Reformed Forum

This week on Proclaiming Christ we discuss Cain's brutal murder of Abel and consider this act in light of God's promises made in ch. 3. The brutality and desperation of human nature is uncovered as well as hope for life from the grave.

Genesis 4:8–15: Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth." Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." Then the LORD said to him, "Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him." (English Standard Version)

Direct download: pc021.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Michael Allen and Scott Swain discuss whether Christians and churches be both catholic and Reformed. In their book Reformed Catholicity: The Promise of Retrieval for Theology and Biblical Interpretation (Baker Academic), Allen and Swain suggest Reformed Christians can commit not only to the ultimate authority of Scripture but also to receiving Scripture within the context of the apostolic church. This manifesto presents a case that to be Reformed means to go deeper into true catholicity rather than away from it. At the same time, it means holding fast to sola Scriptura.

Michael Allen is Associate Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology and Dean of Students and Scott Swain is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Academic Dean at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.

Direct download: ctc374.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 10:48am EDT

This week on Proclaiming Christ we discuss the different offerings that Cain and Able bring to the Lord, and we look at the theological significance of those offerings.

Genesis 3:20–24: Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD." And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." (English Standard Version)

Direct download: pc020.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 10:06am EDT

Throughout history, Genesis 6 has puzzled Bible interpreters. Who are the sons of God? Are they human royalty? Angelic beings? Demons? And who are the daughters of men? Did the union of these two produce demigod offspring who would plague the land? Rita F. Cefalu joins us to bring clarity to this discussion. Ms. Cefalu has written an excellent article, "Royal Priestly Heirs to the Restoration Promise of Genesis 3:15: A Biblical Theological Perspective on the Sons of God in Genesis 6" published in the Westminster Theological Journal. Building upon Meredith Kline, but offering her own interpretation on the matter, Ms. Cefalu provides a thorough and compelling treatment of this difficult passage.

Ms. Cefalu is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. She is a graduate of Westminster Seminary California (MA Theological Studies), Wheaton Graduate School, and a PhD candidate at Queens University Belfast.

6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. (Genesis 6:1–4, English Standard Version)

Direct download: ctc373.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 8:09pm EDT

Lane Tipton and Camden Bucey speak about theophanies before turning  to pages 72–76 of Geerhardus Vos's Biblical Theology to speak about the Angel of Jehovah, or the Angel of the Lord. The presence of the Angel punctuates epochal moments in covenant history, and his presence is critical during the patriarchal period. Camden's article, "The Lord and His Messengers: Toward a Trinitarian Interpretation of Malachi 3:1–4," which was mentioned during the program, was published in The Confessional Presbyterian, Volume 7 (2011).

Direct download: ctc371.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

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