If There is No Sin, There is No Grace

Be of sin, the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure - Augustus Toplady There is a hesitance, actually more like a firm resistance, to calling any behavior, "sin." When the issue of sexual lifestyles are discussed, even evangelicals are wary of labeling any one behavior as sin. It's the word we want to run far, far way from. Nobody sins anymore. They make mistakes. They were born that way. They are misunderstood. The Bible, however, has clear categories. And some things are sin. Sexual license is sin. Murder is sin. Libel is sin. Gossip is sin. Furthermore, the Bible doesn't just say that humans commit sin, but that humans are actually, by nature, sinners. That is they aren't naturally good people who sometimes fall off the wagon and sin. We are sinners by nature. But what about grace? Isn't the church supposed to be about spreading the good news that God...

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Struggle Versus Snuggle

      I found this word on sin by Barnabas Piper to be especially convicting. We tend to mask our love of sin by telling people we "struggle." (at least I do). Barnabas cuts through that by looking at Paul's honesty in Romans: (HT: Justin Taylor) In true struggle, honesty is brutal. It’s brutal because it admits to weakness, proneness to badness, active pursuit of that badness. Instead of saying “I struggle with anger” it says “I lose my temper and hurt people with my words.” Instead of saying “I struggle with doing my devotions” it says “I don’t think enough of God’s word to actually read it.” Instead of saying “I struggle with lust” it says “I look at porn.” Read the whole thing here: Barnabas's Blog: "Struggle"....

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Friday Five: Aaron Armstrong

Today I’m happy to feature an interview with my good friend, Aaron Armstrong, who blogs at Blogging Theologically. This a blog I subscribe to and thoroughly enjoy as Aaron features a breadth of theological content.

Besides blogging, Aaron is an itinerant preacher, and a writer for an international Christian ministry focused on caring for the needs of the poor. His work has appeared on The Gospel Coalition’s “Voices” blog and RelevantMagazine.com’s “Deeper Walk” column. Aaron, his wife Emily, and their children worship and serve at Harvest Bible Chapel in London, Ontario..

Today I want to talk to Aaron about his new book, Awaiting a Savior, which rightly identifies the root cause of so much suffering in the world and how this truth informs our efforts to alleviate it. I had the privilege of reviewing the manuscript and writing an endorsement:

“In our highly activist, solutions-oriented generation, we easily think that we ourselves are the solution to the world’s social ills, particularly poverty. But the problem of poverty is the problem of sin and its solution lies in the heart of the Gospel. Aaron Armstrong brilliantly brings us back to Genesis and delivers a theologically robust vision for obeying the Scriptures’ command to help the poor while living in anxious anticipation of Christ’s coming Kingdom.”

Here is today’s Friday Five with Aaron Armstrong:

Hating on the Church

It has become rather fashionable these days for Christians to hate on the church. Almost every day, a new book is put out by someone who is disolutioned with, has a lengthy critique of, and has a new solution for the church. But I wonder if it is spiritually and intellectually easy, and I dare say, lazy, to hate on "the evangelical church." When I first started writing, I succumbed to this crutch. I would find a really meaty Biblical principle and in the course of constructing my devotional or article, would add the line, "most Christians" or "most churches," as if I, in my limited experience with other churches, had a good grasp of the evangelical church as a whole. The truth is that heaping scorn on "the church" or "most Christians," is easy and it is a nice cover for our own failures. And it is true that there are...

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