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What I Read Online – 11/25/2012 (a.m.)

25 Nov
    • Finally, on a personal note (and this is not a shot at Trevin Wax but rather at an apparent current trend): perhaps I live in a very different church world to the rest of American Calvinistic evangelicalism — that would not surprise me at all — but in the last few months we have had the Puritans whacked for slavery (and I still cannot name a single Westminster Divine who owned a slave – though I can name a few who, in 1662, lost everything through their stand for the truth) and now for introspection.  Yet is it really the case that uncritical appropriation of the Puritans is the, or even a, pressing problem for the church today? Is legalistic introspection really crippling the church? Are there no other, more threatening problems?  Not weakness on Trinitarianism?  Not books advocating sodomy in marriage? Not the new antinomianism?  Not even new Calvinists who are happy to wear sneakers and buy computers made by slave labour in the Majority World?   The last twelve months seem to have thrown up a few more likely candidates for pressing ecclesiastical problems than John Owen, John Bunyan, and Uncle Tom Goodwin and all.
    • Here there is a clear and balanced statement about the nature and foundation of the assurance of salvation, because the root of saving faith always produces in its season the fruit of good works. One of the evidences that we are in Christ is that, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we become more like Christ. If there is no fruit in the life – and, of course, that statement itself needs to be explained and qualified – then we have no grounds for concluding that a man is walking with God. Healthy saints are holy saints, not forgetting that the grounds on which their good deeds are accepted in the sight of God remains their relationship with his beloved Son.
    • John Owen – a Puritan, you know – somewhere says that it is the trouble of the preacher that when the terrors of the law are proclaimed, they too often seem to wash over those who ought to tremble under them while those who have no cause to fear are deeply troubled; by the same token, when the preacher ministers comforts to believers they are swiftly embraced by those who have no right to them and rejected by the very saints who most need them, as outside their entitlement. This is the battle that every shepherd of the sheep faces: to explain and apply the truth with that proper discrimination that brings needful truth to bear on needy souls, with prayer that the Holy Spirit will so make it plain as to accomplish the purposes of almighty God in his proper time.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 25/11/2012 in Current Issues

 

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