Books every Christian should read : The Bible (ESV)

I have decided it is time I share my thoughts with you about books. I love books. There is something rather satisfying about sitting down with a real book flicking through its pages, which despite my love of everything electronic is not quite replaced by looking at a PC screen.I have benefited so much from books over the years that I thought I would share a little about books that I have read and loved and that I feel every Christian should read.I wont be placing these books in any order, but … [Read more...]

"Why Did Jesus die?" my Alpha talk

This is the rough outline I used for last thursday's Alpha talk on "why did jesus die?" Just to make clear to anyone who thinks I am into the penal substitutionary view as an exclusive explanation of the cross, I have no problem with using the outline Alpha proposed (which is almost identical to this one)Why did Jesus Die?For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16 For all have sinned and fall short … [Read more...]

Keep them hanging on……. more on the power of preaching

Blogotional quotes someone who says: "As Christians, we are first and foremost a people with whom God dwells. We are a people of His presence.....So often, we seek to know God through many methods other than the one thing needful which is direct personal knowledge." and is sceptical that such personal knoweldge can be imparted through preaching. He is however eager to hear more about what kind of preaching changes lives. This study is the study of a lifetime, and in many ways is an extension … [Read more...]

Understanding the mind and preaching- part 1

Romans 12:1-2 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."The crucial thing to our sanctification is the renewal of our minds. The key question is how does this happen? J.B.Phillips said it … [Read more...]

The effects of understading the simple gospel- courage

John Piper again: "Few things give lively comfort and lionhearted courage like the truth that Christ has fulfilled for me the demands made on me by the law of God. I am still trying to plumb the personal depths of Romans 7:4 for what it means about my dead-to-the-law relationship with Jesus Christ: Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God … [Read more...]

The divine transaction- the basis for the simple gospel

John Piper exmplains the gospel in wonderful transactional language.I will try to show that Christ has become our substitute in two senses: in his suffering and death he becomes our curse and condemnation (Galatians 3:13; Romans 8:3). And in his suffering and life he becomes our perfection (2 Corinthians 5:21). On the one hand, his death is the climax of his atoning sufferings, which propitiate the wrath of God against us (Romans 3:24-25); on the other hand, his death is the climax of a … [Read more...]

A Question of the Gospel

Rebecca Writes:: "Question: Is there a sense in which 'declaring the whole counsel of God' is the same thing as teaching the gospel? (I would base this question on Paul saying that it is because he had declared the whole counsel of God to the Ephesians that he would be innocent of their blood" My Answer: You are dead right Rebecca, there sure is … [Read more...]

The simple gospel of penal substitution according to Paul

ESV Bible Online: Passage: Romans 5 says it fantastically, Christ died in our place that we might be forgiven. He took Gods wrath away and by his one act made our righteousness possible. The only valid way of interepreting this passage is as a reference to some form of penal substitution.6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person'though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die 8 but God shows … [Read more...]

The implications of denying the simple gospel of penal substitution

Have just been reading Dabney on the atonement online. People wonder why many of us prefer theology by a bunch of dead guys to some of the modern stuff.Dabney catelogues many scriptural proofs of penal substitution and highlights Galatians 3:10-14 as one of the foremost texts: "For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.' Now it is evident that no one is justified … [Read more...]

The gospel according to John

My old friend and fellow conspirator Nick Queen at Patriot Paradox has posted on how the simple gospel is best summarised by John 3:16. He also makes the point that salvation itself comes through the agency of faith which I totally agree with. The other things I mention are simply the working out of what God has worked in. They are things that accompany salvation rather than cause it. In a sense the same thing could be said even of faith which I believe is a gift from God (see Ephesians ) … [Read more...]