The Order and Causes of Salvation and Damnation: An Infographic

Though the name Visual Theology may be new, the idea is not. In fact, all the way back in the seventeenth century John Bunyan produced an incredible work of visual theology titled “A Map Shewing the Order and Causes of Salvation and Damnation.” In a pair of side-by-side timelines he traced the salvation of the believer (or the elect) and the damnation of the unbeliever (or the reprobate). This chart has since been reproduced a number of times but, to …

Unjust, Unkind, Unfair, Un-humble?

It is a bold claim we Christians make, a claim that puts us at odds with the great majority of people on this earth. Our claim is that, by the grace of God, we’ve got it right and they’ve got it wrong, that we know the way to be made right with God and they do not. This grand claim is not built upon anything we are or anything we’ve done but solely upon who God is and what God …

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Did God Break the Law for Love?

It happened again. A popular preacher said something in a sermon, it made its way to social media, and lots of people got upset. This happens quite often, doesn’t it? I rarely pay attention to these things and comment on them infrequently. However, I am making an exception for the latest one because I suspect quite a few people who saw it on their Facebook timeline are saying, “Hang on! What’s so wrong with what he said?” It’s one of …

There Are No Neutralities in Religion

It was a slow week for letters to the editor, largely because of American Thanksgiving, I think. So I will double-down next week and in the meantime share a great little quote from Spurgeon. No neutralities can exist in religion. We are either ranked under the banner of Prince Immanuel, to serve and fight His battles, or we are vassals of the black prince, Satan. “To whom belongest thou?” (1 Samuel 30:13) Reader, let me assist you in your response. Have …

God’s Not Really That Holy, I’m Not Really That Bad

How do you know that you really get the gospel, that you really understand and believe it? Or perhaps better said, how do you know that the gospel has really gotten you, that it has taken hold of you and begun to permanently transform you? I found myself pondering this question last week and was soon thinking about people I have known who once professed faith, but who eventually grew cold, grew distant, and fell away. If you have been …

Custom-Crafted Kids

Pepperoni on the whole thing, sausage on one half, mushroom on the other. Thin crust, extra cheese, and throw in a couple of the spicy dipping sauces. And why don’t you make it the combo that comes with a couple of cans of Mountain Dew…” Just imagine if you could order children the way you order pizza. Imagine if God knew you were trying to have a child and approached you to ask what you’d like. “Just run through this …

God Is His Own Executioner

What is involved in the idea of the Father, or Jesus, being a judge? This is something J.I. Packer deals with extraordinarily well in his book Knowing God. Let’s track with him just briefly to see our good God in his function of just judge. Here are 4 characteristics of the judge. The judge is a Person with authority. “In the Bible world, the king was always the supreme authority because his was the supreme ruling authority. It is on …

The Greatest Wall

The Great Wall of China is one of humanity’s greatest architectural achievements. Its sheer size is almost incomprehensible. Extending across what was once the northern frontier of China, the wall stretches for over 5,000 miles—so long and so prominent that it is visible from space. And yet, for all its magnificence, today it serves no purpose beyond attracting tourists. In fact, many portions of the wall have been almost levelled by townspeople salvaging its bricks to build their homes. From 1961 …

Not In Part But the Whole

Sometimes it is the unexpected things that get you. Sometimes it is the words you have heard or said or sung a hundred times over that suddenly leap off the page—words like “My sin, not in part but the whole.” The words come, of course, from the much-loved hymn “It Is Well With My Soul,” a song that joyfully celebrates the freedom that is found in salvation. “Not in part but the whole.” Have you ever considered your life, your …

When God Flips That Switch

I suppose we are all familiar with the categories of sin and depravity. We are all familiar with the Bible’s ugly descriptions of fallen humanity and equally familiar with the internal corroboration of our hearts and the external corroboration of our lives. The simple fact is, we are sinners. We are people who have offended a holy God and people who act out that rebellion every day. I know you have read the second chapter of Ephesians and reveled in …