Reformed Forum
Pierce Taylor Hibbs speaks about language and the Trinity. His book, The Trinity, Language, and Human Behavior: A Reformed Exposition of the Language Theory of Kenneth L. Pike is available in P&R Publishing's Reformed Academic Dissertations series. Hibbs describes Kenneth Pike's linguistic theory and compares it to the theology of Cornelius Van Til, demonstrating shared Trinitarian themes. Pierce Hibbs is the Assistant Director of the Theological English Department at Westminster Theological Seminary. He writes at


Direct download: ctc548.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

God re-names Sarai—again reflecting his covenant promise. And one essential characteristic of the covenant of promise is that covenant community will always be comprised of elect and non-elect. Inseparable from the covenant itself are the parties of the covenant.
Direct download: pc051.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

The fifth annual Reformed Forum Conference will be held October 5–7, 2018 at Hope OPC in Grayslake, Illinois. Our theme will be, “Seeing God: The Deeper Protestant Conception.” We will address important theological challenges and controversies facing the contemporary Reformed church by exploring the theologies of Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth, and Geerhardus Vos on the beatific vision and glorification of man. The beatific vision captures the glorious reality believers will experience when Christ returns. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). This presents an important theological question: How shall we be like him? Is it by participating in the divine essence? Is it by being identified with God in a revelatory Christ-event? Does God change his being in some manner to accommodate this new relationship?

Reformed orthodoxy demands a deeper conception.

Our conference theme may sound esoteric, but these are critically important matters facing the Church today as an age-old theological controversy is rising once again. We seek to present a clear thesis that Vos offers the biblical way forward between two forms of divine-human univocism. These are represented by consistent Thomism and modernist Barthianism. Ostensibly, these systems are diametrically opposed to one another, yet Vos’s insights will help demonstrate how Thomism and Barthianism eventually converge in what Cornelius Van Til termed the “Aristotle-Christ-Kant Synthesis.” Through the biblical doctrines of divine immutability, covenant, and the image of God, Vos demonstrates how God enters into a glorious communion bond with his people without deifying them or becoming a creature himself. We plan to devote several episodes of Christ the Center to this subject leading up to the conference and develop a pre-conference reading list for those who want to get the most out of their experience. We look forward to seeing you in October. Register Now
Direct download: rf18_conference_promo.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 5:00pm CDT

On today's episode of Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob continue their discussion about the doctrine of the atonement. Today we take a closer look at the concept of penal substitution. In doing so, we review some of the other theories of the atonement. But what does the Bible say about the nature of Christ's cross? What does it do? What is meant by penal substitution? Is it necessary? What biblical texts teach us about penal substitution?
Direct download: tsp120.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 9:49am CDT

In this episode, we speak about the free offer of the gospel. The real point in dispute in connection with the free offer of the gospel is whether it can properly be said that God desires the salvation of all men. This issue was related to several theological controversies of the 1940s and stemming back decades earlier. Much of this particular issue comes the split of 1924 within the Christian Reformed Church which led to the formation of the Protestant Reformed Church under the leadership of Herman Hoeksema. For some, the antithesis is so absolutized that there can be no real transition from wrath to grace and no free offer of the gospel. Cornelius Van Til spoke of the antithesis as an ethical rather than metaphysical antithesis. In a letter to Jesse de Boer, he indicated that it was merely another way to speak of total depravity. As we walk through a study committee report delivered to the 15th General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, we are confronted with the great mystery of God's will and his infallible revelation to us in Scripture.


Direct download: ctc547.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Paul appeals to the believers at Corinth to be united, and admonishes them to abandon their factionalism. Paul reminds them that he did not do anything among them that would draw attention to himself, but rather he pointed them entirely away from himself and directed their attention and affection to Christ alone.
Direct download: pc050.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

This episode of Theology Simply Profound brings our reading of J. Gresham Machen's final three audio addresses to a close. This address, "The Bible and the Cross," would have aired on December 27, 1936. Machen would not finish this series of radio addresses on the atonement. Just five days later on January 1, 1937, he would succumb to pneumonia dying in the Lord.

And so, this series closes so abruptly as life seems to do so very often. With the words, "Isn't the Reformed faith grand?" and "So thankful for active obedience of Christ. No hope without it," Machen departed in peace.

Direct download: tsp119.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 4:14pm CDT

The first paragraph of chapter twenty-nine in the Westminster Confession of Faith sets forth the institution of Lord’s Supper and the uses and ends for which it is designed:

Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in his church, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him; and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.

In this episode, we discuss the five purposes of the Lord's Supper detailed in the confession:

  1. Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper as a commemorative ordinance for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death.
  2. The Lord’s Supper is a confirmatory sign (cf. Rom. 4:11) for the purpose of sealing all the benefits procured by Christ’s death unto true believers.
  3. Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper for the spiritual nourishment and growth of believers in him.
  4. Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper for believers for their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him.
  5. Finally, Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper to be a bond and pledge of believers’ communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.
Direct download: ctc546.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00am CDT

As the Abrahamic Covenant is expanded, it builds upon the revelation given in chapters 12 and 15. Through this everlasting covenant God will bring life to those who are dead in their sins.

Direct download: pc049.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 11:00am CDT

This week’s Theology Simply Profound provides another reading from the works of J. Gresham Machen. Since we’ve begun a series on the Biblical teaching of the atonement, Bob is reading Machen’s, “The Active Obedience of Christ.” This was delivered on December 20, 1936 as part of a series of radio addresses given shortly before Machen’s death on January 1, 1937.

Direct download: tsp118.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 4:49pm CDT

We continue our #VosGroup series in pages 175–182 of Vos' book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to consider ancestor worship and animism before moving to a summary of Part I of the entire book and specifically, revelation during the period of M

Direct download: ctc545.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 1:30pm CDT

Our situation calls for serious self-discipline because the days are evil, and joyful celebration because God has rescued us from that evil in Jesus Christ.

Direct download: pc048.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 5:31pm CDT

This week on Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob continue their new series of discussions on the doctrine of the atonement. In this episode we talk about the concept of redemption. What is redemption? What is the relationship between redemption and the wrath of God? What is the cost of redemption? How does redemption relate to the atonement?

Direct download: tsp117.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 5:39pm CDT