Tag Archives: theology

Fate or Providence?

Fate or Providence?

Jon Pratt One of our local sportswriters described Sergio Garcia’s recent victory at the Masters golf tournament as a triumph of fate. Similar attributions to blind chance frequently find their way into sports columns. Why did the Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series? Baseball gods. Or Michael Phelps winning multiple gold medals at age… Continue Reading

On the relationship of faith and works

On the relationship of faith and works

I still confess the doctrine of justification by faith alone. The Scriptures teach repeatedly that no man is or can be saved by his works. This matter is central in importance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul teaches that the Gospel is that Christ died for our sins and rose again in accordance with… Continue Reading

De Trinitate

De Trinitate

Over the past year or so I have been asked repeatedly to express an opinion about the current Trinitarian debates. I have hesitated to speak for several reasons. First, the Holy Trinity is a mystery that I do not fully understand. Second, what we can understand (however relatively and partially)—that is to say, what is… Continue Reading

Horatius Bonar on Trendiness in Religion

Horatius Bonar on Trendiness in Religion

Every pastor and Christian leader feels a certain pressure to be relevant. We do not want Christianity to slip away into an oblivion. We do not want the church to go “backward” during our watch. This impulse has led many to the conclusion that Christianity must “keep up with the times.” One of the criticisms… Continue Reading

Justification and the Gospel

Justification and the Gospel

First Things, founded in 1990 by the late Richard John Neuhaus, has become the flagship neo-conservative journal of opinion. Its mission has been to argue for a “religiously informed” public philosophy. Not surprisingly, the journal has brought together conservative writers from the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions. One of the evangelicals who writes for First… Continue Reading

Limited Atonement: Evaluating the Argument

Limited Atonement: Evaluating the Argument

I want to discuss Limited Atonement (Definite Atonement, Particular Redemption—I choose to use the traditional terminology). At the moment, I am not concerned with the question of whether Limited Atonement is true. What I am concerned with is the way that some Calvinists argue for it. Before we can even discuss the argument, however, we… Continue Reading

The “Two Hands” of Ministry

The “Two Hands” of Ministry

In 2006 an approach to church ministry began to gain popularity. It was called a “two-handed” approach to ministry. One closed hand represented the theology of the church and its grasp of biblical truth and principles. The hand being closed symbolized the non-negotiable aspects of theology. One open hand represented the methodology of the church.… Continue Reading

Indefensible Dispensationalism

Indefensible Dispensationalism

Dispensational theology has gone out of style. Fifty years ago, probably a majority of American evangelicals held some version of dispensationalism. Today, the balance has tilted in the opposite direction. Not only are dispensationalists in the minority, but their system is widely viewed as indefensible, sometimes even by former dispensationalists. Some of the reasons for… Continue Reading

Carnal Christians: A Pastoral Perspective

Carnal Christians: A Pastoral Perspective

Michael Riley I have read with interest the recent exchange in this newsletter on the validity of two-category Christianity. Dr. Hauser argues that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians supports the recognition of two different classes of Christians: the spiritual and the carnal. Dr. Pratt contends that Christians must bear fruit, and that while all Christians… Continue Reading

Carnal Christians? Part One

Carnal Christians? Part One

Jon Pratt One of my former professors, Charles Hauser, has recently written in support of the “carnal Christian” view as a way of describing the reality of sin in the believer’s life (Nick, 3/4/16 and 3/11/16). In response, I offer this essay in respectful dissent and in support of the more historically grounded position that… Continue Reading

Worship and doctrinal disctinctives

Worship and doctrinal disctinctives

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Worship and Doctrinal Distinctives You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series”Worship and Doctrinal Distinctives”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.The watering down of doctrine in evangelicalism, evidenced perhaps most acutely in the minimizing of important denominational distinctives and the growth of the “Nones,” is problematic… Continue Reading

The Believer and Carnality, Part Two

The Believer and Carnality, Part Two

Charles A. Hauser The previous essay attempted to show that 1 Corinthians 1:14-3:3 establishes three categories of people: natural, spiritual, and carnal. The latter two are both genuine believers, but differ in their level of maturity. This contrast seems especially clear in 3:1-3. To avoid this interpretation, Reformed theologians like Ernest Reisinger appeal back to… Continue Reading

The Believer and Carnality, Part One

The Believer and Carnality, Part One

Charles A. Hauser All Bible-believing interpreters of scripture agree that doctrine must be determined by the teaching of the Word of God, not by creeds or confessions. The creeds are helpful and widely respected, but doctrine must always be decided on the basis of what scripture clearly teaches. Reformed theologians have consistently taught that the… Continue Reading

Israel’s Future

Israel’s Future

Does the nation Israel have a future as a people of God? From the time Israel was constituted as a people, God foretold that the nation would disobey and come under judgment. Israel would lose God’s blessing and be scattered among the nations. Nevertheless, God promised that judgment would not be His final word to… Continue Reading

Instrumental En and Personal Agency

Instrumental En and Personal Agency

Scholars dispute whether Greek nouns have five cases or eight cases. They certainly display five forms, and those who hold the five-case system see a one-to-one correspondence between case and form: vocative, nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative. Those who hold the eight-case system insist that the same forms are sometimes used for different cases. They… Continue Reading

The Rapture

The Rapture

God did not present His entire revelation at once. This fact can be grasped almost intuitively. The Bible contains sixty-six books. They were written over a process of at least fourteen hundred years. It makes sense that God would continue to reveal truth all through the canon. Often the newer revelations serve to fill in… Continue Reading

A Modest Proposal: One Loaf in Communion

A Modest Proposal: One Loaf in Communion

In 1 Cor 10:17 Paul says, Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. For many Christians, Paul’s words in that verse do not make as much sense as they might otherwise, because they break the their Communion bread before they see it.1 While I… Continue Reading

How To Think About Israel

How To Think About Israel

The state of Israel is in the news at least weekly, sometimes daily. The United States is still the greatest supporter of Israel, but public perception is that the Obama administration’s backing is less than enthusiastic. In spite of this assessment, the Obama administration was the first to sell bunker-buster bombs to Israel, and it… Continue Reading

Special Revelation

Special Revelation

General revelation encompasses truth concerning God that can be known by experiencing or examining what God has done, whether in the natural world or in the human conscience. General revelation is always indirect. In contrast to general revelation, special revelation always involves the direct disclosure by God to humans of truth that humans did not… Continue Reading