• How can I love the truth without becoming a Pharisee? Question and Answer

    One of the things we go back to is recognizing who we are as whole people. We’re not just rational people. It’s about the truth, and it’s also about what Edwards would call the “affections.” The affections are not the emotions, but Edwards would say that you know it when you sense the sweetness of it. Calvin says in the Institutes that saving faith is the sensus suavitatus, a sense of sweetness. You see it in the Psalms when the psalmist desired the Word of God as he desired the honeycomb (Ps. 19:10). If this is the truth and the … View Resource

  • How do we share the truth without being argumentative? Question and Answer

    Ephesians 4:15

    It’s hard not to be argumentative or offensive because, when you disagree with anybody, the tendency is for people to be offended. When you talk about being argumentative, that is a negative description of things. But giving solid biblical arguments is what we are called to do. Now, to make a sound argument to support the truth claims of a position is not necessarily to be argumentative. Argumentativism describes a hostile, mean spirit. So, one doesn’t have to be argumentative to make sound arguments, and I would encourage people to make clear and biblical arguments for the truth. … View Resource

  • What are the essential qualities of a Christian? Question and Answer

    1 Corinthians 13:13

    Think for example about what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13. Here is a church where certain gifts are being held up before the people as indications of a kind of super-spirituality. And basically what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13 is, “You can have all of these gifts and actually be nothing in God’s kingdom.” So what would be the sign? The sign would be the presence of faith and hope and love (1 Cor. 13:13): faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in Him; hope—remember how Peter speaks in 1 Peter about the hope that is given to … View Resource

  • Throughout the Bible we are told to fear God. What does that mean? Question and Answer

    Proverbs 9:10

    We need to make some important distinctions about the biblical meaning of “fearing” God. These distinctions can be helpful, but they can also be a little dangerous. When Luther struggled with that, he made this distinction, which has since become somewhat famous: He distinguished between what he called a servile fear and a filial fear. The servile fear is a kind of fear that a prisoner in a torture chamber has for his tormentor, the jailer, or the executioner. It’s that kind of dreadful anxiety in which someone is frightened by the clear and present danger that is represented by … View Resource