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Free Ebook- The Lord’s Day: Its Presuppositions, Proofs, Precedents, and Practice

February 24, 2017 Leave a comment

lords-day-waldronBy Sam Waldron

Now available at Chapel Library is a new (FREE) book titled The Lord’s Day: Its Presuppositions, Proofs, Precendents, and Practice by Sam Waldron: The Lord’s Day

The Lord’s Day is a thoroughly up-to-date consideration of the Fourth Commandment and its ramifications for modern Christianity. Its four sections include the Presuppositions that influence our thinking; Proofs at creation, by Moses, and in the New Testament; Precedents in the Apostolic Fathers and John Calvin; and finally its Practice. While precise and careful, the author avoids extremes and makes the nuances and complexities of the theological issues clear for most Christians.

Available in Epub, mobi, & Pdf

 

Source [Chapel Library]

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Doctrinal Assumptions and Technical Terms of the Confession on the Sabbath, 22.7

The Doctrinal Assumptions and Technical Terms of 2LCF 22.7

Copyright © 2016 Richard C. Barcellos. All rights reserved.

The Second London Confession of Faith 22.7 reads:

As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God’s appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive-moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished. ( Exodus 20:8; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2; Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10 )

Entering chapter 22 of the Confession, we do not start over theologically. This chapter, as with others, assumes or utilizes many assertions made prior to it and cannot be understood properly without identifying and understanding those assumptions or assertions and the terms associated with them. Terms and phrases are used which embody concepts already utilized in the Confession. As will be noted, it assumes chapter 19, “Of the Law of God” and chapter 4, “Of Creation” especially. This ties the theology of the Christian Sabbath in the Confession to the law of God and creation. The Christian Sabbath is part and parcel with the system of doctrine contained in the Confession. To understand the confessional formulation properly at this point, we must understand….

 

 

 

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No Creed But the Bible?

November 2, 2015 1 comment

John Piper was asked by a podcast listener if he subscribed to the 1689 Confession of Faith? Here are five points that he made against the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith:

 

 
Now here is the deal with the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. I didn’t choose to go that route, even though it is a good, solid, Reformed Baptist version of the Westminster Confession. And there are several reasons why. Here they are:

1) The language is somewhat foreign. Its vocabulary is like reading the King James Version. And I think it is probably a mistake to try to enshrine that today as the one if you expect families to use it without any updated form.

2) While I am able to affirm that Genesis 1 refers to literal 24-hour days, I had a hard time thinking that I should make that a matter of confessional faithfulness to Christianity, and so I stumbled over that section.

3) The understanding of the Sabbath is, perhaps, more rigorous and narrow than my understanding of the implications of Jesus’s teaching about the Sabbath.

4) There are certain historic categories of theology, like the covenant of works and others, that have proved useful, but you might wonder: Shall I make that the structure of the theology I am going to present?

5) This is going to sound so piddly — and yet you can’t be piddly in a confession — little things like saying that bread and wine are prescribed in the Lord’s Supper. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say that wine was used in the Lord’s Supper. That comes as a shock to a lot of people. It doesn’t say that is what was used.

Now I suspect it was. I suspect it was wine, but it always uses the term cup or fruit of the vine and, therefore, if you get into a knock down battle and say we are going to settle this confessionally and you go to the 1689 Confession, it is going to say wine is what you are supposed to use. And I would say: Well, that is just unbiblical, because that is not what the Bible says, even though that is totally legitimate and maybe even preferable, but not at all required.

To read the entire audio transcript, click here.

To download the audio, click here.

 

 

My response to Piper:

1) The language of the1689 Confession is not foreign to the average reader of today. It is fairly simple in its explanation of the doctrines in which it confesses. That is not to say, that the average reader today, doesn’t need to study a little history of the Church because the confession does use certain words that affirm the truth, over and against the errors that tried to creep in during church history. But this is also true of the scriptures contained within Holy Writ. Unless one studies the historical setting of the Bible, then the reader will not grasp certain things in which the Bible states. So if, the average reader of today, struggles with the confession, then it is certain that they haven’t studied any church history and probably hasn’t studied any Biblical history. Of course, there are modern versions of the 1689 Confession, in modern language, and so Piper’s objection right here is absurd and ridiculous.

2) Piper has a hard time thinking that the 24 hours days of Genesis should by a matter of confessional faithfulness to Christianity. But why does he think that? Is he saying that whatever God states in scripture shouldn’t be a matter of confessional faithfulness to Christianity? To deny what God says in scripture is to deny scripture. Many, for the sake of not trying to look like the Bible is outdated or is ignorant concerning creation, have chosen to try and harmonize the scriptures with the obscure data of fallen man’s so-called science. Paul warned Timothy of this in 1 Timothy 6:20, whereby Paul said, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called…” So I say, if someone gets Genesis wrong, then they get all of scripture wrong. Genesis lays the foundation for the rest of Biblical revelation. And if you notice several of his remaining objections are points that can be cleared up by studying the book of Genesis.

3) Piper also has a problem with the 1689 on its doctrine concerning the Sabbath. Yet the Sabbath, is part of the Moral law, and is contained within the ten commandments. These ten commandments where given on Mt Sinai, and are the totality of what is contained in the moral law. However, these ten commandments were revealed before Mt Sinai when God wrote these commandments on the heart of man at creation. We see that most of these commandments were broken in Genesis and God judges those who broke them.

4) Piper also seems to have a problem with the covenant of works. Yet, if one does away with the covenant of works, then they do away with Christ’s sacrifice. What law did Christ fulfill? Why did Christ have to die in our place, if no covenant was broken? If you do away with the doctrine of the covenant of works, then you do away with justification.

5) Finally Piper has a problem with the 1689 because it speaks of wine being used in the Lord’s supper. He states that wine is unbiblical and that it was probably only the fruit of the vine which was used at the Lord’s supper. You would think that someone who was a Pastor for as many years as he was, that they would not be so ignorant concerning such a matter as this. The Lord’s supper took place between March and April, seeing that the Passover was a movable feast. The harvesting of grapes took place in late October. Now how does Piper propose that the Jews preserved grape juice for six months? Welch had not yet been born. Once new wine was bottled, it started the fermentation process.

The Sabbath as a Creation Ordinance

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

by Jon English Lee

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but theseventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” – Ex. 20:8-11 (ESV)

It is of no small importance that Exodus grounds the Fourth Commandment upon God’s example in creation.[1] Chantry offers this reason for referring back to creation: “God’s written fourth commandment recalls the first historic observance of the Sabbath in order to stir up our own compliance with Sabbath-keeping.”

Using the text of Genesis 2 as a guide, this post will examine three creation narrative observations, followed by a discussion of whether God’s rest should be viewed as descriptive or prescriptive.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Moral Law A Rule of Obedience

September 8, 2015 Leave a comment

by Samuel Bolton

QUERY I: Are Christians freed from the moral law as a rule of obedience?

Our text (John 8.36) is the main basis whereon this doctrine of Christian freedom is built. But many have endeavoured to build their own superstructures, hay and stubble, upon it, which the foundation will never bear. Indeed, there are so many opinions which plead patronage from this doctrine that I conceive it is my great work to vindicate so excellent a doctrine as this is-true Christian freedom – from those false, and I may say licentious, doctrines which are fastened and fathered upon it. I must show you that neither this doctrine, nor yet this text, will afford countenance to, or contribute any strength to the positions and opinions which some would seem to deduce from it and build upon it.

The work is great, for I am to deal with the greatest knots in the practical part of divinity, and men’s judgments are various. Scripture is pleaded on all hands. The more difficult the work, the more need of your prayers, that the Father of lights would go before us, and by His own light lead and guide us into the ways of all truth. In this confidence we shall venture to launch into these deeps, and begin the examination and trial of those doctrines which are deduced from, and would seem to be built upon, this text. The first doctrine, and the main one, that they would seem to build upon this text is, that believers are freed from the law. And this shall be the first question we will examine.

In answer to this query as it is propounded, we must confess that we are not without some places of Scripture which declare the law to be abrogated, nor without some again that speak of it as yet in force. We will give you a taste of some of them; and shall begin with those that seem to speak of the abrogation of the law.

 

 

 
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Sabbath Rest and Faith

September 8, 2015 Leave a comment

by Jon English Lee

Sabbath Rest and Faith

This post seeks to demonstrate that weekly sabbath plays a very important role in the spiritual life of believers. Specifically seeking to answer the question “What is the relationship between sabbath rest and faith?”, this post will have brief descriptions of the lessons that weekly rest teaches believers, including: God is the source of all blessings; God has instituted a system of rest, not anxiety; Labor is good, but God is ultimate; and man is utterly dependent upon God for everything.

Resting Requires Faith

Resting takes faith. For people to truly rest, they must recognize their own inadequacies and inabilities. To take one day a week off from our normal work is to proclaim with our lives that we are ultimately insufficient. Resting demonstrates to the world (and to ourselves) that we are utterly dependent upon God for provision.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Answering Some Objections to Sabbath Observance

September 8, 2015 Leave a comment

by Tom Hicks

In a previous post, I briefly sketched the Bible’s doctrine of the Sabbath day. Like nearly every doctrine of the Christian faith, the doctrine of the Sabbath is controversial among some Christians today. In this post, I’ll try to answer some of the most common objections to Sabbath observance.

1. New Testament Passages. Those who say Christians are not obligated to observe the Sabbath day often point to four key New Testament passages to make their case: Romans 14:1-9, Galatians 4:10, Colossians 2:16, and Hebrews 4:3-10. Though I won’t provide extensive exegesis here, I’d like briefly to consider these one at a time.

Romans 14:1-9. “One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables . . . One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike.”

These verses teach that Christians have liberty to observe feast days or not. Paul speaks of “foods” and “days” together, which means the subject of the passage is feast days (pagan and Jewish), not the moral law of the Sabbath. Also, if the anti-Sabbatarians are correct that this passage teaches that absolutely every day is alike in Christ, then it seems to prove too much. I know of no anti-Sabbatarian who teaches that the Lord’s Day should simply be treated as any other day of the week, and that Christians have no obligations on that day.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.