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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
(The Puritans believed in) the supreme importance of preaching. To the Puritans, the sermon was the liturgical climax of public worship. Nothing, they said, honours God more than the faithful declaration and obedient hearing of His truth. Preaching, under any circumstances, is an act of worship, and must be performed as such. Moreover, preaching is the prime means of grace to the church. ~J.I Packer
“All devices for exerting psychological pressure in order to precipitate ‘decisions’ must be eschewed, as being in truth presumptuous attempts to intrude into the province of the Holy Ghost. Such pressures may even be harmful for while they may produce the outward form of ‘decision,’ they cannot bring about regeneration and a change of heart, and when the ‘decisions’ wear off those who registered them will be found ‘gospel-hardened’ and antagonistic.” -A Quest for Godliness, JI Packer Comments
You have heard of people calling them selves three-point or four point Calvinists and others parading banners of the New-Calvinist fame. But in what context do all these variances arise? J.I. Packer makes a very interesting point:
“The very act of setting out Calvinistic soteriology [the doctrine of salvation] in the form of five distinct points (a number due, as we saw, merely to the fact that there were five Arminian points for the Synod of Dort to answer) tends to obscure the organic character of Calvinistic thought on this subject. For the five points, though separately stated, are inseparable. They hang together; you cannot reject one without rejecting them all, at least in the sense in which the Synod meant them. For to Calvinism there is really only one point to be made in the field of soteriology: the point that God saves sinners. Read More
It is lucrative to preach that God will bless you if you only….[add your favorite verb here]. Most people prefer to have self help/ motivational preachers tell them how successful they can become if they only “sow a seed” or do this or that. But what happens to the person who has scraped the bottom of the proverbial barrel and has nothing? Absolutely nothing to offer and is looking to God to intervene? Yes, do we hear enough of God’s providence these days?
Well, What then is God’s providence?
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD” (Pro. 16:33).
“God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions” (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q.11). If Creation was a unique exercise of divine energy causing the world to be, providence is a continued exercise of that same energy whereby the Creator, according to his own will, (a) keeps all creatures in being, (b) involves himself in all events, and (c) directs all things to their appointed end. The model is of purposive personal management with total “hands-on” control: God is completely in charge of his world. His hand may be hidden, but his rule is …Read More