Following yesterday’s Statement of Support from Al Mohler, Mark Dever, and Ligon Duncan, we have a new statement from D. A. Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor. This new statement, Why We Have Been Silent about the SGM Lawsuit, is similar to the earlier one but includes a few additional details and begins with a good reminder to churches on how to handle (and prevent) the abuse of children.
Posted on the Together for the Gospel Facebook page, the statement explains why the men have been silent regarding Mahaney and the allegations of wrongdoing leveled at him from several former Sovereign Grace Ministries members.
Below is the statement in full:
In my church, May has been a month of tragedy. Just a few weeks ago we laid to rest one of our dear saints. Then came Monday and word that one of our most faithful men died in an accident. Even as we grieved over this loss of one of our finest friends, we were shocked to see the devastation unfolding in Oklahoma.
What should be the Christian response to such things? Where is our faith in the face of disaster?
There is perhaps no better person than Job to help us answer this question. (I am grateful to John Piper for directing us to Job’s example in crisis.)
Few people in Scripture suffered as much as Job – either emotionally or physically. He lost everything, from his property to his health to his children. As someone who lost his children in the winds of a terrible storm, Job is able to participate in the pain of those parents who lost children when the tornado struck earlier this week.
A blesséd Wednesday to you! One of the great wonders of history is the fact that God forgives sinners through faith in Jesus Christ. That’s absolutely amazing! He doesn’t just forgive believers a little. He forgives completely! He forgives much because there is much for which we need forgiveness. Just think about the depth of your sin and then think of the depth of His forgiveness of your sin through Jesus. That’ll produce powerful praise out of you!
Today’s song is written with this very thought in mind. It’s called “Forgiven Much.” Continue reading Wednesday Is for Worship: “Forgiven Much”
It was the fictional David Banner who matter-of-factly stated, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” Anger was what triggered Banner’s transformation into the Incredible Hulk. Indeed, Dr. Banner, you are a bit hard to like when you’re angry!
Anger is a human emotion that every single person experiences. Some are more prone to externalize it by blowing up while others are more prone to internalize it by clamming up, but before I address how to handle anger biblically (I’ll do that in a subsequent post), it’s important to first understand what the Bible has to say about anger itself.
Continue reading Don’t Make Me Angry: The Bible’s Truth about Anger
My three part series in response to Dr. David Allen has come to an end. The posts were:
- Spiritual Death: Introduction
- Spiritual Death: Exegeting Ephesians
- Spiritual Death: A Response to David Allen
I noted in the posts that I was working off of notes provided by Norm Miller. Since then, SBC Today has begun their own three part series presenting Dr. Allen’s conference talk based on his own notes. Once that series is complete, I may come back and write a follow-up post if I feel there are any of my points that may need tweaking or perhaps something he says that merits additional response.
In the meantime, you can download my paper in its full, undivided glory: Spiritual Death: A Response to David Allen.
Responding to David Allen
Keep in mind that I am dealing with Norm’s notes rather than Allen’s own words, but I assume that Norm has presented a fair summary.
Norm says that Allen takes “spiritual ‘deadness’ [to be] metaphorical” and “Allen noted that spiritual death means primarily separation from God, not a total inability to respond to God.” Such a view of you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked significantly weakens Paul’s point. According to Allen, Paul is not saying we are corpses unable to move toward God; instead, we are simply in the wrong place but retain some mobility. Separation is a matter of geography. Allen makes this distinction between inability and separation because he, like many non-Calvinists, wishes to preserve some measure of fallen human ability. Fallen man retains the ability to respond to God. If we were to play a cosmic version of “Marco, Polo” with God, we retain the natural ability to seek out and follow the sound of his voice. Indeed, this is how many non-Calvinists see the process of salvation: we respond to the wooing and drawing of the Spirit by embracing God by faith. He gives the call, the offer, the woo, the summons; we respond by taking hold of him by faith; God then saves us. They are careful to affirm that the wooing of the Spirit is necessary, but so is the human response. The natural response from natural human ability is a necessary component in a non-Calvinist system of salvation.
Such a position stands in opposition to Paul’s point. In Ephesians 2:1-10, he does not attribute to man a single iota of movement toward God. When he speaks about man, the story is entirely negative. When he speaks about salvation, the work belongs entirely to God, even the faith with which we believe. Nothing comes from the humans being saved except for their sin.
When I was leading worship, one of my favorite things to do was to find songs that bridged the generations, songs that were a combination of new and old, contemporary and traditional. That effort has been made easier over the last seven or eight years as there has been a substantial movement in worship music to add some fresh flavor to old hymns. One such song is “I Will Sing of My Redeemer.”
(This post is the first main part of my response to David Allen. Part two will be posted tomorrow.)
A Light Exegesis of Ephesians 2:1-10
Paul opens the book of Ephesians with a resplendent description of God’s grace to us in Christ and the reward we receive as those who have been predestined to salvation by the grace of God (Ephesians 1:3-14). It is a glorious picture of the good things God has done for those he chose… before the foundation of the world. In Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul describes his prayer for the people of Ephesus: that they would grow in their knowledge of God and the good he has done for them. It ends with an anthem of Christological praise when Paul in verses 20-23 celebrates the power of the resurrected Christ and his authority over all creation, particularly his special headship over the church.
One of the great and tragic realities underlying the Bible’s explanation of the human condition is the depth of our fallenness. The human race is totally, radically depraved. This does not mean that each person is as bad as he could be, but Scripture lays out a clear picture of a race of men and women utterly unable (unwilling) to make any move toward God or act in any way that would be considered pleasing or morally praiseworthy in the sight of God.
Ephesians 2:1-10 is one of the many passages explaining our depravity. In Ephesians 2:1-2a, Paul chooses to use the language of death: And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked… From there, the story doesn’t get any better. Outside of Christ, humans are described as followers of the prince of the power of the air, sons of disobedience, those who live in the passions of our flesh and carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and by nature children of wrath. Again and again the hammer falls with heavy blows of condemnation for the fallen human heart.