Archive for the ‘Systematic Theology’ Category

Divine Election is…

April 2, 2008

In thumbing through some of my notes on Ephesians, I ran accross these seven points concerning the doctrine of unconditional election. They largely follow what John Piper lays out in his chapter, “The Pleasure of God in Election” in The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God (Oregon: Multnomah Press, 2000), 121-57. I find them quite helpful for the church and our understanding of this precious biblical teaching. I pray they are a blessing to you too.

Election is… 

  1. Biblical. God gave us His word as a revelation of who He is, and He longs for us to read it, that we might marvel at His grace, His glory, and His freedom.
  2. Humbling. Election is not based on how good we were, but simply upon the fact that God loved us and chose us in Jesus Christ for Himself.
  3. Effective. Because of divine election, people will be saved, and not merely made save-able. The cross not only purchased the Gospel going out to all peoples, but with it the faith people must have in the gospel in order to be saved.
  4. Personal. Election is not robotic, it is relational. God loves us, His church, personally, with a great electing love.
  5. Persevering. Not only does divine election guarantee the initial justification of those who believe the gospel, but it ensures that they will be kept by God to the end.
  6. Preserving. The doctrine of election keeps God, not human autonomy, at the center of the Gospel and the Church. That is, it preserves God-centeredness and defeats man-centeredness. 
  7. Triumphant. Election gives awesome hope for missions and evangelism. Apart from God’s electing grace, no human being would repent or respond to the missionary’s preaching. In other words, election ensures that some will meet the conditions of the Gospel: repentance of sin and faith in Christ. Therefore, preach!
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God’s Greater Glory

May 26, 2007

 The Exalted God Of Scripture And The Christian Faith

Ware, Bruce A. God’s Greater Glory: The Exalted God of Scripture and the Christian Faith. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004. 254 pp. $17.99.

In a day when the works of many theologians are polluted with a self-preserving hermeneutic and misinterpretation of God who has revealed himself in the Scriptures, resulting in an aim to preserve human autonomy over God’s, Bruce Ware’s God’s Greater Glory is a breath of fresh evangelical air. Through dealing with several weighty matters concerning the nature of God and his human creatures, Ware presents his readers with a thorough and well-organized explanation of God’s governing providence and its relationship to responsible personal creatures. (more…)

Created In God’s Image

May 26, 2007

 Created in God's Image

Hoekema, Anthony A. Created in God’s Image. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1986. 264 pp. $22.00.

In an ailing age when postmodern minds no longer aim to observe human nature on a universal basis, but a subjective one, resulting in a radical individualism freed from being defined on the Creator’s terms, Anthony A. Hoekema’s Created in God’s Image is a nourishing evangelical treat. Through dealing biblically and historically with several fundamental issues concerning the nature of man, Hoekema presents his readers with a systematic Christian understanding of man.    (more…)

Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond

May 26, 2007

Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond

Bock, Darrell L., ed. Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999. 330 pp. $17.99.

Christian views on the end times are often informed, not by the Scriptures, but by the fictional books crowding the shelves of local Christian bookstores. Though one’s eschatological convictions might be considered a third order matter of doctrine, such convictions do effect one’s biblical hermeneutic. In order to cultivate a healthy attitude for the interpretation of the Bible, pastors and teachers should consider informing the flock of God about various views on the millennium. Editor Darrel L. Bock provides a helpful discussion concerning the nature of Christ’s kingdom in relation to his second coming and reign in his book entitled, Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond. (more…)

II. The Freedom of God in Mercy: Our Fuel for Evangelism and Missions (Rom 9:14-18)

April 28, 2007

Following Blake, I spoke from the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 9, a passage which has consumed the majority of my studies this semester. Since Blake spoke on who we, as Christians, are in the world, I wanted to explain what fueled us for our efforts in evangelism and missions. What gives us drive to fulfill our God-given role as salt and light? The answer to this question became clear for me, by God’s grace, after studying Romans 9; namely, we need to get a glimpse of God and his passions. (more…)

The Nature of the Atonement

March 12, 2007

Four Views

Beilby, James and Paul R. E ddy, eds. The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. 208 pp. $20.00.

Many churches are embracing the postmodern agenda of the ‘Emerging Church’ leaders, who slanderously consider the historic-evangelical doctrine of the atoning work of Christ to be teaching nothing more than divine child abuse. In order to protect the church from such cross-diminishing literature and erroneous exegesis, pastors and teachers should be well prepared to handle various views on the nature of the atonement. Editors James Beilby and Paul R. Eddy provide a helpful discussion concerning the nature of Christ’s atonement in their book entitled, The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views. (more…)