Explaining Limited Atonement

Whom did Christ die for?One of the fundamental affirmations of the Reformers was the doctrine of limited atonement, but this is something that a lot of Christians today wrestle with. It’s often posed with the question, “For whom did Christ die?” Did Christ die for everyone? Or did Christ die only for the elect? This is a really important question for the believer to work out, and one that I want to take the time to answer. Bruce Demarest, author of The Cross and Salvation, is right to say that “Christ’s death on the cross is not a peripheral issue or a secondary theme; it is the central, indeed crucial doctrine of the faith.” 1 I think we can all readily affirm that, whether or not you believe in a limited atonement.… Continue reading

With Hearts Full of Thankfulness

Happy ThanksgivingI’m incredibly grateful for ParkingSpace23, and I hope you are too. I’m not just thankful for the blog, but what that oil-stained piece of asphalt actually stands for. However, today I want to take a different approach. We tend to be pretty heavy with most of our topics, so today we’re going to get in the thanksgiving spirit and just be thankful.

The thing I love about the Thanksgiving holiday is that it’s the one holiday in the western world that still remains relatively untouched by Hallmark, consumerism and marketing. Its whole emphasis is so counter-cultural to our society of entitlement, that I’m amazed it has lasted so long.… Continue reading

TCAC: Exalting God Together in Song

filtering-songs Growing up I remember my dad singing a simple song called A Song Holy Angels Cannot Sing. The lyrics were as follows:

Angels never knew the joy that is mine
For the blood has never washed their sins away,
tho they sing in Heaven there will come a time,
when silently they’ll listen to me sing “Amazing Grace.”

It’s a song Holy Angels cannot sing,
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!”
It’s a song Holy Angels cannot sing,
“I once was lost, but now I’m found!”

Holy is the LORD, the angels sing,
All around the throne of GOD continually;
For me to join their song will be a natural thing,
But they just won’t know the words to “Love Lifted Me”.                Continue reading

How to Approach a Wolf: Part 2

angry_wolfTwo weeks ago I introduced the topic, “How to Approach a Wolf,” having come right off the Strange Fire Conference. One of the main criticisms was that these kinds of conferences are unhealthy for the church and only sow disunity. I argued that I disagreed, but more than just disagreeing, I think there’s actually a biblical mandate for the pastor to confront error. If you missed that post, go back and read it, because it will be difficult to understand the context of this post without it. In fact, Tim Challies, a friend of Grace Church, and an established blogger, took the time to compile the most common criticisms of the Conference, and allowed Pastor John to respond to them in a Q&A type format.… Continue reading

The Church as Community: Experienced through Discipleship

discipleshipThe local church functions as a community. As the Covenant Community: (1) we excel for the glory of God; (2) we express the gospel through the ordinances; (3) we edify each other through spiritual gifts; and (4) we are equipped through godly leaders. But the Covenant Community is experienced through discipleship.

Discipleship involves integrating others into the Covenant Community, teaching others how to live within the Covenant Community, relating to each other as family within the Covenant Community, guarding what has been entrusted to the Covenant Community, and preserving the purity of the Covenant Community. Our mission within the Covenant Community is making disciples of King Jesus (Matt 28:18-20).… Continue reading