Friday, October 28, 2011


This will be my last post on "THE CROSSING: CHURCH OR CULT?". I will occasionally update links, my blogroll, and add more resources to my Gospel Resource Give Away. But unless I am compelled by Scripture and my conscience, I am finished with posting. My apologies to those who were awaiting my critique of The Crossing's "Code". 

I would encourage anyone who has an ounce of skepticism toward The Crossing and Eric Dykstra's teachings and practices, to study your Bible, read books from reliable sources, research, compare, and come to your own conclusions regarding what The Crossing teaches; whether those teachings are consistent with what the Scriptures teach. I am available to anyone for whatever reason. Leave a message or e-mail me at     
For the moment, forget my allegation that The Crossing is a cult. At the very least, The Crossing is a "seeker-sensitive" church. Is that so bad? After all, what's wrong with  glitzy, dazzling displays of special effects, a great band, clever props, and a charismatic preacher who delivers provocative messages, as long as it attracts
people to church with a call to serve their hearts out for Jesus?

Actually, there is much wrong with it. In the first few paragraphs of his  book, "Hard to Believe", John MacArthur skillfully consolidates the problem of a seeker-sensitive approach to evangelism...   

The first role in successful merchandising is to give the consumer what they want. If they want bigger burgers, make their burgers bigger. Designer bottled water in six fruit flavors? Done. Minivans with ten cup holders? Give them twenty. You've got to keep the customer satisfied. You've got to modify your product and your message to meet their needs if you want to build a market and get ahead of the competition.    
Today this same consumer mind-set has invaded Christianity. The church service is too long, you say? We'll shorten it (one pastor guarantees his sermons will never last more than seven minutes!). Too formal? Wear your sweatsuit. Too boring? Wait'll you hear our band!

And if the message is too confrontational, or too judgmental, or too exclusive, scary, unbelievable, hard to understand, or too much anything else for your taste, churches everywhere are eager to adjust that message to make you more comfortable. This new version of Christianity makes you a partner on the team, a design consultant on church life, and does away with old-fashioned authority, guilt trips, accountability, and moral absolutes. 

One suburban church sent out a mailer recently, promising an "informal, relaxed, casual atmosphere, great music from our band", and that those who come will, "believe it or not, even have fun." That's all great if your in a coffeehouse. But anyone who claims to be calling people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those as his priorities is calling them to a lie. 

It's Christianity for consumers: Christianity Lite, the redirection, watering down, and misinterpretation of the biblical Gospel in an attempt to make it more palatable and popular. It tastes great going down and settles light. It seems to salve your feelings and scratch your itch; it's custom -tailored to your preferences.
 But that lightness will never fill you up with the true, saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, because it was designed by man, not God, and it is hollow and worthless. In fact, it's worse than worthless, because the people who hear the message of Christianity Lite think they're hearing the Gospel-they think they're being rescued from eternal judgment-when, in fact, they're being tragically misled.  
Enough said.

"Yeah, I'm a Christian!" Really? Don't assume anything! Churches are filled with people who believe with all their heart that they are a Christian, but they are not. This is not a question you want to briskly jettison off into the periphery, not seriously addressing the substance of what is being asked. It is a pivotal question that you must earnestly pursue an answer to. It requires Scriptural understanding on what a Christian actually is, and careful introspection and self-examination. Jesus' warning in Matthew 7:21-23 are some of the most shocking, disturbing, provocative words ever recorded by Jesus in the Scriptures. 
  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day (Judgment Day), ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

One of the most stunning aspects of this passage is the twofold repetition of addressing Jesus as 'Lord, Lord' by people who professed to be His disciples. In it's historical/customary context, to address someones name with twofold repetition was a grammatical device to emphasize a close, personal relationship to the person being addressed.

In the passage above, Jesus is saying that there will be "Many" people (not just a few!) who genuinely think that they have a close, personal relationship with Him. They have preached in church or have told others about Jesus, they've been actively involved in church ministry and have performed many deeds of kindness and charity in the name of Christ. They even address Him as "Lord, Lord", a term of personal endearment and relational intimacy. And what will be Jesus' response?   
"And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’"
Jesus' basically told those false disciples to go to Hell-literally! Jesus' deeply unsettling words were (and still are) meant to shock His listeners out of a smug, complacent attitude regarding their assurance of salvation. And it is my prayer that you too, the reader of this blog post, will heed Jesus' sharp words of warning to you!

Jesus, that is, the real biblical Jesus, always spoke the hard, unvarnished Truth. He didn't mince words, and He never softened His message to attract seekers. Jesus taught that to be His disciple, one must surrender fully to His Lordship, deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Him, whatever the cost; relational distress and division, rejection, imprisonment, mocking, scorn, ridicule, loss of money, property, personal freedom, a hard life on the run, of persecution, expulsion, torture, and even death. 

Jesus, and the Apostles too, always preached the hardcore Truth of the Gospel; Truth dealing with God's holiness, His righteousness, His justice, and His wrath. The doctrine of sin was taught unapologetically, with blunt, sobering words.  The Apostles often addressed themselves as "bond-servants"; in other words, they (and by implication, all Christians including me) are His slaves, bought with a great price: the Redeemer's own blood. Divine Election? It is clearly taught everywhere in Scripture, yet fallen man hates the idea of a sovereign Deity choosing whom He will save from the horrors of Hell. We declare with obvious malcontent that any God who chooses to save particular people is nothing but a cruel monster. And don't forget that Jesus spoke more about Hell than any other doctrine.   

The Gospel Truth of God becoming a God-Man then dying on a cross-a form of execution reserved for the lowest of the low-is the most scandalous, idiotic, divisive, repulsive, shameful, and unattractive message that could ever be proclaimed. And yet, according to Scripture that is the ONLY message we are to proclaim! The reason why we would rather avoid talking about the real Jesus to our family, friends, and co-workers, is because ultimately, we are ashamed to be associated with Him. We don't want to be ridiculed, beat down, and shamed for our association with the real Jesus, am I right?

I know I struggle with the shame of being associated with Jesus. Truth be told, before God caused me to be born-again, I absolutely hated hearing Jesus Christ's name. I was extremely uncomfortable and annoyed with anyone who shared the Gospel with me. Even after I became a Christian, I struggled for years with the misplaced shame of saying Jesus' name. I cringed at the idea of telling people that I was a Christian, and then sharing the Gospel message with unbelievers; a message I once dreadfully hated myself. By God's grace, it has gotten much easier, but it has not disappeared completely. And I know that I am not the only Christian who struggles with this: we all do to some degree.           

Sharing the biblical Gospel with those we love is almost always universally rejected. The pure hatred and contempt your family, friends, or co-workers have for the real, biblical Jesus comes out of the dark shadows to rear it's ugly head, discarding as rubbish your ridiculous, moronic message of a crucified God-Man. Their rejection of the Gospel, however kind and thoughtful, is a tacit refusal to submit to the the uncompromising demands Jesus makes on their life, to repent and believe the Gospel or perish in Hell for all eternity.     

The truth is, in our fallen, unregenerate state, we are no different that those who crucified the Lord Jesus; unless we are born-again, an act that is impossible for fallen man to initiate himself, we live our lives seething with hatred and contempt for Him. And yet Christians love Him because He loved us first. He died for us who would crucify Him even today if we had the opportunity. In one sense, we are still in the bloodthirsty crowd two thousand years ago, shouting, "Crucify Him!"  

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a serious, serious, matter. But in contemporary circles today it is trivialized and lost in the fog of seeker-sensitivity. Jesus is reinvented to be a hip, cool, attractive, tolerant and undemanding Savior who is all love and only love; a Jesus  who is obligated to bless you if you serve your heart out for Him. If that's who you think Jesus is, then that's not the real, biblical Jesus; it is an idol of your own invention or one that you have imported into your own belief system; crafted to avoid the Truth of the real, biblical Jesus. 

I have thought about that question a lot over the past few weeks, and I have decided that I do not have enough personal experience with The Crossing church or Eric Dykstra to say one way or the other. Just know this. If your church pastors are delivering performance-driven sermons that pressure you to do more, give more, and try harder, then you are not hearing the biblical Gospel. The preaching ought to be focused primarily on what Jesus Christ has already "done" for you on the cross. 

If you attend The Crossing, then it is up to you to come to your own conclusions. Just know that salvation comes through the proclamation and preaching of Christ and Him crucified, an embarrassing, offensive message. The Apostle Paul said, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17). 

Eric has to do more than just encourage his congregation to read their Bible, and throw out a few Bible verses here and there during his "talks". He is commanded to explicitly and clearly explain what the Scriptures teach (2 Timothy 3:16-17). He must preach the horrors of sin and the offensive message of Christ crucified for sinners (1 Corinthians 1:22-23). If Eric is not preaching the Gospel and all it entails, whether intentional or not, then members of his congregation face the real possibility of being numbered among those who will cry out, "Lord, Lord" at the Last Judgment. 

I sincerely believe that if Eric Dykstra explicitly and clearly preached the pure, undiluted Gospel of Jesus Christ at The Crossing, then church attendance would drop dramatically. Why? Because preaching the genuine Gospel has a tendency to weed out false disciples from Jesus' true disciples. The undiluted Gospel is a harsh, sobering reality that false disciples are not comfortable with. It is offensive and confrontational. They would probably go on to find another church where the message isn't so demanding on their lives; a church for people who don't "do" church.  

Have you ever considered that the reason why people don't want to "do" church in the orthodox sense is because they don't love their Holy, righteous, and just Creator? They don't want to face the truth of their rebellion and hostility against Him? They don't want to hear the confrontational and ludicrous message of the cross? They don't want to be faced with Jesus' demand for their unconditional surrender and submission to Him alone? They don't want to hear of the sure doom of Hell for failing to repent?

Could it be that the reason why seeker-sensitive churches are so popular is because they appeal to our fallen tendencies to be thrilled and entertained? They offer a means to salve our felt needs, increase our sense of self-worth, and have an appealing works-righteousness mentality that suits fallen man's sensibilities? Ultimately, seeker-sensitive churches and every other man-made religion and human philosophy offer a paper fortress to hide from the real, biblical Jesus.

What is happening in Christianity today is nothing new. It's the same old trick, only dressed up in slick, new clothes. The Apostle Paul wrote to a young pastor named Timothy explaining this very thing. Here's the entire passage followed by the same passage with my thoughts [in brackets]. 
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.  But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-4) 

  And now let me exegete that passage for you [in brackets].           
 I [The Apostle Paul] solemnly charge you[Here Paul is issuing a strict command to Timothy]in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:[Paul is emphasizing the utmost importance of what he is about to teach Timothy] preach the word [The entirety of the Scriptures, Christ and the foolish message of the cross]; be ready in season[When the Gospel is popular and warmly received]and out of season[When the Gospel is unpopular and repudiated]; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction[Exposing false doctrine, correcting  wayward Christians, and lifting God's people up with the Gospel. This is the divine calling of every pastor].  For the time will come when they[They=people who have been exposed to Gospel Truth]  will not endure sound doctrine["They" don't want to hear about a Holy and just God who demands absolute moral perfection, they don't want their rebellion exposed, they don't want to hear about Hell, they don't want to be told that they must deny themselves, they don't want to be told that Jesus is their only hope of rescue, they don't want Jesus in their face telling them to repent or perish, they don't want to hear about the high cost of following Christ, etc.]; but wanting to have their ears tickled["They" do want to hear a nice, comforting, feel-good message, they want to hear that they are actually pretty good people, they want to hear that Jesus is love and only love, they want to believe that they can please God and earn His blessings by being obedient, they want the Heaven without the Hell. etc.] they will accumulate for themselves teachers[false teachers will increase in relation to the number of those who want their ears tickled with pleasing, man-made doctrine] in accordance to their own desires[their fleshly, temporal desires to be entertained, feel good about themselves, and avoid the hard truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified], and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths[They hate the Truth and suppress the Truth by replacing the Truth with man-made religion or philosophy]. But you, be sober in all things[Preaching the Gospel of Christ and Him crucified is not  a trivial matter. It requires a certain temperament to impress listeners with the seriousness of the spiritual realities they are confronted with], endure hardship[Living out the Gospel every day will not make your life easier, it will actually make life more difficult], do the work of an evangelist[Preaching the Gospel], fulfill your ministry[Shepherd Christ's flock as commanded in Scripture].
This may come as a surprise to some Christians, but the Gospel is not just for unbelievers. True, it is the message of the Gospel that brings salvation to sinners, but the Gospel encompasses much more than the particular point at which we became a Christian. Some believe that once they become a Christian it's time to move on to a deeper spiritual life, abandoning the basic Gospel tenets and even abandoning Christ Himself. 

That is not the case at all. The New Testament teaches that we ought to never, ever get beyond Jesus and His Cross. The Gospel is to remembered, cherished, meditated upon, proclaimed, and lived out continually throughout our entire lives. The Gospel is for Christians as much as it is for non-Christians. And your church, led by qualified, Gospel-getting pastors is the primary means by which the Lord ensures His people are nurtured and growing with the richness of His grace. Every sermon we hear in church ought to be bursting with Gospel Truth; a much needed banquet for the desperately hungry Christian soul.    

The Apostle Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 1:8, "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." There is no question that the Gospel has some very difficult elements to embrace. God's sovereignty, His holiness and justice, the depth of our sin, judgment, Hell, a God-Man dying on a cross, the Gospel call to repent, predestination and election, self denial, hidden sins, increased pain and suffering, persecution, death.

These things are foolishness to the perishing. But as a Christian I need to be constantly reminded of these difficult elements. They are such a blessing and an encouragement to hear because the difficult elements of the Gospel fit into a much bigger, glorious picture. They constantly remind me of the greatness holiness of God, my complete failure to keep God's laws and inability to save myself, my wretchedness and depravity, and the treasure trove of promises and blessing to all who believe the Gospel. Here are just a few examples of the Gospel reminders I receive in my church week after week after week....
  1. God is Holy, righteous, and cannot tolerate sin; all sin must be punished because He is just. All my sin was transferred to the sinless, spotless Jesus Christ on the cross and He was punished in my place so I am forever acquitted in God's courtroom. The righteousness of Christ that accrued during His life and ministry on earth as the second Adam is transferred to my account upon my conversion so I am clothed in a foreign righteousness, therefore future sins cannot be held against me. 
  2. The Messiah Jesus Christ dying on a cruel cross to rescue sinners is the most scandalous and outrageous message that could ever be devised. Yet the cross is the pivotal place where God's justice and mercy meet; demonstrating that God is both just and merciful.
  3. The cross also demonstrates how great my crimes against God are. I am a sinner; a complete and utter failure in keeping God's laws. A vile monster capable of horrific acts of evil. One who would stand in the crowd yelling, "Crucify Him". A filthy and corrupt image bearer who bears false witness the the character of the Christian God. Yet even at the lowest depths of my depravity, the  Lord has gracefully provided salvation to me through Jesus Christ, from the slavery of my sin and from the eternal torments of Hell.
  4. Up until I got saved, I had suppressed the Truth of the Christian God. As bad and wicked as I am, It was God who gracefully gave me eyes to recognize my spiritual poverty and my utter inability to save myself. It was God who caused me to become a Christian.  I had no power or choice over being born into this world, and Jesus say the same of those who are born-again.
  5. God is sovereign; He is the Author and perfecter my salvation. My faith itself is a gift from God. It's not that faith preceded my regeneration, but rather regeneration that preceded my faith,  I would have never figure out that I needed Jesus all on my own. God had to perform spiritual heart surgery so that I may live.
  6. In my unregenerate state I was a rebellious traitor to the majestic Creator of  all things. There was genuine hostility between the Lord and myself. But Jesus Christ lived the sinless life I could never live and died the death that I deserve so that by faith, all hostilities are permanently erased. I have been adopted into God's family, never to be turned away for sinning too much or doing too little.
  7. I know that God chose me for salvation before the foundation of the world, not because of anything good I have done, but because of His great mercy. Therefore I have assurance that God will keep me and preserve me despite my tendency to stray and be unfaithful. 
  8. The more I comprehend the Holiness and righteousness of God compared to the utter vileness and wickedness of my sins, the cross of Christ keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And the bigger it gets the more thankful I become and God is glorified all the more.   
  9.  Jesus' call for me to repent is not a one time event at the beginning of my life as a Christian; it's an ongoing process of sanctification. When we love other things[work, alcohol, traveling, sports, drugs, exercise, attention, sex, money, eating, pornography, politics, approval, religion, philosophy, vanity, entertainment, etc.]more that we love the Christian God, we are engaging in idolatry. Daily repentance is turning away from my worthless idols and turning to Jesus Christ. This makes sense because Christ is the most perfect Being with the greatest intrinsic value, so turning from idols of lesser value to Christ is what is best for me.  
  10. Denial of self, persecutions, and death for following Christ is tempered by God's promise that in Heaven there will be no more sorrow, pain, tears, suffering or death. I will be glorified and enjoy perfect communion and friendship with the my awesome Creator. All because of what Christ has done for me.   
  11. I don't ever have to question God's goodness regarding the pain and suffering I experience in my life; no matter how evil, horrible or absurd things become, God is in complete control, down to the orbital path of every single electron since the creation of the world.  I have God's promise that all things will  work out for my ultimate good and His eternal purposes will be fulfilled.
  12. We look at the the state of the world; starvation, natural disasters, horrendous accidents, moral decay, sexual predators,violence, rape and murder, and we accuse God of being unjust, "Where is God in all this? How could an all-good, all-powerful Deity allow these things terrible things to happen?" But we have it backwards. God is the one who is good. We are the ones who are evil and deserve instant death because we are cosmic traitors at heart who would dethrone God if it were possible. We are actually asking the wrong question. What we should be asking is, "How could a Holy and Just God even allow a single traitorous person to ever live a single second?" The person on planet earth who is experiencing the greatest pain and suffering right now is basking in the grace of God. This is true of Christians and non-Christians. The greatest injustice ever committed is that God would send His sinless, perfect, morally blameless Son to bear the all-mighty, all-powerful wrath of God against sin and pay the sin debt of everyone who would ever believe.
  13. Pride is a great sin, and I am full of it. But the cross humbles me. It demonstrates that I am no better than Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, or Kim Jong Ill; we all share the same sinful corruptions of the heart. This fact helps me not be so condemning of others, because, if it weren't for God's "common grace",
    I would express the evil intentions of my heart in horrific ways.
  14. The very fact that God knows every evil thing about me allows be to be relationally transparent with other Christians. I can share my worst struggles with them, and they can share their worst struggles with me, because we all know we are depraved and in desperate need of grace. 
  15. By preaching the Gospel to myself I am reminded that I am will never be rejected or forsaken by God because of my sins. I reject my feelings of guilt and unworthiness because of sinful habits and pitfalls, because my feelings ultimately betray the objective, historical facts of Christ and Him crucified for my sins. I am forgiven in Christ and adopted into God's family, never to be revoked. Therefore I need not listen to my self-condemnation, but preach to myself Christ and Him crucified for all my sins.     
What concerns me most about The Crossing is that some attenders are not exposed to the genuine Gospel. That they are not being saturated and marinating in the Gospel week after week after week after week. You need to be constantly reminded of God's holiness, your sins, the Hell that you deserve, and the salvation that Jesus Christ has provided for you through His sacrifice on the cross. This ought to be the message you receive from Dykstra week after week after week after week after week. If it's not, then He's not preaching the Gospel as he ought to.

Just to demonstrate what I hear week after week after week at Redeemer Bible Church, listen to this link JESUS ON THE MOVE IN BRAZIL AND CHILE This is from pastor R.W. Glenn just last week recapping his mission trip with John Piper. An example of solid, Christ-centered, Cross-centered, Gospel-centered preaching. 

Next is a short Kinetic Typography video as preached by R.W. Glenn. Super cool to watch and the theology is powerful and amazingly liberating! 

I want to provide plenty of links so that you may honestly assess whether you are a biblical Christian or not. Do not assume you are a Christian. Please take the time and effort to answer this most critical question. Commit to only one sermon a week if you have to; do this so you can have assurance of your salvation, that you will not one of the many crying out at the Last Judgment, "Lord, Lord".           
Now I'll provide a bunch of links from reputable pastors of the Christian faith. Some of the links are "rabbit holes" for you to explore other teachings from these pastors.  

This is a five-part series by pastor R.W.Glenn. It was preached when he first arrived at Redeemer Bible Church in 2002.  This series clearly defines what a biblical Christian is WHAT IS A BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN R.W. Glenn's other preaching resources can be found at Solid Food Media. 

Here are six more links from Tullian Tchividjian that will help you answer the question, "Are you a biblical Christian?" It is a series based on Philippians chapter 3. 


People tend to make light of sin, thinking sin is just a few minor moral flaws, definitely not deserving of Hell. From the sermons I have heard from Eric Dykstra, a thourough exposition on the doctrine of "sin" is suspiciously absent. If your doctor told you to take a variety of pills and restrict your diet without telling you that you have a serious disease, then the prescribed treatments will make absolutely no sense and you will refuse the treatment. 

In the same way, fallen humanity has a terminal disease called "sin" and Jesus came to rescue "sinners", so they may not go to Hell but have everlasting life in Him. What is the point of telling people that they need Jesus if the diagnosis of their sin is not thoroughly explained? If people don't understand what sin is and it's dire consequences, then Christ on a Cross will be a joke, a ridiculous absurdity. Telling people that "Jesus died for your sins" just doesn't cut it, because people don't understand the "sins" that Jesus died for. Sinners must be exposed to God's Law and it's requirements, then, by God's grace, they will understand the exceeding sinfulness of their sin.  

Eric Dykstra alludes to sin, but in trying to make The Crossing more appealing to those who don't "do" church, the doctrine of sin is watered down so much as to make Christ's death on the cross irrelevent. After all, who want's to hear that they are wretched, evil, defiant, rebellious, lawbreaking, traitorous, destitute, spiritually blind, spiritually bankrupt, haters and would-be murderers of the Holy and just Christian God? For those who don't understand sin, these next few links, by God's grace, will open your eyes to the magnitude of how sinful you really are. You really are much, much worse than you think!!! 

Desiring God These two sermons by John Piper are part of his Magnum Opus, preaching the entire book of Romans verse by verse over ten years! I provided only two links in the series, but there are many more in the series on sin following these two that I strongly encourage you to listen to. John Piper will knock your socks off; he's that gifted! 

This is a Sunday school lesson by R.C. Sproul in his "Chosen By God" series. The series itself gets into the sticky topic of predestination, but Sproul does a great job at clearly explaining this difficult doctrine. He is one smart man! This particular lesson WHAT IS FREE WILL explains that unregenerate sinners do not even have the ability to choose Christ. This entire series can be watched on the Ligonier Ministries website. In fact, everything this man ever taught is worth watching or listening to. I have often mentioned God's holiness without any explanation, I highly suggest that you watch Sproul's "Holiness of God" series too. Understanding God's holiness is critical in assessing our own fallen condition. 

John MacArthur of Grace To You is an amazingly gifted preacher who has been around for decades. His common-sense, yet bold and unyielding approach in preaching biblical Truth is very interesting to listen to. Here are a couple of excellent sermons that are  relevant to my charge that The Crossing does not preach the Gospel. The sinless Christ receiving the wrath that sinners deserve so we can be acquitted in God's court at the Last Judgment is again, suspiciously absent at The Crossing. Any gospel preached without exposing sin and without Christ's cross is no gospel at all. The first link is a leftover is from my last entry on the doctrine of sin.

Now don't freak out at the mention of "Calvinism", also known as "The Doctrines Of Grace". The Doctrines Of Grace are the very teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles that were lost in obscurity but restored in the Protestant Reformation. Jesus and the Apostles taught Calvinism, although it was obviously not called that back then.

The Doctrines Of Grace explain some of the Gospel difficulties addressed earlier in this post: the radical corruption of man and his inability to respond to the Gospel call,  predestination-God's choosing certain people for salvation, the atonement-for whom did Christ die for, the unilateral work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and God preserving and protecting His chosen people from damning apostasy. 

While The Doctrines Of Grace (subsumed under the umbrella of "Reformed Theology") do not appeal to fallen man's sensibilities at first glance, studying and embracing them as Truth will help you see the BIG picture of God's redemptive plan. And if you are a Christian then you fit into God's redemptive history! Affirming their Truth scripturally will liberate you so much; God is glorified, and you will be so satisfied with God's love for you.   

Many pastors preach the Doctrines of Grace, but my choice for this post is Tullian Tchividjian of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. These are mid-week sermons so they are not very long, about 30-35 minutes. Part one explains the importance of doctrine, and that it's ok to embrace the mysteries in the Bible because they demonstrate that "God is God and we are not".  


I decides to add R.W. Glenn's explanation of The Doctrines Of Grace. There are five sermons and run a bit longer Tullian's, but its the same theology, just sliced up and served in a different way. R.W. Glenn adds more proof texts than Tullian Tchividjian. I think it's interesting how God uses different personalities to preach His Truth, each one adding their own unique preaching gifts and biblical insights.  

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