Knowledge and Emotional Experience (Boice)

In the opening pages of Foundations of the Christian Faith, James Montgomery Boice talked about knowledge in general and also about knowing God. He explained that in our context, there are two main views of knowledge: knowledge by reason alone and knowledge by experience. Concerning the latter, here's what Boice wrote back in 1986: In …

Christian Doctrine and Experience (Machen)

Sometimes Christians get doctrine and experience mixed up.  For example, suppose a person came to faith by experiencing the kindness of Jesus.   Then suppose the same person started teaching that the essence of conversion is experiencing Jesus' kindness.   It is biblically true and wonderful that Jesus is kind.  But it isn't helpful - or …

One Of The Great Mistakes Of Pietism

These are great words from a great book by Louis Berkhof: Assurance of Faith. “It was one of the great mistakes of the Pietism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that, in seeking the assurance of faith, or of salvation, it divorced itself too much from the Word of God.  The basis of assurance was …

Evangelism and Experience

  If it is OK to say that the church is on a mission, the mission is surely to glorify God by proclaiming the gospel to Christians (to build them up) and to unbelievers (to rescue them from darkness).  J. Gresham Machen has a good word on evangelism and experience.  "Let us not deceive ourselves, my friends …

The Hollywood Conversion Experience?

I'm sure many of us have heard great accounts of how Jesus sought, found, and rescued a sinner who was tiptoeing on the edge of hell's chasm - maybe some readers have such an amazing testimony. While those who speak these testimonies are trophies of God's grace, these extraordinary experiences should not be the standard …

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