On Choosing & Using Bible Software

In the four-part video series below, Dr. Mark Ward Jr. introduces and evaluates the three major Bible software platforms: Bibleworks, Logos, and Accordance. In the first lecture, he identifies and discusses some guidelines and principles for choosing and using Bible software. Then, in lectures two through four, Dr. Ward looks at each software platform separately, highlighting some of its helpful features and noting its strengths and weaknesses. These lectures serve as a part of the curriculum for Reformed Baptist Seminary’s course on biblical hermeneutics, which can be audited for $10.  Continue reading

Posted in Applied Theology, Biblical Studies, Distance Learning, Hermeneutics, Live Module, Practical, Seminary News & Events, Seminary Updates, Theology, Word Studies | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You Are Not Alone: The Spirit’s Intercession

To encourage suffering Christians in Rome the apostle Paul assures them that the Triune God is “for us” and, as a result, nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ” (Rom 8:18-39). One of the facets of Trinitarian help Paul highlights is the Holy Spirit’s intercession. “Likewise,” says Paul, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” How should we understand the Spirit’s intercession for us? What are the “groaning too deep for words”?  Continue reading

Posted in Biblical Studies, Christian Living, Holy Spirit, Practical, Prayer, Theology | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Choosing & Using a Confession of Faith: Some Biblical and Theological Guidelines

If we grant the legitimacy and usefulness of a confession of faith,1 we’re faced with two practical questions: first, what particular confession of faith should a local church or collective body of churches adopt? And, second, what type or level of confessional subscription2 should such a church or body of churches require of its officers and members? Below I’d like to suggest a few biblical and theological guidelines to assist in answering these questions. Continue reading

  1. See my two-part series “The Validity & Value of a Confession of Faith.” []
  2. See my article “Confessional Subscription: Its Key Terms and Basic Types.” []
Posted in Applied Theology, Biblical Studies, Confessionalism, Creeds & Confessions, Distance Learning, Ecclesiology, Epistemology, Ethics, Hermeneutics, Historical Theology, Holy Spirit, Live Module, Polemics, Seminary News & Events, Seminary Updates, Special Revelation, Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Is the Bible Necessary?

Can God reveal himself to humans apart from Scripture? Or is the Bible necessary? If the Bible is necessary, why? What precisely is it about Holy Scripture that makes it indispensable for a saving and covenantal revelation from God? These questions are explored in the four-part lecture series below in which I attempt to expound the doctrine of the necessity of Scripture, using the Baptist Confession (2LCF) as a guide for isolating and analyzing the key biblical data. These lectures form part of the curriculum for Reformed Baptist Seminary’s course HT 501 Creeds & ConfessionsContinue reading

Posted in Applied Theology, Biblical Studies, Creeds & Confessions, Distance Learning, Epistemology, Ethics, General Revelation, Gospel, Historical Theology, Live Module, New Testament, Old Testament, Polemics, Seminary News & Events, Seminary Updates, Special Revelation, Theology, Theology Proper | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

On Confessional Subscription: Free Video/Audio Lectures

Having argued for the legitimacy and usefulness of confessions of faith in a previous post, I turn to the issue of confessional subscription in this post. One’s subscription to a confession refers to one’s affirmation of and commitment to that body of doctrines or articles of faith. The issue of subscription is obviously important for churches or ecclesiastical bodies that are self-consciously “confessional.” In the two-part lecture series below, I examine the key terminology associated with confessional subscription, survey the six major types of subscription, and set forth some of the biblical and theological principles for choosing and using a confession of faith. Continue reading

Posted in Applied Theology, Biblical Studies, Creeds & Confessions, Ecclesiology, Historical Theology, Live Module, Polemics, Seminary News & Events, Seminary Updates, Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Teaching in Medellín, Colombia: A Report

I just returned from Medellín, Colombia where I had the privilege of delivering thirty lectures on the doctrine of Scripture at El Seminario Reformado de Latinoamerica (Reformed Seminary of Latin America), which is located in Medellín, Colombia. The seminary is under the oversight of La Iglesia Bautista Reformada “La Gracia de Dios” (The Reformed Baptist Church of God’s Grace) in Medellín, as well as a board of directors that includes Dr Noé Acosta, the Executive Director of Gospel Through Colombia. The mission of SLR (the seminary) is to provide sound theological education to Spanish speaking pastors and ministeral aspirants as well as to promote revival and reformation among already existing evangelical churches throughout Latin America. Continue reading

Posted in Creeds & Confessions, Epistemology, General Revelation, Live Module, New Testament, Old Testament, RBS International, Seminary News & Events, Seminary Updates, Special Revelation, Theology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 Winter Module: Missions

On the week of January 26 – 30, Grace Baptist Church of Taylors, South Carolina, will host a theological module (seminar) on the topic of foreign missions. The speakers will include Dr. James Adams, former missionary to Colombia, Latin America, and Trevor Johnson, current missionary to Papua, Indonesia. Topics include the following: Continue reading

Posted in Applied Theology, Ecclesiology, Evangelism & Missions, Gospel, Live Module, Missions, Seminary News & Events, Seminary Updates, Theology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Validity & Value of a Confession of Faith: Two Free Video/Audio Lectures

Should a church or association of churches adopt and affirm a written confession of faith? Or is a simple commitment to the Scripture or NT as the church’s creed sufficient? In the two-part lecture series below, I define a creed or confession of faith and present three arguments to validate its use in the church. I also attempt to address and answer common objections to the use of creeds or confessions in the church. Then, in the second lecture, I highlight a number of ways in which a good confession of faith can benefit the ministry of the church. Orthodoxy alone is not the only mark of a healthy church. But it is one of the marks, and a good confession of faith can assist the church toward that end. These lectures form a part of RBS’s course HT 501 Creeds & ConfessionsContinue reading

Posted in Biblical Studies, Confessionalism, Creeds & Confessions, Distance Learning, Ecclesiology, Historical Theology, Live Module, Polemics, Seminary News & Events, Theology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What’s the Deal with Me?!… Sin

Perhaps the most universally acknowledged reality apart from death is the presence of moral evil in the world. Virtually every religion, philosophy, and society acknowledges some defect in the nature of man. However, a subtle shift has occurred in the way many people now view and describe this human problem. What was once called “sin” is now called “sickness.” We no longer need preachers calling men to repentance. Instead, we need physicians or psychiatrists to prescribe the right medication. In the 50-minute video/audio below, I attempt to explore the nature of man’s moral defect and underscore why it’s important to view this defect from a theological perspective, that is, why we must keep “God” in the definition. Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Biblical Studies, Christian Living, Conference, Ethics, Practical, Seminary News & Events, Systematic Theology, Theology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Removing the Tares of Thomism (or Reforming the Doctrine of God)

Those familiar with the writings of Cornelius Van Til know that he frequently criticized the kind of apologetic methodology exemplified in the writings of Thomas Aquinas. What is not as well-known is Van Til’s concern about unbiblical elements of thought in the Roman Catholic doctrine of God as epitomized in Aquinas. It turns out that Van Til wasn’t merely concerned with Rome’s faulty epistemology and, as a result, its apologetic for theism. More than that, Van Til had larger concerns with Rome’s theology proper. In his words, “The theism of Roman Catholic theology is not ‘theism come to its own'; it is a vague, general sort of theism.” Van Til continues, Continue reading

Posted in Apologetics, Biblical Studies, Christology, Epistemology, Philosophy, Special Revelation, Theology, Theology Proper | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments