When Do You Leave a Church?

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It is the conversation with church members every pastor dreads but inevitably comes to every man who has shepherded a local flock: “Pastor, we need to meet with you and discuss our future at the church. We have been praying about transferring our membership to another church.” Naturally, you ask the inevitable question, “Why?” The…

 

Perseverance of the Saints: An Essential Doctrine?

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I grew skeptical when he called it “an offer you can’t refuse.” Either this man was hiding something about the house he was trying to sell me or his sales technique was deeply influenced by the Godfather movies. The “deal” was a dirt-cheap price on a house in the best part of town in Louisville,…

 

Is Calvin Guilty of the Popular Charges Against Him?

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Those who hold to what is popularly called Calvinism or Reformed theology have heard the critiques until they could practically recite them from the midst of a comatose state: “Calvinists cannot consistently so evangelism,” or “Calvinists make humans into robots,” or “Calvinists cannot call all people everywhere to repent and believe the Gospel.” These barbs…

 

Required reading for this long, cold winter: From Heaven He Came and Sought Her

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I was having a theological discussion about the extent of the atonement with a couple of men in my church a few days back—the dialogue was gentlemanly in tone—when one of them said: “There’s just no real defense of particular atonement.” (Like many contemporary reformed pastors, I prefer particular atonement to “limited atonement” for both…