Living As Resident Aliens (1 Peter 1:13–21)
We don't live in two worlds simultaneously, but we have "two lives"
“We are live as those who have been redeemed. The logic of Peter’s instruction is clear. Our future salvation is not contingent upon our behavior now. It is not even contingent upon our cooperation with grace. Our present life is, however, to be shaped by that future favor of which we are now in possession... Continue Reading
The Trinity Is Not a Contradiction
Classically the Trinity was defined in these terms: God is one in essence, and three in person.
The formula is not meant to say that essence and person are the same things. Essence refers to the being of God, while person is used here as substance within being. Essence is primary and persona is secondary. Essence is the similarity, while personal is the dissimilarity in the nature of God. He is unified in... Continue Reading
Welcome to the Brave New World of 1984 UK Style – Where Religion Must Have A Government Approved Stamp
The government wants to send me back to school, to learn their version of theology and ensure that I am not an extremist!
The government are concerned about Muslim extremists and so, in order to combat this, they want to promote and protect ‘British values’. To achieve this aim they are proposing to establish a national register of ‘faith leaders’. These faith leaders will receive special training and special security checks. Any faith leaders who want to be... Continue Reading
Deliver Us From Our Deadly Spiritual Enemies
We are on guard against the Evil One but we are not paranoid
As powerful as the Evil One may be he is not as powerful as he would like us to think he is. He is not omnipresent and further he is, as Luther taught us, defeated by “one little word:” Jesus. We should say to him as our Lord said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan.”... Continue Reading
6 Reasons Catechisms Make Truth Stick
A catechism is a collection of theological questions and answers
“The catechisms are excellent tools to focus like a scope of a rifle. They give us clearer insight into who we are, who God is, how we respond, and how to live life with others. Because of the many faithful pastors who have gone before us, we have at our disposal a collection of confessional,... Continue Reading
The Indispensability Of Preaching
God is calling His people and He is doing so through the preaching of the gospel
“As inefficient as it may seem to us, God the Spirit has left to the office of preacher the ministry of announcing the good news and it through that act, announcing the incarnation, obedience, righteousness, death, resurrection, ascension, and return of Christ that he has promised to bring all of his elect to new life,... Continue Reading
We Are Abraham’s Children
We pray for our covenant children, we catechize them, and call them to faith in Jesus
“Whether one receives the substance of the covenant of grace is, ultimately, down to God’s unconditional, eternal election in Christ. Whether children of believers are to be initiated visibly into the Christ-confessing covenant community is not determined by anything other than the divine command to initiate children into the covenant community and the his promise to... Continue Reading
Sacraments Are No More Or Less Than Gospel Signs And Seals (Part 1)
The church has faced two great temptations with respect to the sacraments
“By their nature and divine intention and institution, the sacraments are supports for the preaching of the gospel. They are visible and tangible representations and testimonies to the gospel. They are also and promises or seals that what the gospel declares is really true for the believing recipient. Through the history of the church we have... Continue Reading
Heidelberg 62: Works No Part Of Our Justification
Our cooperation is of no account in our justification either as the ground or the instrument
“It’s not enough to speak of grace. We must define grace as Scripture does. Rome makes much of grace and faith but she does not define them as Scripture does. Grace is not a medicinal substance with which we are infused in the sacraments. Faith is not a meritorious, saving virtue wrought in us by grace... Continue Reading
A Bright Song From A Deep Darkness
The onset of depression was, for me, like a moment from Jurassic Park – the moment when a distant “thud” creates rings in a nearby puddle.
A week or so ago, I received an email from Brad Hansen with the lyrics of a song he had composed while in a recent dark spell with depression. I was deeply touched by the words, and asked if I could share his song and story on the blog. He replied: “I would be glad... Continue Reading