DBG Weekend Spotlight (9-9-16)

Josh Buice

In the 2016 Mullins Lectures on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Mark Dever spoke on the subject — The Use of Preaching.  You will find this sermon very helpful. In this sermon, Mark Dever stated, “Some churches track with the culture so much that they become indistinguishable from it.”

What Does the Bible Say About Transgenderism? – “As much as contemporary academia says otherwise, the Bible believes in the organic unity of biological sex and gender identity.”

Hillsong United Renegotiates Contract, Will Now Split Glory With God Fifty-Fifty – How generous….

Pokémon Go becomes the fastest game to ever hit $500 million in revenue – For those who care about such things, the growth of the game just from a mere statistical perspective is amazing.

Google will acquire Apigee for $625 million – Another important move by Google.

Americans are still reading books – Only 6% of Americans are digital only readers.

The New Testament Scholar from Down Under – “Leon Lamb Morris (1914–2006) stood out in his generation as one of the great evangelical scholars.”

Andy Stanley and the “NEW Hermeneutic” – John Barber looks at Andy Stanley’s approach to Scripture and provides a helpful analysis.

Foundations of Grace & Pillars of Grace: They Speak with One Voice – We are pleased to announce the much anticipated reprinting of Dr. Steven Lawson’s popular titles Foundations of Grace and Pillars of Grace.

$5 Friday: Redemption, Justification, & Providence – Each Friday, Ligonier provides a good list of $5 books and today is especially good.

Theology Word of the Week:  Regeneration

Regeneration. This important concept relates the Christian to God and to fellow believers.

1. Biblical evidence

‘Regeneration’ or ‘new birth’ (Tit. 3:5; Jn. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:3) describes the inner renewal by the Spirit of God, which takes place when a person becomes a Christian. The decisive historical grounds for this renewal are the coming of Jesus Christ and his vicarious death (Tit. 2:12; 3:4, 6; Jn. 3:16). A person receives forgiveness of sins through belief in Christ, and is born again to a life characterized by faith, love and hope.

The biblical teaching on regeneration includes the following emphases: a. It is not the result of human endeavour, but a creative act of God’s Spirit (Jn. 1:13). b. It is a once-for-all event, in which God substantially intervenes in a person’s life (Tit. 3:5, ‘saved’; cf. the contrast between the past and the present in vv. 3–5). c. It involves being added to the family of God: the regenerated person becomes a child of God, and is also incorporated into the fellowship of the children of God.

2. History of the doctrine of regeneration

Baptism and regeneration are linked in the NT (Tit. 3:5). Because infant baptism became a general practice in the early church, and it was assumed that regeneration came about at the same time, the biblical understanding of regeneration was forgotten. The Reformers, by contrast, emphasized that without personal faith (where appropriate), baptism would hold no benefit. But it was only with the rise of the Anabaptists, the development of pietism and the Evangelical Awakenings that special emphasis was placed on regeneration as the individual starting point of the Christian life. (Calvin himself saw regeneration as a life-long process.) In the Roman Catholic Church and in some Protestant denominations (e.g. the Lutheran Church), the doctrine of baptismal regeneration is still represented. Liberal theology tends to understand regeneration as an educational process of personal development. Dialectical theology interprets regeneration as a trans-subjective word encounter, and, influenced by this, the theology of revolution sees regeneration as social renewal and the amelioration of political realities towards achieving the kingdom of God.

3. The doctrine of regeneration in systematic theology

A biblically orientated theology of regeneration must emerge from the biblical evidence itself. Thus regeneration is a verbal illustration of the spiritual renewal of people at the beginning of their Christian lives. It describes the same event as conversion. If regeneration is placed first, it leads to sacramentalism or mysticism; if placed afterwards, it leads to synergism. At regeneration both justification and sanctification take place, but whereas regeneration and conversion inaugurate the Christian life, the state of justification and the process of sanctification characterize that life in its entirety (Phil. 3:12).

Regeneration is the beginning of the Christian life of fellowship with God as heavenly Father, a fellowship characterized by freedom from fear and by loving gratitude. At the same time, however, regeneration places the believer in a God-given spiritual relationship to all fellow Christians as brothers and sisters. Regeneration is therefore an organic start for the realization of human fellowship free from selfishness. [1]

  1. Sinclair B. Ferguson and J.I. Packer, New Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 547.

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Author DBG Weekend Spotlight (9-9-16)

Josh Buice

Pastor Pray's Mill Baptist Church

Josh Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries and serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church on the westside of Atlanta. He is married to Kari and they have four children, Karis, John Mark, Kalli, and Judson. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Professor of Preaching at Grace Bible Theological Seminary. He enjoys theology, preaching, church history, and has a firm commitment to the local church. He also enjoys many sports and the outdoors, including long distance running and high country hunting. He has been writing on Delivered by Grace since he was in seminary and it has expanded with a large readership through the years.