7 Things We Can Learn from the Puritans
The more heavenly you are, the more earthly good you’ll do because the more you’re like Jesus.
The whole idea “he’s so heavenly, he’s for no earthly good” would have made the Puritans turn in their grave. The more heavenly you are, the more earthly good you’ll do because the more you’re like Jesus, the more you’ll love people, the more you’ll be an evangelist, the more you’ll spread the gospel, the... Continue Reading
Unteachable Blockheads – Steifsynning (Luther)
“Give me the grace to change my views, thoughts, and actions if they are not wise, reasonable, or in line with your Word.”
It’s helpful how Luther doesn’t just point fingers and say other people are blockheaded and unteachable. He notes that we all have this “strange propensity.” It is for sure something we need to pray against: “Lord, please keep my heart and mind open to truth, wisdom, and reasonableness. Help me freely admit when I’m wrong. Luther... Continue Reading
Living In An Ephesians 4:17 Moment
The new law is explicit that infants in utero are not considered legal persons.
Explicitly denying personhood to a human being, upon whom neonatal surgeons are performing medical procedures, who have human DNA, who were conceived by humans, who gestate within a human mother, who are otherwise treated as humans medically is simply bizarre. Our knowledge of human development has never been greater or clearer. The viability of infants... Continue Reading
A Tale of Two Journeys, Part One: Ahab’s Disobedient Journey
“For Ahab it seemed like a light thing to walk in the sins of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 16:31).
Sins that had seemed shocking to one generation had come to seem light and trivial to the next. Older people, who could remember the days of Solomon, must have looked back and wondered, “What in the world happened in our nation? 1 Kings tells us of two men. Ahab and Elijah, who two took very... Continue Reading
5 Myths about Atheism
Our unique experience, set of beliefs, training, personality, values, and desires all make important differences in how we evaluate potential beliefs.
Thomas Nagel—one of my favorite philosophers, and also an atheist—openly admits that he simply doesn’t want theism to be true. Of course, this isn’t the only reason he has for being an atheist, but his preference will no doubt influence how he evaluates arguments for and against God. Something similar can be said about my... Continue Reading
How Do People Know God by Nature?
Anyone can know the signs of deity but only grace brings us to the reality to which the signs point.
Apart from the Gospel, no one can savingly know God. No one can gain eternal life. Yet by Christ’s assumption of humanity, God provided us with a full revelation of God. In Christ, we see God. We have the first insight into God through our union with Christ. In Romans, Paul explains that people... Continue Reading
Beyond the Lighted Stage: Thoughts on Systematic Theology as Poor Relation, Part Three
The level of historical sensitivity that emerged in the late eighteenth century created an intellectual culture much more attuned to the development of historical consciousness.
Gabler himself made it clear that he was no great fan of orthodox systematics, and his method proved popular and influential with others in the field of Biblical Studies who were uncomfortable with what they regarded as a Procustean bed of dogma. In short, his approach essentially untethered analysis of the content of scripture from what he and his... Continue Reading
Two Cheers for the Spirituality of the Church
Church power is ministerial and declarative not civil and coercive, the church cannot bind the conscience except as the Word of God binds the conscience, and the church can only make decisions and pronouncements founded expressly upon the Scriptures.
The spirituality of the church teaches that given the nature of the church under the mediatorial reign of Christ there are limits to church power and that this power must not be confused with the power of the state. Through most of Reformed history, the spirituality of the church has not entailed a silence on all political... Continue Reading
5 Myths about Complementarianism
We’ll highlight three myths imposed onto complementarianism from the outside, plus two myths sometimes perpetuated by those on the inside.
At the very outset, it should be noted that every label has a history and its own limitations. In the present case, some who don’t fully embrace the divinely created differences between men and women (egalitarians) still espouse some form of complementarity, recognizing biological and possibly other differences yet minimizing or denying biblical male authority,... Continue Reading
Context Matters: Where Two or Three are Gathered in Jesus’ Name
What is our quorum for ensuring the blessing of Jesus’ presence?
Jesus’ speech in Matt 18 addresses what the new covenant community of Christ-followers should look like. It speaks to such things as humility, compassion, initiative, conflict, restoration, and forgiveness. This speech particularly highlights how to handle the sin that will inevitably infect the community. Perhaps you’ve heard that Jesus is specially present when two or... Continue Reading
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