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R.C. Sproul – Without Theology There is No Christianity

12 Aug

A church without theology or a theology without God are simply not options for the Christian faith. One can have religion without God or theology, but one cannot have Christianity without them.

~R.C. Sproul~

What Is Reformed Theology? (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005), 18.

Books by R.C. Sproul

Thomas Schreiner – God’s Sovereign Rule Seen in Acts

1 Aug


God’s sovereign rule over all things does not mean that everything that occurs is intrinsically good. It was God’s plan that Jesus suffer and die for the sins of his people. A common theme is that believers must be prepared to suffer as well. The death of Stephen indicates that God’s plan is often worked out through the suffering of his own people. In Acts 12 Herod took action against the church and beheaded James the brother of John. Luke expresses no shock, recording the event abruptly and without detail. The death of James scarcely led to the conclusion that God is not in control, for Peter was released supernaturally, probably because of the church’s fervent prayers. Luke is not suggesting that the church failed to pray for James. He offers no explanation for the deliverance of Peter and the execution of James, proposing no neatly packaged answer for why some suffer and others are spared. God’s rule over the world does not lend itself to formulas by which evil can be easily explained. Given Luke’s worldview, he must have believed that God could have delivered James as well, and yet no reason for God’s actions are given. The rationale for much of what happens is obscured from human vision. Still, God’s control over all is conveyed powerfully by the conclusion of the story. The same Herod who executed James is struck dead by God when he fails to give God glory. God rules over the kings of the earth, and the evil that they inflict is under his hand, but God himself is untainted by evil.

~Thomas Schreiner~

New Testament Theology – Magnifying God in Christ (Grand Rapids, MI; Baker Academic; 2008) p. 141

Books by Thomas Schreiner

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Other Thomas Schreiner Quotes

R.C. Sproul – The Incomparable Perfection of Jesus

17 Jul

One of the strange facts of history is the consistently good reputation Jesus of Nazareth enjoys even with unbelievers. It is rare for an unbeliever to speak unkindly of Jesus. People who are openly hostile to the church and who hold Christians in contempt are often unsparing in their praise for Jesus. Even Friedrich Nietzsche, who announced the death of God and lamented the decadence of the church, spoke of Jesus as a model of the heroic. In the final years of his life, which were spent in a lunatic asylum, Nietzsche expressed his own insanity by signing his letters, “The Crucified One.”

The overwhelming testimony of the world is to the incomparable perfection of Jesus. Even George Bernard Shaw, when critical of Jesus, could think of no higher standard than Christ Himself. He said of Jesus, “There were times when he did not behave as a Christian.” We cannot miss the irony of Shaw’s criticism.

In terms of moral excellence, even those who do not ascribe to the deity or saviorhood of Christ applaud Jesus the man. Like Pontius Pilate they declare, “Ecce homo. ” “Behold the man!” “I find no fault in Him.”

~R.C. Sproul~

The Holiness of God (Carol Stream, IL; Tyndale House Publishers; 1998) Ch. 4: The Trauma of Holiness

Books by R.C. Sproul

Jerry Bridges – History and God’s Sovereignty

18 Jul

We see that God is firmly in control of history and of the nations and rulers that, from our human point of view, determine history. God establishes governments, determines who will govern and for how long, rules in the councils of state, causes officials to make both wise and foolish decisions, grants victory or defeat in war, and uses ungodly nations to carry out His will…

History is like a giant piece of fabric with very intricate and complex patterns. During the limited span of our lifetimes we see only a tiny fraction of the pattern. Furthermore, as has been observed by others, we see the pattern from the underside. The underside of a weaving usually makes no sense. Even the upper side makes little sense if we view just a tiny piece. Only God sees the upper side, and only He sees the entire fabric with its complete pattern. Therefore, we must trust Him to work out all the details of history to His glory, knowing that His glory and our good are bound up together.

~Jerry Bridges~

Trusting God: Even When Life Hearts (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2008) p. 95

Books by Jerry Bridges

John Stott – Why Care About Historical Theology?

6 Jun

To be disrespectful of tradition and historical theology is to be disrespectful of the Holy Spirit who has been actively enlightening the church in every century.

~John Stott~

The Cross of Christ (Colorado Springs, Colorado; Navpress; 2011) p. 18

Books by John Stott