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Showing posts from June, 2013

The Theological Roots of Family, Part Two: Parenthood

Parenthood has fallen on hard times in today's world.  Children are no longer a desired outcome of marriage.  One need look no further than the local grocery store and see how people respond to mothers with young children: they are rude to them, and impatient - if not downright mean.  The attitude is that children are in the way.  In an earlier generation, the saying might have been that children should be seen but not heard - today, the platitude is that they should be neither seen or heard.
What is particularly distressing about this is that it is not just a phenomenon unique to the West, it is worldwide.  In a very thought-provoking article, Kevin DeYoung ( shares the findings of Jonathan Last's book, What to Expect When No One's Expecting: In 1979, the world birth-rate was 6.0; today, it is 2.52.The U.S. birth rate is 1.93, well below the replacement rate of 2.1.  The fri…

The Theological Roots of Family, Part One: The Priority of Marriage

Note: this post comes almost verbatim from my sermon notes of Sunday, June 23, 2013.  The text is Ephesians 5:31,32.

The state of the family in our country is bleak.  The traditional family is disintegrating, with profound results for both children and adults.

This is something new.  Even pagan societies (such as the ancient Greco-Roman) valued the family unit.

Though this is an opportunity for the church to be a light in the darkness, yet it is also a danger - the danger of being sucked up into the cultural malaise.

It's easy, therefore, the emphasize the results of the loss of the traditional family and to make this the reason we should strive to recover it.  However, I want to argue that there are deeper reasons for which the church should stand up for the family - theological reasons.

I want to deliver two messages on the theological rootsof marriage and parenthood, and what these roots imply about our responsibilities in these areas…

For Whom Did Christ Die? Revisiting a Doctrine.

For whom did Christ die?  This is a question that I have been turning over again in my mind.  For many believers, the answer is seemingly straightforward - he died for all men.  The Calvinist perspective that Christ died for the elect is often viewed as a strangely perverted view of Scripture.  Passages such as 1 Tim. 2:4-6 and John 3:16 are often quoted as settling the issue firmly on the side of those who embrace the view that Christ died for all mankind.
The issue under consideration here is that of the extent of the atonement.  Those who embrace an Arminian position advocate universal atonement whereas Calvinists advocate for what has become known (unfortunately, I think) as limited atonement.  I say this is an unfortunate category because everyone who embraces the death of Christ as an atoning work limits the atonement in some way.  Those who believe in universal atonement limit its efficacy (after all, in this view, many for whom Christ died will be lost, which means that his a…