The Role of Experience
Experience does teach us, but it’s never the final arbiter of right and wrong; only God and his Word give us the standards by which we must live.
One of the most powerful devices of manipulation we’ve ever designed is to claim that we have experienced the Spirit’s approval of our actions. How can anyone dare contradict us if we claim divine authority for what we want to do? The result is that we end up silencing any questions about our behavior. But... Continue Reading
Beware (and Embrace) the Power of Story
Argue theology and Christians will dig in, tell Christians stories and they will cave in.
If we are going to respond well to the new cultural ethos, we need to know God’s Story—his plan for humanity, sexuality, and marriage. We need to be fully convinced about why it matters so much. We need to be willing to suffer loss to uphold it. Ultimately, we need to know that for stories... Continue Reading
Giving Might Be the Most Neglected and Least Modeled Spiritual Gift in the Western Church
Giving is the one least thought about and talked about gifts in the Western church, and perhaps in the entire world.
It’s increasingly common for Christians in accountability groups to ask one another the tough questions: “Have you been spending time in the Word?” “Are you living in sexual purity?” or “Have you been sharing your faith?” But how often do we ask, “Are you winning the battle against materialism?” or “How are you doing with... Continue Reading
A Few Good Men
Meeting the “men” in our spiritual lives.
So faith has chased away Mr. Goodness, Mr. Guilt, and Mr. Boasting. What about Mr. Law? Does Mr. Faith chase him away too? Let Paul answer: “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (v. 31). Every other pretended way of salvation diminishes the law... Continue Reading
Election and Sovereign Grace (Boston)
"Why did he choose any of the fallen race of men to grace and glory?"
“It was his mere good pleasure to select some, and pass by others. He could have been without them all, without any blemish either on his happiness or justice; but out of his mere good pleasure he set his love on a select number, in whom he will display the invincible efficacy of his sovereign... Continue Reading
A Curious Example of Early Christian Devotion to Scripture
A curious example of the role of Scripture in early Christianity was the phenomenon of the miniature codex.
The early Christians probably used the miniature codex format for a number of reasons including private reading, portability for long journeys, and sometimes even in a “magical” sense (thinking it provided protection for the one who possessed it). But, it seems they also used these books as a visible sign of their Christian identity. Christians would... Continue Reading
3 Lines In The Sand
These new challenges actually raise three questions we must consider.
“We must let the Bible be our guide. If it’s a gospel issue, then we must take our stand. If it’s a biblical truth matter, then we must take our stand. God has spoken on the nature of human identity and sexual identity. God has spoken on marriage.” At the turn of the twentieth... Continue Reading
On Marrying Canaanites (2 Cor 6:14–7:1)
Has the advent of the New Covenant changed things so that Christians are free to inter-marry with pagans?
“The basic principle here is truly clear: Christians may not enter into spiritual relations with pagans. As Calvin notes in his commentary on this passage, Paul is not here addressing marriage. He is addressing the problem of syncretism, of attempting to synthesize Christianity with idolatry.” One of the great temptations faced by the Israelites... Continue Reading
Ten Things You Should Know About the Sovereignty of God
Does God have sovereignty over the will of man? Can he stir the heart of an unbeliever to do his will?
“God is also sovereign over the choices of human beings. If God does have sovereignty even over the choices of human beings, and they do evil things, is God morally culpable for their actions? No. This is the mystery of compatibilism, according to which both the sovereignty of God and the moral responsibility of human... Continue Reading
Natural Law and the Public Square
Christians should confidently reason from Scripture in all of life, including life in the public square
If by “natural law” we mean a moral order that is (a) revealed by God in nature, (b) stands behind conscience, (c) obligates all people to worship and obey Him, and (d) is sufficient to leave all without excuse and liable to divine judgment for sin, then I affirm it. However, one standard theistic account... Continue Reading