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

A Tale of Two Conversions: Shallow


My junior year of high school marked a significant milestone in my transition from hopeless daydreamer to somewhat functional member of society. I began obsessing less with the fantasy realms I entered in through books, movies, D&D and other vehicles that would transport me away from the dreary existence of my everyday life. I shifted my focus to more worldly concerns: What would I be when I grew up? Who would I date and someday marry? Am I making the grades I need to pursue a higher education? How much money did I need to put away to help upgrade my girl-repellant vehicle? The nebulous lands of my vivid imagination dissipated under the relentless rays of reality.

I had a close-knit group of friends I hung out with. I had a car, a job and a measure of independence I had never felt before. Times were good. I felt content – aside from the occasional pangs of teen angst over my considerable lack of ability to charm the ladies.

God.

Sin.

Judgment.

Salvation.

Christ.

These were alien words in my high school vocabulary. I never heard them – I never spoke of them. Most importantly I never pondered their significance. However, this all changed sometime during the fall semester of 1988. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Conversions – Introduction


And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”    (Matthew 13:3-9 ESV)

“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” (Matthew 13:18-23; ESV)

The Hardened Sinner

This parable of Jesus demonstrates the reality of how sinners respond to the message of the gospel of salvation. First, the seeds scattered along the path represent a hardened sinner, who will hear the gospel but doesn’t fully comprehend it, nor does he respond to the message in any kind of receptive manner. This could be manifested in one of two ways. First, Hardened could react with impassive indifference. The message may seem foreign or totally unrelated to his situation. He doesn’t feel convictions of guilt over sin. This sadly results in a callous heart unaffected by the mercy and compassion of a loving God.

The other opposite reaction is passionate hostility. Hardened may indeed be pierced by a conviction of sin, yet the desired effect is not contrite sorrow but self-righteous rage. The idea that he may be guilty of high treason against the Lord of all creation is more than a prideful soul can bear. What does Hardened do? Scripture explains that he will suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness. (Rom 1:18) The soil of Hardened’s heart is impenetrable. The seeds of the scripture bounce harmlessly off the sun-baked surface, unable to find a place to take root and are quickly taken away. 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 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.