Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Reformed Baptist's Disk: "Home of The BCF Assistant"

The Reformed Baptist's Disk website offers an easy way to download an ISO image in order to create your own CD containing all of the freeware offered at the site. The freeware includes, for example:
1) The First London Baptist Confession of Faith (2nd Edition,1646) including An Appendix to A Confession of Faith, written by Benjamin Cox.
2) The BCF Assistant, with the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1677/89. Here is the description of the BCF Assistant:
The BCF Assistant has several extended features to those found in the BCFHelp, program. Some of these
additional features include:

- Original 1677 Confession text.
- The opening letter to "the
Judicious and Impartial Reader" from the 1677 text.
- The Appendix to the
1677 text in which the authors defend their Baptistic Principles and
- Chapter Outlines taken from Samuel E. Waldron's book, A
Modern Exposition of the 1689 - Baptist Confession of Faith, (Evangelical Press,
- A section on the Doctrine and Theology of the Confession (various
authors included Pastors Sam Waldron and Greg Nichols, Grand Rapids, MI, USA).
- A section outlining some of the Historical Background of the Confession
and how it came to be, including some biographical information on some of those
who were signatories to the Confession in 1689. This section principally comes
from Dr James Renihan (Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies, Escondido, CA,

The opening address to the reader and the appendix are of particular
interest because these are not commonly published in book form along with the
3) The Children's "Prove It" Catechism: An Introduction to The Shorter Catechism: A Modest Revision for Baptists Today. This is a handy little tool that helps children to learn the catechism, along with the Scripture proofs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Interview on the House-Church Movement

Last night I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Roderick Edwards for one of his Kingdom Commentaries. The primary focus of the interview was about the way in which many in the House-Church Movement are making requirements of certain practices that the Scriptures do not require. We discussed two of these requirements, meeting in homes and partaking of the Lord's Supper as a part of a larger meal, but for some reason failed to get to a third requirement, which is having completely open, spontaneous meetings with no one leading. We just didn't have time to get to every issue in a half hour, but I have addressed all three of these issues thus far in the series of articles I have been posting here.

Here is some of the evidence that at least one of the leading voices of the House-Church Movement is making requirements of these things:

1) With respect to meeting exclusively in homes, Steve Atkerson says in his article entitled Interactive Meetings, "In short, we believe that the patterns for church life evident in the New Testament are not merely descriptive, but are actually prescriptive (2Th 2:15 , 1Co 11:2). Thus, we believe in home-based and sized fellowships...."

2) With respect to having completely open meetings that are interactive and spontaneous, with no one leading, Steve Atkerson says in the same article, "Holding church meetings in this spontaneous, interactive manner is in fact declared to be imperative according to 1 Corinthians 14:37, 'If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.' Thus, 1 Corinthians 14 is not merely descriptive of primitive church meetings. Rather, it is prescriptive of the way our Lord expects meetings of the whole church to be conducted."

3) With regard to eating the Lord's Supper as a part of a larger meal, in an article entitled The Lord's Supper - Feast or Famine?, Atkerson argues in the same way he has about the Apostolic tradition and meeting in homes: "Why would anyone want to depart from the way Christ and His apostles practiced the Lord’s Supper? The apostles clearly were pleased when churches held to their traditions (1Co 11:2) and even commanded that they do so (2Th 2:15 ). We have no authorization to deviate from it."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Doctrinal Testimony Regarding Recent Errors

Mid-America Reformed Seminary has released a Doctrinal Testimony Regarding Recent Errors, a document in which the Board of Trustees and faculty declare that they "humbly but resolutely stand against the theological errors now current, propagated by certain teachings of what has become known as the Federal Vision, by certain teachings of what has become known as the New Perspective on Paul, and by certain teachings of other individuals and theological movements" (p.6).

The document includes discussion of errors with regard to the covenant of works, the covenant of grace, law and gospel, merit, baptism and church membership, paedocommunion, justification by faith, and assurance of salvation and perseverance of the saints.

As a Reformed Baptist, I of course cannot agree with every position espoused in the document. For example, I think it is inconsistent of them to adhere to paedobaptism and yet to deny paedocommunion, without seeing that the arguments they employ against paedocommunion are essentially the same at key points as those they condemn in Baptists with regard to paedobaptism. However, I am glad to see that on more essential points the folks at Mid-America are standing firm against the egregious errors of Federal Vision theology and the New Perspective on Paul.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Only Three Republican Presidential Candidates Do Not Believe in Evolution

Although it is sad that only three of the Republican presidential candidates in a recent debate said that they do not believe in evolution, I still have to admit being surprised that there were that many.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Journey in God's Sovereignty

The most recent of Dr. Richard Belcher's Journey Series of theological novels should be of great help to many who are wondering about the debate over Calvinism versus Arminianism, especially for those Baptists unacquainted with the history of their own tradition.

A Journey in God's Sovereignty is the fourteenth in this series of truly helpful and informative books. Dr. Belcher has found a way to teach theology that is engaging and helps the reader not only to learn theology but to see how important theology really is for one's spiritual growth and daily life. By the grace of God Dr. Belcher has helped many, many believers come to a deeper appreciation for and desire to learn Biblical doctrine. Here is the description of A Journey in Sovereignty from the Richbarry Press website:
Arminianism! Calvinism! True Calvinism! Moderate Calvinism! Modified Calvinism! Hyper-Calvinism! These are all theological terms being used today to speak of various systems of theology. And one of the central issues of all of these systems seems to be the attempt to define the sovereignty of God in relationship to man in his fallen state, as one who still possesses a will. Is there any theological doctrine more difficult and problematical than dealing with the subject of the sovereignty of God in relationship to the will of man and its responsibility before God? Is man's will free or is it enslaved? If God is sovereign, then how can man be responsible? If man is free, then how can God be sovereign?

This is the theme of the present journey book - God's sovereignty over all things. Ira Pointer and Dink find themselves in serious trouble at the seminary where they teach, because of this doctrine. They face the possible loss of their jobs, simply because the board of trustees and others do not understand these truths nor the doctrinal history of their own denomination.
I look forward to the forthcoming A Journey in Evangelism and Missions, and I will let you all know when it becomes available.