“Free Grace” Theology and Matthew 7:21-23
According to “Free-Grace” theology, genuine conversion does not necessarily result in a spiritually transformed life
FG theologians respond to this straightforward interpretation of Matthew 7 with two objections. First, they insist that it amounts to a person trusting in his own obedience as the basis for his salvation. In response to this objection, Jesus is not saying that obedience to the Father is the basis of the believer’s salvation, but rather the inevitable result of... Continue Reading
Can a Professing Christian Who Has Turned Away from Christ Be Saved?
I believe that once a person is authentically redeemed, is truly in Christ, that person will never be lost to Christ.
The New Testament promises that He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it to the end (Phil. 1:6). I know there are many Christians who believe that a true Christian can lose his or her salvation. I don’t. I’d say with the apostle John, “Those who went out from us were... Continue Reading
The Wisdom of the Folly of the Gospel
We are fools, and only in Christ is there wisdom
I do not think that God gave us His Word so that we can say, “Oh, now I get it.” Instead, Paul says “in the wisdom of God, the world DID NOT KNOW GOD THROUGH WISDOM.” But instead, “it pleased God through the FOLLY of what we preach to save those who believe.” I... Continue Reading
Why I Preach Through Books of the Bible
Pastors have the responsibility to preach the whole range of biblical revelation
Paul told the Ephesian elders, “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:27). He could not simply address his favorite issues but intentionally sought to address the issues of God’s will for sinners and for the redeemed. I had a conversation with a minister friend who... Continue Reading
Who Is Lord of the Church?
In many ways, the question, who is Lord of the church? was the over-arching issue of the Protestant Reformation from the start.
Hus wrote, “Neither is the pope the head nor are the cardinals the whole body of the [true] holy, universal, catholic church. For Christ alone is the head of that church.” Pointing out that most church leaders in his era actually despised the lordship of Christ, Hus said, “To such a low pitch is the... Continue Reading
Why A “Paper” Bible is Better Than A Bible App At Church Meetings
Your paper Bible could be precious and useful to you in ways that a digital Bible never could.
Sure, it’s convenient to utilize a digital Bible in numerous settings—like reading (or listening) just before you fall asleep at night, or when you unexpectedly want to look up something during a discussion. But in a church meeting (Bible studies, Sunday’s gatherings, etc.), I strongly recommend using a “paper” Bible. Technology is useful in... Continue Reading
Reinhold Niebuhr, Washington’s Favorite Theologian
A new documentary called "An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story," tries to capture and explain why Niebuhr is experiencing something of a renaissance.
Sin, irony, tragedy. These words leapt out of the pages of Niebuhr’s books and speeches. Humanity was fallen and redeemed through God’s grace, Niebuhr wrote. But that redemption is always incomplete and we can never rise to the standards set forth in the Bible. Only by accepting our limitations could we make the best out... Continue Reading
In the Beginning…
The first sentence of sacred Scripture sets forth the affirmation upon which everything else is established: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
The classical Christian view of creation is that God created the world ex nihilo, “out of nothing,” which seems to contradict the absolute law of ex nihilo nihil fit, “out of nothing, nothing comes.” People have argued against creation ex nihilo on those very grounds. However, when Christian theologians say that God created the world ex nihilo, it is not... Continue Reading
Giving People a Chance to Grow
Many men and women came alongside me and thankfully confronted me, encouraged me, and brought me along and helped me grow in so many areas.
Whether it is with our own children or with people in our churches, a lot of the time we are tempted to be impatient. When we see someone who isn’t measuring up to what we want from them, we can be tempted to anger, in our minds we mark them with an x and think... Continue Reading
It Is A Curious Thing! More on the Republication Controversy
Faith is the sole instrument appropriating the perfect righteousness of Christ, the Second Adam, imputed to the elect of God.
What exactly is at issue in these several mutations of “evangelical” theology? Central to the debate is the biblical (Reformed) doctrine of the Covenant of Works established by God with Adam as federal head of humanity and reestablished in modified form under Moses (i.e., adjusted to the post-Fall context, consistent with the progressive unfolding of... Continue Reading