“Original sin is the thorough corruption of human nature, which, by the fall of our first parents, is deprived of original righteousness, and is prone to every evil. Original sin is a want of original righteousness, connected with a depraved inclination, corrupting in the most inward parts the whole human nature, derived from the fall of our first parents, and propagated to all men by natural generation, rendering them indisposed to spiritual good, but inclined to evil, and making them the objects of divine wrath, and eternal condemnation.” – Hollazius
Last week’s online dispute between Tullian Tchvidjian and The Gospel Coalition reminded me of what it is like to see a couple, both friends, go through a divorce. I’m friends with Tullian and with the TGC leadership, and I hated to see all this. More than that, I cringed to see one more evangelical social media cagefight. But Tullian’s apology today is something we all can learn from, and ought to reflect on.
I continue to hope that the recent debate/controversy over sanctification will lend clarity and light to readers. For this to happen, we will have to labor hard for biblical depth and balance. In my opinion, those who are opposing the biblical doctrine of sanctification are motivated mainly by a wounded terror regarding legalism. As I have recently written, legalism is a constant and deadly error. Yet we must not oppose one error by advancing another error, which I believe is happening in some quarters. With this in mind, those of us wanting to avoid antinomianism must not only avoid genuine neonomianism but must be seen to do so. We must argue for sanctification and good works in a way that safeguards the legitimate concerns of those who struggle against legalism. In this cause, having criticized Tullian Tchividjian’s teaching in downplaying good works and obedience, let me now express concerns about the way that good works are described as efficacious by Mark Jones in his article Good Works Necessary for Salvation?
Moderate conservative George Will writes about in Investors Business Daily. This is a good review of what’s happening in the economy.
The reason why unemployment fell by four-tenths of a point (to 6.3%) in April while growth stalled is that 806,000 people left the labor force.
The labor-force participation rate fell by four-tenths of a point to a level reached in 1978, which was during the Carter-era stagflation and early in the surge of women into the workforce.
There are about 14.5 million more Americans than before the recession but nearly 300,000 fewer jobs, and household income remains below the pre-recession peak.
[…]The more than $1.1 trillion of student loan debt — the fastest-growing debt category, larger than credit-card or auto-loan debt — is restraining consumption, as is the retirement of baby boomers. In 2012, more than 70% of college graduates had student loan debts averaging about $30,000.
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In 2012, Lighthouse Trails posted the “50 Top Organizations With a Significant Role in Bringing Contemplative Spirituality to the Church.” We are reposting this list for those who may not have seen it then, and we have added 8 “runner ups” to the list (see bottom of post). From 12 years of research at Lighthouse Trails Research Project, we have found these organizations to have had a significant role in bringing contemplative spirituality into the evangelical/Protestant church. If you do not know or understand the implications of this, we urge you to educate yourself as soon as possible.
Note: We have not listed any colleges or seminaries in this list. To see our list of contemplative promoting schools, click here. This list below is in conjunction with our recent list of Christian leaders: 100 Top Contemplative Proponents Evangelical Christians Turn To Today.
It’s graduation season. And as such, scores of graduating students and their doting family and friends will be exposed to the senseless drivel known as a graduation speech. This speech is supposed to prepare the students to face the real world—or perhaps the “real world” of going to college. One last shot at making something out of these thugs.
Most graduation speeches follow the same format. And they are filled with inspirational quotes and silly sayings that somebody’s mom will post on Facebook three years later with pretty little flowers and a demand to share. Or maybe the saying will be really good and you’ll see it on one of those overpriced placards that people buy to put in their storage sheds.
Usually the graduates are just lied to. Here are six lies they’ll likely be told:
In his fourth chapter of Authentic Fire, Dr. Michael Brown interacts with what he calls the “genetic fallacy” argument and errors of “guilt by association.”
- I’m beginning to wonder if Mars Hill Church thinks that it is THE Church. As in, the only true church. Driscoll would look odd in one of those pope hats, though. It would clash with the Mickey Mouse t-shirt.
- “We sing best when that gospel is dwelling richly within us. God is not looking at the quality of our tone or the perfection of our pitch. He is looking at the heart.”
- Free Kindle books are good, especially when they’re ‘bad’ books that I wouldn’t normally want to buy.
- This looks like a good study.
- Maya Angelou died this week. This was the last thing she posted on Twitter.
- Now this is creative. And smart. I’m not opposed to replacing the lawn with sand.
- Speaking of sand.
- I managed to make it through my years in Chicago without ever visiting the Sears (now Willis) Tower. If I had, I’m sure this would have happened during my visit.
- Oh my. I want a piece of this coffee cake. Now.
- Here’s C.J. Mahaney’s statement on the whole SGM debacle. Well, as much of a statement as he can offer at this time, anyway.
- Students learn and retain more by taking handwritten notes? I believe it.
- Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
- Please don’t stop praying for Meriam.
- The latest issue of The Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is available for download.
- Fred Butler has compiled a helpful list of resources on this neo ‘antinomianism.’
- Have you lost a child? Perhaps this will bring you some comfort.
- If any of what is reported here is true, financial guru Dave Ramsey sounds a little like some megapastors we know.
- Where do you think is the best place to evangelize?
- I haven’t listened to this in its entirety yet, but here’s a debate between John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul on the issue of baptism:
We’ve been getting a lot of calls and emails regarding our hard stance against the Willow Creek Association and the Global Leadership Summit spearheaded by Pastor Bill Hybels. Many church leaders are wondering why their congregants are knocking on the pastor’s door, wanting to know why their church is involved in such agenda-driven carnality. If that sounds harsh, then consider the following research links, articles and podcasts discussing the concerning problems associated with this movement:
Apprising Ministries fills you in concerning this official SBC event that happens at the close of its Pastor’s Conference next month.
Some professing Christians become infuriated when a “watchblogger” has the chutzpah to report on a false teacher by name, as if naming names is unbiblical. High-profile leaders and bloggers who mention heretics by name are often accused of demonizing or judging them.
Apprising Ministries shows you that this issue now slithers deeper into the mainstream of the evangelical camp.
“God has a big dream for your life. God is positive, there is nothing negative about him. God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas, and creativity.” —Joel Osteen
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world” —Jesus.
The two quotations above were both spoken by men who have preached the gospel. One section represents the true gospel, and the other a different gospel. One section contains the words of Jesus and the other contains the words of Joel Osteen. By reading the words above, you can identify which selection represents the true gospel and which one is false.
We are living in the days when feeling good about yourself is king.
A debate has been raging in Reformed/Lutheran quarters about “sanctification”—our growth in holiness. Tullian Tchividjian of Liberate argues that the most important thing is “by grace you are saved.” Unless we are absolutely clear and certain about this, he says, we’ll never be properly motivated for a sustained Christian life. Tullian sees much legalism and spiritual oppression in church and society, and he’s anxious to announce this message of gospel freedom.
Various members of The Gospel Coalition don’t disagree; they just put the emphasis on another gospel syllable. They highlight that part of the gospel is the promise of the power to become holy. They see many lazy and lethargic Christians failing to strive for the holiness the Bible tells us to seek. They want people to realize—meaning, making it real in their lives—what we are saved for: “to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph. 1:4, NRSV).
Still, the very public “break-up” between The Gospel Coalition and me weighs heavy on my heart. And I want to say just a few things about it now that I’ve had some time to reflect.
Thursday, May 29, 2014 Committed to Serving You Better! For some of you, the Persecution & Prayer Alert has been a weekly staple for a number of years, and we very much appreciate your desire to keep informed about the needs of the persecuted church and your dedication to prayer. We are committed to continue providing you this valuable resource. In the past, we have provided emails in two formats: one consisting of only plain text and another that…[view article]