The First Lady in France

For Marie Dentière, the astonishing news of saving grace and the powerful message of equality before God were truths that had been suppressed by the Catholic Church and needed to be shouted from the housetops by anyone who had seen them for themselves in God’s word.

Far more than a historian, Marie Dentière was an articulate (if inflammatory) evangelist. She loved and revered the Bible, was distressed that the Catholic Church had withheld so much of it from the people, and preached that every person, including women, should be able to read God’s precious and glorious words for themselves.   Born... Continue Reading

College Professors Aren’t Killing Religion

But college degrees certainly aren’t helping.

A bevy of recent academic work casts doubt on the idea that college experience directly undermines religious identity (even if the studies do not all come to precisely the same conclusion). A pair of University of Texas sociologists argue that “the religious belief systems of most students go largely untouched for the duration of their education.” They... Continue Reading

In By Grace, Stay In By Faithfulness?

Everyone must say with David: “Lord, do not enter into judgment with your servants, for before you no living person shall be justified.”

“Men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for... Continue Reading

What the Church Can Learn from Weinsteingate

As church history makes clear, especially recent church history, many churches have their own Harvey Weinsteins, and we haven’t covered ourselves in glory in dealing with them.

A person’s gifts and usefulness should never be used to cover or balance out evil. Just as, “But he makes great films,” and, “But he makes us lots of money,” were used for decades to excuse Weinstein’s abuse, so “But he preaches great sermons” and “But he brings in lots of people/money/publicity” can also excuse... Continue Reading

We Are Equally Sinful. We Are Not All Equally Broken or Toxic.

There is a tendency to assume that biblical principles like those found in I Corinthians 10:13 mean that all our struggles carry the same weight.

 As I am using these terms, “broken” would refer to things for which we do not bear moral responsibility but create unique challenges for us, and “toxic” would refer to persistent patterns of sin that not only harm others but we punish others if/when they bring them to our attention. From the opening paragraph, the... Continue Reading

What Do Manuscripts Tell Us About the Origins of the NT Canon? A Response to John Meade

Just because the quantity of manuscripts doesn’t tell us everything about the canon, does not mean it tells us nothing about the canon.

At the end of Meade’s piece, he sums up his main complaint: “But my critique is that [Kruger] and others should describe what early Christians actually thought about these books according to their clearest statements on the subject before turning to material evidence, which is not self-interpreting.” In other words, I should have covered patristic... Continue Reading

The Freedom Of The Christian Man

The sole, unique authority of the Bible, God’s inerrant, infallible Word is provides and guards our liberty against the tyranny of human opinion

As recipients of such rich and richly undeserved favor freely given we are free. Because it was freely given it was not earned. Because it was not earned it cannot be kept. We do not “keep” it. Grace keeps us.  In that case, we are free from the tyranny of human expectations at least when... Continue Reading

Protestantism Is Over and the Radicals Won

Many today who claim the Reformation as their heritage are more likely heirs of the Radical Anabaptists.

I’m not talking about Amish communities in rural Pennsylvania. In fact, I don’t have in mind specific offshoots, like Arminian Baptists, as such. I’m thinking more of the Radical Anabaptists, especially the early ones, who were more an eruption of late medieval revolutionary mysticism than an offshoot of the Reformation. I have in mind a utopian,... Continue Reading

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

What Does “The Empty Hand of Faith” Mean? (Boston)

"Upon the whole we may see that the gospel teaches us to come empty-handed to the market of free grace for remission of sins and God’s favor."

So what does “the empty hand of faith” mean?  It means coming to Christ empty-handed simply to receive the free, gracious gift of full forgiveness.  When we come to Jesus for pardon and justification, we don’t need to bring Him anything in exchange; we don’t need to clean up our act, put nice clothes on,... Continue Reading