The Broken Way

Ann Voskamp's style is hard for some people to take. Her books are prose poetry, and those who are interested in a strictly academic systematic theology will be disappointed. I find that her writing style is the most common criticism by people who don't like her books. I, however, love the way she writes. It's like an amalgam of T.S. Eliot and Bonhoeffer.

Another criticism I've heard of Voskamp is that her theology is heretical mysticism that perverts the gospel. I read one "discernment" blogger saying that she could hear the whispering of the serpent through Ann Voskamp's writing. I honestly don't get this one at all. I didn't find any trace of bad doctrine in this book at all. Maybe she emphasizes things in a different way than I would, maybe she uses non-standard theological vocabulary, but what she is presenting here is a pretty solid theology of suffering such as Martin Luther would have undoubtedly approved. She's also probably more well…

Commonplace Wednesday 3

From Religion and Theology by Herman Bavinck
To profess theology is to do holy work. It is a priestly ministration in the house of the Lord. It is itself a service of worship, a consecration of mind and heart to the honor of His name.

From Our Reasonable Faith by Herman Bavinck
 Among the heathen there is a great difference between the ways in which they react to the calling of nature. Socrates and Plato are not to be named in the same breath with Caligula and Nero.
 That many, called by the gospel, do not come and do not repent is not the fault of the gospel, nor of the Christ offered them in the gospel, nor of God who calls them by the gospel, and who Himself also grants many gifts to those when He calls. The fault, rather, lies in those who are called, of whom some, being indifferent, do not accept the word of life.
The moment we have eyes to see the richness of the spiritual life, we do away with the practice of judging others according to our puny measure. There are people who know of only one method, and who regard no one as having repented unless he can speak of the same spiritual experiences which they have had or claim to have had. But Scripture is much richer and broader than the narrowness of such confines.
The believer who is justified by Christ is the freest creature in the world. At least so it ought to be. 
Sin is not merely guilt, but also pollution; we are delivered from the first by justification, from the second by sanctification.
But this sanctification of the believers must then be properly understood. It must not become a legal sanctification, but is and must remain an evangelical sanctification.
It is by no means in justification only, but quite as much in sanctification, that by faith exclusively we are saved.
Christ in heaven and the Holy Spirit on earth are surety for the salvation of the elect, and seal this in the hearts of the believers.
With an eye to the glorious virtues which the apostles ascribe to the church, some observers have wanted to make a distinction between the empirical and the ideal church. But such a Western distinction is foreign to the New Testament.
These two parts of the church belong together. They are the vanguard and the rearguard of the great army of Christ. Those who have preceded now form round about us a great cloud of witnesses…
In that resurrection the unity of the person, both according to soul and body, is preserved.
The body is not a prison of the spirit, but belongs to the essence of man. That is why it is redeemed just a s well as the soul by Christ, the perfect Savior.