What is an Evangelical?

Evangelist Billy Graham preaches one Sunday to more than 40,000 worshipers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (UCLA

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 … [Read more...]

Where Bob Roberts' life message and mine intersect

In a sermon from the series  The Christian's Duty in a Hostile World, John MacArthur connects two glorious truths: the centrality of Jesus' resurrection and that "faith cannot be removed or detached from the realm of real life." It is no great surprise to me that I enjoyed Bob's book so much,  or that he seems to be enjoying mine.  For while their subjects may seem disconnected at first glance, in reality they have everything to do with each other! The truth that lies behind Bob's view of … [Read more...]

Faith and Feelings Part Ten – Conversion is typically an emotional experience

Spurgeon argued yesterday that often feelings come before faith, (having previously denied it!).  In today's quote after carefully reminding us that not every conversion is a "typical" one he goes on to tell us how he feels the typical conversion occurs: Some men have the light of God; but they cannot tell when the light first came to them. Let none of you imagine that you are not converted because you do not know the hour when it occurred; otherwise, you would be as foolish as I should be if I … [Read more...]

Faith and Feelings Part Nine – Spurgeon suggests experience comes before knowledge after all

Today's quote from Spurgeon demonstrates that the man believed two points that many today would disagree with.  Firstly, he argues that intellectual assent to the gospel is insufficient for salvation, indeed that it may make you more worthy of damnation. Secondly, he seems to suggest that experience may well need to come first before faith. How many people do in fact say, "if I could just feel God, I would believe?" Finally he seems to believe that it is possible to have full assurance of faith … [Read more...]

Guest post: Sibbes on the New Creation

Guest post by Dave Bish. Terry Virgo argues persuasively, and with some controversy, that Christians are not sinners but saints. In this he takes seriously that the believer is a new creation. This is no innovative teaching. Puritan Richard Sibbes wrote in his sermon Josiah's Reformation: The Tender Heart“It is a supernatural disposition of a true child of God to have a tender, soft, and a melting heart.”Whereas he argues that naturally the heart is“a stony heart… say what you will to a … [Read more...]

When God Demands the Impossible

"Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” Ezekial 19:30-32In the above verse we see a classic example of God commanding us to do something we simply cannot. When I read this recently everything inside me yelled out "but … [Read more...]

Piper What the New Birth Does For Us

John Piper is a great preacher—not just to listen to, but also to watch. I find God stirring my heart through him every time I play one of his videos. It also reminds me of what I'm aiming for when I preach, which is "logic on fire." I pray that God will draw many into his purposes in the way he has drawn John Piper. Today I want to highlight one of the sermons in his series on the new birth - Why Do We Need To Be Born Again? (Part 2). Here is an excerpt of this excellent sermon, which serves … [Read more...]

John Piper's Most Important Book – Finally Alive

“Have I been born again?" is not a question to be answered hastily. In John Piper's new book, Finally Alive, expect to be challenged. Piper strips away our complacency, arguing that many people falsely believe they are Christians. He begins by arguing that many who claim to be "born again" today are actually not, and that statistics demonstrating that so-called born again Christians are morally indistinguishable from unbelievers only demonstrate that many who think they have been regenerated … [Read more...]

VIDEO SERMON by Tope Koleoso on Sin

Over at the Jubilee Church London website we have introduced a new feature - video sermons. You can watch the first part of a very helpful sermon by my pastor right here, then watch the other parts, or download the video or audio files.Many people found this a helpful sermon when it was preached, and Tope challenged each of us to consider whether we are truly saved or not. He quoted material from John Piper about regeneration and made the point that we cannot simply live as we choose, sinning … [Read more...]

MLJ MONDAY – The Vital Place of the New Birth

I keep coming back to the subject of regeneration. I'm convinced that there is nothing more important for us to keep considering than this—not least because it enables us to be sure that we are saved ourselves, but also because of the effects a right understanding of this will have on us. I was therefore thrilled to find the following quote from the Doctor in a similar vein. We do not talk enough about this. What, then, is the new creation? What is the new man? What is this new thing that God … [Read more...]