Kind of makes you tear up.

As an evangelical I listened to over 100 + sermons by Mark Driscoll, 50+ by John Piper, and 50+ by Matt Chandler. Chandler may have been my favorite. Matt is one of the New Calvinist preachers from Dallas who survived brain cancer in recent years.  While we certainly differ now on a number of important issues, his articulation of God’s grace is fantastic.

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6 thoughts on “Kind of makes you tear up.

  1. Thanks for subscribing to my blog! I hope you are edified by the content there.

    I have been listening to Chandler’s recent sermons lately (not much of a Driscoll or Piper fan). I, too, have several differences with Chandler on certain topics, but he seems to drive the gospel home. However, I find it difficult to understand how his presentation of God’s sovereign grace in salvation can be accepted by someone who subscribes to Roman view of prevenient grace.

    Chandler subscribes to the five “solas” of the Protestant Reformation, articulated precisely to highlight the utter distinction from Roman teaching. One cannot divorce Chandler’s articulation of God’s grace from the concepts of sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), and solus Christus (Christ alone). For Chandler, God’s justification of man is something that happens outside of man, on the basis of Christ’s complete substitutionary work on behalf of his people. Does this not contradict Roman theology?

    • Thanks! The way God’s grace works is drastically different in the two faiths. You’re right to point out justification, because that is the huge difference: is it a legal declaration of righteousness through faith alone and grace alone, or is it a inward purification of righteousness through grace alone. The question of authority and the nature of the Church is hovering around all of this too.

      Both Catholics and Protestants affirm salvation by grace alone (Here’s a quote from the catechism in my former blog http://thereluctantroad.tumblr.com/post/23194471999/do-catholics-think-they-are-saved-by-good-works

      We both affirm salvation by grace alone and as Chandler articulates well in the video, God’s love for sinful people through Jesus is still the same.

      I’m certainly not one for minimizing differences, but I can still find joy in a lot of the teaching!

      Thanks for the comment!

      • “The question of authority and the nature of the Church is hovering around all of this too.”

        Bingo. It would be futile for a Protestant such as myself to attempt to justify sola fide by simply exegeting Scripture alone, because that would do nothing to affect the Romanist who believes that the Church has already authoritatively interpreted Scripture. For him, all my exegesis is moot.

        Also, while I realize Romanists may claim to believe in salvation by grace alone along with Protestants, the reality is that the two groups define “grace alone” in different ways. For Protestants, grace is purely unmerited favor. Man’s works of obedience play no part in his being declared righteous in God’s sight. His merit is worthless.

        Granted, Rome teaches that even obedient acts of men are produced by the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, it is Rome’s teaching that this obedience of man plays a part in his justification. Man is declared righteous, at least in part because of his own acts of obedience. This violates the very definition of the Protestant declaration of salvation by grace alone. Far from being the same view, they are utterly at odds.

      • Thanks for the comment! Yes, I was a huge believer in everything you said (minus all exegesis being moot-the Church certainly hasn’t made an interpretation on every verse of scripture. Far from it–interpretation just can’t contradict Church teaching). I started to get nervous when I learned from Protestant historians how novel this interpretation of justification was by Martin Luther. There were also Bible verses that gave me problems. Still, I think a good argument can be made from the Protestant position if Sola Scriptura is true!

      • “…interpretation just can’t contradict Church teaching.”

        Do you not see how conveniently contrived this is? A Protestant can laboriously show the plain meaning of a particular text, mustering Scriptural, linguistic, historical evidence for his exegesis, but because a pope declared otherwise, his entire case is thrown out. Game over. And this somehow proves the Church’s position to be true? Take the famous passage, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…” Rome claims this is the institution of the papacy. Protestants respond that such an interpretation is gross eisegesis. Rome responds, “The Church has interpreted it thus, therefore Peter was the first pope, therefore papal interpretation is the only valid interpretation…” and so the circular reasoning goes. (I admit this is a bit of an oversimplification of the arguments involved, but hopefully you can understand my point.)

        “I started to get nervous when I learned from Protestant historians how novel this interpretation of justification was by Martin Luther. ”

        I do not know which historians you were reading, but I do not believe they were worth their salt if they cannot find examples of justification by faith alone in the early church. See here: http://cshayden.blogspot.com/2009/10/church-fathers-taught-sola-fide.html

        “There were also Bible verses that gave me problems.”

        This is what I’m really interested in. Could you provide some examples?

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