Postmoderns Need (and have) Creeds!

Been reading Carl R. Trueman’s The Creedal Imperative. I love Trueman… even when I totally and completely disagree with him (which seems like 50% of the time). He makes so many wonderful points that are historically informed and hilariously obvious, especially related to ecclesiology. Every so often I hear people, often those who I’d call “radical postmoderns,” say that the Church should do away …

15

Pennington’s Case Against Continuationism…

I already wrote a long post on Strange Fire, so this will be a little shorter. Tim Challies has posted Tom Pennington’s case for Cessationism. It probably has the most substance for Continuationists to consider out of all that has been shared thus far at MacArthur’s anti-charismatic rally. Pennington suggests there are four chief arguments for the charismatic position and then offers …

2

The Significance of Charles Finney Amongst Evangelicals… and Edwards’ Response!

Randall Balmer writes in The Making of Evangelicalism: “… Evangelicals have understood better than anyone else how to communicate to the masses. The message they propagate is simple, straightforward, and utterly indebted to Charles Finney. Come to Jesus. Make a decision for Christ. You control your own spiritual destiny. And somewhere in the Presidents’ Plot of the Princeton, New Jersey, …

“Always talking about their Jesus”…

Bruce Shelley writes, “Once the Romans discovered what the Christians were up to they were confronted by the problem of toleration in a more exhasperating form than even the Jews had presented. The Jews, after all, were “a sort of closed corporation, a people set apart from others by the mark of circumcision, who lived and worshiped largely by themselves, …

Polemics in Early Church History

Polemics are increasingly avoided these days. This is most likely due to the reality that much “polemical” theology is often done in unloving and prideful ways. Post-moderns hate that. Yet I don’t think we should so quickly dismiss the role that polemics can play in the life of the church. In Exploring Church History, Howard Vos reminds us that: “As …

1

Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith?, ed. by Hoffmeier & Magary

There are a lot of books that seek to expose problems in the Bible and many others that seek to defend its truthfulness. My shelves are full of books that address issues related to the historicity and truthfulness of the Bible. But there area lot of people, especially in today’s postmodern culture, who tend to take a rather apathetic approach …

2

Truth Deserves Love & Zeal!

You can’t really talk about the Protestant Reformation without thinking about Martin Luther, right? And even though he stood on the shoulders of others who went before him (Tyndale, Wycliffe, etc.), he most assuredly changed the world. Europe was not the same after Luther, both the landscape of Christianity and the landscape of society. Thus, Lutheranism has become one of …

Church History is a Pastoral Discipline

Marc Cortez reports that there was an ETS paper presented by Dr. Sean Lucas (First Presbyterian Church) on how every pastor needs to take church history as a pastoral discipline. Marc gives us Lucas’ four characteristics of church history that every pastor needs to consider: Luke Geraty Luke Geraty is a young budding pastor/theologian who serves at Trinity Christian Fellowship. Husband …

2

There Will Always Be Critics of Revival

Often, before God sovereignly chooses to pour out His Spirit upon His people, they must become broken and in such despair that their only hope is for God’s presence to come. Nothing else matters. But that desperation rarely is the default position of humanity. God must often bring His people through the valley in order to produce such an awareness. …

2

The Nazi German Concept of a “National Reich Church”

As I’ve been reading through Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer, I’ve been increasingly intrigued by the “mob mentality” that seemed to be sweeping through Germany shortly after Hitler was made Führer (a German concept for supreme leader). Hitler’s ambition was to eventually rid Germany of religion (i.e., Christianity), but some of his underlings formulated a plan to go from removing the church to …

Does the Old Testament Demand Perfect Obedience to the Law?

“Sometimes scholars say that the Old Testament does not demand perfect obedience to the law. We must address this matter carefully because there is a sense in which the Old Testament requires perfect obedience and a sense in which it doesn’t. Let me explain. God saves his people, Israel, by grace. He enters into covenant with them and delivers them …

2

The Best Response to Roman Catholicism I Have Ever Read

Dr. Keith Mathison has written a detailed response to the claims of Rome in what I’d consider to be perhaps one of the best responses ever (article here). I know that’s saying a lot, but the biblical, theological, and historical detail is simply incredible. It’s an essay, so it’s not as detailed as some of the books that have been …

4

William Tyndale on Methods of Interpretation

I have been reading through some chapters in Rediscovering Expository Preaching and found a very intriguing quote from William Tyndale, the great English scholar who, in many ways, spearheaded the Reformation and prepared the way for Martin Luther’s work. He is most known for being the first to translate large portions of the Bible into English for the common people …

3

Further Thoughts on Catechisms

Paul Poppe wrote why he likes catechisms. There is much to commend in what he writes. I especially appreciate the four reasons that he lists that favor the use of catechisms in the training of our children. However, though Paul rightly corrects some of the common objections to catechism use (e.g., “Isn’t this indoctrination?”), perhaps some will be unclear where …

1

With Calvin in the Theater of God, ed. by John Piper & David Mathis

As 2009 marked the 500th birthday of John Calvin, a great deal of treatment was given to this Protestant reformer. Desiring God participated in this treatment with their 2009 national conference, With Calvin in the Theater of God. John Piper was joined by Julius Kim, Mark Talbot, Douglas Wilson, Marvin Olasky, and Sam Storms as they each addressed an aspect …

Athanasius: High “Christology” at its finest!

St. Athanasius (c. 293-373), , a bishop of Alexandria, wrote what is often regarded as the “Mere Christianity” of the church fathers – On the Incarnation. In fact, C.S. Lewis stated that it was a “masterpiece” in the introduction for an edition that was released in 1944. Athanasius’ work is a classic – period. I’ve begun rereading it after a …

How Should You Read Calvin’s “Institutes”?

John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion is considered a classic by most theologians. Regardless of whether one is Reformed or not, Calvin is one of the greatest theologians that the Reformation produced. His influence spans from the realm of theology to economics. When former President Bill Clinton was asked by CNN’s John Roberts, “Could you ever see yourself as …

Caussade on the Incarnation…

“Ask Mary and Joseph, the Magi and the Shepherds [what they thought of the Child]. They will tell you that they found in this extreme poverty an indescribable tenderness, and an infinite dignity worth of the majesty of God.” – Jean-Pierre De Caussade (1675-1751) Luke Geraty Luke Geraty is a young budding pastor/theologian who serves at Trinity Christian Fellowship. Husband of …

2

Calvin influences American culture!

There’s an interesting post @ Desiring God – America’s Debt to John Calvin. Piper writes some interesting thoughts here regarding Calvin’s influence on American culture and democracy as a whole, based on lectures by Abraham Kuyper (Lectures on Calvinism). Kuyper was a Dutch politician, journalist, statesman and superb theologian who went on to found the Anti-Revolutionary Party and was prime minister …

2

Gnosticism Gave Birth to Systematic Theology

Continuing our study of Church History, we must take note of one of the earliest issues that we find addressed within both the NT and within the writings of the Patristics. The issue is still relevant today. It is a subject that predates Christianity (cf. Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, Volume II under the section of the Heresies of the …

14

Conflict Produces Results: Early Christian Praxis is Guided by Conflict!

While we continue our previous discussion on the subjects of Church History (and the related field of Historical Theology), it’s important to remember that there is much that we, the Body of Christ, can learn from our extensive history and we would be foolish to overlook the rich resource these subjects provide for us. And as one studies the history of …

21

Orthodoxy & Heresy: The Tension in Church History

If there is one thing that Protestants are often guilty of, it is most certainly being ignorant or at least naive of Church History. Historical Theology is more or less left to the academic world and often considered to be too “Catholic” to be of any use. This is unfortunate. I have found that we are “surrounded by so great …