Dogmatics as Doxology

September 24, 2011Luke Stamps, Reformed, Systematic Theology, Theological Method

by Luke Stamps Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) was a Dutch theologian whose four-volume Reformed Dogmatics is considered one of the most significant works of Reformed theology ever written. It has been called “the best statement of the Reformed system since Calvin’s Institutes.” I have recently been reading through volume one of Bavinck’s magisterial work and came … Read More

Losing Sight of the Insight

September 24, 2011John Calvin, Justification, Paul Helm

by Paul Helm ‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,’ thought Alice; ‘but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!’ – Alice in Wonderland In my last post, “John Calvin’s Stroke of Genius,” we noted that John Calvin habitually thinks of the relation between … Read More

A School of Character

September 24, 2011Marriage, Matthew Barrett, Reformers

by Matthew Barrett “Before I was married,” says Martin Luther, “the bed was not made for a whole year and became foul with sweat. But I worked so hard and was so weary I tumbled in without noticing it.” However, when Martin married the run-away nun Katherine Von Bora, whom Luther called Katie, the bed … Read More

A Biblical Reason for Studying Church History

September 24, 2011Church History, Michael Haykin

Michael A.G. Haykin Pace the canons of contemporary historiography, a key reason presented by the Word of God for the study of Church History is to find models for imitation. In Hebrews 13:7, the preacher of this tremendous holy text urges his hearers to “remember [their] leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you. … Read More

Gentiles in Paul’s Argument in Romans 2: Their Praise Is Not from Man but from God

September 24, 2011Ardel Caneday, Romans

by Ardel Caneday That Romans 2 should figure prominently within disagreements among contemporary Christian scholars about how to understand Paul’s reasoning concerning the gospel in relation to the law of Moses is no surprise, for this chapter has always posed exegetical difficulties, especially since the Reformation. Two contrasting interpretations of the passage dominate discussions. The … Read More

Just Say You Want to be a Pastor

September 24, 2011Nathan Finn, Pastoral Ministry

by Nathan Finn In recent years, I’ve personally interacted with hundreds of current and recently graduated seminary students, and not just at Southeastern Seminary. These brothers and sisters in Christ are committed to serving God in all kinds of ministry contexts. In the five years I’ve been teaching, I’ve observed an interesting trend, especially among … Read More

The Formation of the Biblical Canon

September 24, 2011Canon of Scripture, Fred Zaspel

by Fred Zaspel The books of our Old Testament became recognized as “canon” in the same way that the Old Testament itself was formed — gradually, as holy men of old spoke and wrote, being moved of the Holy Spirit. In various ways and at various times throughout the old covenant times God spoke to … Read More

Does the Old Testament Teach That Salvation Is by Works?

September 24, 2011Matthew Barrett, Salvation

by Matthew Barrett Does the Old Testament teach that salvation is by works? This is the third question Tom Schreiner asks in his new book, 40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law (Kregel). The answer is “no.” Notice how the apostle Paul, in passages like Romans 4:1-25, Galatians 3:6-9, and Romans 4:6-8, appeals to the … Read More

John Calvin’s Stroke of Genius

September 24, 2011John Calvin, Justification, Paul Helm, Sanctification

by Paul Helm Is Christ divided? (I Cor. 1.15) Calvin on justification and sanctification John Calvin claimed that by his death and resurrection Christ procured for his people a ‘double grace’. His fundamental statement on this matter is as follows: I believe I have already explained above, with sufficient care, how for men cursed under … Read More

Musings on Church Squabbles

September 24, 2011Ecclesiology, Fred Zaspel

by Fred Zaspel I have been in church all my life. I grew up in a pastor’s home, and from childhood until now have seen “the inside” of countless church problems — in the churches to which I have belonged, in churches which I have pastored, and in other churches in which I have for … Read More

Judge with Right Judgment: Making the Move from Biblical Theology to Systematic Theology

September 24, 2011Biblical Theology, Luke Stamps, Systematic Theology

by Luke Stamps Last week, I posted a short article on the differences between Charles Hodge and Herman Bavinck with regard to theological method. Bavinck criticized Hodge’s “empirical” method by which he treated the Bible as a “store-house of facts” that must be collected and organized by the theologian. In its place Bavinck offered his … Read More

Two Helpful New Books for Pastors

September 24, 2011Nathan Finn, Pastoral Ministry

by Nathan Finn As a professor, most of the books I read deal with topics I’m interested in from a scholarly standpoint. But every summer, I try to devote a portion of my reading time to books related to “practical ministry” such as preaching, evangelism, counseling, and pastoral leadership. In the past few days, I’ve … Read More

Was the Mosaic Covenant Legalistic?

September 24, 2011Law, Matthew Barrett

by Matthew Barrett This is the second of forty questions Thomas Schreiner asks in his new book, 40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law (Kregel). First, says Schreiner, we must define “legalism.” Legalism is the “idea that human beings can earn or merit right standing with God.” Based on this definition, the answer to the … Read More

The Confession of an Impatient Historian

September 24, 2011Church History, Michael Haykin

by Michael A. G. Haykin “Make haste slowly” is a proverbial remark that was apparently often found on the mouth of Augustus Caesar, the man responsible for ordering the census that led to the birth of the Lord Jesus at Bethlehem. “Make haste slowly”: I, for one, have spent a lifetime learning the lessons of … Read More

Imprisoned but Not Silenced

September 24, 2011Fred Zaspel, Persecution, Puritans

by Fred Zaspel One of great ironies of Christian history occurred in the latter part of seventeenth-century England, in the little town of Bedford. Despite more than a century of attempts at reforming both church and state, the struggle for religious freedom had been long and hard in coming. A poor tinker (mender of pots … Read More

Praying to the Glory of God-Part 3

September 24, 2011Divine Sovereignty, Prayer

by Micah McCormick When should we pray? Such a question sounds a bit strange when pitted with other more natural prayer questions like why and how. But I ask this question in order to prompt specific reflection on planning to pray. We can speak in platitudes about the importance of prayer, the necessity of prayer, … Read More

Prayer to the Glory of God-Part 2

September 24, 2011Divine Sovereignty, Prayer

by Micah McCormick How do we pray? In his book, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers, D. A. Carson observes, “One of the foundational steps in knowing God, and one of the basic demonstrations that we do know God, is prayer—spiritual, persistent, biblically minded prayer. . . . We have … Read More

Praying to the Glory of God-Part 1

September 24, 2011Divine Sovereignty, Prayer

by Micah McCormick The simple truth is that most Christians, myself included, don’t pray as we should. So even as I write three posts on the subject of prayer, I’m speaking to myself as well as to any readers. My three posts will answer three questions regarding prayer (why do we pray, how do we … Read More

The Kindness of our Creator

September 24, 2011Creation, Fred Zaspel, Marriage

by Fred Zaspel Thinking through the early chapters of Genesis the other day, I was struck again with the wonderful picture of God’s kindness that emerges in the creation narrative. God carefully brings into existence all that is — all, it seems, for the use and benefit of his newly created image-bearers (Gen. 1:26-29). He … Read More