“I do not believe that regeneration s a mystery spark, hidden down deep in our hearts. Rather, it is the result of God’s supernatural work, by which He restores nature” (Douglas Wilson, Against the Church, 36).
“[T]he first lesson of every disciple is joy” (Douglas Wilson, Against the Church, 32).
“After baptism has taken place, everything else is part of Christian discipleship — teaching the baptized to obey all that Christ commanded” (Douglas Wilson, Against the Church, 30).
- Profitable for doctrine because we are reminded of the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, which ought to be a constant source of comfort. God is sovereign and he is sovereign all the time! Even if the world were to “fall apart” and chaotic waters cover the mountains, God would still be our refuge and strength! This means that no matter what happens to us in life we have assurance that God is near and that God is our help.
- Profitable for correction because this Psalm will most forcefully confront us when we are walking through the “hard providences” of life — those times which are more-often-than-not a road or a type of journey that we never would have chosen of our own volition. It is especially easy (tempting) during those times to doubt that God is near and that God is in control. And yet this Psalm mentions conflicts (meditates upon them!), but only in order to declare that such uncertainties are overshadowed by God’s presence and sovereign care. This Psalm looks affliction in the eye from the vantage point of dwelling in the presence of God. And from that vantage point Psalm 46 provides correction: even when we emotionally feel like God is distant and not in control we learn to trust God and place our assurance in God. When we are plagued by doubts God speaks to us in Psalm 46 and reminds us that he is near and that we need to place our trust in Him. We learn to do this by obeying God, who commands us to “be still” and know that He is God.
- Profitable for instruction because it teaches us that God will not only be our strength and refuge today but also in the optimistic future (verses 8-10). God’s sovereignty applies to the future, and God has revealed that He will be victorious in the future, and thus, that it will be peaceful – “He maketh wars to cease” (verse 9) . . . I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (verse 10). Christians are wise to be instructed by verse 10: the God who is near is the “Lord of hosts” of a peaceful future, and because of the work of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, it is a peaceful Christian future. Through the work of the Cross and the preaching of the Gospel, God is making wars to cease, breaking bows, cutting spears in half, and burning chariots with fire.
“To desire the sacrifices (and the sacraments) to be automatically a good thing is to forget the covenantal realities. It is to forget that the world is governed by a personal God” (Douglas Wilson, Against the Church, 25).
“What does the dollar have to do with the metric system? Or any system of weights and measures? Today, pretty much nothing. But up until recently — and we’re talking walking-on-the-moon recently — money was all based on weight. In the late eighteenth century, coinage was not only a part of weights and measures, it was the most vital part, and had been for thousands of years” (John Bemelmans Marciano, Whatever Happened To The Metric System? 13).
“What distinguishes the Reformed doctrine of God is its relentless application to all other doctrines” (R.C. Sproul in Foreword to Back to Basics: Rediscovering the Richness of the Reformed Faith, ix).
“It is never rude to speak biblically” (Douglas Wilson, Against the Church, 21).
“The metric system is all about decimals, which are easy on the modern brain but not so much when it comes to physically dividing things. Pizzas don’t get cut into five or ten slices for a reason. Far from natural or classical, the metric system is a product of the heightened rationalism that marked the Enlightenment” (John Bemelmans Marciano, Whatever Happened To The Metric System? 8).
“We can only be blessed in our religious activities if the Holy Spirit has given us a new heart” (Douglas Wilson, Against the Church, 19).