Theologians on the Christian Life

Dane C. Ortlund:

Augustine gave us a theology of will- transforming grace that liberates the Christian life by replacing our loves. Luther left us the utter settledness of God’s favorable verdict over our morally fickle and despair- prone lives. Calvin gave us the majesty of God over every detail of the Christian’s life. Owen brought us into the joy of loving communion with the triune God. Bunyan left us with hope and courage in battling through the ups and downs of the Christian journey. Bavinck’s legacy is the restorative dimension to divine grace, grace opposed not to nature but only to sin. Spurgeon gave us in unparalleled language the gratuity of the gospel against a backdrop of an utterly sovereign Lord. Lewis expanded our imaginations in seeing the Christian life as a painfully joyous longing to be part of the larger story that makes sense of all things.

And Edwards has given us the beauty of the Christian life— first, the beauty of God, beauty that comes to tangible expression in Christ, and second, the beauty of the Christian, who participates in the triune life of divine love. Divine loveliness, enjoyed and reflected in his creatures: this is Edwards’s legacy. Sinners are beautified as they behold the beauty if God in Jesus Christ. That is Edwards’s theology of the Christian life in a single sentence. If Luther was a St. Paul, terse and punchy and emphasizing faith, Edwards was a St. John, calm and elegant and emphasizing love.

Beauty that Bows the Wills of Men

Dane Ortlund quoting Jonathan Edwards:

[It is the] sight of the divine beauty of Christ that bows the wills and draws the hearts of men. A sight of the greatness of God in his attributes, may overwhelm men, and be more than they can endure; but the enmity and opposition of the heart, may remain in its full strength, and the will remain inflexible; whereas, one glimpse of the moral and spiritual glory of God, and supreme amiableness of Jesus Christ, shining into the heart, overcomes and abolishes this opposition, and inclines the soul to Christ, as it were, by an omnipotent power.

We Don’t Need a Louder Band

Worship is fueled by good theology. The more you understand the revelation of God through His Word, the more your heart responds in heartfelt worship. The cure for dry worship is not a louder band or an upbeat song but a solid, biblical understanding of the greatness of God.

Imputation in the Bible

Wayne Grudem:

[There are three instances in the Scriptures where we encounter] the idea of imputing guilt or righteousness to someone else. First, when Adam sinned, his guilt was imputed to us; God the Father viewed it as belonging to us, and therefore it did. Second, when Christ suffered and died for our sins, our sin was imputed to Christ; God thought of it as belonging to him, and he paid the penalty for it. Now in the doctrine of justification we see imputation for the third time. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us, and therefore God thinks of it as belonging to us.

What Separates Christians From the Rest of the World

Over at Canon Fodder, Michael J. Kruger reminds us of church history to help us navigate the sexual culture of this generation:

[One of the traits] that separated Christians from the pagan culture [was] their sexual ethic.  While it was not unusual for Roman citizens to have multiple sexual partners, homosexual encounters, and engagement with temple prostitutes, Christians stood out precisely because of their refusal to engage in these practices…

Needless to say, this has tremendous implications for Christians in the modern day.  We are reminded again that what we are experiencing in the present is not new–Christians battled an over-sexed culture as early as the first and second century!

But, it is also a reminder why Christians must not go along with the ever-changing sexual norms of our world.  To do so would not only be a violation of the clear teachings of Scripture, but it would rob us of one of our greatest witnessing opportunities.