Good News

Q. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?

A. God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.


Q. Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect?

A. The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever.

–Westminster Shorter Catechism, questions 19-20



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Comments

  1. If this is an inappropriate question, no need to answer it…

    So I’m glad you’re part of the PCA. I’m also a member of a PCA church. How did you balance the beliefs of the UGA Wesley Foundation (i.e. Methodist Church) and the beliefs of the PCA? I had a REAL hard time, and ended up not participating in Wesley my senior year at UGA.

    Like I said, don’t answer it if it will cause too much controversy for you.

  2. Not inappropriate at all; it’s a great question. First of all, I love UGA WF. I owe a lot of who I am as a Christian to that place, so whatever slight criticisms I offer shouldn’t be read as anything but appreciative.

    I got into Reformed theology the second year I worked at Wesley, and for the year I was there and Reformed, I didn’t have much that bothered me. I don’t think it would have worked for me to stay on staff for a long time, but with the understanding that I couldn’t try to start a Calvinist revolution things worked okay.

    The fact that Wesley is charismatic and the PCA is most decidedly not is probably a bigger difference, and the fact that I remained charismatic when I got into Reformed theology probably helped me. (I’ve since moved a little in the direction of the PCA, but still believe that the “miraculous gifts” are for today.) So occasionally things happened at Wesley that I wasn’t comfortable with, and that might still be the case. For me though, given that everybody has issues, the passion for Jesus and his kingdom that I saw at Wesley were enough to keep me there.

    I think Wesley would benefit from more theologically-oriented teaching. I also think the church at large, including the PCA, would benefit from more exposure to the kind of Christianity you see at Wesley. Sometimes it was a little awkward straddling the two worlds, but in general, for me, it was a good experience that I’m thankful for.

    If you’re OK with it, I’d be interested to hear what made you uncomfortable with Wesley. I’m sure the place looked different to a student than to a second-year staffer who had been around there for years.

  3. My frustration can be summed up in your comment:

    “I think Wesley would benefit from more theologically-oriented teaching.”

    I’d been studying theology, including Calvinism, and I began to realize that Wesley (and Martha Bowman, the Methodist church which I’d been a member of for 10 years) were not in line with what I believed the Bible aid to be true. I LOVED the worship at Wesley and I think you’re so right when you say the PCA church could benefit from seeing the kind of Christianity found at Wesley.

    My senior year I tried to get into RUF and started attending Christ Church PCA in Watkinsville (now known as Christ Community). It was so painful to take a step away from Wesley, but I just couldn’t take in anymore.

    How did you come to Reformed Theology when surrounded by Methodists at Wesley. Or am I wrong to think that all the interns/staff were Methodist?

  4. I had always been a sort of Calvinist sympathizer, and intended to sit down and really work through it at some point. I read Piper’s book Pleasures of God and decided it was time, so I worked through his “What We Believe re: the 5 Points” booklet and all the Scripture references and it all sort of clicked. So other than hearing about John Piper through Wesley people there wasn’t much of a connection.

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