If Our Obedience is Required, How Can it be Called a Covenant of Grace?

In the confusion among some Christians who fear that obedience to the law will transform them into legalists and so, miss grace, the question arises: If our obedience is required, how can it be called a covenant of grace? The presumed answer is that since it is by grace that we are saved through faith, […]

One Duty of Faithful Pastors: Barking at Wolves

While the pastor as a shepherd has many duties which turn his focus inward toward the flock, there is one duty in particular for which he must keep his eye focused outward as well: protecting the flock against wolves. False teachers, both outside and within the church, attack it, usually disguising themselves as sheep, that […]

Church Planting Update

Uptown’s Church Planting Update Uptown church is committed to sharing the full life that is found in Christ with people all over the world. One of the major ways in which we do this is by helping to start new churches to share the life of Christ. Update on Recent Church Plants South Charlotte Presbyterian […]

A Grief Observed

  In late September my brother Jim, a Ruling Elder in a PCA church down in the Jacksonville, FL area, came home to discover that his wife, Allison, had passed away in her sleep, due to heart failure. She had no history of heart problem and was only fifty-eight, so it came as a cruel […]

Summer Sabbatical Summary

This summer Ann and I spent most of my two month sabbatical in New Hampshire and Maine at two small lake cottages we rented there. The major focus of my sabbatical was writing. I started work last spring on a new book whose working title is: Sanctification, a user’s guide to becoming more like Jesus. […]

Too Hard, Too Soft, or Just Right

Goldilocks is the famously picky young woman who, after despoiling the three bears of their porridge and sitting in all their chairs decided to take a nap. Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom.  She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard.  Then she […]

Ask and You Will Receive?

I was emailing with a friend recently who had just gotten some very disappointing news. Something he had really hoped would come about did not. Those moments can be disappointing and confusing. I will tell you what I often say in a situation like this in just a moment, but first, let’s think about prayer together. […]

A New Year’s Resolution That Will Work

At the start of the New Year, many of us think about how we might change our lives, and ourselves during the year to come. Plans for exercise routines, diets, sleep habits, studies, and more are considered. But have you ever thought about a New Year’s resolution that centers on being loved more? Few things […]

Perseverance of the Saints

While we read in the news and see on television awful scenes of war, poverty and persecution in the Middle East, we may forget the very human reality of our fellow Christians behind those headlines and images. We are returning from a missions trip to the Middle East, as I write, where we were working […]

Holiness Is Our Goal

You shall be holy, for I am holy. Recently Dr. Ed Welch, a man for whose ministry I have great respect and have benefited from immensely, wrote a blog post entitled, “Holiness is not our goal.” I wish to respectfully, and carefully, disagree. I wish to disagree, not so much with the sentiment of his […]

The Vision for Uptown Church

During 1993 when about twelve us met for a year to study the Bible in planning for the start of Uptown Church we were moved by Jesus’ assertion of his essential purpose in coming to redeem a people for his Father from among the world, wherein he promised: “I came that they may have life […]

Come Out From the World

Ever since Abraham settled in Canaan, the people of God have wrestled with what it means to be in the world but not of it. As Jesus prayed for us: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of […]

Processing the Mass Murder in Orlando: Some Biblical Reflections

On the Sunday morning of the mass murder at a night club in Orlando frequented by homosexuals and others, I was on vacation with my family and so visiting another church. The sermon was on Jonah and the pastor made the point that, unlike Jonah, we should not be prejudiced against unbelievers so that we […]

On Spiritual Warfare

When we are involved in a conflict the tendency can easily be to vilify the other party in our hearts and minds. This is true whether we are conflicting with our non-Christian coworkers or our Christian friends. Communication breakdowns, misunderstandings abound, frustration rises to the point of anger and we begin to see them as […]

Living in the Belly of the Beast

A few years ago I was able to sit in on a Sunday School Class that our own Dr. Mike Kruger was teaching on the book of Revelation. In the class he was defining various interpretations of exactly who or what the beast is. Various schools of interpretation see the beast as either unfaithful Israel […]

The Trouble With Jesus

Francis Schaeffer, the theologian and cultural critic, said years ago that US Christianity, in fact, Western Christianity, was primarily concerned with “personal peace and affluence.” He meant by this that as long as God was supplying us with enough money to buy all the things we wanted in life and as long as things were […]

Don’t Play Travel Ball: Stay in the Rec League- By James M. Hamilton Jr.

I love sports! I grew up playing and competing in several sports even through college and continue actively involved today at 60 years old. Many at Uptown Church share my love for sports. We rightly involve our children in sports as well, as did the Hawkes family. Sports are great to learn team work, develop […]

On Correcting Those Who Err

Faithful are the wounds of a friend Proverbs 27:6   One of the more dreaded aspects of the Christian life, for most believers, is confronting those in error. Few things, however, are more needed. Whether their error is theological or moral, we are called to confront in such a way as to win them back […]

The Key to Change: Resolution or Repentance

Many people are fond of making resolutions as the new-year begins. But how effective are such resolutions? One study found that typically 95% of such resolutions fail. While there is nothing wrong in the absolute sense with a resolution, it may be worth contrasting the idea of human resolve and divine repentance as agents for […]

God’s Beauty

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” Ralph Waldo Emerson As we near the end of the fall season, the final resplendent leaves, hanging bravely still, show forth the artful hand of their Creator. We are rightly struck by their beauty, and we ought to be amazed. Were the […]