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Thankful Thursday

My oldest daughter arrived here on Tuesday, driving alone from Vancouver. That meant tackling the long desolate Alaska highway during some cold temperatures and dicey driving conditions. I’m thankful that God brought her here safely—that he kept her tires on the road, kept her truck running, and gave the her wisdom to handle the circumstances. And I think she learned a good lesson, too: She says she will never do that again.

I’m thankful that the eight-month-old husky-border collie pup she brought with her is fitting into the pack. Youngest son, who does most of the dog discipline and care in this house, was a little stressed thinking about adding yet another dog to the mix, but so far it’s working out well, and that’s a really good thing.

I’m thankful for the peace that surrounds me: peace in my country, peace in my home, peace with God.

Throughout this year I’m planning to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving each Thursday along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.


Theological Term of the Week

A perversion of Calvinism in which the universal offer of the gospel is denied, as well as the obligation of the unregenerate person to repent and believe the gospel.

  • Scripture that refutes hyper-Calvinism:
    The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent…  (Acts 17:30 ESV) 
    And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
  • From a hyper-Calvinistic confession, the Gospel Standard Articles of Faith:

    XXVI We deny duty faith and duty repentance - these terms signifying that it is every man’s duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe. We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that we reject the doctrine that men in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God;

    XXXIII Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them savingly to repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and, on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption.
  • From the Canons of Dordt, The Second Main Point of Doctrine

    Article 5: The Mandate to Proclaim the Gospel to All

    Moreover, it is the promise of the gospel that whoever believes in Christ crucified shall not perish but have eternal life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be announced and declared without differentiation or discrimination to all nations and people, to whom God in his good pleasure sends the gospel.

  • From Duty-Faith by Arthur Pink:

    In like manner, we must turn from the vain reasonings (as in the above Articles of Faith) of the hyper-Calvinist, and while holding fast to the total depravity and the spiritual inability of the natural man, we must also believe in his moral responsibility and accountability to God. It is the bounden duty of God’s servants to tell the unregenerate that the reason why they cannot repent evangelically is because their hearts are so wedded to their lusts; that the reason why they cannot come to Christ is because their sins have fettered and chained them; that the reason why they hate the Light is because they love the darkness. But so far from this excusing them, it only adds to their guilt; that so far from rendering them objects of pity it exposes them as doubly deserving of damnation. It is the preacher’s business to show wherein spiritual inability consists: not in the lack of soul faculties, but in the absence of any love for Him who is infinitely lovely. Far be it from us to extenuate the wicked unbelief of the unregenerate!

Learn more:

  1. Sam Storms: What Is Hyper-Calvinism?
  2. Jim Ellis: What Is Hyper-Calvinism?
  3. Colin Maxwell: A comparison chart of Arminianism, Calvinism, and hyper-Calvinism
  4. Founders Journal: Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism
  5. Phil Johnson: A Primer on Hyper-Calvinism
  6. Fred Zaspel: Hyper-Calvinism and the Free OfferPart 1Part 2
  7. Erroll Hulse: Adding to the Church: The Puritan Approach to Persuading Souls
  8. Tom Ascol with Chris Arnzen on Iron Sharpens Iron: Hyper-Calvinism vs. Calvinism (mp3)
  9. Curt Daniel: Hyper-Calvinism (mp3)

Related terms:

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.


Book Review: Marks of the Messenger

Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the GospelKnowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel by J. Mack Stiles.

A couple of months ago I listened to a lecture by D. A. Carson and heard him recommend this book, so when I was making my January reading list, I added it. (I didn’t, at that point, remember that it had also been reviewed and recommended at a couple of places on my blog roll.) The brief comment by Carson didn’t tell me much about the content of Marks of the Messenger, so I began reading not knowing exactly what to expect.

What I found was a book focused on developing believers with a mindset for evangelism, or growing Christians with heart for the gospel. I’d half-expected a “how to evangelize” book, which tend to leave me feeling guilty and paralyzed, but instead, what this little book is all about knowing, loving and valuing the true gospel so that the gospel soaks into and out from our lives.

Click to read more ...


A Catechism for Girls and Boys

Part I: Questions about God, Man, and Sin

22. Q. In what condition did God make Adam and Eve?
      A. He made them holy and happy.

(Click through to read scriptural proofs.)

Click to read more ...


Sunday's Hymn

Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

The holy, meek, unspotted Lamb,
Who from the Father’s bosom came,
Who died for me, e’en me to atone,
Now for my Lord and God I own.

Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which, at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.

Lord, I believe were sinners more
Than sands upon the ocean shore,
Thou hast for all a ransom paid,
For all a full atonement made.

When from the dust of death I rise
To claim my mansion in the skies,
Ev’n then this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.

This spotless robe the same appears,
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its glorious hue,
The robe of Christ is ever new.

Jesus, the endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me—
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.

O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness.

Nikolaus L. von Zin­zen­dorf (Listen to the traditional tune)

Here are the words set to a new tune by Laurie Sealy:

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.