In a recent article, “What’s So Bad about ‘Worldview’?”, Dr. Brad Littlejohn, president of the Davenant Institute, speaks seriously about some serious issues in Christian thought. He discusses the weakness of the term “worldview” and offers as a replacement the term “wisdom,” which he defines as “the soul’s attunement to the order of reality.”Read More
Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics Volume 4, p. 56
“Reformed theologians unanimously agreed on the following points:
- That the benefits of the covenant of grace were usually distributed by God in connection with the means of grace; hence regeneration is in connection with the Word;
- That God, however, is not bound to these means, and hence he could also take an unusual route and regenerate and save especially young children without the Word;
- That he, as a rule, worked that way in the case of children of believers who were taken by death before reaching the age of discretion;
- That the baptized children of believers who were part of the life of the congregation had to be considered elect and regenerate until the contrary was evident from what they said and did; and
- That this however, was a judgment of charity, which must indeed be the rule for our attitude toward these children but cannot claim to be infallible.
On the other hand, from the very beginning there was disagreement over whether the children of believers, to the extent that they were elect, were regenerated already before, or in, or only after baptism. Some—like Martyr, a Lasco, Dathenus, Alting, Witsius, Voetius, Mastricht—tended to favor the first view. But the majority—Calvin, Beza, Musculus, Ursinus, de Bres, Acronius, Cloppenburg, Walaeus, Maccovius, Bucanus, Turretin, Heidegger, and others—left the question undecided.”
You have been recreated by the grace of the Spirit in Jesus Christ to live for God in the doing of good deeds—living in a way that pleases him. All objections and excuses must fade away in light of this truth, and we must be convinced that as Christ came to do the Father’s will, so he leads us forward in life as his new creation to do the same. Good works manifest the love of God to him and our neighbors. Good works are the imitation of Christ by the Spirit.Read More
Resource: “Free Daily Bible Study”
What: An easy to used daily Bible Study and podcast that goes through the Bible one chapter at a time, following the M’Cheyen reading plan. It is simple in expression but theologically sound. You can subscribe via email or follow along on the blog, reading one chapter of the Bible at a time, or the whole M’Cheyen plan.Read More
In light of some recent online controversy surrounding the place of good works in the lives of Christians, I am engaged in this series of posts with the aim of encouraging zealousness (rather than mere theological debate) for good works. In the previous post, I began to discuss what we mean by “good works” by attempting to clear out some misconceptions. This post turns in a more positive direction, seeking to answer the question more directly—soon enough we will be on to examining excerpts from historic Reformed preaching and writing.
But first, what are good works?Read More
I was struck then by A. W. Pink’s old explanation of the necessity of repentance. In the passage below he shows his concern over similar problems that Piper and representatives of the historic Reformed tradition are addressing: the necessity of sanctification, repentance, and good works is a pressing need for our lawless day, but some in our own circles not only sound an uncertain sound, they actually often actively fight against these biblical and necessary emphases.Read More
Updated October 19, 2017: This is an index of some of Mark Jones’ excellent posts on justification, sanctification, good works, merit, and future judgment. These posts address aspects of these doctrines in light of current controversies, past wisdom, and confessional standards.Read More
Herman Bavinck outlines the passages where Christians are warned and threatened against falling away, and are called to persevere in Christ, his word, and his love. Bavinck argues that these threats are used by God to motivate the willing perseverence, a perseverence that he has guaranteed in our regeneration and is not undermined by these threats.Read More
Before we go further in the study of good works, it is important that we define exactly what we are talking about when we are talking about good works. First, let’s be clear what we don’t mean...Read More
This post is the first in a series designed to encourage good works by providing excerpts from Reformed preaching and writing. But, before we get started, I think it is important to ask why this even matters... This post seeks to provide some biblical reasons we as Christians should we make a study of good works.Read More
There is much debate over whether we are to view union with Christ or justification as having a logical (even if not strictly chronological) priority in salvation.
While this post certainly will not settle that debate, I thought that it might at least prove helpful to briefly examine what the Westminster Shorter Catechism has to say about the subject. It is my contention that the Shorter Catechism is abundantly clear when it comes to spelling out for us which comes first (i.e. logical priority), union with Christ or justification.Read More
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from visitors is, “Why does your church celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday?” There are several reasons for our practice and I organize them under three categories: Biblical/Exegetical, Theological/Practical, and Historical.
Since I serve in a Reformed congregation, visitors sometimes assume that we celebrate the Lord’s Supper 3, 4, 6, or 12 times a year. Some are genuinely puzzled that we would embrace a practice that is at odds with the practice of other local Reformed churches. I remind them that John Calvin advocated the “at least once a week” position.Read More
Win A Free Copy of Calvin's Geneva Catechism PaperbackRead More
The doctrine of covenant succession (whether or not I knew it by these terms exactly) drew me to the reformed faith. The language of sonship, of heirs, of family, of promise, of generations, of covenant, stood in stark contrast to casting a lot and hoping it just happens to land in the lap. Nurturing our little ones in the faith rather than herding them towards it.Read More
Those who have served in diaconal ministry know well the prescience of the apostles in requiring deacons to be "full of the Spirit and of wisdom." Serving others in mercy ministry requires wisdom at every turn: to provide money or not, to offer counsel or hold your tongue, to consult with elders for help or handle a matter within a diaconate. Growing in wisdom should be a daily pursuit of the Christian deacon; as with all Christians, a deacon is to be transformed by the renewing of his mind and ask God "who gives generously to all without reproach" (James 1:5) to give him wisdom in a time of need.Read More
Over the past 15 years, I have seen various men and women leave Reformed churches. Sometimes they move to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy. Other times they head for a more vanilla, antinomian, evangelical church. And sometimes they have left the faith altogether. Of course, this is anecdotal, but several things have stuck out about these conversionsRead More
Sanctification is our 'working out' what God Himself has 'worked in,' which includes not just the doing or working for His good pleasure, but even our willingness or desire to do so in the first place!Read More
Free phone backgrounds featuring lyrics from a setting of Psalm 3 by My Soul Among Lions. Available at http://clearnotesongbook.com/song/psalm-3-you-are-my-shield-msalRead More
This is a reminder that everything needed for salvation is literally in Christ alone. To all those living and walking by faith, the Triune God has proven his faithfulness to you. So let us sing with our hearts, all glory be to Christ!Read More
You don't like where you live? What you have? How you look? Wishing you could have your best life now? God's surprising prescription is godliness with contentment.Read More