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A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology – Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

December 31, 2015 Leave a comment

theroadofgrace

Read the first seven posts here, here, here, here, here, here,and here.

In our last blog post, we presented some of the core beliefs regarding Abraham Kuyper’s public theology, which can be summed up in one sentence: Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and because of that fact, our allegiance to Him should shape not only the private but also the public aspects of our lives. In Kuyper’s vision, Christ is not just the Lord over ecclesiastical matters, but He is also Lord over public matters like art, science, business, politics, economics, and education. Based on this core conviction, Kuyper served as prime minister of the Netherlands, founded a Christian university, started a newspaper, and wrote influential books on theology, politics, and other topics. In recent years a new generation of Calvinists has further developed Kuyper’s original vision of Christ’s lordship over all matters. To understand these recent developments, we must understand neo-Kuyperian theology concerning the relationship between redemptive grace and creation.

Creation and Redemption

In the neo-Kuyperian theological vision, redemptive grace both renews and restores nature. In this vision, God covenanted creation (“nature”) into existence and ordered it by means of His word. At creation, God instructed his image bearers to be fruitful and multiply (interpreted as a social command), till the soil (interpreted as a cultural command), and have dominion (interpreted as a regal command). His image bearers would glorify him by multiplying worshipers, bringing out the hidden potentials of creation, and lovingly managing his world. However, Adam and Eve were seduced by the word that the serpent spoke against God’s……

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 45

December 31, 2015 Leave a comment

Undated.

VERY DEAR BROTHER, —

May the Lord be very remarkably with you, and indeed with all the friends to-night. I feel a sweet repose of mind in what is being done, feeling, indeed, that my being cast into the deep sleep of inaction is a most profitable process, since I perceive that a helpmeet is being found for me. What I might have wished for in vain, all being well, comes to me most evidently from heaven, all being better than well.

Now do not come to see me to-morrow, but rest as much as you can. You must not knock up, or two cripples will be worse than one.

Better, but broken-backed, and broken-kneed. No dealer would buy me except for cats’ meat, and I’m not worth so much for that as I was, for I am many pounds lighter.

My warmest love abides with you.

Your own brother,

CHARLES

Fruits Keeping With Repentance

December 30, 2015 Leave a comment

By Bill Hier

Luke 3:8-9: Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Which of you has not “born fruit” that is not “in keeping with repentance?”

I daresay, if that is you, you have not “tasted, and seen that the Lord, He is Good.”

For who has kept this way, that has fully encompassed that which is “in keeping with repentance?”

You? Oh do not be so deluded, my brethren, my flesh of the flesh. “God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham,” and are you those stones, more righteous…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

This doctrine, as to the secret counsel of God in the government of the world, gives no favor to the wicked who argue that they are merely fulfilling God’s decrees

December 30, 2015 Leave a comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015This doctrine, as to the secret counsel of God in the government of the world, gives no countenance either to the impiety of those who throw the blame of their wickedness upon God, the petulance of those who reject means, or the error of those who neglect the duties of religion.

3. Those who have learned this modesty will neither murmur against God for adversity in time past, nor charge him with the blame of their own wickedness, as Homer’s Agamemnon does. — “Ego d’ ou haitios eimi, alla Zeus kai moira.” “Blame not me, but Jupiter and fate.” On the other hand, they will note like the youth in Plautus, destroy themselves in despairs as if hurried away by the Fates. “Unstable is the condition of affairs; instead of doing as they list, men only fulfill their fate: I will hie me to a rock, and there end my fortune with my life.” Nor will they, after the example of another, use the name of God as a cloak for their crimes. For in another comedy Lyconides thus expresses himself: — “God was the impeller: I believe the gods wished it. Did they not wish it, it would not be done, I know.” They will rather inquire and learn from Scripture what is pleasing to God, and then, under the guidance of the Spirit, endeavor to attain it. Prepared to follow whithersoever God may call, they will show by their example that nothing is more useful than the knowledge of this doctrine, which perverse men undeservedly assail, because it is sometimes wickedly abused. The profane make such a bluster with their foolish puerilities, that they almost, according to the expression, confound heaven and earth. If the Lord has marked the moment of our death, it cannot be escaped, — it is vain to toil and use precaution. Therefore, when one ventures not to travel on a road which he hears is infested by robbers; when another calls in the physician, and annoys himself with drugs, for the sake of his health; a third abstains from coarser food, that he may not injure a sickly constitution; and a fourth fears to dwell in a ruinous house; when all, in short, devise, and, with great eagerness of mind, strike out paths by which they may attain the objects of their desire; either these are all vain remedies, laid hold of to correct the will of God, or his certain decree does not fix the limits of life and death, health and sickness, peace and war, and other matters which men, according as they desire and hate, study by their own industry to secure or avoid. Nay, these trifles even infer, that the prayers of the faithful must be perverse, not to say superfluous, since they entreat the Lord to make a provision for things which he has decreed from eternity. And then, imputing whatever happens to the providence of God, they connive at the man who is known to have expressly designed it. Has an assassin slain an honest citizen? He has, say they, executed the counsel of God. Has some one committed theft or adultery? The deed having been provided and ordained by the Lord, he is the minister of his providence. Has a son waited with indifference for the death of his parent, without trying any remedy? He could not oppose God, who had so predetermined from eternity. Thus all crimes receive the name of virtues, as being in accordance with divine ordination.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 17-Henry Beveridge Translation

Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? Martin Bucer’s De Regno Christi

December 29, 2015 Leave a comment

by Jon English Lee

*This post is the latest in a series looking at the Sabbath. Previous posts include:Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians (Part 3), Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? (Part 2), Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? Henry Bullinger on the Sabbath (Part 1), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church (Part 3), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 2), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 1), Ecclesiological Implications of the Sabbath (Part 2), Ecclesiological Implications of the Sabbath (part 1), Sabbath Typology and Eschatological Rest, Paul and the Sabbath, Jesus and the Sabbath, The Sabbath and the Decalogue in the OT, a look at God’s Rest as Prescriptive, an examination of the Sabbath as a Creation Ordinance.

In this post I will continue to look at the evidence for sabbatarian theology in the thought of pre-Puritan theologians. Martin Bucer, like Henry Bullinger, had a strong view of the Christian Sabbath. Specifically, in this post Bucer’s De Regno Christi will be examined.

De Regno Christi

Bucer’s De Regno Christi, or The Kingdom of Christ, is a “detailed charter to guide the King in implementing Bucer’s vision of a republica Christiana in England.”[1] Bucer’s chapter titled “Setting Aside Certain Times For The Worship Of God” makes very clear his connection between the Old….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Keach’s Articles of Faith

December 29, 2015 Leave a comment

H/T Kenneth Clayton

In 1697, Benjamin Keach published “The articles of the faith of the Church of Christ, or, Congregation meeting at Horsley-down” because “the General and more Large Confession of the Faith of our Churches, is now out of Print; but that is not all, for that being 12 d. price, some cannot well purchase it.” and because certain beliefs held by his congregation (“that of Imposition of Hands upon baptized Believers as such, and singing of God’s Praise, &c.”) were not included in the 2nd London Baptist Confession.

Here are the sections related to covenant theology:

Of Original Sin.

*VII. WE do believe, that God having created Man, he entered into a Covenant of Life with him, upon the condition of perfect Obedience; making the first Adam a common Head to all his Seed: and that our first Parents being left to the freedom of their own Will, fell from the Estate wherein they were created, by eating of the forbidden Fruit: and that Adam being set up as a pub∣lick Person, we all sinned in him, and fell with him into a state of Sin, of Wrath and Misery; the Sinfulness of which state consists in the guilt of Adam‘s first Sin, the want of Original….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The comparing of Scripture with Scripture is valuable for the purpose of harmonization

December 29, 2015 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkThe comparing of Scripture with Scripture is valuable for the purpose of harmonization or preserving the balance of Truth, thus preventing our becoming lopsided. An illustration of this is found in connection with what is termed “the great commission,” a threefold record of which, with notable variations, is given in the last chapter of each of the Synoptic Gospels. In order to obtain a right or full knowledge of the complete charge Christ there gave unto His servants, instead of confining our attention to only one or two of them—as is now so often the case—the three accounts of it need to be brought together. Luke 24:47, shows it is just as much the minister’s duty “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name” as it is to bid sinners “believe on Him”; and Matthew 28:19, 20, makes it clear that it devolves as much upon him to baptize those who believe and then to teach them to observe all things whatsoever He commanded as to “preach the gospel to every creature.” Quality is even more important than quantity! One of the chief reasons why so few of the Christian churches in heathen lands are self-supporting is that missionaries have too often failed in thoroughly indoctrinating and building up their converts, leaving them in an infantile state and going elsewhere seeking to evangelize more of their fellows.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures