Reformed Forum (general)

This week on Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob pick up their discussion of the Kingdom of God and the Four-fold Estate of Man reflecting on the disciples expectations of the kingdom of God and the change that takes place in them, especially as we see

Direct download: tsp201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:07pm EDT

In this special quarantine episode, we discuss the theological issues and lessons learned from the initial weeks of staying at home during the global COVID-19 health crisis. Though many Christians are prevented from gathering physically to worship on the Lord's Day, the Lord has promised that his church shall never perish. While our worship practices may be irregular for a time, God has provided means by which he cares for his people.

https://vimeo.com/400106693

Direct download: rfs037.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm EDT

James Dolezal discusses his book All That Is in God: Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Classical Christian Theism (Reformation Heritage Books, 2017). Dr. Dolezal serves as associate professor in the school of divinity at Cairn University in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

In this conversation, and the book that guides it, Dolezal addresses the doctrines of classical theism as well as contemporary models of theology proper, which reject, compromise, or otherwise diminish the classical formulations. Interacting with primary sources from theologians such as Bruce Ware, John Frame, and K. Scott Oliphint, Dolezal charitably offers a critique while reaffirming that all that is in God is God.

Links

https://vimeo.com/398103138

Direct download: ctc638.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We turn to pages 230–233 of Vos’s book, Biblical Theology, to speak about the mode by which the Lord delivers his message to the prophet. Man is made in the image of God, which means he has a special capacity to commune with God. Vos marvels at the way in which divine speech is transmitted to those made in his image. God's word is communicated in servant form without evacuating the message of any of its divine characteristics, such as inerrancy or infallibility. The Holy Spirit works in the prophet in such a way as to inspire and superintend the entire activity of the prophet—whether in speech or inscripturation.

https://vimeo.com/395785857

Direct download: ctc636.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Dr. A. Craig Troxel speaks about With All Your Heart: Orienting Your Mind, Desires, and Will toward Christ (Crossway, 2020). Whereas contemporary culture identifies the "heart" with feelings and emotions, Craig Troxel speaks about the range of uses of the word "heart" in the Bible. The heart knows, desires, and chooses. This fuller conception of "heart" helps us understand our battle with sin and the redemption that has been wrought by Jesus Christ.

Dr. Troxel is professor of practical theology at Westminster Seminary California. He previously served as pastor of Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, Illinois and Calvary Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Glenside, Pennsylvania.

https://vimeo.com/390561082

Direct download: ctc634.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This week on Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob begin a new series discussing the kingdom of God as it unfolds through the four-fold estate of man: the estate of innocence, fall, redemption, and glory.

Direct download: tsp188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT

David VanDrunen speaks about his forthcoming book, Politics After Christendom (Zondervan Academic), reflecting upon the status and responsibilities of Christians in their contemporary pluralistic political communities. Dr. VanDrunen presents a biblical-theological model of political engagement and exploring themes such as race, religious liberty, justice, authority, and civil resistance.

David VanDrunen is Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary California. He is the author and editor of several books, including Aquinas Among the Protestants, God’s Glory Alone: The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life, Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms: A Study in the Development of Reformed Social Thought, and Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law.

https://vimeo.com/389569968

Direct download: ctc633.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We take a brief break from our regular schedule in Geerhardus Vos's book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments, to discuss Vos's sermon "Rabboni," on John 20:16. This sermon is found in Grace & Glory, a collection of Vos's sermons preached at the chapel of Princeton Seminary.

John 20:1–18 (ESV)

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes. 

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. 

https://vimeo.com/389834594

Direct download: ctc632.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Dr. Jordan J. Ballor, senior research fellow and director of publishing for the Acton Institute, joins us to speak about Abraham Kuyper's public theology. Dr. Ballor is a general editor of Abraham Kuyper's Collected Works on Public Theology published by Lexham Press. Kuyper was something of a polymath/renaissance man. Along with being an influential theologian and also a journalist, he served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905. He established the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, which upon its foundation became the second largest Reformed denomination in the country behind the state-supported Dutch Reformed Church.

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. 

https://vimeo.com/383799674

Direct download: ctc631.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Matthew Patton speaks about his book, Basics of Hebrew Discourse: A Guide to Working with Hebrew Prose and Poetry (Zondervan Academic, 2019). Dr. Patton is pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Vandalia, Ohio.

This book, written by Matthew H. Patton, Frederic Clarke Putnam, and Miles V. Van Pelt, is a syntax resource for intermediate Hebrew students. This Basics book introduces students to the principles and exegetical benefits of discourse analysis (text linguistics) when applied to biblical Hebrew prose and poetry. Where standard Hebrew reference grammars have traditionally worked to describe the relationship between words and phrases within discrete clauses (micro syntax), discourse analysis works to describe those relationships that exist between clauses and texts (macro syntax).

This resource fills a needed gap for intermediate Hebrew students and gives them the tools to work with Hebrew syntax on the macro level. Professors and pastors working with Hebrew will also find this one-of-a-kind resource highly valuable.

While students of Hebrew will certainly gain from Patton's work, listeners will gain a deeper understanding of the Bible and tools for studying it in the English language as well.

https://vimeo.com/383794787

Direct download: ctc630.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Carlton Wynne and Charles Williams speak about the new edition of Herman Bavinck's The Wonderful Works of God published by Westminster Seminary Press. The book was first published in English under the title, Our Reasonable Faith. The new edition is re-typeset and includes an introduction by Dr. Wynne, Bavinck's original introduction translated by Nathaniel Gray Sutanto, and helpful indices collected by Charles Williams.

Carlton Wynne is associate professor of systematic theology and apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA.

Charles Williams is pastor of Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, Illinois.

https://vimeo.com/383391932

Direct download: ctc629.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

While Rob and Bob finished up their discussion of the book of Malachi, on this week's episode of Theology Simply Profound, they discuss some of the expectations of the coming Messiah that arose during the 400 years or so of silence from God until John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth enter into story of redemption.

Direct download: tsp183.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:08pm EDT

Darryl G. Hart speaks about J. Gresham Machen's classic work, Christianity and Liberalism. In becoming familiar the content and historical context of this book, people will gain an understanding not only of twentieth century Presbyterianism but also of global Christianity to a degree. And in contemplating the lessons of this era, people will also be better equipped to meet the challenges that face the contemporary church.

Westminster Seminary Press has issued a new edition of Machen's classic work and has included new essays by the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary, the institution Machen founded in 1929 after the reorganization of the board of Princeton Seminary.

Dr. D. G. Hart is Distinguished Associate Professor of History at Hillsdale College and the author or co-author of many books on American religious history, including  Seeking a Better Country: 300 Years of American PresbyterianismDefending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern Americaand The Selected Shorter Writings of J. Gresham Machen.

https://vimeo.com/356221024

Direct download: ctc609.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This week on Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob begin to discuss the Book of Malachi.

Direct download: tsp168.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

In this 67-verse chapter we examine some of the patterns and themes in this narrative full of intrigue. We discuss the transition of the covenant promises to Isaac, the providence of God overseeing all of these events, the theme of suspense, and the direct link to the offspring of Isaac and Rebekah.

Direct download: pc077.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We turn to pages 206–211 of Vos’ book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to continue our discussion of critical theories of prophetism. Vos tackles a modernist, critical theory of the development of monotheism under the prophets. Vos wants the reader to enter into a modernist world–a critical world. In that world, there are three main things you will face:

  • A finite and developing conception of deity
  • A mechanical and purely natural conception of history
  • An errant and merely human conception of the Bible

These are the key features of a “critical” approach to the prophets. But, as Machen pointed out so clearly, these three conceptions represent a different religion: a fundamentally Pelagian conception of religion.

Vos helps us see, by contrast, that the kingdom of God and the demand that he be worshipped exclusively is built into man as the image of God. Adam, from the start, was bound to God in a religious relation by creation that the covenant of works was to advance. Man, from the beginning, exists to worship God–to glorify and enjoy God forever in covenantal fellowship. For the liberal to reverse this relation and insist that God must serve the purpose of man is to lay bare that the critics truly do have a different religion. On this, Vos and Machen are one.

https://vimeo.com/339456789/e1e6e825c8

Direct download: ctc597.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We turn to pages 202–205 of Vos’ book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to continue our discussion of critical theories of prophetism. Vos answers critics who believe that Israel derived its understanding of prophetism from Canaanite religion by focusing our attention upon God's word revealed in history. Contrary to the false prophets, true prophetism is centered on true religion, union and communion with God according to his word.

https://vimeo.com/331343314

Direct download: ctc590.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We gather around the table in Wimberley, Texas to discuss the authority of the self-contained Triune God of Scripture. The absolute, self-sufficient God nevertheless established a covenant with man by an act of special providence. In that act, the authority of God's word is diplayed—entirely independently of man's response. Whether Adam obeyed or disobeyed, God's infallible word would be proved.

Direct download: ctc588.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Andrew Compton, Assistant Professor of Old Testament Studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary, speaks about the nature of the prophecy in Isaiah 44:24–45:7 wherein the Lord declares that he will raise up Cyrus. Rev. Compton addresses the challenges of critical scholars, who often see this passage as a later addition.

https://vimeo.com/326151934/9c89d9b9aa

Direct download: ctc587.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Dr. Ransom Poythress has written Richard Dawkins in P&R Publishing's Great Thinkers series. Poythress speaks about Richard Dawkins's system of thought. Since the early 2000s, Dawkins has been an outspoken advocate of what has been termed the New Atheism. Poythress discusses Dawkins's beliefs and advocates methods for approaching those who believe likewise. Dr. Poythress is assistant professor of biology at Houghton College in Houghton, New York.

https://youtu.be/vtCKrIHCma4

Direct download: ctc579.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Jim Cassidy previews his address at the 2018 Reformed Forum conference by speaking about Barth on the analogy of being and the analogy of faith and how his views relate to the theology of Thomas Aquinas. Jim and Camden also speak about Barth's views of natural theology and how they relate to the views of Cornelius Van Til. This is in response to recent remarks from Dr. Michael Allen on the Credo Magazine podcast (around minute 37). If you'd like to jump directly to that portion of our discussion, you can watch it on YouTube. [embed]https://youtu.be/JOzUuDDGIOU[/embed]
Direct download: ctc559.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Dan Ragusa introduces us to the theological method of Petrus Van Mastricht, Dutch Reformed theologian, who maintained consistent Reformed orthodoxy against Cartesian influences. Van Mastricht wrote a polemic against Balthasar Bekker, a critic of paganism but a proponent of Cartesianism. In his polemic, Van Mastricht addresses the issue of Scriptural authority, theological method, and the proper end toward which all theologians and philosophers must be directed: worship of the one, true, and living God. Dan Ragusa is a PhD student at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [embed]https://youtu.be/RWAcoAh9jrY[/embed]

Readings

Direct download: ctc558.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT

Theologians often speak of regeneration, the work of the Holy Spirit to bring someone to the new birth. But the Westminster Standards speak of effectual calling as the work of the Spirit to give people new hearts, enlightening their minds and renewing their wills. Are effectual calling and regeneration the same thing? If not, how do they relate? In this episode, we discuss the relationship between these two aspects of the ordo salutis.

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling

1. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by his almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace. 2. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw5EiOWVhpI[/embed]
Direct download: ctc553.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Jim Cassidy and Camden Bucey speak about the relationship between the Old Covenant and New Covenant in the epistle to the Hebrews. Moses was a servant in God's house, but Jesus Christ is a faithful son. Christ is the mediator of a better covenant. But we should not conclude that these covenants are unrelated. Indeed, Moses was a servant in God's house, not a different house. The substance of the Old Covenant is Christ, and it was nothing less than his grace that was mediated to Old Covenant believers, though it was administered through promises, types, and sacrifices. We discuss the earthly things of Old Covenant worship and how they are shadows and copies of the heavenly reality to which Christ has brought his people.
Direct download: ctc552.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

In the battle in which we must fight, Jesus is what we need, and Jesus is all we need.
Direct download: pc055.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

David Owen Filson joins us to speak about Dr. J. Oliver Buswell, theologian and former president of Wheaton College and Covenant College and Seminary. Buswell was involved with the early modernist-fundamentalist controversy and the founding of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, though he joined the Bible Presbyterian Church when it split with the fledgling OPC over premillennialism and teetotalism. He continued to be an interlocutor with members of the OPC and faculty at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Interestingly, he coined the term "presuppositionalism" while debating with Cornelius Van Til over apologetic and theological method. Dr. Filson is teaching pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He previously spoke on the subject in episode 316, January 17, 2014
Direct download: ctc550.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

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

Links

Direct download: ctc548.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Here are some clear cut commands—not therapeutic suggestions. Paul is not only explicit about the standard to which Christians are called, he is also explicit about why we are to obey that standard.

Direct download: pc041.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23pm EDT

Camden and Erica Bucey discuss several helpful books for parents as they disciple their children and women in a variety of study group settings.

Direct download: rmr113.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28pm EDT

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