Ref21 Blog

Van Til's Critique of Barth's Christology (Part 2)

In the first post in this series, we gave consideration to Van Til's assessment of Barth's Christology. In this post we wish to examine Barth's own teaching on Christology. The key to understanding Barth's Christology is to understand where...
Posted September 28, 2016 @ 11:37 AM by James J. Cassidy

The Missing Message

While preparing talks for a forthcoming Reformation Conference, I happened across Heiko Oberman's outstanding 1961 Theology Today lecture, "Preaching and the Word in the Reformation," in which he set down what he believed to have been the three most important...
Posted September 28, 2016 @ 8:23 AM by Nick Batzig

The Eternal Subordination of the Son Controversy: The Tension Between Bible and Doctrine

The current debate surrounding the eternal subordination of the Son (ESS) has highlighted a number of existing tensions in evangelical theological circles. Perhaps one of the most significant of these is the tension between dogmatic and biblical theology. The...
Posted September 26, 2016 @ 9:18 AM by Alastair Roberts

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know...

On April 23, 1962, Karl Barth (the renown 20th Century Swiss-German, neo-orthodox theologian) spoke at Rockefeller Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago. Many have reported that, during the Q & A time, a student asked Karl Barth, if he could summarize...
Posted September 21, 2016 @ 12:29 PM by Nick Batzig

The Guilt of Pastoral Ministry

As I was re-reading a section of Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us About Surviving and Thriving, these words made a Facebook debut: "We asked our summit pastors, 'What obstacles stand in the way of your fruitful, growing walk with...
Posted September 20, 2016 @ 9:28 AM by Leon Brown

Validity, the Mind of God and Confessional Christianity

A while back I wrote a post on the parasitic nature of absurdity. Absurdity, as a concept, is only meaningful when set against a backdrop of rationality. Whenever we conclude something is absurd, however, we are not only judging it to...
Posted September 19, 2016 @ 1:08 PM by Bruce Baugus

Why Complementarianism Remains Important

Recent months have seen considerable controversy among conservative Christians around the topic of complementarianism, arising mainly from a false analogy between the subordination of wives to husbands and that of God the Son to God the Father. Depending on...
Posted September 19, 2016 @ 9:11 AM by Richard D. Phillips

On Burials and Bargains

Upon the surface, Genesis 23 seems rather curious in its choice of emphases. In the terse space of a single verse it records Sarah's death and Abraham's mourning (Gen. 23.2). The remaining twenty-odd verses (Gen. 23.3-20) of the chapter...
Posted September 16, 2016 @ 9:15 AM by Aaron Denlinger

Desiring to Rule Over Genesis 3:16

There are a number of reasons why I have been following with great interest the debate over the ESV's recent change of translation of Genesis 3:16 (see this and this). First, it is clear that the complementarianism debate will necessarily...
Posted September 15, 2016 @ 7:33 AM by Nick Batzig

Van Til's Critique of Barth's Christology (Part 1)

In the recent resurgence of interest in the theology of Karl Barth--particularly among evangelicals1--theologians of no mean significance have opined on Cornelius Van Til's writings about the dialectical theologian. Van Til, according to some, offered an "absurd"2 and "inept...
Posted September 14, 2016 @ 8:55 AM by James J. Cassidy

Playing the Nihilism Game

Eugene Thacker, in his Nihilistic masterwork In the Dust of This Planet offers a quote at the very beginning by Arthur Schopenhauer: "The life of every individual, viewed as a whole and in general, and when only its most significant features...
Posted September 13, 2016 @ 9:04 AM by Adam Parker

Abelard & Anselm; or How to Throw Yourself in Front of a Bus

Leon Morris once suggested that "the atonement is the crucial doctrine of the faith" and that "unless we are right here it matters little . . . what we are like elsewhere" (The Cross in the New Testament, p....
Posted September 9, 2016 @ 2:24 PM by Bruce Baugus

Should Christians Roar? 5 Questions about the Clemson "WeRoar" Prayer Protest

Last Friday, September 2, 2016, a group of students at Clemson University gathered to protest the suppression of free speech by campus officials. Christian evangelist Robbie Roberts had been removed from campus for sitting in a chair with a small...
Posted September 6, 2016 @ 2:12 PM by Richard D. Phillips

Praying Through the Scriptures: Genesis 1

Over the years it has been my practice, learned from others, to offer up praises and petitions framed by a passage of Scripture. Some of these passages were read in preparation for preaching, others offered material for meditation in...
Posted September 5, 2016 @ 5:44 PM by Chad Van Dixhoorn

A Valuable (or not) Historical Resource on Gender Roles

The last year or so has witnessed some controversy about the meaning and value of the term complementarianism (not to be confused with complimentarianism, which is belief in people who pay me compliments) to describe men and women's respective...
Posted September 1, 2016 @ 3:26 PM by Aaron Denlinger

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