But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Helm's Deep - Apologetic Report
Friday, 31 August 2018 17:02

Met With Jesus Lately? Featured

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Met with Jesus lately? At church? The prayer meeting? Or at your bedside? Or on a walk through the country? Or maybe when you are watching TV news?
To meet with Jesus, is that we go to church for? We go to theatres and concert halls and stadiums to meet famous actors or musicians or players....

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Thursday, 31 May 2018 17:39

The Fallen Reason Featured

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In his work on the Holy Spirit (Works, Vol III) Owen spends a good deal of time considering the fallenness of human nature because in his view and that of the Reformed generally the key to the sanctifying work of the Spirit is regeneration. Regeneration is new life from God, not the...

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Sunday, 01 April 2018 16:26

'Absolutely incomprehensible' Featured

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'Absolutely incomprehensible' - A surprising expression to find John Owen using. The context is the following:
Herein consists the excellence of faith above all powers and acts of the soul – that it receives, assents unto, and rests in, things in their own nature are absolutely...

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Wednesday, 28 February 2018 16:22

Holiness and Morality Featured

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In his great work, a Discourse on the Holy Spirit: His Name, Nature, Personality, Operations and Effects ….(in Vol. 3 of the Goold edition) John Owen devotes an entire book (two hundred pages) to the sanctification of the saints.

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Wednesday, 31 January 2018 15:22

The Westminster Standard - III Featured

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John Davenant
In the last of our ventures into the theological terminology of the Westminster Confession we shall have a look at its usage of the phrase ‘the author of sin’
I
 There are two of these occurrences - 
Decree III.I ‘neither is God the author of sin’
Providenc...

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Sunday, 31 December 2017 17:12

The Westminster Standard - II Featured

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Last time we looked at the wording of the Westminster Confession on effectual calling, more specifically on regeneration. The passivity of the soul in regeneration cuts off any role for the independent human will to ‘accept’ regeneration. The will must first be brought to life by the...

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Thursday, 30 November 2017 16:50

The Westminster Standard - I Featured

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In a radio discussion some time ago with William Lane Craig (A transcript can be found in the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry (Spring 2014, pp.62-78)), regarding the  Arminianism espoused by Craig,  and the Reformed faith, we came to the differences between effectual...

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017 17:06

Something else that Martin said Featured

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Luther and the 95 theses?
Last time we saw how Martin Luther taught that self-knowledge is essential to the proper worship of God. He then went on to show that we need to know about God’s ‘character’ in order to sustain the life of faith.
I would also point out not only how these...

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Saturday, 30 September 2017 02:26

Going to church with Martin Featured

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Martin Luther (1483- 1548) 
I came across this passage from Luther not long ago:
So it is not irreligious, idle, or superfluous, but in the highest degree wholesome and necessary, for a Christian to know whether or not his will has anything to do in matters pertaining to salvation....

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Thursday, 30 June 2016 22:38

What are creeds and confessions? Featured

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The Council of Nicaea - The SistineChapel
 
Tuesday, 14 June 2016 07:24

Warfield on the Trinity

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Those interested in ‘subordination’ or its absence, and eternal begottenness Nicea -style, ought to take a look at what Warfield has to say about such questions. Below is a section toward the end of his paper ‘The Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity’ (Biblical Doctrines). The paper can be downloaded as a PDF by Googling it. In
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 04:39

An Elbow in the Kingdom

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Thomas à Becket
The news that Thomas à Becket’s elbow – a Roman Catholic relic – has arrived in the UK from Hungary set me thinking about the Two Kingdoms again.
This fragment of à Becket’s remains is one of several remaining bits of the late Archbishop of Canterbury who was
Friday, 13 May 2016 07:39

Truemania?

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People in the US are getting in a right tizzy about lavatories. Now the President is to issue a Decree about what the arrangements must be in public schools, to the effect that the test of which toilet you end up in should depend on what gender you choose, and not on the gender you were born with. That tizzy is likely to boil over soon.
Of course
Monday, 02 May 2016 06:06

This time, in praise of John Owen

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It is often said that the ‘faculty psychology’ that the Puritans endorsed, together with many of their non-Puritan contemporaries, in which the understanding, the will and the emotions look to be in tidy order, produces a one-dimensional view of the human self. 

But not so. Or, it does not need to be so.

John Owen explored the world

Thursday, 31 March 2016 23:56

Did John Owen have two minds?

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Dublin Castle

In this post I am interested in the mind of John Owen during the time when he was  part of Oliver Cromwell’s ‘leadership team’ as one of Cromwell’s chaplains, travelling with it as military strategy determined, to Ireland, and then to Scotland and so on. The period ends with his published sermon of 1656.

As

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 23:47

Sacred and Secular

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The late R. A. Markus, a former colleague at Liverpool, author of Saculum: History and Society in the Theology of St.Augustine

'Sacred and secular'. A well-used phrase. But what does it mean? Does it make a contrast between the religious and the non-religious?  Between the church and the world? The public square where everything that matters

Monday, 29 February 2016 23:33

2K and Quietism

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John Bunyan - Pastor, Pilgrim, Tinker

I don’t think I can take much more 2K versus ‘transformationalist’ journalism. Nor tired tirades against Socialism in the name of Christ and Capitalism. Nor the usual stuff about segregation in the South of the United States in years gone by, convictions formed with the help of current

Thursday, 18 February 2016 04:40

Willing and Not Willing

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Joseph Truman (1631-71) was an ejected minister from the Nottinghamshire area. He wrote (among other things) a Discourse of Natural and Moral Impotency (2nd edn. 1675) which is not a medical handbook, as you may think, but a tidy theological essay in which he sets forth the distinction between moral ability and natural or physical ability. All the

Sunday, 31 January 2016 23:51

Confessing the impassible God - II

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This is the concluding half of the Foreword to

Confessing the Impassible God (RBAP, Palmdale, California)

edited by 

Ronald S. Baines

Richard C. Barcellos

James P. Butler

Stefan T. Lindblad

James M.  Renihan

III

We have already noticed the close connection between divine impassibility and divine immutability, that one is an aspect of the

Friday, 15 January 2016 16:03

Getting into hot water

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I see that the oft-rehearsed question of whether Christians and Moslems worship the same God has surfaced again. Quite a few years ago I got into hot water by saying things about Islam that implied that a Moslem could be said, on a certain occasion, to worship the same God as us Christians.

But before we get to that, it seems that Paul had

Thursday, 31 December 2015 23:36

Confessing the Impassible God

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Confessing the Impassible God (RBAP, Palmdale, California)

edited by 

Ronald S. Baines

Richard C. Barcellos

James P. Butler

Stefan T. Lindholm

James M.  Renihan

Available from 

http://www.rbap.net/our-books/confessing-the-impassible-god-the-biblical-classical-confessional-doctrine-of-divine-impassibility/

Or Amazon

What follows is the Preface

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 01:04

Laughing at ourselves

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'O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us. '

(Robert Burns, (1759 - 1796),  'To a Louse') 

Hundreds of thousands of people have joined an online ‘petition’ that Donald Trump not be admitted to the UK (tho’, as far as is known, he has no plans at present to come here). This is on

 

 

There’s not been a post on John Calvin on Helm’s Deep for some time. So here goes.

Do you ever review what you’ve come to think about a particular matter?  I’ve  been taking a brief reprise on what I have come to think, little by little, about Calvin and  natural

Sunday, 01 November 2015 22:38

Baptists and toleration Featured

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In the Baptist Confession of 1689 there is an explicit statement regarding ‘Christian liberty’, chapter XXI. The first three paragraphs are very similar to Chapter  XX  of the Westminster Confession, but it omits the fourth paragraph. The omission is significant. The Westminster Confession went on to say, in XX.IV.

IV And

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