Reaffirming Sola Scriptura

,

As Philip Schaff indicated, confessions and creeds hold no absolute authority for Protestants. Their authority is only an ad hoc, ecclesial, and localized standard for the sake of unity in fellowship and consistency of witness either in a denomination or a local assembly of believers. They can be amended or expanded in light of evidence…



Hymns and God’s Law as a Tutor to Christ

,

The Law of God is of great value. For the Christian it is a reflection of God’s righteousness, a rule of life that reveals God’s will, and a reminder of our need for redemption. When we view God through the prism of His Law it reflects His glory and splendor. The Law is “holy, righteous…



Elements of a Christ-Centered Marriage

,

Marriage is hard work. It’s no forty or fifty hour work week but 168 hours each week, 365 days each year, “till death do us part.” There are no days off or vacation or sick leave. But hard work doesn’t mean misery or joylessness or drudgery. By hard work, I mean that marriage demands that…



Five Benefits of Regular Family Worship

,

Over the years I have asked groups of Christian adults how many of them grew up in homes where there was regular family worship. Early on it was rare to find people (typically of my generation or older) who answered affirmatively. In recent years the number of positive responses has increased dramatically—almost exclusively with younger…

 

How the Bible Relates to Man-Made Creeds

,

The pivotal question of how one concedes authoritative force to a creedal, or confessional, proposition holds paramount importance in their use in pedagogical and disciplinary ways. If churches, associations, or denominations as a whole are to use their creeds as instruments of ordination, church instruction, and discipline, then some method of demonstrating the biblical character…



Hymns and Perseverance of the Saints

,

Hymns are a treasure trove of doctrinal truth. In the past several posts we have surveyed the rich connection between Hymns and Doctrines. Thus far we have covered the depravity of man, the doctrine of election, Christ’s atonement, and irresistible grace. Now we come to perseverance of the saints. This doctrine consists of two important…



How to Diagnose and Treat Pastoral Authoritarianism

,

Suffixes have a way of distinguishing a word from its root, such as –ian. An electrician does not personally hold an electrical charge but he does work with electricity. A Washingtonian may not have the last name Washington but she does live or work in the nation’s capitol. One source states that the –ian ending…



Thoughts on Christian Liberty

,

With the resurgence of reformed theology has come a rediscovery of the doctrine of Christian liberty. This doctrine is important for spiritual growth and health because, as Paul succinctly put it in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” There…



He Who Confesses and He Who Does Not Confess: John’s Confession of Faith

,

The substantial theological differences that began to emerge in the days of the apostles caused them to develop short, pithy confessional statements that summarized vital elements of the apostolic teaching. These served as a dividing point between teachers of truth and teachers of error. The apostle John found some teachers infiltrating the church who taught…