Author Archives: Kevin DeYoung

Theological Primer: Eternal Sonship

From time to time I make new entries into this continuing series called “Theological Primer.” The idea is to present big theological concepts in under 500 words (or pretty close–what’s a couple hundred words among friends?). Today we look at the eternality of the Son of God.

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There never was when he was not.

That was the bone of contention with Arianism, the fourth century heresy which rejected the full deity of the Son of God. The issue was not whether the Son was divine in some sense, but whether he shared the same essence (homoousia) as the Father. In particular, Arius held that sonship necessarily implied having a beginning. While Arius affirmed that Christ was preexistent and that all things were created through him, he also believed that the Father created the Son. According to Arius, “If the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten has a beginning of existence; hence it is clear that there was when he was not.” Arius was careful not to use the word “time,” because he believed the Son existed before the ages began, but for Arius eternality and sonship could not go together. The Son was a divine being, but a created being with a derivative deity

How should we respond to this claim? It’s not enough to point to passages where Christ is worshiped or where the deity of the Son is broadly affirmed. Arius did not reject these conclusions and neither do modern day Arians. Where do we turn to defend the …

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Monday Morning Humor

Let’s get an engineer working on the stretcher design.

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All Paths Lead to God

All paths lead to God, but only one path will present you before God without fault and with great joy.

Pick a path, any path–it will take you to God. Trust me: you will stand before Him one day. You will meet your Maker. You will see the face of Christ.

There are many ways up the mountain, but only one will result in life instead of destruction.

“Christianity is narrow,” you say. “Why must we talk of insiders and outsiders?”

“Christianity is hard. I don’t like what it says. I don’t want anyone telling me what to do. This kind of life, this kind of faith, this kind of commitment–they will make me unpopular.”

“Christianity is strange. It’s on the wrong side of history. No one really accepts it—the miracles, the strange teachings, the ethical demands. They don’t work anymore.”

Yes, Christianity can seem narrow, strange, and hard. Jesus was often thought narrow, strange, and hard too. But sometimes the narrow way is the only way, the strange path is the true path, and the hard life is the one that leads to eternal life (John 14:6).

There are many roads to God, but only one will make you holy and only one will bring you home.

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9 Myths about Abortion Rights and Roe v. Wade

The moral and spiritual dimensions notwithstanding, there are a plenty of reasons to see Roe as a logical, legal, and political debacle.

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Monday Morning Humor (on Tuesday)

Best Dad ever?

(Sorry for the OMG’s at the end).

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The Measure You Use

“Don’t assume the worst about me I don’t look like you. Don’t size me up based on how I dress, where I live, who my parents were, or it I ever knew my parents. Don’t speak before you listen. Don’t rush to judgment before you’ve heard from all sides.” Isn’t that what we all want?

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The Necessity of Good Works and Obedience

A very helpful synopsis from Bradley Green (23-24):

1. Loving or knowing God is linked with obedience (John 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10; 1 John 2:3-6; 3:22, 24; 5:3; 2 John 6; Rev. 12:17; 14:12)

2. The ‘conditional’ nature of our future salvation (Rom. 11:22; 1 Cor. 15:2; Heb. 3:6, 14; 4:14)

3. Christians must ‘overcome’ if they are ultimately to be saved (Heb. 10:38-39; Rev. 2:7, 11; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7)

4. The necessity of a great righteousness (Matt. 5:20)

5. The requirement of the law being met ‘in us’ (Rom. 8:3-4)

6. God will efficaciously work ‘in’ us, moving us to obey him (Phil. 2:12-13)

7. The necessity of putting to death the old man, by the power of the Spirit (Rom. 8:13-14)

8. ‘Faith’ and ‘obedience/works’ used as virtual synonyms (2 Thess. 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17; Rev. 12:17; 14:12; cf. 6:9)

9. We are truly judged, or justified, by our works (Matt. 7:21, 25; Rom. 2:13; cf. Jas. 1:22-25)

10. The ‘obedience of faith’ (Rom. 1:5; 16:26; Acts 6:7)

11. We were created and redeemed for good works (2 Cor. 9:8; Eph. 2:10; Titus 2:14 [cf. 11-12])

12. Faith working through love (Gal. 5:6)

13. The law affirmed; the law of Christ (Rom. 13:9; 1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 4:14; 6:2)

14. Persons do the works of their Father (John 8:39)

Amazingly, justification is by faith alone. And just as amazingly, “Christ justifies no one whom he does not at the same time sanctify” (John Calvin).

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Ten Books that Have Shaped Me as a Christian

Recently someone asked me what ten book have been most helpful in my growth as a Christian. A good question, I thought, and a fun question to answer. I love to talk about books, especially those that have been instrumental in my walk with Christ.

Two quick caveats:

1. In order to be most useful, I tried to think of books that have been helpful to me as a Christian not just as a pastor. The two callings, however, are not easily extricated, so my list may strike a chord more readily with those in full time church ministry.

2. This is not a list of my ten favorite books of all time (though that list would have significant overlap with this one), nor is this a list of the ten books every Christian should read. For that list I’d pick a few more popular-level books and try to cover a number of other topics. What we have below are ten books that profoundly shaped my head and my heart at key moments in my Christian life. Not surprisingly, given the way God often works, I read all of these books for the first time (except for the last one) between the ages of 18 and 22. Pastors, campus ministers, professors, publishers, parents, take note: get good books in the hands of college students.

I don’t usually read too many of my blog comments (sorry), but on this post I’d love to hear from you. What books have been most helpful in your growth …

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How to Write More Gooder

Most people don’t need help going from good to great. They need help going from confusion to clarity.

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Monday Morning Humor

This is how papers are really graded. (FYI, I don’t know anything about this show. And bonus FYI, a teacher sent me this clip.)

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