Sometimes Christians talk about God as being pure act. While such language sounds good and wholesome, it is unlikely that even those who use the phrase know what it means. To define God as pure actuality is abstract, obscure, and strange.
And also very true.
God is pure act. If he was not, he would not be God and we would be of all people most to be pitied. For God’s promises may not be sure, his desires in process, and his goals merely a possibility.
The basic idea behind God’s pure actuality follows from God’s eternity. Since God exists eternally and so has no beginning, cause, or potentiality, then he is pure act (Thomas, Sum. Cont. Gent. 1.16). Let me try to unfold what this means. [Read more…] about What Does “Pure Act” Mean, and Why Should I Care?
We die once and then enter into judgment (Heb 9:27). In that judgment, Christ will distinguish between sheep and goats, between those who walk the narrow path and those who the wide path, and between the faithful and the faithless. According to Jesus, the first will enter “eternal life,” while the second “will go away into eternal punishment” (Matt 25:46).
When the Lord judges, he will justly judge those who enter eternal punishment. Yet we should still grieve for every soul that falls into eternal perdition. We should desire the repentance of everyone. And we should take no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
Every Christian should desire that all people repent and come to a knowledge of the truth. And we should do so because God desires the same. [Read more…] about Christians Should Desire the Salvation of All People Because God Does
Christians today understand the Lord’s Supper by comparing common Reformation-era debates concerning the meal with the New Testament. The most important theological notions then become whether or not one holds to the real presence, spiritual presence, or memorial view of the Supper.
While such distinctions help us understand the Supper, we should not omit the wealth of historical and theological witnesses we have from the first and second century.
We have a number of writings that explain how the Lord’s Supper was understood and celebrated during the time of the apostles and while the New Testament still was being written. And we have additional witnesses that follow the apostolic age who adopted already established practices from the apostolic era. [Read more…] about How Did New Testament Era Christians Understand and Celebrate the Lord’s Supper
When Jesus hung on the cross, Roman soldiers “pierced his side with a spear” (John 19:34). And something entirely unexpected happened. Jesus did not just bleed. Water and blood flowed from his side.
This event so impressed the early Christians that about sixty years later, John records this event and emphasized that “He who saw it has borne witness” (John 19:35). John needs his readers to know that an eyewitness saw it happen. And he emphasizes: “His testimony is true, and he knows he is telling the truth.”
Why did John (likely himself the eyewitness) so strongly remember this event sixty years in his past and want his readers to know about it for perpetuity? [Read more…] about Why Did Blood and Water Flow from Christ at the Cross?
Recently, Presbyterian Pastor Tim Bayly claimed, “Moving from son to husband and father is the essence of manhood. #manup.” The progression of son to husband and father makes up the essence of manhood according to Bayly. And actually, many Christians believe similar sentiments.
But does such a view make sense when we consider nature and Scripture? I argue that it does not. This position mistakes what we see in nature as itself possessing essential meaning. Instead, Christians should affirm that spiritual realities correspond to the order of nature.