What’s on your dining table right now? Is it hidden under all kinds of random stuff like mine is? Our dining table often becomes a catch-all table. At dinner, my poor husband tries to eat without knocking over the boxes with his elbow. My son launches his food, hitting the papers in the middle. Bills go missing under the jacket and where on earth did my pen go? This table is made for feasting, but often it’s too cluttered for its intended use.
Temples Cluttered with Sin
Our hearts are often like my table—made to feast on the Lord, yet cluttered with sin. God created us to worship him, but we pile on the tables of our hearts things like envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, lust, greed. We ignore them, trying to pretend they aren’t there because dealing with them seems too overwhelming. Within our bodies resides the Holy Spirit, and yet we forget our bodies are his temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). …
In the ripple effects of the increasingly popular trend of “deconstruction,” we find a deconstruction within a deconstruction. Are you confused yet? Me too. What I’m referring to is those who are deconstructing from reformed theology. They’re sick of the arrogance and the biting comments and the aggressive twitter fights (Who isn’t?). So they decide it’s just not for them. In fact, it’s better to have no labels, no boxes, no theological camps in which we place ourselves.
The problem is not that people are shifting their views on reformed theology. We don’t have to agree with the doctrines of grace or covenant theology to be Bible-believing Christians who love Jesus. The problem is that often in our fight against something that’s wrong, we tend to do the very thing we’re pushing against.
A New Enlightenment
I recently skimmed the comments on a post about leaving reformed theology and was taken aback.…
I recently found an old journal from High School while packing up some things. Lime green with the words “It’s all about me” on the front—it was pretty telling of the state of my heart as a teenager. You should have seen the inside though. Actually, I’d rather you not. It’s bad. I’m not just talking about the (obviously really good) songs I wrote. Sadly, there are worse things written in there than lyrics like, “my tears you’ll taste.”
Anyway, the journal told the story of a girl who was overflowing with idols. One who craved to be understood and known. Her happiness rose and fell based on her relationship status. She’d experienced more trauma in her childhood than most people experience in a lifetime but tragically sought refuge in everything except God.
She was me. And I was her. And yet, praise be to God for the “was”—for transformation and death to life (Ephesians 2).…
I’ve been filling my brain with a lot of World War II novels, documentaries, and movies. Probably a good idea for someone often tempted to lie awake at night making up scary scenarios in her mind. But alas, here we are.
I tend to internalize sad stories, pondering the pain of experiencing the same circumstances of others. Empathy comes easily to me, usually for the good of others but sometimes to my demise. Picture me sobbing as I tell my husband of how awful it would be if such and such happened and begging him to never die. Then picture my husband laughing at me in my ridiculousness. But seriously, what would I do if I only had a piece of bread to feed my child? How tragic would it be to see my husband and son killed and then face sudden death myself? What if we were bombed and panic ensued? …
One evening at Bible study a few years ago, a comment was made that immediately sent me into a spiral of questioning my salvation. I drove home with fearful thoughts swirling in my head. When I finally arrived, I knelt down beside my bed and wept before the Lord. What if I’m not a true believer? I wondered.
Assurance of salvation is something most Christians have struggled with at some point. Am I truly saved or am I just fooling myself? Will I spend my whole life thinking I’m fine only to be one of the people Jesus declares he never knew (Matthew 7:21-23)?
These types of questions make anxiety pulse through our hearts. Our sin lies before us and we worry if that angry thought or this sinful action could be a result of a heart not yet saved. Soon, we find ourselves looking so inwardly that despair is our closest companion.…
This article is part of the series on Lies People Believe About Reformed Theology.
Lie #3: Reformed Theology Teaches that God’s power is Limited
Limited Atonement. Has there been a more misleading term? Doubt it. A misunderstanding of this doctrine is one of the biggest reasons people reject the doctrines of election found within Reformed Theology.
Not to mess up the TULIP acronym, but I prefer the term used by the late R.C. Sproul: Definite Atonement.
Limited or Definite Atonement doesnot teach that Jesus’ death on the cross is limited in power, for it is sufficient to save all. Instead, it teaches that he died exclusively for his sheep, just as we find in scripture.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:14-15 ESV)
The sheep he speaks of are those the Father has given to him to save. …