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God the Galactic Narcissist?

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Perhaps you have grown up with an indelible image of God pressed into your brain through teaching and preaching that seems to boil everything in the Christian life down to God getting Glory. Not that God getting glory is a bad thing. God is glorified and should be but how and why?  Able Baker Able is the lead pastor of …

Spirit Renewed Ecclesiology: The Contribution of Moltmann’s Pneumatology for the Church

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Of contemporary Protestant theologians, Jürgen Moltmann stands among giants as he is considered one of the most influential and widely read systematicians of his time.[1] Though Moltmann was Professor of Theology at Tübingen from 1967 to 1994, he spent a number of his early years as a pastor at the Evangelical Church of Bremen-Wasserhorst.[2] This is likely why he is …

If Adam was good, why did he sin?

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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 God’s creation of the image-bearing …

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

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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” Kenny Burchard Kenny Burchard is a husband, father, and Jesus-follower who has …

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

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 of the Princeton, New Jersey, …

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Ken Heer’s WPH Commentary on Luke’s Gospel

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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, and so far, I’m impressed! …

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

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… the part that emphasizes that …

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Dispensational, Covenant, & New Covenant Theology

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 weaknesses) of Dispensationalism and Covenant …

Culver on the Purpose of Election

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. 1:4); to be fully sanctified, …

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Striking the Balance Between Comfort & False Conversion

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 hath accepted in His Beloved, …

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Heinrich Bullinger on Justification

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? Luke Geraty Luke Geraty is a young budding pastor/theologian who …

For the Calvinists Too Reformed for Church

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?! It seems to me that …

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God’s Meticulous Sovereignty in Tornadoes

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 tornadoes went through the Midwest, …

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Michael Horton’s Approach to Israel

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 in Romans 9-11 seems more …

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“NeoReformed” is the new “Hyper-Calvinist”

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 tradition than to the sacred …

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An Open Invitation: Who Are the “NeoReformed”?

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 NeoReformed are a “new form …

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Calvinism + Methodism = ????

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 those Calvinists who love Wesley? …

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Truth Deserves Love & Zeal!

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, Lutheranism has become one of …

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

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 much is because Mueller pulls …

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Has the Calvinism vs. Arminianism Debate Run Its Course?

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 “theologically useless debate.” This type …

Heaven includes more than just Calvinists!

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 which were held by John …

Philip Rhyken on Catholics: Keeping Protestants Humble

“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 of the gospel, so eventually …

Are Your Actions Consistent w/ the Gospel?

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 not want to be compromise …

A.W. Pink on Election’s Design

“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 holiness of grace which we …