Election begins and ends with Jesus Christ. As Barth has said, Jesus is both the electing God (Col. 2:9) and elected Man (Luke 9:35). He is the origin of creation (John 1:1-3) and its goal (Eph. 1:9-10). Anything else we say about election must trace back to this source, to the election of Jesus Christ as the one … Continue reading "6 Theses on Election"
[“Glimpses: Seeing Christ before Christ” is an ongoing series consisting of brief reflections on places in the Old Testament that the light of Christ can be seen.] Today I was reading Genesis 50:15-26 and I noticed something exciting. At the conclusion of the long struggle of Joseph’s story, his brothers come before him in fear, barely hoping on … Continue reading "Glimpses: Joseph and Jesus Say "Fear Not""
I used to think of grace a lot like a chemical. Basically, God had this “thing” called grace. In fact, He didn’t just have one kind of this grace thing, but several. There was “sanctifying grace,” “justifying grace,” and other variants. Regenerating grace, for example, was basically something that the Holy Spirit pours out on … Continue reading "Just Say "No" to Chemical Grace"
“I want to feel.” Isn’t that a common desire? I mean particularly for us Christians, especially evangelical Protestants. We want to feel God. Jesus Christ loves us to (literal) death, has brought us full forgiveness, and is our eternal life. Yet we cannot see Him. We cannot touch Him. He is physically away for now, … Continue reading "How to Feel God's Love in Jesus' Arms"
Hazy. That’s the best word I could think of to describe many of the hours in my average day. I’m not sure what all I did or how much I enjoyed it. During the day I tend to slip into a mode: doing what I do. And at the end of the day I find myself … Continue reading "Every Lucid Moment"
Now all this happened in order to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”). Matthew 1:22-23 If we needed a word to summarize the Christian faith, the Gospel of our … Continue reading "Immanuel Means Love Your Neighbor"
Evil is evil. Could there be a statement more pathetically obvious, yet more profoundly ominous? We live in a world rife with evil. Every day, there is murder and mayhem on the news. School shootings have become more routine than Presidential elections, and more children on this planet are malnourished than well-fed. Many nations reek … Continue reading "When God Steps Back: The Law and The Problem of Evil"
Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13b See that verse? It says something quite beautiful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. And is this not just what we need? If judgment triumphed over mercy, we would all be doomed, for instead of Christ on the Cross for us we would ourselves all suffer God’s wrath. Yet there is a … Continue reading "Grace > Wrath, Or "Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment""
Last Saturday night was date night for my lovely wife and me. Since our baby Nathan is old enough to stay with his grandmother for a few hours these days, we could go out for dinner and a movie for the first time in forever. What movie did we see? Cinderella. And I will admit to the face-palming of … Continue reading "Reflections on Cinderella"
“Do this and you will live.” This statement, taken from the Bible, has become the main basis for the idea in Reformed theology of a “covenant of works.” What is the covenant of works? Here’s Reformed covenant theology 101: In covenant theology, there are two or three primary covenants revealed in redemptive history. The first, … Continue reading "There Is No Life Possible in A Covenant of Works"