I received a call from a man I knew years ago. We will call him Frank. I had not talked with Frank in ten or fifteen years. He used to be a solid Free Grace guy. But no longer. We spoke for nearly an hour. Frank wanted to warn me that I am teaching heresy and that
Are people born unable to believe? If so, how does anyone come to faith? As I work through these issues for an upcoming book examining “total depravity,” it might help to conceptualize the different answers given to explain how people who are born unable to believe can ever come to faith. Here are six options. “People are born unable to believe, therefore…” Patristic: you need
I received the following question about a blog post one of our readers saw: I was wondering if GES has a response to this post I recently saw on Facebook: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German pastor, theologian, martyr, spy was asked in 1943 how it was possible for the Church to sit back and let
In Romans 6–8, Paul has a lengthy discussion on the Christian life. The believer can walk by the flesh (in his own power) or by the Spirit. The former results in the wrath of God and the deadly consequences of sin. The latter results in life and peace. Paul compares the way a believer lives to slavery.
I’ve heard it said that everyone is either in a storm, entering a storm, or coming out of storm. Life is full of storms. And people are full of opinions about how to go through them—such as Job’s friends. The book of Job is full of such opinions and they were all wrong. All that merely human wisdom
The Evangelical Free Church recently removed premillennialism from their statement of faith (see here). I wonder if that signals a decline in the study of prophecy in that denomination. Not every pastor preaches prophecy. Not every person studies it. I can think of several reasons why that might be. Frankly, unfulfilled prophecy takes effort to understand and even more to explain clearly. Pastors and congregations often don’t have the patience for it. We’re moralistic—we want the
I received this question in a recent email from a reader: In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus meets Andrew, et al, and they all believe Him to be Messiah. Why are we told in John 2:11 that they believed in Him after His first miracle? The questioner essentially sees an apparent contradiction between two texts in John’s Gospel. He
I read widely in theology (and elsewhere), but my very favorite books are by the great Bible teachers of the past. Those are the men and teachers I seek to emulate. The way they wrote was deeper than a typical sermon but more practical than academic theology. They took the Bible as the very word of God
We’ve written on this before. See here for a 1997 article by Zane Hodges. And here is a 2017 article by Shawn Lazar. Here is a 2008 article by me. Here is my recent review of a booklet which argues that assurance is of the essence. So why look at this issue again? Today I ran across a quote from Louis Berkhof, the premier Reformed theologian, concerning this issue.
I attended a military college after high school. The freshman year introduced us to military life and placed upon us many rules that a civilian would consider strange. For example, if an upperclassman asked you “why” you were doing something, the answer was always, “no excuse, sir!” It didn’t matter if you had a valid excuse.