The Church as the Ultimate Barrier Breaker

I often find myself forgetting that I am one individual member of an absolutely enormous body called the Church. Still more, I forget this Church is a Body that is incredibly diverse.  Spending 2009 in South Africa helped me in this, but I’m still learning to think outside of my own little kingdom.  This Body isn’t diverse just because it has hands and feet and ears.  It’s diverse because the hands are African and the ears are Latino and the feet are Asian, along with a thousand other races, people groups, and languages. Wayne Grudem reminded me of this today … Continue reading The Church as the Ultimate Barrier Breaker

Wayne Grudem on God’s Presence in Hell

At the end of January, I posted some of my thoughts on hell.  There I argued that hell is not the separation from the presence of God.  I wrote that hell is the “separation of people from the majestic, glorious presence of the Lord.” To help flesh this out, I think Wayne Grudem’s thoughts from his book Sytematic Theology might help. The idea of God’s omnipresence has sometimes troubled people who wonder how God can be present, for example, in hell. In fact, isn’t hell the opposite of God’s presence, or the absence of God? This difficulty can be resolved by … Continue reading Wayne Grudem on God’s Presence in Hell

What is Justification?

Series Index What is Justification? What Does Justification Do? (Part 1) What Does Justification Do? (Part 2) Jesus Became Sin For Us Christ’s Imputed Righteousness Justification by Grace Justification by Faith Does James Contradict Paul? Part 1 in an 8 part series. View series intro and index. During the Reformation, Martin Luther and others recaptured the beauty and glory of the doctrine of justification.  We contribute absolutely nothing to this wonderful doctrine, but gain everything from it. Over the next several days, we’ll look at what justification is, what it does, how it happens, and how we receive it. First … Continue reading What is Justification?

Baptism and Fullness

John Stott’s Baptism and Fullness is a short, systematic theology of the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of the believer and the church at large.  It was first published in 1964 and since then, as we know, the Holy Spirit’s work has been increasing in interest and controversy with the surging of the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements. It’s a short work, only 119 pages and four chapters.  Those four chapters cover the promise of the Spirit, the fullness of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, and the gifts of the Spirit. On page 24, Stott talks about John … Continue reading Baptism and Fullness