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Against the world for the sake of the world

Been loving Piper’s 2005 conference message on Athanasius. Very well worth listening to or reading in full. But to whet your appetite, here are the lessons he draws out:

  1. Defending and explaining doctrine is for the sake of the gospel of Christ’s glory and our everlasting joy.
  2. Joyful courage is the calling of a faithful shepherd. If something is worth fighting for, it worth rejoicing over. Let us stand courageous and out-rejoice our adversaries.
  3. Loving Christ includes loving true propositions about Christ.
  4. The truth of biblical language must be vigorously protected with non-biblical language. The slogan, “the Bible is our only creed” is often used as a cloak to conceal the fact that Bible language is used to affirm falsehood.
  5. A widespread and long-held doctrinal difference among Christians does not mean that the difference is insignificant or that we should not seek to persuade toward the truth and seek agreement.
  6. Don’t aim to preach only in categories of thought that can be readily understood by this generation. Aim at creating biblical categories of thought that are not present.
  7. We must not assume that old books, which say some startling things, are necessarily wrong, but may in fact have something glorious to teach us that we never dreamed.

And here are our notes from the last three weeks of Training Wednesdays:

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