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Christology Eschatology

Incoherence in the Belgic Confession (1561), between its Christology and its Eschatology

Recently, I was reading the Belgic Confession (1561), which is one of The Three Forms of Unity within the Reformed Church. In Article 19 of the Confession, on “The Union and Distinction of the Two Natures in the Person of Christ,” I was intrigued by the implications I discerned for the understanding of the nature […]

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Christology Soteriology

Luke 23:34 and the salvation of the unevangelized

In his book, Salvation Accomplished by the Son: The Work of Christ, Robert Peterson has given us a very fine piece of biblical theology. Because of the way the book is organized it will serve as an excellent reference work, but it is also fine devotional reading. I’ve been working my way through it slowly, […]

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Books Christology

Of what did the Son of God empty himself in becoming human?

The mystery of the incarnation Christmas 2016 is now over, and once again we have joyously celebrated one of the great moments of redemptive history, the incarnation. In the memorable words of the apostle John, “the Word became flesh and lived among us” (Jn 1:14 NRSV). The baby born in Bethlehem was no mere man; […]

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Christology Eschatology

What did Jesus suffer “for us and for our salvation”?

A podcast interview with me Chris Date has begun a series of podcasts in which he will interview authors of chapters in A Consuming Passion. I am the first person on deck, and Chris spent quite a long time talking with me about my journey to annihilationism. Whether or not you have read the series […]

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Christology Ecumenism Trinity

Theological disagreement or a difference in the use of terms?

Apparent theological differences often derive from differences in the way individuals or groups are using the same terms, rather than in substantial theological disagreement. Once lines have been drawn and division has resulted from that perceived theological disagreement, however, it becomes extremely difficult to bring about reconciliation and fellowship in mind and heart. With this […]

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Christology

Jesus, the Warrior Lamb

Almost 4 years ago, I wrote about my belief that, if there is an overarching model of the atonement it is the victory of Christ (Christus Victor), but penal substitution is a very important aspect of Christ’s victory. So the two are not alternatives, they fit together wonderfully. That idea has continued to make very […]

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Christology

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 […]

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Christology Evangelism

The gospel of vicarious atonement

Today, I received by email an earnest plea for theological help from someone with whom I have had previous correspondence regarding the doctrine of the atonement. My questioner wrote as follows: I love God with all of my being but I cannot wrap my mind around this concept [penal substitutionary atonement] as it does not […]

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Christology Eschatology

How Christ’s death delivers us from fear of death (both first and second)

I think that Christ’s victory is the overarching framework within which Christ’s saving work is best viewed. (See my post, “Is there an overarching model of the atonement?”) Penal substitution was the way in which Christ delivered us from the adversary’s ability to bring a damning accusation against those who are in Christ. We were […]

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Christology Divine revelation Soteriology

Why did the 5 “solas” of the Reformation arise?

Jesse Johnson briefly describes the context which required that Protestant beliefs be defined, and he summarizes the 5 points which all orthodox Protestants agree are essentials of Christian faith and life. We should note, however, that although these five basic truths were frequently affirmed by leaders of the Reformation, they did not constitute a formal […]