Quotes by Burk Parsons
Many Christians in many evangelical churches these days are confessionally challenged in that they are either cynical, critical, or altogether skeptical of all things confessional — confessional documents, confessional churches, and confessional Christians. We might hear confessionally challenged Christians say things, such as “My only creed is Christ” or “I don’t need theology, just give me Jesus” or “Confessions divide, Christ unites.” Such Christians are actually under the impression that their churches don’t have confessions, when in truth every church has a confession, though it may not be written down and though it may constantly change according to the whims and fancies of the pastor. They have been somehow deceived into thinking that all of the various historic Reformed confessions only serve to divide the church of its unity and disarm the Bible of its authority. Nothing could be further from the truth, for what is so amazing about Reformed confessions in general is not how different they are from one another but how similar they are — how they each use biblical language in affirming the faith once delivered to the saints.
Theology is not a philosophical pursuit of abstract speculations about God. It is in fact the examination of that which God has revealed to us. As faithful students of the Word of God, we are, by necessity, students of theology. The two are not at odds with each other; rather they serve to complement one another. Whereas the Word of God is the foundation of our knowledge, theology is the expression of our knowledge. Thus, the study of God cannot be separated from the Word of God.
Fuzzy theology is not dogmatic, and it is not established by the unchanging Word of God; rather, it consists of theology formulated by compromise. Fuzzy theology has a fundamental principle: we can believe whatever we want to believe as long as what we believe does not offend anyone, as long as it affirms nice things about Jesus, and as long as it doesn’t divide.
Without a doubt, common grace that is mocked will result in uncommon judgment.
This is the mantra of religious pluralists: Liberate your mind, lose your faith, and feel the love.
The first man sinned and grieved only for himself, but the second Man knew no sin yet grieved for us so that we would not grieve forever.
Owen did not revere himself as a master of Scripture but as a humble servant of it. His devotion to the Word of God was in direct correlation to his devotion to God Himself. Indeed, Owen was a man of God who served the church of God as a student of God’s Word. To him we owe great respect, for he lived coram Deo, before the face of God, as a burning and shining light to the world.
According to the world, we love in order to be loved. According to the Word, we love because God first loved us. Whereas the world falls in love, God’s people are established in love. The love that we possess, however, is not a fleeting whim that comes and goes with every mood and circumstance; rather, it is a love that is beyond ourselves. Our love, true love, has meaning, meaning that cannot be stripped away by any thing, any one, or any feeling. Our love cannot be shaken because it is grounded not in self but in sacrifice.
Unfortunately, many people think that patience is most predominately demonstrated by someone who has an easy going, laid-back attitude. But, on the contrary, patience is not some passive nuance of someone’s character; it is an active, exhibited virtue. It is a virtue of trust. To exercise trust implies that we are trusting in someone greater than ourselves. It is no wonder the world is so impatient. Those who do not know God can only trust in themselves, for there is no one greater in whom they can place their trust. Their confidence is self-confidence, their esteem is self-esteem, and their reliance is self-reliance… If we trust in ourselves, then we are a hopeless people. But we are the people of God who place our trust in the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things. Indeed, we do not know patience apart from Him; we are patient precisely because He is patient toward us, enduring with us to the very end. Therefore, we live coram Deo, for in Him we live, move, and have our being, and in Him our patience is perfected.
Soteriology simplified: God saves us by Himself from Himself unto Himself for Himself.
We must not in practice deny our allegiance to the authority of the Word of God by saying we believe it while continuing to live according to what is right in our own eyes.
Our perseverance is a gift from God. In our salvation, God blesses us with assurance through His gift of perseverance (2 Thessalonians 3:5). However, many Christians lack full assurance of their salvation because their understanding of assurance is founded on the constantly changing emotions of their hearts rather than on the eternal Word of God.
The Word of God is clear, it is not that we have accepted God; rather He has accepted us… [Yet many Christians] actually think that they accepted God, and therefore it is only natural for them to think that they need to keep accepting God every hour of every day in order to make it as a Christian… In the cross of Christ, the bride of Christ has been made acceptable to God, and such acceptance is the foundation of our assurance.
By redeeming us, the Lord secured us in His hand, from which we cannot be snatched and from which we ourselves cannot escape, even on days when we feel like running away.
Just as our justification is from God, so our sanctification is from God, but unlike our justification, which is monergistic work, in sanctification God calls us to work together with Him to mature as Christians. As Christians we can never say to God: “The reason I still sin, or the reason I am not maturing as quickly as I would like, is because you have not given me enough grace.”