Text Criticism of the Canons of Dort RE 1.1

This is inside baseball but it’s important inside baseball. Wes has noted a discrepancy between the English translation of the Rejection of Errors in the CD and the Latin text and it’s not an insignificant discrepancy. It’s the difference between the Synod . . . Continue reading →

Sinclair Ferguson's den Dulk Lecture #1: The Danger of Losing Heart

Sinclair is speaking now, with his customary wit, charm, and insight on the danger of losing heart in pastoral ministry, on the difference between Paul’s conception of the spiritual realities of the ministry and the way ministry is often conceived today. Lord . . . Continue reading →

Pressing On

Working on Hebrews 6 and this seems appropriate (it’s not a great recording but you get the point).

What Is True Faith? (10) A Glorious Omission

In part 9 we considered the role of the gospel in the Spirit’s work of creating new life and granting faith. We saw that there is no tension between the direct, supernatural working of the Spirit and his use of means in . . . Continue reading →

The Synod Of Dort On Election, Conditions Of Salvation, And Fruit (2)

Does The Doctrine Of Perseverance Turn The Covenant Of Grace Into A Covenant of Works?

Here the true nature of the Remonstrant doctrine of perseverance emerges: God helps those who help themselves by cooperating with his “assisting grace.” This is quite another picture of salvation. Here God has not parted the Red Sea and led us through, by the hand, as it were (Jer 31:32; Ex 14:16). Rather, according to the Remonstrants, God has covenanted to co-act with those who do what lies within them (facientibus quod in se est, Deus non denegat gratiam). Continue reading →

Turretin: Faith Is Not True Because It Perseveres

XII. Faith is not true because it perseveres, but it perseveres because it is true. Thus perseverance is not the cause of the verity of faith, but the consequent and the effect—for because it has solidity and a deep root in the . . . Continue reading →

Canons Of Dort (25): Perservance Is Not A Covenant Of Works

In the previous essay we saw that the Reformed Churches defended perseverance by grace alone (sola gratia) against the Remonstrant attempt to deny perseverance by making grace resistible and conditional rather than sovereign and free. To see that we looked at the . . . Continue reading →

Canons Of Dort (26): Perseverance Is Good News For Sinners

Under this head of doctrine we have considered the errors that Synod rejected—the Remonstrants turned the perseverance into a covenant of works—so now we turn to what Synod confessed positively about how Christ graciously preserves his people through their pilgrimage in this . . . Continue reading →

Canons Of Dort (27): The Reformed Distinguish Law And Gospel

When we think of the Synod of Dort and their rulings (canons) against the Remonstrants (Arminians) we tend to think about the doctrine of sin or the doctrines of unconditional grace, election, and the like but there were structural, subterranean issues at . . . Continue reading →

Canons of Dort (32): Our Sovereign God Uses Means To Encourage Us

For perhaps 20 years we have been in the midst of a movement which Collin Hansen (2008) described as Young, Restless, and Reformed. Others have spoken of the “New Calvinists” (see the resources below). The one doctrine that animates these movements is the sovereignty of God. For many American evangelicals it is a given that God has his opinion and we have ours. Continue reading →

Why Did God Put A Crook In The Lot?

But in Thomas Boston’s usage the crook is the crooked, that is the uncomfortable, discontenting aspects of a person’s life, the things that the Puritans called losses and crosses, and that we speak of as the stones in our shoe, the thorns . . . Continue reading →

New Resource Page: On The Assurance Of Salvation

One of the animating forces that drove the Reformation was problem and doctrine of assurance. In the medieval church (as in the Roman communion and in some Protestant quarters today) it was ordinarily impossible for a Christian to have confidence that he had been saved and was accepted by God. Tragically, one finds this sort of approach among some evangelicals and even among some ostensibly Reformed writers. Continue reading →