Reformed Churchmen

We are Protestant, Calvinistic and Reformed Prayer Book Churchmen and Churchwomen. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; in 2012, we also remembered the 450th anniversary of Mr. (Bp., Salisbury) John Jewel's sober, scholarly, Protestant, and Reformed defense An Apology of the Church of England. In 2013, we remember the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. You will not hear these things in modern outlets for Anglican advertisement. Confessional Churchmen keep the "lights burning in the darkness." Although Post-Anglicans or Ex-Anglicans with sorrow (and contempt for many, especially the leaders), we maintain learning, faith, hope and reading. Mr. (Rev. Dr. Prof.) James Packer wrote, quipped and applied this specific song for mishmash-muddler-Anglicans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGyPuey-1Jw. (Also, as a matter of policy, we do not post "anonymous posters," Give your real name and location. Many have been deleted which were otherwise good posts. We're old Marines here. Hiding is not courage.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

VirtueOnline - News - Exclusives - BEING FAITHFUL: The Shape of Historic Anglicanism Today

VirtueOnline - News - Exclusives - BEING FAITHFUL: The Shape of Historic Anglicanism Today

Allegedly, a commentary on GAFCON, something ACNA will give lip service to. We hold small expectations for any significant Confessional recovery of Protestant, Reformed, Confessional Anglicanism of the variety (only variety) as evinced by the English Reformers.

Ratzinger's Responsibility | National Catholic Reporter

Ratzinger's Responsibility National Catholic Reporter

Vicar of paedophiles and other issues. Kung is an astute observer of the Vatican.

Heidelcast 21 March 2010: Christ’s Active Obedience, the Westminster Assembly, and the FV (Updated) « Heidelblog

Heidelcast 21 March 2010: Christ’s Active Obedience, the Westminster Assembly, and the FV (Updated) « Heidelblog

Thoughts of Francis Turretin: Review of "Is Rome the True Church?"

Thoughts of Francis Turretin: Review of "Is Rome the True Church?"

Prayer Request: Veitch Family

My father fell unconscious in a restaurant following Divine Services this afternoon. He is 86. A massive heart attack. He is just coming out of open heart surgery. Not sure how long I may be offline. My mother is 87 and heavily dependent upon my father. Request prayer for family. In travel-mode.

He was, is and ever shall be a stalwart believer in Christ, Christ's finished work at Calvary and the imputed righteousness of Christ. "Stalwart" only begins to describe this life-long and honourable servant of Christ.

At 86, he was still reading professional theological journals for devotions in the morning.

Again, if you would remember us, keep us in prayer.

Hank Hanegraaff’s “Counterfeit Revival,” FLESH and Liars, xix-20


http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=16134&post=95085&uid=308173344359#post95085

1. Hank Hanegraaff’s “Counterfeit Revival” (Nashville, TN: Word Publishing, 2001), xix-20.

2. When Hanegraaff wrote, the “Toronto Movement” of John Arnott, "Pensacola Outpourings" and the “Brownsville Revivals” were still fresh. Claims to gold fillings miraculously appearing in teeth along with spirit-fillings were rife, along with sardonic laughings, dogs barkings, howlings, spasmodic jerkings and more holy rollings of chaotic Pentecostals spun out of control. Charisma magazine, credulous advocate, reported favorably and, occasionally but infrequently, critically. They have a dog in the fight: their own credulity and support, but also funds and advertisements from the Pentecostalists. Time magazine reported that “supplicants sob, shake, roar like lions and strangest of all, laugh uncontrollably. Newsweek’s article was entitled “Giggles from God.” Here’s just one example featuring Kenneth Hagin, plagiarist of Kenyon and liar, and Kenneth Copeland at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SgByE0pX1M Paul Crouch reported that he saw “gold dust all over Benny Hinn” (xxii) and that heaven’s door “opened a crack and a little of the street dust came down on [Hinn].” Hinn was reported to have said and prophesied that Jesus would physically appear on the stage in Nairobi, Kenya. We have seen various youtube citations with Hinn claiming and denying such as possible: more of Hinn's fabrications and contradictions as a false prophet. Hinn too has used "resurrections" from the dead as a $$-raising technique during "TBN Praise-a-thons" (Fleece-a-thons). He even claimed that people would bring their dead relatives in caskets and cause their dead relatives to touch the TV to receive their resurrections. As liars, Brownsville Revivalists reported that they saw 200 resurrections from the dead (with no verifications, as usual). One story was of parents whose child died. They put the child on ice, drove 300 miles to Pensacola to receive the resurrection of their child, only to leave with despair and disillusionment. No one reports on the "back door" of those leaving with disillusionment, despair and unbelief.

3. P.T. Barnum, “Never underestimate the gullibility of the public” and “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

4. Hanegraaff offers this acrostic as the chart of his book: F-L-E-S-H.

(1) F = Fabrications, Fantasies and Frauds. We would add that lying, deceptions, exaggerations, and falsifications characterize Pentecostalism.

(2) L = Lying Signs and Wonders

(3) E = End time Restorationism

(4) S = Slain in the Spirit. We would add that an article will be forthcoming on this hypnotic manipulation, a technique known in magic and other religions, Sufi Muslims and among some Hinduists.

(5) H = Hypnotism

5. Re: F, or fabrications. Leaders in the revivals pepper their sermons with fabrications, fantasies and falsehoods. Many have become disillusioned and left the movement only to disappear in the cracks of history.

6. Re: L, or lies. Lying signs and wonders occurred during the first and second great awakenings. Edwards felt that these signs contributed to the end of the first awakening. These manifestations characterized the second great awakening.

7. Re: E, or end time restorationism. The belief that in the end time, these miracles, super-apostles and manifestations would become normative. Rick Joyner predicts a “Civil War” between those who follow these revivalists and those who believe in reason.

8. Re: S, or being slain in the spirit. John Wimber, like all Pentecostalists, attribute this to being slain in the spirit to the Holy Spirit. It has more in common with Hindu gurus, hucksters and hypnotists.

9. Re: H, or hypnotism.

10. Amongst the other letters in the acrostic, FLESH, we are heavily and mightily impressed by first one: the gross number of fabrications and falsehoods perpetrated by these leaders in the name of God. We intend, God willing, to develop this singular theme more fully. "F" for falsifiers and liars. LYING is characteristic of the movement.

11. Yet, millions watch and send money to these liars.

Victor Budgen’s “The Charismatics and the Word of God," 11-24


http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=16133&uid=308173344359

1. Victor Budgen’s “The Charismatics and the Word of God” (Faverdall North, UK: Evangelical Press, 1989). Chapter One: Prophecy and the Old Testament, 11-24.

2. Characteristics of OT prophecy:

(1) Infallible. Moses and the 10 plagues, among all the others. This is vital.
(2) Authored by the Holy Spirit. Various texts offered which we won‘t duplicate, e.g. 1 Pet.1.11; 2 Pet.1.21. Since God was the Author, fallibility was rigourously prohibited and false prophets seen to be liars meriting death for false witness and speaking by false spirits.
(3) Supernatural. Predictions by Abraham (e.g. sojourn in Egypt), Plagues of Pharoah, days of Elijah and Elisha.
(4) Forth-telling or fore-telling, signs of prediction. Every OT prophet evinces this with infallibility.
(5) Divine urgency.
(6) Great diversity in expression: parables, symbolic acts such as Ezekiel, the poetic and literary genius such as Isaiah, thunderbolts like Nahum, tender expressions like Hosea, or cross-examining rigour of Malach.
(7) False prophets have existed throughout history, e.g. the false magicians of Pharoah’s court. One distinctive of false prophets: they do not deal with the searing issue of sin. This is a rigourous test. Aside from TBN, Arminians, semi-Pelagians and Pelagians fail this test. Sounds pretty modern.
(8) Prophets were to be tested “stringently” upon pain of death. We would add that Pat Robertson and Benny Hinn would have been put to death years ago under the Old Covenant administration.

3. More to follow, Lord willing. Argument and chapter-by-chapter, the case will be argued.

D.R. McConnell’s “A Different Gospel, 4-13: TBN, Kenyon and Hagin


1. D.R. McConnell’s “A Different Gospel” (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995). Chapter One, “The True Faith of the Modern Movement: Relationship between Kenneth Hagin and E.W. Kenyon,” 4-13.

2. E.W. Kenyon (1867-1948) was the true founder of the “Word Faith Movement,” a TBN-specialty and close cousin of Third Wave Pentecostalism and other charismatic movements. McConnell is at pains to demonstrate that Kenneth Hagin, Sr., was indebted to Kenyon, purloining and plagiarizing extensively from Kenyon’s writings. This has been widely reported and documented. This literary and intellectual theft appears to be demonstrated clearly by McConnell, as well as the phony, deceiving, and lying claims by Hagin, Sr., that he received his notions by “revelation” (while busily copying Kenyon’s writings almost verbatim at points). It is precisely why peer-reviewed writings are essential. This is what is done in academia, PhD dissertations and book publications. Yahoos are stopped at the outset. However, given the anti-academia and anti-intellectualism in Pentecostalism, there were no checks. Hagin ran off with Kenyon's ideas. Plagarism is suicidal for scholars, but not for Hagin's ilk.

3. Hagin the plagiarist, thief and liar is the acknowledged “granddaddy” of the WOF-movement and TBN. Copeland, Price, Osteen (Sr.) Capp and others claim this, as has Charisma magazine.

4. This theft is a sticking point (as it should be) with McConnell, who by the way is a friend of Pentecostalism. The claim to “revelation” by the Spirit is belied by Hagin’s literary theft. McConnell tells us: “As we shall see, Hagin claims to have received most of the Faith Gospel by divine revelation, visions, and revelation.”

5. In short, 1) Hagin is a liar, thief, braggart, and intellectual fraud and 2) The TBN-WOF movement is traceable to E.W. Kenyon, the “True Father of the Faith Movement.” It is there that the movement must be assessed. It is Kenyon, not Hagin Sr., who must be analyzed.

John MacArthur’s work “Charismatic Chaos," Mystics, Pentecostalists, Liberals and Emergents, 21-4-


http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=16130&post=95077&uid=308173344359#post95077

We would add that these phenomena afflict in different ways: (AMiA), mainline liberalism (without the Pentecostalism), and Emergents. Some miscellaneous notes.

1. John MacArthur’s work “Charismatic Chaos” (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), 21-40.

2. There are a number of unifying elements in Pentecostalism and charismaticism. Here's two unifiers (among others) (1) A post-salvation experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit. (2) Speaking in what they call “tongues,” more accurately described as modern day gibberish. This is debunked elsewhere.

3. Various questions present themselves to non-Montanist (non-Pentecostalist) Christians: Am I a second-class Christian? Why didn’t I get the gift of tongues (=gibberish)? Why no signs and wonders in my life? Why haven’t I heard “audible voices?” Or, like many of them, space trips to heaven?

4. This is not unique to non-Montanists. The same questions occur to many Montanists (=Pentecostals) who feel enormous pressure to “be spiritual,.” "to be Spirit-filled" or show other manifestations. We have testimonies on file to that end. They experience the impulse to exaggeration and even falsification.

5. Dr. MacArthur lists several bizarre reports from charismatics and their visits to heaven: Percy Collett, Dudley Danielson, Marvin Ford, Roberts Liardon, Aline Baxley, and Richard Eby. Pat Robertson’s 700 Club has been one conduit.

6. “Mysticism is a system of belief that attempts to perceive spiritual reality apart from objective, verifiable facts,” 35. Truth is received through intuition, feelings and internal senses. This appears to be governing principle for Montanists. Here, the Montanists are on the same page with Romanism. Both subvert the classical Christian position of Scripture as the governor of truth. Observe we did not say “may subvert” but, in fact, does subvert Scriptures as God’s means of Self-disclosure.

7. MacArthur gives us an historical review of Charles Parham’s Bethel Bible College wherein 30 students sought the “gift of tongues” in 1901. Also, Parham believed they were “foreign tongues” with a recognizable syntax, grammar, vocabulary and message. Several reportedly experienced this. Yet, later verification would require lexical and doctrinal adjustment--make it up as you go--of “foreign tongues” to mean an “heavenly language” (gibberish). No one raised the question as to demonic invasion and corruption. Given the adherence to mysticism and anti-intellectualism, correction makes Montanism difficult if not impossible for its devotees.

8. Pentecostalism often gets free passes. 1) Intimidation: the Pharisee trump card is played by its defenders. Other trump cards are: Divisive, Unloving, and Judgmental. 2) Cowardice in radio, TV, and magazine networks. 3) Cowardice by Pastors and national leaders. 3) The same dynamics (minus modern technology) were evident in the Arian developments of the fourth century vis a vis 8.1. Even Constantine the Great thought Athanasius was being divisive, judgmental and unloving. 4) There can be no peace and no truces with Pentecostalism.

9. Part One, 13-20, is found at the blog or Facebook at, respectively:

http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/john-macarthur-charismatic-chaos-grand.html

http://www.facebook.com/board.php?uid=308173344359&f=2#!/topic.php?uid=308173344359&topic=15932

Dr. Michael Horton’s “Power Religion," Third Wave Pentecostalism, and Classical Christianity, 61-88


http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=16128&post=95073&uid=308173344359#post95073

1. Dr. Michael Horton’s “Power Religion” (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1992). An essay by John Armstrong enttiled “In Search of Spiritual Power,” 61-88. A soft critique by a Baptist without exegetical, theological or confessional depth, Rev. Armstrong nonetheless offers interesting notes on Third Wave Pentecostals. Quite poorly, Armstrong is not anti-charismatic we are told. We are surprised by Dr. Horton's inclusion of Rev. Armstrong. We'll chalk it up to youth. This book is near 20 years old. Things have become worse.

2. The first wave: original Pentecostals in the early 20th century. The second wave: the charismatic movement of the 1960-1970’s. The third wave: the signs and wonders movement. Their dogmatic and eclipsing focus is “power healings,” “demonic deliverances,” and “words of knowledge” as immediate revelations. The third wavers require affirmation of a pro-Pentecostal worldview. TBN bills and advertises these three movements as their history.

3. The “Vineyard Movement” was a part of this as advanced by Peter Wagner, John Wimber, Kansas City Prophets, John Paul Jackson, Jack Deere (former Professor, Dallas Seminary), Paul Cain, and Bob Jones.

4. For the third wave Pentecostals: (1) The miracles in Jesus’ day are normative which Wimber calls the “calling cards of the kingdom.” John Wimber and Kevin Springer, “Power Evangelism” (San Fransisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1986), 109. (2) There are fits of holy laughing, shaking, extreme terror, visions, being drunk and slain in the spirit, barkings and other things associated with revivalism. (3) Healing and prophecy are learned, teachable and reproducible techniques. (4) The insufficiency of Scripture for doctrine, worship and piety. (5) The by-passing, suspension, and avoidance of critical thinking. Such is equated with “unbelief.” (6) The by-passing, suspension, and avoidance of the Gospel with signs, wonders, and conversions for those apart from and without the Gospel. (7) The radical Arminianism. (8) Pragmatism without the Bible. (9) Anecodotal rather than Biblical theology. (9) Uncontrolled, undisciplined, uncritical, and uninformed exegesis, theology, confessions, liturgies or histories inform the movement, it's thinking, worship or piety. It is chaotic and has opened itself, ministries and followers to demonic influence and governance.

5. Pentecostalism is a neo-Montanist movement. Third Wavers are mere extensions of the first two waves of enthusiasts, ignoramuses, and utopians. No peace and no truces can be made with these opponents of Biblical Christianity.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fridays with Packer from Awakening Grace: Anglican Scholar, Dr. James I. Packer on Predestination























Fridays with Packer « Awakening Grace

Each Friday for a few weeks I will try to post something written by Packer on Theology. here’s our 1st one.

PREDESTINATION
GOD HAS A PURPOSE
by J.I. Packer

“I have loved you,” says the LORD. “But you ask, `How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” the LORD says.
“Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated.” MALACHI 1:2-3

The forty and more writers who produced the sixty-six books of Scripture over something like fifteen hundred years saw themselves and their readers as caught up in the outworking of God’s sovereign purpose for his world, the purpose that led him to create, that sin then disrupted, and that his work of redemption is currently restoring. That purpose in essence was, and is, the endless expression and enjoyment of love between God and his rational creatures—love shown in their worship, praise, thanks, honor, glory, and service given to him, and in the fellowship, privileges, joys, and gifts that he gives to them.

The writers look back at what has already been done to advance God’s redemptive plan for sin-damaged planet earth, and they look ahead to the day of its completion, when planet earth will be re-created in unimaginable glory (Isa. 65:17-25; 2 Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 21:1-22:5). They proclaim God as the almighty Creator-Redeemer and dwell constantly on the multifaceted works of grace that God performs in history to secure for himself a people, a great company of individuals together, with whom his original purpose of giving and receiving love can be fulfilled. And the writers insist that as God has shown himself absolutely in control in bringing his plan to the point it has reached as they write, so he will continue in total control, working out everything according to his own will and so completing his redemptive project. It is within this frame of reference (Eph. 1:9-14; 2:4-10; 3:8-11; 4:11-16) that questions about predestination belong.

Predestination is a word often used to signify God’s foreordaining of all the events of world history, past, present, and future, and this usage is quite appropriate. In Scripture and mainstream theology, however, predestination means specifically God’s decision, made in eternity before the world and its inhabitants existed, regarding the final destiny of individual sinners. In fact, the New Testament uses the words predestination and election (the two are one), only of God’s choice of particular sinners for salvation and eternal life (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4-5, 11). Many have pointed out, however, that Scripture also ascribes to God an advance decision about those who finally are not saved (Rom. 9:6-29; 1 Pet. 2:8; Jude 4), and so it has become usual in Protestant theology to define God’s predestination as including both his decision to save some from sin (election) and his decision to condemn the rest for their sin (reprobation), side by side.

To the question, “On what basis did God choose individuals for salvation?” it is sometimes replied: on the basis of his foreknowledge that when faced with the gospel they would choose Christ as their Savior. In that reply, foreknowledge means passive foresight on God’s part of what individuals are going to do, without his predetermining their action. But

1. Foreknow in Romans 8:29; 11:2 (cf. 1 Pet. 1:2 and 1:20, where the NIV renders the Greek foreknown as “chosen”) means “fore-love” and “fore-appoint”: it does not express the idea of a spectator’s anticipation of what will spontaneously happen.

2. Since all are naturally dead in sin (i.e., cut off from the life of God and unresponsive to him), no one who hears the gospel will ever come to repentance and faith without an inner quickening that only God can impart (Eph. 2:4-10). Jesus said: “No one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him” (John 6:65, cf. 44; 10:25-28). Sinners choose Christ only because God chose them for this choice and moved them to it by renewing their hearts.
Though all human acts are free in the sense of being self-determined, none are free from God’s control according to his eternal purpose and foreordination.

Christians should therefore thank God for their conversion, look to him to keep them in the grace into which he has brought them, and confidently await his final triumph, according to his plan.

Larger Catechism, Q/A: C 35 « Daily Westminster


LC 35 « Daily Westminster

Q. 35. How is the covenant of grace administered under the New Testament?

A. Under the New Testament, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the same covenant of grace was and still is to be administered in the preaching of the Word,[133] and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism[134] and the Lord’s Supper;[135] in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fulness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations.[136]

Schaff’s “History of the Christian Church, Vol.2,” Persecutions, Joel Osteen, Paula White, Benny Hinn and Other TBN-ers, 20-40


http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=16099&post=94961&uid=308173344359#post94961

1. Schaff’s “History of the Christian Church, Vol.2,” Persecutions, and miscellaneous after-thoughts including Joel Osteen (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), 20-40.

2. We argued that history is important to the practitioner of systematic theology at:
http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/hodges-systematic-theology-and-tbn.html Further, we critiqued TBN and Pentecostals as having no sense of history or systematics.

3. In the apostolic age and immediate post-apostolic age, the Gospel spread over Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, north Africa, and to the east, Edessa, Mesopotamia, Persia, Media, Bactria, Parthia, Armenia and Arabia.

4. Christianity in northern Africa flourished before the Vandals and Moslem invasions in the 7th century. Alexandria, with the largest library in the ancient world, was home to a vibrant Christian community. The Gospel spread to Lower and Upper Egypt and as far as Nubia, Ethiopia and Abyssinia. Egypt gave us Arianism, Athanasius and desert monks like Antony and Pachomius. We offered comments on Alexandrian Theology and TBN at: http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/alexandrian-theology-and-tbn.html
We also have that on file in the discussion section here.

5. As to heresies and necessary products (“necessary” we’re told), Paula White espouses her Christological heresy at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_NHV1tBIhI In reading the early Christian literature, you won’t find stuff like this. Or Benny Hinn’s lunacies and anti-Trinitarianism at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_a4Z1PKGXc&NR=1&feature=fvwp

6. We by-pass Schaff’s comments on the extension of Christendom to Spain, Germany, Gaul and England. A general survey is offered. This is quite a story too.

7. We do call attention to Roman Imperial persecutions: Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Maximinius, Decius, Valerian, Aurelian, and Diocletian, two of which were imperial wide. We refer you to Eusebius’ “Ecclesiastical History.” Persecutions were serious and severe.

8. Regrettably, Joel Osteen has no room in his mind for this. After all, he hasn’t finished one semester of college. We refer you to “Your Best Life Begins Each Morning" for a tour of depth, balance and wizardry at: http://www.amazon.com/Your-Best-Life-Begins-Morning/dp/0446545090/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268988427&sr=8-3
He is a Word of Faith preacher (lite-variety).

9. We call attention to some modern persecutions. Just a few are noted. We might have added the reports about Nigeria also.
Planned attack on Christians in India:
http://heidelblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/reporta-of-a-planned-attack-on-christians-in-india/
Pakistan:
http://heidelblog.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/pray-for-pakistani-christians/
Islamo-fascists:
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2009/08/pakistan_christ.html

10. TBN Health, Wealth and Prosperity preachers are pimps, profiteers and men and women who are ignorant of history, confessions, theologians, writers, liturgies or hymns. People need to preach the Gospel and warn others about these loons. And we're not going to relax on these points. They are dangerous to the health of the Church of Jesus Christ. Why are they dangerous? Because they pose as Christian leaders and people, unlettered ones, follow them. They are a cancer and must be opposed. Sleep if you wish. We at this forum won't be sleeping.

11. We close with a prayer and an hymn:

Almighty God, the Supreme Governor of all things, whose power no creature can resist, to Whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, be merciful to those being persecuted for the name of Jesus Christ throughout the earth. We give thanks for the steadfast train of witnesses who did not yield in persecutions like Polycarp and all the English Reformers. Save and deliver us from people like Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Paula White and Joel Osteen. Save and deliver us and others still in the Babylonian Captivity: Grant that we, being armed with Thy strong defense, we may advance and tear down bold and arrogant arguments that insult Thy name, through the merits of Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH2UcunPAR0




For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Schaff’s “History of the Christian Church, Vol.1,” Church History & TBN, Pentecostals, Liberals, Church Growthers, Evangelicals, 19-53


http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=16097&post=94956&uid=308173344359#post94956

Schaff’s “History of the Christian Church, Vol.1,” the uses and practices of church history and miscellaneous after-thoughts (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), 19-53.

2. TBN, Pentecostals, Arminians, Liberals, Emergents, and Contemporary Evangelicals. Do they have or appreciate history? Will you find it on TBN? What about Confessions, liturgies, hymns, and the great writers of the past?

3. We argued that history is important to the practitioner of systematic theology at:
http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/hodges-systematic-theology-and-tbn.html

We quote: “There are some technicalities in this. Just a brief comment on this. Systematic Theology requires the practitioner to be an exegete (hence, studied in the original languages), a Biblical Theologian (studying the development of doctrines within the Bible itself, as the “acorn” of revelation grows to “an oak tree“), an Historian (of the church and doctrinal developments) and a Practical Theologian.”

3. As a Reformed historian and thelogian, Dr. Clark argues for the reconnection of Reformed Churches to their Confessions, historians and theologians. See: http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/dr-r-scott-clarks-recovery-reformed.html. This clearly needs wide expansion.

4. Christ’s Church under the new covenant administration withstood the destruction of Jerusalem (66-70 AD), the dissolution of the Roman Empire, barbarian invasions, Muslim conquests, corruptions within by numerous heresies (like our time), Papal tyranny, revolutions, and all manner of attacks. “Church History” is the “best commentator of Christianity itself, under all its aspects and in all its bearings.”

5. Church History is useful to Theologians, Pastors and Churchmen as a key to understanding the present and as a guide to an informed future. “The present is the fruit of the past, and the germ of the future.” If one does not learn from history, one is bound to repeat its mistakes, e.g. Pentecostalism as a re-manifestation of Marcionism, Montanism, Gnosticism, Sabellianism, Modalism, and Arianism. If you understood those historical heresies, you'll begin to understand TBN.

6. Church History is full of doctrine, teaching, correction, reproof, encouragement, counsel, and consolation.

7. Hebrews 11 is a “hall of fame” of great men and women of conquering faith---their lives, aspirations, consolations, desperations and victories.

8. The Church Historian must master his sources in primary and secondary sources, including the languages to read those sources. (Greek, Latin, Hebrew, French, and German).

9. The Church Historian must edit, arrange, and compose his work. Schaff says, “Brevity is a virtue in the historian, unless it makes him obscure and enigmatic.” He must be readable, interesting and conversational. It must be accessible to a layman. This cannot be stressed too strongly.

10. Apostolic Church: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

11. Greek Historians: Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Theodorus, Evagrius, Nicephorus Callisti.

12. Roman Church: Cassiodorus, Gregory of Tours, Venerable Bede, Paulus Diaconus, Adam of Bremen, Anastasius, Laurentius Valla, Nicolaus Cusa, Baronius, and others.

13. German Romanist Historians: Leopold von Stolberg, Keterkap, Hefele, Gfrorer, and Dollinger. Of the latter, an opponent of Papal infallibility at Vatican One, it was said: “He knows too much of church history to believe in the infallibility of the Pope.”

14. Protestant Church Historians: Schaff, von Ranke, the Parker Society series of English Reformers, Matthias Lacius, J.H. Hottinger, Frederick Spanheim, Gottfried Arnold, J.L. Mosheim, H.P. Henke, August Neander, J.C.L. Giesler, F.C. Baur, Rudolph Hagenbach, Adolph von Harnack, Merle D’Aubigne, Ernest Renan, James Roberton, Charles Hardwick, Archbishop Trench, Dean Milman of St. Paul’s, Archdeacon Farrar of Westminster, Dean Stanley of Westminster Abbey, Henry Smith of Union, and W.G.T. Shedd.

15. TBN, Pentecostals, Arminians, Liberals, Emergents, and Contemporary Evangelicals. Do they have or appreciate history? Will you find it on TBN? What about Confessions, liturgies, hymns, and the great writers of the past?

16. We realize working fathers and mothers changing diapers do not have time for research and reading. However, for TBN with its resources? What excuses might be offered? Or Christian radio? The real truth is that TBN is full of panderers, profiteers, and pimps rather than teachers. And Pastors should be constantly working exegetics, systematics, and church history. A part of that recovery would be a return to the Dutch practice of an evening service with expositions of the Confession or Catechism. Another part of recovery would be the singing of Psalms. Another part of the recovery would be to teach church history in Sunday Schools. Another would be the use of the good old Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The problem with TBN and Pentecostals, as many others, is that they have no historical consciousness---of history, confessions, theologians, writers, liturgies or hymns.

For Paul Crouch, the cleric from the Assemblies of God, doctrine is "doo doo."

Reymond’s “Systematic Theology,” Doctrine of the Church & TBN, Pentecostals, Liberals, Emergents and Evangelicals, 805-820


1. Reymond’s “Systematic Theology,” the nature and foundation of the church and miscellaneous after-thoughts (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson), 805-820.

2. TBN, Pentecostals, Arminians, Liberals, Emergents, and Contemporary Evangelicals. Do they have a doctrine of the church? We believe there’s not much doctrine amongst many of them. Why? They have no ear or connection to the church’s history, theologians, confessions, liturgies, and hymns. A good doctrine of the church would dispel the Dispensationalism of John Hagee and Rod Parsley. It would also correct the Anabaptist error of exclusion of children from the Church.

3. The “Assembly in the Old Testament.” Multiplied references of “qahal,” the “assembly” or the “congregation.” Assembly under Moses at the Tent of Meeting plus varied references to the Festal Days of Passover, Pentecost, and Feast of Ingathering/Day of Atonement. Numerous special days are called: Joshua summoning the nation for covenant renewal as well as the “whole assembly of Israel” for the liturgical rehearsal of the covenant obligations on Mt. Ebal (Josh.8.30ff). Other special occasions are listed.

4. “Assembly in the New Testament.” A useful footote, page 830, no. 13, is worthy replication. Figures for the Church of Christ. An appreciation here brings an understanding of the covenant of grace, baptism for infants, anti-dispensationalism, respect for church history, liturgies, confessions, and writers, along with the "profound distrust" of moderns thinking "they have arrived."

(1) One flock Jn.10.16
(2) The body of Christ 1 Cor.12.27; Eph.1.23; Col.1.18
(3) The temple of God 1 Cor. 3.16; 2 Cor.6.16; Eph.2.21-22; 2 Thes.2.4
(4) The new Jerusalem Heb.12.22
(5) The heavenly Jerusalem Rev.21.2
(6) The pillar and ground of the truth 1 Tim.3.15
(7) The salt of the earth Mt.5.13;
(8) The light of the world Mt. 5.14
(9) A letter from Christ 2 Cor. 3.2-3
(10) Branches of the vine John 15.5
(11) The olive tree Rom.11.13-24
(12) God’s field 1 Cor.3.9
(13) God’s building 1 Cor.3.9
(14) The elect lady 3 Jn. 1
(15) The wife or bride of Christ Eph.5.22-31
(16) Wearers of the wedding garment Mt.22.1-14; Rev. 19.7
(17) Fellow citizens of the saints Eph.2.19
(18) God’s house Eph.2.19
(19) Strangers in the world 1 Pet.1.1; 2.11; Heb.11.13
(20) Ambassadors 2 Cor. 5.18-21
(21) The people of God 1 Pet.2.9-10
(22) A chosen race 1 Pet. 2.9
(23) A holy nation 1 Pet.2.9
(24) A royal priesthood 1 Pet.2.9
(25) The circumcision Phil.3.3-11
(26) Abraham’s sons Gal.3.29; Rom.4.16
(27) The tabernacle of David Acts 15.16
(28) The Remnant Rom. 9.27; 11.5-7
(29) Israel Gal. 6.15-16
(30) God’s elect Rom. Rom.8.33
(31) The faithful in Christ Jesus Eph.1.1
(32) A new creation 2 Cor.5.17
(33) A new man Col.3.10
(34) The kingdom of God (or of heaven) Mt. 13
(35) Disciples Mt.28.19
(36) The Way Acts 9.2; 19.9, 23; 22.4; 24.14,22
(37) Slaves of God, of Christ, and of righteousness Rom.6.18, 22
(38) Sons of God Rom.8.14
(39) The brotherhood 1 Pet. 2.17; 5.9
(40) Christians Acts 12.26

5. Reymond spends several pages on Mt. 16.16-18 and thoroughly dispels the Papistic claim to Petrine supremacy. Calvin does the same in Book IV of the Institutes, a blistering blast against Petrine arrogance. Reymond levels 15 excellent questions that Roman apologists must face exegetically.

6. On Mt. 16.16-18, the famed statement on the entablature beneath and around the dome of St. Peter's (Vatican), we get this well known citation from a Roman Archbishop, Peter Richard Kenrick. These ideas were to be read as a paper... delivered at Vatican One, 1870, but objectors were silenced. Cardinal Dollinger was silenced also. See Philip Schaff, “Creeds of Christendom.” Here’s Kenrick as cited by the great Anglican divine, W. H. Griffith Thomas, in “The Principles of Theology: The Thirty-nine Articles” (London: Longmans, Green, 1930), 470-471 .

20% of the church fathers supported the Romanist read of Mt.16.16-18. There was not consensus fidelium on the matter. Rome's been in the "duping business" like the Pentecostals.

(1) The church was built upon Peter in his person. 17 church writers. (Normally called “church fathers” but we call them “writers.”)
(2) The church was built on all the apostles. 8 church writers.
(3) The church would be built upon the “same profession of faith” that Peter uttered, to wit, “You are Messiah [the Christ], the Son of the Living God.” 44 church fathers, among the best and most representative, including Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, Isidore of Pelusium, Hilary, Theodoret, Theophanes, Theopylact, John of Damascus and Augustine.
(4) The church would be built on Jesus Christ. 16 fathers or church writers.
(5) The church would be built upon the faithful themselves as living stones. Very few with no numbers given.

7. TBN, Pentecostals, Arminians, Liberals, Emergents, and Contemporary Evangelicals. Do they have a doctrine of the church? We believe there’s not much doctrine amongst many of them. Why? They have no ear or connection to the church’s history, theologians, confessions, liturgies, and hymns. A good doctrine of the church would dispel the Dispensationalism of John Hagee and Rod Parsley. It would also correct the Anabaptist error of exclusion of children from the Church.

Pentecostals think they are the beginning of a new church with 1st, 2nd and 3rd Waves. That’s how TBN billed and advertised themselves recently. The doctrinal statement of the Assemblies of God is an illustration of arrogance, ignorance and Cowboy Yahoo-ism.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2nd Quote of the Day: Martin Luther






















"The Pope is the archblasphemer of God in that he applies to himself the noble passage which is spoken of Christ alone. He wants to be that rock, and the church should rest in him....Therefore we must see to it that we stay with the simple meaning, namely, that Christ is the Foundation on which the church is to stand.

Martin Luther
What Luther Says (St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1959), 2.1070, para.3412

Quote of the Day: John Calvin

“Scripture is the school of the Holy Spirit, in which, as nothing is omitted that is both necessary and useful to know, so that nothing is taught but what is expedient to know. Therefore we must guard against depriving believers of anything disclosed about predestination in Scripture, lest we either wickedly defraud them of the blessing of their God or to accuse and scoff at the Holy Spirit for having published what it is in any way profitable to suppress...But for those who are so cautious or fearful that they desire to bury predestination in order not to disturb weak souls--with what color will they cloak their arrogance when they accuse God indirectly of stupid thoughtlessness as if he had not foreseen the peril that they feel they have wisely met? Whoever, then, whoever heaps odium upon the doctrine of election reproaches God, as if he had unadvisedly let slip something hurtful to the Church.” Institutes, III.xxi.3, 4.

Reymond’s “Systematic Theology, ” the eternal plan of salvation, TBN, Arminians, Emergents, Liberals, 461-480


http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=16084&uid=308173344359

1. Reymond’s “Systematic Theology, ” the eternal plan of salvation, TBN, Arminians, Emergents, liberal and others. Some afterthoughts. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 461-480.

2. TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Arminians, Church Growthers, and Contemporary Evangelicals.

3. Wesstminster Confession of Faith, Chapter Three:

I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.

III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.

IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace.

VI. As God has appointed the elect unto glory, so has He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.

VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.

4. God’s “eternal purpose.” Eph.3.11: Paul speaks of God’s “eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ, Jesus our Lord.” The Greek word means plan, purpose, or resolve. The texts could be multiplied, Eph.1.11, Rom. 9-11. We commend our readers to many good works on this.

5. Some advocate suppression of the doctrine. Erasmus did that with Luther. We hear the same today. Here’s Calvin:

“Scripture is the school of the Holy Spirit, in which, as nothing is omitted that is both necessary and useful to know, so that nothing is taught but what is expedient to know. Therefore we must guard against depriving believers of anything disclosed about predestination in Scripture, lest we either wickedly defraud them of the blessing of their God or to accuse and scoff at the Holy Spirit for having published what it is in any way profitable to suppress…But for those who are so cautious or fearful that they desire to bury predestination in order not to disturb weak souls--with what color will they cloak their arrogance when they accuse God indirectly of stupid thoughtlessness as if he had not foreseen the peril that they feel they have wisely met? Whoever, then, whoever heaps odium upon the doctrine of election reproaches God, as if he had unadvisedly let slip something hurtful to the Church.” Institutes, III.xxi.3, 4.

6. Christ’s Cross Work according “to God’s plan.” Lk.22.22: “…the Son of Man is going [to the Cross] in accordance with the [divine] decree.” Acts 2.23: “…This One, by the determining purpose and foreknowledge of God was handed over, and you with wicked hands put him to death by nailing Him to the cross.” Acts 4.24-28: “…what your hand and your will predestined should happen.” Other texts could be multiplied also. Luke was a thorough-going predestinarian.

7. God’s Foreknowledge and Predestination of the Elect in the Plan of Redemption.
Rom 8.29. Foreknowledge and Predestination. Foreknowledge means “set one’s affections on” and “have special regarding love.” Rom.9 is clear that election is unconditional and not based upon foreseen human qualities such as faith and repentance. Eph.1.4-5: Election and Predestination to Holiness. 2 Thes.2.13: Election to Sanctification. No honest and humble servant of Christ can deny these teachings, including TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals (Protestant mainline), Arminians, Church Growthers, and Contemporary Evangelicals.

8. With Calvin, we say the above groups reproach and scoff at the God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Apostles. Rebellion, insolence, impudence, indolence, and ignorance.

Westminster Larger Catechism, 46-50

Larger Catechism, week 11 « Daily Confession

Q. 46. What was the estate of Christ’s humiliation?
A. The estate of Christ’s humiliation was that low condition, wherein he for our sakes, emptying himself of his glory, took upon him the form of a servant, in his conception and birth, life, death, and after his death, until his resurrection.[186]

Q. 47. How did Christ humble himself in his conception and birth?
A. Christ humbled himself in his conception and birth, in that, being from all eternity the Son of God, in the bosom of the Father, he was pleased in the fulness of time to become the son of man, made of a woman of low estate, and to be born of her; with divers circumstances of more than ordinary abasement.[187]

Q. 48. How did Christ humble himself in his life?
A. Christ humbled himself in his life, by subjecting himself to the law,[188] which he perfectly fulfilled;[189] and by conflicting with the indignities of the world,[190] temptations of Satan,[191] and infirmities in his flesh, whether common to the nature of man, or particularly accompanying that his low condition.[192]

Q. 49. How did Christ humble himself in his death?
A. Christ humbled himself in his death, in that having been betrayed by Judas,[193] forsaken by his disciples,[194] scorned and rejected by the world,[195] condemned by Pilate, and tormented by his persecutors;[196] having also conflicted with the terrors of death, and the powers of darkness, felt and borne the weight of God’s wrath,[197] he laid down his life an offering for sin,[198] enduring the painful, shameful, and cursed death of the cross.[199]

Q. 50. Wherein consisted Christ’s humiliation after his death?
A. Christ’s humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried,[200] and continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third day;[201] which hath been otherwise expressed in these words, He descended into hell.

J.I. Packer on Calvinism and Arminianism


http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/notes/reformata/ji-packer-on-calvinism-and-arminianism/379667826883

“One proclaims a God who saves; the other speaks of a God who enables man to save himself.

One view presents the three great acts of the Holy Trinity for the recovering of lost mankind—election by the Father, redemption by the Son, calling by the Spirit—as directed towards the same persons, and as securing their salvation infallibly.

The other view gives each act a different reference (the objects of redemption being all mankind, of calling, those who hear the gospel, and of election, those hearers who respond), and denies that any man’s salvation is secured by any of them.One makes salvation depend on the work of God, the other on a work of man; one regards faith as part of God’s gift of salvation, the other as man’s own contribution to salvation; one gives all the glory of saving believers to God, the other divides the praise between God, who, so to speak, built the machinery of salvation, and man, who by believing operated it.

Plainly these differences are important, and the permanent value of the “five points,” as a summary of Calvinism, is that they make clear the points at which, and the extent to which, these two conceptions are at variance.”

-J.I. Packer in his introductory essay to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ

Reymond’s “Systematic Theology” and the facts of revelation


1. Reymond’s Systematic Theology and the "facts of revelation" (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 3-10.

2. As an additional set amplifying on Reymond, we post Dr. R.C. Sproul’s video-cast at: http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/video/his-word-truth/?format=video

3. The facts of revelation. God revealed Himself “at many time and in various ways” (Heb.1.1-2) . The OT uses, “the word of Yahweh” scores of times. “The law of Yahweh” occurs also which means “divine authoritative communication.” Galah, a revelatory word, means the “removal of obstacles to perception.” Yadah, in the causative stem, means “reveal” or “make known.” God made known Himself, His attributes, glory, works and words.

4. Pre-patriarchal period, Gen.1.-11. God spoke directly and propositionally to Adam.

5. Patriarch period. Gen.12-50. Theophanies. Varied texts are posted. By the way, throughout, God speaks in recognizable language, not babblings like Pentecostalists assert.

6. Mosaic period. The burning bush (Ex.3) and other visions (Nu.22.20). Moses was repeatedly told to write things down.

7. Conquest under Joshua. Mosaic words inscripturated and were authoritative. A few more Theophanies. Texts given.

8. Age of Prophets, Samuel to Malachi. Samuel inscripturated the Word of the Lord. Samuel organizes guilds of prophets to instruct Israel in the Word of God. They studies the written Word of God, kept a record of Israel’s history, and preserved their own writings.

9. United kingdom under David. God spoke to David and Solomon. 73 Psalms by David. 2 by Solomon. Texts given.

10. Divided kingdom. Various prophets.

11. They were all instructed to put these revelations to writing.

12. Summary:

a. God reveals Himself in the history of redemption.
b. Redemptive history is structured by several covenants.
c. Redemptive revelation is progressive.
d. Revelations came by theophanies, dreams and visions. The NT will call it the “law and prophets” Lk.16.16, inter alia.
e. Public reading, teaching and exposition of the Word of God followed inscripturation. This was to keep the Word of God before the people.

13. As we ponder this theme, it is this scribe's view that the doctrine of Scripture is under very open attack. Should we be surprised?

14. "Modern Reformation" is dealing with this subject, Scripture, throughout the year in its publication. Available through http://www.whitehorseinn.org/. We commend Martin Chemnitz's Examination of the Council of Trent, 3-Vol (Concordia Press).

WCF 7.6: Daily Westminster: "God's Covenant with Man"

WCF 7.6 « Daily Westminster

Chapter 7: Of God’s Covenant with Man

6: Under the Gospel, when Christ, the substance,[155] was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper:[156] which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy,[157] to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles;[158] and is called the New Testament.[159] There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.[160]

Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, "By Grace Alone"



http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/by-grace-alone-interview/

R.C. Sproul, "Virgin Mary" --Part One

http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/virgin-mary-pt-1/

"Hail Mary, full of grace." Can a Protestant agree with this?

R.C. Sproul, "His Word is Truth"







http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/video/his-word-truth/?format=video

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

R.C. Sproul,"The Contemporary Church" and Downgrade Forces


http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/2010-national-conference-preview/

R.C. Sproul and "The Contemporary Church." The entire range of ancient heresies re-express themselves variously in our times.

“Reymond’s Systematic Theology,” (xxv-xxxvi), the necessity of systematic theology, TBN, Emergents, Liberals, Contemporary Evangelicals


Also posted on our Facebook Wall entitled “Exposing the False Prophets—Reformation Christians Against TBN” found at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=308173344359

1. “Reymond’s Systematic Theology,” the necessity of systematic theology and miscellaneous afterthoughts with help from his “Systematic Theology“ (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers), xxv-xxxvi.

2. Is theology important and necessary?

3. Our reference point for wider inquiry is certainly ourselves, but also TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Arminians, Church Growthers, and Contemporary Evangelicals. Here’s a few takes from TBN-ers, although the question applies across the other venues.

3. Paul Crouch’s view at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-zOymSa3Hg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hFWi26Mz78&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5h45PayJio&feature=related

4. Benny Hinn:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8bDzqZLSx0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HynY1vffoeM&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4yFHQ7Ih6k&feature=related

5. Todd Bentley
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iS5a7Fico4&feature=related

6. Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzw1rowl0So

7. These can be multiplied. See the 750 “links” to the left near the bottom at:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=308173344359

8. Let talk about theology. So much for the TBN-theologians above (tongue in cheek). Here are some reasons to do theology.

(1) Christ’s own theological method. Luke 4.16-21, details and deductions after Scripture lection in synagogue service. Lk.24.27, 44-47. “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” Many more texts could be said.

(2) The church’s mandate to disciple the nations. Mt.28.18-20. The evangelistic mandate requires teaching for the Great Commission.

(3) The Apostolic Model. The Gospel writers were writers and men of words and teaching. Paul wasted no time after his baptism “to prove” to Jews in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God and Christ. (Acts.2.39). Other texts throughout Acts reveals the same: synagogues, market-places, houses, the lecture hall at Tyrannus in Ephesus, Mars Hill at Athens and elsewhere. Paul’s epistle to the Romans is a study in theology. Ten times Paul asks, “What shall we then say?” Then he addresses the question with Scripture and deductions (Rom.3.5, 9; 4.1; 6.1, 15; 7.7; 8.31; 9.14, 30; 11.17). Reading, thinking, explaining, speaking, teaching and writing was the Apostolic Model, rooted in the Old Testament.

(4) The Activity of the New Testament Church. 2 Thes.2.15-- “the traditions.” Rom.6.17-- “the pattern of doctrine.” Jude 3-- “the faith once delivered to the saints.” I Tim.6.20-- “the deposit.” And the “faithful sayings” of Paul’s pastoral letters--1 Tim.1.15; 3.1; 4.7; 2 Tim.2.11-13; Tit.3.4-8. Also, the church of Jerusalem at work in an apostolic council, Acts 15. There was a substantial body of theology by the end of Paul's life. The first three Gospels were penned most likely before St. Paul died.

9. Theology, as Reymond notes, should been comprehensive (covering all loci), coherent, contextual (including modern issues), conversant (with exegesis, history), conversational (understandable “in” the church “for” the pew, not just academia), confessional (“confessing the faith” and teaching youths similarly), conservative (repulsing reductionisms), critical and correlative.

10. Specific affections and the state of the mind in doing theology: reverence, readiness to see God’s kingdom and the unity of the biblical covenants as an hermeneutical key, appreciation of theological heritage (Reformed for Reymond, but we would add Anglican and Lutheran), perseverance in the task, respect for others in history (confessions, writers), awe, soberness, joy, meekness, boldness in application, sincere concern for theology, evangelism, and catechesis, humility and attended by prayer.

11. Our concerns are: TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Arminians, Church Growthers, and Contemporary Evangelicals. Also, our concern should be ourselves and the true churches of Christ bearing the marks of true churches.

12. Theology is not doctrinal “doo doo” as Grouch, Sr., of TBN called it. It is necessary and required.

In closing, we pray:

“Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Book of Common Prayer, Second Sunday in Advent.

R.C. Sproul, Roman Catholic, Seven Sacraments--Part Two


http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/sacraments-pt-2/

R.C. Sproul, Roman Catholic, Seven Sacraments--Part Two

R.C. Sproul, Roman Catholicism, and Seven Sacraments, Part One


http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/sacraments-pt-1/

R.C. Sproul, Roman Catholicism, and Seven Sacraments, Part One

R.C. Sproul, Roman Catholic, Church, Salvation--Part Two


http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/church-and-salvation-pt-2/


R.C. Sproul, Roman Catholic, Church, Salvation--Part Two

Hodge's "Systematic Theology," Life after Death, TBN & Others


Also posted on our Facebook Wall entitled “Exposing the False Prophets—Reformation Christians Against TBN” found at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=308173344359

1. “Hodge’s Systematic Theology” and a few miscellaneous afterthoughts on “The State of the Soul After Death” with help from Charles Hodge, “Systematic Theology, Volume Three” (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992), 713-723.

2. Our reference point for wider inquiry is certainly ourselves, but also TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Arminians, Church Growthers, and Contemporary Evangelicals.

3. The Protestant doctrine of the state of the soul after death is one of continued existence after death, burial and dissolution the body. The dying skeptic, David Hume, said as he neared death, “I am about to take a leap in the dark.”

4. The future life in the Old Testament. While other pagan religions believed in the after-life, so did ancient Israel. In the OT, saints are represented as pilgrims and strangers in the world. “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” (Ps.73.23,24) The drift and tendency of the entire OT is to lift the saints eyes above, to the future, and to things eternal and invisible.

5. The dead are represented as “going to their fathers,” to “Sheol” (called “Hades” by the Greeks), a place of continued conscious existence, some in a state of “misery, others in the state of happiness.” Necromancy was common amongst non-Israelites, although necromancy, divination, soothsaying and communicating with the dead was forbidden in the OT. (This outlaws Roman Catholic and Anglo-Catholic "invocation of saints.") Samuel, however, is summoned by Saul and appears as recorded in 1 Samuel 28. The representation in Is.14 of the descent of the King of Babylon takes for granted the belief in the continued consciousness of departed spirits.

6. Additional texts. Psalm 16, especially in relation to Christ’s resurrection, was that Christ would not be left in Sheol nor would His body see corruption. The Psalmist while describing the cruelties of the prosperous says, “I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake with Thy righteousness.” (Ps. 17.15) See Is.26.19, Dan.12.2. Schultz, a liberal, asserts “That all the books of the Old Testament assume that men are in some way or other to live after death. Even in the Pentateuch this is taken for granted. It is not taught, but assumed as self-evident truth, immanent in the consciousness of the people.” Herman Shultz, Die Voraussetzungen der Christ lichen Lehre von der Unsterblichkeity dargestellt (Gottingen, 1861), 207.

7. The NT forms an inspired, infallible and amplifying commentary on the OT. Our Lord refuted the Sadducees who denied the resurrection and life after death. God is not the God of the dead, but the "God of the living." The serious and direct rebuttal of the Sadducees by Jesus affirmed that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not dead during Jesus’ time but were “alive” and “living too in fellowship and enjoyment with God.” More might be said. More shall be said, Lord willing.

8. More to follow.

9. Re: the larger inquiry, is this clearly and thoughtfully developed? TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Arminians, Church Growthers, and Contemporary Evangelicals? Todd Bentley's communications with the dead? Benn Hinn and Kathryn Kuhlman? We’ll have more to say later.

In closing, we pray:

“Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Book of Common Prayer, Second Sunday in Advent.

R.C. Sproul, Roman Catholic, Church and Salvation--Part One


http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/church-and-salvation-pt-1/

Romanism, the Church and Salvation, Part One

R.C. Sproul, Rome and Papal Infallibility, Part Two


http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/papal-infallibility-pt-2/

R.C. Sproul, Rome and Papal Infalliblity


http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/papal-infallibility-pt-1/

Rome and Papal Infallibility.

R.C. Sproul, Scriptures, Tradition, Historic Protestantism and Roman Catholicism


http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/audio/scripture-and-tradition-pt1/

Always clear and salutary.

Sola scriptura, Scriptures, the Reformation, indulgences, Martin Luther.

R.C. Sproul's teaching series on Roman Catholicism by Karisa Schlehr | Ligonier Ministries Blog


R.C. Sproul's teaching series on Roman Catholicism by Karisa Schlehr | Ligonier Ministries Blog

R.C. Sproul’s teaching series on Roman Catholicism
from Karisa Schlehr

Some of the most frequent disputes that arise amongst Christians concern the controversies between Protestantism and classical Roman Catholic christianity. But what are the differences that divide Roman Catholics and Protestants? Are they important?

For the past week, Dr. Sproul has been going through the series Roman Catholicism on his radio program, Renewing Your Mind, and will conclude the series on March 19. In this series, R.C. Sproul carefully and respectfully looks at the doctrines that are at the heart of the Catholic-Protestant divide.

Listen to previously aired messages in the Renewing Your Mind archive and future messages at Ligonier.org or on a station near you.

Scripture and Tradition (Part 1)
Scripture and Tradition (Part 2)
Papal Infallibility (Part 1)
Papal Infallibility (Part 2)
The Church and Salvation (Part 1)
The Church and Salvation (Part 2)
Sacraments (Part 1)
Sacraments (Part 2)
The Virgin Mary (Part 1) - To be aired March 18
The Virgin Mary (Part 2) - To be aired March 19

Through the end of the week, you can also receive the CD series Mary for a donation of any amount. In this series, R.C. Sproul explains what the Bible teaches us about Mary, separating truth from falsehood, and giving appropriate honor where honor is due.

LC 34. Westminster Larger Catechism: The Covenant of Grace

LC 34 « Daily Westminster

Q. 34. How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?

A. The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises,[126] prophecies,[127] sacrifices,[128] circumcision,[129] the passover,[130] and other types and ordinances, which did all fore-signify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah,[131] by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.[132]

“Hodge’s Systematic Theology”, the Means of Grace and TBN & Others, 466-480


Also posted on our Facebook Wall entitled “Exposing the False Prophets—Reformation Christians Against TBN” found at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=308173344359

1. “Hodge’s Systematic Theology” and a few miscellaneous afterthoughts on “The Means of Grace” with help from Charles Hodge, “Systematic Theology, Volume Three” (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992), 466-480.

2. Our reference point for wider inquiry is certainly ourselves, but also TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Arminians, Church Growthers, and Contemporary Evangelicals.

3. By “means of grace” is meant the Word of God, sacraments and prayer, the ordinary and customary channels ordained by God for salvation and nurturance, church growth and preservation.

4. The Word of God is “indispensable.” The Church was commissioned to preach Christ and His Words to the nations (Mt.28.18-20). That’s what they did. If you see how Luke summarizes Paul’s years of confinement at Rome, it’s preaching and teaching (Acts 18.28ff.) The preaching of the Word has a two-fold effect, to save and to harden. The sacred writers under the Spirit’s tuition and sovereign superintendence extol the Word of God again and again. (Ps. 19.7, 119). It is a “lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps.119.105) “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jer.23.29). “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim.3.16). Jesus prays, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” (Jn. 17.17). We could multiply texts in overwhelming abundance, but our point is to bring light to darkness. It’s not our point to develop a full blown bibliology or doctrine of Scripture; that’s for another time. It is our point to bring this to bear on this things we see about us.

5. We would add the Christianity flourishes in proportion to fidelity to the Word of God in liturgy, hymns, sermons, abundant lections or read sections of the Word of God, biblical sermons, and biblical prayers. We would add that Christianity best flourishes when congregations are faithfully instructed and catechetized. The same applies for children, youth, and collegians.

6. The Word is what it is, irrespective of response. It is not be adjusted to audience receptivity like Mega-church theoreticians would make it. There are times of drought in the Bible: the period of the Judges, days under bad Israelite kings, the days of our Lord Himself, and other periods of history. Or, Jesus’ time when vast multitudes rejected Him (Jn.1.10-13). With Isaiah might we well claim, “O Lord, who has believed our report?” (Is.53.1) There have been other times when the Word has flourished such as at Pentecost when 1000’s believed. The days of the Reformation represented times of refreshment and enlargement. The “responses” to the Word of God is in God’s hands. Just because Paul before his conversion hated Christ and Christians did not change the identity of Christ and His Lordship or the authority and power of the Word of God. Christ is who Christ is, whether the numbers are 10 or 1,000,000. The Word of God is the Word of God whether 10 believe or 1,000,000 believe. After all, only 8 were left in Noah’s day, but the Word of God was the Word of God. If the majority hates, derides, and denigrates the Word of God, the office of the Pastor, the commitment of any true church, and the position of any believer is not to dismiss or reduce the Word of God in preaching, hymns, prayers and views, but to hold fast. Paul was explicit with Timothy in 2 Tim.4.2: “Preach the Word: Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

7. Re: TBN we ask. Why isn’t there reading of chapters on their programming? Unbelief. Why isn’t there serious, in-depth, doctrinal and expository biblical preaching? $$$-mongering and unbelief. Why the hype and the enthusiasm? Unbelief in the presence, power and necessity of Biblical exposition. From Isaiah 3 and the Money-Grubbers, you may wish to follow some leads at: http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/isaiah-3-and-tbn-pentecostals-arminians.html

8. Re: liberals, we need ask no further. Their views of the Bible is that it’s man’s words. It still remains the Word of God when read. We call your attention to an audio on this by Dr. Michael Horton re: the mainline. http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/what-we-should-learn-from-mainline.html

Also, Dr. Carl Trueman at: http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/dr-carl-trueman-on-decline-of-mainline.html

9. Re: contemporary evangelicals, we ask. Why are there not 3-4 chapters read during divine worship? Why the contemporary music with 7 words repeated 11 times, what we call 7-11 music? Why are we not singing all 150 Psalms? Why are we not sing vast tracts of canonical Scriptures as many Reformed Churches used to do? These same questions could be put to the TBN and liberal crowd. We call your attention to a good series of articles which you can follow-up at:
http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/summary-of-reasons-to-avoid-rick.html

10. Emergents, we need little more than 8. above. They are neo-Marcionites and neo-liberals, although their background is evangelical. More to follow as the light continues to shine.

11. The Word of God is the Word of God, irrespective of audience receptivity, audience likes or dislikes. Just because leaders give lip service to the Word as a means of grace, but deny it in practice, is no ground for us to follow them.

12. In closing, we pray:

“Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Book of Common Prayer, Second Sunday in Advent.

“Hodge’s Systematic Theology," Augustinianism and TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Church Growthers, Contemporary Evangelicals," 330-350


Also posted on our Facebook Wall entitled “Exposing the False Prophets—Reformation Christians Against TBN” found at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=308173344359

1. “Hodge’s Systematic Theology," Augustinianism and TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Arminians, Church Growthers, Contemporary Evangelicals. A few miscellaneous after-thoughts on “Augustinianism” with help from Charles Hodge, “Systematic Theology, Volume Two” (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992), 330-350.

2. All Theists admit that God reigns and His providence extends to all events. The church’s prayers have noted this. Augustinianism affects all loci of theology: God, man, Christ, salvation, church, and eschatology. In this section of Hodge, Augustinianism is related to redemption. It is Christian, Pauline, Augustinian and Calvinistic. It has been an uplifting and empowering doctrine in the church when grasped.

3. The Augustinian view: 1) God's glory is the end of everything. 2) This includes creation, providence and redemption. 3) Adam was the probative head-man and his fall affected all humanity by imputation of Adamic guilt and corruption of human nature. 4) Condemnation and corruption brought a corresponding inability to deliver oneself from divine justice. 5) God elected some to redemption. 6) Election is not based on foreseen faith and repentance. 6) God sent His Son to rescue those whom He elected. 7) While there are common operations of God amongst all nations, yet the Holy Spirit redeems only the elect. 8) The elect are efficaciously brought and kept in the way of salvation.

4. The proofs are many: 1) The facts of providence. 2) The varied dispensations (not dispensationalist) but providential arrangements. 3) The facts of Scriptures. 4) The work of the Holy Spirit. 5) Election “to” holiness, not “because” of holiness. 6) The gratuitous nature of redemption. 7) Paul’s irrefragable proof from Romans 9. 8) Arguments from experience. 9) Express statements of Scripture besides Paul. 10) The words of Jesus.

5. We bypass 4.1 and 4.2 above since they are treated elsewhere, although Hodge is stunning at this point. We present the basics from the other points.

6. God is sovereign, is infinitely exalted above His creatures, and man is fallen. That some are redeemed and others not, establishes the fact of providential determinations and applications. Again, Hodge is stunning here. A must-buy and must-read for Churchmen.

7. The Holy Spirit is referenced time and again as the Agent of regeneration and all the benefits thereof.

8. Election is “to” holiness not because of it. Our purpose is not detailed surveys or exegesis. That’s for the reader to do, as we have done through the decades.

9. Romans 9 spells the banishment of any and all non-Augustinian schemes of redemption. TBN, all Pentecostalists and charismatics, Emergents, Liberals throughout the Protestant mainline, Arminians, Church Growthers like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, and the vast majority of contemporary Evangelicals march off the biblical cliff and fall into the rocks below---they are completely in error on this. Romans 9 is one piece of the Pauline framework.

10. Jesus was equally clear in this quick sample:
(1) Jesus speaks of those “given Him.” Jn.17.2
(2) To these He gives eternal life. Jn. 17.2, 24
(3) For these alone He prays. Jn. 17,19
(4) Of these, He affirms that He will not lose them, but raise them up in the last day. Jn. 6.39, among other references
(5) “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn.6.44
(6) “No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” Jn.6.65
(7) “It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Mt. 13.11
(8) “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Mt.11.25. The Lucan parallel speaks of Jesus "rejoicing" over this two-fold providential determination. Luke is stunning.
(9) Jesus' words are repeated in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John at other places as well. We could add more.
(10) Like Jesus, Luke summarizes it: “As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed.” Acts 13.48. Repentance, justifying faith, persevering faith, on-going sanctification, the intermediate state, and resurrection to come are providentially governed with precision.

11. Are there objections? Yes, a mighty one. The permission and existence of evil. We face a painful limit beyond which we cannot go. Both Augustinian and non-Augustinian systems face the same objection. Yet, the office of theologian, pastor and Christian is to gather the Biblical evidence on this subject and submit to its plain declarations.

12. Get into a Reformed and Confessional Church.

13. Mark and avoid non-Augustinian contexts such as: TBN, all Pentecostalists and charismatics, Emergents, Liberals throughout the Protestant mainline, Arminians, Church Growthers like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, and the vast majority of contemporary Evangelicals. They do not submit to God’s sovereignty in redemption. They are rebellious in heart and mind. This is my considered judgment after almost 40 years of study and prayer. God help His people and the rebellious churches in this nation.

“Hodge’s Systematic Theology“ and TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Megachurchers, Contemporary Evangelicals," 20-40

Also posted on our Facebook Wall entitled “Exposing the False Prophets—Reformation Christians Against TBN” found at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=308173344359

1. “Hodge’s Systematic Theology“ and TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Megachurchers, Contemporary Evangelicals. A few miscellaneous afterthoughts on “Systematic Theology” with help from Charles Hodge, “Systematic Theology, Volume One” (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992), 20-40. A quick search reveals this and other deals in hard back and soft cover at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_13?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=charles+hodge+systematic+theology&sprefix=charles+hodge

2. Theology confines its work to natural and special revelation, notably the last since it is God’s corrective, directive, final, authoritative, infallible, sure and amplificatory revelation of Himself to fallen man. Natural theology, e.g. Psalm 19.1ff, Rom.1.18-20, reveals the glory and attributes of God, but the Word of God written is the canon and constitution of His Majesty’s Church.

3. All men are under condemnation throughout the nations, a theme little developed in many circles, even professed Bible and evangelical circles, where sin it is blighted, belittled, minimized, disturbed and adulterated by that obnoxious, self-sufficient and proud Arminianism. Their worship services have no corporate confession of sin or declaration of the remission thereof. On another front re: natural and special revelation, Rome, Billy Graham and some other semi-Pelagians have affirmed that any and all humans, “living up to the light of nature” (without the Gospel) will be saved. As for Rome, this is a departure from her past announcements that “outside the Church none will be saved.“ Emergents, e.g. Brian McClaren, and Protestant liberals of long-standing run from this doctrine of total depravity--altogether. Rick Warren and Church Growthers also diminish the issue of the condemnation of sinners and their inability to read Scriptures savingly. At this blog, http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/, and this FB wall, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=308173344359, we hold to total depravity. In relation to special revelation or the Bible, vis a vis Hodge’s point, God directed His inspired authors to “put it to the pen” so subsequent generations of sinners could read, mark, learn, inwardly digest, and be saved. We will develop the doctrine of Scripture and depravity, Lord willing, in later scribblings. Suffice it to note, that Hodge discusses natural revelation and the Bible at his point.

4. Hodge divided theology into five heads:

(1) Theology Proper--Being and Attributes of God, Trinity, Creation and Providence
(2) Anthropology--origin, fall and sin
(3) Soteriology or Salvation--Person and Word of the Redeemer (Christology), application of redemption, regeneration, justification and sanctification, and the means of grace
(4) Eschatology--intermediate state (after death), resurrection, second advent, general judgment, heaven and hell
(5) Ecclesiology--the Church, attributes, prerogatives and organization

5. Rather than five points, this scribe organizes it along six points: God, man, Christ, salvation, Church, and Eschatology.

6. There are some technicalities in this. Just as a brief comment on this. Systematic Theology requires the practitioner to be an exegete (hence, studied in the original languages), a Biblical Theologian (studying the development of doctrines within the Bible itself, as the “acorn” of revelation grows to “an oak tree“), an Historian (of the church and doctrinal developments) and a Practical Theologian. Am reminded of the sage dictum of the famous Lutheran theologian, Paul Althaus: “A theology is only as valuable as one is able to preach it.” (A reason this scribe didn’t pay continuing attention to Cornelius Van Til in earlier years…this does not deny valuable points he offered…but he never wrote clearly, an indecorous thing to do, and rarely did exegesis or historical theology.) Hodge, by the way, writes clearly and accessibly. A layman will do well to buy Hodge’s 3-volume set for review.

7. We would hasten to add for younger readers, that the great Reformation Confessions, notably the Westminster Standards (Confession, Larger and Shorter Catechisms), are tremendous “organizations” or “systematics” of the Bible. It is imperative to learn them. (The forum has recommended others as well.)

8. TBN--no systematics. You will never hear any of their money-grubbers teaching Biblical doctrines. Why? Money, market-share, teaching in accordance with “itchy ears” for no doctrine. Emergents--neo-liberals and a renascent form of the ancient heresy of Marcionitism. Non-confessional evangelicals? Their credo is “No Creed but Christ,” ergo, no systematic. No “man-made confessions” except their minimalist creed. Pentecostalists? They aren’t interested in doctrine, church history or a relationship between doctrine and life.

9. The simple question comes to every dear saint of God.

Who is God?
What about humanity and myself?
Who is Jesus Christ?
What is salvation about?
What is the church?
What about final things?

10. Serious Christians, young and old alike, want food. Not what is on offer with TBN, Pentecostalists, Emergents, Liberals, Arminians, Church Growthers, and Contemporary Evangelicals. Get away from these folks into a serious church.

11. Thank God for Confessional Christian Churchmen. Thank God for those who have not given up on old Prayer Book services either. We commend for your reading Dr. Scott Clark’s “Recovering the Reformed Confessions.” It’s a good start. See our beginning review at: http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2010/03/dr-r-scott-clarks-recovery-reformed.html

12. Make a difference in your circles by learning Systematic Theology. Don't let weak Pastors, weak churches, or your circle to govern your situation as many do. We are not of that breed. Help the young people.