Articles

A Hamster Wheel Floating

Article by   June 2015
We have been dealing with a well-worn objection to Covenantal apologetics. As we have seen, the objection goes back, at least, to the time of the Reformation. It is an objection that Roman Catholics used against those who would hold to the Reformed view of Sola Scriptura. In modern discussions, it has become an objection of Arminian theology against a Reformed view of God's (special and general) revelation. Thus, it is an objection that presupposes a neutral notion of reason, such that reason is thought to supply the universal foundation for any and every rational theory of knowledge. Such a presupposition, we have attempted to show, is at home only within an Arminian or Romanist theology; Reformed theology cannot affirm it. continue

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory

Article by   June 2015
Jerry Walls, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: Rethinking the Things that Matter Most. Michigan: Brazos, 2015. 240 pp. $19.99Although two and a half centuries of Enlightenment naturalism have eaten away at the western world's faith in the afterlife, the question of our... continue

Presbyterians and the Political Theology of Race: [Part 1] - Cultural Captivity?

Article by   June 2015
At the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5 President Obama called Christians to exercise humility in their responses to Muslim acts of terror, referencing some of the great sins of the Christian tradition. His comments provoked a sharp backlash, much of it focused on whether or not the Crusades were a cause of Islamic terrorism. But Christians were more muted in their response to the president's allusion to slavery and the oppression of Jim Crow segregation. As Anthony Bradley recently warned in a Facebook post, "Don't let your evangelical friends only talk about the Crusades... [W]ill someone clarify the Trail of Tears, slavery, and Jim Crow, and so on for us?" continue

John Calvin as Sixteenth-Century Prophet

Article by   June 2015
Jon Balserak, John Calvin as Sixteenth-Century Prophet, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. xiv + 208pp.Jon Balserak's new monograph on Calvin as a prophet, a sequel to his Establishing the Remnant Church, Calvin's Lectures on the Minor Prophets, 1556-1559, (Brill, 2011)... continue

Race and the American Church - Part IV

Article by   June 2015
I began graduate study in history in the summer of 2006. I was ecstatic to be home and I was also excited because I obtained a graduate assistantship working at the Avery Center for African American History and Culture. Not only would I learn more about my own research, but I would learn, or re-learn, the history of Charleston, SC through the lens of the African American experience. As part of my assistantship I helped process archival collections and I gave tours to visitors who came to Charleston from all across the United States. You must understand, many of these groups were reunion groups, church tours and families (most of whom were African American). The director of the center placed me at the front desk so the first thing these folks saw when they walked in "THE" Center for African American History and Culture in Charleston was a bow-tie clad white man named Otis. It usually took people the better part of an hour to process this. continue

A Lament for Charleston

Article by   June 2015
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Please know that as I write this it is with an incredibly heavy heart and a heart still deep in mourning. Yesterday I spent the entire day in lament, with my brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer at a historic African American congregation in Jackson, MS (Mt. Helm Baptist Church) and then had a healing time processing these events with my brothers Carl Ellis, Mike Higgins and Jemar Tisby on the Reformed African American Network's podcast called Pass the Mic. You can check that out here. continue

Reformed Orthodoxy in Scotland

Article by   June 2015
Aaron Clay Denlinger (ed.), Reformed Orthodoxy in Scotland: Essays on Scottish Theology 1560-1775. Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015. $130.00/£70.00The last three decades have witnessed a radical reappraisal of post-Reformation Reformed theology. The work of Richard A. Muller and those who have... continue

Race and the American Church - Part III

Article by   June 2015
In the Fall of 2003, I enrolled at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. At the time, I was thinking seriously about pastoral ministry, but would learn that God had other plans. I had traveled outside of South Carolina to Europe several times and around the U.S.A. to pretty much every major city and section of the country. However, I had never lived permanently anywhere outside of South Carolina and had always lived in majority-white, middle class suburbs. Covenant Seminary saw fit to place us in a seminary-owned apartment in a working class African American neighborhood just six miles south of Ferguson, MO. Someone much smarter than me (perhaps my friend Bobby Griffith) needs to write a history or sociological study of those seminary-owned apartments, the impact of the students in that community over time and the impact of that community and the wonderful people who live there on the lives of Covenant students over time. continue

The Spirit and Scripture: More than Divine Advice

Article by   June 2015
Our own day has seen a revival of short, pithy proverbs -- with advice about "five steps to be happy" or "six ways to financial security" going viral through social media. Often, the way that Christians approach the Bible fits the same mold: we approach the Bible as a divine self-help manual, with a collection of Bible verses to give us advice to help us live healthier, happier lives. Indeed, good advice is a gift. Advice can be part of the wisdom that comes from God. Practical wisdom to address loss, poverty, and misdirected hearts can be a cup of cold water to those in need. Scripture itself offers proverbial wisdom in many places. continue

Whose Augustine? Which City?

Article by   June 2015
Michael J.S. Bruno. Political Augustinianism: Modern Interpretations of Augustine's Political Thought. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014. 224pp. $28.99/£24.99We should not lose sight of how remarkable it is that a fifth-century north African bishop continues to be read in political theory courses... continue

Lila Bloody Lays

Article by   June 2015
Lila is a swelling tide. The prose and themes slowly overwhelm, lifting and submerging the reader on grace's stormy sea. For Lila, the novel's namesake, flailing in this tide comes naturally. As you lay in your blood, I said to you, "Live." My own fascination with Lila, and with Robinson, arises from a deep appreciation for the Old Testament's leading role in both. Any literary laurels I pass her way are amateurish at best. I have no credentials for such. I do, however, pay my mortgage by teaching the Old Testament. As my children are wont to remind me, I'm not the kind of doctor who can really help someone. But if you could use some assistance on an airplane identifying a hifil verb, I might be useful. continue

Race and the American Church - Part II

Article by   June 2015
I thought it might help the reader to know that God has been pulling me into places of racial interaction ever since I was young. As a southern white male, I believe God has gifted me with an ability to speak into the southern white Christian experience about race. I write this piece to display that this is all a work of His doing and not of my own. All I did was stumble along and make mistakes. I hope that gives you some comfort. We just have to be willing to stumble along, learn, grow and listen. It is only because God has lifted a few of the scales from my eyes that I am beginning to see. It's not because I am good or that I have understanding or insight. I was blind and now I see somewhat dimly. I ask the Lord and my African American brothers and sisters to continue to help me to see and to keep me from stumbling so much. continue

Exodus and Liberation

Article by   June 2015
John Coffey, Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. $34.99/£24.99On Saturday March 10, 2015, President Barack Obama spoke on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Selma civil... continue

Newton on the Christian Life

Article by   May 2015
Tony Reinke, Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015. $14.79I imagine many will think this book tells an important yet familiar tale of a repentant man who writes an enduring, widely appealing hymn. Though... continue

Race and the American Church

Article by   May 2015
I decided to start by telling you my story, which will be the second part of the series. It is a unique story. It has a lot to do with my name, my experiences, the work of Christ and what God is accomplishing in me. I want to share that with others. My hope is that white Christians will be able to read this perspective from another white Christian and thus attempt to listen to and understand their African American brothers and sisters, their experiences and their frustrations with a bit more grace and love. My hope is similar for my African American brothers and sisters although I know that many of them, having been raised in a society where they are the minority, grow up forced to think about whites. Indeed, to engage in and maneuver American society requires the minority to know, learn and understand those in a majority position continue

Disunity in Christ

Article by   May 2015
Christena Cleveland, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2013. $13.99/£9.99Christena Cleveland's Disunity in Christ is an important read for those who--in an increasingly pluralistic yet no less segregated society--call church their... continue

More Spalled Concrete

Article by   May 2015
In our last two articles, we've been dealing with various objections that continue to be offered against a Covenantal approach to apologetics. The objection that we considered last time needs more explanation and discussion that we were able to give it in one article. We will continue that discussion in this article (and the next) in order to try more fully to address the objection itself. The hope is that these responses will be taken into account if the objection continues to be offered, rather than, as is often the case, simply repeating the objection as if nothing has been offered in response. continue

The Human Being: A Theological Anthropology

Article by   May 2015
Hans Schwarz, The Human Being: A Theological Anthropology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. $24.99After years of relative neglect, theological anthropology has been on the rise lately. In the last few years alone, we've seen books like Michael Welker's The Depth of... continue

The Fruit of the Spirit: Love [part 2]

Article by   May 2015
At the head of the apostle's list of the Spirit's fruits stands love, the principal virtue from which the others derive and of which they are extensions. If we are to come to understand the nature of Christian love and the character of the gospel's commands to love, however, we have to proceed indirectly, reflecting first on God and the acts of God, and then on created human nature. continue

The Dynamics of Biblical Mystery

Article by   May 2015
G.K. Beale and Benjamin Gladd. Hidden But Now Revealed: A Biblical Theology of Mystery. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2014. 392 pp. $27.00.The current interest in Christ-centered preaching owes many of its finer products to the redemptive historical method and this... continue

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