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

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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

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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, Trevor Johnson, current missionary to Papua, Indonesia, and Pastor Bob Selph, former missions coordinator for the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America. Topics include the following: Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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Confessional Subscription: Its Key Terms and Basic Types

We normally associate the term “subscription” with signing up to receive certain periodicals, journals, and/or magazines to which we’ve “subscribed.” In religious or ecclesiastical parlance, however, the terms “subscription” or “subscribe” when tied to a doctrinal creed or confession refers to one’s affirmation of, agreement with, and commitment to a fixed body of doctrines or articles of faith that are officially representative of a church’s or denomination’s beliefs. It’s worth noting that the term “creed” derives from the Latin credo, meaning, “I believe.” The issue of subscription is important for churches or ecclesiastical bodies that are self-consciously “confessional,” especially as it relates to the level of commitment these institutions expect of their officers and teachers. Continue reading

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