The Gospel

From the Archives – “Hope Is Here!”

While attending seminary, my wife and I rented a tiny apartment in the inner city. In three short years, we witnessed more crime and violence than one might see in a month of TV police shows. Within a block of our home, we saw street fights, guns, prostitution, drug activity, car thefts, stalking and more.

One night, our elderly next door neighbors were dragged out onto their front lawn, beaten and robbed. A man was shot to death on the street a half block from our home. In the parking lot below our living room window, I saw one man hold a gun to another man’s head in broad daylight. Drunks sometimes slept on our front steps. Men repeatedly harassed my wife on the street.

There are some things about living in that neighborhood I will never miss. There are other things, however, that I miss desperately. What I may miss most, is the consistent opportunity to speak with people—even complete strangers—who were willing to talk freely about the miseries of life and the emptiness of their soul. I loved that environment.

It was in this context that I met Darryl. Darryl talked about the inequities and miseries of life as comfortably as suburbanites talk about the weather. With considerable ease he relayed memories of a haunted childhood: divorced parents; a dad who lived down the street but never spoke to him; desperate poverty; cowering in fear under the kitchen table as his gun wielding brothers came home with another take of stolen property.

1796 reads

4 Distinctives of a Christian View of Race

Reposted from The Cripplegate.

As #BlackLivesMatter, White-Fragility, and White-Privilege become flash points in our society, and as entire organizations have grown up around the concept of “racial reconciliation” it is critical to remember that Christians should think differently than the world on the topic of race.

The world is fully embroiled in this issue. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” gets painted on streets, while others explain why they reject the organization. The problematic book “White-Fragility” becomes a best-seller, but there are enough secular take-downs of the book that its effect seems to be sufficiently blunted (although I’m sure evangelicals—often a year-late to cultural parties—will still entertain it for a while).

I don’t know if this is true for all pastors, but I have had more conversations and emails on race than I can recall having on any other contemporary issue. It seems like daily I am asked about my understanding of race and racial reconciliation within the church.

1655 reads

Counseling Children Who Have Professed Faith in Christ

"When doubts or questions arise, parents should take advantage of these teachable moments by unpacking the hope-giving truths of the gospel. Even if the child is genuinely a believer, it certainly won’t hurt them to hear the promises of the gospel afresh." - Rooted Thinking

286 reads

“Discovering Hope is an evangelistic resource designed to carefully unpack the truths of the gospel to a person with little or no Christian background.”

"This gospel study handbook blends Bible discovery study methods with lucid explanations so that readers can see and understand Biblical truth for themselves. Through a series of eight lessons, readers will learn the essential gospel truths about God the Creator, man the sinner, Jesus the Savior, and the need for repentance and faith." - Micah Colbert

337 reads

Reactions to antinomianism: “four of the five waves listed above offer cures that are worse than the malady.”

"...while Shepherdism, the New Perspective, the Federal Vision, and the King Jesus Gospel are emphatically wrong in polluting the doctrine of justification with human merit, their call to emphasize the obedience of faith should not go unheeded." - Mark Snoeberger

299 reads

A Response to Scot McKnight and Matthew Bates

"Most of my remarks here will be directed toward Scot McKnight’s article, since it makes a more substantive argument, though I’ll mention Matthew Bates’s as well here and there. There are three main areas I’d like to address. First, has my view of the gospel shifted from 'soterian' to 'a King Jesus Gospel?'" - Greg Gilbert

(Related: https://sharperiron.org/filings/041620/37773)

422 reads

Gregg Gilbert on what is and is not "The Gospel"

"Many of us would be helped in our preaching of the gospel by not just preaching the simple (though true) propositions of substitutionary atonement and justification by faith alone, but by re-embracing the epic of the Bible, placing those things in their proper place in the grand storyline. ... But ..." - 9 Marks

1965 reads

“Every imperative of Scripture (what we are to do for God) rests on the indicative (who we are in our relationship with God), and the order is not reversible.”

"The human instinct with every non-Christian religion reverses the order, teaching that who we are before God is based on what we do for God. Thus, any preaching that is distinctively Christian must keep listeners from confusing, or inverting, our 'who and our'“do.'" - Bryan Chapell

697 reads

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