A Frustrating Conclusion

Recently I posted a critique of Mike Gendron and his Proclaiming the Gospel ministry (an outreach to Roman Catholics). I then emailed him to give him a fair chance to see it and to dialogue. Without much commentary from me, I will here below post our email exchange. I am doing so because I am truly mystified and frustrated with this brother.

To try to be clear, I had two goals in contacting and critiquing Mr. Gendron:

  1. Call him to account for using fallacious, sub-Christian reasoning.
  2. To ask if he could give evidence that he understands what he is attacking.

And both of these points failed to produce fruit. What I want you to see is our failure to establish even the most minimal line of understanding and communication. I’d love to get your feedback or advice in the comments – how could I have done better?

Continue reading

Unnecessary Division between Us

GendronI’ve subscribed to Mike Gendron’s “Proclaiming the Gospel” email newsletter for years, until today. Mike is an ex-Roman Catholic with a focus on evangelizing his ex-brethren, and his teachings are pointed, clear, and helpful in preparing to witness to Romanists.

Although I always knew Mike to be a Dispensationalist, I looked past it to learn other things from him, as I do with excellent men like John MacArthur and others. On April 1 of this year, Mike sent out a short article in his newsletter, reposted here: Continue reading

Chalcedonian Defintion and Hypostatic Union

No Christian can believe something substantially different than the conclusions of Chalcedon and still hope he is a Christian.

Nil Nisi Verum

In A.D. 451  a large church council was convened to solve the problems raised in the controversies over the debate on the person of Christ. They met in the city of Chalcedon and a product of their meeting was the Chalcedonian Definition. This statement is considered the standard orthodox definition of the biblical teaching on the person of Christ by the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox communions. It is brief enough to be stated here:

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according…

View original post 490 more words

The Sacramental Grace of Baptism

In my work of discipling fellow Baptists and evangelicals, I have the joy of often introducing them to the concept of sacramental grace. I am currently writing up a little lesson on baptism for some friends, and so I thought I would share it here. For further reading, see here and here.

baptism pool

Here are my notes:

Adam’s perspective on baptism:
  • The NT speaks of baptism as an event by which God gives a kind of grace where we are bound to Him.
  • – Acts 2:37-38 baptized for the remission of sins
  • – Matthew 28:18-20 baptism as entrance into the life of discipleship
  • – Romans 6:1-4 baptism as incorporation into the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ
  • – Colossians 2:11-14 baptism as circumcision (which was both a symbol and a reality of what it symbolized EVEN IF ADMINISTERED AFTER THE REALITY BEGAN – see Romans 4) & (notice how baptism and the gospel blend right into each other)
  • – Ephesians 4:5 one baptism
  • – Ephesians 5:26-27 washing of water with the word (cf. Titus 3:5)
  • – 1 Peter 3:21 baptism now saves you

Continue reading

How can we REALLY Know that God has Spoken?

This is the text of an academic paper I recently presented at the Northeastern Seminary theology conference (Participation in God’s Mission, featuring Michael Gorman).

This paper arose from my own search for solid ground underneath the Christian faith. In other words, if Christianity is true, shouldn’t we be able to dig down to some ultimate foundational truth that cannot be undermined? The answer is…

——————–

Revelation and Knowledge Bridged in Proverbs: the Confident Cruciform Life
The cruciform life begins, for each Christian, by the authoritative call of God. That call, which comes through hearing his word, is radical in its implications, absolute in authority, and transformative. It is predicated on the superior authority of God’s self-revelation through redemptive history. This divine authority does not confront us as first of all a proposition to be studied, or to be accepted by some degree of probability, or even as the conclusion to a complex syllogism. Notice there is no philosophical defense of the existence of God in Genesis 1:1, but rather a naked assertion of his being (“In the beginning, God. . .”). Jesus’ radical call to discipleship comes from that same assumed authority.
To heed the call, and to follow Christ is to put oneself at peril. Human nature is bent toward self-preservation, yet the example and commandments of Jesus bend us away from self toward God and others, even to the embracing of dangerous enemies. If we are to obey Jesus, forsaking even “house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands” (Mark 10:29), then we must have a solid confidence in the preeminent authority of God’s self-revelation. Continue reading

Take 2 John and Call Christ in the Morning

2 John is a single short chapter, easily overlooked, and yet deeply relevant to our situation as Christians today, 1,930 years after he wrote.

John is writing to his dear friend, and in extension to all Christians, and he is warning us about the danger of compromising the truth, using the themes of truth, love, and abiding/walking in truth and love.

Let’s see if I’m right, using a little color to highlight the themes:

——

The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

——

John is an old man, and the last living Apostle. His stature in the early church is beyond authoritative: he is the most important man alive. Jesus had personally commanded him to take care of his mother Mary (John 19:26-27)!!

He greets “the elect lady” whom he “love[s] in truth. . .” Here he is possibly calling a whole church the elect lady metaphorically, but the plain use of language calls us to interpret this as an individual woman – could it even have been Mary, mother of Jesus as a very old woman? Maybe! Think about it – Mary truly was the elect among the elect, only less than her Son Jesus in importance in redemptive history.

But notice how he addresses her: he uses the word “truth” four times in the first three verses, and “love twice – and all of this he connects with the eternal life and presence of Jesus abiding with us. But look at this:

——

Walking in Truth and Love

I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.

——

And what does that look like, John?

——

And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world,those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

Final Greetings

12 Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your elect sister greet you.

——

Why shouldn’t we share the apostle’s love of the truth? We ought to be as focused, and diligent concerning what is true, false, right, and wrong. Let us follow what is true and right, and let the Lord Himself sort out the critics who will call us cruel, mean-spirited, or divisive.

Thanks for reading,

Adam