Review - Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption

Originally posted at Proclaim & Defend, used by permision.

BJU Press recently released Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption, a new textbook for Christian schools. It’s intended audience is the twelfth grade and would be taught in a Bible or Religion classroom. The writing is geared for the high school level and often touches on such subjects as “What will you do with your life (now that you have this information)?” Those of us who approach the subject many years removed from high school may find these references nostalgic.

Mark Ward is the Lead Author for the book. Mark now works for FaithLife in Bellingham, WA. You can follow Mark’s writing here and he writes a monthly column in our FrontLine magazine. Mark informs me that he hopes one day that the book might be published in a trade paperback edition which would likely lower the cost and target a more general audience. Read more about Review - Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption

Dealing With Loss: A Hero Named Larry

I have always appreciated the old hymn “It is Well With My Soul.” The melody is hauntingly beautiful. The words are especially touching, as they were written while Spafford was crossing the Atlantic when he was near the place where his four daughters died after the vessel in which they were traveling was involved in a collision at sea.

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

I can barely sing these words without tears welling up. Imagine the faith Spafford must have had to pen these words—especially in that place and at that time. Imagine how he must have suffered and agonized on his journey to being able to speak like that. He must have known God’s word well, to be able to lean on God’s promises like he seemed to do. Read more about Dealing With Loss: A Hero Named Larry

What A Discouraged Pastor Should Do (Part 3)

(Read the series so far.)

Here I continue sharing my reflections on how Paul guided Timothy when he was facing discouragement, from the book of 2 Timothy. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already. I address these to others, but first to myself.

9. Remind and challenge people not to “strive about words to no profit.” (2 Tim. 2:14)

Sometimes a pastor’s discouragement comes because there is disunity in the church, or a lack of commitment to the core truths that we all hold in common. People can become divided over secondary or even relatively minor issues. This may be a signal to the pastor that he should speak to the church family about focusing on the fundamental truths of Scripture and on the person and work of Christ. Read more about What A Discouraged Pastor Should Do (Part 3)

The Gospel Applied: "The Artist" (Part 3)

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At this point in his argument, Paul changed his tone a bit. He saw a problem emerging that has become profound over the centuries—the conceit of pagans who come to Christ in the face of rebellious Jews who await a promised return to God. Paul warned we of the church must walk…

Not with Conceit: There Is Danger!

There is a temptation to see what God is doing in US as the apex of what God desired to do in the ages. Every figure, when painted onto the canvas, can begin to feel as though the whole picture frames only them. Paul made the problem clear: Read more about The Gospel Applied: "The Artist" (Part 3)

Church Discipline: the Correction of a Believer or the Excommunication of an Unbeliever? (Part 3)

Harmonizing Matthew 18:15–17, 1 Corinthians 5:1–13, and 2 Thessalonians 3:6–15

(From Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (DBSJ), Volume 20: 2015. Used with permission. Read the series.)

2 Thessalonians 3:6–15

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Read more about Church Discipline: the Correction of a Believer or the Excommunication of an Unbeliever? (Part 3)

“Good and Necessary Consequences” (Part 13a)

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We all seek to apply Scripture to our lives. Those applications should be both biblical and logical. We have seen1 that at least some applications ought to be thought of as particular to each believer. This means that sometimes, at least, my application, even if it is really biblical, logical, and God-intended, is still only my application, and might not be God-intended for my friend.

But are all applications particular, or are some universal? Are there “good and necessary” applications that we all must make? And if so, what impact do these have on the matter of applications that shape and train our consciences?

The phrase “good and necessary consequences” (hereafter, “GNC”) comes from the Westminster Confession of Faith2 (WCF): Read more about “Good and Necessary Consequences” (Part 13a)

The Mixed Blessing of C. S. Lewis (Part 2)

(Read Part 1.)

As far back as 1963 Martyn Lloyd-Jones warned that C. S. Lewis had a defective view of salvation—and with good reason. Let’s take a look at several soteriological errors in Lewis’ theology.

The Substitutionary Atonement

In Mere Christianity Lewis was clear that he rejected the substitutionary atonement:

Now before I became a Christian I was under the impression that the first thing Christians had to believe was one particular theory as to what the point of this dying [Christ’s] was. According to that theory God wanted to punish men for having deserted and joined the Great Rebel, but Christ volunteered to be punished instead, and so God let us off. Now I admit that even this theory does not seem to me quite so immoral and so silly as it used to…. Theories about Christ’s death are not Christianity: they are explanations about how it works.11

Read more about The Mixed Blessing of C. S. Lewis (Part 2)

The Mixed Blessing of C. S. Lewis (Part 1)

There is probably no Christian in modern times better known or more influential than Clive Staples Lewis. Born in Belfast in the year 1899, Lewis would write dozens of books on a variety of topics before his death on November 22, 1963 (on the very day of the deaths of John Kennedy and Aldous Huxley).

At the time of his death his popularity was starting to wane but shortly thereafter there was a revival of interest in Lewis and, arguably, today he is more deeply admired than ever. He is considered by many to be the greatest apologist for the Christian faith to have ever lived.

Whether you agree with this assessment or not, there is no doubt that Lewis was in a league almost by himself in his ability to write great truths in ways that spoke to our hearts and opened our eyes. For this reason, even those who are troubled with much of Lewis’ theology can hardly resist quoting him. There is a danger, however, of all-but-canonizing Lewis, giving more weight to his imaginative explorations and philosophical reasonings than to Scripture. Ruth Tucker writes, “Among Protestants there is only one pope of apologetics…. If C. S. Lewis said it, it must be true. In many circles it seems that the voice of C. S. Lewis is second only to the voice of God.”1 Read more about The Mixed Blessing of C. S. Lewis (Part 1)