Isaac’s Carnal Appetite: A Key Motif of Genesis 27

In Grecian mythology, Achilles was an almost invincible warrior before whom nearly all foes were defeated. According to one version of the epic, Achilles mother, who was a goddess, took him when he was an infant and dipped his entire body into a magical river in order to make him immortal and invincible. There was one part of his body, however, that she was not able to immerse into the river. She was, according to storyteller, holding the child by the heel. Thus, Achilles heel was his one weak spot, and according to the story, it was an arrow that pierced his heel, which brought his downfall. Continue reading

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In All Seriousness: Did Jesus Use Humor?

In theory most Christians would concede that Jesus possessed a sense of humor since he is, after all, fully human. The question of whether Jesus used humor in the Gospels, however, is debated. If Christ meant for men to take him seriously, how could he employ a mode of communication that would seem to undermine the sobriety of his message? In the essay below, my daughter, Hosanna, not only highlights examples of Christ’s use of humor but also shows how comedy is a suitable literary device for conveying the most weighty truths of divine revelation. Continue reading

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Shun Sectarianism, Cultivate Catholicity

One can detect sectarianism in a church or denomination when, according to Robert Briggs, “Men are governed by fear instead of faith, and they are marked by pride instead of humility, and they are shaped by suspicion and bitterness instead of love.” Such a spirit has no place in gospel ministry. Yet, there’s reason to fear that such a spirit has to some degree infected some Reformed Baptist pastors and churches. This is ironic in light of the fact that our own Confession of Faith insists that we must strive to extend our fellowship and communion “to all the household of faith, even all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus” (2LCF 27.2).  Continue reading

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Worship Music Matters

Music is usually at the heart of most “worship wars.” Some seem to ascribe an inordinate priority to music, making it the centerpiece of public worship and, in the process, detracting from the centrality of the pulpit ministry. Others seem to depreciate the importance of music in worship, fearing its power to stir the emotions and therefore minimizing its use and suppressing its beauty. While the Christian may affirm the primacy of preaching, he should not undervalue the importance of music for the worship of God. Below are four reasons why music should play a vital role in corporate gatherings of God’s people. Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Applied Theology, Biblical Studies, Ecclesiology, New Testament, Old Testament, Practical, Theology, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Reformed Baptist Piety

Reformed Baptist Seminary asked Dr. Michael Haykin to deliver three lectures on the practical piety exemplified in the teaching and practice of early English Baptists of the 17th and 18th centuries. In the first lecture, Dr. Haykin demonstrates how the 17th and 18th century Calvinist Baptists stressed the importance of the “means of grace” for promoting spiritual growth in the church. Baptist theologian Andrew Fuller’s teaching on the spirituality of Continue reading

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Modern Trends in Missions

Over the last several decades, the modern missionary movement has continued to undergo important changes and developments.  Any church or individual interested in missionary endeavor needs to understand these trends and assess them in light of biblical principle. In the video lecture below, Professor Trevor Johnson highlights and evaluates some of the major trends in missions today. Continue reading

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Is Orthodoxy Enough?

The risen Christ commended the church in Ephesus for its commitment to sound doctrine (Revelation 2:2-3). However, the Lord also had something against the church. These believers had lost sight of the vital importance of Christian love (Revelation 2:4). The church was strong on “orthodoxy” (right doctrine). But it lacked “orthopathos” (right affections) and “orthopraxis” (right practice). For this, Jesus rebuked the church and called it to repentance. And the Lord’s admonition to the Ephesians serves to remind us that a love for truth is not enough. We must love people too. Continue reading

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The Hermeneutics of the Emergent Church

Pastor Mark Chanski serves as a professor of biblical studies for Reformed Baptist Seminary and teaches the seminary’s course on hermeneutics (i.e., the science of interpretation). In the spring of 2014, Mark gave a special lecture on the Hermeneutics of the Emergent Church (see below). Chanski demonstrates how earlier neo-orthodox and existential ideas that predominated the academia in the early and mid-twentieth century gave rise to post-modern thought, which in turn found its way into the church. Uncertainty, doubt, and even skepticism are now praised and serve as the interpretive lens through which the Bible is interpreted. Chanski not only exposes but critiques this unbiblical hermeneutic, contrasting it with the hermeneutic of Jesus and the apostles, which is predicated on certainty, faith, and conviction in the veracity and authority of God’s Word. Continue reading

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On Tribal Missions

Trevor Johnson and his wife, Teresa, are both registered nurses, and they serve a remote tribal group in the Papua region of eastern Indonesia. Trevor served five years as an active-duty army officer, is a grad of Reformed Theological Seminary, and is a candidate for the Doctor of Missiology (D.Miss.) from Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary. He was ordained and sent out by his sending authority of Bible Baptist Church in Saint Louis and partners with Heartcry Missionary Society. In the lecture below, Trevor draws from his own experience and explains the nature of tribal missions, underscoring the ongoing need for missionaries to take the gospel to the still-unreached people groups in the world today. This lecture serves as part of the curriculum for Reformed Baptist Seminary‘s course PT 801 Missions. Continue reading

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Calvinism & Missions: Free Lecture

Many evangelicals commonly (and mistakenly) assume that Calvinism with its firm belief in the comprehensive sovereignty of God is antithetical to the work of missions. After all, if God is going to convert the heathen, he doesn’t need our help to do so. But such reasoning is misguided. What’s more, the facts of history say otherwise. While Calvinism affirms that salvation belongs to the Lord, it no less believes that the God who saves uses means and agents. Saving faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God, the Word of God by preaching, and the preaching of the gospel by missionaries sent by churches. And, as Dr. Jim Adams demonstrates in the lecture below, we can find this pattern of gospel endeavor as a prominent feature among many churches and missionary agencies that have affirmed the tenants of Calvinism. Continue reading

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