Reformed Forum

In an age of skepticism, Fredrich Schleiermacher wanted to cast religion in a manner that would be relevant and respected. In Episode 86 Jim Cassidy and Mark Winder discuss how the father of modern liberal theology continues to manifest an influence in pulpit speech today. Does the drive to make preaching more “relevant” and “practical” today manifest a spirit of Schleiermacher in the pulpit? Is the quality of a sermon determined by its relevancy to our current age?

Direct download: pc086.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

C. N. Willborn describes the importance of a faithful and active diaconal ministry within the church. Building upon contribution from Thomas Chalmers and other insightful theologians, Willborn describes a ministry “proportioned in number,” or segmented in order that the diaconate may faithfully carry out its duties both to the brotherhood and the neighborhood. Willborn argues “for a thoroughly active office, defined, designed, and dispatched along Biblical lines.”

Rev. Dr. Willborn is pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is the author of many works on history and theology, including the focus of this conversation, “The Gospel Work of the Diaconate: A Ministry ‘Proportioned in Number’” in The Confessional Presbyterian, volume 10 (2014): 23–32.

Direct download: ctc665.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

On this week’s episode of Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob pick up their discussion of the fruit of the Spirit in light of the troubling and confusing days we currently live within. What is patience? Where do we find this patience? How do we live t

Direct download: tsp209.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 2:33pm EDT

Dr. Brandon Crowe speaks about the centrality of the resurrection in the book of Acts. Dr. Crowe has written The Hope of Israel: The Resurrection of Christ in the Acts of the Apostles (Baker Academic, 2020) in which he explores the historical, theological, and canonical implications of Jesus's resurrection in early Christianity and helps readers more clearly understand the purpose of Acts in the context of the New Testament canon.

Direct download: ctc664.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

On this week’s episode of Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob pick up their discussion of the fruit of the Spirit in light of the troubling and confusing days we currently live within. What is peace? How does the peace that we have with God translate

Direct download: tsp208.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 3:57pm EDT

John Witherspoon (1723–1794) was an eighteenth-century Scottish-American Presbyterian minister and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. In this episode, we speak with Robert S. Null about Witherspoon’s theology and understanding of history through four unstudied manuscripts of his lectures at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University).

In his dissertation, John Witherspoon’s Forgotten “Lectures on History and Chronology”: Recognizing the Important Role of History in the Development of His Thought and Theology for Navigating Eighteenth-Century Late Protestant Scholasticism, Revivalism, and Enlightenment, Null writes:

Witherspoon had to contend with the legacy of late seventeenth century Protestant scholasticism, newer forms of revivalism, and more rationalistic developments in eighteenth century enlightenment thought. A detailed but fading emphasis on the decrees, preparation for grace, and the application of redemption merged with a more secular emphasis on free thought involving induction, empiricism, idealism, and common sense philosophy, as well as challenges from new theological movements in holiness, revivalism, and pietism. Revolutions in politics, science, logic, and theological priorities were frequent and significant. Changes in both the worlds of theology and philosophy would continue throughout the eighteenth century.

The relationship of history to theology became foundational for Witherspoon not simply as an extension of late Protestant scholasticism, an expression of Christian piety, or an excessive reliance on, or aversion toward, a specific enlightenment philosophy. In his writings, theology itself was undergoing change, and specifically in Witherspoon’s case, toward integrating an important awareness of history. This awareness demonstrates the importance of history very early in the rise of Princeton theology.

Direct download: ctc663.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

In the spirit of our Vos Group episodes, we begin a concurrent venture into Cornelius Van Til's book, The Defense of the Faith. Carlton Wynne joins Lane Tipton and Camden Bucey to discuss the theology and apologetics of this significant twenty-first century Reformed apologist.

Direct download: ctc662.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Jim Cassidy shows us how Israel's folly and sinfulness renders her incapable of obeying God. In order to obey the Lord, she needs the Lord to grant to her the very thing that she herself can not do. Hosea uses striking imagery to show us Israel's rebellion, but equally striking and parallel imagery to show the Lord's mercy and provision for redemption.

Direct download: pc085.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

On this week's episode of Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob pick up their discussion of the fruit of the Spirit in light of the troubling and confusing days we currently live within. What is joy and how is it that we might have it?

Direct download: tsp207.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 1:04pm EDT

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