O’Connor, Dark Grace & Transformation

Dear Zion,

It has been a pleasure to meditate with you over “the sign of Jonah” (Matthew 12:39) as we have studied this wayward prophet in our series The Gospel According to Jonah. One of the things that has struck me in studying this book of the Minor Prophets is the way God’s grace in Jonah’s life so often has a dark character to it. I wonder – are you comfortable with the “dark grace” of God?
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J.I. Packer’s Introduction to Owen’s Death of Death

“Introductory Essay”
to John Owen’s Death of Death in the Death of Christ
J. I. Packer

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ is a polemical work, designed to show, among other things, that the doctrine of universal redemption is unscriptural and destructive of the gospel. There are many, therefore, to whom it is not likely to be of interest. Those who see no need for doctrinal exactness and have no time for theological debates which show up divisions between so-called Evangelicals may well regret its reappearance. Some may find the very sound of Owen’s thesis so shocking that they will refuse to read his book at all; so passionate a thing is prejudice, and so proud are we of our theological shibboleths. But it is hoped that this reprint will find itself readers of a different spirit. There are signs today of a new upsurge of interest in the theology of the Bible: a new readiness to test traditions, to search the Scriptures and to think through the faith. It is to those who share this readiness that Owen’s treatise is offered, in the belief that it will help us in one of the most urgent tasks facing Evangelical Christendom today—the recovery of the gospel. Continue reading

Making a Splash

Ok, so this is more than a little embarrassing. But its better than the actual paper, which had some crack in the title about me “assuming” the pulpit. Don’t they know me? I don’t assume anything.

The Garner Leader ran a story about my family and I coming to town and getting going at Zion. You can read the full interview that was conducted here. If you want to read the rest of the article, you’ll have to go over to the website and subscribe, as the whole article isn’t online (boo!).

Seeing this mug on the front page of a newspaper (did I mention the size of Garner?!) is a little disconcerting. (Please, no cracks about seeing my picture in the Police section. The chief of police worships with us.) It was an enjoyable experience, but it left me wondering: who knows how to interview a pastor better – the pastor or the interviewer? I can think of all sorts of interesting questions to put to theologians, but the question is if they would be interesting to anyone else. In this case, isn’t the interviewer the generalist, yet a specialist at interviewing?