Why Every Generation Must Contend for Justification Sola Fide

Although justification sola fide may have been obscured somewhat by the New Perspective on Paul, the appearance of alternatives to sola fide is nothing new.

Luther realized that every generation of orthodox evangelicals would have to contend for this article anew; he also understood that however many alternatives have appeared, they are all ultimately just varieties of the one common anti-grace, anti-gospel, and thus anti-Christ error or works-righteousness.   The Heart of the Gospel Justification sola fide is the heart of the... Continue Reading

Introduction to Divine Simplicity

The principle of divine simplicity is embedded in the Reformation era confessions, and as such, it is important for us to explore.

When theologians speak of God as simple, they intend a different meaning from the more everyday use of the term, and it can escape those who have not studied the doctrine of God in-depth. When we confess that God is simple, we are making a metaphysical statement—that is, a statement about the nature of God’s... Continue Reading

God is the Hero in the Story

Let us see God’s sovereign and providential usage of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, John the Baptist, the Disciples, Paul, Timothy, and others, and point to him.

Samson was both powerful and pitiful. He was faithful and faithless. This strong man was the epitome of the double-minded man; he was unstable in all his ways. And the consequences of his sin were horrid. Towards the end of the story, Samson is the captured, humiliated, blinded, and bound poster-boy of Philistine domination. He... Continue Reading

Tassels of Grace

Every command that God gave Israel came in the context of what He had promised in previous covenantal revelation, what He had done in bringing them out of the bondage of Egypt and what He would do in fulfilling all of the Old Covenant types and shadows in Christ.

Garments find their place in redemptive history in the Garden of Eden. There is a rich biblical theology of clothing in the very first chapters of the Bible. Adam was to be God’s prophet, priest and king in the Garden. He was to live, move and carry out the commission God gave him, clothed in that holiness.... Continue Reading

Are the Prayers of Some People More Effective?

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).

Who is the righteous person? This is where it gets a little more complicated, though in one sense again the answer is obvious: those who are united to Christ by faith are counted righteous (2 Cor. 5:21). Those who are righteous in Christ can be confident that God will be more inclined to grant their requests. ... Continue Reading

That Others May Live

I believe the motto of the PJs provides a helpful illustration for the Christian.

In order for Jesus to save His people, He had to enter enemy territory. In doing so, He took the form of a bondservant and came in the likeness of men (Phil.2:6–7). Both earthly and spiritual powers targeted Him from the moment He was born (Matt. 2:13, 4:3). Despite the opposition, Jesus never failed in accomplishing His... Continue Reading

Preaching Christ: the Living and the Speaking Word

The expectation that a unique prophet would one day be sent by God was deeply embedded in the mind of the people of Israel from their earliest days.

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him…The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and... Continue Reading

Elders and Deacons, Word and Deed

We’ve heard just about all the hollow rhetoric we can tolerate. We all know that actions speak louder than words.

Our life together must be marked by both Word and deed. This does not by any means minimize the primacy of the Word of God in the Christian life.  It is simply a recognition that God’s truth will always bear incarnational, tangible, and demonstrable fruit. The Westminster Confession of Faith highlights this notion asserting that the church has... Continue Reading

Why I No Longer Believe in a Passible God

My journey out of social trinitarianism to Nicene orthodoxy.

Zizioulas and company had argued that the new social Trinitarianism was grounded in the work of the Cappadocian fathers and was preserved better in the eastern tradition than in the western tradition shaped by Augustine. Gunton attacked Augustine as not having done justice to the doctrine of the Trinity. This historical narrative of the Eastern... Continue Reading

The Gospel in Lamentations

Out of the smoking ruins came cries of lamentation and confession, and the daring hope of restoration.

The book of Lamentations shows that God is a fierce enemy to those who trample on his word and despise his grace. But he is also rich in mercy and unfailingly faithful to his covenant promises. Somewhere, somehow, restoration will come. Not until the advent of Jesus Christ do we find the full resolution of... Continue Reading