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Showing posts from February, 2016

The Perseverance of the Saints: Rome v Reformed

Posted at The Reformed Reader : On December 13, 1545, the first session of the Council of Trent took place under Pope Paul III. This council was an official council of the Roman Catholic church which met to discuss, among other things, the teachings of the Reformation – the teachings which most Roman Catholics of the day considered heretical. Obviously there is a lot to discuss about the Council of Trent, but in this blog post I simply want to focus on the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints which the Reformers taught and Rome rejected. Here’s Canon 16 of the Sixth Session of the Council : “If anyone says that he will for certain, with an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance even to the end, unless he shall have learned this by a special revelation, let him be anathema [accursed].” The Reformed teaching, later agreed upon in the Confessions ( Reformed and Presbyterian ) can be summarized by these words from the Canons of Dort (Article 5

February 28: The National Covenant of Scotland

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Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : Scotland’s Covenant with God. The intense emotions of many Scot Presbyterians that day became irrepressible. Some wept aloud; some burst into a shout of exultation; some, after their names, added the words unto death; and some opening a vein, subscribed with their own warm blood. Whatever was the Rev. W. M. Hetherington referring to in these stirring words, in his book “ History of the Church of Scotland ”? (see page 155). In one phrase, it was that of our title. Presbyterians of Scotland began the historic signing of the National Covenant with God at Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh on February 28, 1638 . Read more here... See also: The National Covenant and Civil War (BBC) HT: Scotch Irish (Facebook)

March Devotionals—Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History

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Slemish , County Antrim   By Aaron Dunlop - Posted at thinkGospel.com : In the early part of March considerable attention is given to the memory of St. Patrick in the run-up to the celebrations on the 17th March. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are now a worldwide phenomenon and growing every year. Irish mythology is brought to life in the streets of many cities as green-coloured leprechauns parade under green bunting and drink green beer. City fountains bubble up with green water, major rivers run green, and multitudes sport shamrocks and green face paint. It is just another opportunity for a shindig, an Irish pastime! Most of what is commonly believed about Patrick is false. He never chased the snakes out of Ireland, never mentioned the Church in Rome in his writings, and was never officially canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic historians have to admit that there is no satisfactory proof that he was ever sent from Rome. However, setting aside all the myth and

Why our good works cannot be part of our righteousness before God.

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 24. Lord's Day   Q. 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God?  A. Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, (a) and in all respects conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin. (b)   (a) Gal.3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Election Day Sermon: Rev. Samuel Payson

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Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : The Rev. Samuel Phillips Payson (1736-1801) was a classical scholar and Pastor. His family migrated from England, and his father was a pastor before him; his wife was also a daughter of the manse. He graduated from Harvard in 1754 and pastored in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He delivered this sermon on February 28, 1778 to a State Convention in Boston just before the state constitution was considered. Payson took this sermon from Gal. 4:26 and 31. He began praising liberty: “We doubt not but the Jerusalem above, the heavenly society, possesses the noblest liberty to a degree of perfection of which the human mind can have no adequate conception in the present state.” He also denounced bondage, corruption, tyranny, and lust. Payson preached, “Hence a people formed upon the morals and principles of the gospel are capacitated to enjoy the highest degree of civil liberty, and will really enjoy it, unless prevented by force or fraud.” In this

1570 – The Excommunication of Elizabeth I

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Posted at The Anne Boleyn Files : The Lady Elizabeth in about 1546, by an unknown artist Wikipedia On 25th February 1570, Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was excommunicated by Pope Pius V. Here is the text of the Regnans in Excelsis, the papal bull, which was then published and copied in the months following: “The Damnation and Excommunication of Elizabeth Queen of England and her Adherents, with an Addition of other punishments  Pius Bishop, Servant to God’s Servants, for a perpetual memorial of the matter. Read more...

Rev. Charles Tennent: A Plain, Good Minister of the Gospel

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By David T. Myers - Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : Our subject this day is Charles Tennent. Some readers might respond with, “Don’t you mean WilliamTennent, founder of the Log College?”. Or, of course you meant to say, “Gilbert Tennent,” the Presbyterian firebrand in the New Side, Old Side Presbyterian schism of the mid 18th century in the colonies? While both of these more Tennent’s were better known, and relatives of our subject, we wish to think on the Rev. Charles Tennent today. Charles Tennent was born in Colerain, Ireland on May 3, 1711 in the home of a Presbyterian pastor by the name of William Tennent. At the tender age of seven, he emigrated to the American colonies with his parents and three brothers. Like the rest of the children, he was home schooled as well as received his theological training at the famous Log College. Graduating from there, he entered the Presbyterian ministry, becoming the pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Whiteclay Creek, Delaware.

Review: The Flow of the Psalms by O. Palmer Robertson

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Posted at The Domain for Truth : Before I read this book I didn’t know what to make of the way the Psalms were laid out which was largely due to my own personal difficulty in discerning the reason for the Psalms’ arrangement. This book convinced me that there is definitely a flow in the Psalter. It is packed with a lot of information, that even after I finished reading it I realized I probably have forgotten a lot more than I could remember. I think it is worth purchasing even as a reference which I plan to use in this manner in the future whenever I study or preach from the Psalms. According to the author the purpose of book 1-5 of the Psalms can be summarized as Confrontation, Communication, Devastation, Maturation and Consummation. The overarching theme of Book 1 of the Psalms is confrontation in which David confronts a multitude of enemies as he goes about trying to establish God’s kingdom. This struggle continues in book two but now with a new focus of communications with

The Kingdom of God’s Sovereign Grace

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Posted at thinkGospel.com : Understanding the kingdom of God is fundamental to our understanding and enjoyment of the gospel. Salvation—the new birth—is an entrance into the kingdom (John 3:3) which we are commanded to “seek first” and before the things of this world (Matthew 6:33). However simple these truths may be in relation to salvation, the broader teaching of the kingdom theme gets a little more complicated the deeper you dig. We are taught to pray that God’s kingdom would “come” (Luke 11:2), and we are waiting for it (Revelation 11:15), and yet we are told that the kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21). Furthermore, we believe that the King is on His throne, and yet we can see that all things are not yet under His feet (Hebrews 2:8). On the surface many of these kingdom aspects seem self-contradictory and rather confusing. How can we pray that the kingdom would “come” if it was “at hand” two thousand years ago when Jesus was on earth? If we are already in the kingdom (i.e., bee

Rev. Francis D. Cummins, D.D.

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Bethel Church (PCA) Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : Bethel’s Second Pastor, 1782 – 1789 Bethel Presbyterian Church, in Clover, South Carolina, ranks as one of the oldest churches in the PCA, having been founded in 1764. Francis D. Cummins was Bethel’s second pastor serving from 1782 – April 17, 1789 He was born in 1752 near Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. His parents were Charles Cummins and Rebecca McNickle Cummins who were from Northern Ireland. When Francis Cummins was in his 19th year, his family moved to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The neighboring college, then Queens Museum, afforded him the opportunity for his higher education. It was there that he graduated about the year 1776. Francis Cummins was an active and zealous Patriot in the Revolutionary War. He was present at the reading of the Mecklenburg Declaration in 1775. After leaving college he was engaged chiefly in the business of teaching. He was for several years a preceptor at Clio Academy, a respec

Righteous Before God

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 23. Lord's Day  Q. 59. But what does it profit thee now that thou believest all this?  A. That I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life. (a)  (a) Hab.2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Rom.1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.  Q. 60. How

A Dying Man's Regrets

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Adolphe Monod - Wikipedia Posted at Grace Gems : "I regret having regulated my life too much upon my own plans — I mean upon my plans of faithfulness and Christian sanctification — and not more simply upon the plan that the Lord unfolds before each of us..." by Adolphe Monod (1802—1856) 1. The Secret of a Holy, Active, and Peaceful Life 2. The Use of Time 3. Prayer 4. Concern About Trifling Interests ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. The Secret of a Holy, Active, and Peaceful Life January 13, 1856 My dearly beloved in the well-beloved of the Father, I thank God who again allows me to address you in His name, for your encouragement and for my own consolation; but I have great need that you have with me the patience of God, "with whom we are accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not." My declining strength neither allows me to turn nor to raise myself, and it is only in this reclining position that I can

1688: James Renwick, to end the Killing Time

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Posted at ExecutedToday.com : Though none of the crowd that thronged Edinburgh’s Grassmarket this day in 1688 could know it, that date’s execution of minister James Renwick would make to the Killing Time , the great 1680s persecutions that scattered martyrs’ bones  across Highland and Lowland. Renwick, at any rate, was the last of many Covenanters who submitted to the public executioner; only a few months yet remained when officers in the field were empowered to force an oath of abjuration upon suspected dissidents, on pain of summary death in the field. By year’s end, the absolutist Catholic King James II — with whose brother and predecessor the movement had such a tortured history — fled to exile as the Glorious Revolution brought the Protestant  William of Orange to power: royal recognition of Scottish Presbyterianism ensued.* Monument to Renwick at his native Moniaive. (cc) image by Scott Hill . Read more...

Book Review: Black and Reformed

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By Jesse Johnson - Posted at The Cripplegate : A common push-back against the doctrine of God’s sovereignty (Calvinism/reformed soteriology) is: “What about a good person who doesn’t believe in Jesus? Did God want that person to go to hell?” That is perhaps the most frequent objection that I’ve run into when talking about these doctrines with other Christians. But for many African-Americans that is not the most common question. The most common objection might be more along the lines of: “How can God be sovereign over a nation that practiced slavery, especially when many of the slave owners and traders claimed the name of Christ?” In other words, if you think you have a hard time answering an objection about God’s sovereignty over the death of someone’s great-grandmother, try answering that objection when it touches someone’s entire culture. This is why there is a need for a book written particularly about the doctrines of God’s sovereignty and how African-Americans should und

Honest John Hart

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Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : Honest John Hart — February ?, 1713 by Rev. David T. Myers There is much which we don’t know about Honest John Hart, as he was known by all. For example, no one seems to know the date of his birth. We know that it was the second month of the year, but the exact day is unknown. So for the purposes of this web magazine, we have chosen this day. Some don’t even know the year of his birth, though we have placed down the generally accepted year of 1713. And as far as the place of his birth, that too is not known. Some say John Hart was born in Connecticut, and others say New Jersey. But what this humble man accomplished for his new country and especially for the Lord God is well known. His chief accomplishment was that John Hart was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, representing the State of New Jersey. And like his fellow delegate John Witherspoon, who signed the Declaration, John Hart was also a Presbyte

A Broken Spirit; A Broken and a Contrite Heart

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Posted at The Christian's Report: The following excerpt from John Bunyan’s book, The Acceptable Sacrifice ,contrasts the difference between how God and the world receive a broken spirit and a contrite heart. If you, dear reader, are suffering this day with a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, I pray that this short excerpt would encourage you during this difficult time. ‘THE SACRIFICES OF GOD ARE A BROKEN SPIRIT: A BROKEN AND A CONTRITE HEART, O GOD, THOU WILT NOT DESPISE.’—Psalm 51:17 This psalm is David’s penitential psalm. It may be fitly so called, because it is a psalm by which is manifest the unfeigned sorrow which he had for his horrible sin, in defiling of Bathsheba, and slaying Uriah her husband; a relation at large of which you have in the 11th and 12th of the Second of Samuel. Read more... 

Spurgeon and Places of Entertainment

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Posted at MiddletownBibleChurch.org: WE HAVE GREAT reason to bless God for the rich mercies we have enjoyed as a church and people for many years, in the unity of the brotherhood, the zeal of the workers, the number of conversions, the success of all our enterprises, and the growth of the whole body. It is on my heart to say a word upon another subject—a subject which presses heavily upon my heart. I beseech you, by the mercies of God, and by the love of Christ Jesus your Lord, that as members of this church you do nothing which would grieve the Spirit of God, and cause Him to depart from among us. Remember how Israel suffered defeat because of Achan. One man only, and one family only, had broken the Divine rule, but that sufficed to trouble the whole camp. Achan had taken of the accursed thing and hidden it in his tent, and so all Israel had to suffer defeat. Churches, too, will suffer if sin becomes general among them and is allowed to go unrebuked. At this time many a church is

Resurrection of the Body

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 22. Lord's Day  Q. 57. What comfort does the "resurrection of the body" afford thee?  A. That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken up to Christ its head; (a) but also, that this my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and made like unto the glorious body of Christ. (b)  (a) Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt th

A Plan For Reforming Worship

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog: Let’s say that a pastor decided that he wanted to reform the worship services of his congregation toward the earlier Reformed pattern of singing God’s Word without musical instruments. How would he go about it? Though we’re working with a concrete example, this is really a larger question: how does a session/consistory lead a congregation toward Reformation? Where does the leadership begin? How long does might it take? How can a session/consistory lead a congregation to Reformation without fracturing the congregation in the process? Prayer Reformation is a spiritual business. It’s not just politics, i.e., the struggle for control, the struggle to get one’s own way. Sometimes when people write about making changes in church they forget prayer and go directly to strategizing. That is ironic because nothing is more spiritual than the act of worship. We need to begin by calling on our Triune God in the name of the Spirit, for the Hol

Communion Controversy

Carolina Covenanters (1801)

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Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : Some have heard of the small American denomination known as the Reformed Presbyterian Church and how they took a early stand against the practice of slavery. But few have read any of the story of what was involved, what it cost to take that stand, and the blessings that followed from their Scriptural obedience. It would make an interesting study, to ask how it was that this Church saw such near-unanimous obedience in standing true to the Scriptures and against the prevailing culture. I would argue that what we read here is the proper exercise of that doctrine known as the Spirituality of the Church, in which the Church exercises its God-given authority and effectively disciplines sin where it finds it. Our post today comes from the September 1875 issue of Our Banner, a publication of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. A Long Standing Testimony Extracts of Minutes of the Committee of the Reformed Presbytery, on the Su

Burning John Calvin in Indiana

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By James Faris - Posted at Gentle Reformation : Indiana celebrates its bicentennial of statehood this year. Amid all the various commemorations, it’s good to look at our theological roots; we’re still partly shaped by them. Indiana became the nineteenth state while the influence of the Second Great Awakening rippled northward from the Cane Ridge Revival (1801) in Kentucky. Arminianism took hold amid the fervor to take the gospel to the frontier; the reformed doctrine of John Calvin found little foothold by comparison. Some Presbyterians abandoned their reformed theology and became Cumberland Presbyterians as they migrated to the Hoosier state. Thousands more left Presbyterianism altogether and began the Stone-Campbell Movement or the Restoration Movement of the Disciples of Christ. Stronger still were Arminian Baptists who tended to minimize the importance of education and relied especially on emotion in their pleas to the unconverted. But the Methodists converted the state more

The Easter season – is this celebration Biblical?

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Posted at Pilgrim’s Progress revisited – a former Catholic on the narrow way : Galatians 4 8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. 1 Corinthians 11 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink

Zwingli and the 'Sausage Supper'

Posted at 5 Minutes in Church History with Stephen Nichols : On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History we’re going to go back to one of our favorite topics, the Reformation , and we’re going to talk about what I think is one of the most interesting events in all of church history. This is the famous sausage supper of 1522. Well we need to set the stage for you. Christopher Froschauer is the printer in the city of Zurich in Switzerland. The printer was a very prestigious person in the 16th century. This was a person of some wealth, a person of some influence and power, and a very respected citizen. Christopher Froschauer and his understudies and his apprentices had all been very busy. They just completed a new edition of Saint Paul’s epistles, and they wanted to celebrate. So they decided to have a sausage supper. Now, what we need to know is this was on a Friday, and it was in the spring, and it was during Lent. So yes, you can connect the dots here—this was not allowed ac

Lent: Of Good Intentions, Spiritual Disciplines, and Christian Freedom

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog: Carter Lindberg tells the story of how the Reformation began to break out in Zürich in 1522: During Lent of 1522, Zwingli was at the house of Christoph Froschauer, a printer, who was laboring over the preparation of the a new edition of the epistles of Paul. In order to refresh his dozen tired workers, Froschauer served sausages. Was it just a coincidence that the number of participants and the manner of distribution recalled the Lord’s Supper? This public breaking of the Lenten fast flouted both medieval piety and and ecclesiastical and public authority. The Zurich town council arrested Froschauer, but not Zwingli, who himself had not eaten the meat. Zwingli, who held the eminent post of people’s priest at the Great Minster church in Zurich, could have smoothed everything out. Instead he made a public issue of the incident by preaching a sermon, “On the Choice and Freedom of Foods” (23 March 1522), that was soon enlarged into a print

Of God The Holy Ghost (Continued)

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 21. Lord's Day  Q. 54. What believest thou concerning the "holy catholic church" of Christ?  A. That the Son of God (a) from the beginning to the end of the world, (b) gathers, defends, and preserves (c) to himself by his Spirit and word, (d) out of the whole human race, (e) a church chosen to everlasting life, (f) agreeing in true faith; (g) and that I am and forever shall remain, (h) a living member thereof. (i)  (a) Eph.5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth hi

Merchandising the Gospel

(35 Minutes) Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=18161914396

Of Cameronians and Seceders, The Difference Found Between Them

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Posted at Mint, Anise and the Cumin : Click here for full text of the Solemn League and Covenant . Every once in awhile I will get asked the question “What is the difference between Cameronian Covenanters and Seceders?” or I might get asked the question “What is a Seceder?”  In the year 1761 Cameronian Covenanters also known as the Continuing Societies, Hillmen, Sanquharmen, Reformed Presbyterians and yes even called militant radicals who were the original heirs to the Covenant and were the hardliners of the Covenant wrote a polemic against the Seceders in very explicit details within the Act, Declaration and Testimony of 1761. Seceders went on to become the Revolution Settlement Church while Cameronians remained separated in their own United Societies and where outside the Revolution Settlement Church.  Cameronians and Seceders agreed on many points and I count many Seceders today a dear friend but the following is a summary of the main difference between Cameronians and Seceders as i

Spiritual Stamina

(51 Minutes) Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=12216441420

Gilbert Tennent: Christian Home Training

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By Rev. David T. Myers - Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : Today in Presbyterian History we celebrate the birth of Gilbert Tennent. Subscribers to our posts will remember his name and history as the celebrated pastor-evangelist of the First Great Awakening in the American colonies. His name will always be remembered as the one who preached about the dangers of unconverted ministers. He both began and ended the New Side wing of the American Presbyterian church in the mid-seventeen hundreds. And he was born on this day, February 5, in County Armagh, Ireland, in the year 1703. He was to stay with his father and mother, William and Catherine Tennent, in Ireland for the first fourteen years, before the entire family emigrated to the American colonies, and specifically Pennsylvania, due to connections of a close family member of his mother. We read very little of his early life with the exception of the one great spiritual experience which brought him to Christ around the age

Children at the Lord’s Table?

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By Barry York - Posted at Gentle Reformation : Frequently I am asked by seminary students or pastors about the question of children and the Lord’s Supper. Several years ago, after some members asked questions about the teaching dubbed “paedocommunion” (the practice of allowing baptized children to come to the Lord’s Table without a necessary profession of faith), I sought to find help from others on the subject. I encountered an abundance of materials by those promoting paedocommunion, with titles such as Feed My Lambs or the even more emotively-labeled Daddy, Why Was I Excommunicated? Often those producing and promoting these books and messages were associated with the aberrant teachings of the Auburn Avenue Conferences and Federal Vision Theology. At the time, all I found on the historic, Reformed practice of requiring profession of faith before admission to the Lord’s Table were a few passing references in the confessions and theological books, and a helpful though somewhat

TULIP and the Doctrines of Grace

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By Dr. C. Matthew McMahon - Posted at A Puritan's Mind: The doctrines of grace are the best doctrines you will ever know or embrace – Jesus Christ’s Gospel is all of grace. These doctrines speak of God’s infinite Love and Mercy to His people. There are only two views concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ . First, there is what the modern church calls Calvinism, or more precisely, the doctrines of grace. Then, the second, we find varying degrees of unbelief. These are your two choice for or against the Gospel. The essential doctrines concerning salvation, which the Puritans and all good Christians cling to, are summed up in the acronym T.U.L.I.P. Total Depravity Unconditional Election Limited Atonement Irresistible Grace Perseverance of the Saints A tulip is a flower with intertwining petals, and without which, it would not make up a complete flower. If one petal is removed from the flower, it ceases, for all intents and purposes, to be complete. It is the

Puritan Preaching: The Pilgrim's Progress

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Image from MeetthePuritans.com By Bob McKelvey - Posted at Meet the Puritans : An awesome action pic! As I begin a mini-series on "Puritan Preaching," I want to begin with the image of the Puritan preacher from John Bunyan’s, The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678). This will serve as an enticing introduction to an approach that remains so relevant in the church today. But first, I have a confession to make. I once said that I would never get on Facebook. I quickly realized one of the reasons Facebook is so appealing to so many is, well, the “faces.” We love to look at pictures. I know that I enjoy seeing my friends, how the years have treated them, and how their children are growing. Hey, I like to see my new "friends" and become acquainted with them. So what does this have to do with Puritan preaching? I wonder what kind of pic you would share with other of your pastor as a preacher? I do not mean a digital image. The picture of which I speak is not a physical but

Are there any Accurate Pictures of Christ?

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Posted at Reformation Scotland : A New York Museum is being sued for displaying “racist whitewashed” paintings of Christ. Justin Renel Joseph claims that the paintings are offensive. They “depict the historical and public figure of Hebrew descent, Jesus Christ, as a blonde haired, fair-skinned, Aryan adult male”. But a Hebrew born then would not be “genetically disposed” to have those features. To Joseph, it is cultural theft, racism and an “extreme case of discrimination”. It is a matter of accuracy to him. Yet what would an accurate picture of Christ look like? The only genuine standard of accuracy is God’s Word. How can we make use of that? Joseph describes himself as a 33-year-old biracial male who is of Hebrew and African descent and is a Christian. He claims that Jesus had “black hair like wool and skin of bronze color” just like he himself has. The paintings caused him to feel “lowered self-esteem, discomfort, personal stress, emotional distress”. He also felt “rejected a