Archive for ‘Ecclesiology’

November 29, 2015

The Church of God as an Essential Element of the Gospel

The Church of God CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

For most readers, holding this new edition of The Church of God represents their first encounter with Stuart Robinson. By comparison, the major contributors to the ongoing discussion of Presbyterianism are readily recognized: the cornerstone Calvin, the Socratic Turretin, the erudite Bavinck, and the inexhaustible Bannerman. Thornwell defended church power in theory, but Robinson defined it in particulars. Hodge traveled the landscape of ecclesiology extensively, but Robinson traversed its terrain proficiently. Bannerman expounded Presbyterianism comprehensively, but Robinson explained it concisely. Although one can understand why historians give more attention to better known thinkers, Robinson was regarded as an equal among and by his contemporary Presbyterian ecclesiologists. He should be given his due when discussing the area of his recognized strength.

In recent years, ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church) has surged ahead of other loci of theology. Many works on ecclesiology have appeared in the developing academic areas of comparative and historical ecclesiology and in the ever-expanding postmodern theologies, particularly the Emergent wing. But not all of these contributions can be regarded as enriching. Despite apparent efforts to revive an ancient faith, some contemporary ecclesiologists betray an eclectic historical consciousness that tends to skip over the Reformation. Inserting The Church of God back into the ecclesiological narrative helps to address the existing need to become better acquainted with what has been said before—and, above all, with what has been said wisely.

Where some have seen weakness, Robinson saw strength. Calvin wedded his doctrine of the church to the doctrine of predestination. Some have viewed this as a serious ‘methodological error.’ But Robinson viewed it as a brilliant insight…In the unsearchable counsel of the triune God, the ‘ideal church’ lies anterior to the ‘actual church’ in the history of redemption, preeminently in the Abrahamic covenant. Reformed ecclesiology has been powerful and united because it has insisted on seeing the church in the big picture, through the perspective of God’s eternal decree, and consequently in the sweep of redemptive history. Taking this ‘ideal’ angle inevitably led Robinson to stress the centrality of Christology in ecclesiology and Christ’s ongoing ministry in his threefold office.

This volume was originally published in 1858 and has been retypeset and augmented to include a foreword by Dr. A. Craig Troxel and Thomas E. Peck’s “Memorial of the Life and Labors of the Rev. Stuart Robinson.”

Table of Contents

Introduction
Part I: The Relation of the Idea of the Church to the Eternal Purpose of Redemption
Part II: The Relation of the Idea of the Church to the Manifestation of the Divine Purpose as Revealed in the Scriptures
Part III: The Relation to the Idea of the Church of the Principles of Church Government Set Forth in Scripture
Part IV: The Relation to the Idea of the Church of the Ordinances of Worship Set Forth in Scripture
Concluding Observations
Appendix

The Church of God Cover

Stuart Robinson (1814-1881)

About the Author

Stuart Robinson graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1841. He was licensed and ordained by Greenbrier Presbytery and served pastorates in Malden (West Virginia), Frankfort (Kentucky), Baltimore, and Louisville. Robinson also taught at the Presbyterian Seminary in Danville, Kentucky from 1856-1858. Along with these pastoral and academic positions, Robinson edited the Presbyterial Critic, the True Presbyterian, and the Free Christian Commonwealth. In 1869 he was elected moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. After twenty-three years as pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Robinson died on October 3, 1881.

Craig TroxelAbout the Editor

A. Craig Troxel (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is the pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, Illinois, and serves as Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Troxel has contributed numerous articles to a variety of publications, including the Westminster Theological Journal, Calvin Theological Journal, New Horizons, and Modern Reformation

Source: WTS Books

Hardcover, 229 pages

Publisher: The Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

Publication Date(s): 1858, Reprinted 2009

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.

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November 25, 2015

God Transcendent

God Transcendent CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

J. Gresham Machen ‘was one of the most colourful and controversial figures of his time, and it is doubtful that in the ecclesiastical world of the twenties and thirties any religious leader was more constantly in the limelight’. Machen was a scholar, Professor at Princeton and Westminster Seminaries, church leader, apologist for biblical Christianity, and one of the most eloquent defenders of the faith in the twentieth century.

God Transcendent is a collection of Machen’s addresses. It shows, perhaps more clearly than any of his books, why he was such a great man. In these messages, Machen expounds the greatness and glory of God, the wonder and power of the gospel and the exhilaration of serving Christ in the front line of spiritual warfare.They show why Machen fought so tenaciously for biblical truth against error: ‘It is impossible to be a true soldier of Jesus Christ and not fight’.

This series of popular messages includes Machen’s famous address, “The Active Obedience of Christ,” delivered only weeks before his death on January 1, 1937.

Table of Contents:

Introduction
1. God Transcendent
2. Isaiah’s Scorn of Idolatry
3. The Fear of God
4. Sin’s Wages and God’s Gift
5. The Issue in the Church
6. The Letter and the Spirit
7. The Brotherhood in Christ
8. The Claims of Love
9. The Living Saviour
10. Justified by Faith
11. The Gospel and Modern Substitutes
12. The Separateness of the Church
13. Prophets False and True
14. The Good Fight of Faith
15. Constraining Love
16. The Creeds and Doctrinal Advance
17. Christ Our Redeemer
18. The Doctrine of the Atonement
19. The Active Obedience of Christ
20. The Bible and the Cross

J Gresham Machen

J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)

About the Author

John Gresham Machen was born at Baltimore on July 28, 1881, the middle of three sons born to a southern lawyer, Arthur Machen, whose brother had fought for the Confederates in the Civil War. Some time in his youth Machen came to a personal faith in Christ, but there was no dramatic conversion experience. In later years he was not even able to recall the date (4 January 1896) when he had publicly professed faith and become a church member in Franklin Street Presbyterian Church. He was educated at Johns Hopkins and Princeton Universities, Princeton Theological Seminary and the Universities of Marburg and Göttingen in Germany.

Machen taught at Princeton Seminary from 1906 until its reorganisation in 1929. Then he left to help found Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, where he served as professor of New Testament until his death from pneumonia on New Year’s Day, 1937. In 1936 Machen was instrumental with others in founding what became the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and was its first Moderator.

[See also Ned B. Stonehouse, J. Gresham Machen: A Biographical Memoir (Banner of Truth, 1987); Geoffrey Thomas, ‘J. Gresham Machen’, The Banner of Truth, No. 214 (July 1981), pp. 12-20 and Nos. 233-238 (February-July 1983) .]

Source: Banner of Truth Trust

Paperback, 206 pages

Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust

Publication Date(s):

1949 (Wm. B. Eerdman’s Edition)
1982 (First Banner of Truth Edition)
2002 (Banner of Truth Edition Reprinted)

ISBN: 0-85151-355-7

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.

September 25, 2015

The Creedal Imperative

Creedal ImperativeStatus: Available

The Creedal Imperative by Dr. Carl Trueman was the subject of our first ever DFW Reformation Conference, held on October 10-11, 2014 at Mid-Cities Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Trueman spoke on:
Why Creeds Are Biblical
Survey of Creeds from the Reformation
Usefulness of Creeds for Today

See also: “Reformation Creeds for Today—OPC DFW RefCon 2014 Audio & Picture Gallery” at The Misadventures of Captain Headknowledge

Book Description

Recent years have seen a number of high profile scholars converting to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy while a trend in the laity expresses an eclectic hunger for tradition. The status and role of confessions stands at the center of the debate within evangelicalism today as many resonate with the call to return to Christianity’s ancient roots. Carl Trueman offers an analysis of why creeds and confessions are necessary, how they have developed over time, and how they can function in the church of today and tomorrow. He writes primarily for evangelicals who are not particularly confessional in their thinking yet who belong to confessional churches – Baptists, independents, etc. – so that they will see more clearly the usefulness of the church’s tradition.

Dr. Carl Trueman speaking on "Reformation Creeds for Today" at DFW Reformation Conference 2014 at Mid-Cities Presbyterian Church

Dr. Carl Trueman speaking on “Reformation Creeds for Today” at DFW Reformation Conference 2014 at Mid-Cities Presbyterian Church

About the Author

Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of historical theology and church history and vice president for academic affairs at Westminster Theological Seminary. He was editor of Themelios for nine years, has written more than a dozen books, and has contributed to multiple publications, including the Dictionary of Historical Theology and The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology.

Book Details

205 Pages
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers
Publication Date: September 2012

Source: WTS Books

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.

May 1, 2015

Perspectives on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Perspectives on Pentecost CoverStatus: Available

Description

With exegetical depth, objectivity, and clarity Richard B. Gaffin examines prophecy and tongues and makes a case for the cessation of both gifts at the close of the apostolic era.

Pentecost is presented as integral to the once-for-all work of Christ and decisive for the life of the whole church. Dr. Gaffin’s biblical-theological perspective is thorough: he defines all the spiritual gifts generally; he clarifies the nature of prophecy and tongues and the question of their continuance in the church today; and he indicates how these exegetical studies bear on contemporary interest in charismatic gifts.

Perspectives on Pentecost dispels the emotionalism and confusion now surrounding the charismatic movement. It is a reliable study for all Bible students and an especially helpful handbook for those either associated with the charismatic movement or who must deal with or family members involved in tongues-speaking experiences.

About the Author

Richard GaffinRichard B. Gaffin, Jr. (ThM and ThD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is Emeritus Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He also is the author of Resurrection and Redemption (formerly The Centrality of the Resurrection): A Study in Paul’s Soteriology.

127 Pages
Publication Date: 1979
Publisher: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Company

April 22, 2015

Institutes of the Christian Religion (Battles Translation) (2 Volumes)

Institutes 02 CoverInstitutes 01 CoverStatus: Available

Publisher’s Description

This is the definitive English-language edition of one of the monumental works of the Christian church. Under Dr. McNeill’s personal supervision labored a whole corps of expert Latinists and Calvin scholars. All previous editions—in Latin, French, German, and English—have been collated; references and notes have been verified, corrected, and expanded; and new bibliographies have been added. The translator and his associates have taken great care to preserve the rugged strength and vividness of Calvin’s writing. They have not, however, hesitated to break up overly long sentences to conform to modern English usage or, whenever possible, to render heavy Latinate theological terms in simple language. The result is a translation that achieves a high degree of accuracy and at the same time is eminently readable.

Long recognized for the quality of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics provides scholars and students with modern English translations of some of the most significant Christian theological texts in history. Through these works–each written prior to the end of the sixteenth century–contemporary readers are able to engage the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and the church through the centuries.

John_Calvin_by_HolbeinAbout the Author

John Calvin (1509–64) was a prominent French theologian during the Protestant Reformation and the father of the theological system known as Calvinism. (from Theopedia.com).

About the Editor

John T. McNeill was an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. He taught at Westminster Hall; Queen’s University, Ontario; Knox College, Toronto; the University of Chicago; and Union Theological Seminary, New York. McNeill authored many books, and was one of the general editors of The Library of Christian Classics.

Book Details

2 Volumes | 1,822 Pages
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: January 1960

Source: WTS Books

April 8, 2015

The Glorious Body of Christ: A Scriptural Appreciation of the One Holy Church

Glorious Body of Christ Kuiper Cover

Status: Available

Publisher’s Description

“Glorious” is probably the last adjective most modern writers would use to describe the Christian Church. Yet R. B. Kuiper chose his title, The Glorious Body of Christ, advisedly, for he wished to emphasize what he believed to be a sadly neglected aspect of the subject, that the Church of Christ is glorious.

Dr. Kuiper, who died in 1966, was for many decades a teacher of theology, and his great concern was for the popular presentation of Christian doctrine. His own books went far to meet that need, including his God-Centred Evangelism (also published by the Trust) and For Whom Did Christ Die? on the extent of the atonement.

In addition to his vigorous and clear style, Kuiper is also noted for the comprehensive way in which he treats his subject. The Glorious Body contains no less than fifty-three chapters, and among the aspects of the subject dealt with are unity, the marks of the Church, the offices of the Church, its responsibilities and privileges, and the Church and the world.

Although this book is worthy of the widest possible circulation, it may be particularly commended as a manual for office-bearers in the Church.

Rienk Bouke Kuiper

Rienk Bouke Kuiper

About the Author

Rienk Bouke Kuiper was born in January 1886 in Garrelsweer in the Netherlands. His family moved to Grand Haven, Michigan in 1891 when his father accepted a call to be minister of the Christian Reformed congregation there. He was educated at the University of Chicago (A.B., 1907), Indiana University (A.M., 1908), Calvin Theological Seminary (diploma, 1911), and Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.B., 1912).

Kuiper married Marie Janssen in 1911; they had three children – Marietta, Klaudius and Kathryn, who died at the age of two. After graduating from Princeton, Kuiper served five western Michigan congregations (in the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America) over the next seventeen years, before becoming one of the founding faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (1929-30), as Professor of Systematic Theology.

The Synod of the Christian Reformed Church then persuaded him to accept the presidency of Calvin College in 1930, in which capacity he served until being called back to Westminster in 1933 as Professor of Practical Theology. Retiring from Westminster in 1952, he returned to Grand Rapids and then accepted the presidency of Calvin Theological Seminary for four years.

He passed away in April 1966, at the age of 80. One of his alumni, Edmund P. Clowney, said of him, at his funeral ,

”He taught men to preach only Scripture and Scripture in its entirety. The labour of his life exalted the Bible as the infallible Word of God. His lectures were filled with Scripture and his sermons opened the Word with reverence and simplicity. In this single-minded task he found no restraints, no confinement. Rather he found in Scripture the inexhaustible fountain of the whole counsel of God centring in Jesus Christ the Lord.”

Kuiper’s books include the following, published by the Trust: God-Centred Evangelism, The Glorious Body of Christ and While the Bridegroom Tarries.

Source: WTS Books

Book Details

384 Pages
Publisher: Banner of Truth
Publication Date: June 1967
ISBN 10: 0851513689
ISBN 13: 9780851513683

March 25, 2015

The Church (Contours of Christian Theology)

The Church Cover
Status
: Checked Out

Publisher’s Description

At a time in which the very word church sounds a tone of dull irrelevance, the doctrine of the church has suffered the studied neglect of many Christian leaders. The persistent demands to market, manage and grow the church and to meet the felt needs of churched and unchurched all threaten to quench theological reflection on the abiding nature and mission of the church. But few activities bear greater promise as a starting point for renewing and reshaping the Christian church than the work of theology.

In this book Edmund Clowney takes up that task, addressing along the way a variety of contemporary concerns: worship, mission, church and culture, church and state, church order and discipline, the ministry of women, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, tongues and prophecy, signs and wonders. He draws on decades of thinking and teaching about the church as well as from his committed leadership and ministry within the church. Biblical, historical, systematic and Reformed, The Church is a timely and provocative reflection on the life, order and purpose of the household of God.

About the Author

Edmund P. Clowney (1917-2005) was a professor of practical theology and former president of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is the author of The Message of 1 Peter in The Bible Speaks today series.

Book Details

336 Pages

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

Publication Date: October 1995

ISBN 10: 0830815341

ISBN 13: 9780830815340

(HT: WTS Books)

March 16, 2015

The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church

Church of Christ CoverStatus: Available

Listen to a lecture by Dr. Carl Trueman entitled “What Should a Theological Church Look Like?” (The Theologian)

Publisher’s Description

Volume One of this two volume work (full title: The Church of Christ: a treatise on the nature, powers, ordinances, discipline, and government of the Christian Church) deals with the nature and power of the Church, containing a lengthy explanation of the Church in its relation to the state, which is arguably one of the best treatments of this topic available. From there it deals with matters in regard to which Church power is exercised (i.e. in regard to doctrine, ordinances, the instrumentality and time of public worship; with a discussion of holy days, Independency, and confessions).

Volume Two continues where Volume One left off, providing a lengthy section on the sacraments, covering the parties in whom the right to exercise church power is vested, examining crucial points concerning Christian liberty, comparing the Popish, Prelatic, Independent, Congregational and Presbyterian systems, etc. Nine appendices deal with a wide range of practical topics including union between churches, Church/State relations, ordination, and valuable notes on the literature related to this subject.

Iain Murray, a prominent scholar and co-founder of the Reformed publishing house, The Banner of Truth Trust, has said of The Church of Christ that “for those who wish to study the doctrine of the Church in its several aspects as it was held by the majority of the Reformers, Puritans, Covenanters and leaders of ‘The Third Reformation,’ it will prove an invaluable textbook.”

About the Author

James Bannerman James Bannerman (1807-1868) had a seat in the New College Senatus in its great days. He was the author of two works that bespeak his quality. One of these is an elaborate treatise in which he handles the Inspiration of Scripture. In it he teaches a high doctrine on the subject. In reading this book one should attend with care to the definitions and to the use of terms in keeping with these definitions. There was a contemporary book in high repute on the same subject by Archdeacon Lee which used the leading terms Revelation and Inspiration in a different way, so that Bannerman and Lee could be set the one against the other, so far, at least, as mere words went. The first fruit of F. L. Patton’s work was his little book which deals with Inspiration, in which he shows that the difference between Lee and Bannerman was largely, if not altogether, a verbal one. The work, however, with which Bannerman’s name will be most associated is his treatise on the Church of Christ. This appeared after his death and it gives the teaching which he delivered in his lectures in connection with the Doctrine of the Church. It was so much of the work of his Chair. This treatise is worthy of being regarded as a standard one as it deals with the Reformed Doctrine of the Church in its various aspects, especially as these came into prominence in the chequered record of the Church in Scotland. In his treatment of his subject, Dr Bannerman reminds one of Cunningham. He is comprehensive in his outlook and acute in his distinctions. He is full and clear in his treatment of the various topics that came under his notice. Indeed, these volumes, although they deal with their subject to a great extent in the light of Scottish historical conditions and discussions, are more than a classic work of one of the Reformed Churches. They give weighty deliverances that are illuminating for the Church life of the whole family of these Churches and for an even wider circle.

Book Details

948 Pages

Publisher: Solid Ground Christian Books

Publication Date: September 2009

ISBN 13: 9781599252278 / 9781599252285

(HT: WTS Books)

June 11, 2013

Ashamed of the Gospel: When the Church Becomes Like the World

Ashamed of the Gospel Cover 2Status: Available

Author: John MacArthur

“With small congregations struggling to keep their doors open, and larger churches competing for their share of the unchurched market, many are looking to new techniques to draw bigger crowds.

In Ashamed of the Gospel, John MacArthur offers a biblical analysis of the user-friendly philosophy of ministry and church growth that is sweeping through many congregations.” (HT: Grace to You)