Hell: How Long?
“How bad can anything that we do in this life really be to require that Hell go on forever?”
The longevity of Hell, that eternity of torment, has not so much to do really with us, in the greatness of ourselves as human being, but it has everything to do with the grand holiness of the personal, Triune God against whom we have performed that sin. And any sin unatoned for by the perfect... Continue Reading
How Singing Forms Us
There is a reason that we sing that I believe is often forgotten, overlooked, or ignored, and we see it in Psalm 96 as well.
I want you to notice a couple additional aspects of the development of thought through this psalm. The first is related to what we just explored. The psalm progresses from God’s people singing among the nations in the first stanza to all the families of the earth ascribing him glory in the second stanza. Is... Continue Reading
Canons Of Dort (18): It Was God’s Sovereign Will To Accomplish Complete Salvation For All The Elect
The churches confessed what God intended and what Christ accomplished for and what the Spirit applies to the elect.
As we have surveyed the decisions (Canons) of the Synod of Dort in their historical (social, political) and theological contexts, reading the Canons in light of the Remonstrance in 1610 and the Opinions of the Remonstrance given to Synod in 1618, it has become increasingly clear that there is no tenable position between the Remonstrants... Continue Reading
EFS Redux: Aiming for Closure on the Trinity Debate
I’ve become convinced that there can be no eternal relations of authority and submission ad intra, within the life of the Trinity from eternity.
I was leaning in the non-EFS direction—which is to say, the direction of classic Trinitarian orthodoxy—but I was still ambivalent about it. In the months (and now two and a half years) that followed, though, I’ve landed firmly. And so I thought I’d write a post summarizing my position on the issue. It’s hard... Continue Reading
Hell to Pay
I want to explain what we lose if Jesus wasn't, in fact, forsaken by God when he stood in our place.
“The more we ascribe to Christ’s suffering, the less remains of ours; the more painfully that he suffered, the more fully are we redeemed; the greater his sorrow was, the greater our solace; his dissolution is our consolation, his cross our comfort; his annoy our endless joy; his distress in soul our release, his calamity... Continue Reading
Truly God, Truly Man: The Council of Chalcedon
Chalcedon was trying to settle the aftermath of the Arian controversy in the fourth century.
The council was condemned in the western, Latin-speaking half of the Roman Empire. Pope Leo the Great thundered against it as the “Robber Synod” (and the name stuck). After the death of emperor Theodosius, a new emperor, Marcian, called a new council at Chalcedon (in Asia Minor) in 451. This time, Eutyches and the extreme... Continue Reading
Eschatology, or the doctrine of the last things, is not a mere add-on to our Christian walk.
Neo-Calvinism is especially defective about the nature of the saeculum, which is the age between the advents of Christ. Greenbaggins invoked Vos to explain the peculiar character of the period when the ministry of word and sacrament defines the church, in the words of the Confession of Faith, as “the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the... Continue Reading
Hell: They Have No Bowels
In the ancient world compassion was associated with the bowels.
Take a look at Colossians 3:12. It says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts…” Now, a literal translation of compassionate hearts will read a bit differently. It will actually translate oiktirmou splanchna as “bowels of compassion.” And that’s not the only place we find this expression in Scripture. I’ll give one further... Continue Reading
“Love Your Bibles”
Here are ways Scripture motivates us to start reading.
Scripture is the words of God to you. Open the Bible anywhere and the words there could be introduced with “the Spirit says” (Heb 3:7). These words are bread for our soul (Deut 8:3). They bring life. Over the past year, I have watched how they bring this miracle of life. I have seen it in... Continue Reading
When Temptation Holds Out Pleasure
When Jesus triumphed over death and sin, he finally cleared the path for our feet to walk into joy.
What’s difficult for me, and perhaps for you, is that though I am a new creature, though I am no longer a slave to loving dead things, I am still tempted to believe at times that they, and not God, will provide the joy I want. That obedience to God would kill, and not increase,... Continue Reading