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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 11

We continue our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s grace not only saves us; it teaches us how to live, which involves both denying (ungodliness and worldly passions) and affirming (living soberly, uprightly, and godly in this present world).  We are to seek to influence our culture, not impose our values upon it.

But God’s grace is also a WAITING grace, as we saw in our last post: “while we wait for the blessed hope . . .” (v. 13).  We are waiting for none other than God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, “our great God and Savior.”

This WAITING grace reminds us that Jesus “gave himself for us” (v. 14).  The self-giving of the Son of God is a major theme of the New Testament.

Jesus makes it abundantly clear in John 10 that He will “lay down [His] Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 6.49.41 AMlife for the sheep” (v. 15).  He clearly states two verses later that “I lay down my life, that I might take it again.”  Then He says in the very next verse of John 10:  “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

It is one thing to give oneself to another; it is quite another to give oneself FOR another.  Jesus gave Himself for us.  This certainly is a strong argument for what theologians call the “vicarious penal view of the atonement.”  “Vicarious,” of course, means as our substitute.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 6.52.54 AMThe vicarious penal view of the atonement is under much attack these days, specifically by Sharon Baker in her book Executing God.  Biblical Christianity teaches that our sin put us under God’s wrath.  And we can only be rescued from that wrath by the Son of God taking our place and bearing that righteous wrath for us.  And that’s what the Lord Jesus did. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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An Approach to Doing Theology (Part 2)

There are PLENTY of examples of poor theological method, many professing to be “Evangelical”!  How ought we to “do” theology?  What should be the STEPS we use in researching theological topics?

One of my favorite courses to teach this semester is entitled “Theological Methods and Issues.”  This upper-level seminary course has thirteen students who are presenting two papers each on topics they have chosen.  [Several of our previous blogs referred to one student’s study of “A Theology of Risk”].

We have already looked at STEP #1 entitled STATING THE TOPIC. We are to clearly identify the underlying issue, then state the topic which we are addressing.

STEP #2 really involves FRAMING THE QUESTION which leads to a process of inquiry.   If one wanted to study the issue of God’s glory, for example, he or she might state the question as follows:  “What Is Meant by the Term ‘the Glory of God’ in the Pentateuch?”  [One of the toughest challenges in theological research is narrowing the topic down to a manageable size!].

I am greatly helped here by the theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes.  Here the two of them are discussing a profound theological question:


Questions:

1.  For those of you have read Rob Bell’s Love Wins, how does Bell misuse questions in his dismissal of the doctrine of eternal lostness?

2.  Why don’t more preachers and teachers use Calvin and Hobbes’ cartoons in their preaching and teaching?

 

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A Review of Three Books on Eternal Lostness

Friends:

I’ve recently reviewed three books on eternal lostness for the Emmaus Journal.  The review is found below.  The book that really concerns me is Sharon Baker’s book Razing Hell.  Please feel free to post your comments below.

Click on the following link for my review:

review of three books on hell – pdf

 

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