Aquinas Is Still Not a Safe Guide for Protestants
A rejoinder to “Should Ole Aquinas be Forgot and Never Brought to Mind?” in the discussion on Aquinas.
Whatever Aquinas says in one place concerning election, regeneration, justification, the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, adoption, sanctification, and other graces, must be considered with the realization that he holds heretical views on the sacraments. In one part of the Summa, you can read what Aquinas says about justification by faith, but then you go... Continue Reading
Without Holiness, No One Will See The Lord
What do these words, “without holiness no one will see the Lord” actually mean?
The writer of Hebrews is telling us to take seriously the necessity of personal, practical holiness. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives at our salvation, He comes to make us holy in practice. If there is not, then, at least a yearning in our hearts to live a holy life pleasing to God,... Continue Reading
Growing in Grace
The Christian faith, life, and walk, is about Jesus; it isn’t about me.
It is not introspective navel gazing that will draw us close to Christ–it is through looking outward to the One who is the object and grounds of our faith. When I fall into sin, the remedy is not looking at me and/or the sin. It is by hating and repenting of it, and looking to the sinless... Continue Reading
The Doctrines of Grace: When You Have Turned Again
In the midst of the final week of our Lord’s earthly ministry in his estate of humiliation, Jesus has an interesting exchange with Peter about his forthcoming denial
“Peter is among the elect and we see acted out before us the manifestation of that fact in Jesus’ conversation with Peter. Peter was a sinner just like Judas. Judas was no better or worse than Peter. Yet Peter repented of his sin and was restored and he was given an unusual preview of that... Continue Reading
One Reason To Dedicate Yourself to Bible Reading in 2017
The Bible shatters those places in my heart where I start getting comfortable
“Commit to reading the Bible more consistently in 2017. And not just reading it to check off boxes and say you read the whole Bible in a year. But read the Bible from the posture of an unfinished and broken down house that needs repairing and let the Bible do it’s demolition work as well... Continue Reading
Joseph of Nazareth vs Planned Parenthood
There is something more joyous than “choice.”
Planned Parenthood thinks “Choice on Earth” is the message of Christmas. Maybe it is in a Christmas culture more identified with the shopping malls than with the churches. But maybe this year Christians should follow the footsteps of the “other” man at the manger. A few years ago the Planned Parenthood Federation of America... Continue Reading
If Church Isn’t Necessary, Let’s Quit
But is that really an option? Well, no it’s not.
Why? Because I’m convinced if it’s not necessary it’s too difficult and not worth my time. Listening to sermons is hard and it’s not really my learning style. So, let’s quit. Singing is outdated and the thought of someone hearing me slightly off key or out of tune is unbearable. Let’s quit. Praying together is boring and I’m too easily distracted. Let’s quit. I have my own friends and family and people at church can be hard to get along with. Let’s quit. It’s also too time consuming. Saturday nights are too fun and I could function better on Monday if I could get a couple extra hours of sleep. Let’s quit. Besides, my schedule is too demanding with my weekly workload, studying and homework, sports games, and an unending shopping list. Let’s quit.
Calvin on the Sacraments
Let us make neither too little of the signs by severing them from the living Christ, nor too much so that we obscure him.
But there is one argument that credobaptist proponents, then and now, have often used as a kind of reductio ad absurdum: if you baptize infants, you ought also to give them the Lord's Supper. Calvin sees a serious flaw here. For while both baptism and the Supper point to Christ, they each point to different aspects of union with him. Baptism points to a once-and-for-all initiation into Christ. It is done to us, not done by us. We do not baptize ourselves, we are baptized. The Supper, however, is not a sacrament of initiation but of communion.
Reestablishing Ministry Goals
As we set out on a new year as pastors, leaders and members of local churches, we must revisit these fundamental end goals in order to have them reestablished in our thinking
Of course, the ultimate goal of all ministry in a local church is “to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. However, there are five basic categories into which all of what we may call the “antepenultimate and penultimate ends” can be ordered. They are as follows:
Three Reasons Why You Should Read the Whole Bible in 2017
Rather than skipping and hopping through the Bible on a devotional journey, why not read the whole Bible this year?
It was 500 years ago that the Reformers were giving their lives and working diligently to get the Bible to the people in their language. When we consider the sacrifices, the advanced technology, the privileges we enjoy, and the fact that many people still don’t have the Bible in their own language, it makes sense that 2017 would be a wonderful year to make the commitment to read the entire Bible in twelve months.