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

Placing the Colonial Baptist rejection of religious taxation within the context of reformed political philosophy.

James Renihan posted a short quote today at the Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies blog from a resolution written by Massachusetts Baptists to the Massachusetts General Assembly...

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Monday, 24 April 2017 02:45

Backus Against Dominionism

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imageDominionism (related to the Christian Reconstruction movement), which has gained popularity in Christian circles since the 1970s, is nothing new. Isaac Backus explained the ultimate root of the error.

The covenant of circumcision gave those who were born in it a right to treat all others, both as to...

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The previous post provided an exposition of 1 Corinthians 10:1-5. Here we will address various false inferences that paedobaptists make from the passage. The basic argument is expressed succinctly by Berkhof.

E. The Old and New Testament Sacraments Compared.
  1. Their Essential Unity… [T]here is...

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Sunday, 23 April 2017 07:37

1 Cor. 10:1-5 – An Exposition

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image[Note there is a new category on the Welcome page called “Specific Passages” that lists all the posts addressing specific verses. Also, special thanks goes to Reformed Books Online for their helpful collection of commentaries.]

1 Corinthians 10:1-5 is often used by paedobaptists to...

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017 08:41

Charles Simeon on the New Covenant

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image Kyle Kraeft recently sent me Charles Simeon’s commentary on Jeremiah 31. Simeon (1759–1836), an Anglican, was a leader among evangelical churchmen, and was one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society in 1799. This peaked my interest because Thomas Scott (whose commentary...

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As most of you probably know, Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, recently converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. Note what Hanegraaff says

His journey to Orthodoxy began with a trip to China, when “I saw Chinese Christians who were deeply in love with the Lord, and I learned that while they may...

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On the 1689Federalism.com website, a distinction is made between 1689 Federalism and 20th Century Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology. A video explains the differences and a venn diagram shows the areas of agreement and disagreement. From the very first day that the 1689federalism.com site went...

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Very helpful for understanding LBCF 24.

Samuel Rutherford was a Scottish Presbyterian member of the Westminster Assembly, which was an assembly of Scottish and English ministers gathered together as an agreement between the two countries called the Solemn League and Covenant, wherein Scotland...

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Sunday, 09 April 2017 07:54

Union with Christ is the New Covenant

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Patrick Ramsey has a short piece on union with Christ at Meet the Puritans. Some brief comments:

“Actual” Union

It is possible to speak of a union between Christ and the elect in terms of the decree and the federal headship of Christ. But these senses are quite different from an actual or...

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From Vern Poythress’ The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses (which is very worth reading, though I would disagree with and refine many points). 15 A Critique of Prisons How do we evaluate the present systems of criminal justice in modern societies? Most modern societies use imprisonment as...

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After listening to two interviews (here and here) with Rod Dreher about his new book The Benedict Option, and reading his FAQ, I really don’t think he has anything to offer Reformed Christians. At first, he seemed to have a good thesis: The “Benedict Option” refers to Christians...

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The phrase “natural law” itself is capable of so many interpretations that anyone who advocates natural law must expend a great deal of effort explaining what he means.1 In his excellent essay Perspective on Natural Law, Gordon H. Clark argues […]

via Natural Law: Greek or...

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see also Rutherford on Romans 13 and the Logic of Resistance Question XXIX. Whether, in the case of defensive war, the distinction of the person of the king, as a man, who can commit acts of hostile tyranny against his subjects, and of the office and royal power that he hath from God...

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Calvin makes some curious comments on 1 Corinthians 5:10 that show how different his view of the church was from ours. I mention it here because it has significant ramifications for political philosophy. 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 says “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually...

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Saturday, 18 March 2017 11:54

Galatians 3:16

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Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.

Commentators lament that Galatians 3:16 is one of the most difficult verses to interpret in the Bible. Pink says “...

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Friday, 10 March 2017 03:16

Kline’s Argument Against Presbyterianism

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In the 17th century, Presbyterians argued for their ecclesiology from the structure of the Jewish church. It was divided geographically and functioned with varying levels of authority (presbytery, general assembly, etc). Gillespie said “it is plain from Scripture that there was at least...

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An interesting court case from 1830 involving a Native American chief and the ancient practice of lex talionis.

In Genesis 9:6, God clarified by special revelation that mankind has the authority and duty to put murderers to death. This authority is not exclusively given to a subset of humanity...

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The phrase “natural law” itself is capable of so many interpretations that anyone who advocates natural law must expend a great deal of effort explaining what he means.1 In his excellent essay Perspective on Natural Law, Gordon H. Clark argues […]

via Natural Law: Greek or...

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017 01:37

1689 Federalism America's Founding

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Did the subservient covenant view (which is brought to its logical conclusion and fullest expression in 1689 Federalism) have anything to do with the shift in theology that resulted in the 1788 American revision of the Westminster Confession and the founding of the United States? It would appear so....

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Wednesday, 08 February 2017 13:39

How Christians Should Regard Moses (Luther)

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How Christians Should Regard Moses is an interesting sermon from Luther responding to the theonomists of his day. What is noteworthy is that Luther responds the way that 1689 Federalism has responded (which is not surprising given that Luther largely followed Augustine). The Mosaic...

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Scripture does not teach that the use of the sword to justly administer vengeance is reserved for “rulers.” Rome claimed it was (John 18:31) Some notable excerpts from Blood Feud and State Control: Differing Legal Institutions for the Remedy of Homicide During the Second and First...

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Understanding that the avenger of blood (Deut 19; Num 35) was a “private” individual, not any kind of “public” servant or government official is key to understanding the biblical nature of libertarianism (more on this in the future). Researching this issue led me to John...

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Wednesday, 08 February 2017 13:02

Mohler’s Sacralist Commentaries

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The Pilgrim Path/Proto-Protestantism is an interesting blog with a lot of thought provoking content. The author was reformed, embraced a lot of Kline, now remains a paedobaptist but has an Anabaptist view of government (so far as I can discern). His posts are worth perusing because he’s well...

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In Episode #11 of the Glory Cloud Podcast, Charles Lee Irons and Chris Caughey discuss Meredith Kline’s understanding of the Covenant of Common Grace. It’s a helpful podcast that I recommend all libertarians listen to as it provides the proper biblical framework for approaching the...

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Theodore Beza wrote De jure magistratum (On the Rights of Magistrates) in 1574. It provides a helpful, somewhat concise summary of reformed thought on civil government at the time. The Origin of Magistrates People desire to be ruled, so they elect someone to rule over them. To give a clearer answer...

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