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Posts Tagged ‘Reformed’

Note: This is a guest post since presently I am overseas.  This is by Josh Niemi.  He is the author of Expository Parenting and his website can be found here.  He also tweets.  If you have thoughts and questions, feel free to comment and when he has time he will respond.  You might want to think about getting his book!

The Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century left us with a vital repository of recovered truth, not the least of which are the Five Solas. From the Latin word sola, meaning “alone,” these foundational principles held by Protestants form a framework for sound doctrine and practice in the Christian life. In contrast to Roman Catholicism, Christianity teaches the following truths, as summarized by the Five Solas:

  1. Sola Gratia: Salvation is by grace alone (not by merit)
  2. Sola Fide: Salvation is through faith alone (not including works)
  3. Solus Christus: Salvation is in Christ alone (not in any other mediator)
  4. Soli Deo Gloria: Salvation is to the glory of God alone (not to the glory of man)
  5. Sola Scriptura: Salvation is according to Scripture alone (not according to tradition)

Although these solas were not systematized as such until the twentieth century, they were nonetheless the convictions held by the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformers as they recognized the gross spiritual abuses within the Roman Catholic Church. And the legacy of these commitments remains with us today as Protestant Christians. Those with a discerning eye recognize that these five solas continue to provide spiritual safety from the Roman Catholic Church (which persists in the same theological heresies), as well as new and evolving threats. At the same time, these five solas continue to provide spiritual guidance.

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Note: This is a guest post.  This is by Dan Carwright.  He’s been a brother who has been iron sharpening iron with us on here and social media for years.  His blog can be found here.  He also tweets.

I saw that question on a Facebook post a couple of weeks ago, connected to the recently released Bethel Music song “Reckless Love”, written by Cory Asbury. Apparently it hit the top of some Christian music charts but has also garnered quite a bit of dialogue, some of which is helpful helpful and some decidedly not so much.

Nevertheless, the above question is quite valid and deserving of discussion, at least when examined in light of what scripture teaches us about the nature of God’s love.

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I hope this makes sense.

I have just completed the first week of my trip.  Things went very well.  Many of the people were really hungry.  It’s always good to see people really want to grow and are joyful about it.  It should be a good example for all of us.  It was a really good opportunity to practice my foreign language skill here although of course the deep words about the Father and Sun is something I still can’t communicate or understand when I hear it.  Hence I need translators.  Throughout the week there were three that helped me.  They took time out of their busy life in a country where everyone have to work so hard to survive in order to translate.  One was a couple whose wife did most of the translations and she is probably the best translator I’ve ever had even compared to other countries I have been to.  I met them three years ago when I spoke last minute here in an English class but back then the wife didn’t make a decision to receive the Sun yet although the husband did.  But now three years later here they are helping me with transferring with what I said to another language even though the wife is five month pregnant.  Think about it:  The couple has grown so much in such a short time that they are translating for me truths that are often heard in graduate school for those who attend if they have the calling.  Again it is incredible how people grow here and they should be an example for us back home.  We should learn from their example with their commitment to learn and to serve even though it comes at a persona cost.  The people that receive what was translated have also grown and told me they were very grateful and heard things they never heard of before.  Every night after everything is done I talk to the guy I’m staying with; he is an intern that has been recognized by others as having the calling and we talk late into the night.  As usual in my travels overseas I have a hard time sleeping and get up before 6 in the morning so I review my notes and walk over to speak about the Sun.  Thanks to all those who were making requests on my behalf back home.

In a few hours I will be traveling to another location far away.  I have never been to this next location and look forward to my traveling adventures.  I’m hoping I have strength, wisdom, safety and ability to communicate well.  I also hope that I can blend in well without attracting attention since my ability to speak the language is not as good and I have an American accents and a limited vocabulary.  Sometimes I get nervous with my language skill with outsiders especially when they ask me questions!

I don’t know whether I will have internet access or whether the internet allows me to access outside websites in my next location.  Of course I will also be busy during the week.  See you when I see you!

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(Note: This is a guest post written by Alf.  I am currently away and I am thankful for Alf for this guest post.  If you have thoughts and questions, feel free to comment and when he has time he will respond.  He blogs here and here and tweets here.)

If you were going to spend a year alone on a desert island, and you could take only one book (along with the Bible) with you – what would it be? I’m sure many have contemplated this conundrum. For example, one Reformed Scholar (Derek Thomas) from Banner of Truth regards John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress as his most important book, second to the Bible

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Note: This is a guest post since I am currently away.  This is by Micah.  If you have thoughts and questions, feel free to comment and when he has time he will respond. His blog can be found here.  He also tweets

If you are truly Calvinistic, you’ve heard the popular passage from Isaiah 64:6, “And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.” It is a passage frequently quoted to kill the monster of works righteousness and legalistic salvation, a monster that tends to pop its head out in religious circles. And rightly so, God does not take notice of the deeds of the man whose heart has not been cleansed by Christ and who has no love for Him.

Though this teaching is true, it may lead some Christians to wonder if God could ever be pleased. The war against the flesh is real, and sometimes believers can wallow in defeat and in doubt, even though they are saved. They ask, “Could God ever be happy with my life?” Christians get stuck in this kind of discouragement during seasons of weakness and sin struggles so they search for a way out.

Thankfully, Scripture has examples of men who, as sinners, displayed a type of obedience that truly and genuinely pleased God. It showed that God’s people are capable by His grace to exhibit real obedience to God without accomplishing perfect obedience. Since Christ was the only perfectly obedient man to ever live, we’re not required to be perfectly obedient. Nevertheless, our new life in Christ demands we strive for holiness and express the good works we were predestined to do.

This blog assumes that you are a Christian, not trusting in works for your salvation, but saved and washed by the blood of Christ. With that said, here are a few examples to encourage you in your walk with the Lord. They are instances of God’s people who were imperfect yet still lived a life pleasing unto God.

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(Note: Carey Bryant is kicking off our marathon of guest posts!  If you have thoughts and questions, feel free to comment and when he has time he will respond.  His blog can be found here.   He also tweets.)

Every Christian is a theologian; you are either a good one or a bad one!

Being a good theologian is not just about knowing what the Bible teaches. Good theologians also allow their theology to shape their relationship with God and their character.

And like anything else, theology has its dangers. When I was earning my Biblical Studies degree in college, there were three particular dangers that I struggled with. Thankfully, I also discovered ways to fight against them!

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By the time you read this I’m already heading overseas.

Pray for strength, God’s Word to speak and wisdom and safety.  To be frank I’m kind of anxious with this trip.

The few weeks we will be having guest posts with those who are looking forward to interacting with your comments, questions and thoughts!  Be godly with them though =)

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