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?

An Interview with the Apostle Paul on Faith, Works, Law, and Gospel

Thanks for joining me this morning as I interview the one and only, Apostle Paul. Paul, thanks for joining me today and helping me understand Galatians 3 a bit better. What a wonderful section, by the way! Well, anyway, let’s get started. Can you tell me the audience you have in mind? Those who have been bewitched and are deserting him who called them in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel. Wow, strong language. Why is this such an important issue to you? It was before their eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Interesting. Well, note-to-self: a … Continue reading An Interview with the Apostle Paul on Faith, Works, Law, and Gospel

Science and God Review

Scott Petty. Little Black Books: Science and God. Kingsford, Australia: Matthias Media, 2011. 112 pp. $4.99. Christians don’t have to choose between God and science. In fact, they are quite compatible. In his little book Science and God, Scott Petty succinctly, humorously, and helpfully makes just that point as he analyzes the modern tension between science and faith. Science and God is a part of the Little Black Book series, authored by Petty, a youth minister in Australia. The series covers a wide range of topics for young people ages 15-20. The books are supposed to be fun and straight to the point, … Continue reading Science and God Review

The Lord’s Table on Good Friday

For the Christian, the Lord’s Supper is about covenant renewal. When we partake of the Table together, we are dramatizing the gospel: Jesus body and blood given for us. It is a reminder of what Jesus has done for us–a means of grace to reinforce our faith in him. Often times, before communion (another name for the Lord’s Supper) Christians try to “get right with God” and confess every known sin. We beat ourselves up, feeling that if we wash our conscience, then we will be “worthy” to approach the Table. We think that Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:27-24, when … Continue reading The Lord’s Table on Good Friday

Christian Counseling and God’s Transcendence

Millard Erickson on how God’s transcendence changes the way we counsel people: We will look for genuinely transcendent working by God. Thus we will not expect only those things that can be accomplished by natural means…We will not neglect prayer for his guidance or special intervention. Thus, for example, Christian counseling will not differ from other types of counseling (naturalistic or humanistic) only in being preceded by a brief prayer. There will be the anticipation that God, in response to faith and prayer, will work in ways not humanly predictable or achievable. – Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, 345; emphasis added. Continue reading Christian Counseling and God’s Transcendence

The Importance of Conversion in the Church

Scripture is clear in teaching that we are not all journeying toward God–some having found Him, others still seeking. Instead, Scripture presents us as needing to have our hearts replaced, our minds transformed, our spirits given life. We can do none of this for ourselves. The change each human needs, regardless of how we may outwardly appear, is so radical, so near our roots, that only God can bring it about. We need God to convert us…I fear that one of the results of misunderstanding the Bible’s teaching on conversion may well be that evangelical churches are full of people … Continue reading The Importance of Conversion in the Church