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Posts By Rev. James McDonald


Sola Scriptura or Solo Scriptura?

Historic Sola Scriptura I have too often heard the modern refrain, “No creed but Christ, no law but love.” This relatively simple platitude is viewed by many as a spiritually deep proclamation of their commitment to the historic and profound battle cry of the Reformation, Sola Scriptura. Adherents to this catchphrase are not just those who would align themselves with the emergent church movement or the contemporary charismatic crowd. Within the circles in which I run (the politically-conservative, family-friendly, and culturally-concerned crowd) a similar sentiment exists, and is growing. Like any movement, any revival, any reformation, there are those who. . .
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Hide the Kids, the Pastor is Here — Family Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy in the Family If you are reading this article, there is a very good possibility you have a family. And, there is a very good possibility you go to a church. Both of these institutions, the family and the church, are listed in the title. Given that, I want to ask you to honestly consider a couple of questions. Why do you take your family to church? What is your motivation? Is there something that you desire to see the church do for your family, specifically your children? And, if so, how do you expect that to happen? As. . .
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Socialism Rightly Applied

Socialism in the Government The concept of socialism is rightly repugnant to many, especially those of us who have been reared in the individualistic United States. If anyone with a biblical worldview considers the government takeover of corporations and industries, from banking institutions and automobile manufacturers to the healthcare market, they will be rightly disturbed. Many of us open up our newspapers or web browsers with a sense of foreboding — we are not sure what the government will be eying next. Socialism in the Christian Family That said, there are principles of socialism that are not in and of. . .
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Building the Kingdom of God is a Family Mission

Build the Kingdom of God in Your Family During times of war a wise commander deploys his soldiers according to a strategic plan. Missions are carefully planned and then manned with well-equipped warriors so that objectives are achieved, positions are held, and enemy territory is taken. And so it is with the Lord of Hosts, the One who commands the armies of Heaven. Our God has an eternal plan for dominion, one that is moving forward one heart, one household, one community at a time. The reality of the Kingdom of God and our part in it is something that. . .
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Honoring Your Parents When You’re All Grown Up

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12 Family Battles One of the most familiar verses on spiritual warfare is Ephesians 6:12, where we learn that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. And yet, while we read that verse and meditate upon its meaning, some of us are confronted with the reality that it seems we do indeed wrestle with flesh and blood, the flesh and blood that is related to us. Sometimes, the greatest spiritual battles seem to take place in. . .
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Quantity Time with Our Children

Responsibilities of Parents What we’re talking about today is time management and specifically time management in raising our children—bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We all know the commandment of God from the book of Deuteronomy: we are to teach our children the commandments, statutes, and judgments of the Lord when we talk with them in our homes, when we sit with them at our tables, when we walk by the way, and when they rise up. We also remember the heartfelt plea of the Apostle John who said in his third epistle, “I have. . .
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The Fearing Father

I have been a father now for twenty nine years. God has blessed my wife and me with ten children. And I am thankful that by God’s grace each one of my children has professed faith in Jesus Christ. And those who are now married are now raising their children to love the Lord, to be recipients of His grace, to cry out for His mercy. And I am humbled when I remember how God has used me as an instrument in bringing the reality of faith in their lives. Fatherhood is Not for Wimps You see, fatherhood is not. . .
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I Still Do

Marriage Vows Vows should always bring a sense of reservation. They bring a sense of sober contemplation. Taking a vow should cause us to pause and consider who we really are and who we will be. And there are few vows that are more important than the marriage vow. But one of the beauties about the marriage vow is that it involves two parties who make a similar promise, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish for a lifetime. These vows may seem constraining to some because they do indeed call us. . .
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Six Days You Shall Labor

One thing I strive to instill within my children is an understanding of the necessity of work. For anyone alive, we are commanded by God to be productive, to be industrious, to be those who are not idle, but those who are engaged in some sort of enterprise. The Lord God Almighty has not only decreed this to be a characteristic of all mankind, He even modeled it Himself. The creation account is one that details work, that details labor, that details creativity of the highest nature. The Lord God created the heavens and the earth and all that is. . .
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Earthly Seraphim

Perhaps the Apostle John said it best, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” This should be the heart cry of the Christian parent, this should be the motivation that inspires our prayers and our actions as we invest in the lives of the children that God has given to us. Sadly, in many evangelical churches the promises of God with respect to our children are often ignored. For instance, we read in Psalm 103:17 that the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His. . .
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Is the Church Alive Worth the Drive?

I am blessed to serve a wonderful church full of many unique and gifted households. While there is great diversity in our congregation, we also share many important commonalities and goals, one of which is to fill the earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. This is fulfilled in the success of the Great Commission. This common goal impacts the way we worship, the way we fellowship, and even the way we teach our children. While Providence is indeed a glorious church; it is not the Church; and it is not the only church. We. . .
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Guarding the Garden Without Bruising the Fruit

We live on two beautiful acres in the middle of nowhereIllinois. When God moved us from the concrete suburbs ofKaty,Texasto the fertile soil of theMidwest, we had dreams of a lush garden filled with easy-to-grow vegetables and fruit trees. Though we had enjoyed our backyard garden in southeastTexas, we looked forward to a more extensive agricultural footprint inIllinois. I will never forget the first few gardens we planted after moving here. We dug up a pretty good parcel of land and planted a diverse group of herbs and vegetables. We did all that we could to ensure that the native. . .
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Rev. James McDonald

Rev. James McDonald.

Rev. James McDonald, Pastor of Providence Church, Peoria, Illinois: He is husband to Stacy and the father of ten children, and grandfather to one. James is also the president of Family Reformation Ministries. Things He likes: The Word of God and the dead guys (Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Edwards, Spurgeon, Whitfield, Van Til, a number of puritans), warm camp fires, a decent Cabernet, walking with his bride.
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