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Dec 2017 20 Dec 20, 2017

I’ve often said that the single most amazing, mind-boggling verse in the Bible is John 1:14 – “The Word became flesh!” As we approach Christmas, I thought it would be good to post again some observations I made in my book, Pleasures Evermore. I pray you are blessed by this meditation on the paradoxes of the Incarnation. Take a deep breath and ponder what this means. Don't dismiss it as theological speculation. This is a truth on which your eterna...Read More

Dec 2017 18 Dec 18, 2017

What becomes of those who die in infancy, before reaching an age of intellectual and moral development that would make it possible for them to understand and respond to the revelation of God in the gospel and in creation? This question also applies to those who grow into adulthood suffering from such severe mental impairment that they are incapable of moral discernment, deliberation, or rational decision-making. If human nature is corrupt and guilty from conception, the ...Read More

Dec 2017 13 Dec 13, 2017

When the seventh trumpet is sounded in Revelation 11:15 we read an astounding statement that serves to reinforce our confidence that when all is said and done, God wins! There John records the words of multiple “voices” in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). The declaration is that what Satan formerly ruled, in a manner of speaking, as t...Read More

Dec 2017 11 Dec 11, 2017

This theory of the atonement will likely strike most Christians as bizarre, and rightly so! (1) The primary advocate of this theory was the Scottish theologian and intellectual leader, John McLeod Campbell (1800-1872). Campbell was instructed at home by his father from an early age and was fluent in Latin before entering the University of Glasgow in 1811. He received additional training at the University of Edinburgh. His vigorous defense of unlimited atonement put him ...Read More

Dec 2017 7 Dec 7, 2017

On more than one occasion I have heard contemporary proponents of the so-called “prosperity” gospel appeal to Paul’s use of the principle of sowing and reaping to support their view. By the way, I say “so-called” prosperity gospel because when seen for what it is there is very little if any “good news” or “gospel” in it. That aside, was Paul an intentional or inadvertent advocate of this view? Twice in his writings P...Read More

Dec 2017 4 Dec 4, 2017

As much as we hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ one would think that everyone is on the same page when it comes to defining this word. Sadly, that is not the case. So just what is the gospel? How might we define it? Here are ten things to keep in mind. (1) The “gospel” is the gloriously great good news of what our triune God has graciously done in the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to satisfy his own wrath against us and to se...Read More

Nov 2017 29 Nov 29, 2017

While much can and should be said about spiritual gifts, here are a few relevant observations or principles that I believe should guide our understanding and exercise of the charismata. (1) Every single spiritual gift, whether it be mercy, serving, giving, speaking in tongues, or prophecy, is a “manifestation of the Spirit” given “for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). Therefore, every gift is by definition supernatural, since every gift is the enab...Read More

Nov 2017 27 Nov 27, 2017

Yet again today we try to understand a little-known theory of the atonement that has actually re-emerged in our own day. (1) The primary proponent of the governmental theory was Hugo Grotius (1583-1645). Law, according to Grotius, is a positive statute or enactment. “It is not,” he says, “something inward in God, or in the Divine will and nature, but is only the effect of his will” (iii). Law is thus a product of God’s will by which not eve...Read More

Nov 2017 22 Nov 22, 2017

It’s actually easier to identify the effects of shame than it is to define its essence. But I’ll try. Shame is the painful emotion that is caused by a consciousness of guilt, failure, or impropriety, that often results in the paralyzing conviction/belief that one is worthless, of no value to others or to God, unacceptable, and altogether deserving of disdain and rejection. As you can see, shame and guilt are not the same thing. The difference between guilt a...Read More

Nov 2017 20 Nov 20, 2017

If the language of Christus Victor is foreign to you, it simply means Christ the Victor. The focus of this theory of the atonement suggests that the primary aim of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead was the defeat of Satan and the powers of evil. In its earliest expression it took the form of the somewhat crude ransom to Satan theory. And it is there that we begin. (1) Origen (a.d. 185-254) is somewhat enigmatic in his comments on Christ&rs...Read More