Just about everything in our lives is being affected by the pandemic - big things like holidays, weddings, etc.; and small and common things like family get-togethers, grocery shopping, etc. It is pretty standard, then, for each of us to be concerned about our own situation as well as for the situations of those around us whom we care about. But when this concern overwhelms us and consumes us, it can become a dangerous sinful spiral which can have a significant negative effect on our spiritual life.
In December, in a far-away land, China battled with a virus that, if you are like me, you never thought would ever come here. But it has. Thinking about what that means for us as believers has drawn me to Isaiah 6:1-7.
The following is part of a series of blogs written for the Covenant Reformed Church website. 'Election'... 'Predestination'... say these words to a room full of Christians and many of them begin to feel very uneasy, if not outright contempt. (Technically these are slightly different theological concepts, the latter being broader than the former, but we … Continue reading Amazing Grace: Unconditional Election
The following is part of a series of blogs written for the Covenant Reformed Church website. My students know that I have two tenets which guide my scholarship and theological thinking; and I demand that it guides theirs as well. Ironically, both were gleaned from an Arminian (at least he got these two things right). … Continue reading What is Reformed Theology – Dealing with Misconceptions
:In Romans 9, Paul has boldly taught and defended God's sovereign, monergistic, unconditional election of individuals to salvation. He has also dealt with three objections that usually arise against this biblical teaching: How can God elect if he is just? Or, It's not fair! Paul's answer - salvation is not about justice or fairness, it's about … Continue reading Romans 10: If God Chooses, Why Pray or Witness?
As we approach the the final section of Romans 9 we hear Paul putting forth his conclusion in answer to the question that has been the focus of this chapter - Is God a liar? This question has arisen out of a very serious situation for an Israelite such as Paul. It is obvious that Israel has rejected Christ, is … Continue reading Romans 9:24-33: Who Are God’s People?
The doctrine of God's unconditional individual election / predestination unto salvation is ever-present in Scripture and is so clearly presented and so easily understood that to deny its presence in God's word would be to deny a vast majority of what God communicates to us. Since it is not an obscure or marginal doctrine in … Continue reading Romans 9:19-23: Predestination!?! What about my free will?
We don't like verses like Romans 9:13. They make us feel uncomfortable. We don't like to read that God 'hates' anyone because our God is a God of love, mercy and grace. But here is that terrible word, plain and simple: “Jacob have I loved. Esau have I hated, Now some will try to explain … Continue reading Romans 9:13 – What does it mean when God says he “hated Esau”?
If you have read my previous exegetical blogs on Romans 9 you will understand that I believe Romans 9 discusses individual salvation and the election of individuals by God unto salvation. Yet some still try to insist that Romans 9 does not speak about this. They claim two things (cf. Baugh): Paul is simply addressing the historical … Continue reading Does Romans 9 Teach Individual or Corporate Election?
In the previous verses of Romans 9, Paul has been dealing with a pretty big issue. It surrounds the question of God's fidelity to his word as it relates to salvation. The argument he has laid out and the problem he is dealing with can be broken down like this: The point at issue in Romans … Continue reading Romans 9:14-18: Is God Just if he Predestines?