God's Ambassadors: A Plan for the Presbyteries

Article by   October 2016
It is not easy to supply a war-torn country with sufficient preachers for every community, and for the navy and army as well. This was the experience of the Westminster Assembly in the 1640s during England's civil war, and it was difficult to know what to do about it. continue

Longenecker on Romans

Article by   September 2016
Because of the impact of Romans on the Church's overall theology, commentaries on Romans tend to take on disproportionally more importance than, for example, commentaries on Micah. Richard N. Longenecker has just produced a large (1,207 pages) scholarly commentary on Romans in the prestigious New International Greek Testament Commentary series. His The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary on the Greek Text has a distinctive thesis as to the "central thrust" of Romans continue

Slavery and the Bible

Article by   September 2016
It is hard to imagine a more challenging historical and scriptural topic than slavery. It has become ammunition used by skeptics who have denounced the Bible as fundamentally immoral. I believe that maturing Christians should grapple with these kinds of Bible "problems," instead of just assuming that the Scriptures give us transparent answers to all of life and history's conundrums. continue

The Hermeneutics of Lament (Part 2)

Article by   September 2016
If we are to recover the Psalms of lament today, we should not just move our grief and outrage from social media into the sanctuary. We need to allow our grief and anger to be reframed - in light of the Psalmist's stubborn hope in God's covenant promises, and on the path of the enemy-love of our Lord Jesus Christ. continue

The New Abolition

Article by   September 2016
If you have anything like a rose-colored perspective of the history of Christ's church in the United States during the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth, this book will be as difficult as it is important for you to read. continue

Calvin and Baptism: Baptismal Regeneration or the Duplex Loquendi Modus?

Article by   August 2016
"What is the relation between baptism and salvation in the thought of John Calvin?" This is a timely question, given that there has been much discussion over this very subject of late. continue

How to Survive the Apocalypse

Article by   August 2016
"The world is going to hell." So begins How to Survive the Apocalypse, written by political theorist Robert Joustra and English professor/media critic Alissa Wilkinson. In fact, the authors are not predicting the imminent end of world per se, but describing a trend toward dystopian stories in popular entertainment during the past decade. continue

Edwards the Exegete

Article by   August 2016
For all of the warranted attention scholars have given to Edwards's grand treatises, Sweeney makes a convincing case that Edwards' core vocation was not as a polemicist but as a preacher and teacher. continue

The Westminster Assembly and the Debate about the Word

Article by   July 2016
In concluding that the public reading of the Scriptures is a ministerial task, the assembly did not appeal to direct examples, but argued instead that it reached its conclusion "by just consequence." continue

The Hermeneutics of Biblical Lament (Part 1)

Article by   July 2016
What is the fruit of biblical interpretation? For example, in interpreting anceint texts such as the Psalms, should our primary goal be to reconstruct the ancient Psalmist's meaning? Or, for Christians, should it be to receive the Psalms as prayers, to be prayed by the Spirit, in Christ? continue

Same-Sex Attraction and the Church

Article by   July 2016
Christians, including young evangelicals, are increasingly being persuaded that it is unreasonable to ask those who experience exclusively same-sex attraction to live celibate lives. Sexuality is considered to be central to human identity, and sexual experience is thought to be an essential part of any decent life. To expect a person to be celibate - for his or her entire life - is to ask that person to deny his or her very own self. It is to reject any and all possibility of happiness. continue

God's Ambassadors: The Westminster Assembly as Candidates and Credentials Committee

Article by   June 2016
The Westminster Assembly had taken upon itself the wonderful but formidable task of examining preachers for ministry in the church. By mid-autumn of 1643 the assembly recognized that it needed to further clarify and solidify its procedures for the examination of ministers. Since the members of the assembly were Reformed men, they did what Reformed people do: they appointed a committee, and after careful deliberation, it returned to the assembly with a list of twenty-one rules. continue

The Real John Knox

Article by   June 2016
In Jane Dawson's recent biography...we meet Knox the man. His life was a remarkable one by any account. He was the key figure not only in the Scottish Reformation, but also a major player in the Reformation in England and on the Continent. But Dawson introduces us to Knox as a family man, a Christian brother, and a believer struggling (as do we all) to remain faithful to the Lord. continue

Praying for Heretics: Irenaeus of Lyons' First Prayer for the Gnostics

Article by   May 2016
How should we respond to heresy? As we have seen in our previous article, the early Christian theologian Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130-c.200) is a great model here. There must be a robust theological response based on Scripture. And confessional parameters... continue

Calvin's Company of Pastors

Article by   May 2016
During the period of the Reformation the city of Geneva became one of the most important centers of theological and pastoral development in the world. At that time, under John Calvin's leadership, the pastors (over 130 from the city and countryside surrounding Geneva) were gathered together into what was called the "Company of Pastors." continue

Scotland's Protestant Martyrs: Thomas Forret

Article by   April 2016
The persecution of Protestants in Scotland, at least if measured in martyrdoms, peaked in 1539, shortly after Cardinal David Beaton, a zealous opponent of reform, was appointed primate of the country. Glasgow witnessed the execution of two individuals that year continue

The Best of All Worlds

Article by   April 2016
The cross required sin and evil in order to do its work of showing us how loving and just God is. So the Reformed supralapsarian theodicy understands sin's presence as instrumentally useful; as directed toward a greater good: the fullest communication of who God is to his people. continue

God's Ambassadors: The Westminster Assembly and the Reform of the English Pulpit, 1643-1653

Article by   April 2016
The assembly of divines that authored a famous confession of faith, catechisms, and much more, met in Westminster, now a suburb of London, in the middle of a bloody civil war that tore apart, England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The English parliament, for a variety of reasons, raised an army to try to rein in the power of the king and to gain reforms in taxation, religion, and political process. The English parliament was called the Long Parliament because it met for a long time (1642-1653). continue

Ressourcement: Irenaeus of Lyons and His Answer to the Hyper-Spirituality of Gnosticism

Article by   April 2016
Contrary to much of modern thinking, there is truth and there is error. And just as it is vital to find the one--without truth there can be no salvation--so it is requisite to shun the other--for error in vital matters will lead to damnation. Though Christians have had two millennia to think about these matters, one of the best of guides is still the second-century apologist, Irenaeus of Lyons. Irenaeus is the most important Greek-speaking theologian of second-century Christianity; yet, materials for his life are meagre at best. But what we do know of him makes us eager to find out more about this winsome theologian and pastor. continue

'Rise, heart; thy Lord is risen'

Article by   March 2016
The Christian confession of the resurrection encompasses two great matters: first, that Jesus Christ is the living one who died and is alive for evermore (Rev. 1.18), and, second, that together with him 'God made us alive' (Eph. 2.5). These two elements of the confession - its Christology and its soteriology - belong together, but stand in a strict and irreversible sequence. It is only because God raised Christ from the dead that we also have newness of life; what we experience and confess of our own resurrection is wholly derivative from the principal reality: 'Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father' (Rom. 6.4). Yet we would not know Christ's resurrection in its full range if we did not also consider its extension into the realm of creatures, its generative power and effect. continue

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