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Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 3.2

Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.

Westminster Confession of Faith 3.2

A common explanation for God’s election of certain persons and not others is to say that God chose the elect based on foreseen faith. This position not only lacks biblical evidence, it also runs directly contrary to biblical teaching regarding God’s sovereignty and man’s depravity. • • • Read More • • •

Christmas Gifts as Types of Christ

In our pride, we humans have developed a grotesque aversion to gifts. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a gift is “a thing given willingly to someone without payment.” While we have a pretty decent concept of “a thing given willingly to someone” we’ve managed to entirely surrender the “without payment” bit.

When we receive gifts, we feel the bizarre compulsion to give something in return. If, for example, you had no plans of getting your cousin something for Christmas, but then he gets you something completely out of the blue, you feel the need to run out to Walmart and buy something that at least appears to be of similar value. “Oh, I have something for you! I just left it at home by accident.” • • • Read More • • •

Joy to the World and Christ’s First Advent

As a small child, I didn’t think very much about the lyrics to Joy to the World. It was just a song about how Jesus came to save us. When I was a little older, I was told by an adult that the song actually has no business being a Christmas song at all. “He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found”? Look at the news! This song is clearly about Christ’s second advent and the millennial kingdom—so I was informed. I readily agreed and began heartily mocking anyone who dared to even whistle that tune within a month of December the 25th.

But in order to see the Kingdom of God, you must become like a child. It turns out that a childlike interpretation of the song is the correct one and we would all do well to learn from them. Things become quite muddled when we bring out our eschatological charts and start watching FOX News. The people who told me that Joy to the World wasn’t a Christmas song had ignored the song’s authorial intent. The song was more intentionally written then most of our Hillsong tainted ears can easily grasp. • • • Read More • • •

Evangelical Scrooge

Fundamentalist Christianity was dead: to begin with. There can be no doubt. It was as dead as a door-nail. Its petrified, stone-cold corpse was buried long ago. No one bothered to mourn it because, quite frankly, neither it nor anyone else ever bothered to rejoice in its existence.

Now for those of you who may not know, “fundamentalist Christianity” or “fundamentalism” is a term used by Christian bloggers to speak of a sort of overly-serious, often self-righteous, and typically grumpy form of Christianity. There are a lot of other definitions out there and the word has morphed a lot over time, but that’s the one we’ll be using in this post. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 3.1

This week, we start into chapter three of the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is about God’s Eternal Decree:

God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

Westminster Confession of Faith: 3.1

This is an excellent expression of the Biblical doctrine of sovereignty. I’ve written a good bit about this doctrine elsewhere, but I think it would be helpful to say a few additional things. • • • Read More • • •

Covenant Before Moses: Shadows and Candlelight

Human history could be described as a sunrise. The point where the Bible divides between the Old and New Testaments is the point at which the sun starts to rise just above the horizon. Prior to that point, man walked in darkness. Men were still saved by grace through faith, but God’s promise—the covenant of grace—was harder to see.

Graciously, however, God has provided us with proverbial 20/20 hindsight in the form of the New Testament. The apostolic comments on the Old Testament function as something of a lighthouse that shines back on the Old Testament to explain what God was doing during before Christ came. By way of example, most Christians would agree that the seed promised in Genesis 3:15, which was the very first revelation of God’s plan to save mankind through Jesus (Revelation 20:2, 10). The reason we understand this is because of the light the New Testament shines on this promise. • • • Read More • • •

Wrestling Greased Wolves: A Reply to John Pavlovitz

I thought Rob Bell had, not unlike disco, fallen out of style. Shortly after he wrote Love Wins in late 2011, it seemed like he exited stage right from the podcast preacher scene, never to be heard from again. Or so I rather hoped.

I read Love Wins when it came out and was involved in not just a few conversations about it: with people who were for and against what he was doing. His book started a lot of discussions on campus at my school, but it mostly fizzled out by the start of the next semester. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 2.3

Today’s article is about the Trinity:

In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: the Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.

Westminster Confession of Faith 2.3

Rather than comment on the doctrine itself, I’m going to makes some comments about how good it is that we have this doctrine. This part of the Westminster Confession is remarkably similar to the Nicene Creed, which is over 1500 years old. • • • Read More • • •

November Website Update

I don’t always update this website’s design, but when I do, it’s subtle. Here’s a short list of changes:

  • The navigation menu on desktop and tablet browsers now displays as soon as you load the page. Previously, you needed to click on the “&” sign to make it appear.
  • The navigation menu now includes a “topics” button that takes you to a page with a list of topics and some post series I’ve been writing.
  • I toned down the animations and hover effects in favor of a simpler, smoother website.

If you notice any bugs, please let me know.

Tools I Use: Hover

A poor craftsman blames his tools, but I think it’s safe to say that a good craftsman values them. The tools we use can make our jobs a lot easier or a lot harder. They can frustrate us or they can delight us. This post is the first in a series that will discuss the tools I use. If you have a use for them, give them a try. They might make your job a lot easier. • • • Read More • • •

Redemptive History: A Covenant of Grace

Redemptive history is the history of how God has redeemed man. There are two ways to understand this history. You can swallow it whole, slurping it like an exceptionally long piece of spaghetti; or you can take it as a multi-course meal, eating one thing at a time, washing the balsamic dressing on the Genesis 3 salad down with a glass of water so it doesn’t affect the way you taste your Revelation 22 desert too much. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 2.2

This week we’re looking at article two in chapter two of the Westminster Confession of Faith:

God has all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He has made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and has most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever Himself pleases. In His sight all things are open and manifest, His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain. He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands. To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them.

Westminster Confession of Faith 2.2

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Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 2.1

Chapter two of the Westminster Confession of Faith concerns God, the Holy Trinity. Section one begins by affirming God’s oneness:

There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long- suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.

Westminster Confession of Faith: 2.1

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