July 2020

J. I. Packer

“If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible.

We are, in effect bearing false witness and preaching a false Christ. Our message is ‘another gospel, which is not another.’ Such preaching may soothe some, but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Saviour from sin will not be found to save from self or from anything else.

An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation; and a half-truth presented as the whole truth is a complete untruth.”

–J.I. Packer, “The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel,” in Puritan Papers, Vol 1.

Biographical Sketch


James Innell Packer (born in Gloucester, England) is a British-born Canadian Christian theologian in the Calvinistic Anglican tradition. He currently serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is considered to be one of the most important evangelical theologians of the late 20th century.

The son of a clerk for the Great Western Railway, Packer won a scholarship to Oxford University. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, obtaining the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (1948), Master of Arts (1952), and Doctor of Philosophy (1955).

Sat, 07/18/2020 - 11:16 -- john_hendryx

Today's Cancel Culture

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once said, "If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being."

Every day in our cities, we are witnessing social justice advocates toppling statues and cancelling those who have had sin in their past. It is quite a sight to behold and reminds me somewhat of actions taken during the Chinese cultural revolution (1966-1976). Last night some rioters burned the 120-year-old Thompson Elk statue in downtown Portland, where I live. I am still trying to figure out what the elk did to anybody. Others in my city have toppled a Thomas Jefferson statue. Some Hollywood stars have been cancelled because of various racially insensitive things they have done in their past.

Do these people (living and dead) justly deserve to be cancelled? Absolutely.... But so do I. In fact, I deserve it more than most. And if we all think about it, who among us is without any sin worth being cancelled over? Consider when the Pharisees caught a woman in sin and took her to Jesus to ask what might be done to her. Jesus answered, 'Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her'...when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”" (John 8:7=10)

Sat, 07/04/2020 - 16:24 -- john_hendryx

The Sign of a Heart Changed by Grace

See the humility and wisdom of the woman of Canaan, Matt 15, 17. She follows Christ; be he listens not to her, but gives her a sore foil, and calls her a dog, and saith, "you Gentiles are dogs; and the gospel of grace and salvation are the children's bread." Now if she had only considered the words of Christ, and only looked to herself and her own baseness, she had never come to have received either mercy or comfort from him. But she saith, "truth Lord, I am a dog, yet the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." This was her resolution. Wherein there are two things which express and set forth the frame of a gracious heart; a heart that is truly wise to attend to its own baseness., with faith: and that is her humility and wisdom. "Yet though I am a dog, I will not go out of door, but lie under the table for mercy:" there is her wisdom. And thus she; and so we must. and when our corruptions, as I said, flood in upon us, and we see ourselves quite lost, and damned in our sins, we must then say, "in truth Lord, I am as bad as thy word can make me, yet let me not fly from mercy, but lie at the feet of my Savior's mercy, till he look upon me as once upon Peter, Luke 22, 61.

It is fit and we ought to see our sins: but stay we must not too long there. See them we must, but not fasten on them, so as to shackle us from coming to Christ.


From Thomas Hooker, The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn to Christ

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 11:36 -- john_hendryx

Objection: The terms "monergism" and "synergism" ain't in the Bible

The terms "monergism" and "synergism" ain't in the Bible. The Bible is an invitation to man, he has the free-will choice to either accept or reject. (Isa. 45:22; Jn. 3:19; Rev. 22:17). Frame it as the Bible does or not at all. God does not save by fiat. That's what monergism means.

The concept of "free will" is not found in the bible. So your argument is self defeating. We affirm that the gospel is to be proclaimed indiscriminately to all people. God does not hold anyone back from believing. Their rejection of Christ is because men love darkness, hate the light and will not come into the light (john 3:19). To claim man has a free will assumes the unbiblical idea that fallen man is willing to come to Christ apart from the Holy Spirit. But no one can say Jesus is Lord apart from the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3) so we cannot ascribe our faith and repentance (even partly) to our own humility, wisdom, good intentions, or sound judgment but to grace.

Jesus declared, "the Spirit quickens, the flesh counts for nothing...that is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me grants it" John 6:63, 65

And if no one comes to faith in Christ unless God grants it then no one by their natural free will ever comes to him.

The Apostle Paul said, "we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Cor 1:23-24

The call of the gospel is universal but, according to Paul, all men reject it (folly, stumbling block) but to those among them who are called by God, the power and wisdom of God.

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 18:39 -- john_hendryx

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