Some stimulating insights from Oliver O’Donovan

I found many profound and stimulating statements in this brief interview with Oliver Donovan, one of the greatest minds and hearts at work in Christian ethics in our time. I particularly enjoyed some comments on his use of other scholars. Here are a few to ponder:   I often feel that biblical studies get too close to the text actually to read it. But we need them, and owe an incalculable debt to them for their most important … Continue reading

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Our hope as “citizens of heaven”

Jesus taught us to pray that God’s kingdom would come and God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. But, nonetheless, many Christians still think of heaven as primarily out there where God lives and think that our great hope for the future is that we will leave this crumby world and go to heaven. That was certainly the thought generated in my mind by most of what I was taught about … Continue reading

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Preston Sprinkle on the nature of hell

Preston Sprinkle has now concluded a series of 4 blog posts on the nature of eternal punishment/hell. His final post sums up his present stance: he is pausing for a time of serious consideration of the relative merits of eternal conscious torment and what he aptly calls “terminal punishment” (destruction). Links to the first 3 posts can be found at the beginning of this last one. I commend Sprinkle for his careful biblical exegesis, for … Continue reading

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Tensions regarding soteriology, within the Southern Baptist Convention

I am not a Southern Baptist, but I am a Baptist, and I watch with interest theological developments within the Southern Baptist Convention. Like many other Baptist associations, they have not clearly identified themselves as either Particular or General Baptists, that is, as Calvinistic or Arminian in their theology. This has caused significant tension in recent years, some of it possibly growing out of the “young, restless, and Reformed” movement because of the large number … Continue reading

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A helpful resource on hypothetical universalism

After decades of believing in particular redemption after the high Calvinist fashion of John Owen, John Murray and others, I moved to classical moderate Calvinism and hypothetical universalism. I still consider myself a 5 point Calvinist, which I take to mean that I affirm the Canons of Dort (popularly referred to as TULIP), even though many high Calvinists would call hypothetical universalists 4 point Calvinists. I explained my reasons previously on this blog. If this … Continue reading

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How can people who do not love God be considered not to be sinning?

In an earlier blog post, I argued that sinners in hell reach a point at which they no longer sin. In the comment thread, Chris Wettstein has asked: “If, then, the reprobate will not be ‘sinning’ can they be said to be ‘loving God’ and ‘loving their neighbour’?” I started to write a response to Chris’s question in the comment thread, but it became too extensive for that venue, and so I decided it would … Continue reading

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Which blog posts most interested my readers in 2014?

As we begin the new year, I thought it would be interesting to see which of the blog posts on my site were of most interest to readers last year. Here were the top 10 in 2014: Against Calvinism 4 – The TULIP system This was the 4th post in my extended review of Roger Olson’s book, Against Calvinism. Is sanctification synergistic or monergistic? Here I talked about a phenomenon that has intrigued me. I … Continue reading

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My current goals for this blog site

When I started blogging in 2012, I was retired and living on a country property in Manitoba, finding I had time to do theology but looking for ways in which to do it. After I retired in 2006, I had started reading theology blogs and I enjoyed them. I was feeling a lack of outlet for my own theological expression, so I decided to try blogging. At that time I described what I wanted to … Continue reading

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Grace and the destruction of the wicked

The wrath of God as the way sinners naturally experience the love of the Holy God It was from the writing of Martin Luther that I first gained the insight that there is no conflict between God’s wrath and his love, because wrath is the way the wicked experience the love of the holy God. But this idea is frequently found in the thought of Christian scholars in our own time. One of my favorite … Continue reading

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Evangelical commentary on the WCC General Assembly in 2013

There were many times before 1990 when events on the program of the World Council of Churches’ General Assembly were strongly objectionable to evangelicals. I remember clearly reading about, and being disturbed by, some of those. So I was greatly encouraged by Thomas Schirrmacher’s commentary (published today) on his experience as a representative for the World Evangelical Alliance at the 2013 General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan. This sort of news … Continue reading

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