Jeff Waddington speaks about the characteristics of natural and special revelation and their relationship to one another. Jeff recently delivered a lecture at Westminster Theological Seminary on the subject.
William Perkins (1558–1602), often called “the father of Puritanism,” was a master preacher and teacher of Reformed, experiential theology. Greg Salazar speaks about Perkins’s works on predestination and his influence upon the Puritan and Reformed tradition. In speaking of predestination, we also cover related topics on Perkins’s theology such as his Christology, his understanding of the ordo salutis, and even his views on Christian forms of memory recall.
Dr. Salazar is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology for the PhD program at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Along with Dr. Joel Beeke, he has edited volume six of Perkins’s works with Reformation Heritage Books.
Cory Brock and Nathaniel Gray Sutanto speak about Herman Bavinck’s Philosophy of Revelation (Hendrickson Publishers). Drs. Brock and Sutanto have edited a new annotated edition of Bavinck’s Stone Lectures, which were delivered at Princeton in 1908. Other than his Reformed Dogmatics, this is Bavinck’s most important work. We are blessed to welcome new editions and translations of these works. Along with James Eglinton, Brock and Sutanto are also editing Bavinck’s Christian Worldview, scheduled to be published by Crossway next year.
Cory Brock is Minister of Young Adults and College at First Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Jackson, MS. He also serves on the faculty of Belhaven University teaching biblical studies. Nathaniel Gray Sutanto is Assistant Pastor at Covenant City Church in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Danny Olinger speaks about the life and thought of Geerhardus Vos. Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. has identified Vos as the father of Reformed biblical theology and we take the time to speak of his contribution and legacy. Rev. Olinger is General Secretary for the OPC Committee on Christian Education. He has written a tremendous biography of Vos, titled Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theologian, Confessional Presbyterian. The book is published by Reformed Forum and available for purchase.
Lane Keister speaks about features of Ezekiel 9–10 that help us understand the identity of the man of linen in the passage. Rev. Keister’s article, “The Man in Linen: A New and Old Interpretation of Ezekiel 9–10” is published in issue 14 of the Confessional Presbyterian Journal (2018). Lane Keister is the pastor of Momence OPC in Momence, Illinois and a PhD student at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
We continue our #VosGroup series in pages 194–197 of Vos’ book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to consider the biblical conception of prophetism. We discuss the Greek and pagan conceptions and their connection to contemporary modernist conceptions.
Vos has in view here a Hellenic, and not New Testament, conception of the prophet. Some would seek to understand prophet as a foreteller, which brings into view predictive prophecy—a telling of a situation in advance of the actual occurrence of the situation. However, it is not proper to take the concept in this direction only. While there is a predictive element present in much of what the prophets communicate, it is better to take them as foretellers in a local sense. This means that prophet is one who speaks an oracle from God. It is a place in time where one speaks on behalf of God.
However, the Greek terms, as it appears in a Hellenic, extra-biblical context, has a different connotation, and this is critical to grasp, that we must reject. That connotation is this: the prophet in this Greek conception is an interpreter of a fundamentally opaque, hidden utterance from god. Pythia (the name of the high priestess of the temple Apollo at Delphi), would be the interpreter of this fundamentally hidden oracle—a dark saying that needed a human interpreter in order to be rendered intelligible.
The Greek prophet does not stand in a direct relation to the deity, as in the Old Testament prophet, who spoke, by inspiration, directly from God, a word from God. Rather than being a mouth-piece of the deity, as is the case with the Nabi, the prophet in the Old Testament sense of the term, the prophet in the Greek, Hellenic sense, is an interpreter of the deity’s oracle. The oracle comes from the Deity but requires interpretation, an interpretive act, from a prophet, to render that message intelligible or clear. The prophet, in this Hellenic conception, is therefore not one who speaks the words of the deity. Rather, he is one who intercepts a supra-rational, intrinsically opaque, communication from a deity. It is precisely this conception of the prophet that Vos sees being appropriated by the liberals of his day.
The Westminster Larger Catechism, Question and Answer 154 describes the ordinary and outwards means of grace as the Word, sacraments, and prayer. We discuss these ordinary means and how they apply to the day-to-day ministry of the local church.
Glen Clary compares and contrasts the Reformation liturgies of Martin Bucer, John Calvin, and John Knox. Studying each of these helps us to understand the significance of worship reformed according to Scripture and focuses our attention upon worship in our present day.
Glen Clary and Camden Bucey discuss the apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans 8:28–30. Paul speaks of the purpose of God’s foreknowledge and predestination—leading to conformity to the image of Christ.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28–30, ESV)
Dominic Legge, O. P. speaks about the deep connection between Thomas’s Christology and his trinitarian theology. Dr. Legge is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Thomistic Institute Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies. He is the author of The Trinitarian Christology of St. Thomas Aquinas (Oxford University Press, 2017).