Rachel Miller Contra Mundum? The 5 Solas and John Piper, Part 2: “Salvation”

Faith is the instrumental cause of not only our Justification, but our complete and final Salvation.

This is what is truly precious about the doctrine of Justification: it is not just the first step from which one moves on into the rest of the benefits of saving Union with Christ. It is the declaration at the beginning of what will be at the end. Justification is the definitive, present, juridical, and... Continue Reading

Faith Doesn’t Save Anyone

By itself, faith is a meaningless word. Faith means to believe in…something

“What becomes a problem is when we believe that faith is what saves us. If we take just a second to examine ourselves, some questions come up. How much faith do I need? What do I believe in, then? Am I having faith in faith? But that seems a bit odd. How do I believe... Continue Reading

Weapons in the Fight Against Anxiety and Fear

We serve a God who reigns over all. He can be trusted; He can be relied upon.

“The desire to know why things are happening in our life and even more so to control things in our life is one of the greatest killers of contentment. It also proves to be one of the greatest engines of anxiety.”   A two-year-old will never obsess about world economies. A three-year-old will never ask... Continue Reading

Did Martin Luther Invent “Justification” 500 Years Ago?

The Reformation put the puzzle pieces in place, but the pieces were there all along

The doctrine of justification doesn’t rest simply on a verb here or there. It is the whole teaching of the Scriptures that God will provide the sacrificial skins to cover our nakedness (Gen. 3:21). The whole sacrificial system of the Old Testament pointed forward to “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of... Continue Reading

Discerning the Devil

Against Satan’s deceptions, we must stand in the Holy Scriptures

“In his second letter to the Corinthians included in the canon of Scripture, Paul revisits many of the same problems he addressed in his first letter. Only this time, he brings another consideration to bear, that of enemy opposition and spiritual combat.”   The children’s Sunday School class could no longer use the room. The... Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know About Systematic Theology

Systematic theology is a way of studying the Bible that attends to the full scope of biblical teaching

The only way the church truly submits to the Bible’s doctrinal and moral teaching is by submitting to the full scope of the Bible’s doctrinal and moral teaching. Failure to attend to the whole counsel of God “leads to one-sidedness and error in theology and pathology in the religious life” (Herman Bavinck).   1. Systematic... Continue Reading

The “Watchmaker Argument”

Two hundred years ago a bishop, by the name of William Paley, wrote a book in which he used a watch to illustrate how clear it was that God is real.

The woodpecker, is a marvelous bird and far from ordinary. Take his bill, for example. Isn’t it amazing how he can ram it into a tree thousands of times a minute without having to replace it or getting a terrific headache? Well, his head is equipped with shock absorbers. And these shock absorbers cushion the... Continue Reading

The Trauma of Holiness

This holy God inspires far greater trauma in those whom He encounters than any natural disaster

“Martin Luther and the other Reformers understood the holy character of this God. For them, the recovery of the gospel was such good news because they knew the trauma of holiness and that the only way to endure the presence of this holy God’s judgment is to be covered in the holiness and righteousness of... Continue Reading

Are the “Calvinist” Critics of Piper Really Calvinists At All?

Many of the arguments used to defend a Reformed doctrine of justification don’t seem very Reformed

Unlike many “Reformed” theologians today who view conditional or instrumental language with respect to good works as unorthodox or legalistic or outside the bounds of Reformed orthodoxy, Calvin unashamedly uses such language.   When I was a student at Westminster Seminary, I spent a number of months studying the Norman Shepherd controversy which racked that... Continue Reading

Exegesis without Embarrassment

Biblical Interpretation, Old Testament Books, & Tough Texts

It is understandable why teachers and curriculum might not put much emphasis on the destruction of Jericho’s citizens or the other instances in the book of Joshua that describe the Israelites’ killing the residents and animals of entire towns. These stories can make us feel uncomfortable, after all. They can be hard enough to explain... Continue Reading