Category Archives: Articles on Biblical Authority

The Use of Creeds

The Use of Creeds

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Some Things To Consider Including in Your Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

 “My faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed.” So goes the hymn, and if taken over-literally, we might agree. Our faith does not rest in a creed, or even in propositions that explain the gospel. Our faith rests upon the person and work of Jesus Christ, which the propositions of the… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 12)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 12)

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 The first three chapters of 1 Corinthians debunks the importance of the modern crutch of “relevance.” Throughout this series, I have been arguing that Paul deliberately eschewed artificial props to make the gospel more attractive to unbelievers. Instead, he preached Christ and… Continue Reading

How Scripture is Insufficient

How Scripture is Insufficient

Tuesday I linked to an important article by Carl Trueman about the sufficiency of Scripture. I believe this article is so important that I’d like to highlight a few of his points here. Trueman makes an intriguing statement in his article: There is a sense in which we might say that Protestants believe in the insufficiency of… Continue Reading

The founders of the first church had a proper respect for Scripture

The founders of the first church had a proper respect for Scripture

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Characteristics of the Founders of the First Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week we discovered that the founders of the first church were characterized by united, fervent prayer. But prayer is not the only thing with which these founders of the first Church occupied their time, and Luke uses the event of choosing Judas’ replacement to highlight the second characteristic of these men. What was it that… Continue Reading

John Wesley on how the Bible regulates affections

John Wesley on how the Bible regulates affections

The authority of Scripture is of utmost importance to those of us who write here on the Religious Affections blog. The Bible regulates our doctrine, our practice, and even our love. We do not believe our love is arbitrary, to be expressed by our natural whim and fancy. We refuse to believe every theological concept… Continue Reading

The Strange Silence Around the Third Commandment

The Strange Silence Around the Third Commandment

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Mind Your Manners: Rude to God You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” This command is universally understood to mean that God’s name is not to be used as a curse-word, or as a mere exclamation. And who would deny that? To use the very name of God to express irritation or surprise, to add… Continue Reading

The road from interpretation to application

The road from interpretation to application

Last week at the Annual Evangelical Theological Society meeting, the theme of the meeting was “Creation Care.” This is not a subject that I find particularly interesting, but in the final plenary session, Doug Moo made a point that was quite helpful and that applies to areas that I am certainly interested in. In the… Continue Reading

A postscript on Biblical discernment

A postscript on Biblical discernment

Last October I wrapped up my eight-part series on Biblical discernment (parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 and 8), and I thought I would now, in retrospect, add a brief postscript to that series simply demonstrating that my position is not novel. A couple years ago Scott Aniol introduced to me Matthew Henry’s book on prayer,  A Method for Prayer. I strongly… Continue Reading

Rightly Viewing Tradition

Rightly Viewing Tradition

This entry is part 29 of 32 in the series Toward Conservative Christian Churches You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The religious scene of the country in which I minister is populated by mainline Protestant churches, some of whom place great emphasis on tradition. However, in many of these churches, the gospel itself is all but invisible, an assumed but unseen foundation of the house. The problem is, most of those in the house have… Continue Reading

Some concluding thoughts on discernment (Part 8)

Some concluding thoughts on discernment (Part 8)

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Discernment for the Glory of God You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I was pushed to write a series on discernment when I heard a famous evangelical pastor define discernment as the ability to see, allegedly by the Spirit of God, obscene things on a kind of imaginary “movie screen.”1 I also wanted to respond with sound exegesis to the opinions of some that any extra-biblical moral… Continue Reading

Discernment and God’s Judgment (Part 7)

Discernment and God’s Judgment (Part 7)

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Discernment for the Glory of God You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have been arguing for the importance of discernment in the life of a Christian. I define discernment as a biblically informed judgment whether certain extra-biblical moral actions are good or evil. As we have seen there are an impressive testimony of Scripture to the importance of this biblical discipline: Phil 1:9-11 (Part 1), Rom… Continue Reading

To sing or not to sing, that is the question

To sing or not to sing, that is the question

An interesting online discussion has emerged in the past few weeks about the issue of not singing a particular song in a service when that song expresses sentiments you do not believe to be true. The discussion began with Roger Olson, who argued that we should not sing a song when the doctrine does not… Continue Reading

Maturity and Discernment (Part 6)

Maturity and Discernment (Part 6)

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Discernment for the Glory of God You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Discernment is a biblically informed judgment whether certain extra-biblical moral actions are good or evil. Last week, we looked at discernment in Eph 5:7-11 and pushed forward our argument that discernment is a crucial element of New Testament ethics. This argument is sound (and I am not the first to make it), and it is… Continue Reading

A World of Meaning

A World of Meaning

This entry is part 25 of 32 in the series Toward Conservative Christian Churches You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Once a pastor has it settled in his mind that sola Scriptura does not require him to ignore, dismiss or reject extra-biblical sources of knowledge, he may safely walk through God’s world and examine it, knowing that it is, indeed, his Father’s world. A pastor should become personally fascinated with meaning. How could it be… Continue Reading

Enlightened Discernment (Part 5)

Enlightened Discernment (Part 5)

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Discernment for the Glory of God You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We are beginning to see that discernment was a significant category for Paul. As an apostle, Paul was very much accustomed to giving the Lord Jesus Christ’s divine instruction to the church for doctrine, worship, and practice. But he was also very much aware that such instruction could in no way satisfy all the moral… Continue Reading

The Pastor and Sola Scriptura

The Pastor and Sola Scriptura

This entry is part 24 of 32 in the series Toward Conservative Christian Churches You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If pastors are to shepherd churches in which there is a desire to understand the meaning of the world and apply it to worship, obedience and ministry, some will need to adjust their understanding of their doctrine of Scripture (or their theories of applying Scripture). A strange paralysis has come over many evangelical pastors. They… Continue Reading

Discernment and Good and Evil (Part 4)

Discernment and Good and Evil (Part 4)

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Discernment for the Glory of God You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

To this point, the passages studied in our series on discernment have been pretty straight-forward. Whether Philippians 1:9-11, Romans 12:1-2, or Colossians 1:9-10, each passage has clearly taught the importance of discerning the will of God. In each context, knowing the will of God (which I define to be discerning God’s will as to how… Continue Reading

The Christian and Meaning

The Christian and Meaning

This entry is part 23 of 32 in the series Toward Conservative Christian Churches You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Two propositions summarize why a conservative Christian church is concerned with meaning: Christians are humans, and Christians live in the world. What is the world? The world Christians live in is a world that is the handiwork of an intelligent Being, filled with all His purposes and designs. What is a human? A human is… Continue Reading

Discernment as spiritual wisdom and understanding (Part 3)

Discernment as spiritual wisdom and understanding (Part 3)

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Discernment for the Glory of God You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This is a series on Christian discernment. My first post argued that Christian discernment is necessary for living for the glory of God (Phil 1:9-11). Last week I argued that the ability to choose between right and wrong is a crucial part of spiritual worship to God in living holy lives (Rom 12:1-2). In Romans… Continue Reading