Drawing from the Well, 12/13/16

For an introduction to the series, read this.

Today we continue our series through my church’s statement of faith, based on the Baptist Faith and Message.

Statement of Faith Article for the Week

V. GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Those who profess faith but do not persevere, thereby show themselves to be unregenerate. Continue reading

Divine Simplicity: Why It Matters

Throughout the history of the church, it has been common for theologians to argue that God is “simple,” not in the sense that he is easy to understand, but in the sense that he is not a composite being made up of distinct elements or parts. For modern people, this line of thought may seem utterly obtuse and irrelevant. But we shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the wisdom of our forefathers in the faith. There were actually good reasons for raising this question and formulating this historic doctrine of divine simplicity. Continue reading

Drawing from the Well, 12/6/16

For an introduction to the series, read this.

Today we continue unpacking the article on salvation in my church’s statement of faith, based on the Baptist Faith and Message:

State of Faith Article for the Week

GLORIFICATION

Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed. At the point of glorification, being achieved only after this life, the believer will be perfectly righteous, like his Lord. Thus, he will dwell with his Creator and Lord for all eternity.

Thoughts for Discussion with Children

You have heard before that we should glorify God. In fact, that is what we were made for: to give glory to God. God made all things for his own glory, and so everything we do should ultimately be for that greatest of all purposes.

But did you know that God also glorifies us? Several verses in the Bible teach this, one of which is Romans 8:28-29. Read those verses. What do you think it means for God to glorify us?

It doesn’t mean exactly the same thing that it means for us to glorify God. For example, we glorify God by worshiping him, but God does not glorify us by worshiping us! How then does he glorify us? Here’s the difference: we glorify God when we praise him for how wonderful he is; God glorifies us by making us like his Son Jesus. And when he makes us like Jesus, he takes great joy in what he has done. He makes us glorious so that we will be able to praise him forever. He glorifies us, in other words, so that we may glorify him.

And that means, if we are believers, we will be like Jesus one day, and that includes being raised from the dead like Jesus. Just as he has overcome death and has a new body that will never be touched by sickness, pain, weakness, or death again, so will we one day. What God started in us through regeneration, he will complete through glorification.

Blog Update

Sorry for the blog inactivity this week. I have found it to be more difficult to keep up with my original goal of three posts per week than I thought it would be, so I have decided I need to revise my goal in an attempt to keep content on here more consistently. My plan will be to post something (normally) twice a week: the “Drawing from the Well” piece plus one other post about whatever I may be thinking about that week.

However, I have come to realize in the last few weeks that my normal Monday schedule is not conducive to blog writing. That’s not a problem if I can do all the writing before Monday, but that usually doesn’t work out either. So I’m going to move “Drawing from the Well” to Tuesdays, with my later week posts coming either on Thursdays or Fridays. So, if you like to check in here, you should find updated content on Tuesdays and either Thursdays or Fridays of each (normal) week. Thanks for reading.

Rap Music and Catechesis

I have greatly enjoyed reading The Ology, a children’s book on the various topics of systematic theology, with my children. There is also a companion CD available, which is a gospel-rich collection of songs that cover the whole spectrum of theological subjects in a way that is appealing to and memorable for children. Music is one of the surest ways to teach and learn theology by driving it into the heart. Continue reading

Justification and the Gospel: A Response to Peter Leithart

Peter Leithart recently published a provocative article entitled “The Ecumenical Gospel,” in which he argues that the Bible does not equate the gospel with justification by faith, and therefore Protestants ought not regard their understanding of the gospel (even if justification by faith is true biblically) as inherently distinct from that of Roman Catholics. In other words, justification by faith must not be, as Protestants have long argued, “the article by which the church stands or falls,” but is instead a small tributary that feeds into the large river of the gospel that Protestant and Catholic alike share. I encourage to you head over there and read his brief article before continuing on here. I’ll wait.

Okay, glad you’re back. Here are some major problems I see with Leithart’s argument: Continue reading

Imagine a Unified America

We are a deeply divided nation. On the political spectrum, polarization has become the norm rather than the exception. Gone are the days when the average voter might prefer one candidate for President over the other, but still regard the other as a decent person capable of leading the executive branch. We are now witnessing a time of national mourning among the cultural elites in the wake of their candidate’s opponent winning a democratic election. What has happened, and what can be done about it? Continue reading