Death is an occasion and funeral homes are a place marked by much sadness and grief. And yet, according to Holy Scripture, there is something potentially beneficial about such an occasion and such a place. As the writer of Ecclesiastes puts it, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to a house of feasting” (7:2 NIV). To paraphrase, “Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties” (NLT). Why would the Bible make such an assertion? What is this passage teaching us?
If Martin Luther was the catalyst of the Protestant Reformation, John Calvin was its consolidator. Calvin was both a commentator and also a systematic theologian. J. I. Packer has rightly appraised Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536-1559) as “one of the wonders of the spiritual world–the world of doxology and devotion, of discipleship and discipline, of Word-through-Spirit illumination and transformation of individuals, of the Christ-centered mind and the Christ-honoring heart.”1 In the thirteen lectures below, historical theologian and pastor Mark Sarver, provides a sketch of Calvin’s life and labors as well as a survey of some of Calvin’s greatest theological contributions. Continue reading
- A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes (P&R, 2008), xi. [↩]
I am convinced that apart from the cross of Calvary we have no more powerful and vivid a portrayal of gospel truth than what we find in the cup of Gethsemane. If you and I were standing by Jesus’ side 2,000 years ago, peering into that cup, what would we see? From what did Jesus come to save men? How does He accomplish this salvation? What life-changing truths could we discern? In a word, what would be the Gospel According to Gethsemane? Continue reading
Although Ulrich Zwingli stands under the shadow of Martin Luther and John Calvin in terms of prominence in the Protestant Reformation, he nevertheless deserves a place alongside these giants. His contributions to the doctrine of Scripture, providence, the Law of God, church and state, and the sacraments are notable. In the the six video lectures below, Pastor Mark Sarver, a professor of historical theology for Reformed Baptist Seminary, provides a survey of Zwingli’s theology and underscores its relevance for today. Continue reading
You’re invited to a Summer Module entitled “Calling & Cultivation.” Immanuel Baptist Church of Sacramento, California, will host the module June 9 thru 15. Pastors Jeff Johnson and Robert Briggs will address the subject of a “call to ministry,” as well as the cultivation of godliness at the level of a man’s personal character, marriage and family, and his public ministry. Dr Michael Haykin will serve as a guest lecturer and speak the final day on the personal piety of 18th century Calvinist Baptists. Join us for a time of rich fellowship, biblical instruction, and Christ-centered exhortation. You can access the module registration form, lecture schedule, and course syllabus below. Continue reading
Theologians frequently distinguish two species of divine grace in the Scriptures: saving grace and common grace. God directs the former particularly to the elect; God showers the latter indiscriminately on all men in general. Saving grace is, as its designation suggests, efficacious in effecting the redemption of those to whom it is given. Common grace, on the other hand, does not guarantee the salvation of its recipients. Nevertheless, God’s common grace is saving in its design. That is, God sincerely intends the kindness and patience he shows to all sinners (whether elect or non-elect) to lead them unto saving repentance. The apostle Paul underscores this biblical truth in Romans 2:4.
I’d like to invite you to our 2014 spring module on the subject of biblical interpretation or hermeneutics. Pastor Mark Chanski, author of Manly Dominion and Womanly Dominion, will serve as our primary lecturer. He will be joined by Dr Mark Ward Jr who will give three lectures that provide an overview and assessment of the three major Bible software platforms (Bibleworks, Logos, and Accordance). Grace Baptist Church of Taylors, South Carolina, will host the module on May 5th thru 9th. For a course syllabus, lecture schedule, and registration form, see the links below. Continue reading