Tag Archives: theology

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

General Revelation

General Revelation

Nearly all Christian theologies include a category for general revelation. General revelation is indirect revelation, always non-verbal, a by-the-way disclosure of God through the marks that He has left on His creation. In contrast, special revelation involves God’s direct disclosure—and the recipient’s conscious reception—of truth that humans could never otherwise know. General revelation is found… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 2: Interpretative Principles

All Things to All Men | Part 2: Interpretative Principles

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Before us are Paul’s words to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23: For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 1: The Context

All Things to All Men | Part 1: The Context

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” 1 Cor 9:22. This verse, and the verses surrounding it (1 Cor 9:19-23), are what some church leaders consider “the Magna Carta of contextualization.” These words of Paul toward the end of the ninth chapter of 1 Corinthians have been used to justify all… Continue Reading

Cessationism: What Counts As Evidence?

Cessationism: What Counts As Evidence?

Christians ought to desire everything that God has in store for them. It would be wrong to neglect any good and perfect gift that God has given. Consequently, if God has chosen to grant miraculous gifts to Christians today, then those gifts ought to be nurtured and prized. On the other hand, if God is… Continue Reading

Cessationism: What Is the Issue?

Cessationism: What Is the Issue?

Most Christians are aware of the difference between continuationists and cessationists. They often encounter surprising difficulty, however, in pinpointing exactly what the difference is. One result of this imprecision is that some Christians feel obligated to maintain a kind of soft continuationism when a more precise understanding of the issues might move them toward cessationism.… Continue Reading

William Ames on the connection between prayer, singing, and outward expressions

William Ames on the connection between prayer, singing, and outward expressions

In the second book of The Marrow of Theology, William Ames’s (1576-1633) classic Post-Reformation work, Ames deals with a number of matters related to practical theology. The ninth chapter discusses prayer.1 As you will see, Ames’s approach to this topic is helpful from a historical and practical perspective. Prayer, Ames says, can be outward or inward–mental or audible.… Continue Reading

Sound Theology

Sound Theology

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series A Sound Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

(The articles in this series were originally written for publication in the local newspaper of the town in which I pastor.) So far in this series, I’ve argued that a church wishes to align with God’s priorities will have two characteristics: a commitment to follow the Bible as an absolute authority, and (following from the… Continue Reading

Edwards on the proportion of reverence to boldness

Edwards on the proportion of reverence to boldness

For those who have not (yet) read it, Edwards’s Religious Affections argues what are the proper marks of a genuine work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the regenerate. Edwards believes that the affections a saint has for God and divine things are of a particular kind, and that such affections are a necessary part of… 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

Why else are we in this mess?

Why else are we in this mess?

I suggested last week, springing from Kevin Bauder’s excellent article, that one of the reasons worship is in such trouble today is that pastors who should be the primary leaders of worship are often ill-educated in matters of worship and music. I suggested that while pastors used to give careful attention to the leading of… Continue Reading

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 2)

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 2)

This entry is part 2 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 In emphasizing the unity of the church in 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, Paul asks the church pointedly: “is Christ divided?” (v 13). With their divisions, the Corinthian church was pulling away from Christ, the one who unites his church. This led Paul to explain that in his own ministry he took pains to emphasize… Continue Reading

“Glory Be to God on High” by Charles Wesley

“Glory Be to God on High” by Charles Wesley

A while back I stumbled across Charles Wesley’s Christmas hymn, “Glory Be to God on High.” This is a superb text on the incarnation of Christ, and I thought this would be a good time to recommend it here. We’ve sung it to the 18th century tune Amsterdam. The hymns is a meditation on the… Continue Reading

Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen

Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen

This entry is part 2 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

It has been called “the second most important book you will ever read.” Whatever rank of importance it may command, there is no doubt that Christianity and Liberalism is a book conservative Christians must read repeatedly. “The purpose of this book,” Machen begins, “is not to decide the religious issue of the present day, but… 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