Archive for ‘Pneumatology’

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.

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June 2, 2015

A Little While Longer (John 7:32-39)

IMG_0017On Sunday, May 31, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached the sermon, “A Little While Longer” (John 7:32-39).

Jesus Christ promises after his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension that he will send the Holy Spirit completing the accomplishment of our salvation.

1. Going Away (7:32-36)—Many believe in Jesus because of his miraculous signs. The angry chief priests send temple guards to arrest Jesus. Jesus tells his hearers, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come” (John 7:33-34). With these words, Jesus alludes to his death, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father in heaven for our salvation as if they were all one unified act. No other person is able to do the work that he is planning to six months after the events in this passage. We cannot do what needs to be done to save sinners. We can do nothing to earn our own salvation. We must rest in the atoning work of Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

2. The Promise of Fulfillment (7:37-39)—On the last day of the Feast of Booths, Jesus took the words of Isaiah 55:1 as his own when he called on any who thirst to come to him and drink, promising rivers of living water from the hearts of those who believe in him. Jesus’s giving of the Spirit is the final step in the accomplishment of his work for the redemption of all who will believe in him. As the time of Jesus’s earthly ministry was getting short, so is the time before his return. The time is now to receive him. The salvation he accomplished once and for all two thousand years ago is being applied today. Believe in Jesus and he will give you living water and you will never thirst again.

Listen to “A Little While Longer” (John 7:32-39) at mcopc.org

May 17, 2015

Gaffin Clarifies Pentecost for Glen Clary

WMLS BannerOn Friday and Saturday, May 29-30, 2015, a number of us from Mid-Cities Presbyterian Church are attending the 2015 B.B. Warfield Memorial Lecture Series: Pentecost and the Work of the Spirit Today with Dr. Richard Gaffin, at St. Edward’s Chapel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The promotional material for the conference introduces the topic as follows:

What happened on Pentecost? What are the implications of what took place on Pentecost for the church today? What expectations ought Christians to have for the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives and the lives of others? Christians today continue to be divided, sometimes deeply, over the answers to these questions. During the 2015 B.B. Warfield Memorial Lecture Series we will examine the Bible for the sound and reliable answers it alone provides.

Perspectives on Pentecost CoverLooking forward to our trip to attend this conference, the May Spotlight selection is Dr. Gaffin’s book Perspectives on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. One of our two copies is still available for members to check out in the church library. Solid Reformed answers to this controversial theological question are available for those who may be dealing with the issue in their personal lives.

An example of the effectiveness of this book in clarifying the truths related to the Day of Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the cessation of the revelatory spiritual gifts comes from the testimony of Rev. Glen Clary, pastor of Providence OPC in Pflugerville, Texas. Pastor Clary writes:

I read Perspectives on Pentecost many years ago when I was pastoring a Pentecostal church. The book completely revolutionized my theology.

I had not realized how much of my beliefs about the Holy Spirit had been derived from my own personal experience rather than from scripture. Of course, I had always appealed to scripture to support my beliefs, but I was interpreting scripture through the lens of my own experience.

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Rev. Glen Clary, Pastor of Providence Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Pflugerville, Texas.

As a Christian with a high view of scripture, I knew that my beliefs needed to be based on scripture, and I endeavored to do that. However, my doctrine of the Holy Spirit was so shaped by my experience that I was misinterpreting scripture.

Gaffin’s book gave me a whole new paradigm for interpreting the Bible. Understanding the gift of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost as an event that belongs to the historia salutis (the history of redemption) rather than the ordo salutis (“the order of salvation,” or the Holy Spirit’s applying to a person the benefits of redemption wrought by Christ’s life, death and resurrection) completely transformed my interpretation of Acts 2.

Further, Gaffin’s teaching that tongues and prophecy are modes of revelation presented a serious challenge to me because I already held that special revelation had ceased, yet I didn’t want to give up speaking in tongues.

Perspectives on Pentecost enabled me to grasp the true teaching of scripture on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. It forced me to reexamine my beliefs and practices in light of the Word of God, the only infallible rule for faith and life (subscribe to Glen Clary’s sermon podcast at SermonAudio.com)..

How has Perspectives on Pentecost affected your understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, and in the exercise of your spiritual gifts? Share your story in the comments below. We would love to interact with MCOPC Library patrons on the teaching of the Word of God on the subjects of the Spirit and the gifts, and if you have the opportunity to go, you are certainly welcome to join us in Oklahoma City to listen to the author himself lecture on similar themes. If you are able to attend, write to info@mcopc.org for more information.

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 23, 2015

November Spotlight! Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God

Keep in Step with the Spirit CoverStatus: Available

Publisher’s Description

“If we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” -Galatians 5:25

The Holy Spirit empowers us, guides us, and enables us to grow and endure in our relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ. Often the most misunderstood member of the Trinity, the Spirit is someone of great focus and attention today amid church revivals and renewals.

In this new edition of his classic Keep in Step with the Spirit, J. I. Packer seeks to help Christians reaffirm the biblical call to holiness and the Spirit’s role in keeping our covenant with God. Packer discusses both the merits and shortcomings of the current charismatic movement and how Christ must always be at the center of true Spirit-led ministry.

Packer encourages believers to implement the Spirit’s directives and discusses how to map the Spirit’s path in your life. If you want to understand and experience more of life in the Spirit, you will cherish this latest offering from one of Christianity’s most respected scholars.

April 2005

JI PackerAbout the Author

J. I. Packer (PhD, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

Book Details

256 Pages
Publisher: Baker Book House

Source: WTS Books

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 20, 2015

The Holy Spirit (Contours of Christian Theology)

The Holy Spirit CoverStatus: Available

Publisher’s Description

The Holy Spirit, once forgotten, has been “rediscovered” in the twentieth century–or has he? Sinclair Ferguson believes we should rephrase this common assertion: “While his work has been recognized, the Spirit himself remains to many Christians an anonymous, faceless aspect of the divine being.” In order to redress this balance, Ferguson seeks to recover the who of the Spirit fully as much as the what and how.

Ferguson’s study is rooted and driven by the scriptural story of the Spirit in creation and redemption. Throughout he shows himself fully at home in the church’s historical theology of the Spirit and conversant with the wide variety of contemporary Christians who have explored the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Foundational issues are surveyed and clarified. Hard questions are explored and answered. Clarity and insight radiate from every page. Here is the mature reflection of a Reformed theologian who will summon respect and charity from those who disagree.

Sinclair FergusonAbout the Author

Sinclair B. Ferguson is senior minister at First Presbyterian Church, Columbia South Carolina and also serves as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Book Details

288 Pages
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: January 1997

Source: WTS Books

March 16, 2015

Charismatic Chaos

Status: Available

Charismatic Chaos CoverProduct Description

The charismatic movement has made an impact on the church unparalleled in history. But one legacy of the movement is confusion and mushy thinking. In Charismatic Chaos, John MacArthur calls for biblical evaluation and analyzes the doctrinal differences between charismatics and non-charismatics in the light of Scripture.

“My principal concern,” writes MacArthur, “is to call the church to a firm commitment to the purity and authority of the Scriptures, and thereby to strengthen the unity of the true church.” To tough questions that seem to divide, Charismatic Chaos provides tougher answers that strive to unite. This book tackles such questions as:

  • Is experience a valid test of truth?
  • Does God still give revelation?
  • Prophets, fanatics, or heretics?
  • Does God still heal?
  • What should we think of the Signs and Wonders movement?
  • Does the Bible promise health and wealth?

Product Information

Format: Paperback

Vendor: Zondervan

Publication Date: 1993

ISBN: 0310575729

ISBN-13: 9780310575726

UPC: 025986575724

(HT: Christian Book Distributors)

About the Author

John MacArthurJohn MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry.

In 1969, after graduating from Talbot Theological Seminary, John came to Grace Community Church. The emphasis of his pulpit ministry is the careful study and verse-by-verse exposition of the Bible, with special attention devoted to the historical and grammatical background behind each passage. Under John’s leadership, Grace Community Church’s two morning worship services fill the 3,500-seat auditorium to capacity. Several thousand members participate every week in dozens of fellowship groups and training programs, most led by lay leaders and each dedicated to equipping members for ministry on local, national, and international levels.

In 1985, John became president of The Master’s College (formerly Los Angeles Baptist College), an accredited, four-year liberal arts Christian college in Santa Clarita, California. In 1986, John founded The Master’s Seminary, a graduate school dedicated to training men for full-time pastoral roles and missionary work.

John is also president and featured teacher with Grace to You. Founded in 1969, Grace to You is the nonprofit organization responsible for developing, producing, and distributing John’s books, audio resources, and the “Grace to You” radio and television programs. “Grace to You” radio airs more than 1,000 times daily throughout the English-speaking world, reaching major population centers on every continent of the world. It also airs nearly 1,000 times daily in Spanish, reaching 23 countries from Europe to Latin America. “Grace to You” television airs weekly on DirecTV in the United States, and is available for free on the Internet worldwide. All of John’s 3,000 sermons, spanning more than four decades of ministry, are available for free on this website.

Since completing his first best-selling book The Gospel According to Jesus in 1988, John has written nearly 400 books and study guides, including Our Sufficiency in ChristStrange FireAshamed of the GospelThe Murder of JesusA Tale of Two SonsTwelve Ordinary MenThe Truth War, The Jesus You Can’t Ignore, Slave, One Perfect Lifeand The MacArthur New Testament Commentary series. John’s titles have been translated into more than two dozen languages. The MacArthur Study Bible, the cornerstone resource of his ministry, is available in English (NKJ, NAS, and ESV), Spanish, Russian, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Arabic with a Chinese translation underway.

John and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four married children: Matt, Marcy, Mark, and Melinda. They also enjoy the enthusiastic company of their fifteen grandchildren.

(HT: Grace to You)