Church Life

A Church Is a Dangerous Place to Be Church - A Safe, Welcoming, and Casual Place?: A big stage with smoke machines and flashing spotlights, emotional music and songs, a man wearing jeans and a shirt with tattoos standing on a podium, a sign that reads “Welcome! You are loved here!” These are the...
Editor's Note: If you haven’t already, go back and read Part 1 , 2 , 3 , and 4 to catch up with where we are at!) BREAKING NEWS: a runner has tripped and fallen during their race! Wait, that runner looks familiar…It’s you. What happened that put you flat on your face? CUE INSTANT REPLAY. Okay, just...
Ever since the garden of Eden, sin has been cast as freeing and God’s law as enslaving. Today it’s endemic; sin is glamourized in sitcoms, on magazine covers, on YouTube, in Hollywood, by the influence of peers, and of course, in our own hearts—idol factories as they are (as John Calvin put it)...
“Corporate Rock,” is the derisive label slapped on a style of music born in the 1970s. Characterized by formulaic arrangements, shallow lyrics, and predictable chord progressions critics claim that corporate rock was engineered by record label executives, not artists, to get on the radio, move a...
Church plants and revitalization is a unique and difficult ministry. Unlike many ministers who serve in an established ministry context, church planters and revitalizers often encounter situations and problems that is distinctive to their contexts. Problems such as facing financial difficulty with...
The Scandal of Undisciplined Disciples: Making Church Discipline Edifying. James Durham. Reformation Heritage Books, 2022. 165 pp. Softcover. $14. The dying words of Rev. James Durham (1622-1658) [1] was his major writing on the vital need for proper ecclesiastical disciplinary procedures in, A...
Dear Mr. False Teacher, Permit me to write boldly to you. You have repeated your shallow shibboleths in sermons, blogs, and conferences, and you have tried very hard to pretend that secular society is a neutral playground, a marketplace of ideas where Christianity is welcome to flourish. You punt...
Editor's note: this is part 3 of Raising (Covenant) Children Well. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. Enjoy and be challenged. Friends Closer than a Brother The value of baptism depends, first, on a proper understanding of the sacrament; second, the promises contained in baptism must be...
Having been unable to see my friend, who lives just across the border from me, for roughly two years during Covid-19, I was a little startled when we met and he immediately said to me, “you got grey.” I had, in fact, developed a lot of grey hair, no doubt because of the amount of stress caused by...
Welcome to Ref21! It probably sounds strange to be welcomed to a page that you have read for nearly twenty years! Ref21 has been a staple of daily Christian reading for literally thousands of believers. So, why act as if we are meeting for the first time? The answer is, we are. My name is Jeff...