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Topic Archives: Theology

Church growth experts tell us that Christmas Eve surpasses Easter as the time when people are most likely to go to church. It’s a recent development but should not be surprising. Religious practices have caught up to cultural preferences. Santa Claus has always won out over the Easter Bunny. It’s an important piece of information […]

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Date January 20, 2009
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Incorporating the Law into the gospel presentation does many things. It primarily shows the sinner that he is a criminal, and that God is his judge. The Law (in the hand of the Holy Spirit) stops his mouth and leaves him guilty before God (see Romans 3:19-20). It reveals that he deserves nothing but judgement […]

Category Articles
Date January 13, 2009
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John Calvin is thought of, principally, as a theologian. Of course, he was that. But, as Andrew W. Blackwood once told me, in his day he was first of all considered a preacher. Too few of his sermons have been preserved.1 English translations are mainly in 16th century English!2 Nevertheless, the more I read them, […]

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Date January 9, 2009
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Abraham was brought up in the city of Ur, not far from the River Euphrates, in what is now southern Iraq. It was presumably very much a heathen environment. Yet even there the Lord appeared to him and called him ‘to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance’ (Heb. […]

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Date December 24, 2008
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Be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) In July, 1997 my wife and I had the privilege of taking tea with Lord and Lady Catherwood in Cambridge, England. Lady Catherwood is the daughter of my favourite preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who so ably preached the doctrines of grace, beginning in Aberavon, Wales in 1927 and […]

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Category Articles
Date December 22, 2008
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John Calvin was not a man who would readily draw attention to himself. When he gave some details of his early life in the preface to his Commentary on the Psalms, his purpose was to draw attention to God’s activity. His father had intended him for the priesthood but, says Calvin, God, by the secret […]

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Date December 22, 2008
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For the past year or so I have been making my way slowly through the reading of a series of sermons preached on Hebrews 11 by the Puritan, Thomas Manton. The book containing these sermons is titled By Faith and it is published by The Banner of Truth Trust1. Most recently I have been reading […]

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Date December 16, 2008
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Until the age of twenty-six I knew nothing of vital religion, although I lived an outwardly religious, moral and respectable life . . . Brought up under sacramental teaching, I was totally in the dark concerning the grace of God, although . . . I realize that he was leading me all the time. To […]

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Date December 5, 2008
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It is sometimes profitable to trace the use of one word in the Bible – there is much to learn from this method of study, it often brings new thoughts to light. Let us consider the word ‘Exceeding’. When one begins to trace the word in Scripture we soon realise that there is nothing sparing […]

Category Articles
Date December 5, 2008
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Be imitators of God . . . walk in love. (Ephesians 5:1) Forty-five per cent of people living in America claim to have had a born again experience, but the born again people have virtually the same levels of divorce, adultery, fornication and use of pornography as the rest of the population. Evangelicals are those […]

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Category Articles
Date November 28, 2008
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Christianity is the religion of the Gospel. The Gospel was defined by William Tyndale, the Bible translator, as ‘good merry, glad and joyful tidings, that maketh a man’s heart glad, and maketh him to dance and sing and leap for joy’. ‘Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, evermore his praises sing’, we might add. But as time […]

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Category Articles
Date November 28, 2008
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‘All have sinned’, Paul reminds us (Rom. 6:23). Because of our fall in Adam, we are all coming short of the glory of God; there is never a moment in our lives when we meet God’s demands for perfect obedience to his law. While we remain in a state of nature, our sin leaves us […]

Category Articles
Date October 31, 2008
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The author views the Old Testament Book of Jonah ‘not as a book about a great fish’ (seriously, does anybody?), but about God and one man in particular. He sees it as a piece of biography. That poses a stumbling block for this reviewer, who reads Jonah as humorous fiction. Ferguson finally uses the word […]

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Category Book Reviews
Date October 14, 2008
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Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame. (Revelation 16:15) Midori Ito, the great Japanese figure skater, who was favoured to win the gold medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics […]

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Category Articles
Date October 14, 2008
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When I was a young minister, a man who never attended church (though formally a member) died unexpectedly. Some time later I was visiting with one of his sons and the son’s wife. During our conversation the young man said to me, ‘My Daddy believed that the Second Coming was near and would occur, if […]

Category Articles
Date October 10, 2008
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So it’s broken and won’t be working until next spring at the earliest. First there was ‘a glitch with one of the 30-tonne transformers which caused an initial delay of a few days’, then ‘a quench leaked a tonne of helium coolant into one of the tunnels, forcing a further shutdown while repairs could be […]

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Category Articles
Date October 10, 2008
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John the Baptist, incarcerated in the prison of Machaerus east of the Dead Sea, sent some of his disciples to Jesus with a question, which Luke reports twice. So it must be a question to which Luke wants to draw our attention. It is the most momentous question that should exercise minds now as it […]

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Category Articles
Date October 7, 2008
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The child in the manger in Bethlehem, for whom there was no room in the inn, may have seemed powerless, but he was the Son of God. The angel had told Mary, his mother: ‘That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God’ (Luke 1:35). Thus, while he […]

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Date October 3, 2008
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From the ‘one flesh’ teaching about marriage (Eph. 5:22-33) Paul draws out the wonder and the glory of Christ’s relationship with the church. In verse 28 Paul is exhorting husbands to love their own wives as they love their own bodies. It would hardly please a wife to hear her husband say that he loves […]

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Category Articles
Date October 3, 2008
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The Westminster Confession of Faith, insisting that Scripture is sufficient in our day, holds that ‘those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people’ have ‘now ceased’ (1.1). We who adhere to that doctrine are thus often called ‘cessationists.’ That label carries a lot of baggage. By itself, it’s negative. In current debates […]

Category Articles
Date September 30, 2008
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The word reveal means ‘to uncover.’ Suppose there is a plate of cookies on the table covered by a towel. When the towel is removed, then you can see what’s there – a plate and cookies. You see what you could not see before. When we use the word revelation in theology, we are talking […]

Category Articles
Date September 26, 2008
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David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her. (2 Samuel 11:4) Recently a former Presidential candidate admitted to an adulterous affair against his wife who has been diagnosed with an incurable cancer. The National Inquirer broke the story last October but the candidate vehemently dismissed the story, […]

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Category Articles
Date September 26, 2008
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It was good to be one of around 150 present at the John Owen Centre, Finchley, to hear this year’s Dr Lloyd-Jones memorial lecture by Philip Eveson on Gospel and Creation – the significance of a theology of creation for preaching. A very full paper, it considered what a theology of creation should include (making […]

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Category Articles
Date September 23, 2008
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The Son of God came into the world to do the will of God. He did nothing but the will of God. He did all the will of God. His life perfectly conformed to God’s will. Those who follow him will want to know the will of God, and they will want to know it […]

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Date September 18, 2008
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The sound of the gospel trumpet was first heard in the Garden of Eden when it fell on the ears of our first parents, who by then had lost that communion with God which they had previously enjoyed. With the entrance of sin into the world, they now were to face up to the reality […]

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Category Articles
Date September 16, 2008
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