Salvation is the healing from sin

“The whole creation, as it will be completed in the new heaven and the new earth, is the fruit of the work of Christ.”

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, 3:380.

“Salvation is re-creation because salvation is simply the elimination of sin–now, in its condemnation; progressively, in its power; and one day, in its entire presence.”

Dane Ortlund, “‘Created Over a Second Time’ or ‘Grace Restoring Nature?’ Edwards and Bavinck on the Heart of Christian Salvation.” The Bavinck Review 3 (2012): 18.

Trinity in creation

“Scripture left no doubt on this point. God created all things through the Son … and through the Spirit …. In this context the Son and the Spirit are not viewed as secondary forces, but as independent agents or ‘principles’ (principia), as authors (authores) who with the Father carry out the work of creation, as with him they also constitute the one true God.”

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, 2:421.

“The Father is the first cause; the initiative of creation proceeds from him…. The Son is not an instrument but the personal wisdom, the Logos, by whom everything is created…. And the Holy Spirit is the personal immanent case by which all things live and move and have their being, receive their own form and configuration, and are led to their destination, in God.”

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, 2:423.

Creation reflects God’s divinity

“[Scripture] teaches, first of all, that God is the Creator of heaven and earth. The things we perceive ‘were not made out of what is visible’ (Heb 11:3) but existed and exist eternally as ideas in the mind of God. They, therefore, derive their origin from God, are to a greater or lesser extent related to him, and so also have the capacity to display his perfections before the eyes of his creatures. Because the universe is God’s creation, it is also his revelation and self-manifestation. There is not an atom of the world that does not reflect his deity.”

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, 2:109.

What does the Kingdom require?

“The Gospel is not content to be one opinion among others of the lie but claims to be the truth, the truth that by its very nature is exclusive of every area. The church is not just an arbitrary association of people who wish to worship together but something instituted by the Lord, the pillar and ground of the truth. The world would gladly banish Christianity and the church from its turf and force it to a private inner chamber. We could give the world no greater satisfaction that to withdraw into solitude and leave the world peacefully to its own devices. But the catholicity of Christianity and the church both forbid us to grant this wish.”

Herman Bavinck, “The Catholicity of Christianity and the Church,” 248.

The transgender flag in my son’s classroom

My wife and I recently attended our son’s first High School parent-teacher conferences. We walked into a his first period classroom, French, and immediately noticed a large transgender flag on the far wall. It wasn’t an immense surprise, we talk regularly with our kids about sexual ethics, gender identity, and what it means to follow Christ in a society that is increasingly distant from what might quaintly be called, “traditional morality.”

I, for one, am glad there’s a transgender flag on a classroom wall. I’m glad there are rainbow stickers on notebooks, and laptops, and other symbols of the progressive worldview.

I’m glad, not because I support or believe them, but that because as a parent and as a pastor these symbols make it abundantly clear to me that the classroom is no neutral space.

It is not a demilitarized zone of free inquiry. And that’s something I need to know because I’m tempted to assume the contrary. I’m tempted to assume that I don’t need to actively catechize my kids because, well, we live in the suburbs and go to an evangelical church, and how bad can it be? We live in Glen Ellyn, for goodness’ sakes.

It’s important for me–for us–to know that we classical Christians no longer hold much sway in key societal institutions.

The Christians voices–such as they are–that do have influence are oftne the voices of modernist Christians, those who have come to believe that the old answers (the ones in the Biblle, for example) no longer hold and accomodations must be made to the evolving nature of reality.

These Christians tend to begin with perosnal experience and argue to a range of meanings for the Bible because, in their view, the Bible is a record of other peoples’ experiences with God and those experiences aren’t necessarily the same as ours.

Those of us dissent from this revisionist view–call us fundamentalists if you wish–believe that this approach is wrong-headed and results in a slavish egoism that, in the end, could be degined as “hellish.”

As C. S. Lewis noted,

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”