How To Avoid Biblicism

The basic question at stake is, “What makes a doctrine biblical?” That question is of course important to Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants alike, but it is particularly important for us Protestants, affirming as we do sola scriptura. What I would like to . . . Continue reading →

The Roof Was Not Strong Enough

My basic point remains: if you argue for EFS and/or reject (or even regard as negotiable) eternal generation, then you stand outside the bounds of the historic Nicene Christian faith as set forth at Constantinople in 381 and held thereafter by the . . . Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (20a): Be Not Surprised By Fiery Trials (1 Peter 4:12–19)

Lava flows into the Pacific Ocean

Peter was a theologian of the cross, a theologian of suffering, not a theologian of glory. He would never understand those theological systems that anticipate an earthly glory age (e.g., Dominionism, Reconstructionism, Prosperity theology), whether a literal 1000 years (chiliasm) or a figurative millennial glory brought on by gospel preaching (modern post-millennialism). According to some of the Christian Reconstructionists/Dominion theologies, suffering for Christ is only until we gain political power. They tend to treat passages such as these in a quasi-Dispensational fashion, as if turning the other cheek is “for then” but not “for now.” By contrast, For Peter, suffering is the natural state of the Christian in the last days, i.e., that period of redemptive history inaugurated by the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. This approach is also quite opposite that of modern “prosperity” preachers. Theirs is a false gospel, i.e., to say no gospel at all. The gospel is not that God will financially prosper those who do whatever the prosperity preachers tell them to do. The gospel is that Jesus is our representative, that he obeyed the law in our place, that he was crucified in our place, that he was raised for our justification, and that he ascended and is reigning now. We receive the benefits of his work for us by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide). In his mysterious providence, God sometimes materially prospers his people (e.g., Abraham) and sometimes he makes them sit on an ash heap while they scrape their wounds (see Job). There is no magic prayer and no donation to a prosperity preacher has anything to do with Christian faith, piety, or practice. To confess that sinful human beings can control God is nothing but paganism. Continue reading →

Clarity On The Trinity

This God taught Israel to say ‘The Lord our God is One.’ There are distinctions of course. The NT writers, and Christ Himself, noted that OT prophets like David and Isaiah, when ‘in the Spirit,’ were party to conversations within the Godhead . . . Continue reading →

Presbyterian Power Grab?

If you’ve disliked recent presidential Executive Orders or if you’re starting to think that this year’s Commissioner’s Handbook resembles the paper stack now euphemistically called ‘The Affordable Care Act’—“don’t read it, just vote with our leaders”—you may be on to something. Try . . . Continue reading →

Office Hours With Senator Ben Sasse

Office Hours

For Reformed Christians there has never been any question whether Christ is Lord over all things. When the Dutch theologian, pastor, and Prime Minister Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) declared in his 1898 Stone Lectures at Princeton that there is not one square inch . . . Continue reading →

Notable Interpretations Of 1 Corinthians 11:3

Calvinus Authenticus

In light of the current discussions about the ontological and economic Trinity, subordination, and complementarianism, here are some quotations I posted yesterday on Twitter. This is his account of the reason of the thing, and he states it to make the weaker . . . Continue reading →