salvation

What Does It Mean if There is No Transformation in the Life of a Christian?

Jonathan Edwards quote, transformation, assurance of salvation

If there be no great and remarkable, abiding change in persons,
that think they have experienced a work of conversion,
vain are all their imaginations and pretenses.
Jonathan Edwards


Jonathan Edwards was a Calvinist.
Edwards had a very high doctrine of grace and eternal security.
He had a very deep understanding of depravity and human inability. 
At the same time, Edwards, like so many of the Puritans (theological descendents of Calvin), also had a biblical doctrine of salvation.

The Grace of God - Here is My Definition

Definition of grace  Paul  damascus road  audacious insanity of a heavenly wisdomThe story of Saul on the Damascus Road is described in Acts 9:1-19. This is his conversion experience. This is the transformation of Saul to Paul.

This is the story of surprising mercy and unexpected love to one who was least deserving of it.

It is the story of how God's grace turns sinners into saints, rebels into servants, and persecutors into missional leaders.

We are so familiar with this story that, perhaps, it no longer amazes us with its sheer improbability. I read this and I wonder at the boldness of God! To take a murdering, persecuting zealot and call him to be the lead apostle of grace . . . This is not just boldness. Stronger words are needed. The audacity, the presumption, the insanity of such a plan!

Yet that is exactly what grace is. 

Grace is the audacious insanity of a heavenly wisdom that works miracles in hopeless places and lost cases.

Things Helpful for Salvation (C.S. Lewis)

I am beyond a Raving Fan of C. S. Lewis. 
There are few writers who weave together the gifts of imagination, affection, intellect, will and action as C. S. Lewis. This year I am reading lots of Lewis and many books about Lewis.

Leadership teacher and author, Bobby Clinton, recommends that leaders have historic mentors. A historic mentor is someone from the past. You access their wisdom by reading and reflecting on their life and work. I have done that for many leaders over the years (including Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa like Nelson Mandela). I have done in-depth study and learning from the great theologians and writers on spirituality, like Ignatius of Loyola, Augustine, Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, John Owens, Wesley, Eugene Peterson and Peter Kreeft (the last two being contemporary authors).

Over the years I have read quite a bit of Lewis and from time to time would read a book about him. This year I am reading a dozen or so of his books and I have a list of about twenty books about Lewis. 

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