Ref21 Blog

Of Gorillas and Men

A few days ago, Harambe the gorilla was shot by the Cincinatti Zoo after a 4-year-old child accidentally climbed past the fence and enclosures--only to tumble into the moat surrounding the gorilla's habitat. Sensing that the child's life was in...
Posted May 31, 2016 @ 12:44 PM by Adam Parker

Hughes Oliphant Old: A Personal Remembrance

Tomorrow the remains of Hughes Oliphant Old (April 13, 1933 - May 24, 2016) will be interred at the Christian Street Cemetery in White River Junction, Vermont. A prince in Israel has died, leaving behind mourners who will miss both his genteel...
Posted May 30, 2016 @ 9:01 AM by Terry L. Johnson

Luther, Palmerworms and Theological Precision

The details of Luther's mid-1520s tussle with Erasmus over the issue of sin's impact on human freedom are generally well known. Luther responded to Erasmus's 1524 De libero arbitrio diatribe sive collatio with his own 1525 De servo arbitrio [On...
Posted May 27, 2016 @ 9:31 AM by Aaron Denlinger

Ecclesiastical Antinomianism

Antinomianism has certainly received its fair share of just criticism in recent years--predominantly on account of its pernicious presence in the pulpits across our land. While the doctrinal forms of Antinomianism are quite pernicious, its practical forms are sometimes even...
Posted May 26, 2016 @ 7:39 AM by Nick Batzig

What Should Christians Think about Cremation?

Over recent years, I have noticed that more and more Christians are opting for the cremation of their bodies after death. The primary reason for this seems to be financial, as cremation is considerably more affordable than the pricey cost...
Posted May 25, 2016 @ 7:56 AM by Richard D. Phillips

The Old Testament's Message to Our Culture

What can the Old Testament possibly say to our culture? It seems a million miles and sometimes a million years away from our time, our generation, and our problems. How can something so old address all the new challenges of...
Posted May 23, 2016 @ 8:46 AM by David Murray

Luther, God's Law and Uncle Rico Syndrome

In 1524 Desiderius Erasmus, who until then had proven reluctant to challenge Martin Luther publically, finally caved to pressure from Rome to employ his literary talent against the impudent German Reformer who had caused, and was still causing, the institutional...
Posted May 20, 2016 @ 7:49 AM by Aaron Denlinger

No Adam, No Christ!

Preaching through Genesis over the past year and a half has encouraged me to re-open quite a number of significant theological subjects--not least of which is the historical character of the foundational portions of God's revelation. Over the past 150 years, biblical...
Posted May 18, 2016 @ 7:46 AM by Nick Batzig

John Calvin on the True Church

When is a "church" not a church? How do we recognize the true church of Jesus Christ? And how do we discern the false? Calvin's answer, in the Institutes 4.2.1 - 4.2.12, to what was in his day--and remains--an important question,...
Posted May 17, 2016 @ 7:25 AM by Sinclair Ferguson

An Authoritative Appeal to Tradition?

Reformed evangelicals sometimes speak and write as if they believe that we have little or no use for tradition. On the other hand, there are Reformed evangelicals who--while debating a subject--appeal to a renown theologian from bygone days and write in such a way...
Posted May 16, 2016 @ 8:12 AM by Jeff Waddington

The Pastor's Family and Friendships in the Church

One of the pieces of advice that I received from a seasoned pastor when I was first beginning ministry was, "Don't befriend the people in your church. They will most certainly hurt you." I assumed his words were the result...
Posted May 12, 2016 @ 6:59 AM by Nick Kennicott

A Plan for the Problem of Pornography

Before I had my own email address (remember the good old days?), I warned in one of my Windows on the World that the internet would make pornography pervasive. Now we are living a depraved new world, in which sexually...
Posted May 10, 2016 @ 7:38 AM by Phil Ryken

Unity in Multi-Categorical Diversity in the Church

Without in any way wishing to take away from the ongoing conversation about the dire need for the church in North America to focus on attaining unity among ethnic diversity by means of the Gospel, I have long felt the...
Posted May 7, 2016 @ 10:33 AM by Nick Batzig

An Encouraging Conference

I see that my friends over at Mortification of Spin are taking a hiatus from having a go at conferences and big tent para-church ministries for the next week but thankfully continuing their obsession with critiquing complementarians. If you know of an...
Posted May 6, 2016 @ 8:17 AM by Paul Levy

4 Approaches to a Balanced Complementarianism

I have been following the concerns raised over at the Mortification of Spin with respect to imbalances in the practice and teaching of biblical complementarianism (I think particularly of some of Aimee Byrd's posts - here and here).  I have long...
Posted May 4, 2016 @ 7:58 AM by Richard D. Phillips

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