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April 2022 New Horizons

Sinner’s Prayer or the Savior’s Promise?

 

Contents

Sinner’s Prayer or the Savior’s Promise?

Living in Light of Christ’s Resurrection

The History of the Resurrection

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Sinner’s Prayer or the Savior’s Promise?

I grew up in a “first generation” Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The congregation that my parents began attending when I was an infant was the first Calvinistic, confessional body to appear in our region since theological modernism destroyed the integrity of the PCUSA a generation prior. There are many blessings to growing up in such a context. Yet there were also a few bumps. Reformation is a process, not an event. In a church where most members come from non-Reformed backgrounds, certain questions can remain murky. One issue that was unclear for me growing up was the question of assurance. Many of the adult Christians surrounding me could remember the day and the hour that they gave their life to Christ. I heard about “asking Jesus into your heart.” One lady said, “It’s like giving birth; you know when it happens.” But what do such testimonies say to those who grow up being taught to pray and seek Jesus? I could not recount the moment when I began to believe. How then could I be sure ... Read more

Living in Light of Christ’s Resurrection

The Christian life is filled with trials of various kinds (James 1:2). It is filled with suffering and hardship. It is filled with uncertainty and anxiety. Job rightly says, “Man who is born of woman is few of days and full of trouble” (14:1). We do not know what tomorrow may bring. We do not know what that next phone call or doctor’s appointment may bring. What will the diagnosis be? What will tomorrow’s meeting or conversation hold? Joy or sadness, despair or delight? We don’t even know how many tomorrows we will have; our physical life in this world is fleeting. We are like grass that withers and fades—here today and gone tomorrow. Although the inner self is being renewed day by day, the outer self is wasting away (2 Cor. 4:16). Creation itself groans and longs to be set free from its bondage to corruption (Rom. 8:21). Given this reality, where does one find certainty and hope? Where does one look for peace and joy in the midst of life in this “present evil age” (Gal. 1:4)? Where can we ... Read more

The History of the Resurrection

Sixty years ago, Time magazine published an issue featuring “Theologian Karl Barth.” On its April 20, 1962, cover was a picture of the Swiss theologian with a depiction of an empty tomb behind him. Across the top of that cover was a quote from Barth that read, “The goal of human life is not death, but resurrection.” For a mere twenty-five cents, you could read all about it. Barth was a peculiar option for featuring in an issue on the resurrection of Christ. His record on the historicity of the resurrection was not exactly crystal clear. When several American theologians asked Barth a question that had to do with the resurrection, Barth declined to answer, expressing frustration with “certain fundamentalists” and “cannibals.” Karl Barth on the Resurrection So, is the resurrection a historical event for Barth? Does not Barth believe in the “corporeal resurrection” ( Time , 59)? His answer is “yes.” But it is also “no.” Let me explain. Karl Barth did not like the idea ... Read more

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