What’s Wrong with Wright: Examining the New Perspective on Paul

The New Perspective on Paul is not a new perspective at all, but a recycling and repackaging of several serious errors that have already proved their spiritual bankruptcy.

But it is my strong conviction that the position Wright lays out in What St. Paul Really Said is not an evangelical position at all. It’s a faulty and dangerous reinterpretation of Paul and it misunderstands Scripture in a way that fatally undermines the doctrine of justification by faith and the principle of sola fide.   My... Continue Reading

Deadly Doctrines: The Pattern and Protection

How do we guard ourselves against false teachers and their deadly doctrines?

Paul warns Timothy that people “will turn away from listening to the truth.” The first step in destroying a church is a corporate rejection of the plain teaching of the Bible. First, one individual turns away, and then another, until most of the congregation begins to question what they once held to be true.  ... Continue Reading

The ‘Cause and Root’ of Adoption

If adoption is so important, why does the term huiothesia draw so little ink?

“Quantitative analysis of vocabulary serves as no adequate determiner, because the word huiothesia widely embraces multiple theological foci and vast pastoral treasure. Before giving attention to the sweeping manner in which Paul employs huiothesia, critical hermeneutical principles concerning the theological weight of biblical terms warrant mention.”   Cursory enquiry of huiothesia (“adoption”) in the New... Continue Reading

An Intro to the Institutes

Calvin saw the Institutes as a handmaiden to his commentaries

“The Institutes as we now have it is the product of a lifetime’s thought and reflection by one of the greatest theologians the church has known. In part, as it grew from six to eighty chapters, it reflects Calvin’s own growth in his understanding of the Christian life.”   The Institutes as we now have... Continue Reading

Why Orthodoxy Matters

Orthodoxy is an act of love. Loving truth leads to communicating truth with the goal of living in unity in the truth.

Many think it’s an old guy term, and I would agree. That is part of its appeal. Orthodoxy is concerned with what the true church has historically affirmed and denied about the first principles of God and salvation revealed in his word. God didn’t just give us his word; he made us a church. The divine authority of his word leads to churchly confession. We aren’t just concerned about what God’s word says; we pursue the understanding of what it says.

Contentment in a Discontented World

Christian contentment is based upon dependence not independence.

We can be content, because life’s circumstances do not dictate to us. We live in Him. Christian contentment is based upon dependence not independence. Paul is no Stoic. He is not acting as though he is above his circumstances which have no effect upon him. Rather, in the midst of the difficult circumstances, he is trusting in God and looking to Christ in whom He has all things. He is not independent; he is Christ-dependent. For me to live is Christ. It is not being self-satisfied or self-fulfilled; it is being Christ-satisfied and Christ-fulfilled. And this makes contentment possible.

Preaching As For The Free

The message of the gospel preacher is encouraging for those who have been freely, graciously saved and who are being gradually, graciously sanctified—brought into conformity to Christ.

The gospel preacher has given himself over to bring the good news of free salvation in Christ, through faith alone, to those held captive by sin and death. The gospel preacher does not impose himself upon the brokenhearted. He heals them. He does not put sinners in additional bondage, he liberates them. He does not add additional locks to the doors. He unlocks them.

Is Jesus Knocking at the Heart of the Unbeliever?

The unbeliever will not seek. The unbeliever will not knock.

When we are converted to Christ, we use language of discovery to express our conversion. We speak of finding Christ. We may have bumper stickers that read, “I Found It.” These statements are indeed true. The irony is this: Once we have found Christ it is not the end of our seeking but the beginning.... Continue Reading

Do Christians “Go To Heaven” When They Die?

My answer is: Immediately, yes. Eternally, no.

The intermediate state for the Christian is immediate transition upon death into the presence of Christ in heaven, during which time we experience holiness (no longer being at war with the flesh, although final glorification awaits the resurrection), happiness, a heightened sense of consciousness, and knowledge of Christ in its fullest. But the “intermediate” state... Continue Reading

When Assurance of Salvation is Fleeting

In a world filled with sin, the flesh, and the devil, assurance of salvation is the soft feather bed on which the Christian rests.

Dear struggling Christian, if our gaze is always within, assurance will remain fleeting. No doubt, we need to examine our lives and test the fruit, but true assurance, lasting assurance, secure assurance comes from looking to Christ and our union with Him. We want to see evidence of Christ’s grace in our lives, but we realize these evidences not by seeking after them, but by gaining a greater grasp on Christ. How do we gain this greater grasp of the King of Glory? How do we look to Him more? God has granted His means of grace to the struggling Christian for this very purpose.