Category: Contending

Patrick Ramsey – Good Works and Sola Fide

In my last article I discussed that the puritans believed that good works are more than the fruit of faith, justification and salvation in that they are the way to eternal life and an antecedent condition of glorification. The minority of puritans labelled as “antinomians” not only rejected this view, they characterized it as a form of legalism. They were by no means the only ones to have done so. A noted 20th century scholar wrote that you didn’t have to be an antinomian to regard this view of good works “as a betrayal of the Reformation doctrine of...

Read More

Ryan McGraw – Wilhelmus à Brakel on Damnation by Faith

Can faith damn us? The Dutch “Puritan” theologian Wilhelmus à Brakel (1635-1711) argued that the first sin of Adam and Eve was unbelief. To state this differently, they exchanged faith in the Word of God for faith in the word of the Serpent (The Christian’s Reasonable Service, 1:372-373; print; online). He argued that in perfect humanity, emotion would have been subject to the intellect. Therefore, the temptation of Satan in the Garden of Eden consisted in appealing to the judgment of Adam and Eve. God told Adam and Eve that “in the day that you eat of [the Tree...

Read More

Dan Doriani – How Do I Preach Expository Sermons from Proverbs?

The expository preacher aims to preach both single books of Scripture and the canon as a whole. He may turn to Proverbs for the summer because it’s practical, fills a unique slot in the canon, and suits months when people come and go, making self-contained messages beneficial. But Proverbs presents unique challenges for three primary reasons. First, since consecutive proverbs seem to have slight connection to one another, how does one preach an expository message on one verse? Second, some proverbs seem like promises that aren’t always true. Constraints of space require me to refer readers to commentaries like...

Read More

Nancy Pearcey – Do Biological Facts No Longer Matter?

The pushback has been swift and strong against Target’s unsafe bathroom policy, along with the Obama administration’s demand that all public schools adopt pro-transgender policies for showers and locker rooms. But for long-term success against these impositions, the response must also be strategic. That means drilling down to the source of transgender ideology. The roots of moral issues always bring us to questions about human nature. Both classical Greek and Christian philosophy regarded the natural world as purpose driven or teleological – from the Greek telos, meaning purpose or goal. To ordinary human observation, it is evident that eyes...

Read More

Charles Spurgeon – Recruits For King Jesus (1 Chronicles 12:16-18)

“And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David. And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If you have come peaceably unto me to help me, my heart shall be knit unto you: but if you have come to betray me to my enemies, seeing there is no wrong in my hands, the God of our father look thereon, and rebuke it. Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, ‘Yours are we, David, and on your side, you son...

Read More