Why God Allows Sin and Suffering

Tyler Kenney

Jonathan Edwards:

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…

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Experimental Calvinism

Tyler Kenney

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…

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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…

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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"…

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Appreciating N. T. Wright

Tyler Kenney

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…

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

Beth Stranz

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…

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Footnote Gem: Humanity’s Need for the Gospel

David Mathis

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…

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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…

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You're Fooling Yourself

Paul Tripp

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.…

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Satan's Schemes Always Backfire in the End

Tyler Kenney

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:

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