Another Sola?

During the Reformation, there were five “solae” (sola is Latin for “alone”) that attempted to sum up the doctrine of salvation. To the reformers, salvation is: by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone as revealed in Scripture alone for the Glory of God alone This is right and good. But is it enough? Several years ago, a mentor posed the question to me: “I wonder how history would have changed had the reformers included another sola: for love alone.” There should be another. After all, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and … Continue reading Another Sola?

This I Believe: The Triune God

Over the next couple weeks,  I will post a series of snippets from a personal confessional statement I wrote a while back for a seminary class. Each day, I will post one article from my personal statement. There’s nothing spectacular or earth shattering about my beliefs. If you are an evangelical, there’s not one thing I will say that will make your jaw drop. Indeed, this confessional statement is remarkable because it is, to be sure, quite unremarkable. It is simple a retelling of the old gospel and the historic doctrines of our faith. If anything, I hope your jaw … Continue reading This I Believe: The Triune God

Why is it important to understand the difference between justification and sanctification?

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;  blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” (Romans 4:5-8) Justification involves God forgiving sin. Some would argue that it does not, but without the forgiveness of sin, we cannot be made right with God. In Paul’s magnificent treatment of this … Continue reading Why is it important to understand the difference between justification and sanctification?

The Rob Bell Saga

If you follow blogs and Twitter (and you probably do since you are on this blog), then you are probably not unaware of what is going on with Rob Bell.  If you are unaware, then you either 1) fasted Twitter the past week or 2) are in denial of what your tweeting eyes see. Full disclosure: I used to like Rob Bell’s teaching. Then I read Velvet Elvis. I made no secret here what I thought about Bell after reading that book.  He has been particularly ambiguous over the past few years with key biblical doctrines. This past Saturday, Rob … Continue reading The Rob Bell Saga

I Want to Love Jesus, Not Just Know Stuff About Him

I just finished reading Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis again, making it only the second book, along with Don’t Waste Your Life, that I have read twice. At the end of the book, the authors made the point that what they are really after is not a church method that will sell books or put butts in pews, but to spread a passion for God.  They write: Have you noticed how possible it is to speak about doctrine and yet remain reluctant to speak of the Savior in intimate terms? I find it easy to speak with other … Continue reading I Want to Love Jesus, Not Just Know Stuff About Him

If the Bible Says it Once, It’s True

Some Christians believe in annihilationism, that is, that those who do not receive Jesus will not suffer in  hell, but will actually cease to exist. But Matthew 25:46, plain as day, says that people will be punished forever if they are not saved.  It would be hard to reconcile annihilationism with these words of Jesus.  In his Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem wrote, “The Bible only needs to say something once for it to be true.” Eternal punishment in hell is a terrible doctrine, indeed.  But if the Bible teaches it, then we must believe it, and hard as this seems, … Continue reading If the Bible Says it Once, It’s True