Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Credo's cache | One Comment
Credo’s Cache

Each week we will be highlighting important resources. Check back each Friday to see what we have dug up for you. From this week’s cache:

1. Evangelism Isn’t as Scary as You ThinkBy Matt Smethurst - Smethurst says: “Whether we’re hoping to witness to a child, to a friend, or to a complete stranger, may the Holy Spirit grant us the courage to live lives of gospel intentionality—humbly and prayerfully seizing opportunities to speak of our great Savior.”

2. 7 Ways Christian Academics Can Be Truly ChristianBy Kevin DeYoung - DeYoung notes: “I love the life of the mind. I am immensely thankful for good scholarship, intellectual investigation, and the best of the academic enterprise. As a pastor and just as an intellectually curious sort of chap, I want Christian academics to flourish. I also want these Christian scholars to be thoroughly Christian.”

3. Are Rewards a Valid Motivation for Sanctification?By Rick Phillips - Phillips says: “Not only do rewards and punishments stand alongside gratitude as biblical motivations for sanctification, but none of these may be seen as the primary or ultimate impulse for holy living and good deeds.  For this we must turn to the indwelling Holy Spirit and the new spiritual nature that Christians all receive in the new birth.”

4. 4 Benefits of Stories for DiscipleshipBy Mathew Sims – Sims says: “Stories should play a crucial role in discipleship. Choose wisely. Read broadly. Let the stories grab your heart as they form you into a more mature disciple of Jesus Christ.”

5. The Difficulties of Dialogue and DisagreementBy Matthew Hosier - Hosier says: “We need to talk, but sometimes we need to admit that we simply disagree, and there isn’t much space for further talk, as disagreeable as that sounds.”

Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion at Reformed Theological Seminary and a Masters of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary.

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New Issue: “How Then Shall We Pray? The Necessity of Prayer for the Christian Life”

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Magazine-Prayer | No Comments
New Issue: “How Then Shall We Pray? The Necessity of Prayer for the Christian Life”

The new issue of Credo Magazine is here! “How Then Shall We Pray? The Necessity of Prayer for the Christian Life.” Here is the magazine, as well as a description of the issue and several pictures of the cover and feature articles to get you started.

 


To view the Magazine as a PDF {Click Here}

We live in a world that screams to get our attention. From the moment you wake up to the second you hit your pillow at night, something or someone wants your time. Hosts of people are waiting for you to friend them on Facebook. The world awaits your next tweet and blCredo Front October 2014 Coverog post. Your phone is buzzing because you have another email that needs your response. When you go home and turn on your TV there are innumerable “must see” shows, as well as breaking news you cannot afford to miss. Let’s face it, the world we live in is quite loud, and it never sleeps.

In the midst of all this noise, where does extended time in prayer fit in? Or does it? Prayer seems to run contrary to the busyness of life in the twenty-first century. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself this question, “When was the last time I spent more than 15 minutes in uninterrupted prayer with the Lord?” Church history shows that for Christians who came before us, private and corporate prayer was essential, assumed to be a necessary staple for the Christian and the church. After all, it is the God-given means by which we have fellowship and communion with God himself. Should we neglect prayer we actually neglect God, and the consequences are spiritually fatal. But should we set aside time to pray to God, we will benefit greatly, finding God to be a refuge and a shield in the midst of a chaotic, consuming, and demanding world.

In this issue of Credo Magazine we will focus on prayer, looking at how Christians in ages past have understood the importance of prayer, as well as Scripture’s own emphasis on the necessity of prayer. Not only will we recognize the importance of prayer, but in this issue we will look at how we pray as well. My guess is that most Christians have never even thought about how they should pray. Well here is a great opportunity to do so!

Contributors include: Gerald Bray, Aimee Byrd, Juan R. Sanchez, Peter Beck, Sandy Willson, Tim Keller, Sam Storms, Phil Johnson, Donald Whitney, Nancy Guthrie, among many others.

Credo Front October 2014 CoverContents

Credo November 2014 Bray Slider

Credo November 2014 Beck Slider

Credo November 2014 Sanchcez Slider

Credo Amy Byrd Slider

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“Your Souls, More Precious Than Thousands of Worlds”

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Jeremy Kimble, Pastoral Ministry | No Comments
“Your Souls, More Precious Than Thousands of Worlds”

As stated previously, this area of posting will be committed to the shepherding ministry of the church, especially in light of a text such as Hebrews 13:17. How should a pastor think of the members of the church he serves? Too often today church members are thought of as customers or potential workers for the various ministries transpiring in the church. This is not the Scriptural pattern; nor is it the typical practice of those who have gone before us. Historically there seems to have been a greater commitment to the shepherding ministry in the church (see this work, for example).

Elias Keach wrote a book called “The Glory and Ornament of a True Gospel-Constituted Church. The work has historical significance for various reasons, but his opening words to his church reveal the heart of a pastor and the awareness of one who knows he is a steward who will one day have to give an account. May the souls of our people under our charge be precious to us, and may we count them as hope, joy, and crown of boasting (1 Thess. 2:19).

Dearly Beloved,
Your Souls, more precious than thousands of Worlds, being committed to my Care, as an Overseer under the great Shepherd of the Sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom ere long I must be accountable, and I could do no less in order to the full discharge of my Duty, than let you know your Places, Order and Work in that Church of which you are members, it being part (and that not the least part) of the Counsel of God, which I am in Duty bound to make known unto you according to my Ability.

Jeremy Kimble (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Cedarville University. He is an editor for Credo Magazine as well as the author of That His Spirit May Be Saved: Church Discipline as a Means to Repentance and Perseverance and numerous book reviews. He is married to Rachel and has two children, Hannah and Jonathan.

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Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Credo's cache | One Comment
Credo’s Cache

Each week we will be highlighting important resources. Check back each Friday to see what we have dug up for you. From this week’s cache:

1. Not That Kind of Homosexuality?By Kevin DeYoung - DeYoung says: “To suggest that only certain kinds of homosexual practice (the bad kinds) were known in the ancient world is a claim that flies in the face of many Greek texts.”

2. Rescuing Christian MasculinityBy Alastair Roberts - Roberts notes: “Behind all of these things, it seems to me, there lies a deep crisis in contemporary masculinity, which in turn is a symptom of a crisis of contemporary society. Unfortunately, few people have put their finger upon this.”

3. Memorize the Mind of GodBy David Mathis - Mathis says: “You’ve heard the pitch for Scripture memory a thousand times. You’re persuaded the benefits would be incalculable, and that there may be no better use of your time than to hide God’s word in your heart and store it away for future use. But you’ve tried your hand at it again and again, and just never got the magic working.”

4. Does Old-Earth Creationism Undermine the Gospel? A Response to Kevin BauderBy Gavin Ortlund – Ortlund says: “I would like to offer a few reflections on Bauder’s piece because it touches on some important issues. I’m not sure how many people will read his article and be influenced by it, but I do know that there are many people in our culture, both in and out of the body of Christ, who have the impression that science and the Bible tell fundamentally incompatible stories of origins.”

5. Is Christianity in Britain in Terminal Decline?By Mike Gilbert-Smith - Gilbert-Smith says: “According to many of the widely published and accepted figures, both church attendance and professing Christianity in Britain are in rapid decline.”

Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion at Reformed Theological Seminary and a Masters of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary.

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The Works of John Bunyan, 3 Volume Set – 40% off!

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Announcement | One Comment
The Works of John Bunyan, 3 Volume Set – 40% off!

Westminster Bookstore is selling The Works of John Bunyan (3 vols.) at 40% off!

Here is the publisher’s description:

John Bunyan is best known for his famous allegorical works, Pilgrim’s Progress and The Holy War, his autobiographical Grace Abounding to the to the Chief of Sinners and his allegorical novel The Life and Death of Mr Badman. While justly famous for their literary merit, their real importance lies in Bunyan’s portrayal of the sin of man, the grace of God and the nature of the Christian’s life. These themes were Bunyan’s great passion, and for them he was prepared to suffer the hardship of imprisonment. But his exposition of them was not confined to allegory, and in many other works, like Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ and An Exposition of the First Ten Chapters of Genesis,, we find Bunyan writing as the outstanding pastor–evangelist he was.

Individual volumes of the best–known of Bunyan’s writings have long been available. These three quality volumes, first edited by George Offor (1853 and 1862) constitute the only available standard edition of his works.

bunyan-setmAnd if you are not familiar with Bunyan, here is a short description that will help:

John Bunyan was born in Elstow, near Bedford, in 1628, the son of Thomas Bunyan and Margaret Bentley. He followed his father into the tinker’s trade but rebelled against God and ‘had but few equals, both for cursing, swearing, lying, and blaspheming the holy name of God.’ As a teenager, he joined Cromwell’s New Model Army, but continued his rebellious ways. His life was saved on one occasion when a fellow–soldier took his place at the siege of Leicester, and ‘as he stood sentinel he was shot in the head with a musket bullet and died.’

Discharged from the army after three years, Bunyan married a God–fearing woman (whose name is unknown) in 1648, who brought two books to the marriage: The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven (Arthur Dent) and The Practice of Piety (Lewis Bayly). These convicted Bunyan of his sin and he made attempts to reform his life. But he realised that he was lost and without Christ when he came into contact with a group of women whose ‘joyous conversation about the new birth and Christ deeply impressed him.’ In 1651 the women introduced him to their pastor in Bedford, John Gifford, who was instrumental in leading Bunyan to repentance and faith.

That same year he moved to Bedford with his wife and four children, including Mary, his firstborn, who had been blind from birth. He was baptised by immersion in the River Ouse in 1653. Appointed a deacon of Gifford’s church, Bunyan’s testimony was used to lead several people to conversion. By 1655 Bunyan was himself preaching to various congregations in Bedford, and hundreds came to hear him. John Owen said of him that he would gladly exchange all his learning for Bunyan’s power of touching men’s hearts.

In the following years, Bunyan began publishing books and became established as a reputable Puritan writer, but around this time, his first wife died. He remarried in 1659, a godly young woman named Elizabeth, who was to be a staunch advocate for her husband during his imprisonments—for in 1660 Bunyan was arrested for preaching without official permission from King Charles II; he was to spend the next 12½ years in Bedford County Gaol.

Although a time of much suffering, Bunyan’s years in prison were productive, for he wrote extensively, with only the Bible and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs beside him, publishing such titles as Christian Behaviour, The Holy City and A Defence of the Doctrine of Justification. Of particular significance for his life–story was Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, which chronicled his life up to the time of his imprisonment.

He was eventually released in 1672, and took up his pastorate in Bedford, having been appointed by the congregation the preceding January. After some fruitful years of ministry, in March of 1675 Bunyan was again imprisoned for preaching publicly without a license. It was during this imprisonment that he began the first part of his most famous book, The Pilgrim’s Progress, which was to sell more than 100,000 copies in its first ten years in print.

Released in 1677, Bunyan spent the last ten years of his life ministering to his congregation and writing, including—Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (1678), The Life and Death of Mr. Badman (1680), The Holy War (1682), and the second part of The Pilgrim’s Progress (1685). He published ten more books in the last three years of his life, amongst them The Jerusalem Sinner Saved and The Acceptable Sacrifice.

In August 1688, after successfully mediating in a disagreement between a father and son, as he was riding from Reading in Berkshire to London, Bunyan caught a cold and developed a fever. He died at the house of his friend John Strudwick, a grocer and chandler on Snow Hill in Holborn.ick, a grocer and chandler on Snow Hill in Holborn.

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Credo Magazine contributors at ETS next week! (Matthew Barrett)

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Announcement | No Comments
Credo Magazine contributors at ETS next week! (Matthew Barrett)

The annual meeting for the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) will start next week. The meeting will be held Wednesday through Friday, November 19-21, at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, CA. Hundreds of papers will be presented on various topics, though the main theme of this year’s meeting revolves around ecclesiology.

carson-and-witheringtonSeveral Credo Magazine contributors will be presenting this year. Perhaps the most important paper being given will be Thomas Schreiner’s presidential message at Thursday evening’s banquet. Schreiner is contributing a book called Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification, to a 5 volume series I am editing on the solas of the Reformation (Zondervan). His book will be the first one to release in the series (Fall 2015). So, I am pleased to see that his address at the banquet will address the same topic. I look forward to hearing what Schreiner has to say. See more details below.

Here are the Credo Magazine contributors who will be presenting. If you read Credo Magazine, stop by and say hello. We love to meet our readers!

Thomas Schreiner—Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

1. “God, the Future, and the Contemporary…” Panel Discussion

Wednesday, 4:30-5:10pm—Pacific Salon Two

2. “Some Reflections on Sola Fide” Presidential Address

Thursday, 8:00-9:00pm—Atlas Ballroom, Banquet

Ardel B. Caneday – University of Northwestern—St. Paul

 “Lavishly Forgive Sins in order to Be Forgiven: Jesus’ Parable of the Unmerciful Servant”

Wednesday, 11:00-11:40am—Garden Salon One

Ecclesiology—Gospels, Moderator: A. Chadwick Thornhill

Matthew Barrett—California Baptist University

“He Hardens Whomever He Wills: The Exodus, God’s Fame, and the Manifestation of God’s Jealousy through Divine Sovereignty”

Thursday, 9:20-10:00am—Pacific Salon Seven

Models of God: Jealousy of God, Moderator: Dennis W. Jowers

Michael A.G. Haykin—Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

1. “Writing the Life of Samuel Pearce: Andrew Fuller’s Edwardsean Biography”

Thursday, 3:00-3:40pm—Stratford

Church History 3, Moderator: Matthew J. Hall

2. “Inerrancy and Inspiration in the Fathers”

Friday, 1:50-2:30pm—Royal Palm Salon Three

Inerrancy, Moderators: Gregg Allison, Robert Yarbrough

Paul Helm—Regent College

“Philosophy, Theology and the Kingdom”

Thursday, 3:00-4:30pm—Golden Ballroom

Evangelical Philosophical Society Plenary, Moderator: Angus Menuge

Luke Stamps—California Baptist University                 

“Baptists and the Catholicity of the Church” (with Matthew Emerson, California Baptist University)

Wednesday, 8:30-9:10am—Pacific Salon One

Baptist Studies, Moderator: Anthony Chute

Fred Zaspel—Books At A Glance

“Warfield’s Doctrine of Scripture Revisited”

Wednesday, 4:30-5:10pm—Esquire

Old Princeton, Moderator: Paul K. Helseth

Matthew Barrett (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at California Baptist University, as well as the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine. Barrett is also Senior Pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church. He is the author and editor of several books, including Salvation by Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration. You can read about Barrett’s other publications at matthewmbarrett.com.

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God works all things after the counsel of his will (Tom Rogstad)

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Sovereignty of God | No Comments
God works all things after the counsel of his will (Tom Rogstad)

“Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11).

Ephesians 1: works 11 occurs within an extended outburst of praise, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul’s thoughts are filled with the glory and overflowing majesty of God. Yet, he never explicitly defines God for us — not in the way systematic theologies or confessions of faith do. He presupposes a common understanding of God, probably because instruction about the nature of God was a part of his evangelistic teaching.

Two brief sermons we have from him in Acts to the Gentiles draw out the implications of the Jewish/Christian view of God as creator (see his sermon at Lystra in Acts 14 and to the Athenians in Acts 17). We can only assume that these offer a glimpse into his constant practice. On occasion he appeals to the character of God in an ad hoc manner in the course of making an argument, reporting a prayer, or exhorting his readers. Often these are in the form of short relative clauses, such as this one, which we may tend to overlook but which are rich in information about the nature of God. We ought to linger over them.

2031523502_f03d893cd1_oWhat does this phrase, “who works all things after the counsel of his will,” tell us about God?

1. God is personal. He has motives, thoughts, and purposes. He has a will and mind. He is not an impersonal force, principle or law. He is not a universal energy.

2. God is rational. He acts rationally. He has reasons for what he does. He chooses a purpose and acts to fulfill that purpose. He is not arbitrary or irrational.

3. God is consistent. He is not inconsistent and changeable. He does not waver from his own purpose. He is faithful.

4. God is active, not passive. He works. He acts within time though he transcends time. One day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. His eternity doesn’t mean just a long time. He exists outside of time; both time and space are His creation. However, he is somehow still able to truly act within space and time.

5. God is independent. He is not constrained by anything outside Himself. His will is the ultimate explanation for all things. He sets His love on Israel because He loves them. This does not mean He is arbitrary; it means the explanation for His actions are within Himself. He is absolutely free.

6. God is sovereign. He is sovereignly powerful over all things. Possible exceptions — random events or chance; acts of the devil and demons; the free, responsible acts of human beings; my own sins — are found not to be exceptions in the Scriptures.

How should we respond?

We lose if we hold to a truncated view of God. Currently, some authors are arguing that these points are mutually exclusive: God can’t truly be personal in the sense that he can enter into a genuine relationship with his creatures unless he also limits his sovereignty and foreknowledge. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians by itself refutes this claim. Chapter 1 presents a beautiful picture of three motives of God coinciding: his zeal for his own glory, his intense love for the Son, and his passionate determination to bless His people. That is the majesty of the gospel and the source of all comfort — God is both absolutely sovereign and a resolutely gracious personal Father.

Assurance. Even though “we have obtained an inheritance” is in past tense, our full enjoyment of this inheritance and consummation of all the promises of God toward us are still in the future. But Paul grounds our assurance of the future on the very character of God. He gives us two reasons for being sure: God’s working all things for us and the Spirit’s work within us (see following verse).The ground of both of these is the very nature and character of God.

Comfort. The corollary to God being rational, active and sovereign over all things, is that everything that happens has a reason. I do not understand those who find it more comforting to believe either that some things happen purely by chance or that God’s knowledge and power are somehow limited. The issue seems to be a question about the character of God. We need to trust in God’s kindness, goodness, wisdom, power, and grace first. Then we can trust that a good and gracious, all-wise, all-powerful God has his own good reasons for letting some things occur. Somehow the explanation for these things can be reconciled with his goodness though we ourselves cannot reconcile them. This is far more comforting to me than to think that God is either too weak or too stupid to prevent calamity.

Purposeful activity. We glorify God and fulfill His purpose for us by imitating Him. We may be tempted to think God’s sovereignty over all things would lead us to be passive, or diminish our significance as “real causes.” But this is philosophy, not Christian revelation. We were created in his image — to image him forth. We, therefore, fulfill his purpose for us, we worship him, when we set goals and fulfill them, when we work. Work is worship.

Tom Rogstad is a member of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. Previously he served as an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. Tom blogs at Faith Matters.

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The God Who Became Human: A Biblical Theology of the Incarnation (Book Review)

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in Book Reviews | 3 Comments
The God Who Became Human: A Biblical Theology of the Incarnation (Book Review)

Graham Cole. The God Who Became Human: A Biblical Theology of the Incarnation. New Studies in Biblical Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2013.

Today skepticism about religious claims and objective truth has become the norm. This is especially true with regard to the supernatural claims of the Bible. Liberal and postmodern theology has so influenced our country’s perception of Christianity that many do not know the religious significance of Easter and Christmas. This is a reality that Christians must face if they give an answer for the hope they have in Christ. It is also an obstacle that must be overcome for many who are considering the claims of the gospel. And no place is better to confront an increasingly secular culture than the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Fortunately, Graham Cole’s recent book does just that. In The God Who Became Human: A Biblical Theology of Incarnation, Cole, the Anglican Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School (Birmingham, Alabama), provides an articulate and biblical explanation of the Incarnation. Divided into six chapters, Cole follows the trajectory of the biblical narrative to show how the Bible itself develops the doctrine of Christ’s Incarnation. As has come to be expected with Cole, his writing is rich in exegesis and far-reaching in impact, as he engages church history, systematic theology, and issues in contemporary culture.

9780830826315Summary

The first chapter sets the pace by defining terms and illuminating the theme of Incarnation as it relates to the doctrines of God and man. In the second chapter Cole explains how the patriarchs and other Jewish leaders replicate some of the Incarnational themes found in the creation account. The third chapter is about redemptive history as a whole. It considers especially the historic period of Israel’s history. In this chapter he also touches on typology, which is a crucial component to his argument.

The fourth chapter is about the realization and culmination of the Incarnation found in the New Testament. The fifth chapter is more philosophical, considering Anselm’s question: Cur Deus Homo? Answering from the biblical text, Cole explains how and why God became man, turning at the end of the chapter to consider Thomas Aquinas’s contribution to the doctrine. The sixth and final chapter shows the ramifications of the Incarnation on our theological systems.

Evaluation

Focusing on the strengths of The God Who Became Human, chapter one introduces the reader to three terms that relate to the way Scripture uses human imagery to speak of God. Instead of relying on the general language of anthropomorphism, Cole presses for more precision.  By using a three-fold taxonomy (e.g., anthropomorphic, anthropopathic, anthropopraxic), he brings light to the fact that God is described with various kinds of language in Scripture. The disadvantage to this classification is that sometimes language overlaps. God is said to have eyes that run all over the earth in 2 Chronicles 16:9. Likewise, in speaking of his patience, Exodus 34:7 says that God is slow to anger (anthropopathic, right?), but literally it reads “long-nosed” (so anthropomorphic). In any case, the reader is greatly helped by Cole’s attention to language.

Moving to chapters three and four, Cole explains how the Incarnation is one component of Jesus’s Messianic identity. In this section, he explains that Jesus fulfilled the typological realities of the Old Testament Christ. In chapter four, he outlines the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, as well as the Epistle to the Hebrews, and he makes this helpful observation: “In Hebrews the implied incarnational theology of Matthew and Mark gives way to an explicit one” (104). He calls the reader to remember the significance of Matthew’s genealogy and Mark’s New Exodus theme, which both allude to the Incarnation.

In all of these New Testament books, he shows how the New Testament authors appropriate Old Testament offices and types to explain the two natures of Christ’s Incarnation. That said, Cole is reticent to say the Old Testament prophets expected an Incarnation in the way it came to be revealed in the New Testament (91–95). In fact, against many popular interpretations (e.g., B. B. Warfield, Ray Ortlund, Jr.), Cole spends time in passages like Micah 5:2 showing why the verse does not conclusively prove Christ’s deity in the eyes of the Old Testament prophets. All in all, when the whole of Scripture is considered, the faithful reader of the Bible is left with no option but to affirm with Thomas—“My Lord and my God!”

The culmination of his work reaches its conclusion in chapter six where he systematizes a theology of the Incarnation. Relating biblical theology to historical theology, Cole states, “This study thus far has yielded conclusions that are classically patristic” (143). The reason this chapter is crucial to the book is because it shows how the Incarnation has been approached in recent history. After laying out a biblical theology of the Incarnation, Cole shows the implications of how one thinks concerning the doctrine in the minds of individuals such as Karl Barth, Martin Luther, Mark Noll, and Jürgen Moltmann. This enables the reader to take a lot of the biblical data and see where these scholars ideas might lead if they do not have a precise understanding of the incarnation. Accordingly, this interaction with modern scholarship helps clarify what the rest of the book demonstrates, and it challenges the reader to do the hard work of systematic theology.

Conclusion

In the end, while the book is not apologetic in nature, it can be utilized to bolster the faith of Christians and answer objections to skeptics. Cole’s volume strengthens the already-reputable New Studies in Biblical Theology series, edited by D. A. Carson. It provides pastors with a great biblical resource on the Incarnation. And it affords students of the Bible an excellent model for founding a dogmatic position in biblical theology, all the while appropriating from historical theology, so that the evangelical witness can engage contemporary revisions of Christ’s person with an orthodox Christology. Cole’s work wonderfully equips the church to know Christ and more than that, to worship him as the Incarnate Lord.

Andrew Keenan, Content Assistant at The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

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Not Only Public, But Private Ministry

Not Only Public, But Private Ministry

As previously posted, the next several quotes will center on the need for a specific shepherding ministry in the church. The Reformation example of pastoral ministry includes not only rich doctrine and robust preaching, but also deep, practical pastoral care for every member of the church. Commenting on Acts 20:20 where Paul says he taught the Ephesians “both publicly and house to house,” Calvin states:

This is the second point, that he did not only teach all men in the congregation, but also every one privately, as every man’s necessity did require. For Christ hath not appointed pastors upon this condition, that they may only teach the Church in general in the open pulpit; but that they may take charge of every particular sheep, that they may bring back to the sheepfold those which wander and go astray, that they may strengthen those which are discouraged and weak, that they may cure the sick, that they may lift up and set on foot the feeble,  (Ezekiel 34:4) for common doctrine will oftentimes wax cold, unless it be helped with private admonitions.

Wherefore, the negligence of those men is inexcusable, who, having made one sermon, as if they had done their task, live all the rest of their time idly; as if their voice were shut up within the church walls, seeing that so soon as they be departed, thence they be dumb.

Jeremy Kimble (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Cedarville University. He is an editor for Credo Magazine as well as the author of That His Spirit May Be Saved: Church Discipline as a Means to Repentance and Perseverance and numerous book reviews. He is married to Rachel and has two children, Hannah and Jonathan.

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Credo’s Cache

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Credo's cache | One Comment
Credo’s Cache

Each week we will be highlighting important resources. Check back each Friday to see what we have dug up for you. From this week’s cache:

1. What is the Heartbeat of Reformed Theology?By Jason Helopoulos - Helopoulos says: “What is the heartbeat of Reformed Theology? I wouldn’t feel the need to argue with someone who would suggest it is the Doctrines of Grace, union with Christ, or even the Solas of the Reformation.”

2. Five Truths About the Wrath of GodBy Joseph Scheumann - Scheumann notes: “The doctrine of the wrath of God has fallen on hard times. In today’s world, any concept of God’s wrath upsets our modern sentiments. It’s too disconcerting, too intolerant.”

3. The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: An IntroductionBy Bradford Littlejohn - Littlejohn says: “Although the advent of new technology has probably posed new challenges for almost every generation, no one can deny that the pace of change has increased exponentially in recent decades, inflicting ever more severe growing pains on Christians seeking to live faithfully in a rapidly-changing world.”

4. How to Leave Your Church Without Hurting ItBy Mark Dance – Dance says: “Those of us who have the privilege of serving on a church staff will eventually leave our ministry posts. I recently resigned from the church I have loved and served for thirteen years in order to accept my new ministry assignment to serve pastors with LifeWay. I would like to share a few lessons I learned from this transition that may help make your last Sunday a happy ending rather than a hurtful one.”

5. Tethered to the GospelBy Rachael Starke - Starke says: “The law can only crush me into rigid, outer conformity. But the tether of the gospel empowers me to move freely, as a beloved child of God and a growing disciples of Jesus Christ by curving my affections towards the Triune God.”

Matt Manry is the Assistant Pastor at Life Bible Church in Canton, Georgia. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion at Reformed Theological Seminary and a Masters of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary.

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