Posts Tagged ‘iMonk’

Law vs. Gospel

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

There’s an interesting discussion at the Internet Monk’s blog, based on a recent broadcast of the White Horse Inn. (Links further below.) It’s very meaty and edifying, and is related to some of what I said in my last entry. (OK, so practically everything in theology is connected. But the connection here seemed particularly strong.)

Note: The following intro is sprinkled with links to Scripture references. They’ll pop up in a new window, and I tried to keep them concise (just a couple or a few verses each), so I hope you’ll take the time to open them up as you read–and get the richness of God’s word from the source, rather than just from this faulty conduit.

In the last entry, I mentioned how the Spirit works in God’s children, teaching us that we are sinners, showing us our need, and pointing us to Christ and to what he did for us. When Paul taught about the way that God convicts us of our sin, he emphasized the role that the written Law plays. All of us (even we Gentiles) do have God’s Law written on our hearts, so that we have an instinctive understanding of morality–against which we sin. But Paul says that a function of the written Law is to increase our sin–when we see the written Law, it confronts us with our sin. And not only that, but our rebellious nature is such that when we hear a command, “Don’t do this,” we may be more likely to commit that very sin!

The Law points us to our need, and to our utter inability to satisfy its righteous requirements that are based in the very nature and character of God. So when Christ comes, we fall at his feet, and know that we can only be justified by faith. Apart from our working.

That’s part of the reason that Christians struggle with the awareness of our own sin. The Law teaches us sin more clearly. Sin abounds, so that grace may abound to those who believe. And those who believe are exhorted to present ourselves as slaves to righteousness. But…As his children whom he disciplines, with the Spirit in us moving us to delight in God and his law, we struggle with our sin even more. Realizing the need to assure us in our struggle, Paul wrote Romans 8. In this life, in this unredeemed flesh, the struggle makes us look ahead in hope to the promised renewal of our bodies and all creation. God is our adopted Poppa, he has given us the Spirit to guarantee our inheritance, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, God uses everything that happens to our good, and nothing will separate us from his love. (And notice: In our struggles–both against persecution & suffering and against our own weakness–God promises that he will bring us through. God is moving heaven and earth so that those whom he calls and justifies, he will also sanctify and glorify. And nothing can stop his determined effort! Our security and our perseverance stands in the strength of the Creator God.)

OK, so, that was the introduction. 🙂

On to the links, with a (much briefer) description of the broadcast and discussion. (more…)

A Discussion on Inerrancy

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

I’ve been thinking about posting some entries on the inerrancy of Scripture. But recently, the blogger Tim Challies has started a fairly thorough series on the subject. It has three entries so far: Are there Errors in the Bible?, What Does “Inerrant” Mean?, and Errors and Contradictions in the Bible. So, I’m going to be lazy–er, I mean maximize my resources, and just recommend them to you.

Another blogger, Michael Spencer (from the Internet Monk), posted a reply to something Challies said. Spencer denies inerrancy–though I haven’t been able to make out quite how or why. He affirms inspiration, but thinks the term “inerrancy” requires so many qualifications and clarifications and exceptions, that it’s not a meaningful word. But it’s not clear to me whether it’s just the word he has a problem with, or the definition. Does he disagree with the doctrine itself, or just the term?

So, I posted some comments in his entry. The second one got long, so I split it up in half. But then I couldn’t post the second half–his server keeps rejecting the message. I emailed him, and we think it’s due to some technical weirdness with character encodings. So, I’ve decided to post my comment here, and then post a link to it in his comment section. I can’t guarantee how much sense it will make to you, unless you go read his entry.

Here goes!