How Shame Drives Us From Christ
Shame drove Adam and Eve into the bushes, hiding from the face of God. It was God’s voice that lovingly drew them out of the bushes: “Adam, where are you?
The kind of “Christianity” practiced by so many, which publically shames young girls for sin, is not the Christianity of the Bible. Shame is intolerable to the human spirit and must be covered. We have only two options: Cover with fig leaves of our own making, or come to Christ for what he has offered... Continue Reading
Regeneration Is Monergistic
“Regeneration is the act of God and of God alone.”
Most people naively imagine that there is something they can do to cause themselves to be born again. They hear a well-meaning person say, “Believe and be born again,” and suppose that they can. So they try to effect their own regeneration. But this they cannot do. In attempting it, they are like someone who... Continue Reading
Running to the Pantry of Good Works
I have been reminded again of personal futility.
I’ve noticed a troubling personal trend. This trend is not new, but it is nevertheless fresh and disturbing. During times of spiritual apathy, sin, or negligence of spiritual disciplines I notice the feeling of being distant from God and his blessings. Then, I resolve to pray, read my Bible and do what is right. The... Continue Reading
These Present Sufferings
Paul sets these groanings in a very specific context: that of a fallen world.
With a significant choice of words, the apostle speaks first of all about creation ‘groaning’ (8.22), and how ‘we ourselves [Christians]…groan inwardly’ (8.23), then of the Holy Spirit who intercedes for believers ‘with groans that words cannot express’ (8.26). Language that speaks of something deep that must be expressed, but for which no normal vocabulary... Continue Reading
We Actually Don’t Need a Trinitarian Revival
Attempts to teach a ‘better’ understanding of the Trinity may do more harm than good.
Christians should be saying the right things about the triune God, feeling properly-formed feelings of responsive devotion and worship, and behaving as those who believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But whenever the church or its teachers underperform in one of these areas (and “we all stumble in many ways,” as James 3:2... Continue Reading
What To Do When God Is Silent
When God is silent, open up his word, and be reminded that he has spoken truthfully, perfectly, clearly, and sufficiently
We don’t need to have a special word from God that tells us all about exactly how to live our lives (a roadmap, if you will); we need a word from God about who he is, what he has done, and has promised to do. That’s what the Bible is. If you are in a... Continue Reading
Comfort in Revelation
What if Revelation is less about decoding the events of the 21st century but a word of comfort and consolation for Christians down through the ages?
We have all had our share in the thread of suffering that began in Genesis 3, but it ends in Revelation. Sin and evil will be no more. “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first... Continue Reading
Creed or Chaos?
If Christian dogma is irrelevant to life, to what is it relevant?—religious dogma is in fact nothing but a statement of doctrines concerning the nature of life and the universe.
If the average man is going to be interested in Christ at all, it is the dogma that will provide the interest. The trouble is that, in nine cases out of ten, he has never been offered the dogma. What he has been offered is a set of technical theological terms that nobody has taken... Continue Reading
Luther and Calvin’s Quiet Discussions in Heaven
Was Calvin influenced by the writings or ministry of "the Initiator" of the Reformation?
“Much remains uncertain about which of Luther’s works Calvin read and which of Calvin’s works Luther read. It is, however, clear that Calvin had knowledge of the controversies that surrounded Luther’s theological writings and debates and that Luther read Calvin on certain theological issues.” Those who cherish the Reformation have often sought out what,... Continue Reading
Rightly Regarding Our Sin
Without the bad news about sin, Satan, and spiritual death, the good news is superfluous at best.
It is certainly true that sin, Satan, and spiritual death are among society’s dirty words, and you dare not speak them in polite company lest you incur the wrath of the most outspoken, self-appointed, religiously correct person present. To the gospel’s great misfortune, if it could know such misfortune, many in our churches have fallen... Continue Reading