What exactly is “worship?” When you go to church for “worship,” what exactly are you doing? These questions should be answered by all thoughtful believers. John Stackhouse’s recent entry “Memo to Worship Bands: Turn It Down, Please!” especially got my attention (see also his “Chris Tomlin’s Worship Songs: We Have Got toRead More

As I’ve written elsewhere regeneration is: that activity of God wherein he radically transforms the moral fiber of a person through the unique work of the Holy Spirit. This transformation is analogous to a new birth where one begins his/her life (Jn. 3:3-7; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Tit. 3:5;Read More

I just learned about N.T. Wright’s forthcoming title (June, 2009) Justification. For an interview with Wright and prelude to this publication see Interview with N.T. Wright – Responding to Piper on Justification. If you’re at all following John Piper’s critique of Wright’s position on justification or read other concerns heRead More

A courageously corrective, biblically responsible, pastorally sensitive, and immensely practical gift has been given to the Church. Unpacking Forgiveness offers a long overdue look at forgiveness and Chris Brauns has provided a solid framework in which to understand this central doctrine of our Christian faith. Though not a full-blown theologyRead More

This is the question answered and the title of an outstanding article by Doug Powell on his site Selfless Defense. Although I have dealt with this briefly in my exposition of 1 Peter 3:13-22, Doug’s article offers a thorough historical background to this phrase from the Apostle’s Creed. For anyoneRead More

While calling for change, the president-elect ran a theme throughout his campaign proclaiming “Yes we can.” Clearly the American people at large were enamored by this theme and got worked up into a political stupor that was almost hypnotic. Yet, I had my doubts whether this rhetoric was meaningful without the necessary justification and rationalization. What exactly was the grounding for the chant “Yes we can?” Do we really believe we have the power to change things? Even though we live our lives as if we can and do make a difference–that what we do really matters–I wonder whether or not we’re missing an important presupposition behind our actions, to wit: We are created beings and have no power whatsoever to do anything without the permission of and means provided by our Creator. This “Yes we can” attitude seems to leave out an important person in the “we” formula, namely, God! You see…
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God is a metaphysically and morally transcendent being. That is, he is ontologically distinct from his creation. God is morally, intellectually, volitionally, and emotionally unique. Morally, God is good (2 Chron. 5:13; Ps. 34:8; 100:5; Jer. 33:11; Nah. 1:7- Mt. 19:17), just (2 Chron. 12:6; Jn. 5:30; 2 Thess. 1:6),Read More

That God knows in advance who will respond to his call of salvation is clear (Rom. 8:29; 1 Pt. 1:1-2). However, God’s choosing is not based upon his foreknowledge (knowing in advance) of how some will respond (contra Arminian, Wesleyan theology). Rather, God’s choosing of the elect is in accordanceRead More

I confess. I’ve never seen one episode of Seinfeld or Desperate Housewives, nor have I watched a horror movie for almost 30 years. Moreover, I hardly read novels. For better or worse, I decided long ago that getting inside another’s imaginary world is, quite frankly, a waste of time when reality offers plenty of intrigue. My reading has been so academic for so long that I find it almost impossible to appreciate the world of fiction. (This is not to my credit, I have to admit.) Nevertheless, Young’s novel The Shack got my attention, as it has countless others, and I would like to say a few things about it.Read More

For a being whose attributes consist, at minimum, of absolute justice and perfect love, there seems to be a dilemma on how that being could show love to unlovely creatures without compromising either his moral perfections or absolute justice. In other words, is there some place where love and justice intersect? How, for instance, can God exact a just punishment on those deserving of his wrath while at the same time fully express his love to those same beings?Read More