God’s Not Dead: The Movie, and a new friend

It seems clear to me that 2014 is going to go down as the year of the religious movie. There are a lot of Hollywood movies this year that are covering various biblical stories, and I must say I am looking forward to all of them. God's Not Dead is a movie that I had not heard of until a few minutes ago when I connected for the first time with Rice Broocks thanks to my new favourite web video conferencing program, Zoom.us.  Incidentally, you will most likely be seeing a lot more of Zoom around h … [Read more...]

James White vs Michael Brown: Predestination Debate on European Christian TV

Another thing I missed last month was James White and Michael Brown appearing on Revelation TV, one of Europe's largest Christian TV station. Having said previously that I feel we as evangelicals we have largely failed in our duty to colonise the airwaves, I am thrilled to see these two men I respect accepting this invitation. Like Stetzer and Chandler, these men are not afraid of somehow being "contaminated" despite the broad rejection of Christian TV by so many evangelicals.The specific … [Read more...]

John Piper’s Five Points: towards a deeper experience of God’s grace

Piper explains in this short video why he has written his latest short book on Calvinism. Whether you are a Calvinist or not, this little book will help you understand what this leading Reformed preacher believes, and why it has comforted him over the years.  He is know dusty dry theologian, but a passionate pastor. “I do not begin as a Calvinist and defend a system. I begin as a Bible-believing Christian who wants to put the Bible above all systems of thought. But over the years — many years of … [Read more...]

Chinese Calvinism flourishes

The Guardian has a fascinating report on the incredible progress of the Chinese Church, and calvinism in particular:Although Calvinism is shrinking in western Europe and North America, it is experiencing an extraordinary success . . .as an elite religion in China . . .There may be some parallels with the growth of Calvinism in South Korea, where the biggest presbyterian churches in the world are to be found, but it's absolutely unlike the pattern in Africa and Latin America. There, the … [Read more...]

What is an Evangelical?

In this post,  I offer a meaning of Evangelical, but this must be read in conjunction with my post "What is a Christian?" I do not claim in this post to be outlining the boundary markers of Christianity.  Evangelicalism is a part of the broader Christian movement. I also do not claim any special authority to lay out these principles which are not new to me.  It is true that Evangelicalism can be hard to define.  But this is I believe because it is more about attitudes than doctrinal sta … [Read more...]

Get over yourself, and get impressed with God – Institutes of the Christian Religion

Amazon's Kindle website gives an interesting snapshot of books by sharing the post popular highlights by people using Kindle software to read a book. Generally you get a good impression of a book, and it's most striking themes. This is certainly true with Calvin's Institutes, where his desire to point us away from ourselves and towards a God who is infinitely better than us rings out loud and clear. Here are some examples of popular quotes:we cannot aspire to Him in earnest until we have … [Read more...]

Popular posts: An Arminocalvinist spectrum or why it's not so simple as Arminians vs Calvinists

During Adrian's month away from the blog, he has hand-picked a selection of the most popular posts of the year so far to re-run.Today we feature, "An Arminocalvinist spectrum or why it's not so simple as Arminians vs Calvinists". Although technically written at the end of last year, this post on an arminocalvinist specturm has had an enduring popularity.--I think when we come to the Arminian / Calvinist debate we must understand it is not simply a clear cut issue.  When I meet other … [Read more...]

Giving Spurgeon the last word on Arminianism and Calvinism

At least for now it is time to call time on my short series on Arminianism and Calvinism. I hope you have enjoyed reading it, as I have certainly enjoyed some of the reactions it led to.  I shared this quote a few years ago, and I thought it was an apt way to end: The system of truth is not one straight line, but two. No man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once.I am taught in one book to believe that what I sow I shall reap: I am taught … [Read more...]

How God used a murder to accomplish his purposes

This Jesus, delivered up according to ithe definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2:23–24). In our discussion about Calvinism and Arminianism perhaps one of the critical verses is Acts 2:23-24. In it we see both man's responsibility and God's sovereignty displayed. I thought I would share a couple of quotes from others on that verse:Chrysostom: "For though it was predetermined, still they were murderers."-Chrysostom in Philip S … [Read more...]

Incarnatio: Responds to the Arminocalvinist spectrum

After being very gracious in his introductions, Matt O'Reilly says: First, it is quite helpful to point out the differences (or spectrum of beliefs) within the larger Calvinist and Arminian groups.  There are things that Calvinists disagree on; the same is the case with Arminians as well.  Different people mean different things by these labels.  So, Adrian's taxonomy, which utilizes qualifiers like hard, moderate, or soft, is very helpful in that it provides nuance to differing views within each … [Read more...]