Here’s the sermon that often doesn’t get Paul Washer invited back. And no, it’s not because he’s boring. Washer preaches with clarity and passion. The reason Washer has caused such an uproar in some places is because he makes a frontal attack on some of Evangelicalism’s most sacred cows: Assurance of Salvation, and sincerity in “making a decision” for Christ.
Washer pulls no punches. Nor does he just attack for the sake of attack. He attacks these forms of Evangelical religion like a surgeon attacking a cancer. He dissects and explains.
Washer rails against how Evangelicals are so quick to proclaim people ‘believers’. One of the most damnable practices in the church is when a person doubts their salvation, they are usually taken back to that day when they “made a decision” for Christ and “asked Jesus into their hearts”, neither of which are statements found in Scripture (apart from a poor hermeneutic). We are often guilty of giving people a false assurance that is based more on the ‘sincerity’ of their decision than on the presence of a transformed life. Washer claims this tactic sends countless people to hell. At the very point that a person may be coming to Christ with a legitimate doubt about salvation, we kill off that work with a sloppy proclaimation of false salvation.
Washer broadsides contemporary evangelistic practices, including child evangelism and Sunday School programs. He says he would not put his children in 80% of the Sunday school programs, because the gospel presentations we give to children are so seriously distorted they border on heresy.
This message needs to be preached to every church in America. The congregations response would serve as a good litmus test of spiritual health.
After listening to Derek Thomas’ excellent lectures on John Owen, I realized I didn’t know anything about the ‘Marrow Controversy’ and decided to find some lectures to shore up that hole in my church history knowledge. What I found were 3 messages by none other than Sinclair Ferguson.
The Marrow Controversy took place in 16th century Scotland, and while the controversy itself is somewhat obscure to the average Christian, it’s implications to the gospel are critical. It faces this question: “Is it sound or orthodox to teach that we forsake sin in order to our coming to Christ?” What results are answers examing the difference between cheap grace and free grace, and the errors of Legalism and Antinomianism.
This is a very good series, however the audio is not in the best shape.
I’m a sucker for panel discussions with good preachers. I love the candid insight they often bring forth that might not come in a prepared message.
The panel discussion at the Desiring God 2007 Pastors Conference on the Holiness of God is one of the most encouraging and insightful. John Piper, William Mackenzie, and Thabiti Anyabwile discuss the doctrine of election, sanctification, faith, child salvation, legalism, revival, sufficiency of atonement and the very real differences and gifting required for true ‘missionaries’ who wrestle with a completely new culture, versus the old cliche that ‘we are all missionaries where ever we are.’
Here are some tidbits. How can one be helped to come to grips with the doctrine of election in light of the Biblical commands and admonitions for man to act in human will? Piper suggests the reading of Martin Luther’s ‘The Bondage of the Will,’ and for the more adventurous, to wrestle through Jonathan Edwards ‘The Freedom of the Will.’ Thabiti sketches his personal journey from Islam to Arminian Christianity, to the doctrines of grace.