracity, but the…

What would Jesus do about harassment?

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By Eric Reed - Posted at iB2News:

We had to terminate a deacon in a church I once pastored. No one wanted to do it, because he had served for forty years, and because his wife was one of the kindest, godliest women any of us knew. They were pillars in our church. But it had to be done.

The man would approach young women at church, hug them close, and ask if they wanted to go for a ride. “Would you like to go to the coast?” was code for who-knows-what, because no one took him up on the offer, so far as we knew. But the implication was uncomfortable and the hands-y hugging very inappropriate.

Even then, twenty years ago, we knew what we had to do. After meeting with his accusers, then him and his wife, we removed him from office. What would Jesus do about sexual harassment? Put a stop to it.

It’s surprising how little comment there has been recently from church leaders on the subject of harassment and the Christian’s responsibility. Perhaps because it’s patently obvious that sex belongs…

Presbyterian And Reformed Ambivalence About Christmas

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

Published 12.2015

The Reformation reception of Christmas was mixed. The Lutherans embraced it and you will take their Christmas tree when you pry it from their cold, dead fingers. The Anglicans embraced it too. Those of the Reformed tradition, however, who embraced the regulative principle and who largely shed the medieval church calendar, were much less receptive to Christmas. ...
The Christmas season is nearing its climax. As the shopping ebbs and the work schedule slows a bit (for some anyway—remember in your prayers your local police and firefighters as this can be a difficult time for them) it gives us opportunity to think a bit about what we are doing and why. Tomorrow evening, on Christmas evening (as observed in the West anyway. Christians in the Eastern traditions keep a different calendar) and on Christmas morning congregations will gather for worship services. Many Christians, especially those with roots in Northern Europe, h…