Posts by Michael Roberts

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It can sometimes be revealing to notice how certain terms or expressions from the Bible take on a different meaning once they find their way into the secular world, or even into other branches of world Christianity. The term "saint" is a good example. In a religious context, it can bring to mind a...
One of the basic practices in the Christian life is prayer. It is a spiritual discipline that is instilled in us from our earliest days. It is uttered in private, in family devotions, and in various public settings for numerous occasions, both within the church and outside of it. Moreover, it is...
From the opening verse of Genesis 1, God is declared to be the Creator; and as the creation account is described throughout chapters 1 and 2, the Bible simply states that God was there before anything else, and this fundamental fact is to be received by faith (Heb. 11:3). Another point that we...
When we speak of God as our Father, it is immediately plain that we are expressing a belief that is unique to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Of course, to the extent that other religious or philosophical systems maintain that the world owes its allegiance to some kind of deity, in a very general or...
There are any number of passages on prayer to which one could turn. But there is something powerfully succinct about Paul’s words in Colossians 4: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (v. 2). Here we have directions concerning our attitude and response, which...
One of the basic practices in the Christian life is prayer. It is a spiritual discipline that is instilled in us from our earliest days. It is uttered in private, in family devotions, and in various public settings for numerous occasions, both within the church and outside of it. Moreover, it is...
The doctrine is known by more than one name, which has created some serious problems because it has led to confusion about what the biblical teaching really is. Two other terms or expressions, "eternal security" and "once saved, always saved," are not the most accurate to use because of what can...
The third point in Reformed theology’s famous acrostic suffers from something of an identity problem. As it has been often observed, the preferred way to describe the doctrine in question is that of either definite atonement or particular redemption, owing to the traditional term’s rather negative...
Whether formally acknowledged or not, confessional orthodoxy is a matter of importance to every genuine Christian. This is true even for Christians who might tend to be put off or dismissive of the term "confessional" or "confession" on the grounds that it either smacks of a mainline flavor, or,...
For various reasons, the words "scholar" and "pastor" are not put together as they once were. There was once a time when the minister was the most educated man in the community. And there came with that a concern, and perhaps even an expectation, that his pulpit ministry would bear the...
The third point in Reformed theology's famous acrostic suffers from something of an identity problem. As it has been often observed, the preferred way to describe the doctrine in question is that of either definite atonement or particular redemption, owing to the traditional term's rather negative...
John Owen, the seventeenth century English Puritan, wrote of an imagined reaction in heaven by the Son of God in response to the fall of Adam and Eve, and what he purposed to do in response:
Prior to the Protestant Reformation, theological reflection was generally in the realm of what we would today call systematic theology. As can be seen by its name, the goal is to systematize or order the teaching of the Bible into a coherent expression of doctrine. One expression of this is in...
"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." But how does one know such a danger exists unless one already possesses an interest in, and respect for, people who lived and thought and wrote in the past? And in order to avoid this historical pitfall, the assumption must exist that people...
We live in a fast-paced and busy world. It is now no longer true of only the world's great cities; such is also a characteristic of the unknown towns of suburbia. Technology of course is one reason. Keeping up with the data pouring into their telephone is the last thing many people do at night, as...
Because Christ is Lord of all, there is no one throughout the world who is not obligated to render to Jesus the glory that belongs to him as the crucified, risen, and ascended Savior and Judge. As Christians share the message of salvation, both near and far, the Lord uses their proclamation of the...
There are three basic approaches or schools of what is called "apologetics." This word comes directly from the Greek, which has to do with the idea of giving a defense. So what is being talked about is how one goes about trying to defend the truth of the Christian faith. That there are three...
Try to think about what it must have been like to live before the fall. Of course that is impossible to do because all of our experience has been one of an acute sense of corruption, depravity, evil, and loss. We do not know anything else. We simply cannot relate to a world that is without these...