No Other Gods

2 Kings 17 describes the Assyrian capture of Israel and the Assyrian king’s resettlement of Samarian land. He brings in several groups of people with pagan backgrounds who worship a multiplicity of false gods – people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim (v. 24). It’s specifically noted that they “did not fear the Lord”…

Update . . . From Kansas | 4/24/2020

Along with the rest of the world, we Hagemans are trying to figure out what life is supposed to look like in the midst of a pandemic (as well as the arrival of a newborn). We had been planning to move to Colorado in April of 2020 from northern Virginia since last summer; but as…

Believer, You Are Not Your Own

You know those moments when you come across a quote that seems like it was written for the sole purpose of making you, personally, question your entire approach to life? It happened again today while I was casually scrolling Facebook (I almost included “minding my own business,” but that’s the opposite of what we do…

What Is A Pharisee? What Is True Righteousness?

The Sermon on the Mount was one of the first passages I tried to memorize upon discovering the Bible in high school. Yes, all three chapters. I was a bit of an overachiever throughout the first few years of my Christian walk, and the idea of having all those moral guidelines recorded to memory really…

We Can’t Live For Earthly Breakthroughs

A couple of months ago, an internet acquaintance of mine, Joshua Arnold, shared a profound thought: “I’d rather have a breakdown that has me cleaving to Christ than a ‘breakthrough’ in something worldly and vain that may charm me into thinking I don’t need to desperately depend on Christ in every moment.” This sentiment runs…

Stop Asking The “Relationship Or Religion” Question

I have lived and affirmed both sides of the “relationship or religion” controversy in my relatively short twenty-two years of life. Growing up in the South amidst fundamentalist communities (as well as the weird amalgamation of Eastern spirituality which characterizes Asheville, my hometown) has enabled me to find a comfortable seat on the pendulum ride…

Does The Reformation Still Matter?

The following excerpt is derived from Why the Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves and Tim Chester, published by Crossway in 2016. “I was watching a television documentary recently when the presenter said, ‘In many ways the Reformation and the bitterness and division it represents reminds us of the worst aspects of our religious instincts.’…

Theological Hypocrisy And Humility

Something that Reformed believers are regularly rebuked for is their passion for exposing false prophecy and unbiblical teaching. I’ve been as “guilty” of this passion as the next person, and I say “guilty” because I definitely don’t hold the popular opinion that exposing false doctrine is on the Top Three Worst Sins list. But I…

Contend For The Faith

I grew up going to church, but I never heard much about the book of Jude. It sits in the very back of the Bible next to Revelation – somewhat dwarfed in contrast – and there isn’t generally a whole lot of attention paid to it compared to some of the other epistles and gospel…

What Does “God Is Loving” Mean?

Love is arguably one of the attributes of God that people most often twist and tarnish. R.C. Sproul says that “the problem in our culture is a view of God that carries with it a cheap view of love, and a sense of love by which all the other attributes of God are removed or…

Children, Culture, and the Church

With each passing year spent on this earth – and there haven’t been many years for me yet, which makes the matter even more disturbing – I realize more and more just how extensively the culture around us has influenced the American church. One of the biggest reasons why this influence has been undisturbed for…

Theological Compromise Won’t Unify The Church

There is an incredibly popular sentiment in contemporary Christian interactions regarding unity and division. You may have heard it before, especially if you’ve been involved in any conversations that fall even a little bit into the “comment war” category. It goes something like this: Why does [insert theological topic] matter to you so much? Just…