Ref21 Blog

Dogmatic Art

As I've been reading through G.K. Chesterton's book Heretics, I was interested to happen upon his treatment of dogmatism and the arts. Reflecting on his consideration of the life and work of Rudyard Kipling, Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells, Chesterton...
Posted April 25, 2019 @ 8:10 AM by Nick Batzig

Turretin's Treasure

Many years ago, at one of the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society, Allan Fisher gave me (a poor doctoral student at the time) one of the best gifts that an aspiring student of theology could ever receive:...
Posted April 24, 2019 @ 4:11 PM by Scott Swain

Power for Missions Restored

Since the early 19th Century the American church has largely taken for granted the necessity and legitimacy of mission agencies, both church and para-church. By the mid 20th Century they were as firmly entrenched as any feature of American...
Posted April 22, 2019 @ 8:45 AM by Philip DeHart

Unconsciously Paying the Ransom

In his remarkable book, The Suffering Savior, Frederick Krummacher made the astonishing observation that by Jesus' prayer for mercy from the cross for those who crucified him, we can conclude that "while offering up the Lord Jesus, [those crying out for...
Posted April 19, 2019 @ 8:57 AM by Nick Batzig

Rhyme Thee to Good

In the first post in this short series on the theology of the seventeenth Anglican poet, George Herbert, we considered the centrality of salvation by grace in the altar poem. It shows up throughout his other poems as well....
Posted April 17, 2019 @ 7:17 AM by Bret Saunders

How Can We Know God?

In my first article on the topic of theology proper, I discussed why we must know the God who created us. I will now explain how we can know that God whose ways are higher than our ways, and his...
Posted April 15, 2019 @ 6:29 AM by Amy Mantravadi

Dr. Watts' Scheme

Isaac Watts wrote nearly 600 hymns in the 18th Century. Churches around the world still sing many today. For instance, if you visited a congregation on any given Sunday in the English speaking world, it would not be a...
Posted April 13, 2019 @ 8:33 AM by Nick Batzig

Reason, Revelation and the Resurrection

I recently read a short article on Biologos entitled On What Basis Should A Scientist Accept The Resurrection? A composite piece written by a number of Biologos contributors, the article sets out an argument for the basis for and authority...
Posted April 10, 2019 @ 8:57 PM by Matt Holst

When Our Voices Fail

Three weeks ago this past Thursday (March 21), I decided it was probably best, because of my mother's serious health situation, for me to head home to South Carolina after worship on the coming Sunday to be with her....
Posted April 8, 2019 @ 7:30 AM by Rob Looper
TOPICS: death, glory, grief, hymns

Thomas Boston, the Marrow and the Gospel

Thomas Boston is one of my favorite authors. Through his sermons, memoirs, and other writings, the prolific theologian and humble pastor of a small rural church in the Scottish border country has become one of the pastors of my...
Posted April 5, 2019 @ 8:18 AM by Phil Ryken

The Good, the Bad and the Providence of God

Johannes Maccovius, in his Theological Distinctions, treated the subject of the Divine providence toward the righteous and toward the wicked with the maxim, "In this life, what happens to good people is never bad and what happens to bad people is...
Posted April 2, 2019 @ 10:03 AM by Nick Batzig

Defeat and Victory in the Church

It is well documented that a staggering number of pastors leave the ministry each year. Conflict and burnout are numbered as some of the top reasons. Conflict between pastors and the congregation are common. In addition, the pastor's inability to...
Posted April 2, 2019 @ 8:07 AM by Dr. John B. Song

Calvin's Four Rules of Prayer

Reading through some old notes on Calvin's Institutes made me realize what always gets dropped when life feels like one giant game of whirlyball: prayer. Calvin says that if we do not pray, we are like a man who "neglect[s] a treasure,...
Posted March 29, 2019 @ 8:39 AM by Carlton Wynne

Christians in the Cultural Closet

Our society celebrates the openness with which it accepts homosexuality and transgenderism. It contrasts our present enlightened times with past eras when what are now called "sexual minorities," LGBTQers, were once consigned to the closets, forced to keep their...
Posted March 27, 2019 @ 8:00 AM by Terry L. Johnson

Adoption and the Image of God

When I was in my early 20s, I met a college friend of my parents for the first time. After a short conversation, she smiled and commented, "You're just like your dad!" She wasn't just referring to my appearance,...
Posted March 25, 2019 @ 8:09 AM by David Barry

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