Sunday, October 19, 2014

What is cheap grace? Part Three

I am rather perplexed at this subject of cheap grace. It has seemed to grow as I have tried to explain something that perplexes me deeply about our church today. There is a sense of deadness about our church today. I was saved in the Awakening of the Seventies, but the last thing I was aware of was that it was an Awakening—I just figured that was the way that God worked in the lives of believers all the time. It was not really until the late eighties that I began to notice that God did not appear, at least in America, to be working that way anymore. Recently I discovered a new work of Tozer, one that I had not seen before, and found to my surprise that he was describing something very similar to what I have been trying to express.

But before I explain it, I should clear up what I unequivocally believe. Part of our coming to Christ involves our decision to believe. Some Christians would dispute that it is real belief on our part; they might say that it is faith given by God that causes our belief, and I would have no argument with them. The point is that we are commanded to believe, the Bible appears to enjoin us to believe, and that response becomes the first part of what believers do to become Christians. It seems to be a moot point to discuss how much of God is involved in the actual step of belief; rather the commandment of the Bible, when explaining the gospel to the unsaved, is first for us to respond by believing. Whether God does all of the believing for us, or whether we are responsible for part of it seems a question best left to theologians to fight out. God is clear about his sovereignty in the Scriptures; it is a sovereignty that is both complete and total. But God is also clear about the need for man to respond with belief when he hears the gospel; it is Paul, the one whom most point to for his emphasis on the sovereignty of God, who also declares that he becomes all things to all men in order that he might win the more. It is John who reminds us that he who comes to God will in no wise be cast out. Man’s response is part of receiving the gospel, no matter where its ultimate source might be.

Thus, I have no problem in our dealing with a sinner by presenting the simple gospel and asking for a statement of belief, followed by something like the sinner’s prayer. My problem lies with the fact that often we seem to leave them at that point, before they have quite come to grips with what it means to be a Christian. Some seem to see the riches of what is offered them, and begin to walk in the new life, but some do not seem to change much. I fear that we have offered a rather cheap grace to these. I do wonder if we can take some steps to improve and deepen the initial offer of salvation that we might enable the sinner to see more of what takes place when he is saved. After all, as I have already pointed out, the Bible declares that all of heaven rejoices when one sinner repents, and I do feel the initiate ought not walk away without a sense of the deep love and grace and joy of God now that he is saved.

Let me walk you through with what Tozer has said, and perhaps that will better express what I would hope we as a church might improve. Tozer definitely had his mystical side, and I think perhaps he gives us a valid cautionary note. “Now, there is a secret in divine truth altogether hidden from the unprepared soul. This is where we stand in the terrible day in which we live. Christianity is not something you just reach up and grab. There must be a preparation of the mind, a preparation of the life and a preparation of the inner man before we can savingly believe in Jesus Christ.”1 This time of preparation is generally in the message of the gospel that is being presented, where we rely on a clear presentation as putting the person in the correct frame of thinking.

Next Tozer adds, “Now the theological rationalists say that your faith should stand not in the wisdom of man but in the Word of God. Paul didn't say that at all. He said your faith should stand in the power of God. That's quite a different thing.”2 I think Tozer is differentiating between the power of God, and the word of God, and I think there is a differentiation. The word of God ought to lead us to the power of God, but is it always so? When we leave someone with a decision for Christ, I at least, and I think many others, try to leave them with the impression that the very power of God has taken them at that point. I do like referring to Paul’s great statement in Romans 8 that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God. Ever. Again, Tozer writes about that, “If a sinner goes to the altar and a worker with a marked New Testament argues him into the kingdom, the devil will meet him two blocks down the street and argue him out of it again. But if he has an inward illumination and he has that witness within because the Spirit answers to the blood, you can't argue with that man. He will say: 'But I know.' A man like that is not bigoted or arrogant, he is just sure.”3

And that is precisely the point. I would that we could carry every decision-maker to that point of knowing. I am not sure we get there with many. Having said that, the next part is to ask how shall we do better? I am not sure at all that I have an answer to this, but surely the answer does lie in giving the sinner a bit more time to get acquainted with his God. Jonathan Edwards surely consistently did that, giving his parishioners the time needed to really meet and get to know God.

It seems to me that with every awakening in America, there has been more time given for the sinner to know his God. Rather than relying solely on the Word of God, should we not also be seeking his power? But of course, that seems to draw us back to the awakening—we need revival, that the power of God should be made manifest, and that sinners should be both humbled and awestruck. It thus becomes somewhat circular. We are not in his power, and thus often are guilty of offering “cheap grace”, but how can we do otherwise except that we be in his power?

The word of God is always our pointer to God. But it is the power of God that saves to the uttermost those who come unto God through Jesus. Is it not time for use to be looking toward the power? Tozer seems to come to a similar realization, if I am interpreting him correctly. “My brethren, your faith can stand in the text and you can be as dead as the proverbial doornail, but when the power of God moves in on the text and sets the sacrifice on fire, then you have Christianity. We call that revival, but it's not revival at all. It is simply New Testament Christianity. It's what it ought to have been in the first place, but was not.”4

New Testament Christianity? Perhaps we need rather to state it as the ideal church—one that is set on fire for God. Perhaps our starting point then is in the question of Elisha, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?”. Remember that Elijah prayed, and God sent lightning to burn the sacrifice in the sight of all Israel. Would it not be a great thing if God were to light a fire in the hearts of our newest Christians? I know that collective prayer from the church will move God once more to breathe into this country yet another awakening. But shall we see collective prayer? I fear not until some of us become convinced that grace is not cheap after all, and that our God is after all, a living fire to be prayed after and sought for as if nothing else mattered. For nothing else does matter, but it is not until we realize that that we shall begin to awaken. What shall awaken us?

1. Tozer, A. W. (2014-09-14). God Still Speaks: Are We Listening? (Kindle Locations 119-122). CrossReach Publishing. Kindle Edition.
2. Tozer, A. W. (2014-09-14). God Still Speaks: Are We Listening? (Kindle Locations 126-128). CrossReach Publishing. Kindle Edition.
3. Tozer, A. W. (2014-09-14). God Still Speaks: Are We Listening? (Kindle Locations 173-176). CrossReach Publishing. Kindle Edition.
4. Tozer, A. W. (2014-09-14). God Still Speaks: Are We Listening? (Kindle Locations 134-137). CrossReach Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What is “cheap grace”? Part 2

If God were willing to sell His grace, we would accept it more quickly and gladly than when He offers it for nothing.
― Martin Luther

To be offered what God offers is nearly impossible to believe; indeed a great many people seem to find the offer itself insulting, as if it were too demeaning to their character. And they are absolutely right about that! Jesus somewhere teaches that he is not come to call the righteous, meaning that those who insist on maintaining their own righteousness have little need to answer a call to follow Jesus. Those who must maintain the fa├žade of self-righteousness will find no room in their hearts at all for a Savior who will make them righteous. No, if we are to approach God at all, it must be in recognition that he is the Holy One, the one who has shown righteousness to a wrathful world, and that we are in deepest need of imputed righteousness, for next to the Holy One our righteousness is but as a bloody napkin.

After part one of this question on cheap grace, it occurred to me that I have not quite dealt with it as Tozer did, and finding my answer wanting, I took this opportunity to enlarge my answer. Tozer is applying his definition of cheap grace more particularly to the general church than I did. Instead, I focused the first part of my answer on those in the church whom we might best consider as “falling away”. There is a sense in which part of what Tozer saw in the churches of his day is quite true for our day; our churches are filled with dead people who have never really found the inexhaustible riches in Christ that is theirs, if they will but walk with the Spirit.

Of course I think Tozer recognized that the church of his day (he died in 1963) was not at all ready for revival. He pointed to many things that the church ought to be doing, and was constantly praying and nudging the church to lay aside everything else and pick up the cross that is given us. I find myself lamenting the fact that Tozer missed seeing the revival that he and so many others prayed for so faithfully during the fifties and sixties. It was not until 1967 that the Spirit took ahold of unlikely prospects in the hippies of the streets, and was to change the whole nation yet once again, and that through ridiculous street urchins that came to be labeled “Jesus Freaks”. Make no mistake—none of that great awakening could have happened without God’s people praying for the dead in Christ to walk again. Each revival we see is built on nothing less than the lives of earnest Christians who have prayed and worked and sweated great drops of blood to see revival.

To review, Tozer defined cheap grace precisely thus, “We are busy these days proving to the world that they can have all the benefits of the Gospel without any inconvenience to their customary way of life. It's "all this, and heaven too."”1 Part of this is our fault as a church—in our efforts to offer the gospel we have stripped the gospel of all the encumbrances. We offer Christ as Starbucks might offer a flavored coffee, something to tantalize the taste buds, but never to change the life. In most of our churches Christ is offered as something we might decide for, and we seldom consider the God of salvation in the equation at all. Somehow when the new convert is offered Christ the idea that he is offering himself to God is not stressed. That is labeled discipleship and ought to be later, I have often heard. But what if later does not come? I believe that we can and ought to be doing better. A person who accepts Christ ought to come to the realization that Christ has accepted him. To be sure, if the Calvinist is right about anything at all, and he is right about quite a lot, he is surely right in pointing out that it is God who does the electing. It is not our decision at all. Instead it is a patient God who keeps convicting us of his righteousness and our sin. It is a loving God who gave himself for all, that all might be invited to enter into his plan of abundant life. It is an enduring God who is patiently waiting for us to realize the gift that he has given. Yes, we properly believe that faith is the price of salvation, but should not that faith have a focus? Why are we not waiting on God together with the new convert, that he might sense and be awestruck by the presence of the Holy One in his life?

It seems to me that our rapid handling of new converts generally has at least one of two bad outcomes. First, the new believer, not knowing any better, often tries to add to his salvation. Not seeing the complete grace of the Lord, he figures he better start “working for his keep” as the saying goes. Sometimes believers make mistakes in this area that linger for decades. We are saved to good works, but never to think that works merit salvation. A good deal of confusion might be settled were we just to wait on God to visit with his presence, that the convert might come to sense how completely holy God is, and how completely needy he himself is. Instead, we all too frequently pray the sinner’s prayer, and let the convert go his way, without him ever sensing the moment of what happens when a sinner is saved.

Second, if the new convert does not try to add to grace, he will often suffer from never fully realizing his matchless grace. After all, when we show such a short prayer with which to accept Christ, and spend so little time waiting upon the majestic God, what kind of message are we imparting? That accepting Christ might be comparable to that cup of flavored coffee? Something to enjoy for a few seconds, but then we need to get back with the duties of life? I am afraid our methods are not helping us to impart the utter seriousness of what happens when one converts. We are told that all the angels rejoice over even one sinner who repents, but where is the sense of that to the new convert? Somehow we need to seriously rethink what we are doing if we are to expect to see serious believers coming out of a new conversion. Those who criticize “decision theology” have a point; we are seriously leaving God out of the equation. We ought to be somehow allowing God to work, and not just assume that our prayer is instantly answered.

In the great awakenings of America, I have seen across the board a very serious treatment of new believers. In the First Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards made a habit of praying, often for hours, until the person being dealt with had a sense of God’s presence. Edwards knew that most of his parishioners were not saved, and he knew his God was loving. He sensed that the two needed time to interact. After all, to get acquainted with a new person we must have time for interaction. He saw that his parishioners got that time, that they might come to a realization that they are known even as they now know. In the Second Great Awakening, Finney incorporated new tools, not without controversy, but I think he was aiming at the same thing—to give the sinner and God time to meet and to make accord with one another. He put a bench right down in the front of where he was preaching.

It came to be called the anxious seat, where a seeker might come looking for God. Finney was also known for staying and praying until the peace of God was found. In the Third Great Awakening, my favorite, those who came to Christ did so frequently in the presence of people praying right with them; certainly they would press on in prayer until they received assurance.
We are like snake oil salesmen; we do not seem to really believe in our product. We are guilty of peddling cheap grace. Maybe the reason I find us so dead in our dealings with new converts is that I remember gaining so much from my own conversion. I was aware for the first time of the terrible darkness I had been walking in, and suddenly I was also aware of the Holy God, who not only gave himself for me, but was patiently nudging me along, trying to call me and awaken me to the greatest life one can ever know—a life committed to the One who committed himself to us.

In part three, I do want to write about the lack of vitality in so many corners of our church today. Perhaps our cheap grace has had a far more significant effect than we realize.

1. Tozer, A. W. (2014-06-14). Keys to the Deeper Life (Kindle Locations 82-83). Chariot eBooks. Kindle Edition.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What is cheap grace?

I encountered this term somewhere in Tozer recently, and though I have heard it before, I have not heard it often. Perhaps it would be best to present the definition Tozer gives: “We are busy these days proving to the world that they can have all the benefits of the Gospel without any inconvenience to their customary way of life. It's "all this, and heaven too."”1 Thus, cheap grace, as I understand it, is the attitude that a Christian is free to live anyway they want, and they will have heaven anyway. Is cheap grace even possible?

Well, according to one of the best, it is possible, at least in theory. “Forgiveness of sin and salvation are not synonymous terms. On the other hand, when sin has entered into the life of a Christian it becomes a question of sin and sin alone which is involved. The remaining features of his salvation are unchanged.”2 Thus, a Christian has complete freedom to sin, but he is called to better things. While Jesus came, as he said, that we might be free indeed, Paul called himself over and over a “slave” of Jesus Christ. In other words, Paul considered his new life in Christ to be such a marvelous wonder that he was willing to lay everything in his life at the feet of Christ.

This doctrine is nothing new; both Calvin and Luther held that salvation was through faith, but that faith, properly grown, was to produce fruit. Luther said it this way, “Although the Christian is thus free from all works, he ought in this liberty to empty himself, take upon himself the form of a servant, be made in the likeness of men, be found in human form, and to serve, help and in every way deal with his neighbor as he sees that God through Christ has dealt and still deals with him.”3 The reformers did not believe that Christians were not to produce good works; rather they knew that these good works were to come out of a proper faith. And that is the problem that this question brings up: what happens when the faith is not properly secured?

First, I would like to affirm that I too agree that we are saved through faith, “and that not of ourselves. It is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). I think it is apparent that the workman who is hired yet in the eleventh hour, and works but one hour, is yet to be included. My father received Christ, waiting until he was 86, and on his deathbed, and few, if any works were possible in that situation. Yet, he is as the workman hired in the last hour, and will receive his pay (salvation) from the owner of the vineyard.

But having said that we are saved by faith, faith, over time, should always produce good works. Looking around our churches, we can readily see many examples of people in which this is not true. What might have happened? I say might have happened, because I cannot see into the heart of people, and know whether or not they have found faith. But let me suggest a something to consider. Our Lord spoke of a parable of seeds being sown—some falling into hard ground and not germinating, others sprouting in stony places, and yet being withered in an untimely fashion by the hot sun. It is these seeds, the ones that are withered by the hot sun that I wish us to consider.

My mother accepted Christ at one of the earliest Graham crusades, and yet never found a beginning in a local church, and never found the food which is supposed to sustain our Christian living—the word of God. Perhaps she was one of those seeds which had the misfortune to germinate in stony ground, for certainly her Christian witness was very low—she held tightly to her decision and knowledge of God, but that knowledge remained shallow, and her Christian life was arrested for all of her life.

I think maybe all of us can think of such examples—that is, of Christians who do not ever seem to grow as they ought to. My heart weeps for my liberal Christian friends who claim to know Christ, but often live lifestyles contrary to their profession. Our lifestyle choices are what we are called out of, that we might live a new life in the presence of God, and through the strength of his Spirit. Instead, some of my brothers declare their freedom (which, if they be in Christ, is true), but then they depart from the very rules of the New Testament for living, and declare themselves approved of
God. Such claims we can never make!

Rather, we are sinners saved by grace, and we are saved for the plan of God. But the problem seems to be that we have brothers and sisters who (might) have taken the initial step of faith, but they never learned to regard the word of God in its proper light. Recently, I heard a brother in Christ declare that Jesus himself had never said a word against his chosen lifestyle. Even my brother in Christ, whom I dearly love, could not bring himself to say what he was so clearly implying. Christ must approve his lifestyle since he did not explicitly condemn it.

Such a statement is all the more sorrowful for me because it contains such an implicit poor understanding of who Jesus is. The Word of God. Jesus himself many times quotes both Moses and the prophets, and each time he does, he quotes them as the final authority, the ones who should settle all disputes. The Bible teaches us that Jesus, the great “I am”, was present with all writers of scripture, and that there is no point of contention ever with what they say, and what Jesus intends. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is “God-breathed” so that what is written is exactly that which God intended, and is wholly and completely in line with everything that Jesus said. Thus, it is no good declaring that Jesus never spoke on this sin or that sin; rather the condemnation of sin and sinful living is well covered by all the New Testament, and certainly by Paul in his treatment of the completeness of sin in Romans.

This past week my daughter posted a site which she had found where alleged married Christians were swapping mates. Such lifestyle choices are excluding godliness—always. When we choose to turn our back on the rules of the New Testament, which has repeated most of the Ten Commandments to us, it is not freedom from the Law which we are finding. Rather, we live lives which are destitute of the things of God, and we will produce very little fruit which remains. We are finding our “old man” wherever we can. The “old man” that was to be buried forever with Christ, that we might be raised to a new life in Christ. Instead, we take out our shovels, and we dig in the dead of night in the cemetery, trying to find our old corpses. When we are successful in resurrecting the corpse, we smother with all the attention and love we can muster, but in the end it is just a dead body, a zombie. We succeed, if success it can be called, in slaving ourselves anew to the master that has had us all along, and nothing has changed. We are slaves to the sin that Christ gave himself to free us from. We are indeed in “cheap grace.”

Of course, grace is never cheap. God put more of himself into your salvation than he did in fashioning all of creation, for he gave nothing less than himself. He can do no more. Can we not do better in living our lives in the freedom that he has given—freedom and the very power to live our lives in a godly fashion? Paul does indeed talk about the hapless Christian who finds all of his works burnt up at the judgment seat of Christ. I daresay that those who continue in their “cheap grace” will one day find it a most expensive grace indeed.

Paul tells us that we need to examine ourselves now, to see whether indeed, we are in the faith. It is imperative that we should do that now, lest we should be surprised, either to find ourselves not at all in the faith, or basing our faith on our own morals, rather than on the word of God. By all means, examine yourself to find whether or not you pass the test. Nothing less will suffice. And when you find yourself out of accord with the word of God, it is you who must change, and never the word. We should dare not mock the things God has told us—rather let us mock our own poor attitudes, and get busy submitting to that which He declares.

1. Tozer, A. W. (2014-06-14). Keys to the Deeper Life (Kindle Locations 82-83). Chariot eBooks. Kindle Edition.
2. Chafer, L. S. (1948). Systematic Theology, Vol. 2, p. 327 Kregel Publications
3. Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty


The greatest of all things is the Word, but next to it is music, and perhaps even greater is music that sings the Word.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

What is the difference between the Jew and the Gentile?

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Romans 11:25

In my rather long time of being a Christian, I can remember once having a friend discover that his father was Jewish, and that fact seemed to alter my friend’s understanding of who he was before God. He seemed to think that God now favored him even more. Which, of course, raises a very interesting question: does God make a distinction between the Jew and the Gentile?

The short answer is that it depends on when we are looking at the Jew and the Gentile. During the time of Jesus, the Jew had the experience of being God’s chosen people for thousands of years. Their attitude of being chosen had to be repeatedly rebuked by Jesus, who famously said that God was able to make descendants of Abraham from even rocks (Matthew 3:9). Saul is the epitome of the proud Jew, working for God’s approval in every way, yet without the faith to save one to the uttermost. Remember that Jews were forbidden even to travel through Samaria, which directive Jesus broke for the sake of the Samaritans, still reminding them that “salvation is of the Jews.” What did Jesus mean when he said salvation is of the Jews?

The Bible assures the Jew at every turn that they have been chosen of God. Paul tells us of this yet again in Romans, “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen” (9:4,5). It was God’s plan all along to choose the Jews as a special and precious people. Here Paul reminds us that the Jewish forefathers received the covenants, the very glory of God himself, and even the covenant of the Law. What are these covenants, and what meaning, if any, do they have for the church today?

The space for this brief answer does not allow for a full development of what covenants are. Instead, I will try to briefly put some of the covenants out for us to look at. Most of us are somewhat familiar with the Mosaic Covenant, which is more easily known by the law. The Mosaic Covenant has a term—it was given until Christ came, who, we are told, was the fulfillment of the Law. Christians often are familiar with this covenant, perhaps because God replaced it with the Covenant of grace, the period which we are now in.

But perhaps we are not so familiar with the Abrahamic Covenant, a covenant from God, made to Abraham unconditionally that one day he will give the land of Israel to his descendants. Not so with the Palestinian covenant, for God made that covenant conditional on the support of Israel, that they should keep the law. There are whole passages throughout the Bible that make it very clear that God is not through with Israel yet, and that he fully intends to bring these covenants to pass. It is most important, I think, to note that God never intended the Palestinian Covenant to be kept; he knew fully well that the task he had given the Jewish people was impossible for them to keep, and that is made very evident from a study of Deuteronomy 29, where Moses accurately predicts their failure, “The Palestinian Covenant gives the conditions under which Israel entered the land of promise. It is important to see that the nation has never as yet taken the land under the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant, nor has it ever possessed the whole land (cf. Ge 15.18, with Nu 34.1-12).”1

Thus it can be clearly seen that failure on the part of the Jews was clearly foreseen, and God provided them with a promise given generations before, to Abraham. That includes a promise of future restoration to Israel, and the Bible depicts a scenario where nations all over the world are subjects of this little insignificant nation, Israel. But to get back to the question, how are Jews and Gentiles different?

During this present age, in the Covenant of Grace, the wall between Jew and Gentile has been completely broken down. “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (Romans 10:9). All may approach God, but only in one way, and that is through the doorway of faith. Both Jew and Gentile are condemned as sinners, but to both Jew and Gentile is offered redemption through the price paid upon the cross—Christ coming and freely giving his life.

So, perhaps this question might be answered best in three different ways. Before the coming of Christ, God had separated the Jewish people alone, out of all of the world, and bestowed many of his promises upon them, some conditional promises, but many promises which were not. He arranged the long prophesied one who would bruise the head of the serpent to come through the Jewish people. The Jewish people were indeed the chosen people—a special designation that no other people have ever obtained.

But today, most of these Jews remain disdainful of his provision. So for today, the answer is quite different. There is no difference between Jew or Gentile; all are condemned equally as sinners in need of redemption, and Christ is the only possible place to get that redemption. In the sovereignty of God, we are told that a blindness is over the Jews, but it is only to last for a period of time. “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25). The partial blindness to the nation Israel has allowed the grace of God to be extended to all other peoples, and indeed we see the message of Christ carried throughout the world, being received in many unlikely corners.

In the future, however, the answer will be yet again different, and the Jew will become a people of privilege. “There is abundant prophecy announcing the fact that in the coming kingdom age the Jew will again and forevermore be divinely exalted above the Gentiles (Isa. 14:1,2; 60:12).”2 The very next verse, after the partial blindness of Israel is foretold, Paul exclaims, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (11:25). Zechariah adds to the words of Paul with this, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zach. 14:16).

So I think my friend was wrong about thinking his Jewish heritage gave him benefit; rather it was his faith in Jesus which has garnered for him a place in the family of God. To be called “sons of God”! Can there be any greater heritage?

1. Scofield, Cyrus Ingerson (2011-10-05). Study Bible KJV - Scofield Reference Bible (Kindle Locations 10597-10599). FLT. Kindle Edition.
2. Chafer, L. (1993). Systematic theology (Vol. 2, p. P. 317). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.