'Theological Issues' Tagged Posts

'Theological Issues' Tagged Posts

A Three-legged Stool: All Sides of God’s Salvation Process

Election by a sovereign God was one of the mainstay doctrines in the preaching used by God during great days of awakening. During the revival ministry of Asahel Nettleton (1783-1844) more than 25,000 were converted, principally in the New England area. According to John Thornbury this figure would be about 600,000 if percentaged to our present population.1 Nettleton, for one, did not shrink back from proclaiming a God who elected. The following vignette comes from the book on his life…

An Outline for Understanding Issues of Conscience and Legalism

Most of us have seen the movie “Chariots of Fire” and have been greatly encouraged by the example of Eric Liddell who refused to compete in races on Sunday. But if a Christian held a different position regarding what is allowed on Sunday, could that believer be just as dedicated to Christ with his differing opinion? Convictions of personal conscience are those areas where a strict absolute is not laid down for us in the Bible. Having such personal convictions…

The Rationale for Wrath

A cartoon depicted Noah’s ark surrounded by desperate people drowning in the water, begging for help. The rains were coming down hard while Noah and his family were safe inside. On the outside of the ark was a “smiley face” with the words, “Smile, God Loves You.” Are you sure God loves everybody? John the Baptist didn’t think so. He said, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not…

Do Hurricanes Just Happen?

Though some postulate that hurricanes are spawned merely by natural causes, this answer is one “cause” too short. The Bible teaches they are first decreed by God. The Psalmist wrote: “Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightening for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries” (Psalm 135:6-7). “Is it not…

Incorporation into Christ: The Mystery in Ephesians

I was a teenager when I experienced my first revelation as a reader of Paul’s letters. It was as if Ananias had once again stepped off the street called Straight and opened my eyes. What I saw was very simple and (I have since found out) already discovered by many before me: Paul wrote very often about Jew-born and Gentile-born believers and how they become a unified church through the gospel. “So that’s why he talks so much about things…

What Did Jesus Mean by “The Broad Way?”

In the Sermon on the Mount, the broad way that leads to destruction is the external religious way. The narrow way is the way Jesus taught. This is seen particularly in the “antitheses” section in Mt. 5. For instance, the broad way is fulfilling the command, “You shall not murder,” but the narrow way is found in Jesus’ statement: “but I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother is guilty . . .” Or again, “You shall not…

In A Body

What did the writers of the New Testament mean when they claimed that Jesus Christ was resurrected? It certainly was not that he only appeared to be resurrected when in fact it did not happen. That is, resurrection to these writers did not mean that he appeared in some apparitional way, or some imaginary way, or some spiritualized way similar to the kind of thing a person might say about a deceased relative (i.e. “Mother is here with us whenever…

Getting John 1:12 Right: Should You Invite Jesus Into Your Heart?

Is it useful to critique any person’s or ministry’s method of evangelism? For one thing, there are not enough people calling on others to follow Christ. Should I attempt to cripple anyone’s efforts in the slightest way, even for the few who might listen to me? I hope I will not. I would rather think that I’m improving our evangelism. And it does need improving. The apparent results of the method of evangelistic appeal built upon the verse in question…

Confessionism: The Misuse of 1 John 1:9

Do you believe that you must confess every known sin to God? For many years earlier in my ministry, I made statements such as the following: “In order to be restored to fellowship with God and to be filled with the Spirit you must confess every known sin to God.” What am I to think of such instructions now? Sadly, this teaching adds a layer of requirement for our forgiveness not intended by God. And it may lead to confusion…

God Doesn’t Need You

“He is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” Acts 17 Paul on Mars Hill in Athens proclaimed the entire self-sufficiency of God. We are his body, it is true, which is the fullness or completion of the Head. He uses us. But he needs nothing from us. Let that sink in. We do not add to him in any way, but rather, he gives…

He Leads for His Sake

Part of our problem with God in the midst of difficulty is that we continue believing that our lives are all about us. And when we turn inwardly, becoming preoccupied with self, we quickly spiral into fear and anxiety. But, Psalm 23:3 says, “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Here, the Lord frees us from our deadly self-centered trajectory though the reminder that God’s work in our lives is for his name’s sake. Your present…

From My Isolation: Two Questions Concerning COVID-19

Everybody is talking about it. I can’t stop thinking about it. I am writing this from my bedroom where I’ve been self-isolated, separated from my wife and child for four days, due to certain symptoms. The existence, spread, and devastating effects of COVID-19 over the last couple months are causing many people to ask a lot of questions.  The first question is, “Where is God in all of this?” The short answer is: where He’s always been. God is currently…