Monthly Archives: November 2015

Against Totter

“Now faith will totter if the authority of Scripture begin to shake. And then, if faith totter, love itself will grow cold. For if a man has fallen from faith, he must necessarily also fall from love; for he cannot love what he does not believe to exist” (Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 533).



“It is because Jesus is a perfect image of the Father that He was able to tell His disciples: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” This awareness of the omnipresence of God and of Jesus through the Holy Spirit gives to Christians a feeling of security and of their being in the immediate care of God. They are “never alone.” But this truth cannot be experienced by intellectual apprehension alone: it requires much feeding on the Word of God, meditation, and secret prayer” (J.C. Wenger, Introduction to Theology, 51).


Law and Gospel

“Some people believe that one finds law in the Old testament and Gospel in the New. It is true that the Old Testament was much concerned with the law of God. It attempted to make men sin-conscious and aware of their need of divine salvation. The Old Testament prophesied the Gospel of Christ, however. Many New Testament Gospel passages quote Old Testament verses as their foundation. The means of salvation in the Old Testament was, moreover, fundamentally the same as it is now, namely, justification by faith. The New Testament also contains law; indeed it sharpens the moral law of God, being even more penetrating in its demands than the Old Testament. The New Testament is concerned largely with the presentation of the saving Gospel of Christ, however. We may, therefore, say that the Old Testament contains salvation by faith, as well as law, and the New Testament contains law as well as salvation by faith. The New Testament difference resides in the fact of its clearer presentation of the Gospel because of the incarnation and passion of the Lord Jesus Christ” (J.C. Wenger, Introduction to Theology, 27).


Humble to Learn

“Now, then, suppose we advise all our brethren not to teach their children any of these things, because on the outpourings of the Holy Spirit the apostles immediately began to speak the language of every race; and warn every one who has not had a like experience that he need not consider himself a Christian, or may at least doubt whether he has yet received the Holy Spirit? No, no; rather let us put away false pride and learn whatever can be learnt from man; and let him who teaches another communicate what he has himself received without arrogance and without jealousy. . . . Moreover, love itself, which binds men together in the bond of unity, would have no means of pouring soul into soul, and, as it were, mingling them one with another, if men never learnt anything from their fellow-men” (Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 520).


A Particular Tragedy Observed

“It is also my conviction that although Bible students cannot be indifferent to critical questions such as authorship, date, etc., yet the power of God’s Word is not dependent upon our knowledge of such matters. . . . Men do not need to know the answer to every critical question in order to experience the truth of God’s Word and the power of His Gospel to redeem them from sin. It is a tragedy to observe theological students become panic-stricken over problems of textual or literary criticism” (J.C. Wenger, Introduction to Theology, vi).