Posts Tagged: gospel

95 Theses for the Continuing Reformation

July 10, 2017 | Ty Gibson

Martin Luther and John Calvin changed the world by the power of their good theology in spite of their bad theology. The Dark Ages from which they were emerging were very dark, indeed, and some of that darkness clung to the great Protestant Reformers even as they ran toward the light. The revolution they sparked lay chiefly in two seismic shifts of understanding they released into public discourse:

The Bible alone, speaking to individual conscience, is to be our rule of faith and practice, not the authority of any man or any church.

Salvation is the gift of God’s grace to be received by faith alone and therefore cannot be earned by any deeds we might do.

With these two powerful ideas, the Protestant Reformers initiated a trajectory of change they could not see through to its logical end. Other Reformers arose after them and discovered additional lost truths, and the work of Reform continues even now.

Here are 95 Theses to ponder for the continuing Reformation.


The Bible …
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Ty Gibson

Light Bearers

When Jesus Put Shame to Shame

April 10, 2017 | Ty Gibson

If you know me at all, then you know that I am decidedly anti-coercion. And yet, if I could make every person on the planet listen to this audio message by my friend, Elise Harboldt, I would. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating for effect, but I’m hoping you get the effect. This is what I texted to Elise today after hearing her message:

“Elise, I just listened to your message, When Jesus Put Shame to Shame. I am overcome by the love of God, moved to my core. Thank you, thank you, for speaking such beautiful good news. I’m in a public place and now I need to figure out how to stop crying.”

Wherever you are reading this, I’m asking you to get alone somewhere and listen to this message. Throw on some headphones and go for a walk, or go for a drive and listen to it in your car, or lay down on your bed and let it play from your phone. Do whatever you need to do, …
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Ty Gibson

Light Bearers

How I Can Love the Gospel and the Investigative Judgment at the Same Time by Marcos Torres

How I Can Love the Gospel and the Investigative Judgment at the Same Time

February 16, 2017 | Marcos Torres

I have two theological confessions to make. The first is that I am madly in love with the gospel. Seriously, I am. As an Adventist, a father and a pastor, the gospel is my everything. Jesus-only is my motto, my passion and my standard. After battling with legalism and perfectionism for many years, the good news of salvation is something that I don’t mess around with. Anything—and I mean anything—that even remotely reeks of human merit makes me recoil with disgust. This “what Jesus did + what I do” stuff gives me the shakes. For me, it’s either Jesus-only or it simply isn’t gospel.

The second confession I have is this: I love the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment (IJ). There. I said it.

The question now is, how? How can I be so passionate about the gospel and also love a doctrine that many consider anti-gospel? Allow me to respond with three simple points.

I love the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment.

My first point is this. The IJ most …
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Marcos Torres

Western Australia Conference

Traditional Adventism or Adventist Traditionalism by Jeffrey Rosario

Traditional Adventism or Adventist Traditionalism?

December 16, 2016 | Jeffrey Rosario

“Tradition is the living faith of the dead,

traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.…

It is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.” – Jaroslav Pelikan

True “Tradition” vs. the Status Quo

The year is 1885. A thirty-five-year-old Adventist is in his study investigating some of the positions of the Adventist church. He thinks he’s on to something. It’s a minor point, but the problem is that his conclusions don’t harmonize with what the church has been teaching for decades. He doesn’t realize it yet, but he’s about to rock the boat and nauseate some folk. His name is Alonzo Trevier Jones, aka, A.T. Jones.

Just a year previous the delegates of the 1884 General Conference asked him to begin a research project to corroborate Adventist interpretations of prophecy with accurate historical evidence. Most of the interpretations were substantiated, except one minor point. Based on the evidence at his disposal, Jones concluded that there was a mistake in the typical Adventist interpretation of the tens horns, or …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Light Bearers

Love Because... by Fred Bischoff

Love Because… (Part 2)

October 1, 2016 | Fred Bischoff

God loves because He is love. Unselfish love describes the essence of His character and the relational joy of His existence. He asks us to love because He has designed us to enter into this joy.

Even after sin’s removal of love within us, we are still enabled to love as He asks, because He continues to love us. In fact, that continued love—loving the unlovely—is what the Bible means by His gold being tried in the fire (Revelation 3:18). In ourselves, especially because of the selfishness (fear, insecurity, self-focus) sin brought, we have no ability to love, except for the fact that He still loves us. If we love at all, it is “because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19)—it is “as I have loved you” (John 13:34).

God’s gold in the fire means loving sinners before they can respond, and even if they do not respond in love. Since sin, this is the essence of faithful love. Calvary revealed this love to us (1 John 3:16). This …
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Fred Bischoff

Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers

Love Because by Fred Bischoff

Love Because…

August 29, 2016 | Fred Bischoff

Why does God love us? Simply put, because that is what and who He is (1 John 4:8, 16), just as what you are directs your actions. What He does in loving us can be measured by its “breadth, and length, and depth, and height” (Ephesians 3:18).

Love leads people to make things. The same is true of God. Thus “the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3). More than that, His love leads Him to redeem those who have removed themselves from this intimacy. The Bible says at least twice that this is why and how He redeemed Israel (Deuteronomy 7:8; Isaiah 63:9). And furthermore, in Jesus He bent down and redeemed all who were caught in the web and curse of sin (Romans 3:23-24; 5:8; Galatians 3:13).

Why does He ask us to love? Because He wants us to enter into His joy (Psalm 5:11; John 15:9-12). Because He wants us to be like Him (Genesis 1:27; 1 …
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Fred Bischoff

Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers

Something to Say at Princeton University by Ty Gibson

Something to Say at Princeton University

June 3, 2016 | Ty Gibson

Ministry needs to happen everywhere—even among the educated elite. Evangelists recognize that the highly educated are the most difficult class to reach with the gospel, generally speaking. Recently, feeling the weight of this fact, I delivered six lectures at Princeton University.

Knowledge, like wealth, is a two-edged sword: the more I have, the less needy I may appear in my own eyes. “Education” itself is a tricky concept. Who is educated and who is not?

According to the apostle Paul, “If anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him” (1 Corinthians 8:2-3). Theoretical knowledge can create the illusion that one knows more than one actually does. Of course, this is not an argument in favor of ignorance, but rather in favor of humility, and in favor of a different kind of knowing. Paul does not recommend stupidity, but he does recommend that our knowledge be grounded in God’s love.

The most educated …
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Ty Gibson

Light Bearers

The Theological Identity of the Remnant by Ty Gibson

The Theological Identity of the Remnant

May 27, 2016 | Ty Gibson

When the “remnant” is brought to view in Revelation, our attention is directed to God’s intent that the movement be defined by a specific theological construct:

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17, KJV).

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12, KJV).

The “and” here describes not so much a balancing act between faith and obedience, but rather a powerful relational dynamic between the two. The point of the gospel is not faith and works, but rather faith that works. The good news is not that God will save you if you obey His law, but rather that the free gift of salvation is itself so transformative that it creates in the believer a returning current of love to God, and that love manifests itself in obedience. …
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Ty Gibson

Light Bearers