Mr. Fearing

Mark Priestap

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... Continue Reading

Money, Stuff, and God Will Never Leave You

Jonathan Parnell

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... Continue Reading

Appreciating N. T. Wright

Tyler Kenney
Appreciating N. T. Wright

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 ondifferencesbetween believers. That is appropriate, considering our understanding of justification can be a life and death issue, touching the... Continue Reading

The Watters' Story: God's Providence over Curriculum, Cancer, and Adoption

Beth Stranz
The Watters' Story: God's Providence over Curriculum, Cancer, and Adoption

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,... Continue Reading

Footnote Gem: Humanity’s Need for the Gospel

David Mathis
Footnote Gem: Humanity’s Need for the Gospel

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... Continue Reading

Faithful Presence Amid "Continuous Partial Attention," Part 2

Michael Johnson

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... Continue Reading

You're Fooling Yourself

Paul Tripp
You're Fooling Yourself

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... Continue Reading

Satan's Schemes Always Backfire in the End

Tyler Kenney
Satan's Schemes Always Backfire in the End

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... Continue Reading

Two More Responses to Claims of Contradiction

Tyler Kenney

On Friday we pointed to Justin Holcomb's response to Project Reason andFast Company's mutual misrepresentation of the Bible. Since that post, a couple other notable responses have been issued as well.

While Holcomb gives a solid, high-level answer to the "contradictions in Scripture" claim, Doug Wilson's response serves readers by getting nitty-gritty with a sampling of supposedly contradictory verses and showing how, in context, they aren't antithetical after... Continue Reading

Why Sound Doctrine Leads to Effective Action for Good

Matt Perman
Why Sound Doctrine Leads to Effective Action for Good

I talked this morning at our Friday morning chapel on why sound doctrine grounds and leads to effective action for good. I asked six questions in my message:

First, does the Bible teach this—that is, does the Bible teach that doctrine grounds and leads to diligent and zealous practical action for good? Second, if so, why does sound doctrine lead to effective action? Third, is doctrine alone enough? Fourth, what are some historical examples of this? And... Continue Reading