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A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology: The Pauline Epistles, Part II – Romans 9-11

September 14, 2016 Leave a comment

theroadofgrace and William F. Leonhart III

You can read earlier posts in this series by clicking on the links below:

An Introduction

Augustine’s Two Cities

Two Kingdoms in Luther

The Reformed Confessions (Part I)

The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

The Reformed Confessions (Part III)

Sphere Sovereignty in Kuyper

Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

John the Baptist

The Prophet Amos

The Incarnate Lord (Part I)

The Incarnate Lord (Part II)

The Incarnate Lord (Part III)

Introduction to the Book of Acts

The Ministry of Peter and John in Acts

The Ministry of Paul in Acts, Part I

The Ministry of Paul in Acts, Part II

The Pauline Epistles, Part I – Romans 1-8

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As we mentioned in our last article, Paul’s desire to preach the gospel to the church at Rome was the impetus for the letter he wrote to the Romans. Scholars have even proposed that Paul’s mention of this desire in Romans 1:15-17 functions as the thesis statement of the letter:

“So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith,’” (Romans 1:15-17; NASB).

In the last article, we considered two themes that arise out of this thesis statement: the gospel preached to the church and the gospel as the power of God unto salvation. These two major themes help us to understand why Paul spends the first eight chapters of Romans explaining the gospel of Jesus Christ. Being that these verses set the framework for all that follows, we are in our present study using them as the lens through which we examine the rest of the book of Romans. In this article, we will focus on principles found in this thesis statement that help us to understand why Paul teaches what he teaches in chapters 9-11.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology: The Pauline Epistles, Part I – Romans 1-8

theroadofgrace and William F. Leonhart III

You can read earlier posts in this series by clicking on the links below:

An Introduction

Augustine’s Two Cities

Two Kingdoms in Luther

The Reformed Confessions (Part I)

The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

The Reformed Confessions (Part III)

Sphere Sovereignty in Kuyper

Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

John the Baptist

The Prophet Amos

The Incarnate Lord (Part I)

The Incarnate Lord (Part II)

The Incarnate Lord (Part III)

Introduction to the Book of Acts

The Ministry of Peter and John in Acts

The Ministry of Paul in Acts, Part I

The Ministry of Paul in Acts, Part II

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In our most recent posts, we have looked to the narrative portions of the New Testament to discover what they might teach us regarding Public Theology. We must caution ourselves not to read into the descriptive portions of Scripture anything that is not prescriptive. Thus, it has been our aim to stick only to examples in the words and actions of Christ and the apostles that can be proven by a closer examination of the more didactic portions of the New Testament. Today, we have finally arrived at those portions: the epistles.

A Preliminary Caution

We must be careful when discussing the different epistles within the New Testament canon, so that we do not speak in terms of a strictly Pauline theology, a Petrine theology, a Johannine theology, etc. The individual writers of Scripture did have different emphases because of their unique personalities and backgrounds. They also had different emphases because of their unique audiences and the occasions of their writings. However, insofar as the apostles were taught of the same Lord, led by the same Spirit, and inspired of the same God and Father of all to pen His holy word, they only confessed one faith.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology: The Ministry of Paul, Part II

theroadofgrace and William F. Leonhart III

You can read earlier posts in this series by clicking on the links below:

An Introduction

Augustine’s Two Cities

Two Kingdoms in Luther

The Reformed Confessions (Part I)

The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

The Reformed Confessions (Part III)

Sphere Sovereignty in Kuyper

Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

John the Baptist

The Prophet Amos

The Incarnate Lord (Part I)

The Incarnate Lord (Part II)

The Incarnate Lord (Part III)

Introduction to the Book of Acts

The Ministry of Peter and John in Acts

The Ministry of Paul in Acts, Part I

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In the previous blog, we began our discussion on the public theology of Paul in Acts by examining the events during Paul’s first and second missionary journeys. We observed how Paul confronted the idolatry present in various Gentile cities from Lystra to Athens. We also observed how Paul’s ministry of preaching not only affected the individual lives of converts, but it also affected social activities within various cities such as Philippi and Ephesus. The last quarter of the book of Acts deals with Paul’s journey from Jerusalem to Rome. Unlike his previous missionary journeys, Paul’s primary audience was not the crowds, but specific rulers themselves. This section gives us particular insight on how Paul interacted with authority and how Paul wisely took advantage of his Roman citizenship.

Paul Before the Roman Tribune and the Council

When Paul arrives in Jerusalem in Acts 21, he is quite aware that he is going to face hostility from the Jewish people. When he enters the temple, he addresses the Jewish crowd in….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology: The Ministry of Paul, Part I

theroadofgrace and William F. Leonhart III

You can read earlier posts in this series by clicking on the links below:

An Introduction

Augustine’s Two Cities

Two Kingdoms in Luther

The Reformed Confessions (Part I)

The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

The Reformed Confessions (Part III)

Sphere Sovereignty in Kuyper

Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

John the Baptist

The Prophet Amos

The Incarnate Lord (Part I)

The Incarnate Lord (Part II)

The Incarnate Lord (Part III)

Introduction to the Book of Acts

The Ministry of Peter and John in Acts

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In the previous blog, we examined the public ministry of Peter and John in order to develop an understanding of the public theology presented in Acts. As most readers of this blog know, the primary figure in the narrative of Acts switches from Peter to Paul after Acts 13. In this blog, we will begin our discussion on the public theology of Paul as presented in Acts. In particular, we will focus on four events during Paul’s first and second missionary journeys.

Paul at Lystra

We begin by examining the events surrounding Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabas. In Acts 14:8-18, Luke records the account of a lame man being healed by the hands of Paul….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology: The Ministry of Peter and John in Acts

theroadofgrace and William F. Leonhart III

You can read earlier posts in this series by clicking on the links below:

An Introduction

Augustine’s Two Cities

Two Kingdoms in Luther

The Reformed Confessions (Part I)

The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

The Reformed Confessions (Part III)

Sphere Sovereignty in Kuyper

Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

John the Baptist

The Prophet Amos

The Incarnate Lord (Part I)

The Incarnate Lord (Part II)

The Incarnate Lord (Part III)

Introduction to the Book of Acts

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In the previous blog, we provided an introduction to the public theology within the book of Acts by examining the historical setting of Acts and by examining how the content of the apostles’ public teaching produced significant clashes with the pluralistic society of the Roman Empire. In this blog post, we will focus our attention on the public ministry of Peter and John after Pentecost. In Acts 3:1-10, Luke records the account of a lame beggar being healed by the hands of Peter. Like all of the miracles performed by the apostles, this healing was done publicly to verify and authenticate the gospel message which Peter preached in Acts 2. The miracle caused all of those who were present to be utterly astounded and this presented Peter with the opportunity to address the Jewish crowd (3:10-11). With this opportunity, Peter deflects attention away from himself and preaches the gospel (3:11-26).

Peter’s Message to the Nation

For the sake of this blog, it is important to note the content of Peter’s message. First, we note that Peter denies that his own power and piety healed the beggar (v. 12), but rather, Peter draws attention that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob glorified Jesus through this healing…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology: Introduction to the Book of Acts

theroadofgrace and William F. Leonhart III

You can read earlier posts in this series by clicking on the links below:

An Introduction

Augustine’s Two Cities

Two Kingdoms in Luther

The Reformed Confessions (Part I)

The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

The Reformed Confessions (Part III)

Sphere Sovereignty in Kuyper

Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

John the Baptist

The Prophet Amos

The Incarnate Lord (Part I)

The Incarnate Lord (Part II)

The Incarnate Lord (Part III)

After examining the continuities and discontinuities associated with the incarnation of our Lord, we will now further ground our discussions on public theology by examining the behavior of the apostles in the book of Acts.

In Luke’s first book (i.e. the Gospel of Luke), Luke reported “all that Jesus began to do and teach” (cf. Luke 1:1); therefore, the implication is that Luke’s second book (i.e. the Acts of the Apostles) will carry the narrative forward, showing what Jesus continued to do and teach after His ascension to heaven. He continues to act through the presence of His Holy Spirit and through the ministry of His apostles (cf. Acts 1:2). This means that the book of Acts is a retelling of the continuation of redemptive history, in which the ministry of the apostles was done openly (cf. Acts 26:26).

Background: Roman Empire and Christianity

Because of the expanse of the Roman Empire, the Roman Empire became a very pluralistic society in which numerous religions existed alongside each other peaceably. During the apostolic period, the non-Roman religions were divided into religio licita (“licensed worship”) and religio illicita (“unlicensed worship”). However, while this distinction officially existed, the Roman Empire was generally very tolerant to other foreign religions. Generally speaking, any people settling at Rome were permitted the liberty of its own native worship in so far as…..

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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

by William F. Leonhart III and theroadofgrace

You can read earlier posts in this series by clicking on the links below:

An Introduction

Augustine’s Two Cities

Two Kingdoms in Luther

The Reformed Confessions (Part I)

The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

The Reformed Confessions (Part III)

Sphere Sovereignty in Kuyper

Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

John the Baptist

The Prophet Amos

The Incarnate Lord (Part I)

The Incarnate Lord (Part II)

Discontinuity

As we continue in our examination of the life and teaching of our incarnate Lord, let us recall the fact that Christ’s primary mission was not that of social change. Rather, His primary goal was that of redeeming His bride (the church). However, given the fact that His bride is a multi-ethnic and multi-national bride, this work of redemption came with some very real implications for public theology because of some very real discontinuities with God’s former dealings with His covenant people.

Christ-centric Worship

The first among these discontinuities was the change of worship from being ethnocentric (for the Jews only) and geocentric (in Zion only) to being Christ-centric. Consider our Lord’s interaction with the woman at the well:

“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth,’” (John 4:19-24; NASB).

In moving the center of worship from a people group or a location, our Lord mobilized the gospel. It was no longer a fixed temple, but was now a movable tabernacle. It was no longer bound up within borders and bloodlines, but now extended into the far reaches of the earth and was made effectual for saving men…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.