Ref21 Blog

"An Oration in Commemoration of the Independence of The United States of America"

Enos Hitchcock (1744-1803) was a Harvard graduate (1767) and a chaplain for several brigades in the Colonial militia (seeing battle at Ticonderoga, Saratoga, Valley Forge, and West Point). He also served as chaplain of the Continental Army from 1779-1780....
Posted July 22, 2016 @ 9:51 AM by Robert Brady

The Eternal Subordination of the Son Controversy: The Need for Trinitarian Clarity

Most criticisms of the eternal subordination of the Son (ESS) position have focused upon deficiencies in its Trinitarian theology. In my last post I commented upon some of the problems with the term and concept of subordination. Within this...
Posted July 21, 2016 @ 2:28 PM by Alastair Roberts

The World's True Hope

Americans have come to one of the more exciting portions of the quadrennial election cycle in the national conventions of the two main parties. This invariably means non-stop media attention, partisan revelry, messianic symbolism, and the occasional significant speech. Without...
Posted July 19, 2016 @ 12:22 PM by Richard D. Phillips

If It Makes You Happy

A discernible pattern has emerged in the wake of recent events. A particular tragedy is perpetrated by a person of one community upon people of another community. The life of one who bears the image of God is wantonly snuffed...
Posted July 18, 2016 @ 3:58 PM by Donny Friederichsen

Wisdom and Biblical Principles of Complementarianism

Our little corner of the internet has been ablaze over the past several months with posts and articles about the Trinity and complementarianism. A number of individuals have raised concerns about certain segments of the church allowing chauvinism (e.g. sanctified testosterone, soap bubble submission) and...
Posted July 13, 2016 @ 8:39 PM by Nick Batzig

Longing for a Multi-Ethnic Church

If Charlotte's Web were real, Charlotte might have written the following about the events of last week: "SOME WEEK!" "HORRIFIC" "DEVIANT" "HUMBLING". Two young black men shot dead by police officers, one in my home town of Baton Rouge....
Posted July 12, 2016 @ 9:22 AM by Caleb Cangelosi

The Eternal Subordination of the Son Controversy: Subordination

Teasing out the many different threads of the current eternal subordination of the Son (ESS) debate is a daunting task. The sheer range of different positions and issues represented within the conversation can be bewildering. Perhaps one of the...
Posted July 11, 2016 @ 9:19 AM by Alastair Roberts

Extraordinary Means of Grace by Mark Johnston

The idea of 'the means of grace' has undergone an encouraging rehabilitation in the life and ministry of many Reformed churches in recent years. This has come as a healthy corrective to pressure from the wider church to embrace ideas...
Posted July 7, 2016 @ 4:46 PM by Robert Brady

The Savior at the Well

"I am the woman at the well, I am the harlot I am the scattered seed that fell along the path I am the son that ran away And I am the bitter son that stayedMy God, my God, why hast Thou accepted me When...
Posted July 6, 2016 @ 5:06 PM by Nick Batzig

"The Labyrinth of Temptation": Calvin on Genesis 22

"This chapter contains a most memorable narrative." Thus Calvin introduces his readers to Gen. 22, that text which records God's instruction to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, the long-awaited fulfillment of God's promise and source of Abraham's profound...
Posted July 6, 2016 @ 8:42 AM by Aaron Denlinger

2016 PCA General Assembly: Moving Forward Together

Having read a number of assessments of the 44th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), it occurs to me that one's perspective, as usual, has a shaping effect on one's view.  My own perspective arises largely from having...
Posted June 30, 2016 @ 6:58 AM by Richard D. Phillips

A U-Turn: The PCA 2016 General Assembly and Racial Reconciliation

Last year at the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) 2015 General Assembly, a personal resolution on racial reconciliation was submitted. Drs. Sean Michael Lucas and Ligon Duncan provided the denomination with an opportunity to confess and forsake the sins...
Posted June 29, 2016 @ 3:41 PM by Leon Brown

A Troubling Turn: PCA General Assembly 2016

By and large I have stayed out of the politics of the General Assembly (GA) for the past 34 years. Because I pastor at an independent Presbyterian church, I have not been motivated to educate myself--in a significant way--about...
Posted June 29, 2016 @ 8:17 AM by Terry L. Johnson

Christ in Flesh and Spirit

Over the past 150 years or so, there has been a biblical theological development in our understanding of Paul's use of the σαρκ/πνεύμα (i.e. flesh/Spirit) distinction--specifically in relation to the Person and work of Christ. The most significant passage in this...
Posted June 28, 2016 @ 8:05 AM by Nick Batzig

The Trinitarian Debate: Some Reflections and Cautions

First a confession, I rarely read blogs--especially Christian ones. My reason is simple; blogs are no kind of forum for engaging in thoughtful, reflective, analytical and measured theological discourse. No doubt some do it wisely, even brilliantly; most do it...
Posted June 27, 2016 @ 9:21 AM by Ian Hamilton

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