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Archive for the ‘theology’ Category

nashvillestatement

Having read the Nashville Statement carefully and with prayer, I gladly signed it. The statement represents the biblical teaching on human sexuality which the Christian church as held for two thousand years. In other words, there’s nothing new in it. It’s a reminder of God’s Law and a proclamation of His gospel.

Human identity and sexuality is widely misunderstood in our day. Homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and transgenderism are only the start – there’s more to come. Because of that, a number of Christian scholars and leaders met in Nashville, Tennessee to write a statement that clearly presented the Christian position.

The need for a statement like this became apparent immediately as reactions began to roll in. The statement was panned, and even vilified, by many on the Left (and even some who consider themselves evangelical Christians), and praised by many on the Right. As the church, we need to think clearly on these issues, and the Nashville Statement is a good step in the right direction.

I use you to read the Nashville Statement here.

I would also suggest that you read a piece by Rosaria Butterfield on why she signed the Statement. You can read it here.

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Dignity and Depravity

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The horrific flooding in Houston as a result of Hurricane Harvey has put a basic biblical doctrine – anthropology – on full display. (Anthropology is the doctrine of man.)

What the Bible teaches about man is built on two pillars of truth: the dignity of man and the depravity of man.

Man (speaking in the generic sense of all human beings) is created by God in His image and likeness. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1:26-27) As humans, we’re like God and similar to Him in some ways, but not in all ways. As a result, every single human being has dignity, value, and worth. We have the ability (though not perfectly) to reflect God’s character and attributes. We’ve seen a lot of that in Houston over the last few days. People have rushed in to offer whatever help they can give, sent donations to organizations that provide relief, and many have made heroic attempts to save and help anyone in need. The dignity of man is on display.

Man, although created in the image and likeness of God, is also sinful and fallen. The effects of Adam and Eve’s sin have been passed own to all of us like a virus, but they’re not completely to blame – you and I ratify the decision they made every day. The result is stated clearly in Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All human beings are sinful in every part of our being – mind, will, affections, body. In other words, we’re totally depraved. We’re sinners, therefore we sin. The depravity of man has also been on display in Houston. We’ve seen it in price-gouging, looting, scams that take advantage of people’s generosity, and even in despicable comments made on social media wishing death on those with different political views.

We human beings are what has been called a “beautiful tragedy.” Because of God’s doing, we have incredible dignity, and because of our doing we have thorough depravity. The only hope we have for restoration is that which comes through God’s grace by means of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

While we see man’s dignity and depravity, we also see God’s power and grace. We’re praying for you, Houston!

 

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Unknown

I had the privilege this morning of preaching on Colossians 1:15-20. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Jesus Christ, the Lord of creation and redemption, has first place in everything.

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“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.” (Ecclesiastes 12:11)

Al Mohler writers a letter to American Christians called “Letter from Berlin: The Letters of History and the Heresy of Racial Superiority.” It’s especially important to think about after what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. You can read it here

Joe Carter has written an FAQ on Charlottesville, which can be read here. It’ll help give you a basic grasp of the situation.

The Wall Street Journal has a well-reasoned, well-written editorial about our culture and its response to Charlottesville, focusing on identity politics, in specific. You can read it here.

Does our job matter? Does God have anything to say about in His Word? Yes, our job does matter (including the way we do it), and yes God does have quite a bit to say about it in His Word. Dan Doriani has written a helpful article called “12 Basic Principles for Faith and Work.” You can read it here.

Mindy Belz, of WORLD, says plants needs pruning, but so do we as God’s people. Read her excellent piece here.

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the-wrath-of-god

What is the wrath of God? It’s one of God’s attributes, but we may not hear much about it.

The wrath of God is His settled, righteous, perfect, holy, anger against sin. He is intensely angry at all sin and evil.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth [l]in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18).

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not [j]obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).

For we have been consumed by Your anger
and by Your wrath we have been dismayed.
You have placed our iniquities before You,
our secret sins in the light of Your presence.
For all our days have declined in Your fury;
we have finished our years like a sigh.
 (Ps. 90:7-9)

“If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. and if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who only saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible” (J.I. Packer).

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rodin-thinker

“God is not easily understood by His creation, and His actions and purpose are far above our finite ability to comprehend.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 says,

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

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rodin-thinker

One of God’s attributes is that He is incomprehensible. In 25 words or less, here’s what that means: God has made Himself known to us, but we cannot know Him exhaustively or completely because of our finiteness as His creatures.

Psalm 145:1-3 says,

I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.

Job 11:7 says,

“Can you discover the depths of God?
Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?”

Isaiah 40:18 says,

To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?

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