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Archive for the ‘Reformed Theology’ Category

young vantil

 

A hundred twenty one years ago my favorite Christian apologist was born.  Cornelius Van Til is also known as the father of Presuppositional apologetics.  If you are new to Dr. Van Til, here in this post I want to recommend resources on Dr. Van Til (including free books below!).  Over the years we have put together a lot of resources on him and his apologetics.  To this day the top searched items on our blog relates to his materials and his school of apologetics.

New to Presuppositional Apologetics? First check out Sye’s 

Book Reviews

Biographies of Van Til:

Van Til’s works:

(Note: The order of reading Van Til’s writing, according to Van Til)

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What is Justification by Faith Alone

J.V. Fesko. What is Justification by Faith Alone?  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, February 15th, 2008. 32 pp.

This is a booklet in the Basics of the Reformed Faith series.  I picked it up out of the curiosity of wanting to see what an example of a short theological summary of the doctrine of justification looks like and also for my spiritual edification and whether this booklet is something I can recommend to others.  This booklet is divided into five parts.  The first part surveys how God intended to create and judge Adam and His creation.  The second part looks at God pointing to His Son as the one who will justify us in the Old Testament with the third looking at how Jesus’ life death and resurrection is the building blocks of the doctrine of justification by faith alone.  The fourth survey how this doctrine was expressed historically within the Reformed tradition and lastly the fifth part answers some common questions.

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Storm Wikipedia

In order to understand Christ as our Savior we must first understand the biblical teachings concerning the lostness of man.  Man’s chief problem is offending a good God.  The Bible teaches us all of humanity have sinned against God (Romans 3:23) with sin being behavior and thoughts that goes against God’s Law or lawlessness (1 John 3:4).  Any attempt by man’s own effort towards “righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6).  Proverbs 13:15 and 13:21 teaches us that sins have terrible consequences even on this side of eternity but we must not forget the biggest problem is that fallen humanity is guilty in their sin against God and one day Jesus will call sinners to give an account of their lives since God the Father has “given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22 cf. John 5:27).

The consequences of man’s lostness after death in their sins is devastating:  Those who are lost and whose name is not written in the book of life will appear on Judgement Day before Christ’s great white throne and be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).  Here too we see Jesus’ involvement as judge since Matthew 13:41-42 indicates there is a place of torment in which Jesus as the Son of Man will commission his angels to throw the lost into “that place” where “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

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James White

Reformed Apologist Dr. James White, of Alpha & Omega Ministries have recently traveled to Spain to debate in person Rev.Dr. Thomas Norris, Priest of the Diocese of Ossory on the motion, ¨The Church would have been better off without the Reformation.¨  Revelation TV hosted this debate on April 15th, 2015.

Here’s the promotional video leading up to the debate:

Revelation TV have not loaded the two hour debate on Youtube yet but the video is available on their website.

You can access the debate by clicking HERE.

 

 

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RTS

About five months ago I shared on our blog a dissertation titled “The Self-Attestation of Scripture as the Proper Ground for Systematic Theology” that was completed at Southern Seminary.  Personally I find the self-attestation of Scripture to be a fascinating doctrine that has tremendous implications for how we do theology, counsel believers, evangelize non-believers and present an apologetics to those who ask for the reason for the hope that we have.

Today I want to share a thesis that was completed for a Masters of Arts that was completed over at Reformed Theological Seminary.  It is titled “The Self-Attesting Nature of the New Testament Canon” and written by John Gordon Duncan.  Duncan takes the approach of exploring how the self-attesting nature of Scripture has its contribution towards the canonicity discussion.  In his introduction he writes the following summary:

For the purposes of this paper, the canonization of the New Testament will be explored by examining the subject of criteria, including the early Fathers’ perception of scripture, inspiration, and apostolicity, with an emphasis on the self-authenticating nature of the New Testament. By taking a self-authenticating approach, such language as Eugene Ulrich uses when he talks of, “the historical development by which the oral and written literature…was handed on, revised, and transformed into the scriptures,”9 will be avoided. The scriptures were handed down. However, a revision or transformation from letter to scripture cannot be supported. Once that fact is established, this paper will offer a summary of the various lists and collections that led to the recognition in the late fourth century that the canon was closed.

For the PDF of this thesis click HERE.

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Ministry Charles Brown

Charles J. Brown.  The Ministry: Address to Students of Divinity.
Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006. 112 pp.

I started reading this book during a break in ministry as a devotional to refresh my soul. I had this book for a few years now and I thought I finally get around to reading it.  It turns out that the book really ministered to my heart and I was glad I read it.

The book has a biographical introduction to the author Charles Brown that was written by the biographer Iain Murray of Banner of Truth. I found the biographical sketch helpful since I didn’t know anything about the author before I read the book and learning a little more about this largely forgotten nineteenth century Scottish preacher prepared me to want to read the rest of the book in order to learn more from a great man of God and faithful minister of four decades. The book was an adaptation of several addresses that Charles Brown delivered for the Free Church of Scotland with attention towards ministers and seminarians.  The first chapter argues for the connection between Godliness and Christian ministry, the second on public prayer, the third on preaching and the fourth on elements of pulpit power.  There is an appendix that ought to be a chapter in of itself on various other aspect of pastoral ministry followed by one of Brown’s sermon that is a great example of Gospel driven preaching.

The book is short and is a plus in many ways: first it is the perfect size for a pastor’s devotional. Secondly, the author is concise and to the point.  Thirdly, its spiritual impact is greater than its size; in reviewing this book I was pleasantly surprised how much of the book I highlighted that fed my soul. The following are some of the valuable gems in the book:

  • Reverend Brown is a man of deep prayers. For instance, he devotes a while chapter to public corporate prayer. I appreciate his practical and pastoral reasons for short public prayers.  He doesn’t merely give a pragmatic argument but argues for the benefit of the spiritual well being of the congregation.  Even when he talks about sermon preparation and visitation he talks about the importance of prayers.
  • Brown presented an excellent two point argument for the importance of godliness in the ministry but he doesn’t just leave the readers there; he had some helpful practical hints to strive for personal holiness such as reading more works that are more personal and experimental in character.  I love also seeing Brown’s recommendations, which are all Christian classics and one that stood out to me is his recommendation to read Rutherford’s Letter’s since I didn’t know it had such an effect on Brown.  I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for Rutherford’s work, which previously I have known about only as the man who wrote Lex Rex.
  • I love his illustration of the Word of God being like a gem, arrow and bait in that it is what the minister must master if they are going to preach evangelistically and powerfully.
  • Brown is against manuscripting a sermon; he argues that one should have an outline instead in order to ensure that one is able to look at the eyes of people and to ensure what Brown quoted from John Livingstone as saying “I was more helped in my preaching by the thirsty eyes of the people than anything else.”  Livingstone’s quote must have made a profound impact on Brown since he quoted him twice in the book.
  • I have always felt that as a preacher I should spend more time and effort preparing a conclusion well than the introduction given that it’s important to “land” the sermon properly and to drive home to the hearers a call to respond.  It is wonderful to see a successful preacher with forty one years of experience affirming my conclusion.
  • Brown did share his one regret in ministry was that he wished he got to ministered to the younger members more.  A lesson well taken.

I definitely recommend this book for pastors young and old to read.  I also recommend this for lay people to get this as a gift for their pastors.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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Fundamentals-of-the-Faith-inKhmer

Not to be cheesy but does it blow your mind seeing how much Christian impact one can have today around the World through the Internet?

It amazes me to think of how people from many different countries have visited our blog over the years and I can’t imagine the reach of websites and blogs that have greater clout.  In light of that for today’s post I want to post a free resource for the Cambodian church and also for those who are Cambodians or speak and read in Khmer so that Christians will grow in their life and doctrine and also for those who do not know Him will come to know Him biblically.  The classic work “Fundamentals of the Faith” workbook has been translated into the Khmer language and has been made available for free as a PDF through Cambodian Christian Resources.

Click HERE for the BOOK IN PDF

Here is the description of the book from the translators both in English and Khmer:

Book Details

Do you desire for you and your church to stand on rock solid theological doctrine? Do you want new believers to take off in their spiritual growth? Do you long to see more mature Christians equipped in evangelism and discipleship? Do you desire for your church to experience unity based on a shared understanding of God’s truth?

Then Fundamentals of the Faith is for you! This rich and easy-to-follow workbook is a resource for believers of all stages and was developed through decades of refinement by the elders, teachers, and pastors at Grace Community Church. Under the leadership of John MacArthur, this foundational material has been taught and tested in the classroom-and proven effective through the lives it has influenced.

តើ​លោកអ្នក​មាន​បំណង​ចិត្ត​​ចង់​ឲ្យ​ខ្លួនឯង និង​ក្រុមជំនុំ​ឈរ​លើ​ថ្មដា​នៃ​ការបង្រៀន​ខាង​ទេវវិទ្យា​ដ៏​មាំមួន​ដែរ​ឬ​ទេ? តើ​លោកអ្នក​មាន​បំណង​ចង់​ឃើញ​អ្នកជឿ​ថ្មីៗ​លូតលាស់​ខាងឯវិញ្ញាណ​យ៉ាង​លឿន​ដែរ​ឬ​ទេ? តើ​លោកអ្នក​រំពឹង​ចង់​ឃើញ​មាន​គ្រីស្ទបរិស័ទ​ជាច្រើន​ទៀត​ពេញវ័យ​ខាង​ឯ​វិញ្ញាណ​ដែល​មាន​ចិត្ត​ចង់​ផ្សាយដំណឹងល្អ និង​បង្កើត​សិស្ស​ដែរ​ឬទេ? តើ​លោកអ្នក​មាន​បំណងចិត្ត​ចង់​ឃើញ​ក្រុមជំនុំ​របស់​លោកអ្នក​មាន​ការរួបរួមគ្នា​ដែល​ផ្អែក​ទៅលើ​ការយល់ដឹងពី​សេចក្តីពិត​របស់​ព្រះជាម្ចាស់​ជា​មូលដ្ឋាន
​ដែរ​ឬទេ?
បើដូច្នោះ​មែន សៀវភៅ មូលដ្ឋានគ្រឹះ​នៃ​ជំនឿ ជា​សៀវភៅ​ដ៏​ល្អ​សម្រាប់​លោកអ្នកហើយ! សៀវភៅ​ដ៏ល្អ និង​ងាយស្រួល​​អនុវត្ត​តាម​មួយ​ក្បាល​នេះ គឺជា​ធនធាន​សម្រាប់​អ្នក​ជឿ​ថ្មីៗ និង​អ្នកជឿ​យូរឆ្នាំ​មក​ដែរ។ ដូចគ្នា​ផង​ដែរ សៀវភៅ​នេះក៏​បាន​ទទួល​ការកែសម្រួល​ដោយ​ ចាស់ទុំ គ្រូបង្រៀន និង​គ្រូគង្វាល​នៅ​ក្រុមជំនុំ ហ្គ្រេស ខមូនីតធី (Grace Community Church)។ តាម​ការដឹកនាំ​របស់​លោកគ្រូ ចន មែកខធ័រ (John MacArthur) យើង​បាន​ប្រើប្រាស់​សៀវភៅ​នេះ​ក្នុង​ការ​បង្រៀន ហើយ​យើង​ឃើញ​ថា​ វា​មាន​ប្រសិទ្ធភាព​ល្អ​ណាស់​លើ​ជីវិត​អ្នក​ដែល​បាន​សិក្សា។

I am praying that God will be able to use this to equip, edify and evangelize the Cambodian Church and people!

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