Though [God] hates sin in itself, yet he may will to permit it for the greater promotion of holiness in this universality, including all things and at all times. So, though he has no inclination to a creature's misery, consider it absolutely, yet he may will it for the greater promotion of happiness in this universality.
God inclines to excellency, which is harmony; but yet he may incline to suffer that which is unharmonious in itself, for the promotion of universal harmony or for the beautifying of the harmony that there is in the universality, and making of it shine the brighter. (Miscellanies #170, paragraphing added)
Not surprisingly, John Piper agrees with Edward…
Rev. Ian Hamilton explains. What do you think?
Here's a taster:
This is what so many miss in their assessment of, or espousal of, Calvinism. It is not first and foremost a theological system; it is more fundamentally a “religious attitude”, an attitude that gives inevitable birth to a particular, precise, but gloriously God-centred and heart-engaging system of theology.
Before sovereign grace is a truth to defend, it is a captivating truth to glory in.
The Experiential Calvinist honours God’s unconditional sovereignty. How? By consistent prayer.
Recently, while reading John Bunyan’s Pilgrim's Progress to my family, I ran across an insightful character named “Mr. Fearing”. With him I also found one of the clearest descriptions of the effect of legalism I’d ever run across.
He doubted that his acceptance of Christ had made him worthy to claim all the promises of God. Therefore he was afraid he would not be accepted by God. He doubtless believed in a brand of religious legalism—that we must obey law to obtain sufficient grace to become worthy of acceptance.
How true this is for so many of us. Initially we believe in Christ alone for justification, but because our eyes have been opened to our sin, we are deceived into thinking th…
Hebrew 13:5 is one simple verse, but the argument is amazing. Readers of Scripture know that the love of money is dangerous (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13; 1 Timothy 3:3; 1 Timothy 6:10; 2 Timothy 3:2), but here the writer of Hebrews gives us more.
The two commands in verses 5a and 5b have an important connection. Both of the commands are positive: "keep your life free from love of money" and "be content with what you have." We can see that the "love of money" stands parallel to "what you have." So then, the commands for freedom and contentment are somehow concerned with our possessions.
I wish I could have been at Tom Schreiner's presentation last night at the ETS Annual Meeting. According to Justin Taylor, it was a helpful, careful, and charitable critique of N. T. Wright's teaching on justification.
The debate over justification—which is the doctrine in focus this year at ETS—has brought about an emphasis in recent days on differences between believers. That is appropriate, considering our understanding of justification can be a life and death issue, touching the very heart of the gospel. Any differences simply must be paid attention to and worked through if we are to faithfully maintain and pass on the apostolic word.
However, it is always essential to remember that…
In 2002, Mike and Deb Watters began teaching the curriculum, My Purpose Will Stand, in the sixth grade Sunday School at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Although they didn't know it at the time, God was teaching them the truths of His sovereignty to prepare them for what was to come.
In 2006 their six-year-old daughter, Corinne, was diagnosed with cancer. Knowing and trusting a sovereign God equipped them to persevere in the face of surgery, chemotherapy, and ongoing treatment.
But God was doing something even greater. At the hospital they met a young boy named Victor, who was undergoing treatment for the same type of cancer as Corinne. Watch the video to learn more about God's providence in …
E. T. is back—at least he’s made a brief reappearance in this footnote gem from John Frame.
In his chapter “Christians in Our Culture” in The Doctrine of the Christian Life, Frame writes,
Steven Spielberg’s character E. T. is, I think, a genuine Christ figure: recall the themes of preexistence, growth, teaching, miracle, healing, death, resurrection, and ascension. Spielberg denied this parallel, but in my view it is objectively there, even if Spielberg was unconscious of it. The reason is that the human mind has a need for a gospel like that of the New Testament. Those who don’t accept that gospel often instinctively give to their idolatrous inventions powers parallel to those of Chris…
In last week's post, we briefly discussed James Davison Hunter's observation (from his book To Change the World) that our increasingly omnipresent "fragmentation of consciousness" poses significant challenges to foster a distinctly Christian faithful presence in our modern world, as it "cultivates a kind of absence in the experience of 'being elsewhere'".
If Hunter's assessment is correct, what (if anything) should we do? How will we resist the seemingly relentless dilemma of "being elsewhere" with all our distractions, electronic gadgetry, entertainment, social media, etc. while living in and attending to the "here and now"? Hunter is clear: "Faithful presence resists such conditions and …
There's loads of knowledge to be found, but wisdom is a rare commodity. Why? Because wisdom is one of sin's first casualties. It's hard to admit, but true none the less: sin reduces all of us to fools. And the fact is that no one is more victimized by your foolishness than you are.
You see the empirical evidence of the foolishness of sin on almost every page of Scripture. For example, you see foolishness in full operation in the tragic story of David and Bathsheba. This is why David says, "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place" (Psalm 51:6 NIV).
You read the story of David's sin, and you say to yourself, "What was he thinking? Did he really b…
According to Jonathan Edwards, Satan's desire to destroy man in the garden grew out of envy. His haughtiness and pride were insulted to see earthborn creatures receiving such honor while he, a native of heaven with such natural strength and knowledge, was cast down and dishonored. Thus, in this jealousy, Satan deceived Eve to bring an end to the insult.
Edwards paints the scene, and then he exposes the irony:
And oh, how may we conclude Satan triumphed when he had brought 'em down! How did he as it were laugh, to think how sorrowfully they found themselves disappointed in their expectations of coming to higher honor and being like gods.
But their fall has been the occasion of the…