Categories
idolatry

Put away the foreign gods!

John Calvin famously said, “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual forge of idols”. Or as Tim Keller has phrased it, an idol factory.

We are prone to worship and give our allegiance to idols (things that are not God), thus sinning by breaking the first two commandments.

In Old Testament times, Samuel said to the people of Israel:

“If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreth from among you and direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” (1 Samuel 7:3)

The Israelites had succumbed to the false idols of that day and age.

They worshipped and gave their allegiance to Baal and Ashtoreth, tribal deities of the surrounding nations.

Samuel said that if the Israelites wanted to repent and turn to God their repentance must be tangible and will be difficult.

Categories
Doctrine

Jesus was a Calvinist

Tulips

The name John Calvin is a bad word to many people, but I hope to show you that Calvin’s theology should be our theology because it was Jesus’ theology and the Bible’s theology.

John Calvin lived in the 1500’s in Geneva, Switzerland. 

He was and is one of the hero’s of the Christian faith.  He was one the greatest Christian thinkers, theologians and reformers who guided the church back to the Bible after it was immersed in superstition.  

Calvin is still massively influential today, and either loved or hated.  Depending on your worldview, you will either gratefully read Calvin’s writings and benefit from them or you will despise them.

Categories
Prayer

Wishing my readers war in 2015

8956_w185This December I had the privilege of reading some of John Calvin’s sermons on the book of Ephesians.  I felt as if I was re-converted after every sermon.  I loved Calvin’s (correct) emphasis on the utter hopelessness of man and the extreme, deep grace of God in drawing us out of the pit of hell and giving us new life.  I was challenged by Calvin’s regular reminders to ask God to make me perceive my sins more, to throw myself once again on the mercy of Christ, to hate my sin more, and to aim more at holiness out of an abiding sense of profound gratitude to a good, majestic God.

Categories
Church Reformation

Tribute to John Calvin – the love of the supremacy of God

CalvinEvery year Reformed Evangelical churches like to remember the Reformation of the church in Europe in the 16th Century – from which we trace our theological heritage.

The medieval church was steeped in suspicion, false teaching and wrong doctrine. Many people had a false assurance of salvation, a wrong notion of the church and a totally distorted view of the gospel. The dominant false teaching was Roman Catholicism.  The Roman Catholic Church taught a salvation by works. As long as you said the right prayers, attended the right services (like the Mass) and said your confession to the priest, you were right with God.  Into that dark world God shone his light and raised up men and women who would read the Bible and be gripped with its message.  John Calvin was one of these men. He was born in France in 1509, the same year that Henry VIII was crowned King of England.  Calvin was raised in a Roman Catholic home. Father sent him to the University of Paris to study Romish theology. While in France Calvin seems to have come across some of Martin Luther’s writings.

Categories
Calvinism Christian Worldview Predestination

Predestinational errors

choiceBesides inventing a new word, I thought I would draw your attention to two errors that some make when it comes to thinking about the doctrine of predestination.  These two errors can also be seen as two extremes on opposite ends of the theology spectrum: Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinism