Christ the Center http://reformedforum.org Reformed Theological Resources Thu, 07 Jan 2021 20:31:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6 http://reformedforum.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/04/cropped-reformed-forum-logo-300dpi-side_by_side-1-32x32.png Christ the Center – Reformed Forum http://reformedforum.org 32 32 The Spirituality of the Church http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc680/ Fri, 08 Jan 2021 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=31020 C. N. Willborn speaks about the spirituality of the church, the doctrine which affirms that the Church is a spiritual institution with spiritual aims. It is not administered according to the kingdom of this world. This has a direct bearing upon the work of the church, which is explicitly described and defined by Christ himself in the Great Commission of Matthew 28.

Rev. Dr. Willborn is pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is the author of many works on history and theology, including the focus of this conversation, “The Soul of the Church: The Church’s Spiritual Mission” in The Confessional Presbyterian, volume 16 (2020): 201–209.

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Further Reading

  • Cunningham, William. Discussions on Church Principles. Reprint, Edmonton, AB Canada: Still Waters Revival Books, 1991: 196–210.
  • Farmer, James O. Jr. The Metaphysical Confederacy: James Henley Thornwell and the Synthesis of Southern Values. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986.
  • Graham, Preston A. Jr. A Kingdom Not of this World. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2002.
  • Peck, Thomas. Notes on Ecclesiology. Reprint, Taylors, SC: Presbyterian Press, 2005.
  • Robinson, Stuart. The Church of God. Reprint, Willow Volume 16 (2020) Grove, PA: The Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 2009.
  • Strange, Alan D. The Doctrine of the Spirituality of the Church in the Ecclesiology of Charles Hodge Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing Company, 2017.
  • Thornwell, James H. The Collected Writings of James H. Thornwell, 4 vols. Reprint, Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1974. See especially volume 4.
  • Webb, Robert A. “The Modern Mind and Christian Service,” in Elements of Truth, vol. 2. Jackson, MS: Tucker Printing House, 1915. “The Modern Mind” was a series of addresses delivered at Belhaven College for the Synod’s [Mississippi] Training School between June 22–July 2, 1915 and published by the Committee of Synod.
  • Willborn, C. N. “The Gospel Work of the Diaconate: ‘A Ministry Proportioned in Number,’” in The Confessional Presbyterian, vol. 11 (2014): 13–23.

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C N Willborn speaks about the spirituality of the church the doctrine which affirms that the Church is a spiritual institution with spiritual aims It is not administered according to ...Ecclesiology,ModernChurchReformed Forumnono
Highlights from 2020 http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc679/ Fri, 01 Jan 2021 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30928 Since Christ the Center began nearly thirteen years ago, we have taken time to look back on the highlights of the year. Continuing the update to our tradition from last year, here this year’s top ten clips from Christ the Center as determined by YouTube views.

  1. Ep. 633What Is Christendom? with David VanDrunen
  2. Ep. 6551689 Federalism and Reformed Covenant Theology with Jeremy Boothby
  3. Ep. 638John Frame and Two Divine Existences with James Dolezal
  4. Ep. 659Why Study Karl Barth? with Jim Cassidy
  5. Ep. 633The Noahic Covenant with David VanDrunen
  6. Ep. 630The Importance of Discourse Analysis with Matthew Patton
  7. Ep. 641The Ancient Understanding of Baptism as Washing and Regeneration with Glen Clary
  8. Ep. 629Abridged Bavinck with Carlton Wynne and Charles Williams
  9. Ep. 666John Nelson Darby and Dispensationalism with Michael Glodo
  10. Ep. 631What Is Public Theology? with Jordan Ballor

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Since Christ the Center began nearly thirteen years ago we have taken time to look back on the highlights of the year Continuing the update to our tradition from last ...ChurchHistory,NewTestament,OldTestament,SystematicTheologyReformed Forumnono
The Nativity Hymns in the Gospel of Luke http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc678/ Fri, 25 Dec 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30936 One of the highlights of the Christmas season is singing the Christmas hymns. Singing songs about the nativity of Jesus is one of the oldest traditions in the Christian church, and dates to the beginning of the New Testament church—even to the birth of Christ himself. Luke includes four such songs: Mary’s (1:46–55), Zechariah’s (1:68–79), Simeon’s (2:29–32), and the Angels’ (2:14).

In this episode, Glen Clary seeks to explain the redemptive-historical significance of the songs with reference to the temple cultus. These nativity canticles register a transition in the temple cultus from shadow to reality (type to antitype) in that they proclaim the arrival of the high priest of the heaven, who will bring the earthly temple cultus to its consummate fulfillment. They serve as a liturgical bridge between the old covenant and the new covenant and set the stage for the message of Luke, introducing significant theological themes developed in Luke-Acts.

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One of the highlights of the Christmas season is singing the Christmas hymns Singing songs about the nativity of Jesus is one of the oldest traditions in the Christian church ...BiblicalTheology,Christmas,WorshipReformed Forumnono
James Ussher and the Covenant of Works http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc677/ Fri, 18 Dec 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30675 Harrison Perkins discusses the theology and historical context of James Ussher with particular attention to the development of the confessional understanding of the covenant of works. Ussher was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656. He was a prolific scholar and significant church leader.

Perkins is the author of Catholicity and the Covenant of Works: James Ussher and the Reformed Tradition (Oxford University Press). In this book, he demonstrates how Ussher used the covenant of works to inform many of the most important features of his theology. While the covenant of works is most closely identified with the Reformed tradition, Perkins makes the case that when the interconnectedness of the various doctrines is explained, there is a deep catholicity undergirding it. Ussher constructed his understanding of the covenant from traditional teachings that he appropriated from the ancient and medieval church.

Perkins is pastor of London City Presbyterian Church in London and lecturer at Edinburgh Seminary in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Harrison Perkins discusses the theology and historical context of James Ussher with particular attention to the development of the confessional understanding of the covenant of works Ussher was the Church ...SystematicTheology,ThePuritans,WestminsterAssemblyReformed Forumnono
Herman Bavinck’s Use of Friedrich Schleiermacher http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc676/ Fri, 11 Dec 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30669 Cory Brock describes how Herman Bavinck interacted with and appropriated the theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher throughout his academic career. There is a significant shift toward a more pronounced and direct use of Schleiermacher later in his life. But any appropriation of Schleiermacher by Bavinck may surprise people.

Schleiermacher (1768–1834) is recognized as the father of modern liberal theology. It would appear that any incorporation of Schleiermacher’s theology or philosophy would compromise Bavinck’s Calvinist orthodoxy. Indeed, this manner of reading Bavinck gave rise to a so-called “two Bavincks hypothesis.” Brock builds a case for the relation of these two aspects in Bavinck in his book, Orthodox yet Modern: Herman Bavinck’s Use of Friedrich Schleiermacher (Lexham Press). Cory Brock serves as pastor of college and career at First Presbyterian Church (PCA), Jackson, Mississippi.

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Cory Brock describes how Herman Bavinck interacted with and appropriated the theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher throughout his academic career There is a significant shift toward a more pronounced and direct ...HermanBavinck,SystematicTheologyReformed Forumnono
The Use of Irony in Redemptive-History http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc675/ Fri, 04 Dec 2020 05:00:28 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30550 Dr. G. K. Beale speaks about the use of irony in redemptive-history, which is the subject of his book Redemptive Reversals and the Ironic Overturning of Human Wisdom (Crossway).

The Bible is full of ironic situations in which God overturns the world’s wisdom by doing the opposite of what is expected―people are punished by their own sin, the persecution of the church is the catalyst for its growth, Paul claims to have strength through weakness, and more. In this book, Beale explores God’s pattern of divine irony in both judgment and salvation, finding its greatest expression in Jesus’s triumph over death through death on a cross. Unpacking this pattern throughout redemptive history, Beale shows us how God often uses what is seemingly weak and foolish to underscore his own strength and power in the lives of his people today.

Dr. Beale holds the J. Gresham Machen chair of New Testament and is research professor of New Testament and biblical interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary.

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Dr G K Beale speaks about the use of irony in redemptive history which is the subject of his book Redemptive Reversals and the Ironic Overturning of Human Wisdom Crossway ...BiblicalTheology,NewTestament,OldTestamentReformed Forumnono
Covenant Theology in Hebrews http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc674/ Fri, 27 Nov 2020 05:00:41 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30437 Dr. Robert Cara, Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Reformed Theological Seminary and Hugh and Sallie Reaves Professor of New Testament at RTS Charlotte, discusses the covenant theology evident in the letter to the Hebrews. God has one plan and purpose for his people throughout history, and he mediates this relationship through successive covenants, ultimately finding eschatological fulfillment in the New Covenant instituted by Jesus Christ.

Dr. Cara’s chapter, “Covenant in Hebrews” is available in Covenant Theology: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Perspectives (Crossway), edited by Guy Prentiss Waters, J. Nicholas Reid, and John R. Muether.

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Dr Robert Cara Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Reformed Theological Seminary and Hugh and Sallie Reaves Professor of New Testament at RTS Charlotte discusses the covenant theology evident in ...GeneralEpistlesReformed Forumnono
Vos Group Excursus: The Wonderful Tree http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc673/ Fri, 20 Nov 2020 05:00:16 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30545 In this episode of Vos Group, we turn to Vos’s sermon, “The Wonderful Tree,” in the collection of his sermons, Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached at Princeton Seminary. Preaching on Hosea 14:8, Vos describes the nature of religion as consisting of what God is for man and of what man is for God. Hosea features what God is for man in the metaphor of an evergreen cypress, offering life-giving sustenance and shade in all seasons. This sermon is the longest of Vos’s that we possess, and it demonstrates several surprising features, which Danny Olinger, Lane Tipton, and Camden Bucey discuss.

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In this episode of Vos Group we turn to Vos s sermon The Wonderful Tree in the collection of his sermons Grace and Glory Sermons Preached at Princeton Seminary Preaching ...Preaching,Prophets,VosGroupReformed Forumnono
Constitution and Covenant in 1 Corinthians 1–4 http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc672/ Fri, 13 Nov 2020 05:00:49 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30436 Dr. Bradley J. Bitner, associate professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California, speaks about constitution and covenant in ancient Corinth and how these inform Paul’s argument to the Corinthians. Dr. Bitner has written a thorough study of the subject titled, Paul’s Political Strategy in 1 Corinthians 1–4: Constitution and Covenant (Cambridge University Press).

In 1 Corinthians 1:1–4:6, we witness a collision of constitutions. This clash is the result of Paul contending for a specifically ecclesial politeia with reference to the larger colonial politeia. Birthed from Caesar’s unsystematic and privately composed memoranda, the lex coloniae provides an indispensable frame of reference for understanding life in early Roman Corinth, the colony named in his honor. For this reason, it is also crucial for the interpretation of the Pauline epistle known as 1 Corinthians.

Dr. Bitner served as a pastor for three years before pursuing doctoral studies. He completed his Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christianity in 2013 at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He has two other book projects in progress on the biblical theology of Geerhardus Vos and Paul’s paradigm for building up the church in 1 Corinthians.

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Dr Bradley J Bitner associate professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California speaks about constitution and covenant in ancient Corinth and how these inform Paul s argument to the ...ActsandPaulReformed Forumnono
Van Til Group #2 — The Doctrine of God http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc671/ Fri, 06 Nov 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30439 Lane Tipton, Carlton Wynne, and Camden Bucey discuss pages 25–29 of Cornelius Van Til’s book, The Defense of the Faith. In this section, Van Til details the doctrine of God that structures his apologetic thought. A Reformed apologetic seeks first to understand the nature of the God it seeks to set forth and defend. In Van Til’s estimate, we must ask “what kind” of a God we believe in before we can proceed in any meaningful way to set for the arguments for the existence and revelation of this God.

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Lane Tipton Carlton Wynne and Camden Bucey discuss pages 25 29 of Cornelius Van Til s book The Defense of the Faith In this section Van Til details the doctrine ...CorneliusVanTil,Theology(Proper),VanTilGroupReformed Forumnono
The Sexual Revolution and the Rise of the Modern Self http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc670/ Fri, 30 Oct 2020 04:00:39 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30517 Dr. Carl R. Trueman joins us to speak about his significant new book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution (Crossway), in which he addresses the factors undergirding modern culture’s obsession with identity. Sexual identity in particular has dominated public discourse since the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision in 2015. Tracing influential thought from Augustine to Marx and beyond, Trueman explains the historical and intellectual phenomenon of the modern conception selfhood. Trueman writes,

My aim is to explain how and why a certain notion of the self has come to dominate the culture of the West, why this self finds its most obvious manifestation in the transformation of sexual mores, and what the wider implications of this transformation are and may well be in the future.

Dr. Trueman is professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College. He is an esteemed church historian and previously served as the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and Public Life at Princeton University. Trueman has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including The Creedal ImperativeLuther on the Christian Life, and Histories and Fallacies. Trueman is a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

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Dr Carl R Trueman joins us to speak about his significant new book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self Cultural Amnesia Expressive Individualism and the Road to Sexual ...Marriage&Gender,PhilosophyReformed Forumnono
A Critical Edition of the Westminster Confession of Faith http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc669/ Fri, 23 Oct 2020 04:00:53 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30438 Dr. John Bower speaks about constructing a critical edition of the Westminster Confession of Faith using four historical authoritative texts and several other sources. Bower has done a tremendous service to the church and the academy. Both will benefit greatly from his careful scholarship. With Chad Van Dixhoorn, Dr. Bower is co-editor of Principal Documents of the Westminster Assembly published by Reformation Heritage Books. The Westminster Confession of Faith: A Critical Text and Introduction appears in that series.

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Dr John Bower speaks about constructing a critical edition of the Westminster Confession of Faith using four historical authoritative texts and several other sources Bower has done a tremendous service ...WestminsterAssemblyReformed Forumnono
Vos Group #66 — God’s Relation to Time and Eternity http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc668/ Fri, 16 Oct 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30434 We turn to pages 243–244 of Geerhardus Vos’s book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to discuss the prophet’s view of God’s relation to time and space. In terms of God’s relation to time and space, two relations occur. What we have to affirm first of all is that God is everywhere present in all of his fullness. But Vos speaks of a special relation to Zion (on earth) and heaven itself as the temple dwelling of God. Two things help us grasp the significance of this: the notion of covenant and the location of the fellowship.

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We turn to pages 243 244 of Geerhardus Vos s book Biblical Theology Old and New Testaments to discuss the prophet s view of God s relation to time and ...GeerhardusVos,Prophets,VosGroupReformed Forumnono
A Critical Biography of Herman Bavinck http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc667/ Fri, 09 Oct 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30372 Dr. James Eglinton speaks about the life and thought of Herman Bavinck. Eglinton has written a superb biography of Bavinck that has been published by Baker Academic. Bavinck and other Dutch people of his era were accustomed to chronicling their lives. Herman Bavinck’s father wrote an autobiography. Herman wrote in journals. These became primary sources for James Eglinton as he wrote a critical biography of Bavinck.

The Bavinck family faced questions about their place in society. Where does an orthodox Calvinist fit in modern society? These questions animated their lives—particularly as they related to monarchical rule and the relationship of the church to the state. In sum, Eglinton describes Herman Bavinck’s life as characterized by two things: conservative Calvinist orthodoxy and active participation in modern society. For Bavinck, these two were not mutually exclusive. He was a Calvinist who was simultaneously a man of his own day.

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Dr James Eglinton speaks about the life and thought of Herman Bavinck Eglinton has written a superb biography of Bavinck that has been published by Baker Academic Bavinck and other ...HermanBavinckReformed Forumnono
A History of Dispensationalism http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc666/ Fri, 02 Oct 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30243 Rev. Michael J. Glodo, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Dean of the Chapel at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, speaks about dispensationalism and its development in light of several historical, sociological, and theological contexts. Rev. Glodo is the author of “Dispensationalism” in Covenant Theology: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Perspectives edited by Guy Prentiss Waters, J. Nicholas Reid, and John R. Muether.

John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) introduced dispensationalism as a theological system, which bears several key characteristics, including an insistence upon a “literal” hermeneutic or “plain reading” of the biblical text in addition to separate divine purposes for Israel and the church. Yet several features of “classic dispensationalism” have since been modified or altogether eliminated. Glodo remarks that “from its beginnings until the middle of the twentieth century, dispensationalism grew rapidly in popularity and underwent several refinements.”

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Rev Michael J Glodo Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Dean of the Chapel at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando Florida speaks about dispensationalism and its development in light of ...DispensationalismReformed Forumnono
A Diaconal Ministry “Proportioned in Number” http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc665/ Fri, 25 Sep 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=30242 C. N. Willborn describes the importance of a faithful and active diaconal ministry within the church. Building upon contributions from Thomas Chalmers and other insightful theologians, Willborn describes a ministry “proportioned in number,” or segmented in order that the diaconate may faithfully carry out its duties both to the brotherhood and the neighborhood. Willborn argues “for a thoroughly active office, defined, designed, and dispatched along Biblical lines.”

Rev. Dr. Willborn is pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is the author of many works on history and theology, including the focus of this conversation, “The Gospel Work of the Diaconate: A Ministry ‘Proportioned in Number’” in The Confessional Presbyterian, volume 10 (2014): 23–32.

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C N Willborn describes the importance of a faithful and active diaconal ministry within the church Building upon contributions from Thomas Chalmers and other insightful theologians Willborn describes a ministry ...PracticalTheologyReformed Forumnono
The Resurrection in Acts http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc664/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=28840 Dr. Brandon Crowe speaks about the centrality of the resurrection in the book of Acts. Dr. Crowe has written The Hope of Israel: The Resurrection of Christ in the Acts of the Apostles (Baker Academic, 2020) in which he explores the historical, theological, and canonical implications of Jesus’s resurrection in early Christianity and helps readers more clearly understand the purpose of Acts in the context of the New Testament canon.

Other episodes with Brandon Crowe

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Dr Brandon Crowe speaks about the centrality of the resurrection in the book of Acts Dr Crowe has written The Hope of Israel The Resurrection of Christ in the Acts ...ActsandPaulReformed Forumnono
History and Theology in the Thought of John Witherspoon http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc663/ Fri, 11 Sep 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=28536 John Witherspoon (1723–1794) was an eighteenth-century Scottish-American Presbyterian minister and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. In this episode, we speak with Robert S. Null about Witherspoon’s theology and understanding of history through four unstudied manuscripts of his lectures at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). In his dissertation, John Witherspoon’s Forgotten “Lectures on History and Chronology”: Recognizing the Important Role of History in the Development of His Thought and Theology for Navigating Eighteenth-Century Late Protestant Scholasticism, Revivalism, and Enlightenment, Null writes:

Witherspoon had to contend with the legacy of late seventeenth century Protestant scholasticism, newer forms of revivalism, and more rationalistic developments in eighteenth century enlightenment thought. A detailed but fading emphasis on the decrees, preparation for grace, and the application of redemption merged with a more secular emphasis on free thought involving induction, empiricism, idealism, and common sense philosophy, as well as challenges from new theological movements in holiness, revivalism, and pietism. Revolutions in politics, science, logic, and theological priorities were frequent and significant. Changes in both the worlds of theology and philosophy would continue throughout the eighteenth century.

The relationship of history to theology became foundational for Witherspoon not simply as an extension of late Protestant scholasticism, an expression of Christian piety, or an excessive reliance on, or aversion toward, a specific enlightenment philosophy. In his writings, theology itself was undergoing change, and specifically in Witherspoon’s case, toward integrating an important awareness of history. This awareness demonstrates the importance of history very early in the rise of Princeton theology.

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John Witherspoon 1723 1794 was an eighteenth century Scottish American Presbyterian minister and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence In this episode we speak with Robert S Null ...ModernChurchReformed Forumnono
Van Til Group #1 — The Defense of the Faith http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc662/ Fri, 04 Sep 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=28768 In the spirit of our Vos Group episodes, we begin a concurrent venture into Cornelius Van Til’s book, The Defense of the Faith. Carlton Wynne joins Lane Tipton and Camden Bucey to discuss the theology and apologetics of this significant twenty-first century Reformed apologist.

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In the spirit of our Vos Group episodes we begin a concurrent venture into Cornelius Van Til s book The Defense of the Faith Carlton Wynne joins Lane Tipton and ...Apologetics,CorneliusVanTil,VanTilGroupReformed Forumnono
The Shape and Shaping of the Book of the Twelve http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc661/ Fri, 28 Aug 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=28681 Will Wood, Assistant Professor of Old Testament at RTS Atlanta, discusses the shaping of the book of the twelve, the canonical collection of the minor prophets (Hosea through Malachi). The Book of the Twelve is a grouping of twelve individual prophets into a single intertextually related and thematically integrated work that spans the course of a few centuries and can be appropriately called a “book.” How did this book take shape? What was the historical process by which it came to the canonical form we have today?

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Will Wood Assistant Professor of Old Testament at RTS Atlanta discusses the shaping of the book of the twelve the canonical collection of the minor prophets Hosea through Malachi The ...ProphetsReformed Forumnono
Vos Group Excursus — Grace and Glory: Sermons of Geerhardus Vos http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc660/ Fri, 21 Aug 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=28679 In 1922, Reformed Press published six sermons by Geerhardus Vos in a volume titled Grace and Glory. In 1994, Banner of Truth published the same collection with ten additional sermons, which were discovered and edited by James Dennison. Banner has now brought this full collection back into print with a new edition: Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached at Princeton Seminary.

Danny Olinger, author of Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theologian, Confessional Presbyterian, joins us to speak about Vos’s sermons in their biblical context as well as the historical context in which they were written and delivered. Rev. Olinger is General Secretary for the Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

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In 1922 Reformed Press published six sermons by Geerhardus Vos in a volume titled Grace and Glory In 1994 Banner of Truth published the same collection with ten additional sermons ...BiblicalTheology,Preaching,VosGroupReformed Forumnono
Karl Barth and Idealism http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc659/ Fri, 14 Aug 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=28548 Jim Cassidy speaks about Karl Barth and his relationship with idealism. On the heels of Lane Tipton’s recent course, Introduction to the Theology and Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til, the panel compares and contrasts Barth’s ontology and doctrine of revelation in the Christ-event with Van Til’s critique of idealism and warnings of correlativism.

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Jim Cassidy speaks about Karl Barth and his relationship with idealism On the heels of Lane Tipton s recent course Introduction to the Theology and Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til ...KarlBarth,PhilosophyReformed Forumnono
Vos Group #65 — The Nature and Attributes of God http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc658/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=28299 We turn to pp. 238–243 of Vos’s book, Biblical Theology, to speak about the Old Testament prophets and their understanding of the nature and attributes of God. Vos affirms that God is Spirit. This brings into view not that God is immaterial per se, as Vos notes, but rather the “energy of life in God.” This is critical to appreciate. That God is Spirit reminds us that while he is immutable in his being, he is impassible in his actions.

He acts, and his actions condition all that he acts upon, without he himself being mutually conditioned by that on which he acts. That is, God is pure act in the sense that he immutably and sovereignly acts in such a way that he is not acted upon, and in that action, changed by the creation on which and in which his actions terminate. Vos says in his Reformed Dogmatics, there is no time distinction in God, yet his acts fall in time. And they fall in time as the acts of an all-conditioning God, who is living and active, but in a way that he is not acted upon or changed by the creature.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that God is a Spirit, “infinite, eternal and unchangeable.” This helpfully distills the essence of what Vos is after. While immutable, God is active and living and all of his acts express his immutable being and purpose. So, a key here is that immutability and spirituality require one another: God is immutable in his life; immutable in his purposes; and his agency in creation expresses immutable but living and acting Trinitarian persons, who are exhaustively and entirely the one true God.

Isaiah 57:15 is a key text: “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”

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We turn to pp 238 243 of Vos s book Biblical Theology to speak about the Old Testament prophets and their understanding of the nature and attributes of God Vos ...GeerhardusVos,Prophets,VosGroupReformed Forumnono
The Call to Worship and Benediction http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc657/ Fri, 31 Jul 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=28298 Glen Clary speaks about the biblical basis and covenantal context of the call to worship and benediction. These elements of worship are rooted in Christ’s work on behalf of his covenant people.

In the call to worship, God calls his people to have covenant communion with him in his heavenly temple. He calls us to enter his house—to draw near to him—to have communion with him.

The benediction is the bestowal of the covenant blessing by the successful probationer. Had Adam obeyed, he would have received for himself and for all his posterity the covenant blessing. The covenant blessing would be given to those whom he represented in the covenant of works on the basis of his obedience. Now, Christ as redeemer and mediator of the covenant, the obedient federal head (successful probationer) receives and bestows the blessings of the covenant.

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Glen Clary speaks about the biblical basis and covenantal context of the call to worship and benediction These elements of worship are rooted in Christ s work on behalf of ...LiturgicalTheology,WorshipReformed Forumnono
Discussing a New Course: Introduction to the Theology and Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc656/ Fri, 24 Jul 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=27904 In this episode, we discuss a new online course wherein Dr. Lane G. Tipton teaches a thorough introduction to the theology and innovative apologetic method of Cornelius Van Til (1895–1987), a pioneer in a distinctly Reformed approach to defending the faith.

This course investigates the context, structure, and significance of Van Til’s theology and apologetics. It is designed to introduce students to the main influences and fundamental concerns of Van Til’s theological approach to apologetics. Topics include a general introduction, Trinity, image of God, covenant, revelation, worldview, antithesis, common grace, and idealism. Special attention is given to the programmatic deep structures of Van Til’s thought, distinguishing his views from Roman Catholicism, Barth, and Evangelical approaches to theology and apologetics.

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In this episode we discuss a new online course wherein Dr Lane G Tipton teaches a thorough introduction to the theology and innovative apologetic method of Cornelius Van Til 1895 ...Apologetics,CorneliusVanTil,SystematicTheologyReformed Forumnono
Covenant Theology in Hebrews http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc655/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc655/#respond Fri, 17 Jul 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=27693 Jeremy Boothby speaks about covenant theology through the biblical-theological lens of the book of Hebrews. In so doing, he compares and contrasts 1689 Federalism and other particular baptist approaches to covenant theology with that of confessional Reformed covenant theology. Following the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, Boothby gets to the heart of the difference between particular baptists and Reformed paedobaptists.

The matter hinges on the present life-setting of the New Covenant Church in the wilderness. The author of Hebrews compares the church, which is presently in the New Covenant, to the first generation of Israelites in the wilderness. They were on their pilgrimage and had not yet entered their promised rest. As such, there was a real possibility of apostasy from the covenant. Likewise, the New Covenant Church has not yet entered the New Heavens and New Earth, to which earthly Canaan pointed. The author encourages covenant members to strive to enter their rest, not to fall away as they follow their forerunner and heavenly high priest, Jesus Christ.

Rev. Boothby is pastor of Christ Covenant OPC in Amarillo, Texas.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc655/feed/ 0 Jeremy Boothby speaks about covenant theology through the biblical theological lens of the book of Hebrews In so doing he compares and contrasts 1689 Federalism and other particular baptist approaches ...BiblicalTheology,GeneralEpistles,PentateuchReformed Forumnono
Justification in James http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc654/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc654/#respond Fri, 10 Jul 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=27351 Biblical exegetes have long discussed the relationship of justification in James to that of Paul. On the surface, James 2:24 appears even to contradict many of the key Pauline passages that speak clearly of justification as occurring by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone and not by works of the law. In this episode, we discuss the different uses of the words “justification” and “justify” in James, specifically, and in the Bible, generally.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc654/feed/ 0 Biblical exegetes have long discussed the relationship of justification in James to that of Paul On the surface James 2 24 appears even to contradict many of the key Pauline ...GeneralEpistles,SystematicTheologyReformed Forumnono
Vos Group #64 — The Prophets and Monotheism http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc653/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc653/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=27159 We turn to pp. 235–238 of Vos’s book, Biblical Theology, to speak about the Old Testament prophets and varying views of monotheism. The prophetic era begins with Samuel and the introduction of kingship in the theocracy, and the fundamental conflict between the prophets and the kings is between those who are fundamentally theocentric and those who are fundamentally political.

And the kings concerns, representative in Saul, is a carnal, earthly concern to maintain political power. The kings long to maintain the appearance of royal splendor. They do not have a fundamentally theocentric concern about them. The increasing propension of the kings is to gain and maintain political power, outward glory, and the prestige and praise of man. Saul is the prototype of this thing. The theocracy, for the kings who follow in the pattern of Saul, do not perceive the spiritual and theocentric core of the kingdom of God. And they wind up persecuting not only David, but as Stephen makes clear, they persecute and even kill the prophets. But in Isaiah we find the theocentric concern coming to its full fruition in the Old Testament.

Vos notes that there are three unique features that stand out with Isaiah, and these, taken together, comprise the eschatological intensification of the prophetic office—these become a prolepsis of the nature of the true religion that will come by the Spirit of the ascended Messiah. First, a vivid perception of divine majesty. Second, transcendence and majesty of Jehovah in contrast to the creature. Third, unqualified service to the divine glory, which is a common theme pre- and post-exile.

The monotheism of the later prophets such as Isaiah is a sign of the great advancement of the kingdom toward the original heavenly telos that was held out to Adam under the covenant of works. The monotheism of the later prophets such as Isaiah is the movement toward the great realization of the heavenly kingdom in the person and work of Christ.

As we discuss monotheism it is not the “ethical monotheism” of the critics but the eschatological monotheism of the true religion whose center of gravity is God’s glory in heaven that comes into view. That is the fundamental concern—the central importance—of the development of monotheism. The “gods” are absolutely powerless to deliver from judgment on earth or to enable entrance into the glory-heaven of Jehovah.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc653/feed/ 0 We turn to pp 235 238 of Vos s book Biblical Theology to speak about the Old Testament prophets and varying views of monotheism The prophetic era begins with Samuel ...Prophets,VosGroupReformed Forumnono
The Covenant of Works http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc652/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc652/#respond Fri, 26 Jun 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=27063 We discuss the doctrine of the covenant of works, including its biblical basis (Gen. 2:15–17 et al) as well as common objections to it. The Reformed tradition has spoken of the relationship between God and Adam as a covenantal relationship. The Westminster Shorter Catechism 12 asks:

  • Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
  • A. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.

Without the covenant of works, we cannot rightly understand man’s relationship to God in the garden. Neither can we understand the gospel, for the work of our Lord Jesus Christ was a redeeming work necessitated by the fall into sin.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc652/feed/ 0 We discuss the doctrine of the covenant of works including its biblical basis Gen 2 15 17 et al as well as common objections to it The Reformed tradition has ...SystematicTheologyReformed Forumnono
Romans 13 and Protestant Resistance Theory http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc651/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc651/#respond Fri, 19 Jun 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=26928 William Reddinger speaks about strands of resistance theory in the American Revolution, considering Lockean, Continental, and Anglo interpretations of Romans 13. Dr. Reddinger has authored “The American Revolution, Romans 13, and the Anglo Tradition of Reformed Protestant Resistance Theory” in the Summer 2016 issue of American Political Thought.

Some scholars argue that the theology of the American Revolution was fundamentally Lockean and largely incompatible with Christianity, a view that this article calls the Lockean view; more recently, others who advocate what this article calls the Lockean–Reformed view argue that the American Revolution was both Lockean and Reformed and that there is no incompatibility between these sources. This article critiques the Lockean–Reformed view and argues that there were two traditions of resistance theory in early Reformed Protestantism—the Continental tradition and the Anglo tradition. While these two traditions were not monolithic, the distinction is helpful in understanding how the theology of resistance during the American founding was different from the Continental tradition of resistance. It also allows one to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses both of the Lockean view and of the Lockean–Reformed view.

—Article abstract

Dr. Reddinger is Associate Professor of Government, History, and Criminal Justice at Regent University. Prior to coming to Regent, he taught political science at Wheaton College in Illinois and at South Texas College. He received his undergraduate degree from Grove City College in Pennsylvania before completing his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science at Northern Illinois University, where his studies focused on the history of political philosophy and American political thought.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc651/feed/ 0 William Reddinger speaks about strands of resistance theory in the American Revolution considering Lockean Continental and Anglo interpretations of Romans 13 Dr Reddinger has authored The American Revolution Romans 13 ...Calvin,PracticalTheologyReformed Forumnono
Vos Group #63 — The Prophets and the Nature of God http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc650/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc650/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=26927 We turn to pp. 234–235 of Vos’s book, Biblical Theology, to speak about the nature and attributes of God as understand by the Old Testament prophets.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc650/feed/ 0 We turn to pp 234 235 of Vos s book Biblical Theology to speak about the nature and attributes of God as understand by the Old Testament prophets https vimeo ...Prophets,VosGroupReformed Forumnono
The Philosophy of David Hume http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc649/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc649/#respond Fri, 05 Jun 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=26901 Dr. James N. Anderson speaks about the philosophy of David Hume, one of the foremost thinkers of the Western tradition. Hume is well known for his influential system of philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism. Throughout his work, Hume developed a naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature.

Dr. Anderson is the Carl W. McMurray Professor of Theology and Philosophy and Academic Dean (Global and New York) of Reformed Theological Seminary. He is the author of David Hume (Great Thinkers) published by P&R Publishing, What’s Your Worldview: An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions, and Paradox in Christian Theology.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc649/feed/ 0 58:19Dr James N Anderson speaks about the philosophy of David Hume one of the foremost thinkers of the Western tradition Hume is well known for his influential system of philosophical ...Epistemology,Ethics,Metaphysics,PhilosophyReformed Forumnono
Voetius on God’s Single, Absolutely Simple Essence http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc648/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc648/#respond Fri, 29 May 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=26681 Editor, teacher, and translator, Ryan M. Hurd speaks about the theology of Gisbertus Voetius. Hurd has translated a significant disputation of Voetius’ published as “Gisbertus Voetius: God’s Single, Absolutely Simple Essence” in The Confessional Presbyterian Journal (Volume 15, 2019).

Gisbertus Voetius (1589–1676) was a Dutch theologian born in Heusden, Netherlands, and educated at Leiden. He became a professor of theology at the University of Utrecht and wrote several significant works, including Politica ecclesiastica (3 volumes, published 1663–1676) and Selectae disputationes (theologicae) (5 volumes, published 1648–1669).

In his treatment, Voetius mediates between two of the major Medieval schools of thought—Thomistic and Scotistic. Hurd writes,

Yet the early modern period saw the rise of the Socinians and Vorstians, and this was to the dismay of all orthodox regardless of their communion. The emergence of this heterodox movement met with immediate response that would last until the eclipse of Reformed orthodoxy in the darkness of the modern age. In our own context today, we observe similarly that among the Reformed there are likewise those who uphold orthodoxy and affirm divine simplicity, and likewise those who have emerged and put themselves against it. As a historical testimony, Voetius’s disputation underlines several points to both sides.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc648/feed/ 0 Editor teacher and translator Ryan M Hurd speaks about the theology of Gisbertus Voetius Hurd has translated a significant disputation of Voetius published as Gisbertus Voetius God s Single Absolutely ...AttributesReformed Forumnono
The Theology of Benedict XVI http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc647/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc647/#respond Fri, 22 May 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=26680 Dr. Gregg Allison and Dr. Carl Trueman speak about the theology of Benedict XVI, pope emeritus of the Roman Catholic Church. Allison’s article, “Faith, Hope, and Love” and Trueman’s article, “Is the Pope (Roman) Catholic?,” are published in The Theology of Benedict XVI: A Protestant Appreciation edited by Tim Perry and published by Lexham Press.

Dr. Allison is Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment and The Unfinished Reformation: What Unites and Divides Catholics and Protestants after 500 Years. He appeared on Christ the Center episodes 363 and 461.

Dr. Trueman is Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. He hosts the Mortification of Spin podcast with Aimee Byrd and Todd Pruitt. He is also the author of several books, including The Creedal Imperative and Luther on the Christian Life. Dr. Trueman has joined us many times before.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc647/feed/ 0 Dr Gregg Allison and Dr Carl Trueman speak about the theology of Benedict XVI pope emeritus of the Roman Catholic Church Allison s article Faith Hope and Love and Trueman ...SystematicTheologyReformed Forumnono
Vos Group #62 — The Content of the Prophetic Revelation http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc646/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc646/#respond Fri, 15 May 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=26674 We turn to page 234 of Vos’s book, Biblical Theology, to speak about the understanding of monotheism which the biblical prophets possessed. On pages 206–211 of the book, Vos dealt with the modernist conception of the issue, adding a footnote that his positive treatment would be saved for later. Now we arrive at that later portion. As we begin to address this new section, we revisit some of the ground we covered in Vos Group #55, while expanding that material.

On pages 206–211, Vos gives us the key conception of the modernist critics:

The prophets, from Amos and Hosea onwards, are credited with the discovery and establishment of the great truth of ethical monotheism, in which the distinctive and permanent value of Old Testament religion is to be found.

To explain this as crisply as possible, Vos is saying that a particular ethical conception of Jehovah gives rise to the monotheism of the later prophets in the 8th century. It is a monotheism of a particular kind–a monotheism of a specific variety. There is a concrete, historical, situated, ethical dilemma that forges an ethical conception of Jehovah that otherwise would not be formed.

In contrast, Vos emphasizes that the prophets are God-centered. They are religious—meaning they find their delight in spiritual (Spirit-wrought) communion with God. The ethical aspect of monotheism is itself subservient to the glory of God and delight in fellowship with God.

The “prophetic orientation” does not view God as a means to an end, but rather delighting in God himself, as he has revealed himself as sovereign Judge and condescended Lord and Savior of his covenant people. The prophets delight in the God they proclaim and do not re-conceive him as a means to an end other than the glory of God himself as the chief end and delight of his people.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc646/feed/ 0 59:44We turn to page 234 of Vos s book Biblical Theology to speak about the understanding of monotheism which the biblical prophets possessed On pages 206 211 of the book ...Prophets,VosGroupReformed Forumnono
Divine Simplicity and the Old Testament http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc645/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc645/#respond Fri, 08 May 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=26575 James Duguid speaks about the doctrine of divine simplicity and its roots in the Old Testament. While the pages of the Old Testament are not typically the first place one would go to build the case for this orthodox doctrine, Duguid demonstrates how the uniqueness of the biblical account establishes a foundation for understanding the Lord who reveals himself through it.

Duguid is the author of “Divine Simplicity, the Ancient Near East, and the Old Testament” in The Lord Is One: Reclaiming Divine Simplicity edited by Joseph Minisch and Onsi A. Kamel and published by The Davenant Press.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc645/feed/ 0 James Duguid speaks about the doctrine of divine simplicity and its roots in the Old Testament While the pages of the Old Testament are not typically the first place one ...OldTestament,Theology(Proper)Reformed Forumnono
Catholic Theology and the Novels of Graham Greene http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc644/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc644/#respond Fri, 01 May 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=26492 Danny Olinger speaks about the theology of Graham Greene, regarded by many as one of the leading English novelists of the twentieth century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene acquired a reputation early in his lifetime as a major writer of novels so-called “Catholic novels,” as well as political and espionage thrillers. Twice, he was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize for Literature. In his works, Greene explored the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world, often through a Catholic perspective.

Rev. Olinger is General Secretary for the Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He is the author of Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theology, Confessional Presbyterian.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc644/feed/ 0 Danny Olinger speaks about the theology of Graham Greene regarded by many as one of the leading English novelists of the twentieth century Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity Greene ...SystematicTheologyReformed Forumnono
The Distance between God and the Creature http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc643/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc643/#respond Fri, 24 Apr 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=26480 After having created Adam in his image and placing him in the Garden of Eden, God entered into a covenant with him (Gen. 2:16–17). In Westminster Confession of Faith 7.1, the divines wrote,

The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.

There are several important things to note in this passage. First, upon creation and prior to the establishment of the covenant, Adam already knew God and owed him obedience merely from the fact that he was created in God’s image. God did not owe Adam anything, and Adam could in no way place God into his debt. Second, the type of fruition that the covenant affords is that of God as “blessedness and reward.” Adam already owed God personal, perfect, exact and entire obedience, though God voluntarily condescended to establish the covenant of works by which Adam could consummately come to know God in glory. In other words, he could ascend God’s holy hill (Psalm 24) through the gratuitous means God provided.

Westminster Confession of Faith 7.1 is not describing covenant as the means by which God ontologically or metaphysically condescends to creation. God does not assume new properties, attributes, or characteristics to do so. Neither does the confession speak of the covenant as the means by which Adam comes to know God generally—as if Adam would not even know that God existed apart from a covenant. The covenant is the means by which he may come to know God specifically as his blessedness and reward.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc643/feed/ 0 After having created Adam in his image and placing him in the Garden of Eden God entered into a covenant with him Gen 2 16 17 In Westminster Confession of ...SystematicTheology,WestminsterAssemblyReformed Forumnono
Justin Martyr on the Eucharist and Lord’s Day Worship http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc642/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc642/#respond Fri, 17 Apr 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?post_type=podcast&p=26290 In this episode, we continue our discussion of Justin Martyr’s account of ancient Christian worship, focusing this time on the Lord’s Supper (eucharist) and Lord’s Day worship.

Justin Martyr wrote an early account of ancient Christian worship. It was written by a believer for an unbeliever. He does not assume that his intended reader—the Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–161)—knows anything about Christian worship. Second, while Pliny describes the worship practices of the Christians in Pontus, Justin describes the liturgical customs of the church in Rome. Justin lived and worshiped in Rome, but he didn’t convert in Rome. He most likely converted to Christianity in Ephesus around 130 A.D. So he was familiar with the liturgical customs of both Western and Eastern Christians. Third, Justin’s account is descriptive not prescriptive. It’s not a church order (e.g. Didache, Apostolic Tradition). It is simply a description of what Christians were already doing not what Justin thought they ought to do.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc642/feed/ 0 In this episode we continue our discussion of Justin Martyr s account of ancient Christian worship focusing this time on the Lord s Supper eucharist and Lord s Day worship ...Lord'sSupper,TheLord'sDayReformed Forumnono
Justin Martyr and Worship in the Ancient Church http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc641/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc641/#respond Fri, 10 Apr 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=26133 In his first apology (ca. 150–155 A.D.), Justin Martyr wrote an early account of ancient Christian worship, describing ancient practices regarding the sacraments and Lord’s Day worship. It was written to an unbeliever, and therefore Justin does not assume that his intended reader—the Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–161)—knows anything about Christian worship. Moreover, while Pliny describes the worship practices of the Christians in Pontus, Justin describes the liturgical customs of the church in Rome. Justin lived and worshiped in Rome, but he didn’t convert in Rome. He most likely converted to Christianity in Ephesus around 130 A.D. So he was familiar with the liturgical customs of both Western and Eastern Christians. It is also important to understand that Justin’s account is descriptive not prescriptive. It is not a church order (e.g. Didache, Apostolic Tradition). It is simply a description of what Christians were already doing not what Justin thought they ought to do.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc641/feed/ 0 In his first apology ca 150 155 A D Justin Martyr wrote an early account of ancient Christian worship describing ancient practices regarding the sacraments and Lord s Day worship ...Baptism,JustinMartyr,Lord'sSupperReformed Forumnono
Pliny the Younger and Worship in the Ancient Church http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc640/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc640/#respond Fri, 03 Apr 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=23959 What was worship like in the early church? Did it differ significantly from our present practices? A letter written by a Roman official in 112 AD provides a window into these ancient Christian liturgical practices.

Pliny the Younger was appointed governor of Bithynia in 111 AD by the Emperor Trajan (98–117). Trajan knew that there was social unrest in that province, with a growing number of political factions causing divisions within the city. Among other things, he tasked Pliny with dissolving all associations or clubs in service of keeping the peace. This led him into a quandary regarding the Christians.

In one of the cities, trouble of some kind had arisen regarding the Christians, who were in several cases brought into court and accused of atheism, sexual immorality, incest, and even cannibalism. Pliny the Younger’s letter offers a window into the liturgical practices of ancient Christians and how they were often misunderstood by the world.

Suggested Reading

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc640/feed/ 0 What was worship like in the early church Did it differ significantly from our present practices A letter written by a Roman official in 112 AD provides a window into ...AncientChurch,WorshipReformed Forumnono
Warfield’s Doctrine of Inspiration http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc639/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc639/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=25906 In 1894, B. B. Warfield published an article in which he compared the views of the Westminster divines and the Reformers on the mode of inspiration. According to Warfield, the Reformers argued for a mode of concursus while the Protestant Scholastics argued for dictation. Dr. Jeff Stivason analyzes this characterization, speaking to Warfield’s historical context and his understanding of progressive orthodoxy.

Jeff Stivason is pastor of Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania and professor-elect at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh. His article, “Is Warfield’s Claim True that Calvin is Better than Westminster on Inspiration?” is available in the Westminster Theological Journal Vol. 81, No. 2 (Fall 2019), pp. 279–293.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc639/feed/ 0 In 1894 B B Warfield published an article in which he compared the views of the Westminster divines and the Reformers on the mode of inspiration According to Warfield the ...B.B.Warfield,ScriptureandProlegomenaReformed Forumnono
All That Is in God http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc638/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc638/#respond Fri, 20 Mar 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=25966

James Dolezal discusses his book All That Is in God: Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Classical Christian Theism (Reformation Heritage Books, 2017). Dr. Dolezal serves as associate professor in the school of divinity at Cairn University in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

In this conversation, and the book that guides it, Dolezal addresses the doctrines of classical theism as well as contemporary models of theology proper, which reject, compromise, or otherwise diminish the classical formulations. Interacting with primary sources from theologians such as Bruce Ware, John Frame, and K. Scott Oliphint, Dolezal charitably offers a critique while reaffirming that all that is in God is God.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc638/feed/ 0 James Dolezal discusses his book All That Is in God Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Classical Christian Theism Reformation Heritage Books 2017 Dr Dolezal serves as associate professor in ...Theology(Proper)Reformed Forumnono
Echoes of Exodus http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc637/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc637/#respond Fri, 13 Mar 2020 04:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=25833 Dr. Bryan Estelle joins us to speak about Echoes of Exodus: Tracing a Biblical Motif (IVP Academic, 2018). Israel’s exodus from Egypt is the Bible’s enduring emblem of deliverance. It is the archetypal anvil on which the scriptural language of deliverance is shaped. More than just an epic moment, the exodus shapes the telling of Israel’s and the church’s gospel. Estelle traces the motif as it unfolds throughout Scripture.

Dr. Estelle is professor of Old Testament at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, California. He is also the author of Salvation through Judgment and Mercy: The Gospel According to Jonah. He has contributed essays to Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry: Essays by the Faculty of Westminster Seminary California and The Law Is Not of Faith: Essays on Works and Grace in the Mosaic Covenant.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc637/feed/ 0 Dr Bryan Estelle joins us to speak about Echoes of Exodus Tracing a Biblical Motif IVP Academic 2018 Israel s exodus from Egypt is the Bible s enduring emblem of ...NewTestament,OldTestamentReformed Forumnono
Vos Group #61: The Mode of Communication of the Prophecy http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc636/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc636/#respond Fri, 06 Mar 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=25895 We turn to pages 230–233 of Vos’s book, Biblical Theology, to speak about the mode by which the Lord delivers his message to the prophet. Man is made in the image of God, which means he has a special capacity to commune with God. Vos marvels at the way in which divine speech is transmitted to those made in his image. God’s word is communicated in servant form without evacuating the message of any of its divine characteristics, such as inerrancy or infallibility. The Holy Spirit works in the prophet in such a way as to inspire and superintend the entire activity of the prophet—whether in speech or inscripturation.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc636/feed/ 0 We turn to pages 230 233 of Vos s book Biblical Theology to speak about the mode by which the Lord delivers his message to the prophet Man is made ...BiblicalTheology,Prophets,VosGroupReformed Forumnono
The Kingdom of God http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc635/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc635/#respond Fri, 28 Feb 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=25831 Dr. S. M. Baugh joins us to speak about his book, The Majesty on High: An Introduction to the Kingdom of God in the New Testament. Beginning with a definition of the kingdom of God based on the new creation, Baugh introduces the reader to the kingdom and its foundational issues.

Dr. Baugh is professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, California. He is also the author of Ephesians: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC).

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc635/feed/ 0 Dr S M Baugh joins us to speak about his book The Majesty on High An Introduction to the Kingdom of God in the New Testament Beginning with a definition ...BiblicalTheology,KingdomofGod,NewTestamentReformed Forumnono
With All Your Heart http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc634/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc634/#respond Fri, 21 Feb 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=25826 Dr. A. Craig Troxel speaks about With All Your Heart: Orienting Your Mind, Desires, and Will toward Christ (Crossway, 2020). Whereas contemporary culture identifies the “heart” with feelings and emotions, Craig Troxel speaks about the range of uses of the word “heart” in the Bible. The heart knows, desires, and chooses. This fuller conception of “heart” helps us understand our battle with sin and the redemption that has been wrought by Jesus Christ.

Dr. Troxel is professor of practical theology at Westminster Seminary California. He previously served as pastor of Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, Illinois and Calvary Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Glenside, Pennsylvania.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc634/feed/ 0 Dr A Craig Troxel speaks about With All Your Heart Orienting Your Mind Desires and Will toward Christ Crossway 2020 Whereas contemporary culture identifies the heart with feelings and emotions ...Anthropology,ChristianLivingReformed Forumnono
Politics after Christendom http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc633/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc633/#comments Fri, 14 Feb 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=25815 David VanDrunen speaks about his forthcoming book, Politics After Christendom (Zondervan Academic), reflecting upon the status and responsibilities of Christians in their contemporary pluralistic political communities. Dr. VanDrunen presents a biblical-theological model of political engagement and exploring themes such as race, religious liberty, justice, authority, and civil resistance.

David VanDrunen is Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary California. He is the author and editor of several books, including Aquinas Among the Protestants, God’s Glory Alone: The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life, Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms: A Study in the Development of Reformed Social Thought, and Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law.

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc633/feed/ 1 David VanDrunen speaks about his forthcoming book Politics After Christendom Zondervan Academic reflecting upon the status and responsibilities of Christians in their contemporary pluralistic political communities Dr VanDrunen presents a ...Anthropology,PoliticsReformed Forumnono
Vos Group Excursus: John 20:1–18 — Rabboni http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc632/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc632/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=24113 We take a brief break from our regular schedule in Geerhardus Vos’s book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments, to discuss Vos’s sermon “Rabboni,” on John 20:16. This sermon is found in Grace & Glory, a collection of Vos’s sermons preached at the chapel of Princeton Seminary.

John 20:1–18 (ESV)

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes. 

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. 

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc632/feed/ 1 We take a brief break from our regular schedule in Geerhardus Vos s book Biblical Theology Old and New Testaments to discuss Vos s sermon Rabboni on John 20 16 ...BiblicalTheology,GeerhardusVos,Gospels,VosGroupReformed Forumnono
Abraham Kuyper’s Public Theology http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc631/ http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc631/#respond Fri, 31 Jan 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://reformedforum.org/?p=23645 Dr. Jordan J. Ballor, senior research fellow and director of publishing for the Acton Institute, joins us to speak about Abraham Kuyper’s public theology. Dr. Ballor is a general editor of Abraham Kuyper’s Collected Works on Public Theology published by Lexham Press. Kuyper was something of a polymath/renaissance man. Along with being an influential theologian and also a journalist, he served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905. He established the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, which upon its foundation became the second largest Reformed denomination in the country behind the state-supported Dutch Reformed Church.

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as part of the “What Good Markets Are Good For” project. 

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http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/ctc631/feed/ 0 Dr Jordan J Ballor senior research fellow and director of publishing for the Acton Institute joins us to speak about Abraham Kuyper s public theology Dr Ballor is a general ...PracticalTheology,WorldviewReformed Forumnono