As another year approaches, many Americans are preparing to make “New Year’s Resolutions,” which one online encyclopedia defines as “commitments that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous.” Among the most popular resolutions made on the eve of the New Year include the following: Read more
We hope that this Christmas finds each of you, our family and friends, filled with joy and faith. This past year at our church we have been studying the concept of faith in the book of Hebrews, and have seen that “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Especially in times of loss and difficulty, we are tempted by the world, the flesh, and the devil to give up on our faith. But instead of looking to ourselves or our circumstances, we must look to the God who became a man, Jesus Christ. Read more
Reformed Baptist Seminary is partnering with Midwest Center for Theological Studies to offer a two-credit course on Eschatology (Last Things) the week of January 16 thru 21. Dr. Sam Waldron will examine the history of eschatological thought in the Church, the major structural considerations for an understanding of redemptive history (including the already/not yet, the kingdom of God, and the millennium), and Read more
In light of the approach of Christmas—a time when Christians celebrate the incarnation of Christ—I’d like to highlight the reality and importance of the virgin birth, or more properly, the virgin conception of Jesus Christ. Until recently, the virgin birth has been acknowledged as an important doctrine of the Christian faith. The early church fathers, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene and Chalcedon Creeds, the Lutheran Augsburg Confession, the Reformed Belgic Confession, the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, and the Westminster Confession of Faith all bear witness to the church’s faith in the virgin birth. Read more
Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is one of our family’s favorite stories. On Christmas Eve the Grinch steals every gift in “Who-ville” in order to spoil their joy. But the story goes on to tell us that on Christmas day,
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same! Read more
Last year, I was asked to serve as a visiting lecturer in Roanoke, Virginia. I delivered two lectures on the question of whether NT prophecy and tongues are for today. The lectures were part of a course on pneumatology taught by Pastor Randy Pizzino. Some weeks prior to my lecture slot, Pastor Pizzino had invited Bruce Chick of Sovereign Grace Community Church to present the continuationist position. The task assigned to me was to present an argument for cessationism. The lectures are available on the Internet. For those interested in listening to and/or downloading the lectures, click on the links below. Read more
Genesis3:22-24 bring closure to the Fall narrative and are key for understanding man’s sin and its consequences. The text contains three thematic elements: divine assessment of the fallen human condition, divine alarm at the fallen human condition, and divine action towards the fallen human condition. On close inspection, God’s banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden sets in motion redemptive history and turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Read more
After God’s juridicial inquest follows his penal sentence pronounced on the three culpable parties. But there emerges a blessing out of the divine curse! What spells “doom” for the Serpent and his “offspring” actually spells “hope” for the human race. Satan’s ultimate demise will result in the humans’ ultimate deliverance. Justice and mercy kiss at this primeval tribunal and the proto-evangel or “first gospel” is proclaimed. Read more
The first human sin is immediately followed by God’s juridicial inquest. When Yahweh-Elohim begins his inquest in 3:8, the humans respond immediately with fear and attempt to hide among the trees of the Garden. The divine inquest is clearly theophanic, though recent interpreters question the traditional rendering of the text that portrays Yahweh on a peaceful routine stroll through the Garden “in the cool of the day.” The wording in the Hebrew suggests the possibility of a different reading – one more awe-inspiring and dreadful. Read more
God gave the man and woman access to all the trees of the Garden for food (Gen 2:9, 16) but forbade access to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 2:17). The Serpent has cast God’s prohibition in a negative light. God is hiding the truth from the humans and doesn’t have their best interests in view (Gen 3:4-5). In response to the Serpent’s slanderous insinuation of God’s malevolent intentions toward the humans and his deceitful claim about the benefits of disobedience, the woman now focuses her attention on the tree. Read more