Ready for a little church history lesson? I’d like to recommend an important document that I believe every Christian should be familiar with known as the Canons of Dort (full text available here).
The Canons of Dort is a collection of doctrinal statements that were documented by a committee that assembled in the Netherlands in 1618. When the teachings of Jacob Arminius (1506-1609), a theology professor at Leiden University, were systematized into a document called “The Five Articles of Remonstrance“, controversies arose to such a serious level that they could not be ignored. In Creeds Of Christendom, Philip Schaff wrote,
The controversy was purely theological in its nature, but owing to the intimate connection of Church and State it became inevitably entangled in political issues, and shook the whole country. The Reformed Churches in France, Switzerland, Germany, England, and Scotland took a deep interest in it, and sided, upon the whole, with the Calvinistic party; while the Lutheran Church sympathized to some extent with the Arminian (Vol. I).
Continue reading “Canons of Dort – What is it?” →
Introductory Essay to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by J. I. Packer
“…we speak of God’s love as if it were no more than a general willingness to receive any who will turn and trust; and we depict the Father and the Son, not as sovereignly active in drawing sinners to themselves, but as waiting in quiet impotence “at the door of our hearts” for us to let them in…this set of twisted half-truths is something other than the biblical gospel.” – Packer
I’ve heard it said that the works of Puritan pastor and theologian John Owen need to be read aloud or standing up in order to avoid falling asleep! It’s not so much that the material is boring per se, but that Owen’s writing style is difficult to wade through and the effort, while worth it, can be mentally taxing. Owen’s classic work, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, published in 1648, biblically explores the subject of the atonement — that is, the purpose and effect of Christ’s death in carrying out God’s plan of redemption. Owen’s purpose was to show “that the doctrine of universal redemption is unscriptural and destructive to the gospel.” He discusses in depth the question, “For whom did Christ suffer and die?” with three possible answers: 1) All of the sins of all men; 2) Some of the sins of all men; or 3) All of the sin of some men. Of course, only one of these can be the true answer, and the answer must come from Scripture, not from one’s preconceived notions, opinions, or feelings. Continue reading “Christ’s Death: For All, Some or None?” →