Another Downside Of Pietism: Christ’s Bodily Resurrection Is Marginalized
Pietism is not to be confused with piety, which describes the Christian life and worship; pietism describes a retreat into the subjective experience of God.
Dale W. Brown, who writes from a perspective sympathetic to pietism, identifies five central motifs: 1) a turn to the practical; 2) a primitivist reading of Scripture, which is described as Biblicism; 3) an emphasis on sanctification and ethics; 4) an emphasis on religious experience; 5) acts of mercy (Dale W. Brown, Understanding Pietism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,... Continue Reading
Because Jesus Loved His Body More…And So Should We
Jesus is bigger than our perceived offenses and the Holy Spirit’s power more forceful than any push to segregate, divide and conquer on worldly terms.
I see the internet spats. The calling out. The dissension. The accusations. High profile leaders or high prolific tweeters are targeting and targeted. Social media is awash with charges and pointed fingers. We are doing the opposite of what Jesus did by shaking Judas and neglecting the greater mission. I have no doubt that this... Continue Reading
One Great Difference Between A Covenantal Piety And The American Conversionist Alternative
What a wonderful blessing it is never to have known a day when one did not believe.
It is not necessary for one to be able to say where or when he came to new life and true faith. That is a human invention not biblical truth. Our confidence is not in our experience nor in our memory of an experience but in Christ, in his person, in his finished work for... Continue Reading
Always Preach Christ?
Ministers do not need to say all that can be said about Christ in every sermon, but they must have the gospel in view at all times.
Retelling the story of redemptive history in every sermon runs the risk of monotony after preaching chapter one. Preaching Christ should never be boring or tedious. Theology and devotion become the primary tools of preaching Christ throughout Amos. Every denunciation of prophets, priests, and kings should lead us to Christ’s fulfillment of these offices by contrast.... Continue Reading
6 Misconceptions About The New Testament
Answers to challenges against the truthfulness of the New Testament.
Christianity is a primitive religion that the apostles made up to fit the needs of the community. The argument goes that Christianity is no longer suited to the modern world, that the apostles supposedly edited, adapted, and transformed Jesus to fit the needs of their community. However, this is very unlikely. The apostles wrote their... Continue Reading
Christ and the Love of Neighbor
There is a great difference between love in dreams and love in action, between the ideal of love and the display of it.
To love our friends, families, and neighbors as Jesus loves us calls for the relinquishing of requirements we naturally put on the recipients of our love. Active, concrete love means that we keep loving even when that love is despised and unappreciated. Our love is to be cruciform, cross-shaped. In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers... Continue Reading
Will the real Christianity please stand up?
Today’s squishy Christianity has trouble articulating the gospel, or explaining the necessity of the cross, or affirming a bodily resurrection, or even finding solid footing to take a stand. Surveys have shown that the person in the pew is biblically-illiterate and theologically-indifferent. As a result, the church finds itself ill prepared to be the salt... Continue Reading
A Churchly Faith
In defining the church, Luther stressed the priority of the Gospel
“So, is the Reformation over? My answer to that question is this: The Reformation is over only to the extent that, in some measure, it has succeeded. And, in some measure, of course, it has succeeded—and succeeded even more within the Catholic world than in certain sectors of mainline Protestantism.” Several years ago, Mark... Continue Reading
The Apostle’s Creed: God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth
The right to claim to have God as one's Father is dependent upon one's union with Jesus Christ
“When Christians think of the fatherhood of God, their minds most likely go at once to the Trinity, and from there to the many New Testament passages that refer to God as the Father, along with the connecting belief in God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.” When we speak of God as... Continue Reading
While they trust in an afterlife of eternal bliss with God, most of them assume this will be disembodied bliss, in which the soul is finally free of its “meat suit.”
Resistance to the idea of a physical resurrection struck them as perfectly logical. “It doesn’t feel right to say there’s a human body in heaven, when the body is tied so closely to sin,” said one student. In all, fewer than ten of my forty students affirmed the orthodox teaching that we will ultimately have... Continue Reading