Are You Still A Sinner?

One of my commentators didn't like my last post when I said that God really does change us when we become a Christian. I am not going to get into the philosophical arguments he does. As O don't think the Bible All I can say is that when God declares someone to be righteous, in some mysterious way he makes us righteous.I remember well what Terry Virgo who is one of my theological heroes once said in a comment I read in one of his books. He began a sentance as follows - "When I was a … [Read more...]

Is the Cross a Legal Fiction? No, Because the Resurrection Changes Us

Many people criticize Penal Subsitutionary Atonement on the basis that it makes justification into a legal fiction. I suppose such a criticism might be valid if a simplistic explanation of PSA was all that happened because of the cross. We have already seen that is not the case. But, more than that we must not think that nothing actually happens to us at conversion. No, we are united with Christ and a real change happens to us — we are born again. This rebirth is explictly linked to the r … [Read more...]

Ruth Graham RIP

The much beloved wife of Billy Graham has died. There is lots of coverage on the CT BlogJustin Taylor says it well when he writes "I join others around the world in thanking God for a life well lived in quiet, unashamed, faithful service to the Lord and his kingdom."I am glad for the work of this couple who have represented Jesus well to the whole world for decades. I wonder if we will ever see their like again. It is astonishing to think of all that they did, and of the selfless way Ruth … [Read more...]

ATONEMENT – Who is Preaching Another Gospel?

My interview with the authors of pierced for our transgressions seems to have created something of a stir. The comments section shows two very distinct reactions to the way I chose to close the interview. When one uses google blogsearch to track the way others have written about it on their own blogs a similar picture emerges.Now, what is interesting to me is the strong reaction to me citing Paul's curse on those who preach another gospel to him. I did not curse anybody myself, and have no … [Read more...]

Amazing Grace on a Wedding Day

Almost twelve years ago we finished our wedding service with the hymn, "Amazing Grace." It is probably the best hymn ever written in my humble opinion — not least because it calls us "wretches"!We sang the hymn accompanied only by the same bagpipes that had welcomed Andrée in to the tune, "My Bonnie is a NutBrown Maiden." I never found out whether it was deliberate or not, but the piper stopped playing at the end of the penultimate verse. As we sang "When we've been there ... " with no in … [Read more...]

Talking to Children About Race

Over at Pure Church there is a good article about how we should talk to children about race. It is well worth a read. I have included the headlines here:Talk with your children about ethnicity (the nations) rather than "race."Talk about ethnicity in a way that magnifies the power and wisdom of God. We should be amazed more often than we are (excuse me for projecting my dullness onto you!) at the sheer power and wisdom of God who can create "difference" and "same" in His creation ...Talk about … [Read more...]

Pray for John Piper as He Finishes His Justification Book

There is nothing more important to our faith than justification. Piper via Driscoll is asking for prayer as he finishes his work next week, which will critically examine N. T. Wright's perspective on justification. We need this book, so get praying! I will let Driscoll tell the story. (The rest of his post about the Gospel Coalition is interesting, too.)The day was very encouraging, and ended with Dr. John Piper graciously allowing me to hang out in his room for a bit with Justin Taylor and … [Read more...]

Humility in All the Wrong Places

A dear friend of mine sent me this quote from G. K. Chesterton concerning what he calls the "dislocation of humility.""What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to … [Read more...]

John Piper Friday – Christ's Obedient Life and Death Entwined

In an article posted just this week, John Piper writes about how the cross has efficacy because Jesus lived an obedient life. In the debates about the atonement, some people criticise us for over-emphasising the cross at the expense of the incarnation or resurrection. I have been arguing in my series on the resurrection that the cross and resurrection are an inseparable unit. Here Piper argues that the cross and Jesus’ obedience as a man throughout his life are also inseparableIf you put these i … [Read more...]

Why Do We All Like Jesus?

Mark Lauterbach (affectionately known as "Gandalf") is at it again with another thought provoking post: A number of years ago we decided not to ask people if they were interested in the Bible, but to ask if they were interested in learning more about Jesus. In the times we have tried this direction, we find most people are interested in Jesus, for whatever reasons. They think he is wonderful.But he is wonderful in a way that makes no sense. NOTHING we think of as important or crucial to being a … [Read more...]