In the coming weeks I will be closing down Reformation Journal. Other vocational and ministry responsibilities are consuming my time and I have been unable to update the site regularly and see no potential for this to change in the near future. Allow me to use some bits for a few “thank yous,” mentions, and suggested replacements.
The following is an excerpt from John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book 2: chapter 2: paragraphs 18-21). This section deals with the absolute necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit prior to any action on our part in the work of salvation.
The limits of our understanding
We must now explain what the power of human reason is, in regard to the kingdom of God, and spiritual discernments which consists chiefly of three things – the knowledge of God, the knowledge of his paternal favour towards us, which constitutes our salvation, and the method of regulating of our conduct in accordance with the Divine Law. Read the rest of this entry »
Most of us, I suspect, develop fairly standard ways, one might even say repetitive ways, to appeal to the motivations of our hearers when we preach the gospel. Recently, however, I have wondered if I have erred in this respect—not so much in what I say as in what I never or almost never say. What follows is in some ways a mea culpa, plus some indication of why I think the topic should be important for all of us.
Before I survey the motivations themselves, I should specify that because the gospel is to be preached to both unbelievers and believers, the motivations that here interest me may be found among both parties. Nevertheless, I shall tilt the discussion toward those motivations of unbelievers to which we should appeal when we preach the gospel to them, aiming, in God’s mercy, at their conversion.