Category: Reformed Theology

If Adam was good, why did he sin?

If Adam was good, why did he sin?

May 29, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

It is always interesting to watch people’s faces when you remind them that Adam sinned without a sin-nature. Typically, when talking about why people sin, the average Christian’s response is — “Because we all have a sin-nature, inherited from Adam” (cf. Rom. 5:12, Ps. 51:5) But the sin-nature answer doesn’t work with Adam and Eve.  When […]

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God’s Foreknowledge: How, When, and So What?

God’s Foreknowledge: How, When, and So What?

October 21, 2013 | By | 7 Comments

John Wesley was no divine determinist, but he did not minimize in any way the omniscience or the foreknowledge of God, nor the reign of God over the eternal destiny of His own creation.  Read on and discover how Wesley explains foreknowledge in his classic sermon: “On Predestination”

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The Significance of Charles Finney Amongst Evangelicals… and Edwards’ Response!

The Significance of Charles Finney Amongst Evangelicals… and Edwards’ Response!

October 16, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

Randall Balmer writes in The Making of Evangelicalism: “… Evangelicals have understood better than anyone else how to communicate to the masses. The message they propagate is simple, straightforward, and utterly indebted to Charles Finney. Come to Jesus. Make a decision for Christ. You control your own spiritual destiny. And somewhere in the Presidents’ Plot […]

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Ken Heer’s WPH <em>Commentary on Luke’s Gospel</em>

Ken Heer’s WPH Commentary on Luke’s Gospel

October 16, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

My sincere thanks to Becky Eberhard and the folks at Wesleyan Publishing House for sending me a review copy of Ken Heer’s biblical commentary on the Gospel of Luke. I just finished mining through it, and I can’t wait to recommend it to you! This is actually my first look at the WPH Commentary series, […]

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“Feel Free to Express Yourself to God… But Don’t Get Crazy!”

“Feel Free to Express Yourself to God… But Don’t Get Crazy!”

October 22, 2012 | By | 6 Comments

If you desire to fit in with Charismatics, you have to learn how to use 2 Cor. 3:17b: “… where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” If you are an exegete, or at the very least a careful reader of Scripture, you’ll notice that I did not use the entire verse. Nope, just the last half… […]

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Dispensational, Covenant, & New Covenant Theology

Dispensational, Covenant, & New Covenant Theology

September 17, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

For anyone involved in the theological schools known as Dispensationalism, Covenant Theology, or New Covenant Theology, you may be interested in reading several reviews of Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants, written by Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum. Kingdom through Covenant is a proposed third option when considering the strengths (and […]

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Culver on the Purpose of Election

Culver on the Purpose of Election

September 5, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

One of my favorite systematician writes: “An examination of some of the relevant passages reaps the following fruit of teaching. Believers have been chosen by God ‘to the praise of his glory’ (Eph. 1:11, 12); to ‘show forth the praises’ of the One who called them (1 Peter 2:9 KJV); to live holy blameless lives (Eph. […]

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Striking the Balance Between Comfort & False Conversion

Striking the Balance Between Comfort & False Conversion

August 19, 2012 | By | 6 Comments

As an advocate of what is essentially a Reformed perspective regarding issues related to soteriology, I fully subscribe to the idea that those whom God has chosen for salvation shall, in the end, be saved. I would gladly affirm what the Westminster Confessional describes concerning the Perseverance and Preservation of the Saints. “They, whom God […]

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Heinrich Bullinger on Justification

Heinrich Bullinger on Justification

August 13, 2012 | By | 6 Comments

Heinrich Bullinger, the 16th century Swiss Reformer, wrote a book with a typically long title: “The grace of God that justifies us for the sake of Christ through faith alone, without good works, while faith meanwhile abounds in good works.” Would you agree or disagree with this definition of Justification?

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For the Calvinists Too Reformed for Church

For the Calvinists Too Reformed for Church

August 9, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

James K. A. Smith writes a letter to a “young Calvinist” named Jess and touches upon a real issue: “That’s a common enough temptation, Jess. I understand it. I’ve been there. But step back and think about what you’re saying: it’s as if you’re saying you’re “too Reformed” for any church! How un-Reformed is that?! […]

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God’s Meticulous Sovereignty in Tornadoes

God’s Meticulous Sovereignty in Tornadoes

March 11, 2012 | By | 1 Comment

When tornadoes, storms, floods, or other natural disasters and accidents happen, lots of questions get raised. John Piper, a man I greatly respect and have been blessed by, hasn’t been afraid to address the big questions that arise when they happen. In 2009 a tornado struck downtown Minneapolis and Piper addressed it. When the recent […]

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Michael Horton’s Approach to Israel

Michael Horton’s Approach to Israel

February 6, 2012 | By | 6 Comments

Concerning the future of Israel, Supercessionism, and a Reformed approach to the issue, Michael Horton writes, “So while some amillennialists regard all of the saving promises to Israel as fulfilled in the new covenant church without remainder and dispensationalists treat them as fulfilled only in a revived theocracy of Israel in the millennium, Paul’s argument […]

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“NeoReformed” is the new “Hyper-Calvinist”

“NeoReformed” is the new “Hyper-Calvinist”

January 24, 2012 | By | 6 Comments

As I’ve been thinking through the responses to my question, “Who are the NeoReformed?” (an open invitation for you to weigh in on). I’ve got to be honest, no one who uses that term has given me an answer. Lots of great comments though. When Scot McKnight writes that the “neo-Reformed are more committed to […]

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An Open Invitation: Who Are the “NeoReformed”?

An Open Invitation: Who Are the “NeoReformed”?

January 22, 2012 | By | 40 Comments

Those who are opposed to the young Reformed movement (think Young, Restless, Reformed) often refer to it as the NeoReformed. Scot McKnight thinks he may have invented that term (“NeoReformed”). His reason for thinking that is because back in 2009 he write a blog on it – “Who are the NeoReformed?” McKnight suggested that the […]

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Calvinism + Methodism = ????

Calvinism + Methodism = ????

December 26, 2011 | By | 5 Comments

Yeah, this blog’s title sounds like an impossibility. Today’s Methodists and Wesleyan’s descend from the lineage of Jacobus Arminius by way of John Wesley. These brothers and sisters disagree with significant doctrinal concepts that I believe to be true, yet have much to contribute to the Christian tradition! Did I mention that I’m one of […]

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Truth Deserves Love & Zeal!

Truth Deserves Love & Zeal!

December 8, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

You can’t really talk about the Protestant Reformation without thinking about Martin Luther, right? And even though he stood on the shoulders of others who went before him (Tyndale, Wycliffe, etc.), he most assuredly changed the world. Europe was not the same after Luther, both the landscape of Christianity and the landscape of society. Thus, […]

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A Reformational Spar on Election: Lutherans & Calvinists Can Be Friends!

A Reformational Spar on Election: Lutherans & Calvinists Can Be Friends!

November 2, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

From time to time I find myself reading through sections of John Theodore Mueller’s Christian Dogmatics. Mueller’s contribution is basically a systematic theology from a confessional Lutheran perspective that some would consider ultra conservative. It’s doctrinally rich and stylistically about as dry as they come, but one of the reasons I enjoy reading it so […]

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Has the Calvinism vs. Arminianism Debate Run Its Course?

Has the Calvinism vs. Arminianism Debate Run Its Course?

October 28, 2011 | By | 5 Comments

This week there was some discussion amongst the members of the Society of Vineyard Scholars, of which I am a member. Someone asked a question regarding how the Vineyard stands regarding Calvinism and Arminianism, and there were quite a few interesting responses, including mine. Interestingly, one of the last comments was that this is a […]

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Heaven includes more than just Calvinists!

Heaven includes more than just Calvinists!

August 18, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Excellent reminder: “There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer—I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views […]

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Philip Rhyken on Catholics: Keeping Protestants Humble

Philip Rhyken on Catholics: Keeping Protestants Humble

August 16, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

“Sometimes we forget that Luther, Calvin, and the rest of the Reformers were born and bred within the Roman church. When Catholics were catholic, they were Catholic too, and it was within the Roman church that they came to saving faith in Jesus Christ. To be sure, the pope would not tolerate their plain teaching […]

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Are Your Actions Consistent w/ the Gospel?

Are Your Actions Consistent w/ the Gospel?

July 20, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

I think all of us probably do things that bring compromise to certain areas that we believe are important. Some people call those compromises “hypocrisy” and others refer to it as being “two faced.” When referring to spiritual matters, some have even called it “spiritual adultery.” Whoa… that’s heavy. I’m sure most of us do […]

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An even-handed “third way” between Piper and Wright: Michael F. Bird’s JETS contribution

An even-handed “third way” between Piper and Wright: Michael F. Bird’s JETS contribution

July 13, 2011 | By | 16 Comments

Yesterday my copy of the latest JETS came in the mail and I was pleasantly surprised to find an article by Michael J. Bird – “What is There Between Minneapolis and St. Andrews? A Third Way in the Piper-Wright Debate” (pp. 299-309). It is one of the most engaging articles on the debate between John […]

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A.W. Pink on Election’s Design

A.W. Pink on Election’s Design

June 16, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

“God’s design in our election was that we should be holy: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him” (Eph. 1:4). There has been much difference of opinion among the commentators as to whether this refers to that imperfect […]

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The Sovereign “Heart-Opening” and the Human Response

The Sovereign “Heart-Opening” and the Human Response

June 1, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

I’ve had my share of theological discussions about the sovereignty of God and human responsibility, or the debate on whether one is a Calvinist or an Arminian. Everyone has their verses that they bring to the table and their perspective and opinion and experiences and those conversations can be really fun. Well, this morning I […]

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Richard Baxter’s Reminder to Pastors

Richard Baxter’s Reminder to Pastors

May 10, 2011 | By | 1 Comment

Richard Baxter, the insightful pastor of pastors, writes, “See that the work of saving grace be thoroughly wrought in your own souls. Take heed to yourselves, lest you be void of that saving grace of God which you offer to others, and be strangers to the effectual working of that gospel which you preach; and […]

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