Skip to content

Creed or Chaos: A Retrospect

21 September, 2010

Those of you who follow this site may have noticed there was no Featured Audio on Friday—I haven’t posted in almost a week, in fact. The immediate reason for my absence is that I was in Scotland defending my Ph.D. dissertation and visiting friends one last time.

Probably the deeper reason, though, is simply that my life has become much too busy to keep up a regular blog like this. And I haven’t gained any more time since finishing my degree; there are still twenty–four hours in the day, and I still seem to require all of them. So after more than three years I’ve decided to stop blogging on Creed or Chaos.

This site started with two fellow seminarians and great friends at Westminster Seminary California, JK and Phil. Life has since called them in different directions, along with several others — like Matt and Josh — who helped out around here.

I’ve enjoyed this experience and still do enjoy sharing things I’ve learned with others, learning more myself in the process. But I’m finished with school now (finally!), and I feel I need to spend this time in a different way.

Although I won’t be posting here anymore, I am going to leave the site online. Three years worth of posts adds up to quite a lot of material, and relatively little of it was written to be a flash in the pan, relevant only to the moment it was written. If the Lord is pleased to use any of this for good, I’m pleased to leave the site’s content available as a resource for ‘confessional Reformed perspectives on things human and divine.’

I never imagined God would call me to take my family to Southern California, and certainly not to Scotland! But he is even more faithful than he is surprising. He knows the plans he has for all of us: to bless and not to curse (Jer 29:11). May the Lord richly bless you, and thanks from me to all C or C’s readers, past and present, regular or occasional.



What “Reformed” Means: TULIP, City on a Hill, or Neither?

15 September, 2010

Here’s an interesting article critiquing the ‘new Reformed’ for not being Reformed enough, focusing only on personal salvation — but this coming from a theonomist, who boils the essence of being Reformed down to building a godly society (i.e., taking America back for Christ).

Having the vision of the City on a Hill, the Puritans were much more concerned with the legal and cultural issues of their societies than with the psychological and philosophical issues of man’s existence, as it is with the “new Reformed.” Justice and righteousness was their priority, not over spiritualization and mystic experiences. They developed law codes, economic theory and practice, social organization, education, and science. They did not worry about the minutest irrelevant details of the personal spiritual life of a Christian. They saw value in incarnating the truths of God in their culture, not in internalizing theology. Their view of the world was one whole, under the Law of God, spiritual and material, church, family, and state, mind and matter, law and grace. They wouldn’t be able to grasp the dualism of the modern “new Reformed” churches. “Covenant” was for them not a religious term. It was the building block of all relationships, spiritual and temporal, and all covenants – in the civil realm, the marketplace, church, family, or school – were to imitate that supreme covenant between God and mankind in Jesus Christ.

Does anyone else feel like this is six of one and half a dozen of the other?

At any rate, I’m skeptical that either contemporary American evangelical piety or historic American Puritan society should be considered representative for what Reformed theology and practice might mean. How about giving the Reformed confessions a glance, for starters?

Friday Featured Audio: Office Hours interviews Michael Horton about his upcoming Systematic Theology

10 September, 2010

Subscribe @ iTunesTo listen click here, or on the Featured Audio widget below or in the sidebar.

Outside the Camp, from Roy Hession

2 September, 2010

Jesus says from the Cross, “See here your own condition by the shame I had to undergo for you.” If the moment the Holy One took our place and bore our sins He was condemned of the Father, and left derelict in the hour of His sufferings, what must our true condition be to occasion so severe an act of judgment!

The Bible says He was made in “the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom.8:3), which means that He was there as an effigy of us. But if the moment He became that effigy, He had to cry, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46), what must God see us to be? It is plain that God was not forsaking the Son as the Son. He was forsaking the Son as us, whose likeness He was wearing. What is done to an effigy is always regarded as done to the one it represents. That derelict figure suffering under the wrath of God is ourselves, at our best as well as at our worst. There for all to see is the naked truth about the whole lot of us, Christian and non Christian alike. If I cannot read God’s estimate of man anywhere else, I can read it there. In very deed, truth, painful and humbling, has come by Jesus Christ, enough to shatter all our vain illusions about ourselves.

However, not only has the truth about ourselves come by Jesus Christ but also the truth about God and His love towards us. Left to ourselves, our guilty consciences only tell us that God is against us, that He is the God with the big stick. We see Him only as the One who sets the moral standards for us, most of them impossibly high, and therefore who cannot but censure us when we fail. There is nothing to draw us to a God like that. But the Cross of the Lord Jesus gives the lie to all this and shows us God as He really is. We see Him, not charging us with our sins, as we would
have thought, but charging them to His Son for our sakes. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (2 Cor. 5:19). What we thought was the big stick was really His outstretched arm of love beckoning us back to Himself. In the face of Jesus Christ, marred for us, we see that God is not against the sinner, but for him; that He is not his enemy, but His Friend; that in Christ He has not set new and unattainable standards, but has come to offer forgiveness, peace, and new life to those who have fallen down on every standard there is. “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” !is is what one writer has called “the surprising generosity of the Cross.” It not only surprises our guilty consciences but also melts and draws us, impelling us to return to Him in honesty and repentance, knowing that nothing but mercy is waiting for us. Read more…

Tell Us Your Stories, by Collin Hansen

24 August, 2010

Hansen, the author of Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists, has an interesting article at Ligonier asking older brothers and sisters in the church to forgive the “youthful arrogance” of their younger fellows, and instead “tell us your stories”:

Your stories give us the perspective we haven’t yet gained with experience. We don’t yet understand how much we don’t know. Our youthful bluster masks insecurity. We stand tall against withering attacks from our peers, but we’ve hardly been tested. We fear that when harder times come our faith will prove ephemeral. But your stories gird us against these doubts. So look underneath our confident exterior. You’ll find that younger Christians actually want to hear from older believers about how God demonstrated His faithfulness in their generation.

He has some good things to say about the unhappy effects of generational separation in the church as well. Check it out.