Christians proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ because it is good news. And what makes it so good? The reason why the Gospel is good news is because of who God is, what he has promised, and what he has done. Let’s take this apart one-by-one. [Read more…] about Three Reasons Why the Gospel Is Good News
Bates, Matthew W. Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the king. Grand Rapid: Baker Academic, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-8010-9797-3. Pp. xvi–234. Book Cover.
Matthew Bates wrote Salvation by Allegiance Alone primarily to rethink Protestant conceptions of faith, works, and the Gospel. Bates’ book, however, also engages with Roman Catholicism, which makes sense given Bates’ vocation. Bates is the assistant professor of theology at Quincy University, a Roman Catholic institution.
His previous publications include The Hermeneutics of Apostolic Proclamation and The Birth of the Trinity. His scholarly pursuits and his unique vocational position as a Protestant at a Roman Catholic institution give Bates an interesting platform from which he can critique both traditions. [Read more…] about Book Review of Salvation by Allegiance Alone by Matthew Bates
Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
– Jonathan Edwards
Fear, anxiety, and guilt are often futile. And they often feel inescapable. They take you and control you. They guide you to one point of focus: “Did I really say that?”, “How can live after this?”, “Nobody cares about me?” And the point of focus only serves to feed your dour emotions. Like the sun’s setting, gloom slowly but surely covers you in darkness.
And yet, some people overcome the soul’s darkest nights, and Christianity promises joy that puts out shadowy gloom (John 16:24). How? The answer is, in part, that Christians live their lives with eternity on their minds. While fear and anxiety will not disappear when you place eternity at the centre of your life, they will be put in their place and easier to handle. But before we get to this, let’s talk about two kinds of fear, anxiety, and guilt. [Read more…] about Fear, Anxiety, and Guilt Are Often Futile
David Brooks at the NYTimes called The Benedict Option “the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade.” Over at The Week, Damon Linker wrote that The Benedict Option “may be the most important statement of its kind since Richard John Neuhaus’ The Naked Public Square, the 1984 book that Dreher’s implicitly seeks to supplant.”
The plethora of reviews written for The Benedict Option (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and probably many more) as well as the various discussions and controversies surrounding the book prove just how discussed The Benedict Option is. The internet, it seems, is alive with the sound of The Benedict Option.
For my part, I believe that Rod Dreher has correctly diagnosed our times but has prescribed the wrong medicine. Instead of retreating into Christian communities to create a Christian cultural witness, we need to return to a New Testament Gospel witness. But before I get to that, let’s start with what Dreher gets right. [Read more…] about The Gospel Option: An Evangelical Response to the Benedict Option