Humility and the Bible

Bobby Grow recently put me on to a book by John Webster called Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch, and I’m much obliged to him for the lead. The book has many virtues. One I very much appreciate is Webster’s view that a person’s moral alignment with the Bible message is critical to being able to …

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Lost Love

Jesus said that a sign of his nearing return would include an increase in lawlessness with the result that “the love of many will grow cold” [Matt. 24:12]. It’s not that a loss of love for God is only found in the end times. The problem was also cited in Ephesus where, although true doctrine …

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A key bit of jargon

Let me offer a nice bit of theo-jargon here—“anthropopathism”—for anyone who doesn’t already know the term. I’ll then comment on it and invite any responses. An anthropopathism is the emotional and less-well-known cousin of anthropomorphism. The latter term refers to human descriptions of God that use bodily terms—as in the Father having arms or legs …

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Faith, Love, & Works

What did Paul mean when he wrote that Israel “did not pursue [righteousness] by faith, but as if it were based on works” (Romans 9:32)? In asking this I’m not trying to chime in on the long-running debate among New Testament scholars—something I haven’t tracked closely. Rather let us consider how Paul’s affective portrayal of …

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Privatio

Let me return to one of my drumbeat issues: sin. Augustine’s fifth century debate with Pelagius had much to do with defining sin as moral privation (Latin “privatio”): an absence of righteousness in human conduct. Let me offer a snapshot of what Augustine was saying and then invite comments from readers. For the full post …

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Corruption

Pam, who attends Good Shepherd, sent me an email after I preached this morning. She highlighted Ephesians 4:22, that we are “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on …

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