Archive for ‘Grace’

January 24, 2017

Blameless and Upright (Job 1:1-5)

20170108-1-john-2_1-2-memeOn Sunday, January 8, 2017, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “Blameless and Upright” from Job 1:1-5.

Jesus Christ’s work as our Mediator serves as God’s “grace-colored glasses”—when the Father looks at us, he sees the righteousness of his Son.

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.

His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

1. Job’s Godly Character

2. Job’s God-Given Blessedness

3. Job’s God-Supplied Need

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN to “Blameless and Upright” (Job 1:1-5)

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November 28, 2015

Religious Affections (Classics of Faith & Devotion)

Religious Affections CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

[This abridged edition was part of the Multnomah Press series Classics of Faith & Devotion, with an Introduction by Charles Colson and “Editor’s Note about Jonathan Edwards and the Relevance of This Book” by James M. Houston]

Jonathan Edwards was one of the few truly great theologians of the English-speaking world, an intellectual and spiritual giant. When he began his ministry at Northampton, Massachusetts, New England had drifted from the Puritanism of its founders. Resisting the current trend, Edwards preached the whole counsel of God, and God plainly honoured his testimony. Yet to all appearances his life ended in tragedy; voted out of his pastorate by the people of Northampton, he died of fever at Princeton, only two months after taking over as President of the College. Edwards is perhaps best known as the theologian of revival, a subject on which he was uniquely qualified to write, by reason of his theological grasp and a first-hand experience of awakenings. Of his several treatises in this field, The Religious Affections ranks as the ‘magnum opus’.

The author’s object in this book is to distinguish between true and false religion by showing the marks of a saving work of the Holy Spirit in men. In his Preface, Edwards stresses the importance of using ‘our utmost endeavours clearly to discern…wherein true religion does consist’. For ’till this be done, it may be expected that great revivings of religion will be but of short continuance’.

Source: Banner of Truth

Table of Contents

Preface to the Classics
Editor’s Note about Jonathan Edwards and the Relevance of This Classic
Introduction by Charles W. Colson

Part I: The Nature and Importance of the Affections

Chapter One
THE AFFECTIONS AS EVIDENCE OF TRUE RELIGION—Religious affections are strong and vigorous actions of the will and heart. They motivate the soul either to cleave to and seek or turn away and oppose. Scripture reflects their significance in true religion. Without holy affections, it is impossible to have true faith.

Part II: How the Religious Affections May Be Falsely Appraised

Chapter Two
FALSE SIGNS OF TRUE RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS—The Pharisees talked much about their religion. Satan, like the Holy Spirit, is able to bring Scripture to mind; he is a master counterfeiter. We need to guard against judging the affections by such false evidences as these.

Part III: The Distinguishing Signs of Truly Gracious and Holy Affections

Chapter Three
HOW TRULY GRACIOUS AFFECTIONS ARE KNOWN—True spiritual affections are divinely given. Only the Holy Spirit can make us spiritual by adopting us and giving us the nature of Christ in His Sonship.

Chapter Four
THE OBJECT AND FOUNDATION OF GRACIOUS AFFECTIONS—The basis of affections is the excellence and nature of divine things. True affections cannot begin with self-love. They begin with delighting in the beauty and holiness of God Himself.

Chapter Five
THE FORMATION OF GRACIOUS AFFECTIONS—Gracious affections are developed from a spiritually enlightened mind. This spiritual light reveals the glory of divine things.

Chapter Six
CERTAINTY AND HUMILITY IN GRACIOUS AFFECTIONS—A true Christian has a conviction of the truth of the gospel and this conviction causes him to see his sinfulness and his need of God to change him.

Chapter Seven
GRACIOUS AFFECTIONS CHANGE US TO BE MORE CHRIST-LIKE—If a person’s conversion is real, it will bring about deep and abiding changes throughout his life. He will be more holy, gentle, and forgiving. He will become more and more like Christ.

Chapter Eight
GRACIOUS AFFECTIONS ARE BALANCED, YET DYNAMIC IN GROWTH—The balance of the affections in true saints is a reflection of the balance of the affections in the image of Christ. The affections are dynamic in their growth. As the saint longs and thirsts after God, his spiritual appetite enlarges and he longs for more of God.

Chapter Nine
GRACIOUS AFFECTIONS ARE INTENSELY PRACTICAL—It is our practice of Christianity that makes our profession of it credible. True affections motivate the Christian to be diligent and earnest in living out his beliefs.

Chapter Ten
THE AFFECTIONS ARE THE CHIEF EVIDENCE OF A SAVING SINCERITY IN TRUE RELIGION—Christian practice is the most preferred evidence of salvation. This practice proves godliness and repentance and gives evidence of God’s presence.

Appendix

A Guide to Devotional Reading

Indexes

Scripture Index

Subject Index

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

About the Author

Jonathan Edwards was born a little over seventy years after the first Puritan settlement of New England and, at the time of his birth, October 5, 1703, there were some 130 towns in the colony. Some were well established, others were small and on the frontiers of the wilderness. He spent his first twelve years in his parents’ home at East Windsor, close to the Connecticut river. His father, Timothy Edwards, was pastor of the local church, a good student and preacher, as well as a part-time school teacher and farmer. His mother, Esther, had eleven children—four girls, then Jonathan, to be followed by six more girls, and all of them six feet in height. Of the larger family circle, his maternal grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, was pastor of the largest church in New England, some thirty-five miles away at Northampton.

Jonathan Edwards would appear to have had a healthy and happy childhood, spent largely in female company. When he was not quite thirteen he was sent down river to the Collegiate School of Connecticut. Two years later the School settled at New Haven and became Yale College. The Head was one of Edwards’ many cousins, Elisha Williams. Edwards graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1720, and it was decided he would stay a further two years to become a Master of Arts. One year later, however, in the spring of 1721, something far more important happened.

Edwards at this time was already religious but despite ‘repeated resolutions’ it was not a religion that had changed his heart or humbled his natural pride. But now, he says, ‘I was brought to that new sense of things’, to an ‘inward, sweet delight in God and divine things . . . quite different from any thing I ever experienced before.’ ‘I began to have a new kind of apprehensions and ideas of Christ, and the work of redemption, and the glorious way of salvation by him.’

It was now that Edwards’ concern to see Christ’s kingdom extended was born. Before concluding his M.A. studies he went to serve First Presbyterian Church in New York at the age of nineteen. This was a joyful time for him and sermons he preached in New York show him to be remarkably mature. But there were those, including his father, who wanted him back in Connecticut and from 1724 to 1726 he joined the staff at Yale as a tutor. These were years of preparation and 1726 brought the great milestone of his life, for that year saw him invited to join his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, now aged eighty-three, and still the minister at Northampton.

Meanwhile something even more significant had happened. As a teenager, Edwards had fallen in love with a girl who lived with her mother close to the College Green in New Haven. She was Sarah Pierrepont, and, on July 28, 1727, seventeen years old and dressed in pea-green satin brocade, she married Jonathan and became his inseparable helper.

Northampton, a town of some 200 homes, mostly clustered together for defence, had a population of about a thousand men, women and children. The couple set up home on a rural lane (later King Street), and were given ten acres and a further forty, five miles away. A year later the first of their children was born, and in the next twenty-two years the family grew until there were eight daughters and three sons.

The first seven years at Northampton were ones of hard work and happiness as Edwards settled into the habits of a lifetime. One concern, however, was to deepen as he grew to understand his congregation. His people made up the only church in the town and—according to the early New England pattern—the whole population regarded it as their own. When Stoddard died in 1729 the oversight fell entirely on Edwards.

The Northampton church was as eminent as any in the land but it seems that it had come to rely too much on what it had been. Its spiritual condition did not come up to Edwards’ expectation and his sermons increasingly revealed that he saw too many of his hearers as no more than nominal believers: ‘They come to meeting from one Sabbath to another and hear God’s word, but all that can be said to ’em won’t awaken ’em, won’t persuade ’em to take pains they may be saved.’ Often, he feared, such people were not even listening, ‘They are gazing about the assembly minding this and the other person that is in it, or they are thinking of their worldly business.’

This state of affairs came to an end in one of the best-known events of Edwards’ life, the revival of 1734–5, when, in his words, ‘A great and earnest concern about the great things of religion, and the eternal world, became universal in all parts of the town.’ He thought it probable that 300 had been converted within six months, and it was his hope that ‘the greater part of persons in this town, above sixteen years of age, are such as have the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.’ These were months when the crowded meetinghouse was filled with praise.

Edwards wrote an account of the awakening which was published under the title, A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God. The book drew widespread attention and instantly put Edwards and the Northampton church on the world stage. This appears to have been the occasion of a family quarrel that was to go on through the rest of Edwards’ lifetime, particularly involving cousins on his mother’s side, the Williamses. The revival did not continue. It is clear that by 1736 Edwards was again struggling with the difficulties of more normal church life, and there was cause for some disappointment as his anticipations of the permanent results of the revival were not all fulfilled. Party strife, long endemic in the village, reappeared.

In 1740, however, a work of grace, much wider in scale than in 1734–5, began along the eastern seaboard. It was the beginning of ‘the Great Awakening’, which would touch several places in the thirteen colonies of the fledgling nation. For Edwards, the Great Awakening years were exhausting times which brought him ‘to the brink of the grave’. Besides the care of his own people, he was now itinerating widely to preach for other men. Correspondence multiplied, and yet somehow he was also preparing two of the most significant books ever written on the subject of revival, Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, and Thoughts on the Revival in New England. Yet these were happy years, indeed, at one point, there was fear lest his wife Sarah would die of sheer joy!

The blessing of the early 1740s was followed by a longer period of difficulty when two major problems confronted Edwards almost simultaneously. First, in the wider scene in New England, opposition developed to the very idea of the Awakening as a ‘work of the Spirit of God’. Some, by foolish behaviour and lives lacking in Christlikeness gave just cause for criticism. Some of these people were fanatics, people who saw physical phenomena as sure proof of the Spirit’s work and presence. The ‘wild fire’ they represented gave support to the arguments of those who wished to discredit the whole work. In addition to this, in every revival there is a work of the Spirit on large numbers of individuals who express spiritual concern and their lives take on a new seriousness but it does not last, and in time there is a return to their former indifference and formal religion. With pain, Edwards had to recognize that in Northampton itself the number of true converts was not what he had once hoped.

The other great difficulty which Edwards now experienced was that support from his own congregation was weakening and one cause of this was the hostility of certain members of his wider family circle. During the 1740s Edwards had come to disagree with his grandfather Stoddard’s long-established practice of not requiring a profession of saving faith in Christ in order to be a communicant; communicants, Edwards came to see, ought to be believers. But Stoddard’s name was already a legend, and when his grandson’s disagreement with the great man became known there was uproar in the town, with the Williams family involved as usual. The final extraordinary outcome was his being voted out of his church. The great majority of the 230 male communicants voted for his removal. The tragedy deepens when Edwards writes that ‘most of them esteemed me to be the chief instrument in the hand of God of the eternal salvation of their souls’.

Thus one of the most fruitful pastorates in history ended on June 22, 1750. Edwards was now forty-six. No financial arrangement was offered to help them and for the best part of a year, apart from some temporary engagements, he remained unemployed. Then he accepted a call to an improbable situation. Stockbridge was a village in the frontier wilderness, forty miles from Northampton, and with a congregation of only about a dozen white families. One factor that added to the appeal of Stockbridge was the presence of Indians and the existence of a school for Indian children. So, after difficulties in selling their Northampton home, the whole family was eventually settled on the frontier by October 1751.

For Edwards Stockbridge was a haven of peace compared with the turmoil he had left behind. But it was not long before the family of Williamses at Stockbridge were showing all the prejudice and hostility that had marked the other members of the same clan. The Stockbridge Williamses had their own ambitious plans, in which material gain seems to have played no small part, and they wished for no oversight from anyone of Edwards’ stature. For three years there was to be another painful struggle, but this time the congregation stood with their pastor, and so did the Indians, whom the Williamses had antagonized. Only in 1754 did the Williamses in Stockbridge give up, and the strife was over.

Yet there were other trials, including persistent financial constraints, and, then, with the outbreak of war with the French, the whole frontier situation became exposed to attack. One of Edwards’ daughters, Esther, visited her parents and family at Stockbridge in the summer of 1756 and was filled with alarm at the danger of their situation.

The next year Esther’s husband, Aaron Burr, President of Nassau Hall, the College of New Jersey recently established at Princeton, died and Edwards was surprised to learn that the decision of the College trustees was that he should be his son-in-law’s successor. He did not wish to accept, and when the approaches to him continued, Edwards referred the decision to a council of friends. They concluded he should go to Princeton, the only time in his life that we read he shed tears. One major reason for his reluctance was that he now believed that he could be more useful by writing than by speaking and he had a number of potential books in hand. Given the urgency of the need at Princeton, Edwards left Sarah and most of his family behind at Stockbridge when he left in January 1758.

As he left the home for the last time, his daughter remembered, ‘When he had got out of doors he turned about,—“I commit you to God”, said he.’ Edwards was now fifty-four and he spoke of his health being stronger than previously, but the next month an inoculation against smallpox went wrong, and on March 22, 1758, he died at Princeton. Sixteen days after her father, Esther also died at Princeton, leaving two orphaned children. Sarah hurried down from Stockbridge to care for them, only to die herself and be buried with her husband at Princeton in October 1758.

[See Iain H. Murray’s ‘Jonathan Edwards: The Man and the Legacy’ in Heroes (Banner of Truth, 2009); and his Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography (Banner of Truth, 1987). There is also a series of 7 articles by Kenneth D. Macleod on the life of Edwards on the Trust’s website – http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?1080 (the remaining articles in the series can be referenced from here). Sereno E Dwight’s ‘Memoirs of Jonathan Edwards’ appears in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 1, edited by Edward Hickman (Banner of Truth Trust reprint, 1974).]

Source: Banner of Truth

James M Houston

Dr. James M. Houston (1922-)

About the Editor

Dr. James M. Houston was born to missionary parents who served in Spain. Dr. Houston served as University Lecturer at Oxford University, England, from 1949-1971. He was a Fellow of Hertford College during the period between 1964-1971, and held the office of Principal of Regent College from 1969-1978. From 1978 to the present, he has served as Chancellor of Regent College. He is also Professor of Spiritual Theology for the College.

Dr. Houston has been active in the establishment and encouragement of lay training centers across the continents. These include the C. S. Lewis Institute in Washington, D.C., and The London Institute for the Study of Contemporary Christianity. In addition to his work with the Classics series, he has published abook entitled, I Believe in the Creator (Eerdmans, 1978).

Hardcover, 226 pages

Publisher: Multnomah Press

Publication Date(s): 1984

ISBN: 0-88070-064-5

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 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.

November 24, 2015

The Christian View of Man

Christian View of Man CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

The question: What is Man? which arose centuries ago in the Psalms remains one of the most vital issues faced by present-day man.

Bewildered by technological advance, alienated from the convictions and lifestyle of his forefathers, modern man has lost his place in the universe. The echoes of his bewilderment can be heard everywhere, from the city graffiti to the rock songs, subcultures and new religions of our time.

Yet there is an answer to man’s identity crisis. Man is made by God, in his image, for his glory. This truth with all its implications is the theme of J. Gresham Machen’s popular presentation of The Christian View of Man. It explains, for Christians and non-Christians alike, how the Bible serves as a mirror to show us who we are. In simple yet careful language, Machen deals with such subjects as creation, man as the image of God, the fall, sin, God’s providence and care, and God’s restoring grace.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD
AUTHOR’S PREFACE
1 The Living and True God
2 The Decrees of God
3 God’s Decrees and Man’s Freedom
4 What is Predestination?
5 Does the Bible Teach Predestination?
6 Objections to Predestination
7 God’s Works of Creation and Providence
8 God’s Works of Providence
9 Miracles
10 Did God Create Man?
11 How Did God Create Man?
12 God’s Image in Man
13 The Covenant of Life
14 The Fall of Man
15 What is Sin?
16 The Majesty of the Law of God
17 Is Mankind Lost in Sin?
18 The Consequences of the Fall of Man
19 What is Original Sin?
20 Sinners Saved by Grace
INDEXES

J Gresham Machen

Dr. 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.

Machen’s books published by the Trust are The Christian View of Man, What is Faith?, God Transcendent, and New Testament Introduction.

[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

Paperback, 254 pages

Publication Dates:

The Trustees u/w J. Gresham Machen, 1937;
First Banner of Truth Edition, 1965;
Reprinted, 2015

ISBN: 978 0 85151 112 2

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 23, 2015

By Grace Through Faith (Galatians 2:15-21)

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Pastor Joe Troutman preaching at San Antonio Reformed on June 21, 2015. HT: Billie Moody

On Sunday, November 15, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “By Grace Through Faith” from Galatians 2:15-21.

You are justified in God’s sight not because of what you have done, but only by what Christ has done for you, and imputed to you by God’s free grace.

1. By God’s Free Grace—It doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, all are justified by grace through faith in Christ. Justification is, in God’s Court, your being declared righteous. If our righteousness is filthy rags, then justification by God is a gift.

2. He Pardons All Our Sins—In the case of your standing before the Lord, it is impossible to plead innocence. If you only ever committed the least sin, you stand condemned by the Law, because it is holy, good and demands perfection from you. Your heart is sinful and wicked, so every good thing you do is marred by your own self-seeking interests. These acts come from a state of sin. They cannot prove that you are righteous, because you are not so in and of yourself. They only prove your unrighteousness. But the Bible says that those who repent of their sins and believe will receive a pardon.

3. He Accepts Us as Righteous in His Sight—When you are justified, Jesus Christ’s righteousness is imputed to you. The holy God chose to love elect sinners and so imputes his Son’s righteousness to them.

Listen to “By Grace Through Faith (Galatians 2:15-21)” at mcopc.org.

June 30, 2015

Strengthened by Grace (2 Timothy 2:1-2)

Pastor Joe Troutman preaching at San Antonio Reformed on June 21, 2015. HT: Billie Moody

Pastor Joe Troutman preaching at San Antonio Reformed on June 21, 2015. HT: Billie Moody

On Sunday, June 28, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached Strengthend by Grace (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

Because Jesus Christ has died and risen, you therefore be strengthened by the grace of God.

1. Strength Training—The ordinary means of grace—the Word, sacraments and prayer—point us to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and are the way God strengthens the faith of believers in Christ. Although a passive command, the call to be strengthened by God’s grace is not a call to inactivity, but to active dependence on the Lord who strengthens us by his grace.

2. Passing It On—The gospel preached by the apostles has been entrusted to our care. Our strengthening by his means of grace is not merely for our individual benefit, but to enable us to preserve the apostolic gospel and to pass it on to future generations.

Listen toStrengthened by Grace (2 Timothy 2:1-2) at mcopc.org.

May 18, 2015

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Reformed Doctrine of Predestination CoverStatus: Available

Description

Although most famous for his critique of Catholicism in his book Roman Catholicism, most of Boettner’s work concerns topics within Reformed theology. In six sections, his book elaborates upon and defends the “five points” of Calvinism, placing particular stress on the doctrine of predestination. The book’s first two sections introduce and define Calvinism’s basic doctrines, while the third through fifth sections explain and argue for the validity of predestination as a Christian doctrine. The final section gives a short exposition of Calvinism’s role in history. Many, both inside and outside the Reformed tradition, consider Boettner’s summary and defense a staple among writings on Reformed theology. Clear, concise, and finely structured, this book is very accessible to any reader interested in the subject matter.

Kathleen O’Bannon
CCEL Staff

Source: Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Loraine Boettner

Loraine Boettner

About the Author

Loraine was born March 7th 1901 in Linden Missouri. He lived with his family; his father being a Christian school superintendent and his mother a housewife. Loraine attended his father’s church until he was 18. Then he joined his mother’s church–the Centennial Methodist Church; his mother was of a different denominational background than his father.

In 1917 Lorraine decided to begin his college career. He took up studies in Agriculture at the University of Missouri. He later finished his degree after transferring a year later to Tarkio Presbyterian College. He graduated there cum laude with a B.S. degree. At Tarkio he was greatly influenced by professor J.B. Work, who was a staunch Calvinist. Although Work was of the Reformed position and influenced Loraine greatly, Loraine did not hold to the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination; this did not sit well with him. How ironic it is that later he wrote his Master’s thesis on this subject.

In 1925 he furthered his education while attending Princeton. In 1928 he received his Th.B, and in 1929 his Th.M. While attending Princeton he found the flavor of Calvinistic doctrine to be sweet. While on summer break in his second year he devoured Hodge’s Systematic Theology volumes two and three. After being so influenced by Hodge’s teaching, the urge to write his Master’s thesis on predestination became apparent. While attending Princeton he studied under Hodge’s grandson, Casper W. Hodge. His influence strengthened Loraine in the Reformed doctrines. Loraine also met occasionally with another mentor/friend named Samuel G. Craig, editor of The Presbyterian. Craig and Boettner would meet for dinner to discuss the latest happenings at the college between the liberals and the Reformed influence of Machen.

After graduating from Princeton, Loraine began teaching at Pikesville Presbyterian College in Eastern Kentucky until 1937. While at this school he met his wife to be, Lillian Henry. They married in 1932. He also published Reformed Doctrine of Predestination in 1932; this was an exceptional year for him.

From 1935 to 1939 Loraine worked with Dr. Allis on a magazine called Christianity Today. This was not in any relation to the magazine of today. In 1937 he began working at the Library of Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue; he had left the teaching position at Pikesville. Though working in an environment which was not related to Biblical studies or Theology, he still continued to write producing many books at this stage of his life. Here he revised the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination from his original thesis word count being 8,000 words, to the revised count of 30,000 words.

While in New York City, he attended New York Avenue Presbyterian Church where Peter Marshall was Pastor. In 1948 he moved to Los Angeles because of his wife’s failing health. His wife’s two sisters came to aid in caring for her until she died in 1958. In that same year he returned to Rockport. In 1962, Loraine’s book, recently written book, called Roman Catholicism surpassed his previous work The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination as best seller. This was a startling occurrence since he is best known for his work on the Reformed doctrines. The reason it surpassed his magnum opus was because it was more readable to the people and more a personal issue.

In 1989 Loraine contracted diabetes, leukemia, and cancer. His struggle was drawn out and by the end he had four blood transfusions which decreased his viability each time. At 8pm January 3, 1990 at Fairfax hospital Montana he died.

Certainly this Reformed theologian is studied because of his work The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. His agility in rewriting the doctrines commonly held in a Reformed setting placed him among the current authorities on the subject. It is important to note that he did not introduce any new doctrine, but renewed the old. In this book he explained the traditional five points of Calvinism: total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints. He molds into this the theological aspects of the plan and decrees of God; and also the relevant attributes of God. He very convincingly answers criticisms of Calvinism. He also adds a chapter on the history of Calvinism in order to explain the importance of what a theology does after one has embraced its doctrines. Loraine has also written other books such as Immortality” which explain the Christian concepts of death and dying in three specific areas: Physical death, Immortality and the intermediate state. Also, he has written: Studies in Theology, a compilation of articles and books written from 1939 onward. It is compiled in five sections 1) Inspiration of Scripture, 2) Christian Supernaturalism, 3) The Trinity, 4) The Person of Christ and 5) The Atonement. These are among his more popular and important works.

Source: Christian Classics Ethereal Library

May 4, 2015

Overcoming the World: Grace to Win the Daily Battle

Overcoming the World CoverStatus: Available

Product Description

We see all around us that the world is on a quest for pleasure, power, profit, and position. Many Christians struggle to live faithfully in such a world and stay true to Christ’s command to be in the world, but not of it. Taking direction from the Puritans, John Calvin, and others, Joel Beeke guides readers to the biblical alternatives to worldliness: genuine piety and holiness.

Written for such times as these, Overcoming the World will be a source of encouragement and growth for readers that are serious about following Christ. Pastors and other leaders will find here a uniquely practical work that will help them in leading Christians through the narrow gate.

Source: Reformation Heritage Books

Joel BeekeAbout the Author

Dr Joel R. Beeke gained his Ph.D. at Westminster Theological Seminary. He is President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of The Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, and the author of numerous books, as well as being a much-travelled conference speaker.

Source: Banner of Truth Trust

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 15, 2015

February Spotlight! Grow in Grace

Grow in Grace CoverStatus: Available

Publisher’s Description

Becoming a Christian is only the beginning of a process of spiritual growth that involves increasing in knowledge of God, obedience to his Word and understanding of his will. Yet some Christians’ lives seem to grind slowly to a halt, while others are disappointed because their spiritual progress has not been as straightforward or as rapid as they had hoped. The growth of others is stunted by a lack of proper spiritual nourishment. Yet others feel they do not understand how to become mature Christians.

Grow in Grace explains how God helps us to develop as members of his family. Taking Jesus himself as the model for our growth, it explains some of the biblical principles of spiritual development, and gives a number of ‘case histories’ to illustrate how God works in our lives to mature us as Christians. The biblical teaching in Grow in Grace will appeal to Christians at all stages, while its straightforward explanation of the patterns of God’s work in his people makes it ideal for those who are just beginning.

Sinclair FergusonAbout the Author

Sinclair Buchanan Ferguson retired in 2013 as Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and returned to his native Scotland. Prior to this he held the Charles Krahe chair for Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary and served Church of Scotland congregations in Unst (Shetland) and Glasgow (St George’s Tron). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen (1971).

Dr. Ferguson has authored several books published by the Trust, of which he is a trustee, and a former editor. He retains his position as Professor of Systematic Theology at Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas, and continues to preach God’s Word in churches and at conferences.

Sinclair and his wife Dorothy have three sons, a daughter, three grandsons, and three granddaughters.

Book Details

160 Pages
Publisher: Banner of Truth Publication Date: December 1989

Source: WTS Books