Posts by Nick Batzig

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Through sophisticated statements on social media, certain prominent voices in the evangelical wing of Christendom have revealed their penchant for pitting Jesus' ethical teaching against that of the Apostle Paul. To elevate what Jesus taught over against what His apostles taught reveals a...
Through sophisticated statements on social media, certain prominent voices in the evangelical wing of Christendom have revealed their penchant for pitting Jesus' ethical teaching against that of the Apostle Paul. To elevate what Jesus taught over against what His apostles taught reveals a...
Through sophisticated statements on social media, certain prominent voices in the evangelical wing of Christendom have revealed their penchant for pitting Jesus' ethical teaching against that of the Apostle Paul. To elevate what Jesus taught over against what His apostles taught reveals a...
Many of us who grew up in the D. James Kennedy era of Evangelism Explosion embraced the idea that spiritually mature Christians should be involved in formal and methodical one-on-one evangelism. The same is true of those who were influenced by the Way of the Master approach, spearheaded by Ray...
On the night I proposed to Anna 15 years ago, she gave me a gift--an antiquarian edition of Thomas Brooks The Unsearchable Riches of Christ . It is a work to which I returned many times over the past 15 years. The section on the riches and excellencies of Christ, by itself, makes this work a must...
No words can express the sadness I have felt upon news of the failing health of David Powlison. Dr. Powlison has been one of the great gifts God has given to the church. His book Seeing Through New Eyes is one of the most formative biblical counseling books I have read. Dr. Powlison was invited to...
An individual dies and social media is flooded with sentiments about prayers for the deceased and their family members. Without doubt, it is altogether right and in keeping with a spirit of true Christian charity to pray fervently for the family members of one who has passed away. Any number of...
Theologians have often considered justification by faith alone to be "the heart of the Gospel" for the simple reason that justification is a legal declaration of pardon and righteousness--a once-for-all judicial act of God toward believers. Justification is judicial not transformative in nature...
Sinclair Ferguson once lamented the fact that whenever he overheard others discussing some public theologian or individual at a conference, the statements were almost always prefaced with a negative comment such as, "Well, you know, the problem with him is..." Sadly, those sorts of conversations...
As I've been reading through G.K. Chesterton's book Heretics , I was interested to happen upon his treatment of dogmatism and the arts. Reflecting on his consideration of the life and work of Rudyard Kipling, Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells, Chesterton wrote: "The fiercest dogmatists can make the best...
"With which person in the Bible do you most identify?" This is a question I have often asked others in the church over the years. Most of us lack even enough self-awareness to able to answer the question. Others among us have a propensity to appeal to the best characters in Scripture. I've never...
In his remarkable book, The Suffering Savior , Frederick Krummacher made the astonishing observation that by Jesus' prayer for mercy from the cross for those who crucified him, we can conclude that "while offering up the Lord Jesus, [those crying out for his death] unconsciously pay the ransom for...
Isaac Watts wrote nearly 600 hymns in the 18th Century. Churches around the world still sing many today. For instance, if you visited a congregation on any given Sunday in the English speaking world, it would not be a surprise for you to hear believers singing one the following hymns penned by the...
Johannes Maccovius, in his Theological Distinctions, treated the subject of the Divine providence toward the righteous and toward the wicked with the maxim, "In this life, what happens to good people is never bad and what happens to bad people is never good." He then appealed to the 14th Century...
The 2020 Presidential race is underway. Americans everywhere are now sitting back and bracing themselves for tedious recitals of attacks and scandals. The first attack has come in response to Beto O'rouke's statement about sometimes helping his wife raise their three children. Numerous political...
The noisy gongs of acerbic and judgmental discernment bloggers, podcasters, vloggers and conference speakers are scattered throughout our social media feeds...and they're here to stay. The uncharitableness with which such individuals speak online immediately ought to leave a bad taste in the mouth...
When I was a boy, my parents often took my sister and me on trips to various parts of the country. I well remember my mom having a roadmap opened on her lap, meticulously tracing the intersection of the nearby highways and neighborhood roads. Whether or not we would make it to our destination was...
Christ, by his perfect life, atoning death and resurrection from the dead, secures the believer's calling, regeneration, justification, adoption, sanctification and glorification. Older Protestant theologians frequently referred to the order of the application of the benefits of redemption ( i.e...
Among the litany of important and under-treated subjects that the Apostle Paul touches upon in his first letter to the Corinthians, John Calvin reflected on those concerning one believer taking another believer to court over personal or public injuries (1 Cor. 6:1-8). Calvin explained that Paul was...
I have, for the first time, finally read through David Brainerd's Diary . I'm not sure why it took me this long to get around to it. I now understand why this man, who lived such a short life, has had such an enormous impact on the church and the world of missions. Consider a few of the...
For the better part of my Christian life, I've had a visceral reaction--driven by internal disapproval--whenever I've heard someone describe the hardships he or she experienced in life in the following ways: "It was like hell on earth," or "I feel like I've been through hell." I am sure that part...
Kevin DeYoung recently wrote a post about what has frequently been termed "the spirituality doctrine of the church ." I heartily commend this post to our readers, as it is quite a helpful introduction to the basics of Presbyterianism regarding the relationship between church and state. In that post...
6 years ago this week, John Piper posted, " We Know They are Killing Children--All of Us Know ." 6 years later, New York has passed and celebrated a bill that would allow a mother to abort her baby up until the point that the baby was born. CBS actually posted an article with the title, "New York...
Fake news. Social media outrage. Political polarization. Ideological bullying. These are just a few of the centralizing characteristics of our current social climate in the US. It should not surprise us, then, that our collective cultural head is spinning as we simultaneously attempt to hold...
18 years ago, I heard a sermon on Matthew 27:46--Jesus' cry of dereliction on the cross, "My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?" At one point, the minister who was preaching this message said, "Jesus wasn't really forsaken; he just felt forsaken by his Father in his soul." I remember sensing...
Last week, Wyatt Graham published a post titled, " The Father Was Not Angry at the Son of the Cross ," in which he rightly explained that God the Father never stopped loving the Son--even when the Son hung on the cross. While there are many good and helpful statements in Wyatt's post--and, while he...
We live in a day of comfort. Every new product boasts a greater measure of ease than that which preceded it. Our public discourse insists that the highest form of virtue is that we do not make others feel uncomfortable about their beliefs or lifestyles. Then we read the Bible and, in many places,...
During the Christmas season, we rightly focus our attention on the marvel of the incarnation of the eternal Son of God; then, we lag into the final days of the year with regrets about the many ways we failed to be the kind of person we set out to be at the beginning of the year. We reformulate...
Of all the advent sermons I have read, none are so profound and moving as those preached by the great German Reformer, Martin Luther. Luther was accustomed to preaching in step with the liturgical calendar so as to focus on the chronology of the birth narratives. In the dedicatory section to Prince...
Sinclair Ferguson has recently released his second advent themed book, Love Came Down . Together with his previously published Child in the Manger , this has quickly become one of my favorite sources for advent meditations. That is not at all surprising, as I have found Sinclair's advent sermons to...
I love the ease with which C.S. Lewis answered objections to the Scriptural record of the the miraculous conception of the virgin Mary. In Miracles: A Preliminary Study , he wrote: "You will hear people say, 'The early Christians believed that Christ was the son of a virgin, but we know that this...
David Powlison, in his excellent book Seeing With New Eyes , touches on the reality of indwelling sin--particularly with regard to what we believe and how it impacts our actions. Powlison rightly insists that all believers live in a tension between the flesh and the Spirit in this life. Employing...
Our friends at the Reformed Forum have recently published a quality hardback biography of the father of Reformed biblical theology, Geerhardus Vos, by Danny Olinger. Danny is an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and serves as general secretary for the OPC committee on Christian...
In light of Rachel Held Evans tweet about Jesus " changing his mind about racial bias "--and the firestorm that ensued in a series of related tweets--I thought it might be helpful to share what John Calvin wrote about Jesus' interaction with the Syrophonecian woman. Commenting on Matthew 15:26,...
When I was fourteen, I picked up a guitar and taught myself to play. I functionally sacrificed my high school education on the altar of seeking to impress girls with my supposed singing/songwriting abilities. I took a guitar to just about every party or gathering to which I went. I could tune it by...
Life is too short not to reap the spiritual benefit of reading Martin Luther's Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians . Archibald Alexander, the first professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, once said that this particular work was the most influential book he read during his formative...
God's word is so rich and full, we will never be able to exhaust its wisdom, instruction, correction, comfort, encouragement and restorative power in this life. There is much in Scripture that we will never experientially appropriate into our lives until God has placed us in a particularly...
"You scratch my back; I'll scratch yours." This familiar idiomatic phrase sometimes simply refers to the way in which people with differing skills and abilities seek to care for one another out of a sense of need and gratitude. However, more often than not, it represents the way in...
I was intrigued to read the results about what evangelicals profess to believe concerning key biblical truths in 2018 in Ligonier Ministries' State of Theology survey. Among the many shocking findings was the conclusion on the category dealing with the just punishment for sin. Out of 3002...
One exegetical consideration upon which I have never truly been settled is that which concerns the meaning of the word παράκλητος (Paraklete)--as it appears in such places in Scripture as 1 John 2:1 and John 14:16. The list of translation options from which we may choose includes such glosses as...
Many Christians profess to believe in the sovereignty of God. They will speak of God's sovereignty in the salvation and damnation of sinners. They may even remind others that God is sovereign over the trials and challenging circumstances of life. However, it is one thing to profess to believe...
So much recent debate surrounding social justice seems to boil down to fundamental disagreements and misunderstandings about the relationship between the "Kingdom of God" and the "Church." Many have conflated these two biblical concepts so as to lose the clear lines of demarcation regarding the...
In recent years, a number of Reformed theologians have introduced the phrase ordinary means of grace to a forthcoming generation of ministers. The incorporation of this phase into the vocabulary of the church has been quite easily observable--especially in serious-minded Confessionally Reformed...
Last month, Pope Francis expressed his opinion that the death penalty is unacceptable in all cases . At the same time as he took his public stand, a series of popular opinions circulated online about whether or not the death penalty was to be viewed as valid as a Christian position. The better part...
When addressing the subject of the inerrancy of Scripture in light of difficulties with which we are confronted in Scripture, E.J. Young would teach his students the following truth: "The believer," he said "will labor to reconcile seemingly contradictory details we encounter in various portions of...
Of the numerous regrets I have in life, not having been more understanding of others ranks high on the list. I have, many times, drawn hasty conclusions about others without having considered all that may factor into their lives. Many times, I have been critical of others when I should have erred...
While reading through Petrus Van Mastrichts' Theoretical-Practical Theology , I was intrigued to find his thoughts concerning scholastic theology. In his section on "the Nature of Theology," Van Mastricht wrote: "It is asked, must theology be taught according to a certain method? As an example of...
I recently wasted four of five minutes of my life watching a clip of a segment of a sermon by a well known mega-church preacher. Over the past five years, this individual has reinvented his preaching style. Once a more relaxed speaker, he now effectively works the crowd over with high energy, moral...
I was interested to see that the cessationism/continuitionism issue is surfacing again--due to Matt Chandler's recent sermon, " A Supernatural Community and a Personal Word ." Matt's introductory argument is as follows: Many Christians do not experience the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit ( i.e...
Every week, important church related matters come streaming into the inbox of my email account. Many of those matters also make their way into the inboxes of our elders. On many occasions, one of our ruling elders (i.e. a lay elder who was elected by the congregation to volunteer his time in the...