Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.



Sunday's Hymn: Come, Ye Disconsolate





Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Come to the mercy-seat, fervently kneel:
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrows that heav’n cannot heal.

Joy of the comfortless, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, in mercy saying,
“Earth has no sorrows that heav’n cannot cure.”

Here see the Bread of Life; see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God, pure from above:
Come to the feast prepared; come ever knowing
Earth has no sorrows but heav’n can remove.

Thomas Moore


 Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:


Selected Reading

I read (or watched or heard) these recently and recommend them to you.

Christian Living

Do I Need to Change the World?
“I need to worry more about how I will submit to the ways God is changing me than worrying about whether or not I will change the world” (Kim Shay). 

Columns from June’s Tabletalk Magazine
June’s issue of Tabletalk magazine has several articles looking at the categories of metaphors scripture uses to describe the Christian life.  


Bible Study

1 Corinthians 15:29
Three plausible explanations for the phrase “baptism for the dead” in this verse (Nicholas Batzig).

Philippians 1:19-26
What we might be missing (Mike Leake).



When ‘I Don’t Know’ Is a Good Answer and When It’s Not
There are two ways to say I don’t know (Rebecca McLaughlin).


Theological Term of the Week: Reprobation


That eternal decree of God whereby He has determined to pass some men by with the operations of His special grace, and to punish them for their sins, to the manifestation of His justice.1

  • From scripture:

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction … (Romans 9:21-22 ESV).

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 4 ESV)

Article 15: Reprobation

Moreover, Holy Scripture most especially highlights this eternal and unde- served grace of our election and brings it out more clearly for us, in that it further bears witness that not all people have been chosen but that some have not been chosen or have been passed by in God’s eternal election—those, that is, concerning whom God, on the basis of his entirely free, most just, irreproachable, and unchangeable good pleasure, made the following decree:

to leave them in the common misery into which, by their own fault, they have plunged themselves; not to grant them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but finally to condemn and eternally punish those who have been left in their own ways and under God’s just judgment, not only for their unbelief but also for all their other sins, in order to display his justice.

And this is the decree of reprobation, which does not at all make God the author of sin (a blasphemous thought!) but rather its fearful, irreproachable, just judge and avenger.

  • From Concise Theology by J. I. Packer:

Reprobation is the name given to God’s eternal decision regarding those sinners whom he has not chosen for life. His decision is in essence a decision not to change them, as the elect are destined to be changed, but to leave them to sin as in their hearts they already want to do, and finally to judge them as they deserve for what they have done. When in particular instances God gives them over to their sins (i.e. removes restraints on their doing the disobedient things they desire), this is itself the beginning of judgment. It is called hardening (Rom. 9:18; 11:25; cf. Ps 81:12; Rom. 1:24, 26, 28), and it inevitably leads to greater guilt.

Reprobation is a biblical reality (Rom. 9:14-24; 1 Pet. 2:8), but not one that bears directly on Christian behavior. The reprobates are faceless so far as Christians are concerned, and it is not for us to try to identify them. Rather, we should live in light of the certainty that anyone may be saved if he or she will but repent and put faith in Christ (pages 150-151).


Learn more:

  1. Ligonier Ministries: The Doctrine of Reprobation
  2. Kim Riddlebarger: The Canons of Dort, First Head of Doctrine, Article 15
  3. Richard Baylock: Reprobation and the Second London Confession
  4. Mike Riccardi: Reprobation Rejoinder
  5. A. W. Pink: The Sovereignty of God in Reprobation
  6. Curt Daniels: The Doctrine of Reprobation (audio)


Related terms:


Filed under Reformed Theology

1From Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof, page 126.

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