Does God choose who He will save, or does He give man a free will to choose? The doctrine of election has long been a hotly debated discussion in churches. It’s not a new debate, but it’s an important teaching of Scripture, even though it may seem difficult to understand in relation to God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. We have to be careful in reconciling these problems though, that our theology is based exclusively on what Scripture teaches and not our emotions or presuppositions. In other words, we need to be faithful to the text of the Bible. There are really only two positions (although some try to take the middle road), but of course, only one can be right.… Continue reading
This is a familiar word, but I am afraid that many people do not understand its meaning.
In asking my youth group what “hypocrite” means, they agreed upon the following definition: “one who says one thing and does the opposite.” This, I believe, is the common understanding of a hypocrite. Many apply this to a church. “Those Christians are a bunch of hypocrites. They say they believe in a loving God, but they are so mean.”
The problem here is that definition is inaccurate. A true hypocrite is one who behaves contrary to who they really are. The picture is one of a play-actor.… Continue reading
One of the great things about being a 21st century believer is the dazzling array of resources that are literally at our fingertips. The internet, yes I said internet, can be a boon to the believer. Virtually every sermon in every church, at least in the western evangelical world, is recorded and available for free download. A few clicks gets you free and unfettered access to the writing of the church fathers and many of the Puritans. There is even bible study software complete with many good, although old, commentaries available for free download. And then there are the blogs (hey, you’re reading one right now) and the podcasts.… Continue reading
Way back in January I posted on ‘My Reading List for 2015.’ Considering we are nearing the middle of the year I thought it only fair to provide an update on how I am doing. Frankly, I am doing terribly at actually reading the books I proposed way back then. However, it’s not because I haven’t been reading because I most certainly have. So what I want to do is provide a brief explanation for why my list has been derailed and then point you to a couple of books I have enjoyed that aren’t on the original list.… Continue reading
I read a lot of publications that speak to musical expressions of worship. Some, from sources I respect and learn a great deal from; while others make me cringe, as they extol everything from a viewpoint exactly contrary to what I believe is a Biblical understanding of worship. I learn from them, but sometimes their biggest benefit is that they drive me to my knees in prayer. However, one thing I hear from both sides is that hymnbooks are on the way out of the pew (if pews still even exist). Some rejoice over this, saying that the church is progressing, while others lament what has happened in the last 20-30 years to music in the church.… Continue reading