Thursday, December 29, 2016
I also highly recommend Jeff's book The Church: Why Bother? In fact, it is a good book to give to friends or other people in your church.
See also: The Church: Why Bother? by Jeff Johnson and episodes of the Confessing Baptist podcasts here and here.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Teaching Notes on the Importance of the Virgin Birth, and I hope our readers found the post helpful. Today, as we look forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior this week, I would like to recommend a similar post by Bob Gonzales entitled What Child Is This? The Virgin Birth. Here is the introduction to the article:
In light of the approach of Christmas—a time when Christians celebrate the incarnation of Christ—I’d like to highlight the reality and importance of the virgin birth, or more properly, the virgin conception of Jesus Christ. Until recently, the virgin birth has been acknowledged as an important doctrine of the Christian faith. The early church fathers, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene and Chalcedon Creeds, the Lutheran Augsburg Confession, the Reformed Belgic Confession, the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, and the Westminster Confession of Faith all bear witness to the church’s faith in the virgin birth.
However, in recent years some Bible scholars have questioned the veracity and challenged the importance of this doctrine. Some within the church no longer believe it to be true.In response to this growing problem, Bob goes on to demonstrate the importance of this doctrine from three Scriptural witness: Isaiah (7:14), Matthew (1:18-25), and Luke (1:26-27, 34-35; 3:23). After a brief exegesis of these passages, Bob then offers four reasons why the doctrine of the virgin birth is so important:
1. The virgin birth of Christ fosters faith in the incarnation of His divine nature and the moral purity of His human nature.
2. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ reminds us that God must initiate man’s salvation.
3. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ calls for our commitment to the supernaturalism of Christianity.
4. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ tests the strength of our commitment to the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture.I highly recommend reading the article as you prepare to celebrate the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ this week. It will help you remember why the doctrine is so crucial, and it will help you prepare to share this important truth with friends and loved ones who need to ehar it.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
I now have a book to recommend in almost every counseling situation—Feelings and Faith by Brian S. Borgman. Emotions cannot be dismissed, avoided, or minimized when exhorting and counseling others. Emotions and feelings must be addressed when dealing with marriage problems, addictions, and every other sinful behavior. We cannot obey God without managing our emotions. In fact, emotion control is a vital part of godliness. Borgman has done well in rightly assessing the proper place of emotions in both theology and in our personal behavior. Our values and emotions cannot be separated, and thus to biblically realign our emotions we must realign our values in accordance to God’s glory. Thus, Borgman explains why we are accountable for our emotions and why we must submit every feeling to the Lordship of Christ. If you are depressed, anxious, fearful, and/or resentful, or seeking to counsel people with these emotional problems, then you would be greatly aided by this book.
Thursday, December 08, 2016
Eleven months ago we began a poll on the blog. If you identify yourself as a Reformed Baptist and you haven't already taken part in the poll, please check out the "What is a Reformed Baptist?" Poll on the right sidebar on this page (the red box with white type). The intention is to run the poll for one year with an interest in how the Reformed Baptist community might answer this question. I have given four options for answers that I think basically sum up the various groups or individuals that I have found to be using the term. Here are the four possible answers:
To regard oneself as a Reformed Baptist, one must ...1) adhere at a minimum to a Calvinistic soteriology.2) adhere at a minimum to a Calvinistic soteriology and to Covenant Theology.3) adhere substantially to the Baptist Confession of 1689 (e.g. modify regarding Impassibility).4) adhere strictly to the Baptist Confession of 1689.
For those interested, here are the results thus far:
13% say that one must adhere at a minimum to a Calvinistic soteriology in order to be regarded a Reformed Baptist.24% say that one must adhere at a minimum to a Calvinistic soteriology and to Covenant Theology in order to be regarded a Reformed Baptist.42% say that one must adhere substantially to the Baptist Confession of 1689 (e.g. modify regarding Impassibility) in order to be regarded a Reformed Baptist.21% say that one must adhere strictly to the Baptist Confession of 1689 in order to be regarded a Reformed Baptist.
Again, if you haven't yet taken part in the poll, please do so. You may read more about the poll here in order to understand better why it is phrased as it is.