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Free Ebook- The Baptist Identity: A View From the Eighteenth Century

Michael A G. Haykin, who is Professor of Church History, at Heritage Baptist College and Theological Seminary, London, Ontario, examines the transformation in Particular Baptist identity that took place in the eighteenth century.

I. The Baptist Identity in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries

In the past century, there has been considerable debate as to the roots of the Baptist tradition. It has been argued by some scholars that Baptist origins should be traced back to the sixteenth-century Anabaptist movement on the European continent and its offshoots in England. On the other hand, there have been Baptist historians who have maintained that Puritanism and its struggle during the late 1500s and the first half of the 1600s…..

Download the ebook here. (Pdf)

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3-Chapter 22-Salvation and Rewards

CHAPTER 22-SALVATION AND REWARDS #Eph 2:8-10 Re 22:12

Introduction:

There is a necessary distinction between salvation and rewards. To ignore this distinction will lead to confusion and perversion of the gospel. Salvation is for the lost; rewards are for the saved. Salvation is for believers; rewards are for workers. Salvation is by grace through faith; rewards are for faithful service. Salvation is common to all the saints; one will be no more saved than another, rewards are proportioned to the work done. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be (#Re 22:12). Salvation is a present possession; rewards are a future blessing. Salvation is received on earth; rewards are to be received in heaven. “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (#Mt 5:12). Salvation is based on the sufferings of the Savior; rewards are based upon the suffering of the saint. Salvation is the result of Christ’s suffering for us; rewards are based upon our suffering for Him.

I have been both surprised and disappointed at the little literature on the subject of rewards. I searched here and there for some book in my library dealing with the subject and found practically nothing. I think first of all that we need the RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SUBJECT of rewards.

Some deny the doctrine, claiming all Christians will be equal in heaven. One will have no more than another. But this is to flatly deny the scriptures. If rewards are based on works, and they are, then the works of all would be the same if there is no difference in rewards. If rewards are based on works and suffering, what believer is there today who can expect the reward of the apostle Paul?

Some ignore the doctrine, do not deal with it, simply neglect to say anything about it. This is evident from the small amount of literature on the subject. Some despise the doctrine, having no interest in rewards. Salvation is all they want. Keeping out of hell is as far as their interest goes. They will be satisfied to be saved by the skin of their teeth.

Others say the doctrine of rewards is inconsistent with the motive of love in our works. They say we should work from love and not for pay. But if our Lord promises pay or reward we would not love Him much if we did not appreciate and strive for the reward he offers. Is it inconsistent with love for its father, for the child to appreciate and strive for reward offered by its father? I think not. Is the father afraid the child will not love him if he offers reward for faithful service? I think not.

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3

The Anatomy of a Hybrid Constituency: Billy Graham

Billy-Graham-300x214by Tom Nettles

(This post is the latest installment in a series on Billy Graham. See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)

Billy Graham’s strong affirmation of biblical authority, his clear proclamation of the objective truths of the gospel, and his perseverance in the calling of evangelism gave him comprehensive credibility among evangelicals, including conservative Southern Baptists. Accompanying these strong traits, however, were a few convictions that gave some of the main-line, more liberal-leaning Protestants, and the more moderate wing of Southern Baptists, room to approve of Graham and, thus, find a point of positive contact with their conservative detractors. The two religious persuasions that proved to be a bridge to an uncomfortable unity were the priority of religious experience and an affirmation of biblical truth that transcended any critical engagement with supposed difficulties in the biblical text.

It could be suggested that Graham’s experiential persuasion of Christianity’s truthfulness is simply a rock-solid engagement with the Reformed doctrine of the internal witness of the Spirit—or as Jonathan Edwards expressed it as “sensible” knowledge of sin and of the excellence of Christ. By the same token, one could look upon Graham’s unswerving commitment to the message of the Bible as another application…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Does Teaching Someone the Bible Make Them a Christian?

by Brandon Adams

Someone recently sent me the following argument from a paedobaptist and asked me to respond.

Obviously, if you hold to credobaptism, you won’t agree with this conclusion on it’s face, but I’d love to hear some thoughtful non-defensive responses. There is an explicitness to the gospel that is only communicated and received with a certain level of mental understanding. Which leads a lot of people to say that we can’t say someone is a Christian until they are able to grasp and profess belief in this message. I get that. But… as a worldview, as a moral basis, as a way of life, Christianity is something that is practically lived in as well. A baby born into a Christian family, from day one is given a Christian worldview. They are certainly not being trained to be atheists or pagans. Nobody exists without a worldview, and if the worldview you’re being taught is the Bible, then you are a Bible believer by default. The Jews didn’t have to debate this issue because it was so explicitly commanded that they should raise their kids as Jews. But Judaism wasn’t a religion that lacked anything Christianity does, in fact it is the same religion. It had laws that were to be obeyed with gratitude, it demanded faith in God and his promises, it threatened those in the religion not to turn away… so what changed? My argument is that nothing has changed, and in practice, we all know it. Are we not required to raise our children as Christians? “Well it depends on what you mean by Christian”. But does it? Do we tell our kids to obey God’s law? Why? To be justified? No… because they are required to. Why? If it isn’t for their justification, then why? It’s because we recognize that they are under the authority of Christ by virtue of being in your home. If we require our children to obey God’s law, with threats of discipline if they fail, yet we do not recognize them as Christians, we are demanding that they rely on their flesh to obey God’s law… this is hypocritical. For some reason this line of reasoning confuses people and makes them think I’m saying Baptists don’t raise their kids in the faith. I’m actually saying the exact opposite. They do raise them in the faith, while also saying they are not in the faith. [For the record: This is a tension I held all my days as a credobaptist. Even when I was the most conviced of the position, I couldn’t reconcile this issue.]

This is a typical paedobaptist collectivist mindset. It’s what allows them to think that entire nations can be part of the church, as the magisterial reformers practiced. Entire nations became Protestants “at the blast of a trumpet” (the governing authorities’ declaration). They ridicule baptists for being too individualistic, but we merely recognize that believing the gospel is an individual matter. Collectives (families, nations) are not saved. Individuals are.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology – The Incarnate Lord (Part I)

by William F. Leonhart III

I realize it’s been a while since our last post on Public Theology. That’s because it was agreed ahead of time that I’d do this next series and, with two full-time jobs and a young family, anything from me will be slow coming. Enough about me, though. You can read the last post in this series here, or just pick up in your reading below. Enjoy.

Introduction

In the last two posts in our series on public theology, we examined the approaches to public theology employed by two notable prophets: John the Baptist and Amos. There are many approaches to the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some argue for more radical discontinuity between the two epochs than others. Regardless of what approach we take to entering this discussion, Reformed Baptists must not deny the the existence of discontinuity between them.

For instance, Reformed Baptists overwhelmingly affirm the cessation of the theocratic relationship between God and the ethnic, geographically-identified nation of Israel (see The Baptist Confession, 19.4). With the cessation of this relationship, Gentiles were grafted into the covenant community of God and men ceased worshipping God “on this mountain or that mountain,” worshipping Him instead in truth and in spirit (John 4:19-24). This was certainly a massive shift. God’s people went from a covenant nation comprised of both believers and unbelievers primarily of one particular ethnicity and nationality to covenant communities (churches) comprised only of believers (a credocovenant relationship) from all ethnic groups and nations. The question is whether this shift simultaneously represented a shift in approach to public theology. Certainly, it must have.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 66

MENTONE, Dec. 12.

MY DEAR SON, —

Your note was a real joy to me. What a good fellow you are. I live twice in seeing you so firm in the faith of God’s elect. I do not wonder that the chickens flock around the man who gives them real corn and not mere chaff. The Lord keep you evermore true to the truth, and you will see His hand with you more and more.

Your little notices of books are first-rate. Short and pithy — better than half-a-page of long-winded nothings. You may do as many as ever you like, for nobody can do them better, nor as well.

You charm me as I ‘think of your interesting your dear mother, with your views and lantern. It is most sad to have her at home, when I am here, enjoying myself. What can we do but try to cheer her up at home and pray the Lord to give her journeying strength. I am right glad to hear of the growth and advancement of the little girl. God bless her mother.

Yes, I am having a true holiday — not idle, but restful. Our weather here is not so very warm, but just such as to allow of sitting about outdoors. Not many people out here yet. Flowers scarce, since autumn rains did not fall; I hope they are not coming in winter instead.

Love ever to you and yours from,

Your happy father,

C. H. S.

Count the Cost

by Bill Hier

Count The Cost (Are you Christ’s?)

Luke 14:26-27: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”

How often have we been directed to this Scripture and those which are in concord with it, yet have not actually given thought to what our Lord Jesus meant by these words? How many messages have been preached, and how many lessons have been taught, trying to explain away the plain sense of these words of our Lord?

Our dearly departed to glory brother, J.C. Ryle, gives the immediate sense of these words:

This expression must doubtless be interpreted with some qualification. We must never explain any text of Scripture in such a manner as to make it contradict another. Our Lord did not mean us to understand that it is the duty of Christians to hate their relatives. This would have been to contradict the fifth commandment. He only meant that those who follow Him must love Him with a deeper love even than their nearest and dearest connections, or their own lives.—He did not mean that it is an essential part of Christianity to quarrel with our relatives and friends. But He did mean that if the claims of our relatives and the claims of Christ come into collision, the claims of relatives must give way. We must choose rather to displease those we love most upon earth, than to displease Him who died for us on the cross. (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospel, Gospel of Luke, eSword edition).

This is NOT a call to hate our relatives…..

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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