O Almighty God, who alone can order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: Grant unto your people that they may love the thing which you command, and desire that which you do promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
From the pen of Shane Lems.
Near the end of Josiah Bull’s biography of John Newton, there’s a quote by Newton that is somewhat critical of the great American theologian, Jonathan Edwards. Here it is:
“Mr. Edwards was an excellent man, but some of his writings are too metaphysical, and particularly that book [The Freedom of the Will]. If I understand it, I think it rather establishes fatalism and necessity than Calvinism in the sober sense. I could object likewise to his book on Original Sin, though there are many excellent things in it” (p. 328).
These statements really made me want to hear more from Newton on Edwards, since I too am somewhat critical of Edwards’ theology.
Reading through Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letters to John Ryland Jr., I did find more. In a letter Newton wrote to Ryland in 1778, he criticized New England theology. Though Newton wasn’t writing…
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by Sam Powell
or as I’d like to affectionately title it, Can you “pickup Legos with your toes”?
An excellent read.
In a sermon on John 1:29, John Newton discussed definite atonement and the free offer of the gospel. He admitted there is mystery in this area of Scripture’s teaching: “I am not disheartened by meeting with some things beyond the grasp of my scanty powers in a book which I believe to be inspired by […]
Question 60. How are you righteous before God?
Answer: Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. That is: although my conscience accuse me, that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and that I am still prone always to all evil, yet God without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never committed nor had any sin, and had myself accomplished all the obedience which Christ has fulfilled for me, if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart.
Question 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole or part of our righteousness before God?
Answer: Because the righteousness which can stand before the judgment-seat of God, must be perfect throughout and wholly conformable to the divine law; whereas even our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.
From The Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 23 & 24
“We basically have a medieval view of repentance today in a lot of Protestant churches. If I just rededicate my life, if I just promise to do better, if I just show God that I really mean business this time. Instead of saying, you know what, no. Actually, its going to be harder than this. Your whole life, you’re going to be dying daily.It’s not going to be this extraordinary moment of repentance and flush all your garbage down the toilet and start all over again. No, every day you’re going to have to die to yourself and live to Christ. And this repentance is going to be a daily, very hard, very difficult task…”
“Again, this is what happens when you have a high view of God, a high view of his righteousness and holiness, a high view of his word, a high view of his commands and then that leads you to, how could I find a gracious God? And it’s the grace of God that leads us to repentance. Our whole life, therefore, is one of repentance.”
by Michael Horton from a White Horse Inn broadcast titled Sin & Grace in the Christian Life, March 26, 2017
Sometimes when you are grieving it helps to talk to someone. But, sometime it helps to just lose yourself in a book (or TV show) and relate to a fictional character or situation. And cry. “When you lose someone suddenly and unexpectedly it hurts differently…it’s like a lightning bolt you can’t even see reaching inside […]