Biblical Presuppositions and New Affection

Biblical Presuppositions and New Affection


Four Key Presuppositions upon which we build:

The Scripture – written explanation and guidance for all of life.

The Trinity – the comprehensive frame of reference for all of life

Christ – the centerpiece of interpretation for all of life

The image of God – the object of divine transformation for all of life

Thomas Chalmers said “the best way of casting out and impure affection is to admit a pure one; and by the love of what is good to expel the love of what is evil. Thus it is, that the freer [the] gospel; and the more it is received as a doctrine of grace, the more will it be felt as a doctrine according to godliness.” Chalmers goes on to say, “We have already affirmed how impossible it were for the heart, by any innate elasticity of its own, to cast the world away from it, and thus reduce itself to a wilderness. The heart is not so constituted, and the only way to dispose it of an old affection is by the expulsive power of a new one.”

Tim Keller explains John Owen’s view of a “new affection”; although he does not use this particular language. “(John Owen) reasons that if the beauty and glory of Christ do not capture our imaginations, dominate our waking thought, and fill our hearts with longing and desire – then something else will. We will be “continually ruminating” on something or some things as our hope and joy. Whatever these things are, they will “frame our souls” and “transform us into their likeness.” If we don’t behold the glory of God in the face of Christ, then something else will rule our lives. We will be slaves.

What is the essence of real Christianity? John Owen adds immediately: “It is to have our minds really exercise with delight about heavenly things, the things that are above, especially Christ himself as at the right hand of God.”

Indeed regular delight in God and experiences of sweetness and love are the only ways to avoid being dominated at a practical level by false gods and enslaving passions and drives.

In brief, Keller and Owen are saying what Charmers meant by, The Expulsive Power of a New Affection. This is the mortifying antidote for pornography sexual perversion. It demonstrates how a new affection for ‘the gospel planned by the Trinity and experienced in the soul by the Holy Spirit’ is the way to overcome pornography (and for that matter all sin.)



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