This Week’s Book Notes

September 24, 2011Book Notes, Matthew Barrett

By Matthew Barrett Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer. Edited by Joel R. Beeke and Brian G. Najapfour. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011. In this new volume Beeke and Najapfour have put together an outstanding collection of chapters on prayer according to the Reformed and Puritan tradition. Najapfour opens the … Read More

Resources I Found Helpful When Preaching Through Nehemiah

September 24, 2011Preaching, Prophets

By Tim Raymond In my last article, I described my experience preaching through the book of Nehemiah and briefly mused on the challenges of preaching the book in its redemptive historical context. In this entry, I’d like to point our readers to some of the resources I found most helpful for rightly understanding the meaning … Read More

The Local Church and Missions: Matthew 28:16-20

September 24, 2011Ecclesiology, Missions, Todd Miles

By Todd Miles In my previous post, I took up the question of what the Bible has to say about the relationship between the local church and missions. The catalyst for the investigation is my church’s desire to construct a missions strategy that is biblically faithful and is particular to our congregation and location. I … Read More

Karl Barth and the Specificity of the Christian Message

September 24, 2011Luke Stamps

By Luke Stamps Was Karl Barth a universalist? Some readers of Barth point to passages in his mammoth, multi-volume Church Dogmatics that seem to suggest that he was. Barth’s insistence upon God’s election of humanity in Christ and upon Christ’s objective work of atonement on behalf of all humanity appears to lead inexorably to the … Read More

Perfect Being Theology

September 24, 2011Medieval Theologians, Paul Helm, Reformed

By Paul Helm The idea of ‘Perfect Being Theology’ gets short shrift from modern Reformed Christian theologians, even from some who should know better. The phrase is associated with St. Anselm, and with his ontological argument for God’s existence, which some have regarded as a stroke of genius. Here I am less concerned with that … Read More

William Carey’s View of History

September 24, 2011Missions, Nathan Finn

By Nathan Finn One of the complaints I sometimes hear from students is that their church history and Baptist history classes are not “practical” enough. Instead of asking, with Tertullian, “what does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” many of them want to know what any of it has to do with ministry in our … Read More

The Acts of the Apostles

September 24, 2011Book of Acts, Fred Zaspel

By Fred Zaspel What is the book of Acts all about? What is its significance? Today I want to draw our attention to this important book, highlighting its role and function in the New Testament canon and locating its history in God’s redemptive purpose. Its Place and Role in the Canon The Promise of deliverance … Read More

This Week’s Book Notes

September 24, 2011Book Notes, Matthew Barrett

            By Matthew Barrett Redeeming Sociology: A God-Centered Approach. By Vern Sheridan Poythress. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011. One scholar I have tremendous respect for is Vern Poythress. When he writes I pay attention. In his most recent book he addresses the discipline of sociology. Too often sociologists ignore the depravity … Read More

Raising the Cross

September 24, 2011Atonement, Gospel, Matthew Barrett

By Matthew Barrett Typically when we think of the Reformation and the effect it had “art” is not usually something that comes to mind. However, the theology of the Reformation had a profound impact on art. Francis Schaeffer explains that “to say that the Reformation depreciated art and culture or that it did not produce … Read More

A Taste of Scotch Theology

September 24, 2011Atonement, Reformed

By David Schrock The cost of a book is never indicative of its value. This point was driven home for me a few years ago when I found George Smeaton’s The Doctrine of the Atonement As Taught By Christ Himself (1871) on a dollar shelf at a used bookstore near the University of Chicago. Without … Read More

The Virtues of Effective Service

September 24, 2011Ecclesiology, Luke Stamps, Missions

By Luke Stamps David Brooks has an insightful opinion piece in the New York Times this week that evangelicals would do well to read. In his column, “The Rugged Altruists,” Brooks observes, “Many Americans go to the developing world to serve others. A smaller percentage actually end up being useful.” By contrast, he describes the … Read More

Understanding Orthodoxy

September 24, 2011Nathan Finn, Orthodoxy

By Nathan Finn This week marks the beginning of the fall semester at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This post is adapted from one my early lectures in my Church History I class. Nothing like explaining to several dozen Southern Baptist students that there is great value in the Patristic creedal tradition! If we are going … Read More

Jesus the Measure of Men

September 24, 2011Christology, Fred Zaspel, Sanctification

By Fred Zaspel B.B. Warfield loved to boast of the perfections of Christ, and he did so in many places throughout his works. His 1894 article, “Jesus the Measure of Men,” provides just one sample. He begins with a brief consideration of the idea of “straight,” citing the Greek proverb, “By the straight is judged … Read More

This Week’s Book Notes

September 24, 2011Book Notes, Matthew Barrett

        By Matthew Barrett Galileo. By Mitch Stokes. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011. Was Galileo a hero or heretic, a genius or blasphemer? Mitch Stokes uncovers the Galileo of history and seeks to demonstrate that Galileo had a sincere faith in God. Essentially Stokes aims to dispel the myth that Galileo’s heliocentricity “stood … Read More

The Final Judgment

September 24, 2011Judgment, Matthew Barrett

By Matthew Barrett The Scriptural Affirmation of a Final Judgment In many respects, the world we live in today is very much like Sodom and Gomorrah, both of which were destroyed by sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven (Gen 19:24). Sinners do not take the threat of coming judgment seriously. When two … Read More

Studying the Church Fathers

September 24, 2011Early Church Fathers

This week marks the beginning of a new academic year at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Every semester, I teach at least one section of Church History I and at least one section of Church History II. The latter is my wheelhouse—my areas of expertise are Baptist historical theology and twentieth century fundamentalism and evangelicalism. But … Read More

What More Could We Ask?

September 24, 2011Uncategorized

By Fred Zaspel One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4). There is something deeply refreshing about this … Read More

Learning the Language of Zion

September 24, 2011Luke Stamps, Preaching

By Luke Stamps One of the subtle temptations of Christian ministry is the tendency to assume that all of our teaching must be immediately and specifically applicable to our hearers. This statement needs qualification. To be sure, all of our teaching and preaching should be ultimately applicable to our hearers. The Christian faith is not … Read More

This Week’s Book Notes

September 24, 2011Book Notes, Matthew Barrett

By Matthew Barrett A Scribe Well-Trained: Archibald Alexander and the Life of Piety. Edited and Introduced by James M. Garretson. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011. Garretson’s little volume is in the Profiles in Reformed Spirituality series, edited by Joel R. Beeke and Michael A. G. Haykin. This entire series is worth your time and … Read More

Losing Our First Love: Revelation 2:1-7

September 24, 2011Revelation, Thomas Schreiner

By Thomas Schreiner Charles Spurgeon says the following about losing our first love in his sermon on Revelation 2:1-7, “When we first loved the Saviour how earnest we were; there was not a single thing in the Bible, that we did not think most precious; there was not one command of his that we did … Read More