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

The Calvinist International - Apologetic Report
Friday, 12 January 2018 03:01

Calvin on the Trinity (1)

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The topic of the Trinity has been #trending in recent months, and its proper understanding has been a matter of dispute.

Disputes about the Trinity are nothing new, of course, and the Trinitarian theology of this site’s namesake has itself often been the subject of controversy. Calvin himself,...

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Thursday, 11 January 2018 02:53

No, You Cannot Kidnap Your Neighbor for Christ

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This article has recently been making the rounds. Though the bizarre defense of this truly bizarre case of the institutional-church-as-Child-Protective-Services is ripe for so much–SO MUCH–trolling (for it opens up a hole for church power wide enough to drive a truck full of hostage...

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Wednesday, 10 January 2018 00:27

“Reproductive Rights” and Eugenics

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An article from The Nation was recently making the rounds having to do with a putative “scare tactic” employed by Republicans in the debate over abortion, and particularly the abortion of babies who test positive for genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. The article lacks a...

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Sunday, 07 January 2018 22:48

Hodge’s Schleiermacher (4)

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Charles Hodge’s next reference to Schleiermacher comes, once again, less than a week after the last, and, once again, involves August Tholuck. In the conversation summarized here, Tholuck defends Schleiermacher as “strenuous” on behalf of “some” of the “peculiar...

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Thursday, 04 January 2018 00:13

Kantian Catechism

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In Homiletics and Pastoral Theology, WGT Shedd puts a plug in for catechising in addition to other types of Sunday school (he, in keeping with the conventions of his day, calls it “Sabbath-School”) instruction.

Indeed, he favors a combination of the two–“lay”...

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Wednesday, 03 January 2018 00:42

Natural Knowledge Still Requires Teaching

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If one holds to some version of natural law or a natural knowledge of the virtuous and the vicious, it might seem to imply that nothing else is required for virtuous action. I mean, we all know what “the good” is, right?

Well, yes and no.

Affirming that everyone knows the distinction...

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image The second and final text under examination in this 500th reformation year is that for which the anniversary is recognized, the 95 Theses or “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.”

Indulgences are connected with the sacrament of penance. Technically indulgences remit...

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imageIt is late in the year, but here’s a short post on the first of the two works of Luther from 1517 that begin the Reading the Reformation with Luther series, “Disputation against Scholastic Theology.”

There are a number of intriguing aspects of this work. I’ll identify just a...

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Wednesday, 20 December 2017 00:33

Ruth+Boaz=The Calling of the Nations

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At the end of the Book of Ruth, Boaz redeems the Moabitess Ruth, and the people and elders of the city say to Boaz: “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah...

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Tuesday, 19 December 2017 00:21

Hodge’s Schleiermacher (3)

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Charles Hodge’s next reference to Schleiermacher in his notes as preserved in his son’s Life comes from less than a week after the last reference, 14 March 1827 (a Wednesday, if you’re curious). This journal-entry deals with the subject of pantheism, whether Schleiermacher...

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Thursday, 14 December 2017 00:37

Hodge’s Schleiermacher (2)

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Last time we looked at Charles Hodge’s first mention of Friedrich Schleiermacher as recorded in his son A.A. Hodge’s The Life of Charles Hodge, from 4 March 1827. The next reference to him comes in a journal entry only four days later, on 8 March 1827, and again involves August...

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 02:38

The Consistency of Paedobaptism

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Consistency

I want to follow up a comment I made on Facebook where I said, “If you don’t call your baptized infants Christians then you should give up paedobaptism.”

Naturally, for many Baptists, this proves why we shouldn’t baptize babies. But, some of them might say, at...

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Our next installment in our series from Zacharias Ursinus’s teaching on the doctrine of God (see also part 1 and part 2) is his defense of the traditional theological explanation against the detractors of his day. You will notice that the Reformed churches were opposed by the...

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We continue our series on Zacharias Ursinus’s explanation of the doctrine of the God (see part 1 for more), looking now at His explanation of the Trinity. The following comes from his Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, eighth Lord’s Day section 3, pg. 129-132 of the P&R...

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Given the recent widespread confusion about the doctrine of God among Reformed theologians, we thought it would be helpful to post some excerpts on the basic concepts of theology proper from Zacharias Ursinus. Ursinus gives a scholastic treatment of the question, one that is both traditional and...

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Richard Baxter and the Mechanical Philosophers

David S. Sytsma

Published: Oxford, August 24, 2017

352 Pages

 

 

 

The Richard Baxter we know was the faithful pastor of Kidderminster, author of the Reformed Pastor, the Christian Directoryand The Saint’s Everlasting Rest. At...

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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 00:08

Hodge’s Schleiermacher (1)

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Many people are familiar with Charles Hodge’s famous footnote about Friedrich Schleiermacher in heaven. Hodge was quite far from Schleiermacher’s theological principles (to put it mildly), yet he had this to say in note 372 of his Systematic Theology (2.3.4.9):

When in Berlin...

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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:38

Against “Historical Theology”

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In the recent polemical engagement between John Frame, James Dolezal, and various other commentators, the role of history in theology has been a major talking point. Should we stick to the historic tradition or should be free to be unapologetically “biblical”? To what extent can we...

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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:19

Matthew Arnold, Interpreter of Richard Hooker

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One of the most important arguments that Richard Hooker makes in the preface to his Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, now available in a modernized version from the Davenant Institute, is that church order (or polity) and discipline are adiaphora: neither Episcopacy nor Presbyterianism (roughly,...

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Sunday, 26 November 2017 19:42

Reviewing Frame’s Review of Dolezal

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 Introduction

I read with some interest John Frame’s review of James Dolezal’s book, All That Is In God (RHB, 2017). I have respect for both men; I like both men. Frame has been kind to me and I have no interest in making him an enemy.  Sure, Frame himself carries out some...

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Thursday, 23 November 2017 09:29

Do Arminians Go to Heaven?

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Is faith our righteousness?

No, faith is the sole instrument whereby God graciously imputes to us the righteousness of Christ.

Where Do We Draw the Heresy Line?

In my recent book, Faith.Hope.Love, I devote a section of the book to affirming the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith against...

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Let’s returnagain to the Westminster Confession of Faith on Scripture. In 1.9, the Divines say:

IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but...

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 01:41

But How Many Good Works Are Necessary?

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“But this alone we say, There is grace administered by the promises of the gospel, enabling us to perform the obedience of it in that way and manner which God will accept.” – John Owen

The Wrong Question

When arguing for the necessity of good works for final salvation, not as...

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I’d like to return to a point that I made in the previous post to emphasize it again, because, at the end of the day, it is extremely important. So, once more: the Westminster Divines say this:

VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet...

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Thursday, 09 November 2017 23:46

RTR: A Proposed Schedule

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Picking up on the idea of reading the Reformation along with Martin Luther, I’m planning on using this chronology to set up the schedule. That means that there are three things to read before the end of the year: the disputation against scholastic theology, the 95 Theses, and the lectures on...

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