Several people have emailed me with links and quotations over the last few weeks that seem appropriate to share.
S. sent several links related to Election. The first is a letter by J. N. Darby:
This fresh breaking out of the doctrine of free-will helps on the doctrine of the natural man's pretension not to be entirely lost, for that is really what it amounts to. All men who have never been deeply convinced of sin, all persons with whom this conviction is based upon gross and outward sins, believe more or less in free-will. You know that it is the dogma of the Wesleyans, of all reasoners, of all philosophers. But this idea completely changes all the idea of Christianity and entirely perverts it.The entire letter is on the STEM website.
Another from S. was this gem: an article entitled "Early Brethren Leaders and the Question of Calvinism" by Mark R. Stevenson. It's very interesting. The article considers current teaching among "open brethren" in comparison with "early brethren" when it comes to the question of Calvinism. It's more academic than I'd normally read, but it definitely grabbed my attention.
Rodger sent a link to an article on "New" and "Old" in Scripture:
It may be helpful to point out that there are four new things in Christianity — the new covenant, the new man, the new birth and new creation. In contrast to the new covenant we read of the old covenant, and in contrast to the new man we read of the old man. Yet we do not read of old birth in contrast to new birth, nor old creation in contrast to new creation. The reason being that when God styles a thing old He has done with it. In the cross of Christ both the old covenant and the old man were brought to an end judicially in view of the bringing in of the new covenant and the new man, but God has not yet done with the first birth or the first creation. We sometimes use the expression "old creation," but this term is not found in Scripture. The nearest approach to it is in Hebrews 1:11, "they shall wax old," but the actual term "old creation" is not used. We are thus still connected with the first birth and can glorify God in it; and He will yet fill the first creation with His glory as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14.Again, the whole article is on the STEM website. This one caught my attention because I frequently use terms like "old creation".
I've been meaning to post this quote about J. N. Darby by William R. Newell from Romans Verse-by-Verse:
We know what debt under God all those who have the truth today owe to Darby, through whom God recovered more truth belonging to the Church of God, than through any other man since Paul, and whose writings are today the greatest treasure of truth and safeguard against error known to instructed believers.Romans Verse-by-Verse, Chapter 12 (last checked 2016-10-28).
I wrote a blog post for my friend Scott's Digital Sojourner about reading Collected Writings of J. N. Darby. I should have included that quote, although it's likely I hadn't found it yet. Romans Verse-by-Verse is an incredible book, but it took me several years to read it through. In fact, I was given the book in 1996 and didn't finish reading it until 2015 or so...