Lloyd-Jones on Scandalous Grace that Isn’t Cheap

There is a fatal tendency to put up law and grace as antitheses in the wrong sense.

Is it not true to say of many of us that in actual practice our view of the doctrine of grace is such that we scarcely ever take the plain teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ seriously? We have so emphasized the teaching that all is of grace and that we ought not to try... Continue Reading

A Review of Bird’s “Evangelical Theology”

I’m glad I own Bird’s Systematic Theology, and think it is a helpful contribution to theology, even though it has some serious weaknesses of which our readers should be aware.

I do have notable concerns about several theological positions Bird advocates.  First, and most importantly, Bird departs from historic Reformed theology in the areas of covenant and justification.  Major red flags here: he rejects the covenant of works and disagrees with imputation in justification (he likes the term “incorporation” – i.e. union with Christ).  Second,... Continue Reading

Spirit Guides

There are two things, above all, that students want: that their professors challenge them and that they care about them.

My years in the classroom, as well as my conversations with young people about their college experience, have convinced me there are two things, above all, that students want from their pro­fessors. Not, as people commonly believe, to entertain them in class and hand out easy A’s. That’s what they retreat to, once they see... Continue Reading

Sex, Dating, and Relationships

A review of a book that discusses the whole problem with contemporary dating and attempts to offer a solution.

Sex is about the gospel, just like every other thing in life. That’s why these two authors can say, “[God] desires your sexual satisfaction more than you ever will, for through the proper expression of your sexuality, both you and the world will have a window through which to see the window of the gospel”... Continue Reading

Sanctification in the Westminster Confession of Faith

An excerpt from Chad Van Dixhoorn's Confessing the Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Our struggle [against sin] emerges as all the more necessary because the remaining corruption in Christians may sometimes even get the upper hand – it ‘may much prevail’, at least ‘for a time’, as the pastors of the Westminster assembly remind us in the final paragraph of this chapter on sanctification. Our Lord claims us... Continue Reading

A Christian Reading List for Atheists

In the spirit of enlightenment, I offer the following admittedly eccentric and selective bibliography for the study of atheists (and under-educated Christians)

“Many other books could be added, and no doubt better selections are available. I deliberately avoided systematic theologies (except in the case of Aquinas) and tried to stick to more readily accessible material (except for Edwards, which is a tough read). I have also tried to reflect the broadness of the Christian intellectual tradition (though... Continue Reading

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