There Are Layers Here

“For the Hellenistic approach, a true Christian is one who is one inwardly, period, stop. And this is true. But I also want to say that we have inward Christians and outward Christians, faithful Christians and adulterous Christians, temporary Christians and Christians forever, slaves and sons, wheat and tares, sons of Hagar and sons of Sarah, washed pigs and washed lambs, fruitless branches and fruitful branches, Christians who die in the wilderness and Christians who die in Canaan, and so on.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, p. 236

Courting Defeat

“What does the alternative do, the pessimistic frame of mind? If your worldview could be summed up with ‘where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?’ the end result will necessarily be a certain wariness, an expectation that Murphy’s Law will govern everything. If something can do wrong, it will—in the sacraments, in admitting young children to the table, in teaching Christians from the law, in having a high view of the church, and so on. A hermeneutic of suspicion gets into everything.”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, pp. 226-227

Remarks at the CREC Council Dinner

The Same Old Things: Introduction: So I have been assigned a topic that delights me. I am the son of a colporteur, an antique word that refers to the peddler of religious books. Not only was my father an avid distributor of literature, he was one who thought about the whole enterprise carefully, and who …

Invisible and Eschatological

“Exactly. The entire company of the elect, the whole number of them, invisible now to everyone but God alone, will be made manifest to everyone at the eschaton, and that church will be without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. And that eschatological church I define as the ‘whole number of the elect.’”

The Auburn Avenue Chronicles, p. 225

That Little Knob on the Back

Introduction: We are certainly living in interesting times, as the old Chinese curse puts it. On a related point, the great lexicographer Samuel Johnson once said that there was one good thing about being hanged in a fortnight—he said it concentrated the mind wonderfully. Over the last few years, a number of events have caught …