Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What To Preach To Yourself Every Day

A great quote from Tullian Tchividjian
I used to think that growing as a Christian meant I had to somehow go out and obtain the qualities and attitudes I was lacking. To really mature, I needed to find a way to get more joy, more patience, more faithfulness, and so on.

Then I came to the shattering realization that this isn’t what the Bible teaches, and it isn’t the gospel. What the Bible teaches is that we mature as we come to a greater realization of what we already have in Christ. The gospel, in fact, transforms us precisely because it’s not itself a message about our internal transformation, but Christ’s external substitution. We desperately need an Advocate, Mediator, and Friend. But what we need most is a Substitute. Someone who has done for us and secured for us what we could never do and secure for ourselves.
The hard work of Christian growth, therefore, is to think less of me and my performance and more of Jesus and his performance for me. Ironically, when we focus mostly on our need to get better we actually get worse. We become neurotic and self-absorbed. Preoccupation with my effort over God’s effort for me makes me increasingly self-centered and morbidly introspective.

Key sentence from Elyse Fitzpatrick, whom Tullian quotes: "If we fail to remember our justification, redemption, and reconciliation, we’ll struggle in our sanctification."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wise Words from Charles Simeon

there is not a decided Calvinist or Arminian in the world who equally approves of the whole of Scripture . . . who, if he had been in the company of St. Paul whilst he was writing his Epistles, would not have recommended him to alter one or other of his expressions.

But the author [Simeon himself] would not wish one of them altered; he finds as much satisfaction in one class of passages as another; and employs the one, he believes, as freely as the other. Where the inspired Writers speak in unqualified terms, he thinks himself at liberty to do the same; judging that they needed no instruction from him how to propagate the truth. He is content to sit as a learner at the feet of the holy Apostles and has no ambition to teach them how they ought to have spoken.

Cited in H.C.G. Moule, Charles Simeon (London: InterVarsity, 1948), 79.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Calvinist versus Arminian

The Calvinist says something like, "God's grace is irresistible and His
calling effectual."

The Arminian translates that as, "So, you believe in a God who zaps people
against their will and forces them to believe in Jesus? You think that we are
robots and that God has no regard for what a person really wants."

Someone who calls herself Mrs Webfoot posted this on the Yahoo Theology list.

I think it is well said, but I also wonder if an Arminian could give us a rejoinder on how Calvinists caricature their point of view.