Welcome to my digest of Christian comment.
For Biblical commentary, use the Bible Study Notes menu above, and for topical comments, use the categories list on the right.
‘Lord, I lift your name on high’ is a song by Rick Founds dating back to 1989.
The chorus is particularly striking:-
You came from heaven to earth
To show the way
From the earth to the cross
My debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord I lift Your name on high
I have long thought that I had come across something similar to this in the writings of one of the Puritans.…
Tim Challies has helpfully drawn together some ways in which the Bible can guide our prayers for unbelievers.
Here’s a summary:-
We begin with prayers for salvation. Each of these prayers seeks the same thing, but in a different way or from a different angle or using different language. Each of them is grounded in a specific text of Scripture.
‘Pray that God would circumcise their hearts,‘ Deut 30:6.
‘Pray that God would give them a heart of flesh,‘ Ezekiel 11:19.…
One of the frustrations of reading Recovering the Scandal of the Cross, by Joel Green and Mark Baker, is that they claim to be criticising the doctrine of penal substitution in some of its more popular (and cruder) expressions, but mainly train their artillery on other targets.
So I appreciated the opportunity to read this post by Morgan Guyton, who discusses ‘four cringeworthy claims of popular penal substitutionary theology’. (Guyton says that he was motivate by listening to a sermon by Steven Furtick, but I have been unable to track down that particular sermon).…
‘Must we imagine the atonement in penal substitutionary terms?’
This is the question addressed by Joel Green in his contribution to The Atonement Debate. I summarise some of the main points before adding a few comments of my own at the end.
Green begins by quoting the Apostles’ Creed, noting that in it the early church testifies to both the historicity and the centrality of the crucifixion of Jesus, but does not address the question of how Christ’s death is salvific. …
I have been revisiting the debates about the theology of atonement that surfaced in the early 2000s.
Steve Jeffrey (one of the authors of Pierced for our Transgressions), notes some of the ways in which defenders of the doctrine of penal substitution needed to raise their game:-
Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) famously defined preaching as ‘the bringing of truth through personality’.
I have long considered this definition to be pregnant with meaning, for it seems to suggest a number of important corollaries. It suggests that in addition to the non-negotiable truth content that is fundamental to the preacher’s message:-
But how did Brooks himself view preaching, and what did he mean by his celebrated definition?…
I rather like how Jeremy Linn has captured some of the most popular atheist arguments against Christianity, and hinted at where some of its weaknesses might lie.
Moreover, says Linn, ‘for each of the arguments, we give an example question you can ask to better understand where the person who gave the argument is coming from. The goal is to listen and understand, rather than to dominate and tear down.’
This question is asked under the assumption that God needs a creator.…
The Marriage Foundation have summarised their recent research findings in the form of the following table.…