Recently in Faith Category
Sola scriptura: Christian Research Institute series on Roman Catholicism
An examination of the agreements and differences between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals. In Part 3, the authors show that the Bible does indeed teach Sola Scriptura, contrary to Catholic claims.
- Part 1: An Evangelical Appraisal of Contemporary Catholicism
- Part 2: An Evangelical Appraisal of Contemporary Catholicism
- Part 3: The Catholic‐Protestant Debate on Biblical Authority
- Part 4: The Catholic‐Protestant Debate on Papal Infallibility
- Part 5: The Catholic‐Protestant Debate on Justification
Credo House: Early Church Fathers on Sola Scriptura
Credo House: Six Myths about Sola Scriptura
Credo House: Five Views of Tradition's Role in the Christian Life
Credo House: Category archive on Roman Catholicism
Dr. Greg Bahnsen: Is Sola Scriptura a Protestant Concoction? A Biblical Defense of Sola Scriptura: Bahnsen also delves into the problems with the Roman assertion of oral tradition as a separate source of authority as well as the misinterpretation of the use of the word "tradition" in the New Testament.
"Gregg Allison's new book is good news to all who have long desired a reliable theological guide in dealing with Roman Catholicism. Based on a painstaking analysis of the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, it covers the all-embracing trajectory of Roman Catholic theology and practice. Instead of juxtaposing ephemeral impressions and disconnected data, the professor of Christian theology at Southern [Baptist Theological] Seminary in Louisville provides a theological framework that accounts for the complexity of the Roman Catholic system and its dynamic unity....
"Building on the "nature-grace interdependence" and the "Christ-Church interconnection," Allison helps the reader to make sense of both areas of agreements and disagreements while pointing to the hermeneutical grid set at the beginning. For example, the Catechism teaches a doctrine of "justification by faith." What the catechism means by "justification," though, is a synergistic work that is not forensic (legal) in nature but transformative and administered via the sacramental system of the Church and by taking into account one's own merits. The word is the same, but the theological meaning, confirmed by the devotional practices of Rome, strays far from the biblical understanding of justification. The same is true as far as all other key gospel terms are concerned."
Illustrator Josh Ray has produced a series of ten drawings called the Ink Well, currently on display at the Cafe on Broadway in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. "Each of the 10 pieces is inspired from a hymn, and the images themselves are created solely from the words of the hymn, handwritten in ink over and over again. The Image is meant to signify the meaning or the imagery behind each hymn." The background of each image is the sheet music of the song, and even the staves and the notes are revealed to be, on close examination, the words of the hymn. The hymns illustrated are "Amazing Grace," "In Christ Alone," "O for a Thousand Tongues," "I'll Fly Away," "Jesus Paid It All," "It Is Well with My Soul," "The Battle Belongs to the Lord," "All Creatures of Our God and King," and "Our God Is an Awesome God." Prints are available for purchase, starting as low as $35 plus shipping and handling for a 9" x 11" print.
Lewis discusses joy in a letter found tucked into a copy of Lewis's The Problem of Pain which was bought in a used bookshop.
"Real joy seems to me almost as unlike security or prosperity as it is unlike agony...."
"It jumps under one's ribs and tickles down one's back and makes one forget meals and keeps one (delightedly) sleepless o' nights. It shocks one awake when the other puts one to sleep. My private table is one second of joy is worth 12 hours of Pleasure. I think you really quite agree with me."
In a postscript, he added:
"Don't you know the disappointment when you expected joy from a piece of music and get only pleasure: Like finding Leah when you thought you'd married Rachel!"
"I think I can say from experience, from history, and from the Bible: Every Christian needs more spiritual food than one meal a week. That doesn't work physically; it doesn't work spiritually. Temptations are too relentless. Doubt is too frequent. Satan is too active. Tribulations are too heavy. Conflicts are too many. Emotions are too volatile. Perplexities are too difficult. Faith, hope, and love are too threatened, to think I can deal with these all week long simply from one word I got on Sunday. I can't do it. And I don't think anybody can."
Rosaria Butterfield writes that we need to look back to the past to find sound Christian counsel on indwelling sin and holy living.
"Worldview matters. And if we don't reach back before the 19th century, back to the Bible itself, the Westminster divines, and the Puritans, we will limp along, defeated. Yes, the Holy Spirit gives you a heart of flesh and the mind to understand and love the Lord and his Word. But without good reading practices even this redeemed heart grows flabby, weak, shaky, and ill. You cannot lose your salvation, but you can lose everything else.
"Enter John Owen. Thomas Watson. Richard Baxter. Thomas Brooks. Jeremiah Burroughs. William Gurnall. The Puritans. They didn't live in a world more pure than ours, but they helped create one that valued biblical literacy. Owen's work on indwelling sin is the most liberating balm to someone who feels owned by sexual sin. You are what (and how) you read. J. C. Ryle said it takes the whole Bible to make a whole Christian. Why does sin lurk in the minds of believers as a law, demanding to be obeyed? How do we have victory if sin's tentacles go so deep, if Satan knows our names and addresses? We stand on the ordinary means of grace: Scripture reading, prayer, worship, and the sacraments. We embrace the covenant of church membership for real accountability and community, knowing that left to our own devices we'll either be led astray or become a danger to those we love most. We read our Bibles daily and in great chunks. We surround ourselves with a great cloud of witnesses who don't fall prey to the same worldview snares we and our post-19th century cohorts do.
"In short, we honor God with our reading diligence. We honor God with our reading sacrifice. If you watch two hours of TV and surf the internet for three, what would happen if you abandoned these habits for reading the Bible and the Puritans? For real. Could the best solution to the sin that enslaves us be just that simple and difficult all at the same time? We create Christian communities that are safe places to struggle because we know sin is also "lurking at [our] door." God tells us that sin's "desire is for you, but you shall have mastery over it" (Gen. 4:7). Sin isn't a matter of knowing better, it isn't (only) a series of bad choices--and if it were, we wouldn't need a Savior, just need a new app on our iPhone."
Questions, worksheets, and activity ideas designed around William Bennett's The Book of Virtues
We are satisfied with trivialities and counterfeits when "exceeding joy" is promised to us. Five truths to remember when you're tempted to trade your morning devotions for a few more minutes of sleep: God is inviting me to exceeding joy. His word will strengthen my weak faith. His word will shine light on the darkness around me. When I pray, God will work. This is the one thing that can't be taken from me.
From The Gospel Coalition website: "As a pastor, there are certain things I hope the people at my church will never say they never heard. These are not necessarily the most important doctrines of the faith (though some are). Rather, these are the things we easily assume our people know, but often still miss." They include: "Being a Christian is more than going to church and being a good person." "We must be born again." "We need to develop a personal relationship with Christ." "Mature Christians develop lifelong habits of Bible reading and prayer." "Christians suffer." "God can be pleased with me." "Beware of false teachers." "There is one God in three Persons." "There are many people in the world who don't think Christianity is true and some of them are very nice and very smart." "There is a reason we worship the way we do."
Isaac Newton's catalog of his own sins from 1662, his expenses from 1666 and 1669, and notes on geometry.
Some of his transgressions: "Making a mousetrap on Thy day," "Contriving of the chimes on Thy day," "Squirting water on Thy day," "Having uncleane thoughts words and actions and dreamese," "Carelessly hearing and committing many sermons," "Setting my heart on money learning pleasure more than Thee," "Not living according to my belief," "Not turning nearer to Thee for my affections."
Some of his expenses: "ffor my degree to ye Colledg: £5 10s." "Making yt & turning my Bachelors Goune: £1 6d." "ffor oranges \1667/ for my sister: 4s. 2d."