Pastors Dare Not Become Enablers of Spiritual Milkoholics

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able (1 Corinthians 3:2)

Note the past tense verb, gave milk, referring to times in the past when Paul taught the Corinthians milk because they were not ready for meat and that was okay; but the poignant criticism is indeed, even now, you are not yet able. Even now, still, at this point they were not able, when in reality they should have been much more mature and able to think as spiritual men, feeding on the meat of the Word. Continue reading →

Decoding Calvinism: Does Unconditional Election Include a Forced Change, a Freely Chosen Change, or Both?

There are many examples of confusing language regarding man’s free exercise of faith in Calvinism. Lewis Sperry Chafer responds to Arminians’ rejection of the term “sovereign grace” and their charge that such coerces or annuls the human will by saying, “No step can be taken in the accomplishment of His sovereign purpose which will even tend to coerce the human volition. He does awaken the mind of man to spiritual sanity and brings before him the desirability of salvation through Christ. If by His power, God creates new visions of the reality of sin and of the blessedness of Christ as Savior and under this enlightenment men choose to be saved, their wills are not coerced nor are they deprived of the action of any part of their own beings. It is the unreasoned objection of Arminians that the human will is annulled by sovereign election.”[1] Continue reading →

Knowing God Deeply

True spiritual wisdom is to believe what God says above our human learning, wisdom, and thus pursue His wisdom so that we may truly be wise. The first thought that should come to our minds when someone brings something up about a topic is, what does the Bible say? We may not know, but we must not let a lack of specific knowledge cause us to fall back on human wisdom and thus foolishness. Moreover, we should be devoted to know the deep things God has revealed to us as well as the easily accessible truths of Scripture, lest we implicitly impugn God with having revealed a significant amount of extraneous information.

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10).

Think About IT: When a Christian is NOT a Christian

Being a Christian does not mean one is believed to be a Christian.

The most important thing is that one knows he is a Christian, and the second is that others know that. One may know he is a Christian because of Romans 10:9–10, but the world knows it by whether Christians love one another.

Christ did not give the world the right to determine whether someone is a Christian. He did give them the right to judge that someone who does not love the body of Christ is not a Christian.

There is no reason for the world to believe in the love of Christ for them when the recipients of Christ’s love are unloving toward each other.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” John 13:35.

The Quest of Faithful Shepherds

Maturing and equipping involves developing new thinking until we “bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5), and those thoughts are manifested in our speech, motivations, goals, ethics, etc. We continually work in order to transform spiritual infants into mature followers of Christ, thereby empowering them to have victory over the tyranny of the domineering proclivities of our fallen flesh. Maturing is the process of conforming every area of the believer’s being to the new life given at regeneration, which is righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). Continue reading →

Thoughts Regarding “Extensivism,” and Why I Chose the Term to Represent My Perspective on God’s Great Salvation Plan

I use the term Extensivism to encapsulate my soteriological (salvational) understanding. I gave considerable thought in choosing the term. Although only used by me (hence, the need to continuously define for others), it does seem to be free of negative connotations and appears to me to be a suitable parallel for discussing soteriology within this Calvinist/non-Calvinist theological milieu in which I live. That is, consistent Calvinism is soteriologically exclusive (limited salvific love, limited unconditional election, limited efficacious call, limited atonement, etc.); whereas, we who disagree with that exclusive approach do so because we believe the Scripture teaches an extensive soteriology. The term also permits me to avoid spending time defending the nuances of other non-Calvinist perspectives with whom I agree on many points. Continue reading →