Why the Word Became Flesh: 7 Reasons the Incarnation Was Necessary to Fulfill God’s Plan of Redemption

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1.5). He came for no other purpose than to redeem those whom the Father has given Him. Hodge affirms this declaration when he says, “the only reason Christ came in the flesh was because of the fall…Christ came into the world voluntarily to save his people from their sins; to seek and save the lost.”[1] Christ’s coming into the world as not only God, but also Man, is of critical importance to anthropology and Christology. It was necessary for the Word, the second Person of the Trinity, to become man to fulfill God’s plan to redeem fallen humankind.  A survey of some of the Christological and anthropological literature supports this premise and supplies several listings of the reasons Christ had to become a man. Continue reading

Why the Word Became Flesh: Appendix A, Table 1

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

The table below (Appendix A, Table 1) accompanies the paper entitled “Why the Word Became Flesh: 7 Reasons the Incarnation Was Necessary to Fulfill God’s Plan of Redemption.”

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A Worship Primer

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

This paper is adapted from an outline for a class I taught on worship for our local church. The purpose was to set forth a basic theology of worship that could be covered in one extended sitting of two or three hours. I intended to answer some basic questions from Scripture on the nature of worship: what it is, why we engage in it, and what results when we do.

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Killing and Letting Die: Ethics of End-of-Life Care

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

Ethical questions regarding end-of-life care may seem to be a recent phenomenon based on late-breaking developments in biomedical technology. However, such cases have existed since the advent of Western medicine over two thousand years ago under Hippocrates (c.460-370 B. C.), the father of medicine.[1] The ancient Hippocratic Oath attributed to him states in part, “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.”[2]  Cases such as that of Terry Schiavo, a Florida woman forty years of age said by some to be in a “persistent vegetative state” for nearly fourteen years, are illustrative of this dilemma that has been faced by medical personnel, ethicists, legislators, courts, government leaders and society for millenia. Continue reading

Poetics in Judges 4: Deborah and Barak

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg 

Through the use of structural elements and poetic techniques in the narrative of Deborah, the writer of Judges demonstrates that God is at work in the world to accomplish his covenant purpose and is pleased to use what we might consider the weak things of this world to confound the strong that all may know he is the LORD. Continue reading

The Open Theism Debate

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

Open theism, as propounded by Sanders, Rice, Pinnock and others seems to be a hearty attempt to make God more palatable for the modern mind and to solve some long standing theological mysteries. However, Frame, Piper, Ware and others show that this system of thought is, in the end, untenable according to Scripture and potentially dangerous to the church. An evaluation of these two systems will demonstrate the present author’s agreement with the latter view. Continue reading

The Biblical Inerrancy Debate

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

“What is supremely at stake in this whole discussion is the recognition of the authority of God in Scripture. Are we going to submit unconditionally to the voice of God who has spoken? Or are we going to insist on screening the message…”

Historical Background of the Debate
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Old Testament Exegesis: An Analysis of 2 Chronicles 15:1-9

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

As Christians, we have received a measure of God’s blessing in our deliverance from sin and death by Christ on the cross. For some Christians, that is as far as they want to go. However, that is not God’s will for our lives. Scripture urges us to continue to press forward in a life of obedience. As we continue to seek to obey God’s will in our lives, he blesses us for the purpose of expanding His kingdom on earth. We have the high calling as co-participants in Christ’s rule and reign of the earth that will one day be fully completed.  In 2 Chronicles  15:1-19, the Chronicler sought to convince his audience that a life of obedience to God is rewarded by God’s blessing. Continue reading

Position Paper: Hebrews 6:4-6

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

The central theological and pastoral issue in Hebrews 6:4-6 seems to be whether true Christians can lose their salvation. This is an aspect of the doctrine of the application of redemption, the way in which the Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to the lives of believers and unbelievers. Particularly, this refers to the perseverance of the saints.

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The Application of the Church’s Suffering to the Suffering of the World

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

It’s common for Christians to ask in times of personal suffering questions such as, “Why me? What have I done to deserve this? Does God really love me if he is allowing this to happen to me? How long, O Lord?” Not only these, but perhaps a deeper question is asked by believers and unbelievers alike: “If there is a God and he is said to be good and all-powerful, then why does he allow suffering in the world?” This is the so-called problem of evil.[1] As human beings, we ask questions and seek answers in an effort to understand the causes of evil and suffering and the proper response for the individual, the family, and the community affected. As Christian leaders, we seek to help others understand their suffering and to respond properly to it.

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A Church Planting Proposal

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

1. THE CALL TO CHURCH PLANTING (WHY START A NEW CHURCH?)

My call to church planting

For purposes of this paper, I am assuming the requisite key elements, competencies and confirmation of a call to serve as a church planter. The key elements of a call to church planting include spirituality, ability, affinity and opportunity. Spirituality includes spiritual life and family life. Ability includes spiritual gifts and ministry skills. Affinity includes desires and motives. Opportunity includes need and support, that is, there is a perceived need for a new church plant and support is available. These key elements are assumed in sufficient measure by the grace of God. Continue reading

Study Guide Outline for Sections 64-67, pp. 396-428 in Chapter X, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, in Herman Ridderbos’ Paul: An Outline of His Theology

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg Continue reading

Apologetic Method and Presuppositional Apologetics

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

A presupposition is a belief or “basic commitment of the heart” which takes precedence over another belief and becomes a criterion for that other belief or commitment. Ron Nash writes that presuppositions are like a train running along a track with no switches to control it. Once the train is started down that track, its direction and destination is predetermined. Henry Van Til and John Frame refer to presuppositions as “colored glasses” through which we “see” everything.

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A Missions-Minded Local Church Case Study

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

INTRODUCTION AND HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

As a member of the music staff with Myrtle Grove Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, NC from 1982 to 2001, I was able to see from the sidelines the development of a fine missions program over a period of eighteen years. As the church grew in membership and attendance from approximately 200 to 1500 during those years, so did their commitment to missions. In the earliest years, the mission budget was limited to a few denominational missionaries the congregation had rarely, if ever, met. Mission awareness at that time was very low as the church was just beginning to be revitalized. In the early 1980’s, however, members of the congregation began to sense the call to full-time missionary service in a variety of ways. One couple began to work with Campus Crusade, first at NC State University, later moving on to Budapest, and more recently to Moscow. Two families and a single man sensed the call to work with Wycliffe Bible Translators, one family as translators in Congo, and the others in support roles in Indonesia and with JAARS. Another family began a new work with WIC in a new ministry to drug addicts in Spain. As a result of this increased home-grown activity in the 80’s, the church hired a part-time mission coordinator. In 1993, they hired a full-time mission pastor. Under their leadership, the church has increased its momentum very significantly through a number of means. The church now supports some thirty missionaries in a variety of fields and has adopted a people group in Uganda.[1] Continue reading

Exegetical Process Notebook for Galatians 5:22-26

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

An Exegetical Process Notebook on Galatians 5:22-26 outlines the steps involved for preparing to write a paper or sermon.  Click the link to see the entire work in pdf format.