An interesting look at a question that the Heidelberg Catechism addresses…
Heidelberg Catechism #42
Q. Since Christ has died for us, why do we still have to die?
A. Our death does not pay the debt of our sins. Rather, it puts an end to our sinning and is our entrance into eternal life.
Theological: For the believer in Jesus Christ, death is transformed. What used to be a just penalty for sin has become a portal into a fuller version of eternal life. O death, where thy sting? O grave, where thy victory? This, like so much Christian verity, must be approached in faith. The death of the righteous (from a biological point of view) looks the same as the death of the wicked. Having recently sat by the bed of my dying father, however, I can tell you that death for the Christian is a bitter wonder, a nasty joy. There’s More…
Calvinism, Christianity, Doctrine Death, Eternal Life, heidelberg catechism, Historical theology, life, Olevianus, Personal Development, Preaching, Reformed Catholicism, salvation, theology, Ursinus
In the world we live in there is a never ending battle for the hearts and minds of people. There are countless ideologies and teachings that are relentlessly vying to capture our imaginations and thoughts. As Christians we must guard the deposit of the gospel that has been put in us by growing in sound doctrine. Here are 6 humble tips (of course you could add a few more to these):
1) Give heed to the preached Word. Listen attentively as your pastor expounds God’s Word each week. Discuss the sermon afterward with friends and family.
2) Study the Scriptures diligently. Aim for breadth and depth. That is, read through all of Scripture in order to see the big picture. But also, study smaller portions such as individual books, in the most detail you can manage. Read them over and over again. Meditate on them. Memorize them. Gaining a broad and deep grasp of Scripture is the most important way to grow in the knowledge of God.
3) Read good books. …Read More!
I have always wondered if dogs understand theology.
Photo HT Frriends on Facebook.
Recently one little bird got himself in a spot of a bother with a couple of elders. 😉
Bishop Jakes, who was spiritually nurtured in the Oneness Pentecostal tradition, had never given a clear affirmation of Trinitarian orthodoxy, even though he had been pressed on this from Christian apologists (most notably 12 years ago in the year 2000). Elephant Room 2 was to take him to task about his slippery antics but he seemed to have wiggled out again. Some conservative (especially Reformed) Christians thought Jakes had an easy ride and was’t even quizzed on his other aberrant beliefs like Word of faith and prosperity theology. Kaboom! Out came the race card!!
Argh! Surely aren’t Christians supposed to “be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” How come some of us are just too thin skinned to take correction, rebuke and can’t even stomach careful instruction? Now this is absurd! Or rather am I (as a young black reformed Christian) supposed to be learning an easy trick? If I get rebuked or run out of bible verses to back my aberrant beliefs in ANY debate or discussion there seems to always be a “get out of jail” sympathy card for some. Phil Johnson makes an interesting observation :
If you’re an old white guy with any hint of Reformed theology in your confessional statement and you don’t think T. D. Jakes’s equivocations at Elephant Room 2 were sufficient to erase decades of concern about his Oneness leanings and his relentless proclamation of a false Prosperity Gospel—then you must be a racist. And even if you don’t think you’re a racist, you should shut up anyway. Because in the black community relationships are more important than any doctrine, including the gospel and the Trinity. We all should strive to subjugate doctrine to relationships anyway.
If on the other hand you are a young black man with Reformed convictions—or any black person who just has a keen interest in doctrinal and biblical accuracy—you are a sellout and a reproach to your own community. The only possible explanation is that you are guilty of “White Idolatry.” You secretly wish to earn favor with Whitey. You should not only shut up, you should be ashamed. As far as the importance of relationships is concerned, we don’t really care to have one with you. …Read More!
Joseph M. Bianchi rightly said:
A walk through your local Christian book store will reveal a vast array of titles whose themes range from self-help to identifying which demon you are afflicted by. In this sorry state of affairs, one has to ask: “Where have all the sound, doctrinal books gone?”.
The real question, however, is, “Where have all the well taught, well discipled Christians gone?” The core of the issue is not the plethora of shallow, theologically unsound books that are flooding the market, but their huge success. It is indeed unmistakable that the church of Jesus Christ in the latter half of the twentieth century has retreated into a superficial, theological ghetto, that mirrors the culture, rather than transforms it. …Read More!
Well, this will tickle the fancy of my bald friends. Apparently they will be the first ones through the pearly gates. Why, havent you read….
“When a man has lost his hair and is bald, he is clean.” ~Lev 13:40 (NIV)
See? There is still something to cheer about. 😉
Ever wondered what the apostles or even the reformers would say if they attended a modern day church service? Okay, what if they strolled into a mega church movie sermon series or sat and watched christian television. Would they agree with our shenanigans (read eisegesis)? How about Zwingli, that feisty almost unsang hero of the reformation would he have a fit? I think [chuckling now] I know:
First you need to dispense with the notion that what you read into Scripture is what’s there. Such a view is quite pointless as I will clearly show. I know that you will insist that you have worked through Scripture and uncovered texts which support your point of view. And here we hit at the disease of the human heart …Read More!
It is said that Rob Bell’s fans flock to his Facebook page, his NOOMA videos have been viewed by millions, and his Sunday sermons are attended by 10,000 parishioners-with a downloadable podcast reaching 50,000 more. The latest stirring is related to his upcoming book “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived” His publisher allegedly boasts that he is an electrifying, unconventional pastor whom Time magazine calls “a singular rock star in the church world,” Rob Bell is the most vibrant, central religious leader of the millennial generation.” Bell plays with theology the way a cat plays with a mouse. His sermons, videos, books, and public relations are often more suggestive and subversive than clear.But who is this man who never defines what he means nor means what he says?
There are three men in particular who have solid responses to Rob Bell’s video: Justin Taylor, Kevin DeYoung and Al Mohler. Below are their responses to the video and the upcoming book. Click the links to see their entire responses:
1. Justin Taylor – “If Bell is teaching that hell is empty and that you can reject Jesus and still be saved, he is opposing the gospel and the biblical teaching of Jesus Christ. You may think that’s judgmental to say that; I think it’s being faithful. I would encourage a careful study of 1 Timothy to see what Paul says about false teaching and teachers.”
2. Kevin DeYoung – “Rob Bell is right about one thing: what you believe about heaven and hell says a lot about what you believe about God. That’s why theological error of this magnitude cannot go unchecked. The God of the Vimeo clip is not a God of wrath, not a God of eternal recompense, not a God who showed us love in sending his Son to be a propitiation for our wretched sins, not a God whose will it was to crush the Suffering Servant in an exercise of divine justice and free grace.” Read More
Excerpted from anarticle by Colin Maxwell
An attempt to clear up some of the misunderstandings about Calvinism. This is not meant to be a detailed doctrinal defense of Calvinism’s Doctrines Of Grace.
1) Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism are poles apart. The terms are not to be used synonymously. A Hyper-Calvinist is not just a zealous Calvinist. We both consider each other to be “mongrel” Calvinists. No man will actually call himself a Hyper-Calvinist.
2) Yes Calvinists are split into several factions. But then so are many such doctrinal schools e.g. Dispensationalism, Church Government, Worship – do we sing only the Psalms or use hymns? Which hymns? Do we use music? Which music? Which set of texts do we base our Bible translation on? Is it the Textus Receptus that is important or the (KJV) AV? or both? etc.
3) The term free will needs to be defined to avoid confusion. Calvinists will either affirm it or deny it, depending on what they think you mean. This sometimes leads to charges of contradictions. Consult the standard Calvinist Confessions e.g. the Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 9 for a defining of terms. But There’s More