Author Archives: Kevin T. Bauder

Most Interesting Reading of 2019, Part Two

Most Interesting Reading of 2019, Part Two

Kevin T. Bauder Last week I published the first half of my “Most Interesting Reading of 2019” list. These books aren’t necessarily the best that I read. They’re not even necessarily the most commendable. Instead, they were the books that I found most interesting, for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the reason may… Continue Reading

Most Interesting Reading of 2019

Most Interesting Reading of 2019

Kevin T. Bauder Every year I try to publish a list of the books that I found most interesting during the preceding twelve months. Usually these are books that I have just read for the first time. Occasionally they are books that I’ve found either so important or so interesting as to merit a second… Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: Finally: Mystery

Tried With Fire: Finally: Mystery

Kevin T. Bauder The book of Job makes sense to us readers because we know what happened outside the story. We know that Job was a righteous man. We know that Satan slandered Job before God, and we know that God granted Satan permission to test Job. We know that Job’s sufferings were part of… Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: On the Shelf

Tried With Fire: On the Shelf

Kevin T. Bauder Gabe was an old man. He had spent years on a mission field where his ministry had produced marked results. Now retired, his will to serve was strong, but his body was feeble. He deeply wanted to do something for God, but it seemed as if he could no longer do anything… Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: Vindication and Retribution

Tried With Fire: Vindication and Retribution

Kevin T. Bauder Paul and Silas arrived in Thessalonica with their backs still torn from their whipping in Philippi. In spite of their pain they made themselves bold to preach the gospel (1 Thess 2:2), so that some Jews and many Gentiles believed (Acts 17:1-4). Quickly, however, opponents of the gospel organized persecution (Acts 17:5-9).… Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: Like Jesus, Part Three

Tried With Fire: Like Jesus, Part Three

Kevin T. Bauder The conception of Jesus Christ and His birth in the manger were events that occurred in history, but they pertained to a person whose life came from outside history. The events represent the point at which an eternal person became Jesus. He already was, but in the conception and birth He began… Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: Like Jesus, Part Two

Tried With Fire: Like Jesus, Part Two

Kevin T. Bauder Last week we explored the concept of Jesus Christ as the God-man. We learned that He is one person in two natures. Each nature is complete, possessing all the essential properties of that nature. The properties of each nature communicate to the person but not to the other nature. Consequently, paradoxical statements… Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: Like Jesus, Part One

Tried With Fire: Like Jesus, Part One

Kevin T. Bauder The incarnation of Jesus Christ brings with it certain mysteries that defy complete description. When we speak of them we step to the brink of an abyss, and if we creep so much as a hair further we risk precipitating ourselves into heresy. When we speak of Christ, we know both that… Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: Direction

Tried With Fire: Direction

Kevin T. Bauder We face a kind of paradox in doing the Lord’s work. On the one hand, God often places us in positions that require us to overcome obstacles. As we depend upon Him, these circumstances require determination, persistence, and courage if we are to succeed. In fact, God often uses difficulties to develop… Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: Chastening

Tried With Fire: Chastening

Kevin T. Bauder We must beware of mixing the metaphors that God uses to teach us about salvation. For example, the work of salvation can be viewed under the metaphor of a courtroom in which the guilty sinner stands before God as judge. In this metaphor, God charges the believing sinner’s guilt to Christ, who… Continue Reading

Tried With Fire: The Afflictions of Christ

Tried With Fire: The Afflictions of Christ

Kevin T. Bauder For all humans, believers and unbelievers alike, life in this world and in this present body is filled with pain. Mortality takes its toll both in us and around us. Children experience diseases and mishaps. Growing up entails meeting new forms of distress, and while we are still young we discover that… Continue Reading

Tried with Fire: A City That Hath Foundations

Tried with Fire: A City That Hath Foundations

Kevin T. Bauder Abraham entered the Promised Land as a foreigner. Although he spent virtually the rest of his life in the land, he never lost his status as an alien. Rather than ceding rights to the surrounding kings, settling down, and establishing a home, Abraham continued to live as a nomad (Heb 11:8-9). He… Continue Reading

Tried with Fire: That Ye Faint Not

Tried with Fire: That Ye Faint Not

Kevin T. Bauder The apostle Paul knew how to write with exceptional clarity. Sometimes, however, he chose to express himself in ambiguous ways. A clear example of Pauline obscurity can be found in Ephesians 3:13. Paul writes, “Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory” (KJV). In… Continue Reading

Tried with Fire: I’ve Got This!

Tried with Fire: I’ve Got This!

Kevin T. Bauder Is self-reliance a virtue or a vice? The Bible includes passages that appear to answer this question with a yes. It also includes passages that appear to answer it with a no. In favor of self-reliance, the book of Proverbs counsels industry as a way of avoiding poverty (Prov 6:6-11). Hard work… Continue Reading

Submitting to Each Other: A Response to Denny Burk

Submitting to Each Other: A Response to Denny Burk

Kevin T. Bauder Denny Burk is one of the leading voices for biblical complementarianism, a perspective that claims that, according to Scripture, men and women can be genuinely equal while nevertheless existing in certain structured relationships (such as the home and the church) that require male leadership. Needless to say, biblical complementarianism runs counter to… Continue Reading

Tried with Fire: Lest I Should Be Exalted

Tried with Fire: Lest I Should Be Exalted

Kevin T. Bauder The apostle Paul was not given to self-aggrandizement. He understood himself to be the chief of sinners, rescued only by God’s grace. Only when forced to defend his ministry and apostleship was he willing to talk about his gifts and attainments—and even then he spoke with a kind of wry embarrassment. Nowhere… Continue Reading

Thoughts on Baptists and Independence

Thoughts on Baptists and Independence

Kevin T. Bauder [This essay was originally published on September 25, 2015.] Sometimes things that look alike are actually quite different. One mushroom cooks up into a delectable repast, while another that appears almost identical can kill. A gold nugget will buy a new car, but a pyrite crystal is a mere curiosity. Careful minds… Continue Reading

Vocation and Vocations

Vocation and Vocations

Kevin T. Bauder [This essay was originally published on February 5, 2016.] The Reformers erected the doctrine of calling in reaction to the Romanist distinction between clergy and laity. At the time, Catholics recognized only two vocations: the calling to consecration (which typically involved joining an order) and the calling to ordination (priesthood). In other… Continue Reading

Tried with Fire: Suffering and Glory

Tried with Fire: Suffering and Glory

Kevin T. Bauder How perplexing! Christians are supposed to be children of God, heirs and joint heirs with Christ. We are no longer under condemnation—God’s wrath has been cancelled for all our sins. We have received unimaginable privileges in Christ. Yet we ache when we get up in the morning. We need glasses and antacids.… Continue Reading

Tried with Fire: The Things On the Earth

Tried with Fire: The Things On the Earth

Kevin T. Bauder Our greatest temptation is not to treat evil things as if they were good. Our greatest temptation is to treat good things as if they were God. We were created to worship. We can’t help ourselves. The most earthbound among us are compelled to look upwards toward something outside ourselves, to give… Continue Reading