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Arminian Grace

I lifted this straight off of James White’s blog. I thought it was cute and I don’t think he’ll mind since I’m giving him credit!

Arminian grace! How strange the sound
Salvation hinged on ME
I once was lost then turned around
Was blind then chose to see

What “grace” is it that calls for choice
Out of some good within?
The part that willed to heed God’s voice
Proved stronger than my sin

Through many ardent gospel pleas
I sat with heart of stone
But then some hidden good in me
Propelled me toward my home

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Because of what we’ve done
We’ve no less days to sing our praise
Than when we first begun

– Dennis Walter Cochran

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“Mad Chalmers”

It was on this day in 1770 that Thomas Chalmers was born. I like Chalmers because he reminds me of the eternal value of literally applying to our ministries Paul’s instruction to his young charge, Timothy. “Take heed to yourself and to your doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).

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Punch

I wish I was like Spurgeon. Perhaps I’m more like his dog, Punch. Though my “Hijacked” statement is merely a high-five hoorah, preach-to-the-choir, jazz-up-my-mostly-like-minded-friends monologue, I have thought better of it because it is possible that I have Arminian friends (or did). I don’t think any of them read my blog, but I humbly push “delete.” I shall refine my statements, sugar-coat them slightly, and re-publish them at another date. In the meantime, you now know my feelings! Concerning Punch, Spurgeon said:

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Silencing the Critics

I am blessed to have good men in my church who know about cars, but recently I was insulted by the suggestion that I am so mechanically-handicapped that I could not even check the oil. That stung because it is just one more nasty rumor about me that I have to deal with. Not only do I know how to check the oil, but I wrote instructions for others on this very subject some time ago. Let the slanderers be put to silence.

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In Praise of Women (and Godly Living)

There are some women in history that I do not know by name, but they are heroines of mine because they have impressed upon my oft-impatient and vain soul the power of a quiet and godly life.

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Hard to Believe

He’s done it again. John MacArthur’s Hard to Believe: the High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus (Nelson, 2003) is a must-read — especially in the wake of the “Passion” mania.

With unflinching conviction, MacArthur says it in many ways throughout the book: “True saving faith is repentant faith in Jesus Christ, and that produces good works” (p. 104). He deals with decisionism, invitationalism, and many other kinds of feel-goodisms that are corrupting the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s an easy read (as most of his books are). I read it through in one sitting, and I felt like I had just sat under some good preaching.

I want the people in my church to read this, and I think you should too. I have to point out one human error because it jumped out at me. In his chapter on the “Hallmarks of Discipleship,” John MacArthur illustrated his point with the life of Henry Martyn. He refers to him on page 121 as an “old man.” Henry Martyn went to Persia, writes MacArthur “after a long and difficult life of service in India” (121). The only problem with this illustration is that Martyn wasn’t blessed with a long life. It was difficult, but not long. He died when he was 31 years old. If 31 is old, then I am very old at 34 years of age.

Now, the reason I point this out is because those of us who appreciate MacArthur and his stand for essential truths often celebrate his achievements and promote his literature. If we are to have any credibility with the enemies of the truth, we need to demonstrate fair-mindedness by acknowledging the human errors among our champions. To point out small (and basically insignificant errors) in the literature we promote for the cause of truth is a way to preemptively disarm the critics who will want to make a mountain out of a mole-hill with the mistake.

So, buy MacArthur’s book. Read it. He’s dead-on theologically. It is a wake-up call. It is sometimes brutal — like cold water being splashed on your warm, cozy, and sleeping body. But if “warm, cozy, and sleeping” doesn’t define American Christianity, I don’t know what does. And when you get a chance, read The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn by John Sargent. When you see how much Martyn accomplished in his 31 years, you will probably forgive MacArthur for saying he lived a long life! I do.