Posts by Tim Bertolet

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If, as we believe, God is Triune, what difference does it make in our daily Christian lives? If God is Triune, how does this shape our Christian lives and our church life. First, the value of the Trinity is not primarily the benefits that we receive or how it shapes us. God’s glory and majesty are...
It is unfortunate that many Christians reject the doctrine of God’s impassibility with the assumption that since Scripture portrays God as having love, wrath, kindness, and anger, God cannot be “impassible.” It is a gross negligence in understanding the doctrine and its relationship to God’s aseity...
Let me pose a question: while meditating on God are we sufficiently Trinitarian? I don’t mean do you believe in or confess the Trinity. Many would happily check the box marked “Trinity." However, having confessed it, many of us quite frankly do not know what difference it makes. Using Galatians 4:4...
In recent years, the doctrine of the simplicity of God has fallen on hard times and faced various misunderstandings. It does not impinge on God’s infinite nature and his majestic glory that is beyond us. Rather, the simplicity of God means that God is not composed of parts. He is not a complex...
In our day, the spirit of the age bombards us with the message that something newer is inherently better. Yet, for the Christian who holds to old confessions, we are reminded that the Christian faith is decidedly rooted in history. We are not holding our beliefs because they are new but rather...
When I was in seminary, our apologetics professor regularly reminded us that all of God’s relationships with humanity are covenant relationships. The covenant ungirds every facet of our existence as humans. Not only has the truth of this affected me since then, but also I remember it well because I...
Many doctrinally solid evangelical churches would not self-identify as “confessional”. What is the value of historic confessions for this kind of typical evangelical church? If the church is already doctrinally orthodox, evangelical, and solid, why encourage such people to think more “...
The battle over inerrancy can get quite messy and convoluted. It can become an exercise in losing the forest for the trees as varying sides’ debate the minutia of issues. More than one scholar has complained that the problem with the doctrine of inerrancy is that definitions become so qualified...
Charles Hodge’s magnum opus was his three volume Systematic Theology originally published from 1871-1873. Since then it has influenced several generations of American Christians and remains in print today. While a product of its time and not without its own weaknesses, it is still worth having on...
Samuel Miller (1769-1850) one of the early professors at Princeton Seminary was a minister and churchman. He was licensed to preach in 1791 and became Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government in 1813 serving the school until 1849. He was not afraid to address controversies of his...
In this brief essay, I’d like to take a moment and introduce you to a sermon by Archibald Alexander entitled “Nature and Means of Growth in Grace” and commend it to your reading and spiritual profit. When we look at the life and legacy that men such as Alexander have left for us, we are quickly...
For those of us who love the truths of Reformed theology, and look up to our heroes of the Reformation, there can be a tendency and even a weakness that assumes that profound truths and rich doctrine will always be expressed in dense and complex language. If we are not careful, we can admire those...
The New Testament primarily uses the Old Testament to show that God is bringing his promises to fulfillment. God’s history of revelation and redemption comes to a climax in a manner that is continuous with the Old. When we think of the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament there are a...
When you ask the average churchgoer about worship, very rarely will they respond with a discussion on preaching. In fact, particularly for those of us who are pastors, when a person asks you “what style of worship does your church have?” very rarely are they think about what the sermon looks like...
There is nothing more important than passing on the faith to the next generation. We live in a day and age where people who claim to be Christians and to “know Christ” actually know less and less of the basic teachings of Scripture. It continually evidences itself in the decline of Biblically...
Evangelicalism, properly conceived, has been from the beginning cross and gospel centered. But let us consider this question: does the doctrine of the ascension get minimized or neglected in our evangelical theologizing? The ascension of Christ is part of the gospel. Nevertheless, what role, if any...
Hebrews 1 is one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture. As a unit, the text lays out a complete picture of the person of Jesus Christ. It is to our benefit to be familiar with Hebrews chapter 1. In this respect, the chapter is a very useful chapter for both our devotional lives and for our...
Not many of us will have the privilege and the opportunity in our lives to write out an entire systematic theology. However, because the Christian life is built on doctrine (starting with the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord), we all have need and use to understand the whole counsel of God, a...
While being a philosopher and/or being a theologian can be a vocational calling in an individual’s life, most of us will never call ourselves either philosophers or theologians in any professional sense of those terms. However, knowing a bit of philosophy with our theology and understanding how to...
The historicity of the Jesus’ resurrection is a non-negotiable of the Christian faith. If a person does not believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead, then they are not a Christian. The apostle Paul includes the resurrection of Jesus as a matter of first importance to the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4...
A Christian worldview has its foundation upon God since God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Since the Bible is God’s Word, the Christian worldview is shaped by the Scriptures. The Bible explains to us God’s view of the world to which our conceptions must conform. The climax of God’s...
Providence is the doctrine of Scripture that teaches us that God is still in control of the universe which He created. He still exercises authority over all of the creation and the unfolding of history within His creation is not haphazard but according to the plan and permission of God. Louis...
From our earliest days as a Christian, we understand that the blessings we have from God come to us because of Jesus Christ. Without Christ’s death and resurrection, there would be no salvation for us. As we start the Christian walk rarely do we understand how deep and profound this truth is: that...
The basic issue behind the concept of limited atonement is whether or not the cross of Christ is effective in accomplishing what God has intended or not. In the death of Christ was sin actually put away? Does it merely make salvation possible or does it effectively accomplish the salvation of God’s...
As a pastor, I find that many Christians recognize that their salvation has been accomplished and given to them by the grace of God. However, it is insufficient to hold that salvation comes through the grace of God. The real hallmark of a Christian moving to deeper maturity is whether or not they...
What is Biblical Theology? We all want our theology to be Biblical so that what we believe and obey is derived from the Bible. However, that is not typically what we mean when we say “Biblical theology”. Biblical theology is a way of understanding the Scripture that pays specific attention to the...
The Word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12). God uses His Word to transform lives and convict people through the power of the Holy Spirit. In an age where people are clamoring to experience the divine in a multitude of spiritualities we need to press home that...
There is an old joke for those who cannot sing that I may not be making a joyful noise but at least I’m joyful when I make it. For those reasons, some people can find congregational singing to be intimidating, yet, hopefully, we would all acknowledge the importance of congregational singing as a...
The pastor has many responsibilities in his ministerial life, it is difficult to try to suggest adding one more thing to a busy plate. In church ministry, it is often hard enough as a pastor to get people to read and study their Bibles let alone engage and enjoy church history. While I understand...
Throughout the history of the church countless gallons of ink have been spilt trying to expound on the issue of ‘the Law’ in Scripture. In general when theologians, especially in Reformed circles, speak of ‘the Law’ they are speaking of the commands of God that reveal His moral will and mandate...
The word “simple” can be used in several ways in the English language. If we say a person is “simple” or “simple-minded,” it is pejorative. As an insult it lowers them in comparison to other human beings. However, if we speak of a ‘simple machine,’ we are not speaking of a machine’s value but its...
It is very clear from the New Testament that God commands the church to be concerned with missions. Missions flows from the heart of God. God’s plan and purpose is to spread His glory through all creation so that people of every tongue, tribe, and nation experience the glory of God through...