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I sort of live with John Wesley. I am a Wesley scholar who teaches Wesley Studies at a seminary named Wesley. It almost seems incestuous.

Sinners in the Hands of a Gracious God -- By: Glenn R. Kreider

As I tell my students, we look to Wesley as he points us to Christ. And I will say this, the more I study Wesley the more I am convinced that he does, in fact, point us to Christ. In fact, it would be Wesleyan of us to do so. Edwards, you see, was a staunch Calvinist. You had nothing to do with it. It was a gift. Even one bestowed on you before you were born. In so much of this, Edwards was right. Salvation is from God. We cannot save ourselves.

It is a gift. But as Wesleyans, we believe it is a gift that must be received. He offers salvation to all, but we empowered by the offer must receive the gift. Edwards was quite famous for this sermon. It is a classic fire and brimstone affair, perhaps the pinnacle of the genre.

The sinner was nothing more than a spider, loathed, being held just above the flames of hell and God had the right to let go at anytime. I read of a God of grace, a God of forgiveness, a God who makes sinners whole. I often give keys in my presentations. I spoke to the Kiwanis Club of High Point, North Carolina a few years ago and just recently bumped into someone who was there, and he said, I remember the key! But for you, I have something a bit more complicated and, I think, a bit more life-giving. If you remember nothing else, remember this: When we acknowledge the depth of our sin, if we admit our diseased state, then, we see how much greater still is the awesome, transforming power of God to make us whole.

Acknowledging the disease, however, is the first step toward embracing the cure. The scriptural text this morning, you see, is about all of us. It might be more about you than we even imagined. It is about you. And, I know that we read these stories and often try to put ourselves in the text.

No, the lesson is about us because at times we are the woman weeping at the feet of our Savior. Just the other day, I told one of my classes that the longer I live, the more convinced I am of our sinful state. The depth of sin is hard to ignore. There have been movements to ignore it, however. In the late 19 th century and into the first decade of the 20 th century there were some theologians who tried to argue that humans were essentially good, even like a good wine, getting better with age, even on their own, but then World War I happened and they were cured of those ideas.

Of course, I wonder why it took a world war for them to realize this.


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Self-awareness alone should have been enough. The woman who is at the center of the text is not identified by name, except as a woman of the city and a sinner. Somehow she hears that Jesus is in the home of one of the Pharisees, a religious leader, a zealous, pious follower of God, and what does she do? She goes directly to Jesus. She knew where to find Jesus. Something told her where to find salvation, and so she went to him.

She was following Jesus. We might say she was acting the part of a disciple. Will Willimon once remarked that a Christian is someone who follows Jesus around. I find the scene that Luke draws fascinating. The woman known as sinner is bucking social convention. This was a society where women were not seen apart from their husbands, and yet where was her husband?

She had to find Jesus. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention eternal punishment george macdonald god is good bible christ clotfelter questions view chapter doctrine christian logic salvation given human christians consider election final heart. Showing of 13 reviews.

The Hands of the Living GOD.

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  • Please try again later. I think everyone who has ever thought through the issues of God being good and yet there being an eternal hell will benefit from this book.

    Follow the Author

    I found the author arguing from the Bible, not from philosophy. He also traces his own spiritual journey from not believing in hell, to believing in it because the Bible teaches it. Chapter 1 defends God's justice and our sinfulness. Hell makes no sense until we understand these things. Chapters 2 and 3 defend hell and eternal punishment. I was happy to see Clotfelter come to many of the same conclusions I have as I have thought this through. Chapter 3 goes through the various views of choice in regard to salvation. The author attempts with much success to prove each of these doctrines from Scripture.

    Chapters 7, 8, and 9 talk about the "good news": It talks about God's glory being the purpose that God created. I recommend this book if you want to understand why hell must exist and why so many people go there. Being the only Christian in my family I wrestled with the doctrine when my dad died. But I came out the other side with a deeper appreciation for both God's justice and His mercy, and an unshakable knowledge that God is good and will do what is right, even if we don't always understand why He does what He does. Each chapter ends with a prayer, and I often found myself making it my prayer.

    Read the book, and pray the prayers as you go along. In short, the book makes a cogent argument for the whole of who God is - justice and mercy, love and severity, mercy and holiness - and it does it all using Scripture. Some of the things Clotfelter writes about can be hard to swallow, but you can't deny that it's what the Bible says. Pray that the Holy Spirit will open your heart to accept the truths the Bible teaches, no matter how hard those truths may be.

    I know the Bible says many things that are hard to accept; I have been through that struggle.

    How Could A Loving God Send A Good Person To Hell?

    But you will see God more clearly and have a deeper knowledge of Him on the other side of that struggle. You will love Him more than you ever thought possible. This book corrects one's view of the Santa Claus god of seeker-sensitive, felt-need, modern churchianity. With solid scriptural support it shows us how majestic, awe-inspiring, fear-inspiring, yet loving God is. The chapter on Hell is worth the price of the book tenfold. Most of us have a sentimental view of God and of humans, and this chapter destroys this view to show God and us as we are.

    Sinners in the Hands of a Gracious God | omyhukocow.tk

    When I read and understood the utter ruin of people in Hell, I felt awe at God and gratitude for Him for saving me from such a well-deserved fate. I looked for more books from the author on Amazon to buy but it's his only work. If it's his life work, then his life has been well spent! The person who lent me this book also bought several copies to give away. After I read it I couldn't help do the same and one of the people I gave a copy to is a coworker who is saved but doesn't know much about doctrine.

    She thanked me for this life-changing book She called it a magnum opus. I was thoroughly impressed with Mr. Clotfelter's treatment of this controversial subject.

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    I believe he handled himself with true humility and with a strong conviction to adhere to the Scriptures as the final authority on any given question related to the subject. His style was likeable and he wrote with clarity, avoiding deep intellectual arguments that seem to characterize many other works that deal with the "Calvinism versus Arminianism" debate.

    And finally, it was refreshing to see one with the keen desire to bring out the true nature of God and to glorify Him in the process. I must confess that I have been a strong believer in God's sovereign grace in election for many years, so I was biased from the start. But I had never read a work that was so convincing in clarifying this truth. His handling of various teachings "Universalism," "Annihilationism," and "Open Theism" was masterful, and should serve to silence any advocates of these erroneous doctrines.

    It was also impressive to see him tackle some of the real hard questions, such as "Why will God confine some of His creatures to eternal punishment? I believe you will find his answers to these questions compelling, even though they might not completely satisfy your logic and human reasoning. In closing, I have recommended this book to many of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I would highly recommend it to you. If you are a true believer in Christ, I hope you walk away from it with a deeper appreciation for the grace of God that "chose you in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world," and for the tremendous cost that Christ paid to deliver you from the eternal destruction that you we all richly deserved.

    I also hope your thoughts of God will be raised to a higher level as you come to see more of His glories and excellencies, and that you will long for the day when we shall be in His presence forever where God will throughout eternity "show [us] the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" Ephesians 2: See all 13 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

    Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway. Customers who bought this item also bought.