Christianity Today highlights Calvinism

21 08 2006

sept-ct-cover.jpgIn the upcoming edition of Christianity Today (CT) the current popularity of Reformed Theology will be highlighted in an article entitled Young, Restless, Reformed.

I am definitely looking forward to reading this article (minus the corny picture of Edwards as a homeboy and a soap opera reference with caviler intimations)

Consistent with their history of highlighting what is popular in the evangelical movement CT will highlight this growing theological trend in the church.

 

Once could have seen this coming when they interviewed Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, when he said, “The two hot theologies today are Reformed and emerging.”

Reformed Theology is growing and this is a good thing. It is great to see the popularity surrounding the writings of the reformers and the puritans.

This is particularly encouraging if you look at what has happened historically with the increase in this solid, biblical or reformed theology. In a word: revival.

We of course are familiar with the great number of folks born again when Martin Luther and the reformers were used by God to herald the glory of Christ through the recovery of the doctrine of justification. But who can forget the great harvest of souls that were won through the reformed preaching and writing of Baxter, Bunyan and Owen?

Consider also in our own country when in 1729 the Westminster Confession was accepted in the colonies, and then early in the 1730’s God uses the preaching of Jonathan Edwards to unsettle callous hearts with the gospel. In 1740 George Whitfield arrives in the colonies to stoke the flames kindled by Edwards. Then also early in the 1800’s the Second Great Awakening begins with a great outpouring of the Spirit of God upon those who are preaching, specifically preaching the doctrines of grace. We also see Princeton Seminary open in 1812 to accommodate and accelerate this revival of preaching.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Gospel Quotes

20 05 2006

Ligon Duncan has been compiling a list of great quotes about the gospel over at the Together for the Gospel site...my favorite is the last one by Spurgeon…see below:

“If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” (Augustine)

“The whole gospel is contained in Christ.” (John Calvin)

“Whenever the gospel is preached it is as if God himself came into the midst of us.” (John Calvin)

“There is nothing attractive about the gospel to the natural man; the only man who finds the gospel attractive is the man who is convicted of sin.” (Oswald Chambers)

“A gospel that elevates man and dethrones God is not the gospel.” (Will Metzger)

“The world has many religions; it has but one gospel.” (George Owen)

“The man who does not glory in the gospel can surely know little of the plague of sin that is within him. (J.C. Ryle)

“The revelation of the gospel is to a world that is already under indictment for its universal rejection of God the Father.” (R.C. Sproul)

“If the Lord’s bearing our sin for us is not the gospel, I have no gospel to preach.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“The heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“The gospel is a glorious declaration of the mighty acts of God when he invaded this earth in the person of his eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (John Blanchard)

“The gospel is not ‘God loves us,’ but ‘God loves us at the cost of his Son.'” (Derek Thomas)

“As there is only one God, so there can be only one gospel.” (James Denney)

“The church is the fruit of the gospel.” (Hywel R. Jones)

“We have an unchanging gospel, which is not today green grass and tomorrow dry hay; but always the abiding truth of the immutable Jehovah.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“The gospel begins and ends with what God is, not what we want or think we need.” (Tom Houston)

“When we preach Christ crucified, we have no reason to stammer, or stutter, or hesitate, or apologize; there is nothing in the gospel of which we have any cause to be ashamed.” (C.H. Spurgeon)





Together for the Gospel Statement

6 05 2006

At the conclusion of the Together for the Gospel conference last week a confession was read. As promised in an earlier post, here is a link to the statement.

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It will be interesting to see how the Lord will use this conference in the days to come.





Do we need another Reformation?

30 04 2006

It happened again today. I heard again, regrettably, of a pastor’s fuzzy (I’m being generous) explanation of the crucial biblical doctrine of justification. It is a good thing for folks to be asking questions about how a person may be right with God, but it is a bad thing for those who are supposed to be the caretakers of souls to neglect the most important course of the feast that is found in Christ.

Martin Luther said that justification is the doctrine by which the church stands or falls…if this is true, then what is happening today? We are in dangerous times when you are hard pressed to find not only a church member but also a pastor who can articulate the biblical doctrine of justification.

Do we need another reformation?

The first reformation happened due to the obscurity and perversion of the biblical doctrine of justification by the Church of Rome. As a result few were able to know and experience the saving peace with God that comes through full dependence in the Lord Jesus Christ. So too today there are countless who do not live in cognizant recognition and appreciation of this doctrine.

Much like the 16th Century the contemporary church is increasingly blurring the lines of the gospel through the mouths of it's preachers. Today we all too often find that doctrine is often replaced by drama, spiritual needs are neglected while felt needs are attended; and ministers of the gospel are occupied with the business of amusing the goats rather than feeding the sheep…and it shows!

Therefore I am refreshed with the motives behind the Together for the Gospel conference that took place this past week in Louisville. I am refreshed because it is a step towards reformation. Implicit in the need for this conference is the prevailing ignorance and confusion that plagues the evangelical church today and the need for faithful leaders to articulate biblical doctrine thereby drawing a line in the sand for the would-be spiritual parasites.

I am so encouraged to hear of a confession that has come out of this conference and will no doubt serve as a plumb line of orthodoxy in the years to come (the text of which is forthcoming on this blog).

The bride of Christ must recapture her precious diamond, namely, the doctrine of justification. There is nothing that exalts the grace of God and humbles the pride of man like the sovereign declaration of filthy enemies as perfect (though they are not) on the basis of the work of the crucified Son of God.

Luther preached the truth and he exposed Rome’s veiling of the gospel; today we are to likewise proclaim the truth that we might eradicate this gospel subterfuge and focus single-mindedly upon the biblical doctrine of justification.

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