Ref21 Blog

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

A Survey of Male-Only Ordination in Key New Testament Texts

There can be little doubt that in years to come, when historians look back on our generation, the challenge of cultural pressure on the church will loom large. First, the theory of evolution challenged the Christian doctrine of God as...
Posted June 22, 2016 @ 9:07 AM by Richard D. Phillips

Judah-Jesus

The final quarter of the book of Genesis is taken up with the familiar narrative of Joseph. Although he is the most prominent actor in the closing drama of Genesis, the account of his history is headed 'These are...
Posted June 21, 2016 @ 9:33 AM by Iain D Campbell

Another Thirteen Evangelical Theologians Who Affirm the Eternal Submission of the Son to the Father

[Editorial Notes: Out of our respect for Dr. Wayne Grudem and a desire to continue the ongoing debate regarding Trinitarian distinctions, we are pleased to have Dr. Grudem respond to some recent criticisms that have been leveled at him....
Posted June 20, 2016 @ 2:29 PM by Wayne Grudem

The Eternal Subordination of the Son Controversy: Survey of Some Relevant Material

It has seldom received as public an airing as is now possible in the context of social media, yet controversy surrounding the eternal subordination of the Son position (ESS) is not new. Although it has not usually intruded upon the...
Posted June 17, 2016 @ 7:33 AM by Alastair Roberts

Zero Sum Game

A recent blog post by Sammy Rhodes, a minister in the PCA and RUF chaplain, has caused something of a storm. Pitched as an apology by a theological conservative to the LGBTQ community in the wake of the Orlando massacre,...
Posted June 16, 2016 @ 1:54 PM by Carl Trueman

The Gentleness and Fierceness of Christ

Isaiah's first Servant Song (Is.42:1-4) pictures a Servant who is gentle, patient, unthreatening and tender hearted. It is a magnificent portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect Servant of the Lord. It is remarkable that in his recorded...
Posted June 16, 2016 @ 8:19 AM by Ian Hamilton

The Eternal Subordination of the Son Controversy: The Debate so Far

The most recent eruption of the eternal subordination of the Son controversy began with a couple of provocative posts by Liam Goligher, pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, over on Aimee Byrd's Housewife Theologian blog.    Goligher's posts sharply criticized...
Posted June 15, 2016 @ 10:26 PM by Alastair Roberts

Walker Percy on the Bankruptcy of Naturalistic Materialism

About a year ago I took a solo road trip from Jackson, MS to St. Joseph's Abbey in Covington, LA, which is the final resting place of the Roman Catholic novelist, Walker Percy. It was an opportunity to pay...
Posted June 14, 2016 @ 5:04 PM by Adam Parker

5 Reasons to Study Old Testament History

In case you missed it last week, ChristwardCollective.org contributor David Murray gives us 5 Reasons to Study Old Testament History. 5 REASONS TO STUDY OLD TESTAMENT HISTORYby David MurrayShakespeare wrote that each person's history is "a tale told by an idiot,...
Posted June 14, 2016 @ 3:38 PM by Robert Brady

Eternal Submission and the Story of the Seven Ecumenical Councils

[Editor's Note: The editorial team, being aware of Dr. Glenn Butner's 2015 article in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society ("Eternal Functional Subordination and the Problem of the Divine Will") asked him if he would be willing to distill the...
Posted June 13, 2016 @ 6:56 PM by D. Glenn Butner, Jr.

John Webster (1955-2016) Ref21 Contributions

Ref21 readers who are familiar with the British theologian John Webster will, I'm sure, already know that he passed away late last month. I'm equally sure that many readers of this site will not have heard of Webster, or will...
Posted June 13, 2016 @ 9:09 AM by Aaron Denlinger

Refuting Theological Error

There is a profoundly important section titled, "On the Preaching of the Word," in The Directory for the Public Worship of God, in which we find a very short and very wise statement about the minister's responsibility to refute false...
Posted June 10, 2016 @ 10:08 AM by Nick Batzig

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