April 3, 2011

What is an Evangelical

The term "evangelical" is colored with different shadings in various parts of the world.  In North America until very recently, it was used to refer to Christians who are loyal to both a formal principle and a material principle.  The formal principle is the truth, authority, and finality of the Bible.  The material principle is the gospel as understood in historic evangelical Protestantism.  While not wanting to minimize the theological and ecclesiastical differences in that heritage, we might summarize that heritage in terms such as these: We insist that salvation is gained exclusively through personal faith in the finished cross-work of Jesus Christ, who is both God and man.  His atoning death, planned and brought about by his heavenly Father, expiates our sin, vanquishes Satan, propitiates the Father, and inaugurates the promised kingdom.  In the ministry, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus, God himself is supremely revealed, such that rejection of Jesus, or denials of what the Scriptures tell us about Jesus, constitue nothing less than rejection of God himself.  In consequence of his triumphant cross-work, Christ has bequeathed the Holy Spirit, himself God, as the down-payment of the final inheritance that will come to Christ's people when he himself returns.  The saving and transforming power of the Spirit displayed in the lives of Christs people is the product of divine grace, grace alone -- grace that is apprehended by faith alone.  The knowledge of God that we enjoy becomes for us an impetus to missionary outreach characterized by urgency and compassion.
Carson, D. A.  1996.  The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 445.

April 1, 2011

Book Review - The Priest with Dirty Clothes

Disclaimer: I received a complementary copy of The Priest With Dirty Clothes from Reformation Trust in exchange for a review.

This children's story by Dr. R. C. Sproul is based upon Zechariah 3:1-5.  Dr. Sproul uses this passage to weave a story about a young priest who is called up to preach a sermon before the household of the King.  However, on his way to the court of the King, he is thrown from his horse in the middle of a rainstorm and his garments are soiled by mud.  When standing before the King, his blemishes are pointed out by the court magician, Malus, who says that he should not be able to stand in the presence of the King, and the King agrees.  However, the King is willing to give the young priest a second chance if only he can clean his robes.
The young priest tries everything he can think of to cleanse his robes, but nothing works.  Finally, he comes to the Great Prince and asks for His help and He agrees on the condition that the priest trusts in Him.  When the priest next appears before the King, Malus once again begins to accuse the priest; however, the Great Prince comes in and takes the priest's clothes and gives him His own magnificent robes.

What I liked:
As a father of four young children, I love these stories because they teach such profound biblical truths, but do so in a way that is easy to understand for younger children.  This story is no exception.  Our sin and unrighteousness before a holy God is pictured in the soiled robes of the young priest.  Also the great great truth of the double imputation of our sin to Jesus and His righteousness to us is pictured in the exchanging of the robes, so that the priest is clad in the Prince's robes and the Prince is clad in the priest's soiled clothes.

Another thing that I like about this book is the artwork.  It is visually quite pleasing to look at, my children are enjoying just sitting and looking at the pictures.

What I didn't like:
There isn't anything to report here.

My Rating: