God For Us


The Holy Divine Trinity  has bestowed eternal blessings upon the elect. In what theologians call the Covenant of Redemption, the Trinity has purposed, secured and applied redemption for the church. Our salvation is no small feat, certainly not dependent on a mere human decision, flowing from the poisoned spring of our soul and the enslaved sinful will that, at best, can only offer a feeble faith that can never endure harsh realities or competing desires. No, our glorious bodily resurrection and entrance into the everlasting  kingdom takes an invested Trinitarian effort forged in love, for God’s own glory.

Let’s briefly examine each member of the Trinity’s involvement in the Covenant of Redemption: Continue reading

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True Godliness


Blogging The Institutes

Excerpts taken from Institutes of the Christian Religion (1541 Edition) by John Calvin

Translation by Robert White

Chapter 1: The knowledge of God

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The believing heart does not haphazardly forge for itself some kind of god. Rather it looks to him who is the true and only God. It does not ascribe to him whatever qualities it pleases but is content to take him as he shows himself to be: it is always careful not to depart from God’s will through headstrong pride. Knowing him thus, and understanding that he governs all things by his providence, it confidently accepts him as guardian and protector, and thus entrusts itself to his keeping, since it knows him to be the author of all that is good.

A contrite heart doesn’t work to construct a god acceptable to its own liking. On the contrary it willingly accepts the testimony of Scripture of who God is, of what it tells us is pleasing and acceptable to Him. A believing heart is a trusting heart. God’s providence over all creation and world events gives Christians security and comfort. This faith helps believers overcome sufferings and trials. They are ordained by God for His purposes and our eternal good (Rom 8:28 ESV). Continue reading

Dialogue with a Satanist


I recently received the following comment from an adherent to the Satanist religion on the post Will Atheists Go to Hell? With his permission we’ll be having  a public discourse, interacting with each other’s worldviews.  First, I will post his entire comment.  My reply will follow.

Prism writes:

Sorry, but I feel I have to disagree with you that God is the one true way. Who’s to say that the Muslims or Jews aren’t correct, and you’re wrong? This is simply your belief, not truth, and I feel you should let your daughter decide for herself. There are many religions, each professing to be the only one with the path to Salvation. What if every Christian in the world is bound for eternal torment because the Sikhs were correct? Surely a forgiving God would understand that in a place with so many religions, it would be human nature to make mistakes and choose incorrectly? Would he send people to Hell for making a simple mistake? Or agnostics, who aren’t sure which deity to pledge their allegiance to? Or atheists, who simply try to make sense of things using logic which leads them (possibly mistakenly) to believe that there is no higher power? Again, if they’re wrong, it’s an honest mistake on their part. Surely a just God wouldn’t send people to a place of eternal punishment for using their supposedly God-given brains to try and understand things.
And for those in places like Chad, where Christianity has not arrived, yet the people may live perfectly good lives. You’re saying God would send them to Hell for an accident of birth? Something they can’t control? Think about it.

Thoughts of a LaVeyan Satanist.

Prsim, first of all, thank you for presenting your thoughts openly and civilly.  I will endeavor to do likewise.  Next, I would like to enlighten my readers as to the worldview that you hold as a practicing LaVeyan Satanist.  Please feel free to correct me if I misrepresent your beliefs in any way. Continue reading

The Fall of Man


The Theology of Redemption


Study One – Man’s Need of Redemption

The Fall of Man

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This lesson introduces the first study of the series, Man’s Need of Redemption.  It will consist of two lessons.  First, man’s creation as a perfect image bearer of God’s glory and subsequent fall into sin and corruption will be discussed.  The next lesson will focus on the extent and depth of that corruption and how it has effected our being.

Our study of Redemption begins at the creation account on the very first pages of the very first book in the bible.  As I’ve stated previously, redemption is the story of God as he relates to man, who corrupted himself at his initial trial of faith and obedience.  It begins in Genesis and weaves its way throughout both the Old and New Testaments.  So, the reason I’m starting here is because this is where God starts. In the creation account we learn of man’s original blessed state and the events that led to his fall from the state of innocence into a state of corruption.

It is vital to note that in the beginning God created everything good.  All things were made for his glory. ‘And God saw everything that he had made and behold, it was very good‘.  (Gen 1:31A)  This clearly demonstrates that man in his created state was ‘very good’.  He was not flawed in character or sinful in nature. Continue reading

The Theology of Redemption: Intro – The Necessity of Theology


Welcome to the first study on the theology of Redemption. Today’s lesson will focus on the discipline of theology and why we as Christians need to embrace it.

Disgracefully, the study of doctrine and theology has declined in God’s visible church over the last few decades at an alarming rate.  An ever-increasing number of churches have adopted a seeker-centric approach to ministry in lieu of sound biblical teaching.  According to so-called church growth experts, the unchurched masses are generally open to believing in God and accepting Christ.  It is the church as an institution that drives them away from commitment.  This type of person is called a ‘seeker’. In order to get these people to come to church and make that saving commitment church leaders must lure them in by appealing to their flesh.  Learning theology and doctrine doesn’t interest them so it is laid aside as a primary ministry of the church.  In other words, entertainment in all of its forms: music, dramatic performances, movie clips,  light shows, media montages, etc.  can be utilized to make the church a more comfortable, less intimidating place for seekers to find refuge. Psychological manipulation replaces the preaching of the word as a means to salvation.  Sermons are often centered around felt-needs messages that ‘meet people where they are at’.   Ministers may preach on topics such as strengthening marriages, gaining financial freedom, finding a stress-free lifestyle, even having a better sex life.  This is all done to ‘ease’ the seeker into the fold before presenting him the gospel. It is a sandy foundation which collapses upon close scrutiny. Continue reading

The Theology of Redemption: Syllabus


Below, I have posted the curriculum for my study on the doctrine of Redemption through Jesus Christ.  My first study will appear tomorrow morning, followed by weekly updates.  Note:  I may break up a single study into multiple posts, depending on the length. I pray that this study will bless, inform and edify my readers as well as bring glory to God.

The Theology of Redemption

Study One: Introduction – The Necessity of Theology.

Part One: Man’s Need of Redemption

Study Two: Creation and the Fall

Study Three: The Effects of the Fall

Part Two: God’s Plan of Redemption

Study Four: Election and Predestination

Study Five: Jesus Christ the Redeemer

Part Three: Christ’s Accomplishment of Redemption

Study Six: The Nature and Triumph of the Atonement

Study Seven: The Extent of the Atonement

Part Four: God’s Application of Redemption

Study Eight: The Ordo Salutis (Order of Salvation)

Study Nine: Union with Christ

Study Ten: Calling

Study Eleven: Regeneration

Study Twelve: Conversion (Repentance and Faith)

Study Thirteen: Justification

Study Fourteen: Adoption

Study Fifteen: Sanctification

Study Sixteen: Perseverance

Study Seventeen: Death and Glorification

Note:  I reserve the right to add, delete, rearrange or otherwise alter studies listed in this curriculum as I see fit.

A Three Year Pilgrimmage


I can hardly believe it myself but A Peculiar Pilgrim has reached the ripe old age of three.  In blog years that probably makes it eligible for retirement.   Many blogs flame out after a year or two and while it certainly hasn’t been stoked into the roaring fire I’ve intended for it the last couple years, at least my flickering light hasn’t been snuffed out completely.  I only posted about 30 articles in 09.  That’s barely more than 1 post every two weeks.  I hope to improve on that in 2010.

In the flesh and blood realm I will be teaching a class on Redemption starting the first week of January.  I’ve been hard at work preparing the outlines for the course.  I’m thankful to God for this opportunity and I pray it will bless those that God brings into my classroom.  My plan is, if time avails, to post articles based on the outlines I’m preparing for the class.  I’ll likely post the corresponding articles a week  before I teach the lesson.  This will also help in articulating and unifying what I’ve written in my outlines.  I have about 17 lessons prepared (as of right now) so I would expect at least that many articles on the doctrine of redemption over the first quarter of the year.

As has been the tradition the last two anniversaries, I am posting links to my favorite articles of 2009.  In no particular order, they are:

The Justice of God and Are we Saved by Belief or by Actions? – These two articles are responses from the comment section of my post, Will Atheists Go to Hell? by (shockingly!) a couple of atheists.  The interaction was cordial and enlightening: A good read.

Grasping God – An article that explores the difficult to comprehend doctrine of God’s omnipresence and my personal struggle to grasp it.

AW Pink on Erroneous Evangelism – A quote from the esteemed theologian (with some personal thoughts added in) that pinpoints the deficiency of the modern church’s proclamation of the gospel.

Is Christianity a Crutch for the Weak? – An article based on a Sunday School discussion that posed this very question.

Four Views of Salvation Throughout Church History – A helpful chart that shows how Calvinism, Arminianism, Semi-Pelagianism and Pelagianism are contrasted in regard to the roles both God and man play in redemption.