Highlights from 2017

For those of you who’ve been with us for some time know we like to take an hour or so at the end of the year to look back on everything we did. Today, we’ve selected ten clips from the episodes we released in 2017. We spoke with many people and had many fascinating conversations. I hope we’ll pique your interest, and you’ll go back to listen to many of the full conversations represented by these highlights.

2017 was another blessed year at Reformed Forum. We’ve had close to half a million downloads so far this year from 115 different countries. We published our first book, No Uncertain Sound and sent out more than 1,000 copies. We hosted our fourth annual theology conference, this year on the subject of The Reformation of Apologetics. We opened an online store at reformedforum.org/store with merchandise and hard-to-find editions of significant Reformed books—many of them first editions and some even signed by the author.

We’re so thankful for all of you and will continue to try to serve you by providing Reformed theological resources however we can. At the end of this year, please help us out by visiting reformedforum.org/donate. Many of you have already responded generously to our previous appeals, but we can still use your help. Our board has scheduled a strategy summit for this coming year, and we are thinking and praying about our next steps. We would love to move Reformed Forum to the next level, a new chapter in its life of service to the Church. Please help us begin to realize this as we enter 2018.

We’re looking forward to another full year of Christ the Center. January 25 will mark our 10th anniversary. Jeff, Jim, and I recorded that first episode during my first year in seminary—three homes and three children ago. Things have changed over the years, but our mission has stayed the same—to advance Christian education by helping you learn more about Christ and the Reformed tradition that we believe faithfully upholds his gospel.

—Camden Bucey


  • 474 — Ryan McGraw, John Owen and Reformed Orthodox Trinitarian Theology
  • 476 — Peter Gurry, The Coherence-Based Genealogical Method
  • 478 — William Edgar, A Biblical Theology of Culture
  • 482 — Scott Oliphint, The Majesty of Mystery
  • 483 — Kevin Chiarot, T. F. Torrance and Apostolic Succession
  • 489 — Charles Williams, The Life and Theology of Augustine
  • 493 — Darryl Hart, Machen and the Media
  • 496 — Brandon Crowe, Fulfillment in Matthew
  • 503 — Bob Cara, Cracking the Foundation of the New Perspective on Paul
  • 510 — Chad Van Dixhoorn, The Westminster Assembly and the Reformation of the English Pulpit

Epistemology, Antithesis, and Revelation in the Book of Proverbs

In this episode, Rev. Andrew Compton, Assistant Professor of Old Testament Studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary, speaks about the book of Proverbs. While many have approached Proverbs as a source for personal guidance or a collection of general life lessons, Compton argues that Proverbs possesses a canonical awareness and presents itself as the divinely inspired source of true wisdom, as well as the infallible norm for the wisdom of God, against which all other so-called “wisdom” must be tested.

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Warfield and True Church Unity

Jeff Stivason joins us to speak about his article, “Benjamin B. Warfield and True Church Unity,” published in the Westminster Theological Journal 79 (2017): 327–43. He argues that Warfield developed a theology that requires the existence of denominations. Jeff is pastor of Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania and has joined us previously to speak about Warfield on the mode of inspiration.


This article examines Benjamin B. Warfield’s view of church unity. Though the research explores the entire corpus of Warfield’s body of work, the primary exploration encompasses the exegesis of two articles that are almost identical and yet separated by fourteen years, “True Church Unity: What It Is,” and “Christian Unity and Church Union; Some Primary Principles.” The teaching of these writings substantiate the following claim: the progressive and constructive nature of Warfield’s understanding of theology requires the existence of denominations. The article proceeds in the following manner. First, the research focuses on Warfield’s understanding of what church unity was not according to the apostolic church. Second, having understood the unity in the negative, the article moves on to observe the ground and nature of ecclesiastical unity in the apostolic church as understood by Warfield. The third point explores the progressive and constructive nature of systematic theology and how it applies to Warfield’s understanding of ecclesiastical unity. In this point, the idea of unity and the legitimacy of denominational separation is explored and substantiated from Warfield’s perspective. The fourth and final point gives attention to the minimalism that has the power to eclipse the church’s visible unity. In particular, the failure to engage in theological inquiry grounded upon the Scriptures will hinder and even destroy the unity of the church.

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Hermeneutics in Light of Christ’s Relationship to His Body

Matthew Patton speaks about Augustine’s hermeneutical principle totus Christus, which recognizes an interpretive role for the Church in that the “whole Christ” (head and body) serves as the eschatological fulfillment of the Old Testament. Dr. Patton delivered a paper titled, “Totus Christus as Hermeneutical Key for a Christian Reading of Jeremiah,” at the 2017 National Convention of the Evangelical Theological Society. Rev. Dr. Patton is the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Vandalia, Ohio. Dr. Patton is the author of Deuteronomy: A 12-Week Study in Crossway’s Knowing the Bible series.

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Vos Group #41 — The Meaning of Covering

We continue our #VosGroup series starting on page 166 of Vos’ book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to consider the meaning of covering. Vos focuses on the meaning of expiation and demonstrates how the blood of Jesus functions with reference to sin. God covers, takes away, and obliterates the sin of his elect.

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Jonathan Edwards on God’s Involvement in Creation

Jeff Waddington speaks about his chapter in the new festschrift for Vern Poythress, Redeeming the Life of the Mind (Crossway). Jeff’s chapter, titled, “Jonathan Edwards on God’s Involvement in Creation,” is an examination of “Miscellanies,” no. 1263. Jeff examines four theological and philosophical themes in Edwards’s doctrine: Trinitarian-theistic idealism, occasionalism, and continuous creation. A fourth element in Edwards’s understanding of God’s relation to creation is his apparent embrace of the analogia entis or chain of being.

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Vos Group #40 — Vicariousness Defined

We continue our #VosGroup series by opening pages 165–166 of Vos’ book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to consider the definition of vicariousness. Orthodox Christianity recognizes the vicariousness of Christ’s life and death for sinners, but what does that mean precisely? Geerhardus Vos explores several possibilities and offers the best biblical option for understanding how Jesus lived, suffered, and died for his people.

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Van Til and Scholasticism

This episode was recorded just prior to our 2017 Theology Conference on The Reformation of Apologetics. We discuss the theological approach of scholasticism as it pertains to Thomas Aquinas, the Reformers, and Cornelius Van Til.

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