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History and the Life of the Church

Christianity is based in history. Contrary to the teaching of classic liberalism, without the historical fact of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, Christianity is nothing. Moreover, God has been working in the lives of his people from the very beginning. It is essential that the church would remember God’s dealings with the generations that have gone before in order that she would rightly press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14). Our shared memories and the lessons of the past shape our ecclesiastical context and guide our present practice. Dr. Alan Strange and Rev. Brian De Jong discuss the role of history in the life of the church.

Dr. Strange is professor of church history at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana. He is the author of The Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ in the Westminster Standards and The Doctrine of the Spirituality of the Church in the Ecclesiology of Charles Hodge.

Rev. De Jong is pastor of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and the author of Honoring the Elderly: A Christian’s Duty to Aging Parents.


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The Imputation of Active Obedience in the Westminster Standards

Dr. Alan Strange discusses the Westminster Assembly and the Westminster Standards and whether they affirmed the imputation of Christ’s active obedience as necessary for our justification. Strange has written, The Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ in the Westminster Standards, which is published by Reformation Heritage Books in their Explorations in Reformed Confessional Theology series.

In the book, Strange gives a survey of church history before and during the Reformation to see how the Assembly relates to the tradition before it. He reflects on the relation of imputation to federal theology, modern challenges to the doctrine, and important rules for interpreting the confessional document.

Dr. Strange is professor of church history at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana.

Links

Strange, “The Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ

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The Spirituality of the Church in the Ecclesiology of Charles Hodge

Alan Strange speaks about the doctrine of the spirituality of the church in the ecclesiology of Charles Hodge and how it was formed in the years leading up to and during the American Civil War. Dr. Strange’s dissertation on the topic has been published in P&R Publishing’s Reformed Academic Dissertations series as The Doctrine of the Spirituality of the Church in the Ecclesiology of Charles Hodge. Dr. Strange previously addressed the topic in episode 443 of Christ the Center, but in this episode, we focus more on the Presbyterian General Assemblies and how they wrestled with the theological and political issues surrounding the war.

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Highlights from 2016

As we head into our tenth year of Christ the Center, we look back at some of our favorite guests and moments from 2016.

Episodes

  • 425 — David VanDrunen, God’s Glory Alone
  • 428 — Vern Poythress, The Miracles of Jesus
  • 441 — John Galbraith and Danny Olinger on John Galbraith’s Life and Ministry
  • 443 — Alan Strange, Charles Hodge and the Spirituality of the Church
  • 444 — Iain Murray, J. C. Ryle
  • 445 — Lane Tipton, Trinity, Processions, and Missions: The Pactum Salutis
  • 449 — Rob McKenzie and Bob Tarullo, Dispensationalism
  • 452 — Michael Kruger, A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament
  • 453 — Dennis Johnson, Walking withe Jesus through His Word
  • 455 — Richard Gaffin, Jr., Calvin and the Sabbath
  • 461 — Gregg Allison and Chris Castaldo, The Unfinished Reformation
  • 464 — Mark Vanderhart and Cornelis Venema, The Reformed Church in Latvia
  • 467 — Patricia Clawson and Diane Olinger, Choosing the Good Portion: Women of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

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Charles Hodge and the Spirituality of the Church

Dr. Alan Strange is professor of church history and apologetics at Mid-America Reformed Seminary and associate pastor of New Covenant Community Church in Joliet, Illinois. Dr. Strange sits with us to speak about the great American Presbyterian, Charles Hodge, and his contribution to the Doctrine of the Church. Hodge was a proponent of the doctrine known as the Spirituality of the Church. While many Reformed theologians are familiar with the name of the doctrine, its permutations are many. Dr. Strange details the history of the doctrine through several controversies of which Charles Hodge was involved. By understanding this history, we learn many important practical lessons for the Church today.

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Confessional Subscription and the Animus Imponentis

Dr. Alan Strange comes to the program to discuss the animus imponentis. Animus imponentis is a legal term that refers to the meaning of the words of an oath or confession that is intended by the body imposing the oath or confession. The concept clarifies what it means for officers of a modern church to subscribe to a confession composed by men who lived several centuries ago. On today’s episode, Dr. Strange explains the animus imponentis in greater detail and applies it to the issue of the days of creation, the topic of an OPC committee of which Dr. Strange was a part. Dr. Strange is Professor of Church History, Registrar, and Theological Librarian at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana. He recently completed a Ph.D. from the University of Wales. Conference talks on the animus imponentis: http://www.pncnopc.org/audio/audio-presbytery/2009-animus-imponentis-conference/ “What is the ‘System of Doctrine?'” – Charles Hodge: http://www.pcahistory.org/documents/subscription/hodge.html OPC report on the creation days: http://opc.org/GA/CreationReport.pdf

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