The Exclusivity of Christ: A Compassionate and Humble Doctrine

As you share the gospel with your friends, family members, classmates, and business colleagues, you may find that they tolerate much of your worldview until you press the point that Jesus is the one true Savior and the only one who can deliver them from eternal judgment and bring them into right relationship with God. In other words, your spiritual conversations may coast rather smoothly until you land on the exclusivity of Christ. Continue reading “The Exclusivity of Christ: A Compassionate and Humble Doctrine”

Christology from Nicea to Chalcedon: A Brief History

Almost immediately following Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension, the church found herself subject to infiltration by heretics and false doctrine. While these heresies did not focus exclusively on the person of Christ, most of them did, and early Christian theologians labored to respond to these challenges in order to articulate a logically coherent, biblically faithful account of Christ’s identity. Continue reading “Christology from Nicea to Chalcedon: A Brief History”

The Humility of Reading (or The Pride of Not Reading)

We’ve all been warned about the connection between pride and reading. Charles Spurgeon warned that “little learning and much pride come with hasty reading.” Bertrand Russell once observed, “There are two motives for reading a book. One, that you enjoy it. The other; that you can boast about it.” Alan Jacobs has similarly commented: “I think most people read quickly because they want not to read but to have read.” Continue reading “The Humility of Reading (or The Pride of Not Reading)”

Justified at the First Moment of Faith

It has been said that justification is the article by which the church is standing or falling. This statement is usually attributed to Martin Luther, whose actual statement is pretty close to the popular paraphrase. Others within the Reformed tradition have affirmed the truth highlighted in this statement, including Westminster professor, John Murray (1898-1975). The point of the statement is to underscore the spiritual and theological importance of justification: if the church is unclear about her standing with God, then spiritual life and vitality will quickly vanish.

In this post, I want to focus on the essential truth that justification is an instantaneous declaration. I will begin with some preliminary definitions. Continue reading “Justified at the First Moment of Faith”

Justified by Works? Sola Fide (Faith Alone) and James 2:24

Roman Catholic theologians turn to James 2:24 to argue their case that justification is according to works. There is good reason for this. James says explicitly: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). We need to get a solid grasp on this passage so we can be clear on what Scripture teaches about justification and know how to answer our Catholic friends when it comes to sharing the gospel. Continue reading “Justified by Works? Sola Fide (Faith Alone) and James 2:24”

Christ Alone as the Center of the Reformation Distinctives

Is there a “center” of the Reformation distinctives (Scripture alone, Faith alone, Grace alone, Christ Alone, Glory of God alone)? Yes, there is, according to Michael Reeves in his foreward to Steve Wellum’s excellent book, Christ Alone: The Uniqueness of Christ as Savior. Reeves argues that we must keep Christ at the center of these Reformation distinctives in order to ensure that each distinctive is properly understood and applied. Continue reading “Christ Alone as the Center of the Reformation Distinctives”