Friday, May 19, 2017

How Does Sanctification Work?

David Powlison has had an enormous influence on me.

He's one of those teachers (in articles and books as well as live in class) who get counted on one hand as having an outsized impact on my thinking about how the Bible relates to life.

There are 52 items on my blog that I've tagged with his name, but most of the rest of my posts could legitimately have the same marking--since I first read the Journal of Biblical Counseling, David has been shaping the way I read my Bible, counsel others, and grow in Christ myself.

So when one of my favoritist teachers writes a book on his topic of expertise, I get my hands on a copy immediately!

In How Does Sanctification Work?, David uses his characteristic wisdom to unravel the various biblical strands that form the rope of sanctification (promises, commands, influences, etc.). The table of contents shows the questions he answers along the way (ex. "Is There One Key to Sanctification?") and how he ends with several chapters of case studies to show, not just tell, what he has to teach.

I've heard David lecture on these things before, and over the years, I've been greatly influenced by the teaching in chapter 3, "Truth Unbalanced and Rebalanced" where he gives this core premise, "Ministry 'unbalances' truth of the sake of relevance; theology 'rebalances' truth for the sake of comprehensiveness." Give the chapter a read to see what he means by that, but I can testify that it's really helpful for orienting your preaching, counseling, and discipling ministry.

In other words, this is a great book by a great teacher, and if you want to understand the biblical doctrine of sanctification better, you should read it.

Here are a few videos on this topic from CCEF: