Thursday, April 30, 2015

Don't Miss The Good Stuff

This post introduces an upcoming Bible Study series. Since I will actually be teaching, I respectfully ask that men other than my husband and my pastor (both of whom have spiritual authority over me) refrain from reading these studies. Thank you.



Some years ago, I attended an adult Sunday School class in which the teacher asked whether or not anyone could define the Gospel. At first, I thought he'd asked a trick question, so I sat in the same confused silence that hovered over the rest of the class. The silence visibly frustrated the teacher so that he began begging for someone--anyone--to say something.

So I  finally raised my hand and proffered, "Isn't it that Jesus died for our sins and rose again?"

Yes. Such a basic  message.

Evangelicals, having little understanding of or appreciation for  the Reformation in the 16th Century, now complicate the Christian life with so many side issues (ranging from political agendas to self-improvement techniques) that we lose sight of the very Gospel that Luther, Calvin and the other Reformers sacrificed so much to recover. Even though postmodern evangelicals can dutifully recite that Jesus died and rose again, few grasp the implications of His death and resurrection. In attitude, many evangelicals say, "Yeah, okay...now let's move on to the good stuff!"

But Christ's death and resurrection is the good stuff! The very word, "gospel," means "good news." Because 21st Century evangelical sensibilities now eclipse this Gospel with humanistic teachings and aspirations, I want to spend a few posts reviewing the wondrous message of the Gospel and exploring its implications. By the time I finish, I pray that all of us will gain a richer appreciation of the  Gospel.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

So Now I'm Max Factor?

After yesterday's post (which took four hours to compose), I need a break. What a good excuse to share the progress on the portrait I began at the beginning of March?


This morning, doing her cheek color and eye shadow, I felt a little like a makeup artist. I rather enjoyed that feeling once I figured out how to blend the three eye shadow colors and adjust the Blur. I now must decide how much more facial shading I want to include before I put in her hair highlights.

Can I finish this portrait by the end of May? That's my goal. Even if I don't, I'm learning new techniques, and I'm having fun. Those two factors motivate me to keep drawing and exploring my digital art programs to see what else I can create.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Spearhead Of Same-Sex Marriage

Please don't misunderstand me as condoning same-sex  marriage. Scripture teaches that marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:25-33), which necessitates a male-female union. Quite obviously, same-sex marriages cannot have the complementary roles of husband and wife. As a result, they lack the ability to model Christ and His Church. For that reason, as well as others, I cannot support any marriage that deviates from the covenant between one man and one woman.

That said, I fully expect the Supreme Court to once again increase ungodliness in America by ruling that the Constitution guarantees the right of homosexual and lesbian couples to redefine marriage. And why would a nation that openly rejects Biblical Christianity do any different? After all, heterosexual  couples also find plenty of ways to pervert the Biblical standard for marriage, especially as wives refuse to submit to their husbands. We can't expect non-Christians to embrace Christian values.

Sadly, more and more people who call themselves Bible-believing Christians see no reason to oppose same-sex marriage. Gay activists, however, aren't satisfied. They already pressure Christian businesses to cater same-sex weddings by bringing ruinous lawsuits. I've reason to believe pastors who refuse to officiate such weddings can expect serious persecution as well. And will bloggers pay for daring to voice objections? Let's just say that I won't be surprised if this blog suddenly disappears.

Persecution won't be pleasant, but it will separate true Christians from false converts. Same-sex marriage, of course, won't be the only litmus test; many false converts base their "Christianity" on moral values and conservative politics. But the battle for gay rights, I believe, will spearhead persecution against those who choose worldly values over Christ and His Word.

The world's antagonism toward those who stand on the authority of Scripture doesn't surprise me. Jesus said the world would not tolerate His people.
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. ~~John 15:18-19 (ESV)
Same-sex marriage begins a process that I believe will purify Christ's Church. Days are coming when people will find it dangerous to follow the Bible's teaching--when a refusal to compromise God's Word will have severe consequences. As much as I dread the personal suffering those days will bring, however, I look forward to a clearer delineation between true Christians and mere professors. I long to see Christ's Bride purified for Him.

Monday, April 27, 2015

When Obedience Crafts My Idol

Christians have a duty to identify and avoid unbiblical doctrines and trends. Similarly, God commands us to identify and avoid false teachers. Obedience to these  mandates should lead us into deep sorrow for people who fall prey to deceptive beliefs and practices. That same obedience should also challenge us to maintain our own purity of devotion to the Lord.

Often, a course of obedience can degenerate into idolatry. I may, to be specific, have a calling to point out errors that permeate the visible church, but I periodically catch myself giving more attention to that task than I give to Christ Himself. As a result, I make myself guilty of the very sin I abhor in others.
17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” ~~Romans 2:17-24 (ESV)
False doctrine obscures, distorts or calls into question the nature and work of God. In particular, it perverts Jesus Christ either by diverting attention away from Him or  by challenging His authority. Therefore, I need to contend for the faith with the singular goal of honoring Him.

So I don't want to stop dealing with the various aberrations that evangelicals so eagerly embrace.  But in so doing, I don't want my vision so concentrated on correcting faulty theology that, like the Pharisees of His day, I lose sight of the very Lord I claim to love and worship. So I have to continually pull back from evaluating the various things that pollute evangelical culture by reminding myself of His worthiness to be praised.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. ~~Colossians 1:15-19 (ESV)
Jesus alone deserves my attention, precisely because of His preeminence, and I desire to remain faithful to Him. Certainly, honoring Him will include pointing out anything that deviates from Him, but pointing out those deviations must occur only for the purpose of glorifying Him.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Remember The Future

Sometimes we forget. Certainly, we find it essential to concentrate on those doctrines that affect our lives here and now. And yes, we have the great obligation to battle the stubborn residue of sin in our lives for the purpose of honoring the Lord in holiness. But in all of this obedience, we sometimes forget that it has a broader point. This present life prepares us for eternity. Praise God for reminding me of the heaven that awaits Christians by leading me to this Isaac Watts hymn.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

An Excuse For Writer's Block

My current writer's block has nothing to do with a lack of subject matter. As a matter of fact, I just deleted a nicely written paragraph-and-a-half about my first-hand experience with the Church Growth Movement that could have easily launched a compelling series on the topic. It could have also hurt people that I  still hold dear.

Taking stands for the truth has cost me friendships. That will happen again. I agree with those who charge that doctrine divides. Indeed, Jesus brought violent division to First Century Jews to such an extent that many  of His followers suffered persecution and death at the hands of those who believed themselves to be devoted followers of the one true God. He said, quite explicitly, that He would cause division to the degree that people would equate persecuting His disciples with serving God (see John 16:1-4).

So I don't want to bury truth simply to keep myself  comfortable. But neither do I want to speak truth in a malicious manner. People I love are caught in churches that promote Church Growth strategies, and many of them are genuine Christians. I don't mind angering false converts (especially those who prefer deception over truth), but the Lord would have me be patient with those who know Him truly (Galatians 6:1-3). I also have belonged to churches that promoted error, and I remember how gently and gradually the Lord corrected me.

I definitely have a good deal to say about the Church Growth Movement. And you'd be right in assuming that much of what I want to say fails to be complimentary. But in faithfulness to the Lord, I want to make sure that I write with an attitude that reflects both His anger towards sin and His love towards those who sin unintentionally. Until I can figure out how to write with that careful balance, remaining faithful to Him in all respects, I think it best not to directly address the topic. May God guide me as I study and pray.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Quotation

"Does the Church have the courage to become relevant by becoming biblical? Is it willing to break with the cultural habits of the time and propose something quite absurd, like recovering both the word and the meaning of sin? ... Why should the postmortem world believe the Gospel when the Church appears so unsure of its truth that it dresses up that Gospel in the garments of modernity to heighten its interest? ... We need the faith of the ages, not the reconstructions of a therapeutically driven and commercially inspired faith. And we need it, not least, because without it our postmortem world will become starved for the Word of God." (David Wells, LosingOur Virtue, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998; pp. 199, 207, 209.)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Faulty Measurements

Sketch  by Michelangelo
My first semester as a college freshman consisted of a Latin class and four inter-related classes (called a Colloquium) on the Renaissance. Within this Colloquium, my classmates and I took Political Science, English Literature, Art History and Philosophy. Our Philosophy class also served as a sort of "home base" where we synthesized the four disciplines. Early on, the Philosophy professor taught that the cornerstone of Renaissance thought hearkened back to an ancient Greek philosopher, Protagoras, who said "Man is the measure of all things."

This revival of viewing man, rather than God, as the focal point of life has continued, in varying degrees, to permeate Western Civilization since the Renaissance. It seems to me that the idea enjoys a present resurgence in our postmodern culture. The current twist to this ancient maxim presents personal experience, as opposed to objective fact, as the means of determining "truth." Hence the familiar saying, "What's true for you may not be true for me."

That subjective measuring rod frequently offers non-Christians a convenient buffer against the Gospel's authority. If they can discount Jesus' claim of being Truth Himself (John 14:6), they can dismiss His right to command their obedience. They essentially declare themselves as lords over their own lives (while rarely using that terminology, of course). Like Protagoras, and the Renaissance scholars who dredged him up, they reject Him as Lord in deference to their own self will.

The Christian response, however, must stand firm against man-centered philosophy. We have the responsibility to firmly stand for the truth of God's Word, which has always contradicted humanistic thought. Paul's charge to Timothy applies to all Christians since we each bear the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ~~2 Timothy 4:1-5 (ESV)
The Renaissance may have accomplished many wonderful things, and I will always love Italian Renaissance painting. But my love for Christ necessitates that I believe His Word...even when it is "out of season." Only one Man, because He lived a sinless life, died in the place of sinners and rose from the dead, possesses the ability to be the Measure of all things. Please look to Him as your Standard.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Matter Of Will

People, and single people in particular, strain and struggle to figure out God's will for their lives. I well remember the last few weeks leading up to my 2001 trip to Boston, during which John and I would decide to either become engaged or curtail our relationship.

At 3:00 in the morning I sat in my driveway with three friends and my mom, ready to drive to San Francisco International Airport.  Before the driver put the key in the ignition, we prayed that the Lord would show me and John His will. Several years earlier, I'd gotten dangerously close to marrying a false convert, and the experience taught me how easily my emotions could cloud my judgment. Additionally, two ladies close to me had just filed for divorce, a third girlfriend confided in me about the multiple problems in her marriage. I really didn't want to make a mistake!

Clearly, I married John 14 months later. Our marriage led me into Reformed theology. I now understand that the Lord sovereignly orchestrated many circumstances to bring me and John together. We needed no further sign. He gave us complete freedom to marry based on our shared love for Him. Looking back, I see the ridiculousness of my striving to discern God's will instead of humbly thanking Him for blessing me with the privilege of marrying such a godly man.

Since marrying John, the Lord has developed my understanding of Scripture. Specifically, I've learned through reading the Old Testament that God's will encompasses ever so much more than the minutia of individual lives. As lovingly as He numbers the hairs on our heads (Luke 2:7), His overarching passion centers on displaying His glory through a people who worship Him. Our redemption benefits us, to be sure, but He gave us salvation for His purposes.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our 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 lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. ~~Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)
Rather than scrambling to "hear from God" about whom we should marry or what job we should take, we should search Scripture to learn how we can glorify Him.  As a single, how can you use your freedom from commitment to serve Christ? As John's wife, how can I participate in my marriage so that I glorify Him? Regardless of our marital status, do we live in ways that place the emphasis on Him, or do we clutter our thoughts with demands that He cater to us?

I understand why people want a crystal ball to tell them exactly what God wants for them. But He has adjusted my perspective by convincing me that His greater will deserves much  more attention than the details of my circumstances. If I faithfully respond to those circumstances in ways that reflect His  character, I will have done His will.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Not My Doing

Sigh.

Sermons, such as one that recently showed up in my email inbox, can remind me of how easily people can pervert passages of Scripture into works-based religion. Admittedly, I've struggled for far too many years with the idea that God would revoke my salvation if I sinned badly enough, and I've self-righteously congratulated myself much too often on my supposed obedience. Yet I always returned to the truth that the Lord considers my best efforts to be "filthy rags" in His sight (Isaiah 64:6).

The sermon correctly pointed out that Jesus calls His people to love and serve each other. Sadly, it ended there, completely overlooking the fact that we have the capacity to love and serve only by the power of the resurrected Christ. Worse, the person who preached the sermon implied that our obedience or disobedience to perform acts of love and service determines whether we go to heaven or hell.

Why the omission of salvation only through the blood of Jesus Christ? I don't know! But I praise Him that, in fact, He did die for me, securing my place in heaven.  If I love and serve, I do so out of gratitude for what He did for me.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

More Than My Opinion

A good writer must, above all else, respect words enough to use them accurately. Therefore, it disturbs me to have used the word "opinions" yesterday in reference to the spiritual content of this blog. Even though I well understand my fallibility in grasping and communicating Biblical principles, those principles should never be thought of as merely my opinion.

Our postmodern culture insists that truth depends on personal interpretation. "What's true for you may not be true for me." The only absolute I see in postmodern philosophy is that Bible-believing Christians require silencing. If the culture fails to silence us outright, then it must characterize the Gospel as no more than opinion...and misguided, antiquated opinion at that. Once this characterization establishes itself, people have no difficulty dismissing the Lord and replacing Him with spiritual systems tailored to their own preferences.

Postmodern thought, however, really goes back to the same old humanistic rebellion against the Lord that mankind has perpetrated since Adam and Eve defiantly ate the forbidden fruit. Each of us, unless the Holy Spirit intervenes, trades God's truth for the ideas that we concoct for ourselves.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. ~~Romans 1:18-25 (ESV)
Certainly, I hold very strong opinions on a variety of matters ranging from the upcoming presidential election to women covering their heads in church services. And I recognize that such matters are legitimately open to debate. But when it comes to the clear teaching of Scripture, I refuse to regard my fidelity to it as subjective opinion. 

I may misunderstand passages of Scripture here and there. When I do, the last thing I need is for people to indulge my opinion! I need people to correct my error by showing me how my ideas deviate from God's word. Remind me that Scripture must be properly understood and interpreted in context so that I'll correctly discern the Lord's truth and apply His truth in accordance with His will. Don't let me settle for my own meager opinion when I need the  firm foundation of His truth. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Wonderful Lethargy Of Spring Fever

All the blogging I did in March depleted me so completely that I just wanted a break. Did I need a break? Really, I'm not sure. Perhaps taking some sort of sabbath from it each week would do me good.

John and I did have a real play-day in Boston Monday, going to the Museum of Fine Arts and then lunch at Quincy Market. I planned to blog about it Tuesday, and then decided chronicling the whole Adventure simply seemed too overwhelming--particularly since the exhibit we specifically went to see  disappointed us.
Time Capsule that Paul Revere and Sam Adams buried in the State House
We enjoyed being in Boston apart from visiting one of John's doctors, to be sure, and we thoroughly delighted in seeing the wonderfully familiar places and faces that this insufferable winter had kept from us. We'd had two other brief visits to Boston this month (both connected with medical appointments), but honestly, none of our three trips inspired me to write.

Sadly, I find myself also floundering when it comes to writing about the Lord. I have beginnings of ideas, so I don't need suggestions for topics. I simply don't want to do the hard work of research and the heavy lifting of developing the ideas I already have.

Call it Spring Fever. You know I'll eventually find myself on some tirade against false teaching or excited rapture about something I've read in God's Word. These vacations from blogging never seem to last long...probably because I so enjoy spouting my thoughts and opinions all over the Internet! But for now let me have my Spring Fever. And pray for me to come back with a better blog than ever.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

My Perfect Plea

The Lord, as many Christians know, desires that His people live in repentance and holiness. Yet He knows very well that all of us naturally gravitate toward sin. Although He empowers us to walk in obedience to Him by the power of His Holy Spirit, we frequently fail to appropriate that power.

Praise the Lord that my salvation depends exclusively on Jesus and His death on the cross rather than on my dismal performance as a Christian! His grace in saving me only makes me more eager to live a life of holiness that honors Him.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday Quote

Whether in its explicit or implicit expressions, Gnosticism exchanges the strange and often troubling God of Israel for an idol that never really judges and therefore never really forgives.

Michael Horton in Christless Christianity

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Smelling The Flowers

Writing the same things repeatedly has the advantage of helping readers grab on to points I want to make. In that respect, I don't mind keeping to a narrow array of themes in this blog. That very narrowness may well give focus and clarity to both me and my readers. That obviously has benefits.

Sometimes, however, I get bored with blogging. My more seasoned readers know that my periods of boredom never last very long, and that I generally resume blogging within days of announcing that I need a break. So expect to see more posts from me soon, especially ones that celebrate the foundational tenets of Biblical Christianity. But allow me a little break for now.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Love's Redeeming Work Is Done

Christ's resurrection assures us that the Father accepted His atoning work on the cross. Paul explained it best in His first letter to the Corinthians:
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. ~~1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (ESV)
Had Jesus remained in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, He would have been a pathetic deceiver and the sad victim of His own delusions. Glory be to God, then, that He really did rise from the dead, guaranteeing that He had indeed triumphed over sin! 

Today's hymn celebrates the amazing victory of His greatest miracle.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Men And The Dead Body

The Roman soldier did a double-take. He had seen many crucifixions, so he knew that death normally came (at the very earliest) in about twelve hours. Sometimes several days would pass before a criminal succumbed to asphyxiation.  Yet Jesus, despite being in His early 30's and apparently in perfect health, died in a mere six hours.

Just to be sure that He really was dead, the soldier thrust his spear into Jesus' side. Immediately, blood and water gushed out, confirming to the puzzled soldier that Jesus had indeed died.

Joseph of Arimathea heard that Jesus, the Rabbi he had been secretly following, had died as if He'd been a criminal. How unjust! Why hadn't he,  a wealthy man, used his money and influence to buy off the Sanhedrin? Why didn't he bribe Pilate? Now, filled with grief and self-recrimination, Joseph obtained permission to bury Jesus in his newly purchased tomb.

Nicodemus shared Joseph's feelings of guilt, having also concealed his faith in Jesus in order to maintain his good standing with the Pharisees. He could have argued against the mock trial and trumped up charges...but he remained  silent. As he helped Joseph carry the body to the tomb and helped the women wrap Him in grave clothes, he wept at knowing that he had valued his prestige above the Master's life.

All three men had handled Jesus' lifeless body. They knew, with absolutely no doubt, that He had died. The apostle John identified them, corroborating his own testimony that Jesus had indeed given up His life. The  certainty of Jesus death and burial, you see, leads us to a more glorious certainty!

Friday, April 3, 2015

No Contribution But His

What could I, a simple housewife whose formal education extends no further than a paltry BA in English Literature, possibly contribute to the conversation concerning Good Friday? Dear readers, you can find good (and bad) sermons on the topic by typing "Good Friday sermons" into your favorite search engine. You don't need my feeble explanations.

Yet, the events of that terrible day, when the Creator of the Universe voluntarily suffered and bled and died to accept the punishment for my sins, changed my life so radically that I can't keep from talking about their effect. Not that Christ's death inspires me to avoid sin (although it does), or that He makes me a "better" person (although He gives me His righteousness). My response to His crucifixion must never take center stage.

Jesus' death accomplished the transformation in my life. Even my ability to trust that His blood atoned for my sin comes as a precious gift from Him!

Paul's letter to the Colossians best explains the power of what Jesus did on that Friday that He took my place on that hideous Roman cross. Read this passage carefully, asking the Holy Spirit if this glorious transaction annuls your debt to the Holy God.
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. ~~Colossians 2:13-15 (ESV)
I know that my debt of sin went far deeper than I could ever begin to imagine. They rendered me dead in this present life, and assured me of eternal damnation upon the Last Judgment. But the Lord, Who rose from the dead, paid my debt as He shed His blood on the cross! He did so much more than inspire me to behave in accordance with His Holy standard; He actually assumed full responsibility for my sin so that He could declare me righteous.

Clearly, I haven't written anything new in observation of Good Friday, since Christians have offered this same testimony for over 2000 years. As a writer, I'd love to bring something new to the conversation. I'd like to offer some innovative insight that would make the topic fresh and intriguing. At the same time, my inability to add to the discussion reminds me that I can also contribute absolutely nothing to Jesus' work on the cross.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday Quote

"Although the sovereignty of God is universal and absolute, it is not the sovereignty of blind power. It is coupled with infinite wisdom, holiness and love. And this doctrine, when properly understood, is a most comforting and reassuring one. Who would not prefer to have his affairs in the hands of a God of infinite power, wisdom, holiness and love, rather than to have them left to fate, or chance, or irrevocable natural law, or to short-sighted and perverted self? Those who reject God's sovereignty should consider what alternatives they have left"(Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination , 32).

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