Thursday, August 21, 2008

all are guilty and all are forgiven

“Jesus shocked the established authorities by being a friend to all—not only to the destitute and hungry, but also to those rich extortioners, the tax-collectors, whom all decent people ostracized … The shocking thing was not that he sided with the poor against the rich but that he met everyone equally with the same unlimited mercy and the same unconditioned demand for total loyalty.

If we look at the end of his earthly ministry, at the cross, it is clear that Jesus was rejected by all—rich and poor, rulers and people—alike. Before the cross of Jesus there are no innocent parties. The cross is not for some and against others. It is the place where all are guilty and all are forgiven.”

—Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Devil's Condemnation vs. The Spirit's Conviction

When you belong to the King, how can you discern the difference between the Devil's condemnation and the Spirit's conviction? How can you determine if you are in the bogus courtroom or the real one?

In the real courtroom:

* you know your good deeds are not enough
* your hope is in Christ alone for your deliverance
* when convicted of sins, you are pointed past your sins and on to Christ
* the last word is always hope.

In the Devil's courtroom:

* the attention is all on your sins
* you stand and fall on your own behavior
* you are alone without an advocate
* questions are raised about the extent of God's forgiveness.

- Ed Welch
from Buzzard Blog

What is the church in a nutshell?

The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and sanctification center, where flawed people place their trust in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he has designed. The church is messy and inefficient, but it is God's wonderful mess -- the place where he radically transforms hearts and lives.

- Paul Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands

True Repentance

“Repentance has nothing to do with what man has done. Rather it is man’s coming undone in respect to all human righteousness, followed by his going outside himself in faith to Christ alone for salvation.”

- C. John Miller, Repentance and 21st Century Man

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Spirit and the Cross

“Truly to grasp that the eternal God, our Maker and Judge, has out of inexpressible grace sent his Son to die the odious death of an abominated criminal in order that we might be forgiven and reconciled to him; that this wise plan was effected by sinful leaders who thought they were controlling events and who were operating out of selfish expediency, while in fact God was bringing about his own good, redemptive purposes; that our only hope of life in the presence of this holy and loving God lies in casting ourselves without reserve on his mercy, receiving in faith the gift of forgiveness purchased at inestimable cost — none of this is possible apart from the work of the Spirit.”

- D. A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Books, 2003), 66. originally posted by

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What is "Evangelicalism"?

...quick question, long answer. D.A. Carson does a great job attempting to answer this huge and important question.

He addresses some of the issues involved with defining evangelicalism in the western world. LISTEN HERE

Donald A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Dr. Carson has written or edited more than 45 books, including The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Zondervan 1996), which won the 1997 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Award in the category "theology and doctrine." He coauthored An Introduction to the New Testament (Zondervan 1991) and other works.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

know Jesus

by Charles Spurgeon
“Know Jesus. Sit as His feet. Consider His nature, HIs works, His sufferings, His glory. Rejoice in HIs presence; commune with Him day to day. To know Christ, is to understand the most excellent of all sciences. You cannot fail to be wise if you commune with Incarnate Wisdom; you cannot lack strength if you have constant fellowship with God.”

Eph 4:11-13 ESV
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

Friday, August 01, 2008

"Reformed and Evangelical" by R. Scott Clark

Clark makes a helpful comparison: "Perhaps it would be helpful to distinguish between being “evangelical” and being “an evangelical”? I am the former but not the latter.

"Reformed confessionalists are evangelical. We do long to see the true gospel preached truly to everyone and we do expect Christ to operate sovereignly and graciously through his gospel to call his elect from every tribe and tongue. We do long to see Christ’s church full. We long to see sinners coming to a knowledge of their sin and to a saving knowledge of Christ. We long to see those sinners growing in the grace of discipleship but, if I can presume to speak for confessionalists, we don’t have much confidence that contemporary evangelicalism is in any shape to do most of that." Read the whole thing