The Gospel is about Words

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Paul did not pantomime the gospel to the Corinthians. He declared it in words. “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you” (1 Cor 15:1). The word for “preached” is literally, “to announce the good news.” So he reiterates the gospel and how it consists in a body of…



The Shattering of Every Calvinist’s Dream

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One of the realities of life is that our greatest strengths tend to incubate the seeds of our greatest weaknesses. So a man who is decisive, proactive and determined to accomplish much good can be unsympathetic, dismissive and harsh. Similarly a woman who is thoughtful, careful and quiet can be passive, distant and self-absorbed. We…



Transformed by the Renewing of Your Minds

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I am inserting a brief interlude in the discussion of the development of bad evangelicalism in America. This is not a complete departure from the theme which will be resumed in a subsequent post, but a reminder of the kind of self-critical, conscientious attention to biblical truth that framed the lives of Christians and churches…



Culture, Covenant, and Comfort

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This past week, a survey by the Pew Research Center prompted an article by the New York Times, which said that Christianity in America is dying. The number of Americans who call themselves Christians has been dropping dramatically all over the country, and the decline seems to have accelerated over recent years. As fewer and…



Book Mini-Reviews

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I have been plowing away through a stack of books lately, so I thought I would give you my two cents on a few of them. Hopefully these notes will steer you toward some helpful resources so that you can make the best use of your time.   Perspectives on Israel and the Church: 4…

 

Responding to Gathered Worship: With Joy and Praise

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When we gather as the church for worship, we come as sinners in need of forgiveness and grace. We respond with confession and repentance. We come in need of rescue and redemption. We respond with faith and hope in the promise of the gospel. But though we come as sinful and needy people, we always…



Confession – Good for the Soul of the Church

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In a previous pastorate, a lady expressed her concern after a Sunday morning service. It seemed that the exposition of Scripture and its application had gotten a little too close for comfort. She admitted that she no longer enjoyed coming to church. This lady was no occasional attender either, but the wife of one of…



Billy Sunday, Part 4: Spiraling Manward

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(See also Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series.) Sunday’s suspicion of theology led to a heightened emphasis on the effectuality of decision. He adopted Finney’s insistence on immediate conversion under the living voice of the preacher. While he was more theological than Sam Jones, he still focused on human gumption as the vital…



The Objectivity of Christ’s Atonement

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We live in an age that militates against the idea of God’s absolute holiness. Combined with a denial of the sinfulness of man, the rejection of God’s moral character results in a necessary de-valuing, or even denial, of the atonement. A crucial piece of a biblical understanding of Christ’s work is the objective nature of Christ’s…