Over at Ligonier, Keith Mathison has begun a series of articles in which he will be detailing the top five books written on each of the Five Solas of the Reformation. Keep you eye out for the rest.
A few years ago, I ran across a comic strip in which one of the figures says, “Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who do study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.” This comic is a humorous, albeit somewhat cynical, play on the well-known quote by the American philosopher George Santayana (1863–1952), who wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It is a well-known and widely used quote because there is much truth in it.
The truth that Santayana grasped is abundantly illustrated in the history of the modern evangelical church. We are a people who have forgotten our roots, and in many cases we really don’t seem to care. The church exists in a world of rapidly changing technology, a world in which almost everyone has been assimilated into the incessant chatter of social media and real-time updates on everything from world politics to what your friend had for breakfast this morning. If we are to be relevant, we too must be a people of the new and the now. Or so we think. Read more…
1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty and power of acting upon choice, that it is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil.
( Matthew 17:12; James 1:14; Deuteronomy 30:19 )
2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but yet was unstable, so that he might fall from it.
( Ecclesiastes 7:29; Genesis 3:6 )
3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
( Romans 5:6; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Titus 3:3-5; John 6:44 )
4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, and by his grace alone enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so as that by reason of his remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly, nor only will, that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.
( Colossians 1:13; John 8:36; Philippians 2:13; Romans 7:15, 18, 19, 21, 23 )
5. This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only.
( Ephesians 4:13 )