Tag Archives: theology
The simple answer is yes! He had to show us that He was Lord over all heaven and earth. He couldn’t just come and die for us without first showing us Who He really was. He knew we wouldn’t believe that He was God’s Son without some evidence, some proof that He more than just a man. He knew our hearts would doubt, even if we watched Him die. So He came as a baby, lived as a man, and bent time and space to His will with just the words of His mouth.
He needed to walk on the water so we knew that the powerful ocean was under His command. He needed to calm the storm so we knew that the untamable wind obeyed His voice. The mighty earth with vast oceans and dizzying mountains belong to Him and He wanted to make sure we knew they would bow to Him when commanded to do so.
The view concerning man’s will is one of debate among Arminians and Reformed theologians. Arminians believe that man has the ability, the free will, to choose Christ. Reformed theologians believe that due to the bondage of the will to sin, man does not have the ability to choose Christ without the regenerating work and effectual calling of the Holy Spirit. This distinction has been the source of much debate between these two theological groups.
Before moving forward, it is important to understand that it is a universally agreed upon fact that man has a will and can make choices based upon that will. However, what is not true is that man has the ability to freely choose Christ based solely upon his own free will. Let me explain the difference.
I appreciate an article by Michael Horton in which he helps to clear up some of the more common myths surrounding Reformed Theology. Horton is a well-respected theology professor and theologian that regularly blogs and discusses theological topics at his podcast, The White Horse Inn. Horton carefully discusses each of these myths and others in great detail in his work For Calvinism.
The above referenced article addresses five of the more common myths surrounding Reformed Theology in a quick, overview type format. The five myths that Horton addresses are:
For years church leaders tried to convince us that being a hip, trendy, and relevant church was the key to doing church right. It was about professional bands, cool video graphics, and more ministry choices than you can fit on one bulletin page. But after many years and many failures even the well-respected church growth guru’s are admitting that it’s really about the preaching.
But not just any preaching. The trendy “talks” that cite one Bible verse then shares stories, jokes, and illustrations for 40 minutes are also failing. What people are really looking for is teaching from the Bible that expounds the Scriptures and connects them with daily life. In other words, expository preaching. What exactly is expository preaching?
Some would say that if we only make our churches cool enough, make them “inclusive,” or “approachable,” that people will come and will find Jesus. But this understanding of the Gospel and the purpose of the church is wrong. The Bible makes it clear that “no one seeks God.” (Rom. 3:11) Even more blunt than that is the truth that Jesus spoke when He told us “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44) In these verses we have clear teaching that no one is seeking God, no one is looking for salvation in Jesus. In fact, no one has the ability to “find Jesus” unless the Father first draws that person. And Judas is a perfect example of this truth.
Judas was a devil.
The fact that God chose Abraham out of the many He could have chosen makes the concept of biblical election clear. This example also shows us that election is an act of God’s sovereign will, having nothing to do with the person being chosen (elected). Abraham didn’t petition God to be elected, God chose Abraham before Abraham chose God. But, and this is important, once God chose Abraham, Abraham then chose God. When God called Abraham to leave his country, Abraham obeyed. This is the perfect picture of election because God chose Abraham, then Abraham chose God, just as the American people choose their president and then the “president-elect” chooses the American people by accepting the position.
Many misconceptions about salvation exist today. Misconceptions such as “everyone can be saved” pave the way for massive evangelistic efforts that leave churches wondering, “what went wrong?” Other misconceptions, such as “man has no part in salvation” make it seem as though anyone that is saved is saved against their will. These misconceptions and others are creating confusion as to the nature of salvation and the part that God and man play in the process.
An article by John Reisinger at Monergism does an excellent job of explaining the process of salvation, including God’s part and man’s part in the process. I want to share it with you in the hopes of clearing up misconceptions and laying out the biblical process for salvation. The article starts by stating:
“God and man must both do something before a man can be saved. Hyper-Calvinism denies the necessity of human action, and Arminianism denies the true nature of the Divine action. The Bible clearly sets forth both the divine and human as essential in God’s plan of salvation. This is not to say, as Arminianism does, God’s part is to freely provide salvation for all men, and man’s part is to become willing to accept it. This is not what we said above, nor is it what the Bible teaches.”
What do you know about the holiness of God? I’m sure you’ve heard about holiness. Anyone that has attended church for even a short period of time has heard of holiness. Despite hearing about it, sometimes for years, many people are not quite sure what holiness is or how to explain it.
The video below is an animated illustration of God’s holiness. It is a visual depiction of holiness in a way that clearly communicates the truth of Scripture.
This theological theme, God’s holiness, is central to our life as Christians. Understanding God’s holiness and why He commanded us to “be holy for I am holy” is important for our spiritual growth. Being able to understand and explain God’s holiness is essential for understanding the world around us and why we view events differently than people that don’t know Jesus.
Take a few minutes and watch this video, and share it. You will gain a better understanding of one of the most essential, yet misunderstood aspects of God in all of scripture.
Recently, LifeWay Research and Ligonier Ministries surveyed 3000 adults concerning the state of theology in America. The results are a glaring red flag that proves how uninformed and uneducated Americans are concerning theological issues. The researchers only identified about 20% of those they surveyed as evangelicals; many other respondents identified themselves as evangelical. That in itself is a problem.
(See the chart below to view the top 12 questions and answers from the survey.)