To Learn From Postmodernity…

In chapter three of D. A. Carson’s The Gagging of God he takes some time to note the strengths of postmodernity, the new hermeneutic, and deconstruction. On the one hand, Christians who want to be faithful to the historic faith and truth of God’s Word do not follow postmodernity, the new hermeneutic, and deconstructionism; however, it isn’t a bad thing to at least acknowledge the good parts of these movements (even if they may now be passing). Here are Carson’s theses; he does explain them in more depth, of course, so you’ll have to get the book to read on!

  1. While we deplore certain follies in postmodernity, it is vital to acknowledge a number of strengths.
  2. Practical experience with the way people actually communicate confirms that accurate communication is possible.
  3. The arguments of too many scholars turn on individualistic definitions and doubtful steps of logic that do not withstand close inspection.
  4. Many deconstructionists slant the debate by appealing to indefensible antitheses.
  5. Models from the hard sciences are of some, but limited, use. It is important to understand why this should be so.
  6. There are some models of approaching texts that glean the best from the new hermeneutic, but do not destroy all possibility of objective truth.
  7. Clearly the interpretive community, the nurturing community, the community of faith plays an important role in an individual’s understanding, but it is not necessarily a determinative or decisive role.
  8. From a Christian perspective, an omniscient God who accommodates himself to talk in human languages introduces several new and important elements.
  9. Postmodernism as a whole is characterized by astonishing hubris, by a focus on the self that is awesomely God-defying.
  10. Not a little postmodernism borders on the incoherent and is in fact more than a little sad.

Carson ends the chapter by saying that his aim was “to recognize, within a Christian framework, certain truths in postmodernity, without getting snookered by the entire package” (p. 136).

You can find this entire discussion in, The Gagging of God, chapter three.

Shane Lems

Presuppositions or Evidences? Yes!

Presuppositionalism or Evidentialism? That’s a question about apologetics: should we defend the faith presupposing the existence of God or by use of evidences (e.g. creation, the empty tomb, etc.)? I like Os Guinness’ balanced approach to this question. While talking about the journey from unbelief to faith, Guinness writes this:

“…What should be clear from this description of the journey toward faith is that the answer is not either-or, but both-and and which-when. Both presuppositions and evidences are a key part of our apologetic approach, and the real question is which to focus on and when.”

“Think of the relationship of presuppositions and evidences like this. Before people reach stage one (a person asking serious life and meaning questions), they are closed to God, and their unbelief is a matter of false presuppositions, as St. Paul explained. At that stage a discussion of evidences may sometimes intrigue them, but evidences are rarely likely to make them change their minds. The unbelieving framework of their thinking will eat up all that contradicts it, so that Christian evidences will carry little force at this stage, and they will probably wash off the unbeliever’s mind like water off a duck’s back….”

“Everything changes, however, when people reach stage one and become seekers. For those whom life has raised a question are in the process of breaking with their old presuppositions and searching for better ones. They are not open and the framework of their previous faith no longer works to explain away all else. At stage two (searching for answers) presuppositions are the very nub of the issue for seekers, for what they are looking for is alternative presuppositions to answer their questions. If in their search they were to presuppose that any new faith was true, would it illuminate their world and provide solid answers to their questions?”

“Stage three, by contrast, is all about evidences, and properly so. But when the evidences for the Christian faith – say, the evidence for the reliability of the Gospels or for the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus – come into play at this stage, they are no longer ‘bare facts’ or ‘Christian facts’ that could be eaten up within an unbelieving framework. They are now facts that make sense within the framework of the biblical worldview, and they are now considered with an open mind because the seeker now has an open mind. At this stage, Christian evidences serve to support a solid grounding for the seeker to investigate the adequacy and the truth of the Christian faith.”

Great point. Apologetic methods that are biblical, truthful, and reasonable do not conflict, but together contribute to sharing the gospel and explaining the faith!

Os Guinness, Fool’s Talk, p. 246-7.

Shane Lems

A Prophetic Perspective Pastiche …

In considering Micah 5:2 within its context for a Christmas edition of our church newsletter, I’ve been rummaging around for my favorite quotes on the prophetic perspective/prophetic idiom – that method of the prophets whereby they describe eschatological events in the language of their own day. Note that while prophetic foreshortening is also an important hermeneutical principle for understanding multiple fulfillments of (seemingly) single OT prophecies, this post focuses on typology.

I’ve decided to post a couple of them here and will perhaps follow up with a few more as I come upon them. If you have any other quotes on this topic you’d like to add, please leave author/source/page-range info in comment box below!

If we observe the way the Latter Prophets use the various great moments of past salvation history as the pattern of the future coming of God’s kingdom, there can be little argument about the proposition that they see a future stage that recapitulates their history…. It is also a truism that the prophetic eschatology has at least two perspectives: the one is the more immediate view that applies to the destruction and exile followed by the release from that exile and return to the land. The other perspective is of the more distant view of the Day of the Lord when God finally acts in a way that has ultimate significance for the coming of the kingdom of God. Although there are many prophetic oracles in which it is not clear that any such distinction is being made by the prophet, in hindsight we are able to see that the partial fulfilment of prophecy brought about by the return from exile can be regarded as foreshadowing the ultimate fufilment. The post-exilic prophets perform the important task of showing that this distinction of the partial and the perfect fulfilments is real. For them, whatever the benefits of the return, the kingdom is yet to come.

Graeme Goldsworthy, Christ-Centered Biblical Theology: Hermeneutical Foundations and Principles (IVP, 2012), 134-135.


The typological way of understanding God’s past acts in history as sneak previews of coming events was not invented by Jesus during his earthly ministry, or by his apostles and the other New Testament authors. Nor did it originate with Jewish rabbis in the centuries between the completion of the Old Testament and the arrival of Christ. Through the writings of the Major and Minor Prophets, God had already been teaching Israel to conceive of the promised salvation to come in the shape of what he had done in the past – yet much more magnificent.

Dennis E. Johnson, Walking with Jesus Through His Word: Discovering Christ in All the Scriptures (P&R, 2015), 67.


The great principles and realities of theocratic life were embodied in external form. This was the only way to clothe the essence of the theocracy in a way that the Israelites could grasp. In order to keep the future eschatological picture in touch with Israel’s religion these forms had to be maintained. The prophets had to give the essence in particular forms. Eschatological revelation is presented in the language of the Mosaic institutions. The New Testament first transposes it into a new key. Here in the New Testament it is spiritualized. In the Old Testament it is expressed in terms of perfection of the forms of Israel’s theocracy.

Geerhardus Vos, The Eschatology of the Old Testament (P&R, 2001), 118.


The two topics with which we have to deal may be called the doctrine of the judgment and that of the restoration. In order to justify the characterization of these as eschatology, we should sharply mark what is the specific difference of eschatology from the Biblical standpoint. In the abstract it might seem more appropriate to fit in the crises described by the prophets with the general up-and-downward movement of history, each one being co-ordinated with preceding and following events. But this would miss the very point of the eschatological peculiarity. This consists in that the crises described are not ordinary upheavals, but such as lead to an abiding order of things, in which the prophetic vision comes to rest. Finality and consummation form the specific difference of prophetic, as of all other Biblical eschatology. The judgment predicted is the judgment, and the restoration is the restoration, of the end.

One other peculiarity to be noted is really a consequence of the one just stated. Whenever the prophets speak in terms of judgment, immediately the vision of the state of glory obtrudes itself upon their view, and they concatenate the two in a way altogether regardless of chronological interludes. Isaiah couples with the defeat of the Assyrians under Sennacherib the unequaled pictures of the glory of the end, and the impression might be created that the latter was just waiting for the former, to make its immediate appearance. The vision ‘hastens’ under their eye. The philosophy of this foreshortening of the beyond-prospect is one of the most difficult things in the interpretation of prophecy in the Old Testament and New Testament alike. We cannot here further dwell upon it.

Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments (Banner of Truth, 2000), 289-90.


The prophets clothed their thoughts in forms derived from the dispensation to which they belonged, i.e., from the life, constitution, and history of their own people. In view of this fact the question naturally arses as to whether the form was essential, so that the prophecy was destined to be fulfilled in the exact terms in which it was uttered. While it was but natural that prophecies referring to the near future should be realized in all particulars, it is by no means self-evident that this should also be the case with prophecies that point to some future dispensation. The presumption is that, after the forms of life have undergone radical changes, no more can be expected than a realization of the essential central idea. In fact, the New Testament clearly proves that a literal fulfilment is not to be expected in all cases, and that in some important prophecies the dispensational form must be stripped off. Hence it is precarious to assume that a prophecy is not fufilled as long as the outer details are not realized. Cf. Isa. 11:10-16; Joel 3:18-21; Micah 5:5-8; Zech. 12:11-14; Amos 9:11, 12, Acts 15:15-17.

Under the guise of the Holy Spirit, the prophets occasionally transcended their historical and dispensational limitations, and spoke in forms that pointed to a more spiritual dispensation in the future. In such cases the prophetic horizon was enlarged, they sensed something of the passing character of the old forms, and gave ideal descriptions of the blessings of the New Testament Church. This feature is more common in the later than in the earlier prophets. Cf. Jer. 31:31-34; Mal. 1:11.

Louis Berkhof, Principles of Biblical Interpretation (Sacred Hermeneutics) (Baker Books, 1950), 151-152.


[W]hat is revealed in Israel’s history is not in itself the reality of the kingdom to which it points. It never could be, because the redemptive event in the exodus fro Egypt cannot remove the real cause of the alienation of people from God. In like manner the sacrificial system instituted at Sinai is illustrative of the reality, but “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). The prophetic view of salvation and the kingdom is that of the true goal being reached. Even though they couch their message in the terminology of Israel’s past history, the prophets portray the future not as another shadow of things to come, but as the solid reality.

Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture (Eerdmans, 2000), 108.


In the divine structuring of redemptive history the old covenant was designed to relate to the new covenant as anticipatory prototype to the later ultimate reality. Israel’s restoration from Babylonian exile is an instance of this. Like their exodus from Egypt, it was arranged by the Lord of history and redemptive revelation as an instructive model of the messianic salvation. Reflecting this typological structure of the history, the language of prophecy portrayed the coming new covenant salvation history under the figure of its old covenant prototypes. The prophets spoke of the messianic kingdom in parables, parables drawn from the Lord’s grand historical parable, which was old covenant Israel.

Meredith G. Kline, Glory in Our Midst: A Biblical-Theological Reading of Zechariah’s Night Visions (Two Age Press, 2001), 34. Note: I don’t want to type it all out, but Kline also addresses this in Kingdom Prologue, Ch. 3.II.D.1, a section entitled “Covenantal and Dispensational Hermeneutics.” It is pgs. 340-341 in my edition (Two Age Press, 2000).


R. Andrew Compton
Christ Reformed Church (URCNA)
Anaheim, CA

What do we do with the imprecatory Psalms? Ten helps from David Murray


“O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed, blessed shall he be who repays you with what you have done to us! Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!” (Psalm 137:8-9)

Any Christian who has a high view of the normativity of all of Scripture (OT and NT) for the Christian church will wrestle with the language of cursing and imprecation found in the Psalms. Are we not called to love our enemies? How then can a Christian take such language upon his lips? Are not certain Psalms no longer relevant to Christians?

In the book Sing a New Song: Recovering Psalm Singing for the Twenty-First Century (Reformation Heritage Books, 2010), David Murray contributes a useful chapter to the discussion entitled “Christian Cursing?” (See pgs. 111-121) The chapter is short, but contains several good insights.

Murray begins with what he deems wrong approaches to the imprecatory Psalms. Though some have appealed to shifts in redemptive historical epochs, sin on the Psalmists’ part, demons as the objects of the curses instead of people, a prophetic genre rather than prayer, and hyperbole, Murray feels that each appeal is problematic. In the place of these, he offers “ten helps” for understanding these Psalms, hoping that this will enable us to read and sing these Psalms better.

Rooted in the first gospel promise. The curses of the Psalms are rooted in the curse upon the serpent that accompanied the protoeuangelion in Gen 3:14-15. Murray says that the imprecations are essentially a prayer to God, asking him to be faithful to his own word and character as a just and holy God: “God, be faithful to your promise to curse those who curse me.”

David’s forgiving character. Generally speaking, Scripture portrays David as “one who prayed for his enemies and sought to do them good.” Though Murray does not comment further, his implication is that this portrayal should create in us a hermeneutic of trust. David must have reconciled these two seemingly contradictory stances in his own mind, thus we too should approach these Psalms with an openness to hear how they are in harmony with other passages expressing love for enemies.

The king represented God. Murray explains: “As the king was God’s representative, God’s reputation was tied up with the king’s. Offending God’s anointed king was equivalent to offending God.” The Psalmists were thus not seeking to take human revenge upon human offense, but were calling down divine vengeance upon divine offense.

Multiple New Testament quotations. The NT cites several imprecatory Psalms “without any reserve or qualification.” Murray cites this material to remind us that NT believers have been taking the imprecatory Psalms upon their lips from the beginnings of Christianity. (As a side note, G.K. Beale speaks to the NT use of imprecatory Psalms in his very short, but very excellent booklet The Morality of God in the Old Testament. This is a highly recommended volume.).

New Testament imprecations. This is related to the NT’s use of OT imprecatory Psalms, but here Murray demonstrates that the NT provides some imprecations of its own (e.g., Gal. 1:8-9, 5:11-12; 2 Tim. 4:14; 1 Cor 16:22). Though many in our day take a Marcionite approach to the OT and NT, Murray reminds us that “God’s justice and God’s love are found in both testaments….”

Based on justice. Though we live in a day when retribution is not at the forefront of judicial policy, Murray reminds us that retribution was the foundation of biblical justice. God’s justice must be satisfied. Murray explains: “The substance of the imprecatory Psalms is that justice be done and the innocent righteous vindicated, which is a New Testament theme also (Luke 18:1-8).”

Thy kingdom come. “The imprecations of Scripture reflect the zeal of God’s people of the kingdom of God and their passionate hatred of sin and evil…. God’s kingdom comes by defeating and destroying competing kingdoms.” Murray continues: “This is really saying that blessing and cursing are two sides of the same coin. Real compassion for the wronged can exist only beside indignation against wrong-doing (Matt. 23).” Murray cites a helpful statement of John Piper with the conclusion that “prayers of imprecation should not be our first reaction to evil, but our last.” There are other prayers that come first and there are aspects to God’s kingdom that take priority in our thinking over others. Nevertheless, with the desire for the coming of God’s kingdom comes a desire for the fullness of God’s kingdom. One cannot desire that fullness without also desiring the destruction of evil that is part of it.

Vengeance is God’s. It is noteworthy that the imprecatory Psalms are not narratives of how Psalmists took vengeance into their own hands. (Note that even in the settlement narratives and herem (חֶרֶם) warfare of Joshua, astute readers will note that this was not a humanly devised genocide. Again, G.K. Beale speaks well to this matter in his booklet The Morality of God in the Old Testament). Murray explains: “An imprecation is a prayer for God to take vengeance. The psalmist does not take vengeance himself but turns the situation over to God.”

Judgments aiming at salvation. Murray notes that the imprecations often have the good of the sinner at their heart: “God will often use judgments to bring sinners to himself.” Passages Murray cites include Psalm 83:16; Daniel 4; and Acts 13:9-12. In a long citation of Martin Luther, Murray shows that our prayers for the enemies of Christ are two-fold; on the one hand, that they might fail in their efforts to persecute Christ’s own, and on the other hand, that they might be brought to faith in Christ themselves.

Point us to Christ. The imprecatory language of the Psalms is most perfectly sung by Christ himself who one day will return to destroy all evil and opposition to the Father’s will, and consummate God’s perfect rule of the age to come. Because Christ is the perfect singer of the imprecations, we can have confidence and “patiently wait for God to fulfill his promises, despite the temporary triumphing of the wicked and the affliction of the godly.”

In conclusion, David Murray offers some important points for Christians to consider when interpreting the imprecatory language of the Psalms. Certainly each of these points is open to objection; I thought of possible responses to each as I was typing this up. Nevertheless, I also thought of rejoinders to each critique that embrace the substance of Murray’s answer even if I needed to mitigate or nuance the language of the “ten helps.” Had Murray’s chapter been longer, he could have fleshed out these helps a bit more, but as they stand, they are a good orientation to the discussion and an initial foray into some answers to the question.

Furthermore, not every one of what Murray deems “wrong solutions” is equally misguided. Here too, with exceptions of course, better versions of these arguments can indeed offer some explanatory power. This is especially the case with the shift in redemptive historical epochs as the land-typology under the Mosaic covenant does provide an arena for “intrusion” of divine wrath that is no longer appropriate for this present epoch.

Murray’s chapter is a useful resource and a valuable help. We must always remember that ours is not the first generation of Christians to struggle with how to read and interpret the imprecatory language of the Psalms. Many have come before us and provided the groundwork for further believing responses to these challenging – but nevertheless God glorifying – passages. Resources abound so take up and read!

R. Andrew Compton
Christ Reformed Church (URCNA)
Anaheim, CA

Preaching the Whole Counsel of God: A Review

Around nine years ago I had the opportunity to take a preaching class from Julius Kim and now I have the opportunity to review his first book on homiletics: Preaching the Whole Counsel of God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015). This book is a detailed introduction to preaching and also includes some helpful notes on interpreting Scripture. Basically, it’s an in-depth but concise resource for interpreting and preaching God’s Word.

The book has four main parts: 1) “Discovering the truth of the text according to the human author,” 2) “Discerning Christ in the text according to the divine author,” 3) “Designing the sermon according to truth, goodness, and beauty,” and 4) “Delivering the sermon for attention, retention, integration, and transformation.” In these chapters, Kim emphasizes prayer, serious textual study, a Christ-centered study and sermon emphasis, sermon structure, application, illustration, and delivery (just to name the main parts). I appreciate this book because it is balanced: Kim does a nice job of touching all the bases, so to speak. There are even two example sermons for the reader to study.

Although this book is under 250 pages, there is a lot of information between the covers! I appreciated the section on the design and delivery of the sermon, where Kim gave 12 points on how the brain hears, retains, and listens to speaking. For example, since studies (and experience!) have shown the brain can only retain so much, preachers should avoid preaching “fire-hose” sermons, where info gushes out like crazy. This material on neuroscience and hearing/listening was mostly new to me, so I found it quite interesting and helpful. Preachers do have to consider the listeners when they preach!

If you’ve read other preaching books, some of the parts of this book will be a review. This book, like most preaching books, talks about outline, structure, illustrations, application, and eye contact (for a few examples); even though I had read or heard some of this material before, I still appreciated going over it again.

Do you need a Reformed, Christ-centered, and detailed introduction to interpreting and preaching the Word? I recommend this one: Preaching the Whole Counsel of God by Julius Kim.

(NOTE: I received this book from the Amazon Vine review program, and was not compelled to write a positive review).

Shane Lems
Hammond WI

Challenging the Consensus Except When the Consensus Says You Shouldn’t

5102894mjxl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Iain Provan, V. Philips Long, Tremper Longman III, A Biblical History of Israel (2nd ed.; Westminster John Knox, 2015).

I don’t usually hustle to purchase revised editions of books I already own, but when the book covers the field of biblical archaeology which changes with each new dig season, I can hardly pass up the chance to see how authors have integrated new material such as that found in the city of David (the “large stone structure”), that found at Wadi Feynan, and that found at Khirbet Qeiyafa. (Concerning the later, new analysis of the 14C samples has been published within the past couple of months making the book I am about to quote already lacking in the latest publications.) As the first edition of A Biblical History of Israel by Iain Provan, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III was a very formative book for me when I first read it 10 years ago, I made sure to pre-order the second edition (which just came in the mail last week).

When the book arrived I turned with eager expectation to the newly added appendix which interacts with critics of the first edition of A Biblical History of Israel. The authors readily respond to the critiques of several in the scholarly guild and offer, to my mind, a compelling defense of the method and overall value of A Biblical History of Israel.

In particular, I liked how he responded to one senior scholar, humorously suggesting that there must actually be two authors going by the same name (punning on pentateuchal criticism), but also showing that much opposition to historical reliability of the biblical text comes not from critical engagement with the evidence, but from appeal to consensus – what “the academic guild” thinks about a particular issue.

Read this lengthy quote not only for the humor, but for the important methodological reminders that are often forgotten or muted in discussions:

When he gets to our discussion of Israel’s emergence in Canaan, the important thing for [Lester] Grabbe is not to demonstrate by way of argument where we have gone wrong, but to emphasize that we have departed from “the scholarly consensus” – whether in our reading of Joshua and Judges, or in our reading of the archaeology. On the latter, “real scholars” apparently already know the truth about Ai, notwithstanding (as we point out in [the first edition of a Biblical History of Israel]) that “the site may not be correctly identified” and “the archaeological finds may not be representative of the unexcavated portions of the site.” For our own part, we are already known by Grabbe not to be real scholars, even though we appear to behave as scholars in the way that we handle evidence….

In order to be real scholars, we must apparently also come to the “correct” conclusions. That is to say: we must come to Grabbe’s conclusions, and those of the people of whom he approves. It is agreement on outcomes, it seems, that defines for Grabbe the fellowship of the truly critical scholars – not critical thinking as such. It is end-results, not method. On this basis one is either “in” or “out”; and if it is the latter, one can (it seems) expect no serious engagement with one’s work. One can expect no argument – only reminders that one is “outside.” ….

This approach to “critical” scholarship is, however, all the more astonishing when one considers the following words from Grabbe, in a different essay from 2011, concerning what he terms “a general institutional mind-set of the academy,” which is “to overvalue consensus”:

It can be subtle, slow, and ponderous, but before you know it this relentless academic bulldozer has a way of grinding down new ideas … one of the greatest dangers to scholarship is the comfortable consensus. No one wants to be the underdog. Thus, when certain topics come up for academic discussion, it is easy to let it be known that you agree with the majority. In academic circles there is nothing that quite equals the sound of bandwagons being hastily boarded – it is hard to describe but it is sort of a pusillanimous sound. Never forget, though, what a consensus is: it is like a stick picked up to help you in climbing the trail. Use it as long as you find it useful, but discard it without a second thought as soon as it has served its purpose. A consensus is not for life; it is not even just for Christmas. It is not to be worshiped; it is not even to be revered. On the contrary, my appeal to you is, next time you meet a consensus, do not shake its hand. Stare at it. Give it a good sniff, poke it, sneer at it, threaten it, and if it does not look you in the eye, attack it.

We have quoted here from the beginning and the end of the essay; the whole thing is well worth reading. How, though, are we to put this Lester Grabbe together with the other one described earlier, who depends so much on appeals to consensus in his interactions with [the first edition of a Biblical History of Israel]? It is difficult not to think that a certain kind of traditional historical critic, looking back from the future (if such critics still exist in the future) on the debate in the early 2000s about the history of Israel, and considering the literary sources available for reconstructing this debate, would be driven to the conclusion that there must have been two Lester Grabbes back then, since according to the law of contradiction one person could not possibly have written all the materials attributed to him.

A Biblical History of Israel, 433-434.

The second edition was well worth the purchase to my mind, in part because the unwieldy endnotes of the first edition have been replaced with glorious, easy-to-consult footnotes. Furthermore, the assimilation of new data and published materials has been an important update to a ten-year-old volume. Finally, the appendix provides an important response to the many who have already decided that the biblical text simply cannot be trusted to provide us with a true picture of Israel’s past.

R. Andrew Compton
Christ Reformed Church (URCNA)
Anaheim, CA

Discipline: God’s Medicine

Sometimes God disciplines his children when they stumble and sin. Does this mean God no longer loves those he chastens? Quite the opposite! Samuel Bolton explains it well:

“I grant that God’s justice is fully satisfied in Christ. He can require no more than what Christ has already done and suffered. Abundant satisfaction has been made. Therefore, far be it from any to say that God chastises his children for their sins as a means of satisfying his justice. Christ having done that has left nothing for us to bear by way of satisfaction. The Papists indeed say that our sufferings are satisfactions, and therefore they punish themselves and submit to penances. But no Protestant divines say so. We say that God does not chastise us as a means of satisfaction for sin, but for rebuke and caution, to bring us to mourn for sin committed, and to beware of the like.”

“It must always be remembered that, although Christ has borne the punishment of sin, and although God has forgiven the saints for their sins, yet God may God-fatherly correct his people for sin. Christ endured the great shower of wrath, the black and dismal hours of displeasure for sin. That which falls upon us is a sunshine shower, warmth with wet, wet with the warmth of his love to make us fruitful and humble.”

“Christ drank the dregs of that bitter cup, so much of it as would damn us, and left only so much for us to drink as would humble us for our sin. That which the believer suffers for sin is not penal, arising from vindictive justice, but medicinal, arising from a fatherly love. It is his medicine, not his punishment; his chastisement, not his sentence; his correction, not his condemnation.”

Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, p. 122-123.

Shane Lems
Hammond, WI