Reformed Forum (Christ the Center)

Christ the Center is on the road as Camden Bucey speaks with two guest from the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Conference. This episode explores Reformed theology and its profound impact on missions. Camden is joined by Chad Vegas, founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Church and founding board chairman of Radius International, along with Jonathan Master, president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, to explore the vital relationship between theological education and missionary work.

The conversation covers a broad spectrum, from the excitement surrounding the seminary’s annual spring conference to the innovative partnership between Greenville Seminary and Radius International, aimed at equipping the next generation for church planting among unreached language groups. Chad Vegas also shares his personal journey from a dispensationalist background to embracing Reformed theology and the inception of Radius International. This episode sheds light on the challenges and strategies of missionary work, emphasizing the necessity of a solid biblical foundation, cultural sensitivity, and the indispensable role of the local church in sending and supporting missionaries. Join us for an engaging discussion that reaffirms the vital role of Reformed theology in advancing the gospel to the ends of the earth.

[00:00:07] Introduction
[00:06:35] Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and a Focus on Missions
[00:08:35] Radius International and Church Planting among Unreached Groups
[00:12:43] Missionary Training and Biblical Foundations
[00:18:13] Historical and Theological Foundations of Missions
[00:23:22] A Personal Journey to Reformed Theology
[00:39:13] Development of Radius International
[00:48:24] Missionary Work and Cultural Engagement
[00:58:46] Evolving Role of Reformed Theology in Modern Missions
[01:10:09] Future Directions for Presbyterian Missions

This is Christ the Center episode 850 (https://www.reformedforum.org/ctc850)

Direct download: ctc850.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this installment of Vos Group, we turn to p. 336 of Vos’s book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments, focusing on the temptations of Jesus Christ. This discussion ventures into the heart of Jesus’s wilderness temptations, offering a rich, theological analysis that challenges and enlightens. We consider the strategic use of Old Testament quotations by Jesus during his confrontation with Satan, underscoring the deep, theological significance of these moments.

This episode not only unpacks the unique messianic nature of Jesus’s temptations but also firmly opposes a moralizing interpretation, instead highlighting the redemptive work accomplished through Christ’s victory over sin. Through a careful examination of Jesus as the obedient Son and true Israel, this episode reveals the layers of meaning in these biblical narratives, connecting them to broader themes of redemption, covenant theology, and the Christian life. As we understand Jesus’s role as the mediator who binds and spoils the strong man, this episode encourages believers to find their identity in Christ, resting in his victorious work on our behalf.

00:07 Introduction
04:44 Jesus' Temptation as a Prime Example of His Earthly Ministry
08:43 The Wilderness Temptation
17:10 The Temple Temptation
23:05 The Mountain Temptation
28:44 The Emphases of Matthew and Luke
38:38 Overcoming in Jesus and Entering Paradise
45:01 Looking Ahead
48:11 Conclusion

Direct download: ctc849.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Reformed Forum exhibited at the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary conference in Greer, SC. This episode offers a deep dive into the Confessional Presbyterian Journal's latest issue, with a special focus on the 50th anniversary of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the historical development of the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission (SJC). Camden Bucey brings together Rev. Zachary Groff, pastor of Antioch Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Scott Cook, visiting professor of apologetics at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, both of whom are deeply involved in the Confessional Presbyterian Journal.

The conversation starts with an exploration of the journal itself, highlighting its dedication to addressing pressing issues in the church through a blend of pastoral scholarship and rigorous theological analysis. The latest issue's theme revolves around the PCA's 50th anniversary, offering a collection of articles that reflect on the denomination's history, mission, and theological commitments.

Zachary Groff provides an overview of the journal's contents, emphasizing the significance of the PCA's commitment to the Great Commission and its historical context. He mentions various contributions that examine the PCA's foundation, its growth, and its ongoing theological debates, particularly those concerning the church's mission and the inclusivity of nations in God's plan through Christ.

Dr. Scott Cook focuses on the specific topic of the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission, outlining its origin and evolution. He describes the initial challenges faced by the PCA in maintaining discipline and order within its rapidly growing community. Cook traces the SJC's development back to the 1980s, a period marked by significant debate and eventual compromise within the denomination. He articulates the tension between the desire for a grassroots, decentralized approach to church governance and the practical need for an efficient, centralized judicial body to handle disciplinary cases. This part of the conversation sheds light on the broader issues of polity and ecclesiastical authority within the PCA and offers insights into how the denomination has navigated these challenges over the years.

Throughout the episode, the guests underscore the Confessional Presbyterian Journal's role in fostering informed theological conversation and community engagement within the Reformed tradition. The discussion not only celebrates the PCA's past achievements but also critically examines its struggles and future directions, particularly in the realms of theological fidelity, church discipline, and mission​​.

00:00:07 - Introduction
00:03:38 - Guest Introductions: Rev. Zachary Groff and Dr. Scott Cook
00:07:35 - In-depth Look at the Confessional Presbyterian Journal
00:23:00 - The Formation and Significance of the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission
00:27:06 - Challenges and Future Directions for the PCA
00:56:35 - The Development of the SJC: From Concept to Reality
01:00:20 - The Challenges and Controversies of Implementing the SJC
01:04:26 - Reflecting on Growth and the Future of the PCA
01:12:23 - Reflecting on PCA's Place in the Reformed World

This is Christ the Center episode 848 (https://www.reformedforum.org/ctc848)

Direct download: ctc848.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this enlightening episode, we discuss the nuances of conscience and confessional identity during the Reformation. Joined by Dr. Timothy Scheuers, we turn our attention to the transformative period of the 16th century, exploring how conscience acted not only as a catalyst for reform but also as a complex element influencing church unity, confessional standards, and the intricate relationship between church and state.

The core of our discussion centers around Dr. Scheuer’s book, Consciences and the Reformation: Scruples over Oaths and Confessions in the Era of Calvin and His Contemporaries (Oxford University Press), providing a fresh perspective on the role of conscience in driving forward the Reformation’s agenda. We explore the pivotal moments and figures of this era, including Calvin’s return to Geneva and the establishment of the Geneva Academy, to understand how these historical milestones continue to influence contemporary Christian thought and practice.

Through a blend of historical examination and practical application, this episode not only sheds light on the foundational aspects of Reformed theology but also invites listeners to reflect on the relevance of these principles in today’s ecclesiastical landscape. Whether you're a theologian, a pastor, or simply someone interested in Christian history and doctrine, this episode offers valuable insights into the enduring legacy of the Reformation and its significance for the contemporary church.

Rev. Dr. Scheuers is the Associate Pastor of First United Reformed Church of Chino, CA, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Providence Christian College (Pasadena, CA).

Direct download: ctc847.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, we speak with William Boekestein, Jonathan Landry Cruse, and Andrew J. Miller, the authors behind a new book, Glorifying and Enjoying God: 52 Devotions through the Westminster Shorter Catechism. These three pastors and theologians share their insights and experiences from their journey through the Westminster Shorter Catechism, offering listeners a unique opportunity to understand the profound theological truths encapsulated in this historic summary of faith.

William Boekestein, serving the Immanuel Fellowship Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, alongside his wife Amy and their four children, brings a pastoral heart to our discussion. Jonathan Landry Cruse, author of What Happens When We Worship and pastor of Community Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Kalamazoo, where he resides with his wife and three children, offers a perspective enriched by his literary and ministerial endeavors. Andrew J. Miller, the Regional Home Missionary for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in central Pennsylvania, shares his extensive missionary experiences, living out the catechism’s teachings alongside his wife Rebekah and their five children.

Together, they speak about the motivations behind their collaborative work, the importance of the Westminster Shorter Catechism in today’s Christian walk, and how the book aims to deepen the reader’s love and knowledge of God. Join us as we explore how understanding God leads to a richer relationship with Him, and how the intertwined nature of heart and mind can bring us closer to the glory and enjoyment of God.

Direct download: ctc846.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

In this episode, we welcome Aaron Renn, author of Life in the Negative World: Confronting Challenges in an Anti-Christian Culture, to explore the profound shifts in cultural attitudes towards Christianity and the broader implications for faith in the modern era. Renn, with a diverse background ranging from management and technology consulting as a Partner at Accenture, to urban policy as a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and now a Senior Fellow at American Reformer, brings a unique perspective to the discussion. His extensive work has been featured in globally recognized publications such as The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

Life in the Negative World considers the dramatic changes in societal views on Christianity, tracing the journey from the mid-twentieth century—when church attendance was at its peak—to the present day, where professing Christian beliefs often results in social demotion within elite circles. Renn examines the transition from a once Christianity-affirming society to one that is, at best, indifferent, and at worst, hostile to Christian morals and teachings. In our conversation, he articulates the lessons learned from over seven decades of Christian cultural engagement, offering insightful strategies for churches, institutions, and individuals to maintain their faithfulness in an increasingly adversarial environment.

This episode is not just a reflection on the challenges faced by modern Christians but also a guide on how to navigate these tumultuous waters with grace, resilience, and a deepened faith. Renn emphasizes the necessity for a diverse array of strategies to engage missionally with a world that often seems at odds with Christian values. Whether you’re a person of faith struggling to find your place in this “negative world,” a church leader seeking direction for your community, or simply interested in the evolving relationship between religion and society, this conversation with Aaron Renn offers valuable insights and hope for the path forward.

Join us as we discuss the implications of living out one’s faith in an era that increasingly marginalizes Christian perspectives, and discover how to embrace the challenges of the negative world with courage and conviction.

Links

Direct download: ctc845.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this installment of Van Til Group, we turn to the section of Defense of the Faith (pp. 69–72), which begins the chapter titled “The Christian Philosophy of Behavior.” This section outlines the Christian perspective on ethics, drawing from the Reformed confessions to emphasize that human actions, or behavior, should aim to glorify God. It presents a confessional scheme focusing on three key aspects: the highest good (summum bonum) that humans should strive for, the criterion for achieving this good (which must be based on God’s revealed will in Scripture), and the motivation for pursuing this good, highlighting the necessity of faith and regeneration by the Holy Spirit for genuine ethical action.

The chapter then considers the relationship between ethics and the Christian philosophy of knowledge. It asserts that understanding God’s nature is fundamental to grasping the essence of Christian ethics, with God’s absolute personality serving as the ultimate interpretative category for human existence. This perspective contrasts with non-Christian views by emphasizing that the good is defined by God’s nature and will, rather than existing independently.

The section on “Man as Made in God’s Image” discusses the original moral perfection of humanity, created in the image of the Godhead, and underscores the derivative nature of human moral consciousness. Unlike non-Christian ethics, which may view moral consciousness as the ultimate arbiter of good, Christian ethics sees it as reliant on divine revelation. This foundational difference in epistemology between Christian and non-Christian thought underscores the Christian belief in a receptive rather than creative construction of moral knowledge, with humanity’s moral nature and external revelation jointly guiding ethical understanding.

Direct download: ctc844.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, we sit down with David Hall, Senior Pastor of Midway Presbyterian Church in Powder Springs, GA, and a prolific author, to discuss his latest book, Irony and the Presbyterian Church in America: The First Fifty Years. Hall’s work, a historical and analytical exploration of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), offers a unique perspective on the denomination’s fifty-year journey since its inception in 1973. Through the lens of irony, reminiscent of Greek dramas, Hall examines the PCA’s evolution within the wider context of American Presbyterianism.

David Hall is the author of over 40 books, including influential titles like Savior or Servant? Putting Government in Its Place and The Legacy of John Calvin. As the Founder and Senior Fellow of the Kuyper Institute and a leading figure in the Calvin500 celebration, Hall’s expertise offers a profound look into the PCA’s successes, challenges, and the critical question: can it avoid the decline that other religious communions have faced?

Direct download: ctc843.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, Camden Bucey engages in a thought-provoking discussion with Terry Johnson, Senior Minister of Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, Georgia and the author of Understanding Family Worship: Its History, Theology, and Practice (Christian Focus).

This book provides a timely perspective on family worship. Rev. Johnson reflects on his personal journey, starting with the birth of his first child, which sparked a deep commitment to family worship. Johnson emphasizes the need for consistency and the avoidance of lethargy in practicing family worship. He discusses the challenges and strategies for implementing daily family worship, highlighting the importance of a godly home environment for its effectiveness. 

The conversation also covers theological arguments supporting family worship, rooted in Reformed doctrine, and practical aspects like singing, prayer, Scripture reading, and the role of catechesis in family life. The episode concludes with encouragement for families to embrace this historic Christian practice, underscoring its foundational role in imparting faith and nurturing spiritual growth within the family unit.

Direct download: ctc842.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, we welcome Drs. Benjamin Gladd and G. K. Beale, co-editors of The Dictionary of the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Baker Academic) along with D. A. Carson and Andrew Naselli. We explore various theological and biblical topics, particularly focusing on the intricate relationship between the New Testament and the Old Testament. This conversation includes examining how New Testament writers drew upon and interpreted Old Testament texts, shedding light on the continuity and development of biblical themes across the testaments. The episode illuminates the complex intertextuality present in the Bible, emphasizing the importance of understanding these connections for a more comprehensive grasp of Christian theology.

Additionally, the dialogue touches upon various methods and challenges in biblical scholarship, including the interpretation of biblical allusions and the significance of these allusions in understanding the New Testament’s fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and typologies. Drs. Gladd and Beale’s expertise provides a rich, nuanced perspective on these subjects, making the episode particularly valuable for those interested in deepening their understanding of biblical theology and the hermeneutical principles underlying the study of Scripture.

Direct download: ctc841.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Dr. Cornelis Van Dam joins us to speak about his book In the Beginning: Listening to Genesis 1 and 2, in which he argues that reading Genesis 1 and 2 as history is not only justified but necessary. Van Dam clarifies the different roles that ancient Near Eastern literature and scientific theories should play in our understanding of the Bible as he carefully deals with the exegetical details of the first two chapters of the Bible. He writes:

The focus of this work is therefore not to give an all-around commentary and explanation of every verse in Genesis 1 and 2, but to listen to Scripture in order to find out what God is revealing to us about the historicity of the beginning chapters of Genesis. Concentrating on listening to what Scripture actually says brings with it the realization that the reader of the Word has a relatively modest place. The one who listens to Scripture acknowledges that the Word, not the reader, determines the meaning of the text (p. 9).

Dr. Van Dam is an Old Testament scholar, who has served with distinction as a professor of Old Testament at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary from 1981 to 2011. He holds degrees from Wilfrid Laurier University, Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary, Knox College at the University of Toronto, and the Theological University of Kampen. Over his career, he has made significant contributions to Old Testament scholarship, with a special focus on the Pentateuch. He is the author of notable works including In the Beginning: Listening to Genesis 1 and 2The Elder, and The Deacon. These publications reflect his commitment to exploring not merely themes in biblical studies but also their implications for Christian doctrine and practice.

Dr. Van Dam was honored in 2011 with a Festschrift titled Living Waters from Ancient Springs: Essays in Honor of Cornelis Van Dam. This volume, featuring contributions from notable scholars such as Hans Boersma and Al Wolters, is a testament to his significant impact on theological scholarship and his enduring legacy in biblical studies.

Direct download: ctc840.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this installment of our Vos Group, we turn to pp. 335–336 of Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to explore the uniquely messianic nature of these temptations, examining how Christ’s experiences differ significantly from human temptations. A key theme of this passage is the comparison of Christ’s temptation with Adam’s, emphasizing Christ’s role as the second Adam and the federal head encountering temptation.

Vos warns against a moralizing interpretation of the temptations, instead focusing on their theocentric character and their relation to true religion. The episode further explores the role of the Holy Spirit in these temptations, particularly in empowering Christ and highlighting the inauguration of the kingdom of God.

The discussion is rich in its exploration of redemptive history, connecting Christ’s temptations to the broader biblical narrative, from Adam’s failure to Israel’s typological sonship, leading to Christ’s successful fulfillment as the obedient Son of God. This comprehensive analysis aims to deepen understanding of Christ’s work and encourages listeners to appreciate the significance of these biblical events in the context of the entire history of salvation​​.

Direct download: ctc839.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Join us on this week’s episode as we speak with Fred Greco, pastor of Christ Church in Katy, Texas. He is a trusted authority on parliamentary procedure and church polity and moderator of the PCA’s 50th General Assembly. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, alongside his wife, Deb, Fred’s academic journey in Classics and History from the University of Buffalo paved the way to a career in law after acquiring his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

As a corporate attorney specializing in commercial finance and real estate law in Cleveland, Ohio, Fred’s life took an interesting turn when he was ordained as a ruling elder in the PCA, sparking his transition from business to the pulpit. The call to ministry led him and his family to the heart of Texas, where he now serves as the Senior Pastor of Christ Church. In this episode, we’ll explore Rev. Greco’s rich life experiences, from his expertise in law to his heart for ministry. We’ll explore the relationship between his legal training and his ecclesiastical service, and how this unique background informs his understanding of governance within the church.

Direct download: ctc838.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We welcome David Schrock to discuss his book, The Royal Priesthood and the Glory of God, in which he presents a biblical theology that explores the theme of priesthood throughout the Bible. The book demonstrates that the concept of priesthood, starting with Adam in the Garden of Eden, is central to understanding God’s plan for humanity and the overarching narrative of Scripture. Schrock argues that Adam, as the first priest in the biblical narrative, sets a pattern for priesthood that echoes through the patriarchs and is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. This priesthood is not limited to a specific lineage or tribe but is a calling for all of God’s people.

The book traces the development of this theme through the Old and New Testaments, showing how the priesthood develops from the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament to the royal priesthood in Christ, fulfilling God’s purpose for humanity to serve as mediators of his presence and ministers of his covenant. Schrock’s work invites readers to see themselves as part of this royal priesthood, called to serve God and reflect his glory.

David S. Schrock is pastor for preaching and theology at Occoquan Bible Church in Woodbridge, Virginia. He is a founding faculty member at Indianapolis Theological Seminary, where he teaches theology.

Links

Direct download: ctc837.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Join us for a compelling conversation with Dr. Matthew S. Harmon, Professor of New Testament studies at Grace College and Theological Seminary. Camden Bucey engages Dr. Harmon in an exploration of his book, The Servant of the Lord and His Servant People, which explores the theme of servanthood across the biblical canon, offering insightful perspectives on this pervasive and significant motif​​.

During the episode, Dr. Harmon surveys several key biblical figures identified as servants of the Lord, including Adam, Moses, Joshua, David, and Jesus. The conversation also touches upon the New Testament, specifically Paul’s self-identification with the servant of the Lord described in Isaiah. Dr. Harmon elucidates how Paul, and by extension, the Christian church, embody this servant role through Christ’s indwelling, thereby continuing the mission of revealing God’s glory to the ends of the earth​​.

This episode promises to offer listeners profound insights into the biblical concept of servanthood and its implications for understanding both the Old and New Testaments, as well as its relevance for the Christian life today.

Links

Direct download: ctc836.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Since 2008, we have been taking time around New Year’s Day to bring you some of the top moments from the preceding year. We have several great clips lined up for you today.

The Top Episodes of 2023 (by YouTube views)

  1. Dan Ragusa — Preterism and 2 Peter 3 (YouTube)
  2. Gray Sutanto and Cory Brock — A Theological Introduction to Neo-Calvinism (YouTube)
  3. Greg Beale — The New Testament Use of the Old Testament (YouTube)
  4. Carlton Wynne — Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (YouTube)
  5. Camden Bucey — The Importance of Cornelius Van Til for Today (YouTube)
  6. Jim Cassidy — Introducing and Interpreting Karl Barth (YouTube)
  7. Danny Olinger — Christianity and Liberalism: Introduction (YouTube)
  8. Lane Tipton — Exitus and Reditus in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas (YouTube)
  9. Jonathan Master — Reformed Theology (YouTube)
  10. Michael Beck — Covenant Theology and Cultural Engagement in the Thought of Meredith G. Kline(YouTube)
Direct download: ctc835.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Join us in this episode of Christ the Center, where host Camden Bucey engages in a free-flowing yet thoughtful discussion with Dr. Owen Anderson, philosopher and professor of religious studies at Arizona State University and pastor of Historic Christian Church in Phoenix. The conversation centers around the nuanced relationship between philosophy, religion, and the concept of free speech within academia and broader American culture.

The episode explores the current state of freedom of speech in higher education, highlighting its importance and the obstacles it faces today. Dr. Anderson shares his views on the roles of natural and revealed religion in American philosophical and legal traditions, and how these ideas have influenced the country’s development. Listeners will also appreciate the exploration of Common Sense Realism and its impact on the ideological framework of the American Founding Fathers. This episode provides a reflective look into the challenges of articulating and understanding truth in an increasingly complex age.

Listen in for a conversation that offers insightful perspectives on the intersections of philosophy, religion, and free speech in the modern era.

Links

Direct download: ctc834.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, we're excited to unveil the inaugural lesson of our new series, exploring the profound depths of the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Bible. Under the able guidance of Dr. Mark Winder, we'll embark on an enlightening journey through six comprehensive, yet accessible, biblical-theological lessons, offering fresh insights into this foundational portion of Scripture.

As we introduce this captivating course, join Ryan Noha and Camden Bucey for a reflective update on our year-end projects. We also extend a heartfelt invitation to support our mission through the 'Planting for the Future' campaign. Your generous contributions are pivotal in helping Reformed Forum continue to offer an array of free, high-quality Reformed theological resources to a global audience. Discover more and contribute to our cause at Reformed Forum's donation page (https://www.reformedforum.org/donate).

Direct download: ctc833.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this installment of Vos Group, Lane Tipton and Camden Bucey discuss pp. 330–333 of Geerhardus Vos’ book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments. In this section, Vos focuses on the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, a pivotal event in the Gospels. Vos examines various interpretations and challenges to the historicity and objectivity of this event, discussing theories that view it as mythological or parabolic. He argues for its historical and objective reality, using scriptural references such as Matthew 12:29 to support his view. Vos emphasizes the dual nature of the event as both a temptation by Satan and a probation by God, underscoring its importance in the Messianic mission of Jesus. He contrasts this with the temptation of Adam in Genesis, noting differences in their respective contexts and purposes. Vos also explores the implications of the event on the understanding of Jesus’ sinlessness and His role in atonement. Throughout, he maintains a theological perspective that situates the temptation within the broader narrative of redemption and Christ’s mission.

Direct download: ctc832.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, Camden Bucey and Jim Cassidy dive into a variety of topics answering questions submitted by listeners and viewers of the program. Topics covered range from theological discussions, such as the role of Jesus’ intercession for the elect and non-elect within the visible church​​, to historical and exegetical considerations, like the understanding of the Old Covenant as the Mosaic administration of the covenant of grace​​.

Direct download: ctc831.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Dr. Michael Beck joins us to speak about his book, Covenant Lord and Cultic Boundary: A Dialectic Inquiry Concerning Meredith Kline and the Reformed Two-Kingdom Project (Wipf and Stock), which is a theological exploration of the ideas of Meredith Kline and their impact on the Reformed Two-Kingdom Project.

The book provides a literature review of relevant works on the topic and highlights the broader universe of discourse in which this study exists. In the book and in this conversation, Dr. Beck offers a unique analysis of Kline’s theology and its practical implications for contemporary Christian life and practice.

Michael Beck is a pastor at Gracenet Community Church as well as a lecturer of Old Testament and biblical theology at Grace Theological College (New Zealand). Dr. Beck earned his PhD from the South African Theological Seminary Michael also co-hosts the Two-Age Sojourner podcast.

Direct download: ctc830.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this installment of Vos Group, Lane Tipton and Camden Bucey discuss pp. 322–329 of Geerhardus Vos’ book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments. In this section, Vos discusses John’s testimony of Jesus after his baptism.

The testimony of John the Baptist as depicted in the Gospel of John emphasizes Jesus’ unique divine nature and eternal preexistence, distinguishing him from all others in redemptive history. This underlines John’s role as the one preparing the way for Jesus, who fulfills Old Testament prophecies as the sacrificial Lamb of God. It also highlights the immutable deity of Christ, who, despite his incarnation, remains unchanged in his divine essence. The narrative showcases Jesus’ baptism as an act of vicarious repentance and affirms his authority to bestow the Spirit, underscoring the theological depth of his identity and mission as witnessed by John the Baptist.

Direct download: ctc829.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In the latest episode of Christ the Center, we explore the fascinating intersection of science, faith, and philosophy through the life and contributions of Robert Boyle, the seventeenth-century chemist often dubbed the father of modern chemistry.

Our guest, Dr. Edward B. Davis, Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at Messiah University, shares his extensive knowledge on Boyle's experiments, the development of Boyle's Law, and the broader implications of Boyle's work on the relationship between emerging scientific disciplines and religious thought.

We also delve into the historical context of Boyle's era, his influence on the mechanical philosophy, and how his devout Anglican faith shaped his understanding of the natural world. Listen as we explore the complex relationship of how scientific inquiry and religious belief have related throughout history.

Edward B. Davis on ResearchGate

Robert Boyle, the Bible, and Natural Philosophy

Direct download: ctc828.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

After recording a course on the subject for Reformed Academy, Dr. Carlton Wynne comes to the podcast studio to discuss John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. Topics covered include Calvin's theology, the right ordering of knowledge, general and special revelation, the effects of the fall on human reasoning, natural theology, and comparisons to the thought of Thomas Aquinas and Cornelius Van Til.

Carlton also shares about his experience as a pastor-theologian and his talk on maintaining true religion in a modernist world at the recent Reformation Worship Conference. The conversation touches on the legacy of J. Gresham Machen and the need for the church to guard the good deposit of faith.

Direct download: ctc827.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Ryan Noha and Camden Bucey offer an update regarding several projects and initiatives at Reformed Forum including the launch of Kevin Chiarot’s course on 1 Peter. We include the first lesson of the course, which is available for free on reformedforum.org and on YouTube. In the first lesson, Dr. Chiarot teaches on the elect exiles Peter addresses in 1 Peter 1:1–2.
Direct download: ctc826.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Lane Tipton and Camden Bucey reflect on the recent Reformed Forum Theology Conference on J. Gresham Machen's Christianity and Liberalism before turning to a discussion of their new booklet, Unfolding Redemption: Exploring the History and Order of Salvation.

Direct download: ctc825.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Jeff McDonald introduces several significant points about William Jennings Bryan, including his early life and upbringing in a strong evangelical tradition, his belief that schools and universities posed a problem to religious freedom, and his concern that students could be led away from faith into unbelief if they fell under the influence of mind worshipers. The author also notes Bryan’s political career and his advocacy for economic and religious freedom, as well as his influence on the Democratic party and his ongoing relevance to current political issues.

Jeffrey McDonald is a Presbyterian minister, historian, and author of John Gerstner and the Renewal of Presbyterian and Reformed Evangelicalism in Modern America (Wipf & Stock, 2017).

Richard M. Gamble is Professor of History and holds the Anna Margaret Ross Alexander Chair in History and Politics at Hillsdale College.

Links

Books

Direct download: ctc824.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Camden Bucey recently lectured on “The Importance of Van Til for Today” for the OPC’s Presbytery of Michigan and Ontario at Harvest OPC in Wyoming, MI. Jim Cassidy and Camden discuss the main points of the lecture before we turn to a recording of the lecture and its accompanying Q&A session.

Cornelius Van Til (1895–1987) has shaped the field of Reformed apologetics, drawing upon the strengths of Old Amsterdam and Old Princeton. But his impact extends beyond apologetics, affecting broader theological discussions and the identity of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. In this lecture, we explore the enduring relevance of Van Til’s work and thought, analyzing his theological contributions against the backdrop of his historical context while tracing their resonance in our own.

Download the handout

Direct download: ctc823.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Bruce Baugus to our program to discuss his book, The Roots of Reformed Moral Theology, published by Reformation Heritage Books. In this comprehensive work, Dr. Baugus delves into the foundational elements that have shaped moral theology within the Reformed tradition. He provides both historical and theological contexts, covering a range of topics including the Old Testament’s influence on Reformed moral thought, the significance of the Ten Commandments, the Reformation’s impact on moral theology, and its evolution in the modern era. Additionally, Dr. Baugus explores the practical applications of Reformed moral theology for contemporary Christian living.

This conversation serves as a continuation of a dialogue that began during our online Symposium on Reformed Moral Theology, held in August 2023. In the symposium’s concluding session, Dr. Baugus and Dr. David VanDrunen each presented their perspectives on the role of law in the Gospels, with a particular focus on the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the Book of Matthew. The session also featured an interactive discussion between the two scholars and T. David Gordon.

Dr. Bruce P. Baugus is Professor of Systematic Theology & Apologetics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned a PhD in Philosophical Theology from Calvin Theological Seminary (2009) and served on the faculty of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, for fourteen years (2008–2022) prior to joining Puritan Reformed. He is also the editor of China’s Reforming Churches (RHB, 2014) and has contributed numerous chapters, articles, and papers.

Dr. David VanDrunen is Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary California.

Direct download: ctc822.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, we welcome back Michael Glodo, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Rev. Glodo has written The Lord Bless You and Keep You (Crossway), a new book on the Aaronic blessing of Numbers 6:24–26. We discuss several biblical-theological and practical implications for contemporary faith and practice including what it means to behold the face of God. We also explore how the person and work of Jesus secures the blessing on our behalf.

Direct download: ctc821.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Today, we turn to pages 318–322 of Vos’s Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to explore the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Our goal is to offer a nuanced understanding by identifying both the similarities and differences between John’s baptism of Jesus and the baptisms John performed upon the people.

Vos aims to steer clear of two misconceptions: the first being that Jesus’s baptism and the people’s baptisms were entirely distinct events, and the second that they were essentially the same.

The baptism of Jesus holds dual significance. Firstly, it serves as a public and objective revelation of the Holy Spirit’s glory, manifested as the Spirit descended from heaven onto Jesus.

Secondly, it has a sacramental meaning for Jesus himself, as he received something from the Spirit that furthered his earthly mission, which was a journey of suffering leading to glory.

In addition, we’ll examine the connection between Jesus’s baptism and his role as the Messiah, offering insights into both pneumatology—the study of the Holy Spirit—and eschatology—the study of end times.

Direct download: ctc820.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We welcome John Muether and Danny Olinger to discuss the sixth and final chapter of Machen's classic book, Christianity and Liberalism. In this chapter, J. Gresham Machen explores the differences between the liberal and Christian views of salvation. He argues that liberalism finds salvation in man, while Christianity finds it in an act of God. Machen critiques the moral influence theory of the atonement, which denies the substitutionary character of Christ's death and the wrath of God. In contrast, he emphasizes the need for a propitiation for sin and the centrality of the cross of Christ in the Christian view of salvation.

Machen concludes that the doctrine of salvation is essential to the Christian faith and that liberalism and Christianity are fundamentally incompatible on this question. The chapter provides a clear and detailed analysis of the theological and biblical foundations of the Christian view of salvation, and highlights the importance of this doctrine for the Christian life.

Direct download: ctc819.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Dr. Lane Tipton discusses a recent course he taught addressing the Trinitarian theology of Thomas Aquinas and the exitus-reditus scheme evident in all his theology. The lectures aim to provide an in-depth understanding of Thomas Aquinas's Trinitarian theology, emphasizing that his entire body of work is governed by the concept of exitus (departure) and reditus (return) in the context of divine and human processions.

Primary texts such as the Summa Theologiae and the Summa Contra Gentiles, as well as notable scholars like Gilles Emery and Dominic Legge, will be explored to corroborate the course's central thesis. The series will delve into the trinitarian structure of Aquinas’s theology, focusing on the eternal and temporal processions of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and their implications on topics like Christology and sacramentology. This Trinitarian framework forms the backbone of Aquinas’s theological system, affecting every doctrinal topic it touches, from the nature of God to the ultimate end of human beings. Therefore, understanding Aquinas's Trinitarian framework is key to grasping his theological system as a whole. The course aims not only to provide a nuanced understanding of Aquinas's theology but also to offer a Reformed critique and alternative.

The exitus-reditus structure serves as the central framework for understanding the theology of Thomas Aquinas. In this structure, "exitus" refers to the process of departure or emanation, while "reditus" signifies return. This dyad is a governing principle not only in Aquinas's understanding of the Trinity but also in his complete theological system. In terms of the Trinity, the Son and the Holy Spirit emanate from the Father in "exitus," and then return to the Father in "reditus."

This trinitarian procession is considered the foundational cause for the existence and return of all creatures. The divine persons' internal processions serve as the model and cause for the external processions of rational creatures. In relation to human beings, "exitus" refers to their creation and departure from God. God is seen as the efficient cause from whom all things emanate. "Reditus," on the other hand, signifies the creatures' return to God, drawn towards their ultimate end—participation in divine beatitude or happiness.

This return can be understood at two levels: natural and supernatural. On the natural level, creatures return to God according to their inherent abilities. On the supernatural level, they are elevated through grace to participate in the divine essence itself, surpassing their natural capacities. The exitus-reditus structure thus provides a coherent, systematic framework that integrates every aspect of Aquinas's theology, from the doctrine of God to the doctrines of creation, grace, and eschatology.

Direct download: ctc818.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, we sit down with Dr. A. Craig Troxel, Robert G. den Dulk Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary California. Dr. Troxel delves into his thought-provoking chapter on the communion of the saints from Theology for Ministry, a festschrift for Dr. Sinclair Ferguson.

What does it mean to build a spiritual community within the church? How can pastors cultivate a culture of love, service, and mutual respect, reflecting the Spirit-endowed riches of Christ’s gifts and graces? Dr. Troxel explores these profound questions, emphasizing the “one another” commands, the forms of mutual service, and the essential role of love in the life of the church.

Dr. Troxel also sheds light on the transformative power of worship and the vital role of the Spirit of God in animating the hearts of God’s people. He concludes with a compelling vision of the communion of the saints as more than just a gathering of individuals—it’s a sacred communion of those set apart for divine privileges and consecrated purposes.

Whether you’re a pastor, theologian, or simply someone seeking to deepen your understanding of community within the Christian faith, this episode offers rich insights and practical wisdom. Join us for a conversation that touches the very heart of what it means to be part of the body of Christ. 

Dr. Troxel is the author of With All Your Heart: Orienting Your Mind, Desires, and Will Toward Christ (Crossway). His research interests include pastoral theology, Reformed spirituality, the doctrine of the church, and biblical teaching on the heart.

Direct download: ctc817.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Danny Olinger and Camden Bucey discuss the sixth chapter of Machen’s classic book, Christianity and Liberalism. In this chapter, J. Gresham Machen explores the differences between the liberal and Christian views of salvation. He argues that liberalism finds salvation in man, while Christianity finds it in an act of God. Machen critiques the moral influence theory of the atonement, which denies the substitutionary character of Christ’s death and the wrath of God. In contrast, he emphasizes the need for a propitiation for sin and the centrality of the cross of Christ in the Christian view of salvation.

Machen concludes that the doctrine of salvation is essential to the Christian faith and that liberalism and Christianity are fundamentally incompatible on this question. The chapter provides a clear and detailed analysis of the theological and biblical foundations of the Christian view of salvation, and highlights the importance of this doctrine for the Christian life.

Direct download: ctc816.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We welcome Chris Castaldo to the program to explore the Beatitudes. In his book, The Upside-Down Kingdom, Castaldo offers a fresh perspective on these familiar teachings of Jesus, showing how they reveal God’s heart for the poor, the meek, and the persecuted. He also provides practical guidance for how we can live out these values in our daily lives, both as individuals and as a community of believers. The book is recommended for anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of the gospel and its implications for our lives today.

Castaldo argues that the Beatitudes challenge our cultural assumptions about power, success, and happiness, and call us to embrace a different way of living that is grounded in humility, compassion, and justice. Castaldo also draws on his own experiences as a pastor and theologian to provide practical guidance for how we can live out these values in our daily lives. Overall, The Upside Down Kingdom offers a fresh perspective on the Beatitudes that is both challenging and inspiring.

Chris Castaldo (PhD, London School of Theology) is the lead pastor at New Covenant Church in Naperville, Illinois. Follow him on Twitter at @chriscastaldo.

Books by Chris Castaldo

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Direct download: ctc815.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We turn to pp. 315–318 of Geerhardus Vos’s book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to discuss revelation connected with John the Baptist. Our discussion examines the complexities of John's role in the grand scheme of Biblical theology, unearthing profound insights about revelation and prophecy. We explore John's unique connection with Elijah, and the significance of his testimony to Jesus and baptism.

Join us as we ponder Vos's interpretation of Biblical revelation, shedding light on how it relates to the shadowy figure of John the Baptist. We navigate the delicate interplay between Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfillment, guided by the astute scholarship of Vos.

Direct download: ctc814.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Explore the profound wisdom of 1 Peter in this episode of the Christ the Center podcast. Camden Bucey is joined by Ryan Noha, Reformed Forum’s Director of Education and Advancement, and Rev. Dr. Kevin Chiarot, pastor of Westminster PCA in Rock Tavern, New York. Together, they discuss the teachings of 1 Peter, unraveling its rich eschatological themes of exile, suffering, our heavenly inheritance, hope, and resurrection. Don’t miss this episode if you’re intrigued by the mysteries of 1 Peter, or if you’re simply looking for an enriching and thought-provoking conversation on Reformed theology.

Direct download: ctc813.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Ryan Noha and Camden Bucey discuss two new courses from Reformed Academy as well as the new online community and several upcoming events. Camden, Jim Cassidy, and Lane Tipton will be attending a meetup in Dallas on August 1, 2023 while Camden and Carlton Wynne will be present for a meetup in Atlanta on August 11. Reformed Forum will also be hosting an online symposium on Reformed Moral Theology on August 24, 2023. Information is available at https://www.reformedforum.org/calendar.

After discussing all these matters, we include Jim Cassidy's first lecture from a new course on Barth as well as a recording of a live Q&A session with Jim on the lecture.

Direct download: ctc812.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In this episode, we speak with Jonathan Landry Cruse, author of The Character of Christ, a thought-provoking book that explores the character of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit. Join us as we consider the profound concepts of love, joy, and peace, and discover how Jesus embodies these virtues and offers them to us. Cruse shares insights into the true source of joy, practical strategies for cultivating the fruit of the Spirit, and a deeper understanding of the transformative power of Christ’s love. Don’t miss this engaging conversation that will inspire and encourage you in your walk with Christ.

Direct download: ctc811.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We turn to pp. 311–314 of Geerhardus Vos’s book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to discuss revelation connected with John the Baptist. In this section, we are reminded of the importance of being methodologically self-conscious in our biblical theology. Vos provides valuable insights into John the Baptist’s mission and his place in the unfolding of God’s plan of salvation.

Through an exposition of Matthew 11:2-15, we explore Jesus’ correction of mistaken views and his explanation of John’s significance as “more than a prophet” as well as Vos’ biblical theology, emphasizing the redemptive event as preceding the interpretive word. Whether you’re a biblical scholar or simply interested in the history of special revelation, this episode is sure to provide you with valuable insights and a deeper understanding of John the Baptist’s role in the unfolding of God’s plan of salvation.

Direct download: ctc810.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Sean Morris joins us to speak about the pastoral theology of John Knox. Known as the thunderous voice of the Scottish Reformation, Knox is a towering figure whose impact still reverberates within the walls of churches around the globe. This episode focuses on Knox's profound commitment to conforming worship to Scripture, a principle that shaped not only the religious landscape of his own time but also the worship practices of numerous Protestant traditions today.

Mr. Morris is Associate Minister of Covenant PCA in Oak Ridge, TN and Academic Dean of BRITE (Blue Ridge Institute for Theological Education) in Roanoke, VA.

Direct download: ctc809.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Dr. Jonathan Master speaks about his book, Reformed Theology (P&R Publishing), which is part of the Blessings of the Faith series edited by Jason Helopoulos. Master provides a concise and accessible introduction to the historic and orthodox Christian tradition of Reformed theology. In this book, he emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of Scripture, and the grace of salvation, while also demonstrating its biblical coherence and pastoral warmth. This resource is ideal for church leaders, study groups, and individuals who want a well-rounded overview of Reformed theology.

Jonathan Master is President of Greenville Theological Presbyterian Seminary near Greenville, South Carolina.

Direct download: ctc808.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Brian DeJong speaks about his biography of Arthur Franklin Perkins, a Presbyterian minister serving in Merrill, Wisconsin in the 1920’s and 1930’s. For his bold stand for truth, and against error and unbelief, Perkins was persecuted and prosecuted by his own Presbytery. Leaving the PCUSA in 1936, he became a constituting member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the convener and first moderator of the its Presbytery of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. After suffering a nervous breakdown, he died on December 29, 1936. This is his tragic and triumphant story about standing against tyranny in his day and age.

Links

Direct download: ctc807.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

On the 100th anniversary of the publication of Christianity and Liberalism, we consider J. Gresham Machen's critique of the liberal theological perspective on Jesus Christ, contrasting it with the traditional, orthodox Christian view. Machen argues that liberal theology often misrepresents Christ as a mere teacher of righteousness and neglects his divine aspects and teachings. He counters that Christ is not merely an example, but the very object of Christian faith. He also challenges liberal theologians' struggle to reconcile Jesus's sinlessness with their evolutionary worldview and argues against a deistic view of God, advocating instead for theism which allows for both God's works of creation and providence. Machen discusses the issue of miracles in relation to Christian faith, asserting that one cannot selectively believe in parts of Christ's life, such as dismissing the virgin birth. Ultimately, Machen invites the reader to accept Christ as portrayed in Scripture.

Direct download: ctc806.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Join use as we explore the increasingly overlapping spheres of artificial intelligence (AI) and pastoral ministry. Our discussion uncovers both the promising opportunities and the intricate challenges presented by this cross-disciplinary synthesis, offering listeners a space for thoughtful reflection and critical analysis.

We begin by considering the ways in which AI could influence scholarly and pastoral work, discussing its potential to revolutionize sermon preparation, theological interpretation, and pastoral responsibilities. From enhancing exegesis through computational analysis to automated pastoral care systems, the conversation paints a detailed picture of a possible future in which technology and theology are closely entwined.

However, the integration of AI into such deeply human and nuanced fields raises a multitude of ethical and philosophical concerns. Can an artificial system genuinely contribute to a process so rooted in personal insight and spirituality? Would reliance on AI for intellectual tasks promote laziness or engender a culture of plagiarism within the realm of theological scholarship? Furthermore, we ponder upon the risk of losing the essence of pastoral care—the human touch—in the wake of automated systems.

We invite you to join a thoughtful, in-depth exploration of the role AI could play in scholarship and pastoral ministry. For those curious about the intersection of technology, faith, and ethics, this discussion offers a chance to engage with a deeply fascinating and increasingly relevant topic.

Direct download: ctc805.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Carlton Wynne, Lane Tipton, and Camden Bucey turn to pp. 63–67 of Cornelius Van Til’s The Defense of the Faith to discuss the Christian theory of knowledge. In this section, Van Til speaks of the effects of sin and its curse upon human knowledge.

Direct download: ctc804.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Brad Isbell joins Jim Cassidy, Ryan Noha, and Camden Bucey to preview the PCA General Assembly and its 50th Anniversary Celebration. After speaking about ecumenical relations and several overtures, the group gets into a “riveting” discussing regarding a semicolon in Westminster Confession of Faith 31.4.

Mr. Isbell is a ruling elder at Covenant PCA in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Along with @Wresbyterian, he hosts Presbycast.

Direct download: ctc803.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Adam York speaks about discipleship in the book of Acts. As the church "beholds" the resurrected–ascended Christ by the proclamation of the apostolic word, it is empowered to bear witness to Christ even unto death, placing the world on trial while the church itself is tried by this world.
Direct download: ctc802.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Carlton Wynne, Lane Tipton, and Camden Bucey turn to pp. 58–63 of Cornelius Van Til’s The Defense of the Faith to discuss the Christian theory of knowledge. In this section, Van Til speaks of man's knowledge of the world.

Direct download: ctc801.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Mark Winder, Jim Cassidy, and Camden Bucey discuss the relationship between hermeneutics and homiletics, focusing specifically on the preaching of Geerhardus Vos.

Direct download: ctc800.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

This is the 100th anniversary of the publication of J. Gresham Machen’s book, Christianity and Liberalism. Danny Olinger and Camden Bucey speak with Alan Strange about the fourth chapter of Machen’s classic, which addresses the Bible.

In this chapter, Machen addresses those who would seek to maintain that what we hold in our hearts about Christ can remain true no matter what the facts of history actually show. These people subjectivize Christianity—making it a function of personal experience. Machen, however, emphasizes the importance of the historical fact of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection and the Bible’s inspired, inerrant, and infallible testimony to this work.

In the course of conversation, the panelists discuss several liberal theologians and the events in American Presbyterianism that led up to 1923, when Christianity and Liberalism was published. These include Friedrich Schleiermacher, Albrecht Ritschl, Wilhelm Herrmann, and the case of Charles Augustus Briggs.

Dr. Alan Strange is Professor of Church History and Theological Librarian at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana and an associate pastor at First Church (OPC) in South Holland, Illinois.

Links

Direct download: ctc799.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Join us on this episode of the podcast as we speak with Jim Zozzaro and Chris Byrd about the evangelism efforts of the Boardwalk Chapel in Wildwood, New Jersey. Established in the 1940s, the Boardwalk Chapel was founded with a vision to present the Gospel to the thousands of tourists that visit the Atlantic Ocean coastal resort town during the summer season.

The Boardwalk Chapel provides an excellent opportunity for evangelism training for those who seek to share the Gospel with others. During the summer months, the Boardwalk Chapel offers evangelism training to college-aged young people and paid summer interns. The training provides practical tools and strategies for sharing the Gospel with others effectively.

There are numerous opportunities to serve, attend, and be involved at the Boardwalk Chapel. From attending weekly services to participating in evangelism efforts, there is something for everyone to be involved in. The Boardwalk Chapel is a welcoming and supportive community that is committed to sharing the Gospel with others.

Pray for the leaders, staff, and evangelism efforts of the Boardwalk Chapel. The Boardwalk Chapel has several needs, including more staff for the summer and more people coming to the training weeks, specifically for the School of Evangelism.

Rev. James Zozzaro is pastor of Christ the King OPC in Cape May, NJ and director of the Boardwalk Chapel in Wildwood, NJ. Rev. Christopher Byrd is evangelist of Grace OPC in Westfield, NJ.

Direct download: ctc798.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Jim Cassidy and Camden Bucey discuss ecclesiology and R. B. Kuiper’s classic book, The Glorious Body of Christ. They focus primarily on ecumenism and how different church bodies relate to one another. But the two also discuss the nature of church power and authority and the challenges involved in administering church discipline across denominational lines.

Direct download: ctc797.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We turn to pp. 309–310 of Geerhardus Vos’s book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to discuss aspects of the nativity. The convergence of the coming of Jehovah and the coming of the Messiah is found in Jesus Christ and revealed particularly at the time of the nativity. Two Old Testament roots support this convergence: the circle of Mary and Joseph, who stand in the line of David, and the circle of Zacharias and Elizabeth, where the idea of Jehovah’s coming prevails.

Additionally, Vos notes that the name “Jesus” means “Jehovah is Salvation,” signifying Jesus’ divine identity as the one who delivers his people from the guilt and power of sin. Finally, Vos emphasizes that the inclusion of the Gentiles into God’s covenant people is another important aspect of Jesus’ redemptive work revealed with the incarnation.

Direct download: ctc796.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Dr. Gregory K. Beale returns to the program to speak about a wide array of topics touching upon the study of the Bible. After speaking about an exciting upcoming conference and workshop in Plano, Texas, Dr. Beale discusses developments in Old and New Testament studies over the last several decades, the nature of intertextuality and biblical theology, future areas ripe for new research, and research methods and tools.

Dr. Beale is Professor of New Testament at RTS Dallas. He has had a long and distinguished academic career, teaching at Grove City College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Wheaton Graduate School, and Westminster Theological Seminary.

Links

Direct download: ctc795.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

As a follow-up to his Reformed Academy course, Exploring 2 Peter: The Promise and the Path, Dan Ragusa joins Camden Bucey and Ryan Noha to discuss preterist views of 2 Peter 3 concerning the promise of new heavens and a new earth. After establishing the future orientation of the epistle, Dan provides a sketch of the history of preterist interpretations beginning with John Owen’s “Oriental” reading, noting the influence of Joseph Mede in the context of seventeenth-century Puritanism. He then turns his attention to modern-day exegesis of this chapter from leading partial preterists, exemplified by Peter Leithart’s commentary, The Promise of His Appearing: An Exposition of 2 Peter. Dan responds to Leithart’s “knock down arguments” by applying the eschatological pressure of the letter as a whole, all while directing listeners to the consummate, cosmic hope of the eternal kingdom that cannot be reduced to passing of the old covenant order in 70AD.

Links

Direct download: ctc794.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

This is the 100th anniversary of the publication of J. Gresham Machen’s book, Christianity and Liberalism. Danny Olinger and Camden Bucey speak with Lane Tipton about the third chapter of Machen’s classic, which addresses the relationship between God and man.

In this chapter Machen responds to the theological views of Schleiermacher and Von Harnack, and how he invokes the category of “revealed rational theism” to unite a doctrine of God and man based on general and special revelation as the great “presupposition” of historic Christian orthodoxy. Machen argues that the doctrine of God and man revealed in Scripture is the basis for the gospel and forms the presuppositional substructure of Christianity, which modern liberalism is diametrically opposed to. He affirms a natural knowledge of God in conscience and history, but centers special revelation for doctrines of God and man. Jesus’ use of the words of prophets and psalmists reveals the character of God and gives significance to the Old Testament heritage and Jesus’ own teaching. Machen envisions this revealed theology as the “root of Christianity,” not a natural religion, and one that rests on the teaching of the Old Testament as interpreted by Jesus Christ and his apostles.

Links

Direct download: ctc793.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

This is the 100th anniversary of the publication of J. Gresham Machen’s book, Christianity and Liberalism. Danny Olinger and Camden Bucey welcome D. G. Hart to discuss the second chapter of Machen’s classic, which addresses doctrine. The heart of the matter is that Christianity is a supernatural religion built on the fact that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, accomplished redemption for his people in history. Machen understood that both are essential: the supernatural and the fact that it occurs in history. Machen wrote:

But if any one fact is clear, on the basis of this evidence, it is that the Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work, but upon an account of facts. In other words it was based upon doctrine (Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, 20).

And from the beginning, the meaning of the happening was set forth; and when the meaning of the happening was set forth then there was Christian doctrine. “Christ died”—that is history; “Christ died for our sins”—that is doctrine. Without these two elements, joined in an absolutely indissoluble union, there is no Christianity (Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, 27).

Links

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Direct download: ctc792.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

On the heels of teaching a course on Cornelius Van Til’s interpretation of the theology of Karl Barth, Lane Tipton speaks with Camden Bucey about Barth’s theology and the surprising architectonic similarities with features of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Direct download: ctc791.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We discuss Geerhardus Vos’s sermon on Hebrews 12:1–3, “Running the Race,” from his collection Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached at Princeton Seminary.

Direct download: ctc790.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Benjamin L. Gladd speaks about From the Manger to the Throne: A Theology of Luke, which is published by Crossway in the New Testament Theology series edited by Thomas R. Schreiner and Brian S. Rosner.

In the gospel, Luke demonstrates a rich knowledge of the Old Testament and points to Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection as the culmination of Old Testament prophecy. Dr. Gladd explains the dominant biblical-theological themes in Luke and demonstrates how drawing from the Old Testament, Luke affirms Christ’s long-awaited redemption.

Benjamin L. Gladd is professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of Handbook on the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2021) and From Adam and Israel to the Church: A Biblical Theology of the People of God (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2019). Along with G. K. Beale, he is the co-author of The Story Retold: A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2020). Dr. Gladd is also series editor for IVP’s Essential Studies in Biblical Theology and Baker’s Handbook on the New Testament.

Conference: Preaching and Teaching the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Direct download: ctc789.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Brian DeJong explores the history of Presbyterianism in Wisconsin by focusing on several key figures in the development Presbyterian churches in the area.

In 1821, the Stockbridge Mohican Indians relocated to the Fox River area, just north of Appleton. These Indians had been under the Christian ministries of David Brainer, Jonathan Edwards, and John Sergeant in Massachusetts. They eventually moved to the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago. The Rev. Jesse Miner came to minister among them in 1825. Later, Mr. Cutting Marsh served among them as well.

Rev. DeJong also describes the ministries of Rev. Moses Ordway and Stephen Peet in Green Bay and beyond and Pieter Zonne in what is known today as Cedar Grove. Overall, we gain a sense of the pioneering mindset and strong commitment to missions and church planting among these early Wisconsin Presbyterians.

Links

Direct download: ctc788.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Today we welcome Cory C. Brock and N. Gray Sutanto to speak about their book, Neo-Calvinism: A Theological Introduction (Lexham Academic), which is an excellent initiation and explication of neo-Calvinism as a nineteenth- and early twentieth-century movement in the Netherlands. It was “a revival of Reformed confessionalist theology in the Netherlands roughly beginning with the rise of Kuyper as a theology, with the founding of the Vrije Universiteit in 1880, the formation of the Gereformeerde Kerken in 1892, and its systematization in the theological output of Herman Bavinck (p. 4).”

Cory C. Brock is minister at St. Columba’s Free Church of Scotland in Edinburgh and adjunct lecturer in theology at Edinburgh Theological Seminary and Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. Heh is the author of Orthodox yet Modern: Herman Bavinck’s Use of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

N. Gray Sutanto is assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and the author of God and Knowledge: Herman Bavinck’s Theological Epistemology of God. He is an associate fellow at the Neo-Calvinism Research Institute.

 
Direct download: ctc787.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Danny Olinger and Camden Bucey discuss the preface and introduction to J. Gresham Machen’s book, Christianity and Liberalism. This is the 100th anniversary of the publication of this important work. In this episode, we discuss the historical circumstances that led Machen to address the Ruling Elders Association of Chester Presbytery, which was eventually expanded to become this classic work.

Links

Direct download: ctc786.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We turn to pp. 306–308 of Geerhardus Vos’s book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to discuss revelation connected with the nativity. From the various texts that range from the annunciation of the angel to Joseph to the prophecy of Anna, Vos takes the “characteristic features” of these narratives and arranges them in a topical manner.

Direct download: ctc785.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Jim Cassidy and Camden Bucey bring in the New Year with a discussion of bible reading plans, tools, and strategies. They preview several of the projects that lay ahead at Reformed Forum, including a new course on the theology of Karl Barth. Dr. Cassidy introduces a list of recommended reading on Karl Barth and different interpretations of the theologian's theology before speaking about Barth’s unique Christology.

Recommended Reading on Karl Barth

Direct download: ctc784.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Since 2008, we have been taking a beat around New Year’s Day to bring you some of the top moments from the preceding year. We have several great clips lined up for you today.

This was another encouraging year for us at Reformed Forum. We published four new courses. We also hosted our first two in-person courses (on Zephaniah and 2 Peter) and increased our online student base to 4,210 people (+11% over last year) in 84 countries (+13%).

But perhaps the highlight of the year was the publication of Lane G. Tipton’s book, The Trinitarian Theology of Cornelius Van Til. We believe this work is a significant advance in Reformed apologetic scholarship and will be read for decades to come.

Every Person Mature

Our mission is to support the church in her charge of presenting every person mature in Christ (Col. 1:28). In order to continue producing resources that benefit local churches at home and around the world in accord with this mission, we have launched the Every Person Mature campaign. Our goal is to raise $150,000 by the end of 2022 so that we may continue to provide free theological resources for your congregation and others like it around the world.

The good news is that we are nearly halfway there! A generous donor has committed to match all donations toward this cause up to $75,000. By donating to the Every Person Mature campaign, you will fund essential resources for believers who are hungry for confessionally Reformed resources.

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Top Episodes

Chapters

  • 00:00:06 Introduction
  • 00:05:32 Lane Tipton — Van Til, Thomas Aquinas, and the Natural Knowledge of God
  • 00:11:35 Vern Poythress — A God-Centered Approach to History
  • 00:20:01 Van Til Group #8 — The Christian Philosophy of Knowledge
  • 00:26:14 Carlton Wynne — John Owen, Jeremiah 31, and the Old Covenant
  • 00:34:20 Carlton Wynne, Jeremy Boothby, and Lane Tipton — 1689 Federalism and the Old Covenant
  • 00:45:38 K. J. Drake — The Extra Calvinistic from Zwingli to Early Orthodoxy
  • 00:51:16 Lane Tipton — Natural Theology and the Effects of Sin
  • 00:56:23 Van Til Group #7 — Creation, Sin and Its Curse
  • 01:09:09 Scott Wright — A Tale of Two Trees
  • 01:14:15 Adam York — The Two Ages in Scripture
  • 01:20:59 Conclusion
Direct download: ctc783.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

We turn to pp. 305–306 of Geerhardus Vos’s book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to discuss revelation connected with the nativity. Throughout the Scriptures, God interprets his supernatural works in history through his inspired Word. At this critical moment in history, the coming of Christ the redeemer, the Lord reveals himself further to his people.

Direct download: ctc782.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Donald Fortson and Kenneth Stewart speak about their book, Reformed and Evangelical across Four Centuries, in which they tell the story of the Presbyterian church in the United States, beginning with its British foundations and extending to its present-day expression in multiple American Presbyterian denominations. This account emphasizes the role of the evangelical movement in shaping various Presbyterian bodies in America, especially in the twentieth century amid increasing departures from traditional Calvinism, historic orthodoxy, and a focus on biblical authority. Particular attention is also given to crucial elements of diversity in the Presbyterian story, with increasing numbers of African American, Latino/a, and Korean American Presbyterians—among others—in the twenty-first century. Overall, this book will be a bountiful resource to anyone curious about what it means to be Presbyterian in the multidimensional American context, as well as to anyone looking to understand this piece of the larger history of Christianity in the United States.

Dr. Kenneth J. Stewart is Professor Emeritus of Theological Studies at Covenant College. He is a specialist in the history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present with special interest in the development of the evangelical Protestant tradition. He has a growing interest in early Christianity and the transmission of doctrine from the early church forward to our time.

Dr. S. Donald Fortson III is Associate Professor of Church History at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Prior to RTS, he served as Assistant Professor of Ministry and the Director of the DMin Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Before his teaching career, Dr. Fortson was a pastor for nine years; he continues his pastoral ministry through teaching, preaching in local churches, and leadership in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Alan Strange is Professor of Church History and Theological Librarian at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana. He served Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Glassboro, New Jersey, for over nine years before coming to Mid-America. He is an associate pastor at First Church (OPC) in South Holland, Illinois.

Direct download: ctc781.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Carlton Wynne, Jeremy Boothby, Lane Tipton, and Camden Bucey discuss 1689 Federalism and the old covenant. Continuing an ongoing conversation carried over several podcast episodes and YouTube videos, the panel interacts with views presented by Sam Renihan, Richard Barcellos, and Brandon Adams in “Two-Tier Typology and OT Salvation.” They responded specifically to Christ the Center episode 736 (John Owen, Jeremiah 31, and the Relationship between the Old and New Covenants) from last year, in which Camden Bucey spoke with Carlton Wynne and Will Wood at RTS Atlanta. That episode followed many of the covenant theological themes expressed by Jeremy Boothby in Christ the Center episode 693 (Typology and Covenant Membership in Hebrews).

After surveying views presented by Nehemiah Coxe, Paul Jewett, and David Kingdon, the conversation focuses on the relationship of old covenant types to the accomplishment of redemption wrought by Jesus Christ in the new covenant.

Direct download: ctc780.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Chad and Emily Van Dixhoorn speak about Gospel Shaped Marriage: Grace for Sinners to Love Like Saints (Crossway, 2022). While many books on marriage cover the same well-trod ground and even follow a common formula, this book is distinct. Drawing from Scripture and the writings of Puritan minister William Gouge, Augustine, and others, they provide a brief assessment of the biblical design for marriage and offer real-world advice on married life from a grace-filled perspective.

Chad Van Dixhoorn (PhD, Cambridge) is professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary and an OPC minister. He is the author of Confessing the Faith and God’s Ambassadors and editor of The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly (1643–1652).

Emily Van Dixhoorn (MAR, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a stay-at-home mom who leads and loves Bible studies and women’s retreats. Her first publication was a study guide to the book Confessing the Faith, a commentary on the Westminster Confession of Faith. Chad and Emily have five children.

Direct download: ctc779.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Ryan Noha and Camden Bucey speak with Lane Tipton on the heels of recording the sixth course in our Fellowship in Reformed Apologetics: “Christology and Redemptive-Historical Hermeneutics.”

Direct download: ctc778.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 10:00pm CDT

We welcome Dr. O. Palmer Robertson to discuss his new book, Christ of the Consummation, Volume 1: The Testimony of the Four Gospels (P&R Publishing, 2022). In this first of three volumes, Dr. Robertson emphasizes the eyewitness character of the four men who attest to the supernatural in-breaking of the Christ. In the rich tapestry of the Gospels, we see Christ overcome the powers of Satan, gradually unveil his identity by words and works, call and commission disciples, die on the cross, be raised, and ascend to heaven. By each witnessing distinctive aspects of the coming of the King and the establishment of his kingdom, the gospel writers boldly describe a new phase in redemptive revelation.

O. Palmer Robertson (ThM, ThD, Union Theological Seminary, Virginia) is the founder of Consummation Ministries. Previously, he was director and principal of African Bible University in Uganda and taught at Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, Covenant Theological Seminary, and Knox Theological Seminary. He has also served for many years as a teaching elder in various pastoral roles.

He is the author of several books, including The Christ of the CovenantsThe Christ of the Prophets, and The Christ of Wisdom, and The Israel of God. In 2008, a Festschrift was published in his honor. The Hope Fulfilled: Essays in Honor of O. Palmer Robertson, which includes contributions by Bruce Waltke, Richard Gaffin, George W. Knight III, Simon J. Kistemaker, Robert L. Reymond, and Morton H. Smith.

Direct download: ctc777.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 10:00pm CDT

Jeff McDonald discusses Melvin Grove Kyle and the growth of the League of Evangelical Students (LES) founded by J. Gresham Machen and Princeton Seminary students in 1925. Both Kyle and Machen were scholarly leaders in the LES and served on the organization’s board together. In his paper on the subject, Dr. McDonald establishes the importance of Melvin Grove Kyle as a leading evangelical scholar and biblical archaeologist. He also explains the origins and growth of the LES and how various Presbyterians influenced the organization and sought to advance a broader evangelical Protestant intellectual life in the difficult period of the 1920s and 1930s.

Dr. McDonald is pastor of Avery Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, Nebraska and the author of John Gerstner and the Renewal of Presbyterian and Reformed Evangelicalism in Modern America (Wipf & Stock, 2017).

Links

Direct download: ctc776.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 10:00pm CDT

Carlton Wynne, Lane Tipton, and Camden Bucey turn to pp. 54–58 of Cornelius Van Til’s The Defense of the Faith to discuss the Christian theory of knowledge. In this section, Van Til speaks of God's knowledge of the world and then man's knowledge of God.

Direct download: ctc775.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

In this episode, we bring you the third plenary address from our 2022 Theology Conference wherein we considered, “The Covenantal Tale of Creation, Christ, and Consummation: The Life and Work of M. G. Kline.” This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Meredith G. Kline. We will take the opportunity to consider his unique contributions by exploring several covenantal and eschatological themes he identified throughout the Old and New Testaments.

Danny Olinger is General Secretary for the Committee on Christian Education for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He is the author of Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theologian, Confessional Presbyterian.

Links

Direct download: ctc773.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Scott Wright speaks about the continued relevance of Meredith G. Kline. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Meredith G. Kline. We recently hosted our annual theology conference and took the opportunity to consider his unique contributions by exploring several covenantal and eschatological themes he identified throughout the Old and New Testaments. Dr. Wright's address is titled, "A Tale of Two Trees."

Rev. Dr. Scott Wright is senior pastor of Redeemer Church (PCA) in Hudson, Ohio. He received his B.A. in Economics from Princeton University (1982), his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1991), and his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He is the author of Regeneration and Redemptive-History (Reformed Forum, forthcoming). 

Direct download: ctc772.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

John R. Muether speaks about the continued relevance of Meredith G. Kline. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Meredith G. Kline. We recently hosted our annual theology conference and took the opportunity to consider his unique contributions by exploring several covenantal and eschatological themes he identified throughout the Old and New Testaments. A recording of Mr. Muether's address was the first main session at the conference.

John R. Muether is Professor of Church History and Dean of Libraries at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He is the author or co-author of many books, including Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman and Seeking a Better Country: 300 Years of American Presbyterianism.

Direct download: ctc771.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

We turn to pp. 302–304 of Geerhardus Vos’s book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to discuss the nature of New Testament revelation. Vos explains how the new dispensation in Christ is the final dispensation of revelation. Referencing Hebrews 1:1–2, we discuss how this revelation is organic, progressive, and climactic in Christ.

Direct download: ctc770.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Dr. Arlin Migliazzo speaks about Henrietta Mears, who was arguably the single most influential woman in the shaping of modern evangelicalism. Key figures in the early modern evangelical movement like Bill Bright, Harold John Ockenga, and Jim Rayburn frequently cited her teachings as a formative part of their ministry. Graham himself stated that Mears was the most important female influence in his life other than his mother or wife.

Dr. Migliazzo is the author of Henrietta Mears: Mother of Modern Evangelicalism (Eerdmans, 2020). He is Professor Emeritus of History at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. His many publications include books, articles, and essays on ethnic studies, the Pacific Northwest, colonial South Carolina, church-related higher education, the history of evangelicalism, and comparative democratic development.

Direct download: ctc769.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Harrison Perkins speaks about Samuel Miller’s views on Presbyterianism. Dr. Perkins has edited a new edition of Miller’s Presbyterianism: Its History, Doctrine, Government, and Worship, which has been published by Log College Press.

Samuel Miller, the first professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government at Princeton Theological Seminary and a prolific author, published this introduction and defense of Presbyterianism in 1835. Originally titled Presbyterianism: The Truly Primitive and Apostolical Constitution of the Church of Christ, Miller covers the basics of Presbyterian belief and practice, grounding his material in the Scriptures primarily and church history secondarily.

Dr. Harrison Perkins is Stated Supply at Oakland Hills Community Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan
Visiting lecturer in systematic theology at Edinburgh Theological Seminary and online instructor at Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the author of Catholicity and the Covenant of Works: James Ussher and the Reformed Tradition, of which he spoke on Christ the Center episode 677.

Direct download: ctc768.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Lane Tipton speaks about his chapter, "The Person of Christ: The Deeper Protestant Conception and the Church's Heavenly-Mindedness" in Theology for Ministry: How Doctrine Affects Pastoral Life and Practice (P&R Publishing), a festschrift for Sinclair Ferguson.

Direct download: ctc767.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Drs. Alan Strange and Cornelis Venema speak about the practice of catechetical preaching both from a practical as well as historical perspective. While the practice is more common within the Dutch Reformed tradition, Dr. Strange also provides a case for Presbyterians to engage in preaching using the Westminster Standards as aids. Regardless of where you may land on the particular role of secondary standards in organizing the preaching of the Word, this conversation useful and instructive for considering how the church may best instruct her members.

Dr. Cornelis Venema is Professor of Doctrinal Studies and President of Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana. Dr. Alan Strange is Professor of Church History, Registrar, and Theological Librarian of Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana.

Direct download: ctc766.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

In 1904, the same year Herman Bavinck published Christian Worldview, Bavinck published a book titled Christelijke wetenschap (Christian Science) in which he commented on a movement to "build science . . . on the foundation of the Christian faith." Cory Brock joins us to speak about this book and Bavinck's views on the subject.

Dr. Cory C. Brock is assistant minister of St. Columba's Free Church and part-time lecturer in theology at Edinburgh Theological Seminary. He is the author of Orthodox yet Modern: Herman Bavinck’s Use of Friedrich Schleiermacher and co-author of Neo-Calvinism: A Theological Introduction.

Direct download: ctc765.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Dr. Vern Poythress speaks about the study of history and historiography from a Christian perspective. In his book, Redeeming Our Thinking about History: A God-Centered Approach, Dr. Poythress emphasizes God’s own command to remember his works and share them with the next generation. He explores providentialism, divine purpose, and the four basic phases of biblical history: creation, fall, redemption, and consummation.

Vern S. Poythress (PhD, Harvard University; ThD, University of Stellenbosch) is Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Biblical Interpretation, and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he has taught for four decades. In addition to earning six academic degrees, he is the author of numerous books and articles on biblical interpretation, language, and science.

Direct download: ctc764.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

We turn to pp. 299–301 of Geerhardus Vos’s book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments. Vos discusses three ways in which the structure of New Testament Revelation can be determined from within Scripture itself.

1. From indications in the Old Testament
2. From the teachings of Jesus
3. From the teachings of Paul and the other apostles

Direct download: ctc763.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Where is Christ’s body now?

In short, that is the question behind our conversation today with K. J. Drake, the author of The Flesh of the Word: The extra Calvinisticum from Zwingli to Early Orthodoxy (Oxford University Press, 2021). In this book, Drake seeks to broaden the study of the extra Calvinisticum by investigating how the doctrine arose within sixteenth-century Reformed theology as well as how its form and function developed over time due to the changing polemical and theological contexts from Zwingli to the period of early Reformed orthodoxy.

K. J. Drake is Academic Dean and Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Indianapolis Theological Seminary. He received his BA in History, Classics, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Latin from the University of Nebraska. He attended Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis where he received his M.Div.

Direct download: ctc762.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Carlton Wynne, Lane Tipton, and Camden Bucey turn to pp. 48–54 of Cornelius Van Til’s The Defense of the Faith to discuss the Christian theory of knowledge.

In this section, Van Til speaks of the relationship between a theory of reality and the theory of knowledge and how for orthodox Christians, the absolute God of Scripture is identical with his knowledge while finite creatures are fundamentally dependent upon him.

We also announce the arrival of Lane Tipton’s book, The Trinitarian Theology of Cornelius Van Til.

Direct download: ctc761.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Dr. Benjamin Gladd shares his methods and favorite tools for facilitating research and eventual publication of his writing. Dr. Gladd is Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.

He is the author of Handbook on the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2021) and From Adam and Israel to the Church: A Biblical Theology of the People of God (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2019). Along with G. K. Beale, he is the co-author of The Story Retold: A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2020). Dr. Gladd is also series editor for IVP's Essential Studies in Biblical Theology and Baker's Handbook on the New Testament.

Links

  • Richard Hays, Reading Backwards (https://www.amazon.com/Reading-Backwards-Figural-Christology-Fourfold/dp/1481302337/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=hays+reading+backwards&qid=1658333854&sprefix=hays+reading+%2Caps%2C78&sr=8-1)
  • Sönke Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (https://www.amazon.com/How-Take-Smart-Notes-Technique-ebook/dp/B09V5M8FR5/ref=sr_1_2?crid=O5OXLXWD9TY7&keywords=sonke+ahrens&qid=1658333869&sprefix=sonke+ahrens%2Caps%2C77&sr=8-2)
  • Drafts (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/drafts/id1236254471)
  • Notability (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/notability/id360593530)
  • Liquid Text (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/liquidtext/id922765270)
  • Zotero (https://www.zotero.org/)
  • Papers
  • SimpleMind (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/simplemind-mind-mapping/id305727658)
  • Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business-ebook/dp/B0023ZLLH6/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=amusing+ourselves+to+death&qid=1658333997&s=books&sprefix=amusing+our%2Cstripbooks%2C80&sr=1-1)
  • Accordance (https://accordancebible.com/)
  • Logos (https://www.logos.com/)
Direct download: ctc760.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Dr. Carlton Wynne speaks about his chapter, "Scripture: Foundational for Life and Ministry," which is published in Theology for Ministry: How Doctrine Affects Pastoral Life and Practice. This book is a festshcrift for Sinclair Ferguson, edited by William R. Edwards, John C. A. Ferguson, and Chad Van Dixhoorn and published by P&R Publishing.

Dr. Wynne discusses the significance of the doctrine of inspiration as well as the necessity, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture. He then connects these essential doctrines to their practicality and usefulness for daily life and particularly, pastoral ministry. By understanding the doctrine of Scripture and especially its redemptive-historical character, we come to a greater appreciation of God's enduring love and care for his covenant people.

Direct download: ctc759.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Mark Winder previews his upcoming course on Zephaniah wherein he will discuss the prophecy in its context, and in doing so examine how the prophet utilizes protological themes to construct an eschatological picture pointing to the great Day of the Lord. We will begin with an introduction to covenant themes and establish the veracity of the theological assumptions and hermeneutical method employed in approaching Zephaniah.

Dr. Winder will be teaching an in-person course at the Reformed Forum headquarters in Libertyville, Illinois, August 12–13, 2022. For more information and registration, visit https://reformedforum.org/zephaniah2022/

Direct download: ctc758.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

We discuss Geerhardus Vos’s sermon, “Heavenly Mindedness” from his collection Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached at Princeton Seminary. In this sermon, Vos directs the Christian to consider the heavenly realities, where Christ is, as the proper focus and posture for the Christian throughout this present earthly pilgrimage.

Direct download: ctc757.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Brad Isbell (@ChortlesWeakly) briefly steps away from the General Assembly floor, Twitter, and Presbycast to jump on another podcast mic to speak with Camden Bucey about the PCA General Assembly and the storied histories of naming the OPC and the PCA.

Mr. Isbell is a ruling elder at Covenant PCA in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Along with @Wresbyterian, he hosts Presbycast. He recently wrote, "What's in a Denominational Name?" for the Nicotine Theological Journal. The article has also been published at The Aquila Report.

Direct download: ctc756.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

In the third volume of this new translation of Petrus Van Mastricht’s Theoretical-Practical Theology, Mastricht begins with a discussion of the decrees of God and how they establish His eternal purpose for everything. He then shows how the decrees are carried out in creation and in God’s continual providence. The volume concludes with Mastricht’s treatment of the apostacy of Adam from his original estate and the devastating effects of sin that followed. This is an important volume for learning how God governs all things, even the rebellious actions of those good things He created.

Jeff Waddington, Dan Ragusa, and Camden Bucey speak about several of the unique positions Van Mastricht held, including his somewhat mediating view between infra- and supralapsarianism, his argument against Copernicanism, his view of the third heaven, and his view of angelic and demonic activity.

Direct download: ctc755.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

On this episode, we speak about the ecclesiastical and theological contributions of Dr. Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Gaffin having been elected the chairman of the OPC’s Committee on Foreign Missions. Crossway has also published his latest book, In the Fullness of Time, a revision of his lecture notes from his course, Acts and Paul.

Direct download: ctc754.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Lane Tipton and Camden Bucey turn to pages 289–296 of Geerhardus Vos’ book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments. In this section, Vos introduces several significant interpretive practices which are critical for a proper understanding of the eschatology of the prophets. These are the principles of (1) finality and consummation, (2) prophetic idiom, and (3) the coming of the Messiah as the "gift of God."

Direct download: ctc753.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Adam York joins Camden Bucey to speak about the two age construction found throughout Scripture and especially in the Pauline epistles. The Scripture frequently speak of "this age" and "the age to come." These categories have a significant effect upon how Christians should understand their place in the world.

Jesus, the second Adam, has entered into "the age to come." Through union with Christ, believers not only experience the victory in anticipation of Christ's second coming, they also are already raised with him and seated with him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).

Adam York is pastor of Hope Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Grayslake, Illinois.

Donate now to receive an invitation to our private chat server. You won't want to miss our Christ the Center recording scheduled for June 2, 2022 at 2:30 pm (EDT).

This is Christ the Center episode 752 (https://www.reformedforum.org/ctc752)

Direct download: ctc752.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

On May 21, 1922, Harry Emerson Fosdick preached a sermon that helped spark the modernist-fundamentalist controversy. Dr. Darryl G. Hart joins Camden Bucey to speak about this infamous sermon and a new course on Machen that Dr. Hart recorded last week for Reformed Academy.

Direct download: ctc751.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

We welcome Dr. Brandon Crowe to the program to discuss the obedience of Christ and the salvation of his people. In his latest book, Dr. Crowe sets out to answer the basic but all-important question: Is perfect obedience necessary for salvation?

Listen as we explore the covenant of works, the atonement, the nature of Christ’s obedience, his resurrection, and the doctrine of justification.

Brandon D. Crowe (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary and author of The Last Adam and The Hope of Israel.

Direct download: ctc750.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT