Merit and Moses (Part 4)

Concluding assessments and comments on “Merit and Moses”

I’ve increasingly come into contact with people who are using the RP to argue against any place of the law in the Christian life. They hear RP teachers saying that Israel obeyed the law to merit the land, but the NT believer is no longer under that arrangement. Thus they conclude, we don’t need to... Continue Reading

Merit and Moses (Part 3)

Was the covenant of works republished in the Mosaic covenant? ‘The Law is Not of Faith’ says Yes. ‘Moses and Merit’ says No.

The WCF says that under the covenant of works, man’s works are accepted and rewarded on the basis of perfect and personal obedience. However, in the covenant of grace, man’s sincere yet imperfect obedience is accepted and rewarded on a principle of grace – on the basis of the imputed righteousness of another (WCF 16.6)…The Republication... Continue Reading

Eight Traits of Good Teaching

A brief review of John Piper’s ‘The Marks of a Spiritual Leader’

John Piper points to an “inner circle” and an “outer circle” of traits. The inner circle is “the absolute bare essentials,” or what must happen in the leader’s own soul if he is going to take even the first step in leading others spiritually… The outer circle, then, is comprised of “qualities that characterize both... Continue Reading

Merit and Moses (Part 1)

Was the covenant of works republished in the Mosaic covenant? ‘The Law is Not of Faith’ says Yes. ‘Moses and Merit’ says No.

What’s foundational to the covenants? Law or grace? John Murray’s answer: The succession of covenants in the Bible was a sovereign administration of grace and promise (this includes the Mosaic covenant). Meredith Kline’s answer: Law rather than grace was foundational (including a works principle in the Mosaic covenant).   I want to outline and assess... Continue Reading

A Review: Some Reasons for Pastoral Burnout

An excerpt from Clay Werner's book, On The Brink: Grace for the Burned-Out Pastor

Clay Werner, a pastor in the PCA (Presbyterian Church of America), has been through the pastoral ringer and lived to write about it in his new book, On The Brink: Grace for the Burned-Out Pastor (Phillipsburg: P&R, 2014).  If you’re a pastor who feels overwhelmed with the workload, difficulties, disappointments, and hardships in the ministry, you’ll need... Continue Reading

Evangelizing Slaves and Colonial Christianity

A book detailing the complex relationship between enslaved people, slave masters, and the missionaries of the Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel

Like many Anglicans, including evangelical luminaries such as George Whitefield, Le Jau was sensitive to the particulars of slave mistreatment, but did not see chattel slavery’s inherent indignity. Thus, some of the most evangelistically-minded Christians of the eighteenth century bolstered the institution of slavery.   I recently read Travis Glasson’s excellent book Mastering Christianity: Missionary Anglicanism... Continue Reading

A Review: ‘Recovering Redemption’

A refreshing study of the biblical message of redemption, both justification and sanctification

Chandler and Snetzer are very clear that sanctification – growing holy in heart and habit – is not what makes us God’s children, but exhibits that God has made us his. They rightly grasp that while justification is a 100% work of God, sanctification is a 100% work of God and 100% work of God’s... Continue Reading

Fifty Shades of Grey: Harmless Fun or Spiritual Warfare?

Instead of being simply a harmless escape, erotica, or “mommy porn” as it has been named, represents a battlefront in the war between good and evil.

Erotica is dangerous because it is a type of fantasy that manipulates moral and relational laws. “Right and wrong get morphed into a morally grey universe that becomes impossible to untwist (26).” And this this redefining of morality is no accident … . Erotic fantasy is unreal, deceptive, and it makes you want more. But... Continue Reading

Two Justifications?

Is there a future justification based on works? Not according to historic Reformed theology

“Although our justification will be fully declared on the last day (our good works also being brought forward as the sign and proof of its truth, Mt. 25:34-40), still falsely would anyone maintain from this a twofold gospel justification – one from faith in this life (which is the first); the other (and second) from... Continue Reading

Reality in the Christian Life

Taking ‘Schaeffer on the Christian Life ‘ to the beach

In reading through this book, I am thinking about the life of Schaeffer, the Christian life in general, and the irony of how “countercultural spirituality” is a challenge to live according to the reality of God. Indeed, the gospel is real, and that changes everything.   I’ve been looking forward to taking Bill Edgar’s Schaeffer on... Continue Reading