Bavinck on Presumptive Regeneration (and Other Things)

In Saved By Grace just out from RHB. With the Bavinck conference and blog and new volumes coming out, there’s a veritable Bavinck Blizzard! This volume, like anything from Bavinck, is worth having and reading. I read part of it in a pre-publication . . . Continue reading →

Heidelcast: Does God Give Faith to the Living or to the Dead?

Heidelcast: Does God Give Faith to the Living or the Dead? Dan writes to the HC to ask about the timing of regeneration (making alive by the Spirit) and faith but he raises the question of whether God gives faith to the . . . Continue reading →

Office Hours: Hywel Jones on Preaching the Doctrine of Regeneration (You Need to Hear This)

Of course I always want you to listen and subscribe to Office Hours but I especially want you (and everyone) to hear this interview with the Rev Dr Hywel Jones on preaching the doctrine of regeneration to Christian congregations. We’re discussing Hywel’s . . . Continue reading →

Semi-Pelagianism and Faith as the Instrument of Existential-Mystical Union with Christ (Pt 1)

William Perkins (1558-1602), in his 1595 Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, on the question of effectual call, wrote: Againe, if the Vocation of every man be effectual, then faith must be common to all men either by nature, or by grace, or . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 72–73: To Be Clear—Baptism Isn’t Magic But It Is Powerful

What is the frame of reference for baptism and washing? It is the flood. Did the flood save anyone? No. It condemned those who did not believe (an aspect of baptism sometimes neglected; there is a judicial aspect of baptism for the reprobate) but God’s people were saved out of the judgment by the ark. To what does the ark correspond? Christ. He is the ark. The Noahic baptismal flood was an antitype of Christ, who underwent the flood of judgment for us, and it testifies to our outward identity with Christ and to believers it signifies and seals that just as he suffered the judgment flood for us, as he was drowned in divine wrath, as it were, we have died with him and by his grace we have been redeemed. Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (6): Like Newborn Infants (1 Peter 2:1–3)

The word “therefore” is more important in Scripture than we probably realize. It signals a relationship between what is being said now to what was just said. Remember, the chapter divisions we have in Scripture are not original. They were introduced into . . . Continue reading →

One Great Difference Between A Covenantal Piety And The American Conversionist Alternative

Make no mistake. No one comes to new life and true faith apart from the sovereign, gracious, mysterious, wonderful work of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit who hovered over the face of the deep (Gen 1:2) also gives new life to dead (Eph 2:1–4) sinners. You must be born again (or from above). The mistake comes when we identify that fact with a particular experience of praying a prayer, walking the aisle, or making a decision for Christ. We should all rejoice when someone is brought to new life, even if through irregular means (e.g., a Billy Graham Crusade or the like). It is not our business to tell the sovereign, free Holy Spirit where and when he may work. It is our business, however, to pay attention to what he has told us, in Scripture, to do and say and he tells us to pay attention to the “revealed things” which are “for us and for our children forever” (Deut 29:29). Scripture tells us that the Spirit ordinarily operates through the preaching of the gospel. Continue reading →

Resources On Union With Christ

The doctrine of union with Christ is an essential part of the Reformed doctrine of the application of salvation to the elect by the Holy Spirit (ordo salutis). In the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Presbyterian Churches say: Q. 30. How doth the Spirit . . . Continue reading →

A Tension That Does Not Exist

There were a number of issues that I might have taken up in my response to Crawford Gribben and Chris Caughey’s essay, “History, Identity Politics, and the ‘Recovery’ of the Reformed Confession” in the volume On Being Reformed which space did not permit. . . . Continue reading →

Grace for Parents Of Prodigals

I will be a God to you and to your children… The promise is for you and for your children… As a dad of a prodigal adult child, I would like to remind myself and anyone who cares to read of a . . . Continue reading →