A Rejoinder to ‘Theonomy, Bahnsen and the Federal Vision’

A response: Federal Vision is a real problem, but its roots are not endemic in Theonomy.

Just because a person speaks highly of the law of God in one place in one book does not make him a legalist or the father of legalism.  Just because a person has a high view of the efficacy of baptism (as does the Westminster Confession of Faith) in one place in one book does... Continue Reading

Reformed Protestants Who Pick Nits

The New Calvinists should see the hand of God in the old Calvinism that emerged in places like Zurich and Strasbourg well before John Calvin was even a Protestant.

Nor should Martin Bucer be forgotten. He initiated reforms in the city of Strasbourg a year or so after Zwingli’s activities. Bucer also put his stamp indelibly on Calvin when in 1538 Geneva’s city authorities told Calvin to leave. Calvin ministered in Strasbourg for two years to a French speaking congregation and taught at Strasbourg’s... Continue Reading

Does God Really Care About Our Suffering?

Our God is not stoic and unaffected, but is touched by our afflictions.

When you are suffering, how do you think God responds to you? Do you imagine him saying something like: “Hey buck up. It doesn’t hurt that bad.” “Somebody call the Waaaaambulance” “Come on, you big baby, shake it off. Get over it.” Our heavenly Father is filled with compassion for his blood-bought children. He has... Continue Reading

Theonomy, Greg Bahnsen, and the Federal Vision- Part Two

Bahnsen’s writings laid the foundation for the Federal Vision, particularly in the areas of the sacraments, conditional perseverance, apostasy, the mono-covenantal structure of Scripture, and the law.

Bahnsen is guilty of two errors in his work on theonomy. First, he established a new paradigm for the law by connecting the believer’s obedience to the whole Old Testament law in exhaustive detail. Second, he emphasized obedience to the law so strenuously that he often comes close to the dangerous Pelagian spectrum of errors.... Continue Reading

Explainer: Divine Simplicity and the Trinitarian Controversy

If you have followed the recent upheaval over the Trinity and gender, you may have asked yourself these questions

This doctrine [divine simplicity] was once taken for granted by basically everyone, from the earliest days of the church through to the Reformation and beyond, and only became unfamiliar quite recently. I’m not going to be able to explain all the details of the idea here. My objective is twofold: to give a basic outline... Continue Reading

What Did Jesus Do for Women?

In a world where women had little or no legal rights and got little or no respect as intellectuals or spiritual people, Jesus came along and turned the world's view of women upside-down.

Contemporary feminists often blame Christianity for being anti-women. Some neo-pagan-minded feminists put “goddess” bumper stickers on their cars, imagining that a return to the days of goddess-worship would liberate them from the male-dominated oppression of the church. A close reading of the New Testament against the cultural background of the first-century Roman Empire tells a... Continue Reading

Your Work Never Goes Unseen

Our work is done for God's glory and fame, not our own. It's not done for the praise or accolades of man but for the sake of our Savior.

So friends, if you are working hard for the Lord, don’t give up. Don’t despair. All your work done for God’s glory is storing up for you eternal treasures that far outweigh any accolades or acknowledgement in the here and now. None of it is wasted or lost. Your quiet faithfulness in all things, even... Continue Reading

The Trinity: God is Not an Undifferentiated Monad

The God of Scripture is Triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is a Triunity.

“To put it another way, God’s unity is ontological and not just ethical. God’s unity is not the result of a harmonious unanimous vote within the Godhead. The three persons do not form a committee. God’s unity just is the complete and whole interpenetration of the three persons of Father, Son, and Spirit.”   Some... Continue Reading

The Trinity-Subordinationism Debate and the Opportunity Before Us

If the current trinitarian debate over a version of complementarianism was inevitable, what does this mean for the next stage of faithful thinking and practice?

It also means more hopefully that, despite our anxiety and listlessness in the midst of this contemporary sexual revolution, the Church, dutifully sanctified and reformed by and according to Holy Scripture, may in fact be in a position to survive this cultural upheaval with something to say, both to it and to herself, as the Church. She may yet... Continue Reading

What I Can’t Know If I Don’t Know the Trinity

When you don’t know God as Trinity, there’s not much you can know about the Gospel

Without a knowledge that God is eternally Father to the Son, we will not understand the marvel of that highest privilege of the gospel: the adoption unto Sonship into which are admitted in union with Christ by which we can cry “Abba, Father!”   I’ve already written of the recent controversy over the Trinity and... Continue Reading