I'm off to North Georgia for the week, so I will leave this blog with thoughts from the last 4 articles in December's Tabletalk.
"The Story We Share" by J.D. Bridges
Anyone describing a square would give different answers, but to be correct, they would all have to mention its four equal sides and four perpendicular corners. In the same way, many people describe Christianity differently, but to describe it correctly, it must include the gospel: the birth, death, resurrection, and return of Jesus. It must speak of salvation by Christ alone through grace alone and faith alone. And seriously, it needs to believe the Bible like a child.
"Against the Law" by Mark Jones
Antinomianism is creeping into the church. It is a gross corruption of Reformed theology that teaches that since justification is by faith alone, then people do not have to work to be sanctified. Seriously people, if your life does not match Christ's more and more, you have not been justified no matter how much good theology you know. "A robust doctrine of the union with Christ provides the best antidote to antinomianism." As justified believers, we are united with Christ in the church, therefore, he will naturally train us to conform more to him as we leave behind our past lives of sin. In John 15, Christ is clear that if you love him, you keep his commandments.
Interview with Joel Beeke
This man makes me wish I had more time to study the puritan writings. The more I read about them, the more I feel like I'm a puritan. "God illuminated the Reformers to rediscover fundamental biblical truths about salvation and worship. The Puritans wedded vibrant spirituality to a rich, Bible-based theology." I so dream of helping lead people to not just know that Jesus saves, but to live their lives reflecting that.
I love Beeke's three misconceptions about Puritans. 1)They were legalists. Truth: they had detailed instructions on how to live well, but they gloried in Jesus's grace as their all-in-all. 2)They hunted witches. Truth: from 1692 to 1693, courts in Massachusetts did kill about 24 people accused of witchcraft. However, many Puritans wrote against their methods and helped bring a stop to these trials. 3)They were prudes. Truth: The forbade sex outside of marriage, but within marriage, it is a wonderful thing to be cherished. It cultivates their friendship and their romance. In fact, if people liked each other enough to marry, they encouraged them to marry quickly so that they would not fall to temptation.
"Is the Enemy of my Enemy Really my Friend?" by Al Mohler
It is true. We unite against many people to fight moral evils such as abortion, cheapening love through sex and gay marriage, and trying to defend traditional families. I will work alongside anyone to stop abortion and to see pregnancy as a gift, not a curse. To help people see their situations differently.
However, because of significant religious differences, I cannot consider myself to be a spiritual sister to some of these people. Some may support good morals. Some may even correctly believe in Christ's deity. However, because our definitions of the gospel are so different, we cannot come together until we are united under salvation that looks to Jesus and only Jesus. A salvation that does not seek restitution with God through penance or through a mediator knowing that Jesus is our only priest, mediator, and the only one that gave the perfect penance for us. Until then, I simply consider pro-life ministry as a ministry not just to unwed mothers or mothers who feel like it is a bad time to be pregnant. It is also a ministry to each other and a hope that Christ will lead us all to unity in him before long.