The word Berean comes from Acts 17:10–11: “The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (ESV). Like the Bereans, we should not only receive the preaching of ambassadors of Christ “with all eagerness” but also hold up their teachings to the light of Scripture to test their truthfulness.

A bailey is the outer wall of a castle or the area just behind such an outer wall. In other words, it was the most vital part of a castle to defend, for if an enemy broke into that area, the stronghold would be lost. We must view our minds and hearts collectively as a fortress to be guarded and protected from falsehood at all costs. Scripture commands us, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov. 4:23, NASB) and “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2, ESV).

To that end, as the subtitle indicates, I strive to think God’s thoughts after Him, hopefully writing posts that echo the mind of God as revealed in Scripture, particularly in regard to evangelism (but not limited to that topic).

That is not always an easy task. Sometimes we hold a cherished belief that is very difficult to leave behind even though it is at tension with Scripture. At other times we may twist a teaching of Scripture to make it fit within the limited confines of our reasoning because it is difficult to comprehend or accept. We must be willing, then, to subject our cherished beliefs and reasoning to the authority of Scripture. The Bible must be the judge of our thoughts, not the other way around. We must think God’s thoughts after him, not our own thoughts in spite of him.

In Christ alone,

Jeremy

2 Responses to About This Blog

  • Darlene says:

    Jeremy,

    I just started catching up on your blog today. It’s a snow day here so I have some time on my hands. :-)

    “The Church reformed and always being reformed.” That phrase caught my attention. At first, it didn’t sit well with me, but perhaps I don’t fully understand the meaning. To reform something means in the verb form, “to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses;” in noun form, “amendment of what is defective, vicious, corrupt, or depraved.”

    Here are some questions I have. Who is to do this reforming and further, who determines what needs to be reformed in the first place? What criteria or standard is submitted to by those who are doing the reforming? After all, I have seen some reforming going on within the past two decades that would be considered suspect as regards the Christian faith. Yet those doing the reforming say that it’s time for the Church to be reformed.

    Jeremy, I will tell you the premise from which I speak. I have attended many churches from various traditions from AOG to Wesleyan to Methodist to Reformed Baptist to Orthodox Presbyterian to Mennonite to Bible Fellowship to Pentecostal to Independent Baptist to Lutheran Missouri Synod to Roman Catholic to non-denominational – I’m sure I missed a few. :-) I came to a place in which I seriously wondered which of these churches understood the Christian faith and presented the gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity and without distortion. In my quest, I realized that an immense part of the Christian faith had been hidden from me – that of the writings of the Early Church Fathers and Councils. As I familiarize myself with these pillars of the Christian faith, I have come to realize that the vital doctrines which we must believe in as Christians have already been addressed and settled by the ecumenical councils during the early centuries of the Church.

    My desire is to submit to and obey the Apostolic teachings that have existed since the first millennium of the Church. So it is that I have prayed for the Lord to lead me to this ancient Church that most closely resembles the Apostolic faith by their teaching and life.

    I am increasingly coming to the opinion that many things that have been reformed in the Protestant Evangelical Church never really needed to be reformed at all. Why continue to re-invent something that has already been clarified and settled?

    So, what do you think Jeremy? These are just some of my ramblings but these issues have caused me much inner turmoil over the past several years. I still know that my Redeemer lives and that in Him all things are held together. I long so deeply and intensely to worship Him, the Creator of all that is, with believers who hold to the faith of our Fathers.

    God bless you in the name of our Blessed Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Darlene

  • Darlene,

    In some ways you’ve provided an answer to your question in your comment. You lifted up the councils as part of the “immense part of the Christian faith [that] had been hidden from me.” What went on in church councils are examples of the church being reformed. Many of the discussions and deliberations in those councils were done in response to the infiltration of heresies into the church, clarifying vital doctrines to counter the destructive efforts of heretics. Throughout church history, God has used men in the church to keep her pure and–in some cases, such as the Protestant Reformation–to recover the gospel and vital doctrine, such as justification by faith alone on the basis of the merits of Christ alone.

    The criterion for such reforming must always be scripture–sola scriptura!

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