Reformed Forum

Michael A. G. Haykin, “‘The Best Friend in the Worst Time’: Pandemics in Church History” The Banner of Truth Magazine, No. 689, February 2021, pp. 4–8. We are prone to think we are the only people ever to experience something like our present pandemic. This last year and last, we have heard the phrase “in these unprecedented times” so often that it has become a cliché. In five brief pages, Michael Haykin surveys the church’s experience with pandemics throughout history. Our times are not so unprecedented as we might think. Still, it is important to consider what is unique about our circumstances even while we contemplate what lessons we might learn from church history.

# On Our Radar

Crowe, Brandon D. The Path of Faith: A Biblical Theology of Covenant and Law (Essential Studies in Biblical Theology) (IVP Academic, March 2, 2021). 208 Pages. Paperback

Harmon, Matthew S. The Servant of the Lord and His Servant People: Tracing a Biblical Theme through the Canon (New Studies in Biblical Theology series, edited by D. A. Carson) (IVP Academic, January 2021). 272 pages. Paperback

Maag, Karin. Worshiping with the Reformers (IVP Academic, February 2021). 248 pages. Paperback.

Carrick, John. Jonathan Edwards and the Immediacy of God (Wipf and Stock, December 2020). 174 pages. Hardcover or paperback.

Reeves, Michael. Rejoice and Tremble: The Surprising Good News of the Fear of the Lord (Union Series) (Crossway, January 2021). 192 pages. Hardcover with dust jacket.

Bullinger, Henry. The Decades of Henry Bullinger, 2 Volumes (Reformation Heritage Books, January 2021). 2055 pages. Hardcovers with dust jacket.

Davies, Samuel. Sermons of the Rev. Samuel Davies, 3 Volumes (Reformation Heritage Books, February 2021). 2016 pages. Hardcover with dust jacket.

Carr, Simeonetta. Phillis Wheatley (Christian Biographies for Young Readers) (Reformation Heritage Books, January 2021). 64 pages. Hardcover. Illustrated.

Direct download: rmr125.mp3
Category:Reformed Media Review -- posted at: 12:25pm CDT

Benjamin Gladd, associate professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi joins us to speak about his book, From Adam and Israel to the Church: A Biblical Theology of the People of God, which is in the Essential Studies in Biblical Theology series from IVP Academic. Dr. Gladd is also the editor of the series. In this particular book, Dr. Gladd examines the nature of the people of God from Genesis to Revelation through the lens of being in God's "image."

Direct download: ctc687.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

In today’s episode we look at Matthew’s account of the genesis of Jesus. In this account of his birth story Matthew draws our attention to the particular perspective of Joseph, the comforting message of the angel, the wonder of the virgin birth, the glory of the Immanuel promise, and the significance of the name of Jesus as the one who saves his people from their sins.

Direct download: pc094.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

This week on Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob continue a new series of discussions on John Bunyan’s, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Book 2. In this episode, we discuss some of the literary genius of John Bunyan as he begins his companion story of Christ

Direct download: tsp225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38am CDT

Dr. William Dennison, pastor of Emmanuel OPC in Kent, Washington, speaks about J. Gresham Machen’s theological method as disclosed through his radio addresses just a few years prior to his death. Machen understood that the modern world and the church were in a state of emergency. While many of Machen’s listeners would have thought about the economic volatility of the depression or perhaps the political unrest of fascism and communism. Moreover, many of these listeners would have expected Machen to discuss solutions to these ailments along the lines of those advocated by progressive modernists. Yet, Machen called his listeners to the Christ and his kingdom, which transcends this visible world.

"Machen speaks often about the benefits of reason, experience, and common sense. In these radio addresses, however, he states clearly that all these elements are to be viewed in subordination to the truth of God’s Word. Specifically, they function in the manner that God, the Creator and Ruler over all things has created them to function. We know this from the Bible." — Dennison, “J. Gresham Machen’s Theological Method”

Machen rejected a general appeal to categories such as reason, experience, empirical facts, common sense, and rhetoric as a means of establishing common ground because of his deep understanding of the effects of sin upon all of man’s faculties. Dennison connects this aspect of Machen’s theology to that of his colleague at Westminster Seminary, Cornelius Van Til.

As a man whose theology appears to still be under development, Machen was neither blindly following the evidentialist tradition of Old Princeton leaning upon Thomas Reid and Scottish Common Sense Realism nor that later mature apologetic system of Van Til.

This is Christ the Center episode 686 (

Direct download: ctc686.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Camden Bucey reviews Stewards of Eden: What Scripture Says About the Environment and Why It Matters (IVP Academic, 2020) by Dr. Sandra L. Richter, the Robert H. Gundry Chair of Biblical Studies at Westmont College. In this book, Dr. Richter addresses humanity's role as stewards of creation—those entrusted to care for that which God has placed in their charge. In exploring this theme, Richter addresses issues such as the ethics of sustainable agriculture, the consumer's role within the supply chain, and even mining practices and pollution in light of Scriptural examples and biblical-theological themes.

Direct download: rmr124.mp3
Category:Reformed Media Review -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

This week on Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob begin a new series of discussions on John Bunyan's, The Pilgrim's Progress, Book 2. On this episode, we open this series discussing how and why Bunyan wrote a sequel to the first book.

Direct download: tsp224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm CDT

Jonathan Landry Cruse speaks about worship. Cruse has written What Happens When We Worship (Reformation Heritage Books). Many churchgoers assume that worship is inherently boring, something we need to make exciting. But Cruse seeks to demonstrate that churchgoing only seems monotonous and mundane because our eyes are blinded to the supernatural wonder that is taking place all around us. In this conversation, we discuss the significance of worship and the elements that comprise it.

This is Christ the Center episode 685 (

Direct download: ctc685.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Hosea ministers in Israel between the time of the conquest of Canaan and the exile. In chapter nine of his prophecy, he tells of the coming judgment-exile of Israel into the land of the uncircumcised. But there is hope! God will preserve a remnant—elect exiles—for his own glory and as his chosen portion. For Christ was exiled in his death because of our sins, so that we who were once far off may be brought near by the blood. And now, in Christ, we are elect exiles called to conduct ourselves honorably in the midst of wicked and perverse generation.

Direct download: pc093.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 11:00am CDT

This week on Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob grab some books from their nightstands and desks for a conversation about the books they're reading.

Direct download: tsp223.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 12:51pm CDT

On pages 29–34 of The Defense of the Faith, Cornelius Van Til continues to describe the basic Reformed doctrines that lay the foundation for his apologetic. It is evident even in this introductory material how he considers his project. He is neither seeking to be idiosyncratic nor original (in the sense of developing something foreign or external to confessional Reformed theology). Rather, he is developing a method of apologetics that is thoroughly consistent with the Reformed creeds and confessions.

Having addressed the doctrine of God, and particularly the doctrine of the Trinity, Van Til continues to the doctrine of man before moving to Christology and the rest of the traditional theological loci. In his introductory treatment of anthropology, Van Til focuses on the God-man relation, man’s creatureliness, the aspects of the image of God, the doctrine of sin, and how each of these relate to Roman Catholic, Arminian, and Lutheran theology, and the discipline of apologetics.

Direct download: ctc684.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Esau has been disqualified to receive the covenant blessing, but Isaac intends to give it to him anyway. In fact, none of the four characters in this chapter is painted in a good light. As Jacob and Rebecca plot to steal the blessing, it becomes clear that the blessing may only come through the work of God himself—and we are pointed to the promised covenant Son.

Direct download: pc092.mp3
Category:Proclaiming Christ -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT