To the sources with pastor and writer Paul Carter

Welcome to Adfontes!

Welcome to Adfontes!  As the name suggests (Latin for 'to the sources') the goal of Adfontes is to facilitate conversations about the Scriptures in an effort to stir up renewal and reformation in the church.  The theme verse for the site comes from Isaiah 51:1.

 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.”  
(Isaiah 51:1 ESV)

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I Will Draw All People To Myself

Tue. Mar. 22, 2016By: Paul Carter

This morning in our RMM readings we ran across a verse that is sometimes used to undermine faith in the classical doctrine of the Sovereignty of God with respect to human salvation.  In John 12:32 Jesus says:  "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32 ESV) Sometimes this verse is used to support some form of universalism but more often it is recruited to undermine the doctrine of effectual calling.  In catechism class we teach...Read More

Testing New Believers

Fri. Mar. 18, 2016By: Paul Carter

In John 8 we find one of the strangest narratives in all of the New Testament.  The story begins positively enough:  "As he was saying these things, many believed in him." (John 8:30 ESV) Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord! Let’s float a balloon and party with the angels because many folks, apparently, have been well and truly saved.  But wait just a minute.  Consider the very next verse: "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my...Read More

Trinity, Equality And Love

Mon. Mar. 14, 2016By: Paul Carter

In John 5 we have some of the most precious and exalted insights on the Trinity contained in Holy Scripture.  As is so often the case in John’s Gospel, the discourse is occasioned by misunderstanding.  Jesus has just claimed for himself in verse 18 the same Sabbath exemption that was understood to belong to God – Jesus defends his actions saying:  “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” (John 5:17 ESV) God is allowed to work on the Sabbath and therefore so am...Read More

I was recently asked a question that I have been asked in some form or another several times before: can a truly saved person commit a really big sin?  Would a truly saved person – born again, filled with the Holy Spirit – commit adultery?  Would he murder?   It is probably necessary to deal first of all with the idea of there being “really big sins”. Of course there are sins with greater social and spiritual “significance” than others. All sins are equally damning, but...Read More

Street Level Headship

Wed. Mar. 09, 2016By: Paul Carter

In a leadership class I run for women in our church, several ladies asked me a question I’ve been asked a time or two before:  “What does it look like for a man to lead in the home?”  The question wasn’t theological – we had wrestled with the passages in the Bible that addressed the issue from that perspective – it was more practical.  In essence these ladies were asking what headship looks like at street level.  My answer ran along these...Read More

RMM Weekly Quiz - Week 10

Sun. Mar. 06, 2016By: Paul Carter

Before we get to the RMM Weekly Quiz for Week 10 , here are some fun facts from week 8.   The average score on last week's 1 year quiz was 79% - up 10% over the previous week. The questions most people had trouble with on the 1 year test were #13 and #17: #13:   Which character in the Book of Job says this: "I hear censor that insults me, and out of my understanding a spirit answers me" The correct answer was Zophar. # 17: In what chapter of 1 Corinthians would...Read More

This morning in our RMM readings we ran across one of the most difficult passages in all of the New Testament. The Parable Of The Dishonest Manager at first glance, seems to show Jesus approving dishonest and unethical business practices. The story centres around a man who has been discovered as unethical by his boss and is about to be fired. He honestly admits that he is too proud to become a common labourer and so he devises an impromptu retirement scheme. He goes around to each of his...Read More

What Is The Gospel?

Mon. Feb. 29, 2016By: Paul Carter

The word that is translated in our Bibles as “Gospel” literally means “a good message”.  The Apostle Paul introduces himself to the Romans by saying:  Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God (Romans 1:1 ESV) The Greek word that he uses is a compound word, eu-aggelion.   In Greek the prefix “eu” means “good”.  Our English word Eucharist means literally “good grace” or “a good response to grace”.  The second half of...Read More

Do Roman Catholics Believe The Gospel?

Mon. Feb. 29, 2016By: Paul Carter

A number of people in my community have a nominal or familial association with Roman Catholicism.  I have frequently had the experience of sharing the Gospel with a friend or neighbour only to discover that parts of this message lie hidden, mostly dormant and partially remembered, inside the mind and heart of the person to whom I am speaking.  At a certain stage in my sharing a light will go on: “O yes”, they will say, “I know about that – I agree with that completely.”  At other...Read More

This morning in our RMM readings we encountered one of the many hard sayings of Jesus.  In Luke 14:33 he says:  So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:33 ESV)  Jesus was only interested in the singular allegiance of his disciples.  He was not interested in being A pole of interest or A point of reference or AMONG their top priorities.  He would be the centre or he would be nothing.  Jesus sounds...Read More

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