• Ethics,  Theology

    Why I Love the Wrath of God

    Read the following excerpt from theologian, Arthur Pink. It is about the wrath of God. The wrath of God is his eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It is the moving cause of that just sentence which he passes upon evildoers. God is angry against sin because it is a rebelling against his authority, a wrong done to his inviolable sovereignty. Insurrectionists against God’s government shall be made to know that God is the Lord. They shall be made to feel how great that Majesty is which they despise, and how…

  • Bible,  Theology

    The Humiliation of the King

    When most people get close to people of power and influence, they feel something. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but the best answer I can come up with is that powerful people are compelling because their power promotes our status. The closer we are to them, the higher our status is. This morning we are going to look at Jesus’ teaching on status in the kingdom in Matthew 20:17-34. In this text, Jesus receives two very different requests–one for status and the other for mercy. He teaches his disciples that he has come not to be the powerful status-elevator, but the humiliated servant who lays down his life…

  • Atonement,  Ethics,  Theology

    Atonement and Punishment: A Defense of Retribution

    Here is a common argument against the penal substitutionary view of the atonement: The penal substitutionary view of the atonement entails a retributive view of punishment, but retribution is insufficient moral justification for punishment. Therefore, the penal substitutionary theory of the atonement is false. In response, I shall argue that the retributive justification of punishment is well supported by the Bible and by commonly held intuitions about meritorious actions. The penal substitution view of the atonement holds that sinful human beings deserve divine punishment and that Jesus Christ was punished in their place. According to this view, punishment is deserved by a sinner but can be absorbed by someone other…

  • Doctrine of Salvation,  Theology

    Is the Ordo Salutis Intelligible?

    The ordo salutis (order of salvation) is supposed to tell us about the logical order of God’s decree to save some people and not other people. There are differing versions of the order and this fact has led to some of the deepest divisions in the church. Some think God determined whom to save before he decreed the means for their salvation. Others think that God’s decree to save some people came after his decree to permit them to sin. The important feature of the order is that it is not supposed to be a temporal order. Supposedly, God logically orders his decrees without temporally ordering them. The trouble is I…

  • Book Reviews,  Doctrine of Salvation,  Theology

    Review: The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance & Assurance by Thomas Schreiner and Ardel Caneday

    Thomas Schreiner and Ardel Caneday are both New Testament scholars who are deeply committed to pastoral ministry. Schreiner was a pastor for fourteen years and now serves as Professor of New Testament at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Caneday serves as a pastor and is Professor of New Testament studies at Northwestern University. In The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance, Schreiner and Caneday defend a Calvinistic view of the perseverance of the saints: It is not possible for a person who is a genuine believer to lose their status as a divinely elected person. The alternative position to this view states that a person…

  • God,  Sermon,  Theology

    Sermon: Daniel in the Lion’s Den

    Daniel Daniel was in a tight spot. He was huddled in the corner of a pit. Above the pit there was a high wall and across from him was a wooden wall in the pit with a gate in it. and then the door to the outside with a huge boulder preventing any thought of escape. The last face he had seen was the face of the king. He could see the pain in his face, the anguish of one who is regretting his own decision. What had he said? “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” That was what got him put here in the first place.…

  • Learning,  Theology

    What’s Theology?

    What is theology? Is it the science of God,[34] the study of world religions or the enjoyment of God?[35] Is it practical, theoretical or existential?[36] Is it a systematic study of belief or a study of the development of the bible’s themes?[37] To some extent theology, broadly construed, might mean all those things. David Finkbeiner offers a definition in attempt to cover all the bases: “Theology is the significant reflection on the God of the Bible including his nature, person, works and will and his interaction with the world in general and human beings in particular based on his revelation of himself.”[38] The definition is God-specific, emphasizes the revealed nature of the source material, encompasses…

  • Levi Bryant,  Politics,  Theology

    Politics or Theology?

    Levi Bryant Secularization has left a void, argues philosopher, Levi Bryant, and what does one fill that void with? Bryant writes: “I find myself thinking that politics is what came to fill the void opened by the collapse of theology. Where the humanities used to be organized around theology and knowledge of God and advancement of his glory, the humanities encountered a void in the movement towards secularization. Something was needed to function as a telos or justification of our work. Politics became that replacement.” (read the full article here) My first reaction is that politics is a poor replacement for the glory of God. Anyone watching the debates must at least…