Election is a dangerougs & demoralizing doctrine?

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.” 1 Peter 1:1-2

“In this, Peter refutes the greatest objection Arminians have about the doctrine of election. “If election is true, men can live as they please,” Arminians say. “Therefore election is a dangerous and demoralizing doctrine. If people glean their assurance in anyway from election, their holy walk with God will be compromised.”  Peter replies that the very purpose of election it to make men holy. God’s election does not destroy moral effort; rather, as Spurgeon notes: “God’s choice makes chosen men choice men.” And Thomas Watson says, “Sanctification is the earmark of Christ’s sheep.”

God wants to make His elect holy, for He has predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Sin. No one can then say, “I am elect therefore, I not need to be Christlike.” Rather, as Peter implies, a believer should say, “Because I am elect, I cannot avoid being Christlike.” God’s elect cannot be at peace living in sin; they cannot live under sin’s domination (Romans 6:11-14) or live counter to Christ and His will. If we are elect, God has committed all the fullness and glory of His resources to make us like His son. As surely as God has determined to save the elect from eternity past and provided the cross of Calvary as the means of that salvation, so He has determined that the effects of that salvation will be holiness, even into eternity.”

– Joel Beeke, Living For God’s Glory:An Introduction to Calvinism pg 65

June Status Report

We’ve been quite busy! I haven’t forgotten about my “why I believe what I do …” blog series — in fact I have quite a few drafts waiting to be finished for it. But, they’ll just have to keep waiting because like someone recently said “blogging isn’t a have to but a get to.” 🙂 I’m thankful to be quite busy at home!

Outside my window…  we have some plants taking off in our tiny little garden! Very exciting. If only the plants would grow as fast as our grass 😉

I am thinking… about grace-based-parenting and how much more grace my parenting needs.

I am thankful… for so many things! God has sustained me and our son through this pregnancy. Access to fast and affordable health care through out this pregnancies. Sisters that are so excited to care for and meet their baby brother. A loving husband that supports me in more ways than I ever dreamed. Family, near and far!

In the kitchen… I am planning to try this recipe for english muffin bread.

I am wearing… painting clothes.

I am creating… Fathers Day gifts with the children 🙂 Also working on a cross-stitch.

I am going… no where. I’ve been trying to stay home as much as possible as I wait for the little man to arrive 🙂

I am wondering… what my labor will be like. What little Titus will look like. What will his sister say when they meet him? What will Josh think of the birthing process.

I am reading… I just finished Stepping Heavenward and loved it. Emma has taken on to read it now 🙂 I’ve just started Living For God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism and it is excellent so far. Also, I’m reading According To The Plan with the Desiring Virtue Book Club. And in Scripture I’m close to finishing up Acts and can I just say wow! What an amazing book this is. I’ve had a hard time restraining myself to five chapters a day.

I am hoping… for a safe birth. Successful breastfeeding.

I am looking forward to… meeting my son.

I am learning … to trust in Christ and run to him for the smallest things. That starting my day out with prayer and Bible reading really does make a world of difference. That even if it didn’t make a difference I should still do it 🙂

Around the house… we are busy preparing for the little man to arrive! It’s such an exciting and joyous time. We’ve been arranging rooms, washing tiny little clothes and so much more.

I am listening to … Give Them Grace on audiobook.

A favorite quote for today … “The Calvinist is the man who sees God: God in nature, God in history, God in grace. Everywhere he sees God in His mighty stepping, everywhere he feels the working of His mighty arm, the throbbing of His mighty heart. The Calvinist is the man who sees God behind all phenomena and in all that occurs recognizes the hand of God, working out His will. The Calvinist makes the attitude of the soul in prayer its permanent attitude in all its life activities; he casts himself on the grace of God alone, excluding every trace of dependence on self from the whole work of his salvation.” -BB Warfield as quoted in Living For God’s Glory pg 41

One of my favorite things… the sound of laughing children 🙂

In Christ,

According To The Plan: Chapter 3

Photo From Desiring Virtue

I’m reading through According To The Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God In The Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy with the Desiring Virtue Book Club. Unfortunately, most weeks I cannot participate in the group discussion because it is schedule at the same time we start bedtime routine here. Nonetheless, I am so thankful Jessalyn introduced me to this book! I am only on chapter four and it is so thought provoking! I wanted to share a few excerpts from the previous chapter that I have been thinking on over and over.
“All forms of humanism make the enormous assumption that the human mind alone is the final judge of what is or is not true. When people present scientific “proofs” that something is true, it is rarely acknowledged that certain unprovable assumptions have to be made. It is assumed that the human senses and reason actually make contact with what is there, and that they are capable of assessing the meaning of what is there. In other words, man’s experiences become the final point of reference for what is true.”

“Man was created to know God. Every fact in the universe speaks of its creator and is open for us to discern. In addition, the image of God in us means that we know ourselves only as we know God, and know God only as we know ourselves. God’s eternal power and divine character can be discerned from nature,  which includes humankind. Man in the image of God communicates by word, and this reflects the fact that God is the one who communicates by word. The first word of God to man indicated the relationship that God established between himself and man and between man and the rest of creation. (Gen. 1:28-30). God spoke to Adam and told him what he needed to know about himself and his relationship with God. Thus, every word from God to man interprets the meaning of reality.

That part in bold and especially the underlined part really got me thinking. I started asking myself if I really lived like every word from God to us (the Bible) determines the meaning of reality, or do I rely more upon experiences?

“Presuppositions, then, are the assumptions we make in order to hold some fact to be true. We cannot go on indefinitely saying, “I know this is true because …” In the end we must come that which we accept as the final authority. By definition a final authority cannot be proven as an authority on the basis of some higher authority. The highest authority must be self-attesting. Only God is such an authority.

The presuppositions we must make in doing biblical theology are those of Christian theism. The alternative to this is to accept the presuppositions of some form of humanism. Either we work on the basis of a sovereign, self-proving God who speaks to us by a word that we accept as true simply because it is His word, or we work on the basis that man is the final judge of all truth. The Christian position, to be consistent, accepts that the Bible is God’s Word and that is says what God wants to say in exactly the way He wants to say it.”

We all have presuppositions. What are mine? Am I acting as God truly is the final authority or do I prop up men or my own experiences into that place at times? Are my actions on par with what I claim to believe about God’s authority and the Bible?

In Christ,

Reopening & a give-a-way!

This blog has been silent for a while.

In the months leading up to my wedding I let this blog fall by the wayside, understandably. Then after getting married I still struggled to make regular posts. Getting a house in order, adjusting to being a full-time mom, running a home, and adjusting to another state had my mind constantly busy. I couldn’t think of any good posts and honestly had no motivation to write. I announced that I would be intentionally stepping away at the beginning of August. I wanted to take some time to decide if I wanted to keep blogging. I wanted to weigh the pros and cons and try to figure out if it was becoming a sin to me (in that it was taking me away from my family.)

So, through out the month of August I prayed, I deliberated with myself, I discussed with my husband. And I’ve come to a conclusion …

I will be keeping my blog!

However, things might be a little different. For starters, I changed the site name from Freckles & Faith to Reformed Redhead, which matches the URL. Other changes include but are not limited to:

  • I might not post regularly. I would like to, but when it comes down to it the blog will be neglected before the family 🙂 I’m hoping to do some normal weekly posts, like my gratitude lists on Mondays for example and post theological thoughts when they come or as highlights to my studies.
  • Also, since I am now a full-time wife and mommy I plan to blog more about home-making. What that will look like exactly I’m not sure yet. But those are the plans/thoughts I’ve come away with from this time of silence.
  • In summary, this will probably look most like a personal blog with recipes, family highlights, and theological ponderings.

To kick off my re-opening, the start of the home-school year, and all things fall I’d like to host a give-a-way. Yay! We all love give-a-ways, right? I’ll be giving away the book: The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About The Power And Defeat Of Sin by Kris Lundgaard.

Now as a disclaimer I have not read this book. But, I really want to! My Beloved has read it and highly recommends it. And from the parts he has read to me it sounds really good. The book focuses on the issue of “indwelling sin” in the Christian. It’s not a topic that we hear a lot about these days, but one that I believe a lot of Christians struggle with.

My husband isn’t alone in his recommendation of this book, Paul Tripp is also recommending it:

“The one area of Biblical teaching that we all tend to minimize is the doctrine of indwelling sin. This book will cure you of that problem, but not in a way that will leave you hopeless and discouraged. The Enemy Within is as honest as anything you will ever read about the power of sin, yet it is infused with the hope of the Gospel.” Paul David Tripp, Lecturer in Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.

And here is the publisher summary:

This book takes dead aim at the heart of ongoing sin. Drawing from two masterful works by John Owen, Kris Lundgaard offers insight, encouragement, and hope for overcoming the enemy within.

Part One: The Power of Sin in What it is
Part Two: The Power of Sin in How it Works
Part Three: The Power of Sin in What it Does
Part Four: Nailing the Lid on Sin’s Coffin

To enter just fill out the form below! The Providential winner shall be chosen on Friday September 9th, 2011.


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The Bonds of a Legal Spirit

“Do you ask, my reader, what is a legal spirit from which the Spirit of adoption frees us? I answer, it is that bondage which springs from looking within yourself for evidences, for comfort, and for motives which can only be found in looking to Jesus. It is a spirit of legality which prompts you to be incessantly poring over your works, instead of dealing simply and solely with the finished work of Christ. That is a spirit of bondage which makes a Christ of duties and labours and sacrifices, of duties and confessions and faith, rather that directly and supremely dealing with Him ‘who God made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption’ (1 Cor. 1:30).

Beloved, your works, your doing, your sacrifices, as means of comfort and as grounds of hope, are nothing but filthy rags, the bones of the skeleton, the chaff which the wind scatters. Why have you not joy and peace in believing? Simply because, unsuspected by yourself, you are putting your own work in the place of Christ’s work. Oh that you may be led to cast yourself more entirely upon the atoning sacrifice of Christ; to believe God looks not at a single work you do as justifying you in His sight, but that He looks only to the divine, sacrificial, flawless, perfect work of His beloved Son! If He is pleased to accept you in his Son, are you not satisfied to be so accepted? If the blood and righteousness of Emmanuel are enough for God, are they not enough for you?”

-Octavius Winslow Help Heavenward pg 86 &87

Mary vs. John The Baptist: Was Jesus Wrong?

Most if the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church amaze me. One of those doctrines is the “Immaculate Conception” also known as the sinlessness of Mary. I’ve always found it puzzling that people that seem to have such a heart for Christ could uphold a doctrine that is basically blasphemy at its core.

I have been reading a book titled The Truth Set Us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories. So far it has been a pretty decent book. Nuns tell their stories how, just like the Reformers, God led them out of the false religion of Rome and into the Saving grace of Christ by way of His Holy Word. It’s odd how that always seems to happen when people read the Bible! It’s easy to understand why so many brothers and sisters were tortured and burned for their love of the Word, and their desire to get it to the common man through out history.

But, back to Mary. At least one of the former nuns in the book has went into the hurt and betrayal she felt when she learned that most of what the Church had taught her was not in the Bible at all … she talked about purgatory, praying to saints, and Mary. And I found what she said about Mary’s sinless state to be profound and true.

She envoked use of this verse:

Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.” Matthew 11:11

Her argument went like this: Obviously, Mary was around at the time this statement was made … shouldn’t she be greater than John the Baptist if she was sinless (since he was a sinner and this isn’t disputed)?  The only logical way to make this verse work with Roman Catholic doctrine is to assume Jesus was wrong or lying.

I’m sure she’s not the first to make this argument, and I don’t doubt Rome has attempted to wiggle out from under Scripture … but I honestly don’t see how they can.

Freckles & Faith – First Ever Give-A-Way!

I’m excited to announce the very first give-a-way at Freckles and Faith! I will be giving away Through the Year with Martin Luther: A Selection of Sermons Celebrating the Feasts and Seasons of the Christian Year . I’m very excited! Martin Luther is probably my favorite reformer (it’s a close call between him and William Tyndale). I’ve always appreciated his bluntness, his humor, and, of course, his love for the gospel. His story of trying so hard to work his way to heaven and being ever-aware of his failure to do so is something most people can relate to. And, I’ve found his marriage to Katie Von Bora to be somewhat romantic — an ex-priest marrying a run-away nun!

About the book: Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German monk whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. Luther emphasized salvation based on faith in the merits of Jesus Christ alone and not on human efforts to earn God’s favor. At the heart of the gospel, in Luther’s estimation, was the doctrine of justification by faith–the teaching that Christ’s own righteousness is imputed to those who believe, and on that ground alone, they are accepted by God. Martin Luther dealt the symbolic blow that began the Reformation when he nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Wittenberg church. That document contained an attack on papal abuses and the sale of indulgences by Catholic Church officials. 

In this volume the reader will find fifty of Martin Luther’s most significant sermons, selected and organized with the lay reader in mind. His sermons reflect the heart of his thoughts on the Christian faith and his ideas for practical life in that faith. The reader will gain a deeper understanding of Luther’s thinking on topics important to today’s Christian as well as insight into Luther’s contribution to Christian practice and thought.”

So … how do you enter? Leave a comment letting me know you wish to be included! Please include an email,  link back to your blog, or some way for me to contact you 🙂 The give-a-way will 
close on February 17th, 2011 at midnight (EST). I will announce the winner on February 18th! 

Be Blessed,