Archive for ‘Apologetics’

January 23, 2017

The Book of Job and “The Problem of Evil” (Job 1:12)

20170101-acts-02_23-24-memeOn Sunday, January 1, 2017, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “The Book of Job and the Problem of Evil” from Job 1:12.

God is in sovereign control of all that happens, and all that happens brings glory to his name and good to his people.

1. The Problem of Pain—Pain is often the thing that brings us to the end of ourselves and drives us to Christ.

2. Not By A Bare Permission—Your present suffering God will use for his glory and your good if you trust in him, although you may never be freed from your suffering in this life.

3. God’s Solution to the Problem—Jesus Christ came to suffer so that you would not have to endure eternal suffering.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN to “The Book of Job and the Problem of Evil” (Job 1:12)

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November 9, 2016

An Introduction to Systematic Theology

intro-to-systematic-theology-coverStatus: Available

Book Description

The theological foundations of Van Til’s defense of the faith are set forth here as the unified system of truth to which believers are committed and with which nonbelievers need to be confronted.

Writes Van Til: “The Christian faith as a whole, as a unit, must be set over against the non-Christian faith as a whole. Piecemeal apologetics is inadequate, especially for out time. A Christian totality picture requires a Christian view of the methodology of science and philosophy, as well as a Christian view of theology.”

Thus Van Til explores the implications of Christian theology, particularly for philosophy, as he discusses epistemology, general and special revelation, and the knowledge and attributes of God.

Cornelius Van Til taught apologetics for more than forty-five years at Westminster Theological Seminary. This newly edited and typeset edition features an introduction and explanatory notes by William Edgar.

Cornelius Van Til

Cornelius Van Til

About the Author

Obituary: Cornelius Van Til–April 18, 1987

Dr. Cornelius Van Til, for 43 years professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and emeritus professor there since his retirement in 1972, died at the age of 91 on April 17, 1987. After an illness of several months, death came peacefully at his long-time residence near the campus. A memorial service will be held at Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Glenside, PA (where he worshipped for the last 40 years) on Wednesday, April 29, 8:00 pm.

Van Til was born on May 3, 1895, in Grootegast, The Netherlands. He was the sixth son of Ite and Klazina Van Til, who emigrated to the United States when “Kees,” as he was known to friends, was 10. He grew up helping on the family farm in Highland, Indiana. He went on to receive an advanced education when he saw the need to meet unbelief on its own ground and in the most thorough terms. Years later he said, “Study was not easy for me. Having grown up on the farm I was used to weeding onions and carrots and cabbages. It was hard to adjust to classroom work; I had labored physically and my body was aching for that.” He was married to Rena Klooster in 1925 and they had one son, Earl, who died in 1983. Van Til is survived by a grand-daughter, Sharon Reed of Valencia, PA.

He was graduated from Calvin College (A.B., 1922), Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.B., 1924; Th.M., 1925) and Princeton University (Ph.D. 1927). He served as the pastor of the Christian Reformed Church in Spring Lake, MI, 1927-28 and was instructor of apologetics at Princeton Theological Seminary, 1928-29. He was professor of apologetics at Westminster, 1929-72. He held an honorary professorship at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, in 1938; the Th.D. (honoris causa) from the University of Potchefstroom, South Africa; and the D.D. from Reformed Episcopal Seminary, Philadelphia.

He was a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church from 1936 until his death. Van Til was also instrumental in the founding of Philadelphia-Montgomery Christian Academy, serving as the president of the board. Begun in September 1942, the school now has over 700 students, K-12, on campuses in three Philadelphia communities: Roxborough, Dresher and Erdenheim.

Van Til’s published writings include The New Modernism (Presbyterian & Reformed, 1946), The Defense of the Faith (P&R, 1955) and Christianity and Barthianism (P&R, 1962), plus several syallabi and numerous reviews and articles. He was joint editor of Philosophia Reformata, a quarterly devoted to Calvinistic philosophy. A festschrift, Jerusalem and Athens, edited by E. R. Geehan with contributions by Hendrik G. Stoker, Herman Dooyeweerd, J. I. Packer, Paul K. Jewett, Arthur Holmes and others, was published on his 75th birthday (P&R, 1971).

He is perhaps best known for the development of a fresh approach to the task of defending the Christian faith. Although trained in traditional methods he drew on the insights of fellow Calvinistic philosophers Vollenhoven and Dooyeweerd to formulate a more consistently Christian methodology. His apologetic focused on the role of presuppositions, the point of contact between believers and unbelievers, and the antithesis between Christian and non-Christian worldviews.

In an interview with Christianity Today (December 30, 1977) he said, “There are two ways of defending the faith. One of these begins from man as self-sufficient and works up to God, while the other begins from the triune God of the Scriptures and relates all things to him. . . . The traditional ideas of trying to find some neutral, common ground on which the believer and unbeliever can stand are based on the notion that man is autonomous . . . [yet] Paul says, all men, knowing God, hold down this knowledge in unrighteousness. . . . [This knowledge] is the only basis man has on which he can stand, to know himself, to find the facts of his world and learn how to relate them to one another. Without the Creator-God-Redeemer of Scripture the universe would resemble an infinite number of beads with no holes in any of them, yet which must all be strung by an infinitely long string.”

One of Van Til’s students, T. Grady Spires, now professor of philosophy at Gordon College, Wenham MA, says of him, “Every student of Van Til can instantly recall the characteristic Van Tillian blackboard graffiti: the foremost symbols being two circles, a big one for the creator, the other for creation with no ontological bridge between. The entire history of philosophy or Christian thought, including most heresy, would be strewn in names and phrases across the board. . . . The consumption of chalk and the whir of ideas were symptomatic of an excitement generated not from brilliant eruditions, though some of his skyrocketing digressions could be called that, but from the strong and systematic emphasis on the antithesis between a biblical world and life view and the several intellectual scientific versions of the carnal mind. Students began to see how far-reaching were the differences between believer and non-believer.”

Source: The Works of Cornelius Van Til, 1895-1987 (electronic ed.).
Copyright © Eric H. Sigward 1997

410 Pages
Publisher: P&R Publishing Company
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN 10: 0875527892
ISBN 13: 9780875527895

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

November 8, 2016

Paul’s Two-Age Construction and Apologetics

pauls-two-age-construction-coverStatus: Available

Book Description

“A revised version of Dennison’s TM. M. thesis in Apologetics directed by Harvie Conn and presented to the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (1985). The volume, which is dedicated to Cornelius Van Til, argues that Paul (incorporating the Vos-Ridderbos-Gaffin model of interpreting the Apostle) used the eschatological two-age construction as the framework for a Christian apologetic. After surveying Plato’s writings and Jewish apocalyptic literature as background to discussing the topic, it analyzes Paul’s formulation of the two-age construction, considers antithetical wisdom in I Corinthians 1-3, and reflects upon the apologetic significance of the two ages in the context of the writings of the Apostle Paul, Vos, and Van Til.”

img_3245

Dr. William D. Dennison

About the Author

William D. Dennison is presently Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain, GA. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Interdisciplinary Studies (Theology, Philosophy, History) in 1992. He received both a Masters of Theology (1980) and Masters of Divinity (1976) degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. He received his undergraduate degree in Bible and Philosophy from Geneva College in 1973. Dr. Dennison is also a teaching elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

130 Pages
Publisher: Wipf & Stock
Publication Date: 1985
ISBN: 1579104355

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

October 13, 2016

Proof Positive (John 20:11-18)

Podcast Art JohnOn Sunday, October 2, 2016, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “Proof Positive” from John 20:11-18.

Just as Mary testified to the resurrection of Jesus, we the church must also testify, and God will use us as he used her and others in the early church, to draw sinners to himself.

1. Messengers of Hope—The presence of the angels hints at the fact that Jesus’s tomb is empty because he rose from death and walked out.

2. Whom Are You Seeking?—Do you seek one to take away your earthly problems, or a Savior and Lord who saves you from the wrath of his Father for your sins?

3. I Have Seen the Lord—If God can use Mary and the early church to testify to Christ’s resurrection and ascension, then he can use you, too.

Listen to “Proof Positive” (John 20:11-18) at mcopc.org.

October 5, 2016

Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century

christianity-in-crisis-21st-century-coverStatus: Checked Out

Book Description:

Nearly two decades ago Hank Hanegraaff’s award-winning Christianity in Crisis alerted the world to the dangers of a cultic movement within Christianity that threatened to undermine the very foundation of biblical faith. But in the 21st century, there are new dangers—new teachers who threaten to do more damage than the last.

These are not obscure teachers that Hanegraaff unmasks. We know their names. We have seen their faces, sat in their churches, and heard them shamelessly preach and promote the false pretexts of a give-to-get gospel. They are virtual rock stars who command the attention of presidential candidates and media moguls. Through make-believe miracles, urban legends, counterfeit Christs, and twisted theological reasoning, they peddle an occult brand of metaphysics that continues to shipwreck the faith of millions around the globe:

“God cannot do anything in this earthly realm unless we give Him permission.”

“Keep saying it—‘I have equality with God’—talk yourself into it.”

“Being poor is a sin.”

“The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews!”

“You create your own world the same way God creates His. He speaks, and things happen; you speak, and they happen.”

Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century exposes darkness to light, pointing us back to a Christianity centered in Christ.

From the Preface:

“Having lost the ability to think biblically, postmodern Christians are being transformed from cultural change agents and initiators into cultural conformists and imitators. Pop culture beckons, and postmodern Christians have taken the bait. As a result, the biblical model of faith has given way to an increasingly bizarre array of fads and formulas.”

hank-hanegraaffAbout the Author:

Hank Hanegraaff is host of The Bible Answer Man, heard daily throughout the United States and Canada. He is president of the Christian Research Institute and author of many bestselling books, including The Prayer of Jesus and The Apocalypse Code

Pages: 432
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: March 3, 2009
ISBN: 0849900069

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

April 3, 2016

Inspiration and Authority of the Bible

Inspiration and Authority CoverStatus: Checked Out 

Book Description

If the Bible is written by fallible human beings, how can its words convey divine revelation? Perhaps the greatest challenge of Warfield’s lifetime was the modernist skepticism of biblical inspiration and authority. Modern biblical scholars showed that textual and linguistic analysis proved the human authorship of the Bible, and from there proceeded to strip miracles of their power, texts of their authenticity, and God of his historical intervention in the lives of individuals. Warfield responded to modernist and higher biblical critics by showing that intellect of the biblical authors not only remained fully operational and engaged, but that God also worked through human words and texts to convey divine revelation.

B. B. Warfield’s volume on divine revelation and biblical inspiration defined the parameters of the twentieth century understanding of biblical infallibility, inerrancy, and the trustworthiness and authority of Scripture. He pioneered a view of biblical inspiration and authority which remains widely held today by many Reformed and evangelical Christians. Revelation and Inspiration contains ten of Warfield’s most influential articles on the subject, as well as two appendices—one on the divine origin of the Bible and the other on the canonicity of the New Testament.

Source: Monergism.com

BB Warfield

Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851-1921)

About the Author

Pastor, biblical scholar, and eminent theologian, Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield was born near Lexington, Kentucky in 1851. He studied at the College of New Jersey and afterwards enrolled as a student at Princeton Theological Seminary. He completed his seminary degree in 1876, and afterwards spent two additional years of study abroad under leading European theological tutors. After returning to America, Warfield served as pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Maryland (1877-78). In 1878 he accepted a call to serve as a Professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, where he remained for the next nine years.

Following the sudden and premature death of A. A. Hodge in 1887, Warfield accepted the call to Princeton and began a distinguished teaching and publishing career that would conclude with his death in 1921. Warfield was a competent linguist and gifted exegete; his studies in textual transmission and the related field of biblical criticism provided a strong scriptural foundation for his work as Professor of Polemic and Didactic Theology at Princeton. Warfield’s individual mastery of theological encyclopedia represents the highpoint in the history of the gifted faculty who helped establish Princeton’s reputation for profound scholarship and eminent piety.

Warfield devoted his life to meticulous research, learned and pious publications, and caring for his invalid wife, Annie Pierce Kinkead, who he had married in 1876. She had suffered severe nervous trauma when they had been caught in a violent thunderstorm while walking in the Harz mountains in Germany not long after their marriage. Warfield’s domestic responsibilities limited his involvement in denominational activities and travels beyond Princeton. His time spent in study, however, paid rich dividends of lasting value for the Christian church through the steady stream of articles, reviews, lectures, collections of sermons, and monographs that flowed from his pen. Several of his books are published by the Trust: Counterfeit Miracles, Faith and Life, Biblical Doctrines, The Saviour of the World, and Studies in Theology.

Warfield sought to perform his work at Princeton as a continuation of the spirit and theological contours of Charles Hodge’s legacy. As editor of The Princeton Review for over twenty years, he helped re-establish the journal as a major presence in the world of theological academia. As a theologian, Warfield’s efforts were often drawn to an apologetic defence of the reliability of the Scriptures and the intellectual truth claims of biblical doctrine. Scientific naturalism, theological liberalism, and the effects of autonomous human reason were all brought under the searchlight of Scripture and exposed for the different species of unbelief that they each were. Warfield’s evidentialist approach to biblical apologetics places emphasis on the facts of divine revelation and the ability of the human mind to interpret the data in a way that should lead to responsive faith, but never at the expense of omitting the need for the work of the Holy Spirit in illumination and regeneration for the data to be properly interpreted and Christ embraced with genuine saving faith.

[Based upon James Garretson’s short memoir of Warfield in Princeton and the Work of the Christian Ministry, Volume 2.]

Source: Banner of Truth Trust

Book Details

446 Pages
Publisher: P&R Publishing Company
Publication Date: 1948
ISBN 10: 087552527X
ISBN 13: 9780875525273

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

March 21, 2016

The New Perspective on Paul

NT Wright

N.T. Wright, leading proponent of the New Perspective on Paul. HT: Pastor John Keller Blog

On Sunday, January 31, 2016, Pastor Joe Troutman introduced to the adult Sunday School class the recent theological movement among some modern liberal theologians called the New Perspective on Paul and how it pertains to the doctrine of justification.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.(Romans 5:1-2 ESV)

Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith–just as Abraham “believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness”? (Galatians 3:5-6)

Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A #33:

Q. What is justification?

A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.

The New Perspective on Paul and the Federal Vision are two theological movements, the former a liberal movement and the latter a conservative movement, which share a few common emphases. Firstly, they share a common emphasis on “justification by faithfulness.” The orthodox Protestant doctrine of justification is that faith is the instrument by which one receives justification which is grounded on the faithfulness (i.e., the perfect righteousness) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Another common emphasis shared by the two movements is a lack of distinction between what the Reformed Confessions and Catechisms call the “visible church,” comprised of all, whether elect or non-elect, who profess faith in Christ and their children, and the “invisible church,” comprised of “the whole number of the elect.” Finally, the idea of “keeping covenant” is another shared emphasis between the heresies of the Federal Vision and the New Perspective on Paul.

The most well-known scholars who developed the New Perspective on Paul are Bishop N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn, and E.P Sanders. These assert that the Protestant understanding of Justification by Faith Alone is the result of Martin Luther’s reading his personal experience in sixteenth century Roman Catholicism back into his reading of Second Temple Judaism. They say he did this by projecting Roman Catholic legalism back onto the Jews and the Christian Judaizers in his reading of the books of Romans and Galatians. Sanders, Wright and Dunn counter the great Protestant Reformer’s reading of Romans and Galatians by asserting that Second Temple Judaism held to a view which the scholars have called “Covenantal Nomism.” Their definition of “Covenantal Nomism” is that one demonstrates that he is in the covenant by keeping the law. By this definition, they deny Luther’s application of this idea to soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), asserting that it only applies to ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church).

To learn more about the New Perspective on Paul, please read the Report on Justification, which may be found at the website for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Listen to “The New Perspective on Paul” at mcopc.org.

February 1, 2016

The Battle Belongs to the Lord:The Power of Scripture for Defending Our Faith

Battle Belongs to the Lord CoverStatus: Available

Publisher’s Description

Apologetics is not just for philosophers. We all need wisdom for defending our faith. This book equips us to answer unbelief by means of our most powerful weapon.

Hoping “to get us to open our Bibles again when we think about apologetics,” K. Scott Oliphint probes six Scripture texts on the subject. He summarizes their message as follows:

Since Christ is Lord, and the battle is his, we are always ready to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

We are to use the weapons, not of this world, but of the Lord.

We are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ as we demolish the arguments, with gentleness and reverence, of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, exchanging the truth of God for a lie, worshipping created things, rather than the Creator.

Includes study questions for each chapter.

Oliphint K Scott

Dr. K. Scott Oliphint

About the Author

 

K. Scott Oliphint is Professor of Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He is the leading authority on Van Tillian Apologetics. He is author of Reasons for Faith: Philosophyin the Service of Theology, The Consistency of Van Til’s Methodology,Cornelius Van Til and the Reformation of Christian Apologetics; coauthorof Christian Apologetics Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader, If I Should Die Before I Wake: Help for Those Who Hope for Heaven, Things That Cannot Be Shaken: Holding Fast to Your Faith in a Relativistic World, and editor of Justified in Christ: God’s Plan for Us in Justification, and The Defense of the Faith, 4th Edition.

208 Pages

Publisher: P&R Publishing Company
Publication Date: December 2003

ISBN 10: 087552561X
ISBN 13: 9780875525617

Source: WTS Books

January 27, 2016

In Defense of the Eschaton: Essays in Reformed Apologetics

Status: Checked Out

In Defense of the Eschaton CoverBook Description

In Defense of the Eschaton is an anthology of William D. Dennison’s essays on the Reformed apologetics of Cornelius Van Til. Written over the course of Dennison’s many years of study, the chapters in this volume investigate Van Til’s theory of knowledge, revelation, common grace, antithesis, Christian education, and the history of ideas, as well as examine key Scriptures to identify the redemptive-historical structure of a biblical apologetic method.

In the end, Dennison finds that Reformed apologetics must take eschatology seriously. According to the New Testament, the believer has been transferred by faith in Christ into the final stage of history. As a citizen of heaven, the Christian apologist must defend the eschaton of the age to come against the satanic attacks of this present world.

About the Author

William Dennison

Dr. William Dennison

William D. Dennison (MDiv, ThM, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Michigan State University) is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Covenant College and Visiting Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Northwest Theological Seminary. He is the author of Paul’s Two-Age Construction and Apologetics (Wipf and Stock, 2000), A Christian Approach to Interdisciplinary Studies (Wipf and Stock, 2007), The Young Bultmann (Peter Lang, 2008), and Karl Marx (P&R, forthcoming).

About the Editor

James Douglas Baird (BA, Covenant College) is Content Strategist at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He was the founding Head Editor of the online philosophy journal, Mountaintop Thoughts, and is a contributor to Reformed Forum.

Paperback, 238
Publisher: Wipf and Stock
Publication Date: October 2015

ISBN 10: 1498226337
ISBN 13: 9781498226332

November 5, 2015

B.B. Warfield Memorial Lecture Series (Anthology CD)

Warfield Lectures CDStatus: Available

CD Description

Throughout the history of the Church, the great doctrines of the faith were forged in the fires of debate as in Pelagius & Augustine, Luther & Erasmus, Calvin & Eck, and Whitefield & Wesley. The goal of this debate and lecture series is to promote the exchange and examination of the great historic doctrines of the Church; foster a corporate sense of the relevance of the Christian faith and Reformed theology to our culture; and challenge the individual believer to connect with the historic Christian faith and the Church.

Messages from the B.B. Warfield Memorial Lecture series feature the following topics:

Pentecost and the Work of the Holy Spirit Today by Richard Gaffin
Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, and Edwards by Iain Murray
Revival and Revivalism by Iain Murray
A Biblical Theology of Worship by Daniel Block
Unsought Gifts: Christian Suffering by Mark Talbot
Will the Church go through the End-Time Tribulation? by Gregory Beale
John Calvin and the Protestant Reformation by Carl Trueman
The Christian, His Witness, and Defending the Faith by Scott Oliphint

33 MP3 messages on 1 CD

CD Details:

SKU: M-BBWA
Publisher: Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
Publish Date: 2015
33 MP3 messages on 1 CDs

Source: Reformed Resources

Library patrons who listen to this CD are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.