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Round the Sphere Again: God's Sovereignty

Over Suffering
D. A. Carson gives a talk answering the question, “How could a good God allow suffering?” (video). HT: Justin Taylor

A few years ago I posted notes from a two-lecture series by Dr. Carson on the same subject. The two lectures are very similar to the video, so much so that those old notes would serve for it, too: 

For more on God and suffering, here’s a list of books and articles to read (Daily on My Way to Heaven).

I know I mention this subject frequently, but I’m convinced it’s important to deal with the question of God’s relationship to the suffering in the world before you’ve had much of it. Every believer need to prepare for suffering so that they can keep on trusting God in the midst of it. 

Over Everything
A list (Justin Taylor). 


Theological Term of the Week

Augsburg Confession
The oldest Protestant confession and the most significant Lutheran one, drafted by Philip Melancthon in order to explain the teachings of the Lutheran churches, and presented to Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire at the Imperial Diet in 1530.

  • From the Augsburg Confession

    Article I: Of God.    

    Our Churches, with common consent, do teach that the decree of the Council of Nicaea concerning the Unity of the Divine Essence and concerning the Three Persons, is true and to be believed without any doubting; that is to say, there is one Divine Essence which is called and which is God: eternal, without body, without parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible; and yet there are three Persons, of the same essence and power, who also are coeternal, the Father the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  And the term “person” they use as the Fathers have used it, to signify, not a part or quality in another, but that which subsists of itself.

    They condemn all heresies which have sprung up against this article, as the Manichaeans, who assumed two principles, one Good and the other Evil- also the Valentinians, Arians, Eunomians, Mohammedans, and all such.  They condemn also the Samosatenes, old and new, who, contending that there is but one Person, sophistically and impiously argue that the Word and the Holy Ghost are not distinct Persons, but that “Word” signifies a spoken word, and “Spirit” signifies motion created in things.

  • From A Summary of Christian History by Robert A Baker and John M. Landers:
  • Luther… being under the ban of the empire, could not appear at the diet in Augsburg [in 1530]. He aided Melancthon in preparing the confession for presentation to the diet. The confession and a subsequent defense were rejected by the diet and the Lutherans were given one year to forsake their heresies or bear the consequences. The Lutheran princes formed a military alliance known as the Schmalkaldic League. The Catholic princes had also joined together for military action. Emperor Charles did not find it expedient to attack the Lutherans. The Turks were threatening, the Lutherans were fairly strong, and King Francis I of France was ready to fight again.

Learn more:

  1. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: Augsburg Confession
  2. Theopedia: The Augsburg Confession
  3. A. A.Hodge: A Short History of Creeds and Confessions
  4. WikipediaAugsburg Confession
Related terms:
  • Belgic Confession
  • Heidelberg Catechism
  • Canons of Dort 
  • Westminster Confession 
  • London Baptist Confession

Filed under Creeds and Confessions.

Do you have a 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.


Round the Sphere Again: Humility

At my dad’s memorial service, a young man read Philippians 2:1-9, one of his favorite passages. When he finished, he said, “Frank’s life was an example of humility.” And it was. One of the most precious memories of my life was my dad, at the hospital, emptying my husband’s bed pan.

So I really liked this (David Kjos at The Calvinist Gadfly). Just as with the professor in David’s story, you could see “see the shadow of Christ” in my dad’s service. And when you know someone who is truly humble, it points right back to the greatest humility: God with us.


A Catechism for Girls and Boys

Part II: Questions about The Ten Commandments

48. Q. What is the fourth commandment?
      A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

(Click through to read scriptural proof.)

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Sunday's Hymn: Holy God, We Praise Thy Name

Holy God, we praise Thy name;
Lord of all, we bow before Thee!
All on earth Thy scepter claim,
All in Heaven above adore Thee;
Infinite Thy vast domain,
Everlasting is Thy reign.

Hark! the loud celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising,
Cherubim and seraphim,
In unceasing chorus praising;
Fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord.

Lo! the apostolic train
Join the sacred name to hallow;
Prophets swell the loud refrain,
And the white robed martyrs follow;
And from morn to set of sun,
Through the Church the song goes on.

Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, Three we name Thee;
While in essence only One,
Undivided God we claim Thee;
And adoring bend the knee,
While we own the mystery.

—Te Deum, c. 4th century.


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.