Norma Normata

Creedal statements are an attempt to show a coherent and unified understanding of the whole scope of Scripture.

Protestant community found it necessary, in the light and heat of the controversy of that time, to give definitive statements as to what they believed and how their faith differed from the Roman Catholic Church’s theology. Rome itself added her creedal statements at the Council of Trent in the middle of the sixteenth century as... Continue Reading

Preaching Holiness Without Bashing Heads

To the degree your flock understands the cross, their obedience to His commands will come from a place of love for Him.

If we are compelled by biblical teaching both to preach Christ crucified (Acts10:42) and advance virtue (Phil 4:8) then it necessarily follows that the two are not mutually exclusive, and we must be able to do both. The answer is found in preaching the gospel even as you are promoting biblical virtues. The gospel goes beyond... Continue Reading

A Creedal Christmas – Jesus

This Son born of a virgin is God incarnate to save.

How can Jesus’ birth be a fulfillment of the eighth century B. C. prophecy if He was named Jesus and not Immanuel? The gender checks out. Even being born of a virgin checks out. But does not the prophecy fail because of the wrong name? In this case, we see more than a straight line... Continue Reading

5 Words That Measure the Boldness of Faith

Refocus your faith not on the results but on the One behind them.

“Even. If. He. Does. Not.” Remember this phrase? Three exiled Hebrews said them a long time ago. They spoke them to an angry potentate in the more dire of circumstances. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood before the gigantic golden statue the king of the foreign land had erected in his own honor. The law had been... Continue Reading

Self-Awareness, Love, and Overreaction

We have a propensity to move from one extreme to another in reaction to error.

Both ministers and congregants must adopt a posture of gentleness in our engagement in theological controversy. Gentleness is, of course, not antithetical to a strong refutation of error. It is, rather, the converse of harshness. It is far too easy—as is observable in our day of internet outrage—for us to respond with a sinfully rash... Continue Reading

Demon Screens

Take away the phone until the young people finish their homework, do their chores, shoot some hoops, clean their plates, and read their books.

For adolescents, reading is a negligible activity. They reach for the phone before picking up a book, magazine, or newspaper. According to the American Time Use Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15–24-year-olds chalk up only six minutes of “Reading for personal interest” each day.   Here is how bad reading in America has become. According to... Continue Reading

Is the Father Reluctantly Gracious?

A right understanding of the work of Christ leads to a true understanding of the matchless love the Father has for us.

While often dormant in our souls, from time to time the thought will erupt that perhaps the Father himself, in himself, does not love us as the Son does. Such a disposition leads to a Spirit of suspicion, and even of bondage, not one of freedom and joy. Then, when we ask the question, “Who... Continue Reading

The Finished Script

Repent of sinful speech.

How it humbles us to consider all our shameful words: terms too bold or rude, phrases with double-entendre, jokes that are inconvenient, gossip that cause strife, vows made in haste, insults that produce rifts, folly that creates havoc, hatred filled with spite, idle words on Sabbath, criticism of a neighbor, assassination of someone’s character, talk... Continue Reading

Antinomianism is a Serious Error and so is Nomism

Neither understands the law for what it is: God’s holy, unyeilding moral standard, an expression of the divine nature.

We may speak of the moral necessity of obedience as a consequenceof our salvation but not as a condition unto salvation. With these distinctions we have avoided both the errors of the nomist and the antinomian and set ourselves on a path toward the Christian life as understood by the Reformation churches and, we dare say, our Lord... Continue Reading

The Basics of Chalcedonian Christology

The history of early Christological heresy is essentially a history of incorrect answers to the metaphysical question, "What kind of being is Jesus?"

What was the question that elicited Peter’s confession? Jesus had asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15). This is the question that every reader of the Gospels must answer. It is the question with which the early church was forced to wrestle for several centuries. As Christians sought to teach... Continue Reading

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