The “Romans Road.”
The “Sinners Prayer.”
A lot of different methods have been used to teach people the steps of salvation. It Is reasoned that if people have a quick, easy, catchy way of remembering these steps that they will be able to use them if they are asked about being saved. The intent is good, but it’s also lacking. There is a distinct lack of doctrine and theological underpinning in many of these methods. In the end, I’m afraid most people have little to no understanding of the process of salvation and how critical each step is to that process.
The “Order of Salvation,” or, “ordo solutis” as it is referred to (a latin phrase simply meaning “order of salvation”) is the step by step process by which salvation occurs. Dr. Derek Thomas, writing at Monergism.com, shared the definition of ordo solutis used by Louis Berkhof:
“The ordo salutis describes the process by which the work of salvation, wrought in Christ, is subjectively realized in the hearts and lives of sinners. It aims at describing in their logical order, and also in their interrelations, the various movements of the Holy Spirit in the application of the work of redemption.” Continue reading
I have little experience with incarceration. I’ve never been in jail. Unless you count the one time I sat in a jail cell in Appomattox, Virginia listening to a historian discuss the Civil War. I was there of my own free will and I walked out as soon as the presentation was over.
For millions of Americans, though, prison is “home.” The number of Americans in prison continues to grow. The crimes for which prison is now a mandatory sentence also continues growing. Perhaps its time to have a conversation around the theological (and economic) implications of a growing prison population.
A recent article states that “1 in 4 Americans has a criminal record.” A full 25% of all Americans now has a criminal record. That statistic is hard to wrap my mind around. This means that when I look around my neighborhood and see 7 of my neighbors mowing their yard, washing their car, or walking their dog, at least 2 of them have a criminal record. This also means that when I look around my church on Sunday morning, a lot of people have a criminal record.
Ironically, crime and arrest rates are down from where they were in the 90’s, according to a White Paper at Prison Fellowship’s website. And yet, the number of crimes being punished with prison sentences is growing. Continue reading
Culturally speaking, it’s a strange time to be alive. The upside down nature of our society makes it curious for anyone retaining a modicum of common sense and reason. Perhaps one of the most peculiar sights to behold is the idea that someone’s imagination is more valid than their reality; that their desires are more “real” than anything else.
This cannot be seen more clearly than in the transgender movement.
Here is a movement dedicated to making the imagination and desires of people as real as the chair I’m sitting in. A group of people that are confused and, some would say, mentally disturbed are being held out as the next great group of civil rights heroes. Somehow I think Martin Luther King Jr. would disagree. What King and other civil rights activists fought for were inherent rights based on reality: all people are equal regardless of the color of their skin. I don’ recall King encouraging anyone to change the color of their skin. Skin color, like gender, is biologically verifiable, determined at birth, unalterable.
At one time in history we as a society would have confessed the same about gender. Our elementary education in biology would have asked and answered questions related to gender with absolute truth. It seems the gray area is getting larger though, in our effort to normalize anything and everything.
Imagine my surprise when renowned psychiatrist Dr. Paul R. McHugh, formerly the psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins recently claimed that transgenderism is a “mental disorder.” How dare he say such hurtful things. Doesn’t he know that our society doesn’t care about facts and biology? Doesn’t he know that our imaginations and desires are more important that centuries of verifiable, empirical evidence? Continue reading
In 2012 a cake artist named Jack Phillips politely declined to create a cake for a same-sex wedding. The couple requesting the cake were previous customers of Phillips’ cake shop where he had created cakes for other events for the couple. But this time, Phillips said his faith would not allow him to celebrate an event he believes is a sin.
As you can imagine, the couple sued, saying Phillips discriminated against them. The baker in Colorado was now in the middle of a lawsuit that became a national story and has continued to gain attention to this day. What makes this is interesting is that, according to a recent report, other bakers in Colorado were permitted to refuse to bake cakes due to the message being promoted.
For Phillips though, it was never about attention or anything else superficial. Phillips simply wanted to live out his deeply held religious convictions at his business. Now, Phillips is fighting to avoid being forced to violate his religious convictions under threat from the government.
I’ve written about the lawsuits brought by homosexuals against Christians on many occasions. I’ve read their stories and considered their position as Christians seeking to live and do business according to their faith. A question I’ve often pondered is: what would I do if a local business owner refused to serve me because I am ____? Continue reading
The video below is not for the logically challenged, reason-void, or any other person lacking the ability to understand coherent arguments. What the video below is for, is to show the absurdity of the pro-abortion position.
When Ben Shapiro came to the UC Berkeley campus it was to much media attention and fanfare. UC Berkeley is not known as a campus that champions free speech and diversity of ideas. In recent years it has become ground zero in many respects for liberal indoctrination, safe spaces, intolerance, and snowflake culture. In short, it’s not the kind of place Ben Shapiro will find a warm welcome.
Nonetheless Shapiro went to speak and answer questions from students.
One exchange in particular has captured the attention of media that are calling it an “epic takedown” of the pro-abortion position.
The student asked why Shapiro thought a “First-trimester fetus has human value?” Continue reading
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma brought unprecedented devastation to the United States. Just weeks after hurricane Harvey brought more than 40 inches of rain to Houston, flooding the city and displacing hundreds of thousands of texans. Hurricane Irma, the strongest storm ever measured in the Atlantic Ocean carved out a path of destruction in Florida hard to imagine.
In the wake of these two great storms is death, destruction, floods, and lives that will never be the same. But if you were watching closely, and paying attention, you saw two immutable facts about God on display during these storms.
As I scrolled social media and my news feed perusing articles from across the country reporting on the devastating effects of these hurricanes, one thing continued to catch my eye. People, sharing the details of their encounter with nature’s fury before, during and after their tangle with the hurricanes included God in their thoughts. Continue reading
If you’re like me you’ve never given much thought to the concept of price gouging. You simply assumed it was bad and harbored appropriate disdain for those taking advantage of a bad situation. As Christians we should be able to think biblically about issues in our culture like price gouging so we can respond appropriately. I want to take a few moments to think through this idea and see if we can apply biblical principles in a way that makes sense.
Let’s understand first what price gouging is.
Price gouging is the deliberate raising of prices on essential goods in the aftermath of a disaster (such as a hurricane). Essentially, it is a result of supply and demand interacting with each other at a time when conditions make demand abnormally high while making supply more difficult (and costly) than normal. The result is $10 per gallon gasoline, $30 for a pack of water that normally costs $4, and $200 for a hotel room that normally costs $100.
We are initially incensed at the idea of charging a higher price during an emergency. Any ethical human being naturally thinks that during an emergency we should be willing to help people in need by charging less, or giving goods away for free. But how do we think biblically about the pricing of goods during an emergency?
First we need to admit that there is an ethical component to economics. Some would have us believe that economics is nothing more than numbers, it’s math. But for Christians, we need to look past the numbers to the ethics (and even theology) behind the numbers. For instance, economic principles drive political philosophies and viewpoints. No one would assert that political philosophies are not ethical, or moral. So we can’t assume the forces behind political philosophies and principles are not equally ethical and moral. Continue reading
Evangelical leaders from around the country recently released a theological statement reaffirming historic, orthodox Christian teaching. And the world lost its mind.
When the Nashville Statement was released late in August, the backlash from Christians and non-Christians alike was immediate and strong. There’s no need to post or link to those comments because a simple Google search will take you to all you want to see. Suffice it to say, many were displeased with the statement.
What is mind-boggling to me is the number of self-professing Christians that are unhappy with the statement. I can understand lost people hating it, they hate the truth of God’s Word. Their mind and heart are ravaged by sin and under the influence of their inherent sin nature. As enemies of God (we are all born this way), they reject His authority and the clear principles for life given in Scripture. After all, darkness hates light. Darkness craves darkness to continue evil deeds that darkness loves. So when lost people react with vitriol to a biblical statement of orthodox Christian doctrine, it’s no surprise.
But I can’t figure out why Christians are so upset. Continue reading
I have watched numerous videos depicting the process of pregnancy. I’ve watched animated videos of baby’s forming over the course of 9 months in the womb that have been really well done. But, I must say, that the video posted below might be the most visually stunning and detailed depiction of pregnancy that I have ever seen.
In the span of just 4 minutes we get to watch the process from conception to birth. The combination of attention grabbing music and breathtaking imagery makes this video enjoyable to watch; and it goes by very quickly.
But, the science behind this video is amazing to understand. When we think of a living human being being formed inside another human being we should pause to enjoy the awe of that reality. We breathe air. These tiny people breathe through the umbilical cord. We eat by putting food in our mouth and chewing and swallowing. The unborn are nourished by their mother through the umbilical cord.
Beyond these we get to see the amazing formation of another human being in incredible detail. We are reminded that our biological gender is fixed before we are born. And that our eye and hair color is determined before we take our first breathe outside the womb. WE come to understand that we are not merely a “blob of cells,” as we are often told by the abortion industry. We are a human being with a beating heart, working eyes and ears, and a brain that thinks and feels.
Dave Andrusko, the editor of National Right to Life News, reminded us of just how busy and active the unborn in his article at Lifenews.com:
“You see examples of the behavior expectant parents can now see on 4-D ultrasounds: the smiles, the yawning, the swallowing of amniotic fluid, the nibbling on the toes, the movement to gain maneuvering room as the child grows larger. I’m sure I’ve probably seen this before, but this video does a very nice job of conveying the last part of the baby’s journey: moving down through the birth canal.”
Take a minute, or 4 minutes, and watch this stunning video. Then share it with others, post it to social media, and remind people that even the smallest, most vulnerable among us is a beautiful human being deserving life.
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