The Troublesome Doctrine of Biblical Authority

The authority of Scriptures represented a radical change in direction for the community of faith, and the church has not been the same since.

The profound insight that Luther and the Reformers stumbled upon was the basic need to remove the wall of separation between the Word of God and the individual soul, to put the Scriptures’ clarity on display for all to see, through translation, yes, but also through preaching that explained the Biblical text on its own... Continue Reading

Watch Me Call Pastor N. T. Grayshon to Repentance

Are you not abandoning the protestant doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture?

No, not at all. The Reformation doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture was directed against the Roman Catholic claim of additional special revelation (see here), not against the existence of helpful and even necessary truth that God has made available outside of the Bible.   Yesterday we met a pastor who claimed that he needed more than... Continue Reading

The Wonders of Being “In Christ”

Through the gift of faith, we are united to him in his life and death for us. Everything Christ did becomes ours.

Our union with our Savior is our very life and breath. So then, if we are not united to Christ, we are not saved, we have no forgiveness, and no redemption. If we are not united to Him, we will not be sanctified or transformed into His likeness. If we are not united to Christ,... Continue Reading

John Calvin and the Doctrine of Irresistible Grace

Irresistible grace involves several doctrinal issues, including effectual calling and regeneration

“Calvin’s most extended systematic treatment of the doctrine of irresistible grace is found in his 1559 edition of the Institutes. Here Calvin explains that God must begin the good work of salvation in us because our wills are evil and set against Him.”   In 1610, the followers of the Dutch pastor and professor Jacob... Continue Reading

Sanctification — Belonging, Not Behaving

Sanctification is much bigger than simply becoming more like Jesus

“Belonging to another isn’t something that can be compartmentalised for certain times or certain people. Holiness is a radical, all-in call to submit our lives daily to God. It’s the call to live for our Possessor’s glory, not our own. To be holy means to surrender our lives to God and grant him free access... Continue Reading

Clinging To The Crutch

Some people say, derisively, that Christianity is a crutch.

“I haven’t written in this space for three weeks.  In my ten years of blogging, that’s a record for me.  And that’s because in these last weeks–months really, but mainly these last weeks–have been spent coming to grips with my dust-likeness.  That I am not the master of my fate.  That I am most certainly... Continue Reading

Four Suggestions for Reading the Minor Prophets

When you read the Minor Prophets, look for what they say about God’s character and glory

“If we read the Minor Prophets with our minds turned on and looking for them to teach us about God and the Christian life, then we can be confident that the Holy Spirit will give us insight so that his word will equip us to live fruitful lives for the glory of his name.”  ... Continue Reading

At Least as Dangerous as Porn

Material prosperity should frighten us, because the Bible says frightening things about it

“Not to diminish the dangers of sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:9–11), but have you ever noticed that the New Testament issues more dire warnings against the spiritual dangers of material prosperity than sexual immorality? Jesus didn’t say it’s harder for a sexually immoral person to get into heaven than a camel to squeeze through a... Continue Reading

Putting Emotions in Their Place

Emotions have been disrupted by sin, and so we stifle our feelings or seek emotional highs

“We need not resign ourselves to stifling or living for emotions. Instead, because Christ restores our emotions, they can work the way God always intended, in harmony with our other faculties. To become emotionally balanced we must guard against these two main errors.”   The Gospel Restores Our Emotions Emotions have been disrupted by sin,... Continue Reading

Christ’s Public Defender

Herman Bavinck, in his Reformed Dogmatics, sheds further light on the significance of the Spirit’s being ‘Paraclete’ by rendering it, ‘Christ’s public defender’.

He provides the backdrop to this designation by saying, ‘The whole world is hostile to Christ; no one stands by him’. Made all the more graphic, given the imminence of Gethsemane and the appearances Jesus would make before the Jews, Pilate and Herod – alone in the face of the hostile mob bent on settling for... Continue Reading