Using Signs of Saving Grace

Every born again child of God who places true faith in Jesus Christ will struggle with assurance in various degrees over the course of their lives.

The signs of grace given in Scripture belong only to the godly. It is not that the godly have more of them than the wicked, but that hypocrites do not have them at all. There are positive signs and negative signs, and the positive signs are more important. It is deceitful and futile to argue... Continue Reading

Eternal Subordination of the Son and Books for Youth

Continuing to look at the Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS/EFS/ERAS) teaching and the unexpected places it shows up

It is concerning to me to see how widespread the ESS teaching has become. I am becoming much more vigilant in what I buy for my children to read. As the next generation of the church, it really matters what they are taught.   In continuing to look at the Eternal Subordination of the Son... Continue Reading

I Will Be Your King

Who wants to be a King of self-destroyed people? God does.

Do you not need a mighty King? Who can bring order into your chaos? You can’t; no one else can but God. Who can subdue your unruly passions and regulate your anarchic thoughts? You can’t; no one else can but God.   I will be your king.— Hosea 13:10 Who wants to be a King of self-destroyed... Continue Reading

First Rest and then Work

In the Old Covenant of Grace, work is followed by rest; in the New Covenant of Grace, rest is followed by work.

From the resurrection on, nothing else is said of the Mosaic, ceremonial, seventh-day sabbath. God’s people no longer seem to work and rest after the old rotation and strict legislation of the ancient Mosaic manner. Instead, following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and apostolic leadership, the church honors both the Creation Mandate and the Fourth Commandment... Continue Reading

Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit

We grieve the Spirit when we sin and we especially when we sin in ways that cause discord, perhaps because unity is a special work of the Spirit.

We need to remember that the Holy Spirit is not a distant, abstract deity and certainly not an impersonal force. No, the Holy Spirit is a person, for only a genuine and personable being is capable of this kind of thinking, feeling, and emotion. In fact, when we understand that the Spirit is a person... Continue Reading

A Rejoinder to ‘Theonomy, Bahnsen and the Federal Vision’

A response: Federal Vision is a real problem, but its roots are not endemic in Theonomy.

Just because a person speaks highly of the law of God in one place in one book does not make him a legalist or the father of legalism.  Just because a person has a high view of the efficacy of baptism (as does the Westminster Confession of Faith) in one place in one book does... Continue Reading

Reformed Protestants Who Pick Nits

The New Calvinists should see the hand of God in the old Calvinism that emerged in places like Zurich and Strasbourg well before John Calvin was even a Protestant.

Nor should Martin Bucer be forgotten. He initiated reforms in the city of Strasbourg a year or so after Zwingli’s activities. Bucer also put his stamp indelibly on Calvin when in 1538 Geneva’s city authorities told Calvin to leave. Calvin ministered in Strasbourg for two years to a French speaking congregation and taught at Strasbourg’s... Continue Reading

Does God Really Care About Our Suffering?

Our God is not stoic and unaffected, but is touched by our afflictions.

When you are suffering, how do you think God responds to you? Do you imagine him saying something like: “Hey buck up. It doesn’t hurt that bad.” “Somebody call the Waaaaambulance” “Come on, you big baby, shake it off. Get over it.” Our heavenly Father is filled with compassion for his blood-bought children. He has... Continue Reading

Theonomy, Greg Bahnsen, and the Federal Vision- Part Two

Bahnsen’s writings laid the foundation for the Federal Vision, particularly in the areas of the sacraments, conditional perseverance, apostasy, the mono-covenantal structure of Scripture, and the law.

Bahnsen is guilty of two errors in his work on theonomy. First, he established a new paradigm for the law by connecting the believer’s obedience to the whole Old Testament law in exhaustive detail. Second, he emphasized obedience to the law so strenuously that he often comes close to the dangerous Pelagian spectrum of errors.... Continue Reading

Explainer: Divine Simplicity and the Trinitarian Controversy

If you have followed the recent upheaval over the Trinity and gender, you may have asked yourself these questions

This doctrine [divine simplicity] was once taken for granted by basically everyone, from the earliest days of the church through to the Reformation and beyond, and only became unfamiliar quite recently. I’m not going to be able to explain all the details of the idea here. My objective is twofold: to give a basic outline... Continue Reading