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With the understanding that confession is a witness to the gospel, Confessing the Faith Today investigates how a sixteenth-century Reformation confession, the Belgic Confession, can assist contemporary Christians testify to the truth of Gods gracious turn toward creation and do so in the context of the twenty-first century's competing claims. A close examination of the internal coherence of the Belgic Confession, along with an exploration of how that confession might engage contemporary life, offers fresh insight into how Christians might articulate what is at stake in the gospel. Janssen encourages the church to enter a conversation with the forebears of the faith, acknowledging the historical nature of not only the confession but of God's involvement in all creation.
To this day, Abraham Kuyper stands as a shining example of responsible and effective Christian action in all areas of life. A leading journalist, theologian, churchman, and politician in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Kuyper effectuated, during a career spanning 50 years, an astonishing metamorphosis of the Dutch political and ecclesiastical landscape. Lifting high the banner of the universal lordship of Christ, he managed to revitalize a moribund political party and mobilize the so-called kleyne luyden, the “little guys,” into a social, ecclesiastical, educational, and political force to be reckoned with. And he did all of this while proclaiming, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” What is less well understood is the degree to which Kuyper spoke out of two sides of his mouth. In fact, Kuyper shortchanged his trumpeted Christocratic agenda in the interest of political expediency. From early on he redefined theological categories in order to implement a dualism between church and state that could allow him to harness the church as a political action committee in the secularized democratic environment, all the while posturing as a champion of historic Christian theopolitical civilization. The epicenter of this revaluation of Christian values was Article 36 of the Belgic Confession, which mandated that the civil magistrate “remove and prevent all idolatry and false worship; that the kingdom of anti-christ may be thus destroyed, and the kingdom of Christ promoted.” This, in the view of Kuyper and his movement, was a denial of true Calvinism, which championed freedom of conscience and religion. Hoedemaker disputed this, arguing that Kuyper had set up a straw man. Did Article 36 really entail violation of conscience and the elimination of religious freedom? No – this was a smokescreen. In fact, Kuyper’s solution was the problem, as it did not take the Bible seriously. Hoedemaker returned to the Reformed fathers to recover a sound Reformed political theology, capable of being defended and advanced in the modern world. Hoedemaker had once stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Kuyper to advance the very same agenda of Christ’s lordship over every area of life. But he came to realize that Kuyper’s practical agenda deviated fundamentally from this proclaimed agenda, starting with the separation from the national church and culminating in Kuyper’s “mutilation” (A. A. van Ruler) of Article 36. This book presents Hoedemaker’s argument, involving a detailed analysis of Kuyper’s published statements on the subject, mainly his extended discussion included in vol. 3 of Common Grace. It is the translation of Artikel XXXVI onzer Nederduitsche Geloofsbelijdenis tegenover Dr. A. Kuyper gehandhaafd: beoordelingen van de opstellen in de “Heraut” over kerk en staat (Amsterdam: Van Dam, 1901).
Pastors are tasked with the incredibly demanding job of caring for the spiritual, emotional, and, at times‚ physical needs of their people. While seminary is helpful preparation for many of the challenges pastors face, there’s far more to pastoral ministry than what can be covered in the classroom. Designed as a reference guide for nearly every situation a pastor will face, this comprehensive book by seasoned pastors Kent Hughes and Doug O’Donnell is packed full of biblical wisdom and practical guidance related to the reality of pastoral ministry in the trenches. From officiating weddings to conducting funerals to visiting the sick, this book will equip pastors and church leaders with the knowledge they need to effectively minister to their flocks, both within the walls of the church and beyond.
Creeds and confessions throughout Christian history provide a unique vantage point from which to study the Christian faith. To this end, Donald Fairbairn and Ryan Reeves construct a story that captures both the central importance of creeds and confessions over the centuries and their unrealized potential to introduce readers to the overall sweep of church history. The book features texts of classic creeds and confessions as well as informational sidebars.
In many modern histories of Christian missions, the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century is depicted as a movement lacking missionary zeal. It has virtually become a given that the Reformation was not oriented to the church’s missionary task. In order to win our neighbors for Christ, Wes Bredenhof answers these charges, proving that it is a mistake to say the Reformation and the confessional documents it produced have nothing to say about missions. the author demonstrates that the three forms of Unity—the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort — properly understood, have much to off err the study of missions. more importantly, they encourage us to care about a world lost in unbelief, making us more mission oriented and outward looking.
This volume introduces the main theological topics of Reformation theology in a language that is clear and concise. Theology in the Reformation era can be complicated and contentious. This volume aims to cut through the theological jargon and explain what people believed and why. The book begins with an essay that explains to students how one can approach the study of 16th century theology. It includes a guide to major events, persons, doctrines, and movements.
Today, too many Christians are followers of novelty, religious fads, and strange new doctrines unheard of in the history of the church. On the contrary, to be a Christian is to join the great cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1) through the ages, confessing with the Body of Christ the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). This is what Paul called the good confession (1 Tim 6:12). This workbook will lead you in a study of what it means to be a Christian from the vantage point of the Bible, the ancient Christian creeds, and the Protestant confessions of the sixteenth century.
* Including an annotation about the history of the Reformed Churches Helvetic Confessions, the name of two documents expressing the common belief of the Reformed churches of Switzerland. The Second Helvetic Confession (Latin: Confessio Helvetica posterior) was written by Bullinger in 1562 and revised in 1564 as a private exercise. It came to the notice of Elector Palatine Frederick III, who had it translated into German and published. It gained a favorable hold on the Swiss churches, who had found the First Confession too short and too Lutheran. It was adopted by the Reformed Church not only throughout Switzerland but in Scotland (1566), Hungary (1567), France (1571), Poland (1578), and next to the Heidelberg Catechism is the most generally recognized confession of the Reformed Church. (courtesy of wikipedia.com)
For centuries, followers of Jesus have used creeds and confessions to express their Christian beliefs. Summarizing key truths from Scripture into succinct statements, these words have shaped the church for generations and continue to teach and inspire believers today. Creeds, Confessions, and Catechisms gathers 13 historic statements of faith—including the Apostles’ Creed, the Belgic Confession, and the Heidelberg Catechism—into one beautiful collection. Each text includes an introduction from editor Chad Van Dixhoorn that explains its origins and significance to the early church. By learning and revisiting these timeless confessions of faith, readers can grow spiritually and learn more about Christian history.
From five authors with over two decades of experience teaching origins together in the classroom, this is the first textbook to offer a full-fledged discussion of the scientific narrative of origins from the Big Bang through humankind, from biblical and theological perspectives. This work gives the reader a detailed picture of mainstream scientific theories of origins along with how they fit into the story of God's creative and redemptive action.
It is fascinating that in all the media reports and discussions of the church’s abuse of power in the early years of the twenty-first century, few if any seemed to notice that the accusation of the church’s misuse of power presupposed a shared understanding of the positive use of power within the church that had been violated. Rather than an interest in the sociological aspect of this question, this book examines the more ontological and normative aspects of it. That is, it investigates and discerns the foundational theological framework of culture and society and the location and purpose of the church within them. As a cultural force and societal institution, what does the church constructively bring to the human community?
This book provides a focus for future discussion in one of the most important debates within historical theology within the protestant tradition - the debate about the definition of a category of analysis that operates over five centuries of religious faith and practice and in a globalising religion. In March 2009, TIME magazine listed ‘the new Calvinism’ as being among the ‘ten ideas shaping the world.’ In response to this revitalisation of reformation thought, R. Scott Clark and D. G. Hart have proposed a definition of ‘Reformed’ that excludes many of the theologians who have done most to promote this driver of global religious change. In this book, the Clark-Hart proposal becomes the focus of a debate. Matthew Bingham, Chris Caughey, and Crawford Gribben suggest a broader and (they argue) more historically responsible definition for ‘Reformed,’ as Hart and Scott respond to their arguments.
Font of Pardon and New Life is a study of the historical development and impact of John Calvin's doctrine of baptism, both adult (or believer) baptism and infant baptism. Did Calvin intend to teach a kind of baptismal forgiveness and regeneration, that is, did he believe that the external sign of baptism actually conveys the spiritual realities it signifies? If baptism does serve in some way as an instrument of divine grace for Calvin, what then are the roles of the Word, the Holy Spirit, divine election, and individual faith? Are spiritual blessings conferred only in adult (believer) baptism or also in the baptism of infants? Did Calvin's teaching on baptismal efficacy remain constant throughout his lifetime, or did it undergo significant change? What impact did it have on the Reformed confessional tradition that followed him? Lyle D. Bierma approaches these questions by examining Calvin's writings on baptism in their entirety, proceeding chronologically through Calvin's life and writings including his Institutes, commentaries on the Bible, catechisms, polemical treatises, and consensus documents. Bierma concludes that Calvin understood baptism as a means or instrument of both assurance and grace. His view underwent some change and development over the course of his life but not to the extent that some in the past have suggested. The overall trajectory of his baptismal theology was one of increasing clarity and refinement of basic themes already present in incipient form in the Institutes of 1536.
What is the real meaning of the church for Christian life? If we confess Christian faith, the church is one of the twelve articles, which implies that the church is rather important. In the creeds of the early church catholicity is confessed as characteristic for the church. This means that the church cannot exist without catholicity. What does this qualification mean? In this study the author listens to the understanding of the concept of catholicity in the theology of Ignatius, Cyprian, Cyril, Augustine and Vincent. In the second part of the book some representatives of the reformed tradition are analyzed, namely John Calvin, James Ussher, John Owen, Herman Bavinck and Gerrit Berkouwer. This analysis leads to a comparison between the early church and the reformed tradition. Listening to theologians from the early church and the reformed tradition, Van Vlastuin presents an up-to-date concept of the catholicity of the church which clarifies among others that the visibility of the church belongs to the essence of Christ's body, that practicing the catholicity of the church is necessary against denominationalism and party formation, that loss of catholicity leads to spiritual and theological impoverishment, that the understanding of catholicity implies also orthodoxy with consequences for the interpretation of 'semper reformanda' and that the consciousness of catholicity is related to the citizenship of two worlds.
Table of Contents: 1. Preserving the Reformation: A Historical Portrait of the Synod of Dort — W. Robert Godfrey 2. What’s the Difference? A Historical and Theological Comparison of the Three Forms of Unity — Lyle D. Bierma 3. The English Delegation to the Synod of Dort — Kevin J. Bidwell 4. The Everlasting Love of God: Election and Predestination — J. V. Fesko 5. Dead in Sin: The Utter Depravity of Mankind — Christopher J. Gordon 6. The Promise of the Gospel: Redemption in Christ — Michael Horton 7. The Irresistible Spirit: The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Canons of Dort — Sebastian Heck 8. The Preservation and Perseverance of the Saints — Danny Hyde 9. Comfort and Assurance: The Pastoral Implications of Dort — Joel R. Beeke and Ray B. Lanning 10. Preaching the Doctrines of Dort — Cornelis P. Venema 11. Proclaiming Joyful Tidings: Dort, Evangelism, and the Sovereignty of God — Jon D. Payne
"Celebrating the Lord’s Supper,” says award-winning author and theologian J. Todd Billings, “can change lives.” In this book Billings shows how a renewed theology and practice of the Lord’s Supper can lead Christians to rediscover the full richness and depth of the gospel. With an eye for helping congregations move beyond common reductions of the gospel, he develops a vibrant, biblical, and distinctly Reformed sacramental theology and explores how it might apply within a variety of church contexts, from Baptist to Presbyterian, nondenominational to Anglican. At once strikingly new and deeply traditional, Remembrance, Communion, and Hope will surprise and challenge readers, inspiring them to a new understanding of—and appreciation for—the embodied, Christ-disclosing drama of the Lord’s Supper.
Accomplished theologian J. Todd Billings recovers the biblical theme of union with Christ for today's church, making a fresh contribution to the theological discussion with important applications for theology and ministry. Drawing on Scripture and the thought of figures such as Augustine, Calvin, Bavinck, and Barth, Billings shows how a theology of union with Christ can change the way believers approach worship, justice, mission, and the Christian life. He illuminates how union with Christ can change the theological conversation about thorny topics such as total depravity and the mystery of God. Billings also provides a critique and alternative to the widely accepted paradigm of incarnational ministry and explores a gospel-centered approach to social justice. Throughout, he offers a unique and lively exploration of what is so amazing about being united to the living Christ.
This ecclesiological study argues that Reformed ecclesiology cannot be separated from Reformed Christology. The christological foundation of Reformed doctrine of the church will be examined as Reformed theology portrays the important ecclesiological topics in the light of its christological thoughts. This book offers potential for the future of the church with her pastoral concern. It will serve as a stimulus against the erroneous paths of ecclesiocentrism on the one hand and church-forgetfulness on the other. Even though the chapters of the book deal with classical topics in ecclesiology, the work will try to analyze and answer contemporary challenges the church faces. This book is not a systematic treatment in the sense of an examination of the whole developed in terms of one principle (that is, Christology). Rather, the concern of this book is to expound the Holy Scripture realistically and to engage with the contemporary church in her concrete existence. The study will weave together insights from biblical, historical, confessional, philosophical, and contemporary studies in a fruitful way.
In the framework of the international academic dialogue on Reformed church polity this study focuses on the way the notion of authority is articulated in the church orders of three Indonesian churches with different historical and missionary backgrounds. The analysis deals with the main aspects of church polity that would articulate power: identity, assembly, and ministry. It shows resonances between the characteristic features of Reformed polity and the cultural context of Indonesia. Authority can be characterized as context-relevant, relational, and accountable.
All serious Christians understand the importance of Bible study, but relatively few have a solid foundation in bibliology or an informed and thoughtful philosophy of the Bible. In Introduction to Bibliology, Jefrey Breshears explores issues of vital interest and concern to Christians and non-Christians alike regarding the content and authority of the Bible, including: - What is the Bible? If asked to define the Bible without using the familiar cliche, "The Bible is the written Word of God," how would you respond? - Does the Bible present a coherent, consistent, comprehensive, and compelling worldview and philosophy of life? - Is there a qualitative difference between the kind of inspiration that we encounter in Scripture and that which motivates gifted writers, speakers, preachers, composers, and artists to produce their works? - Why is it reasonable to believe that the Bible was supernaturally inspired? - What are the origins of the Bible, and how were the early manuscripts composed? - What were the criteria by which certain books were included or excluded from the Bible? - What are the basic principles that should guide our interpretation of Scripture? - How can we be confident that the Bible has been accurately preserved and transmitted through the centuries? In this substantive yet digestible study, Jefrey Breshears addresses these and many other issues and concerns that every Christian--and non-Christian--should know about the Bible.
How should the Word of God be interpreted and applied today? Does our modern culture affect how we read the Bible? Can certain passages be interpreted in different contexts and in different ways, all the while acknowledging that God speaks with a clear and consistent voice? These are the enduring challenges of hermeneutics. In this volume, no less than sixteen Reformed scholars from four different countries join together to tackle the hard questions that often arise when we busy ourselves with the weighty responsibility of interpreting Holy Scripture. As iron sharpens iron, so also these Reformed scholars challenge each other and their readers to ask not only how hermeneutics can be done, but ultimately, how it should be done so that God's Word of Truth may be handled correctly (2 Tim 2:15).
This textbook provides complete and comprehensive coverage of the theological tradition of Aquinas, Maximus, Luther, Irenaeus, Lonergan, von Balthasar, Schmemann, Meyendorf and Barth. Each section of this textbook explores a wide variety of questions – who are we? Is there a God, and if so, what is his nature? Who is Jesus? What does it mean that we live both in sin and righteousness? It consists of 15 modules that are comprised of 46 chapters. Each module has two parts: there are systematic chapters that discuss and explain each module's topic; and the final chapter of each module examines 4 to 6 primary sources that are important for each topic. This textbook includes an extensive range of pedagogical features: - Sample tests in which each objective question has been quality tested by classroom use (with a discrimination index) - A discussion guide for each chapter - Learning objectives linked to each chapter - The text includes bold-faced terms, boxed text sections that identify central figures and points of debate, study question, chapter summaries, glossary
Philip Schaff's The Creeds of Christendom is a massive set, originally published in three volumes and here reproduced across five volumes, cataloging and explaining the many different creeds from the myriad Christian denominations. The differences in belief between Calvinists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians, for example, can often be subtle, so a thorough examination of the particulars as well as an explanation for how those different beliefs result in a different worldview is necessary. Volume One: Part II covers: . the Catechism of Geneva AD 1546 and 1541 . the Reformed Confessions of France and Netherlands . the Reformed Confessions of Germany . the Reformed Confessions of Bohemia, Poland, and Hungary . the Anglican Articles of Religion . the Presbyterian Confessions of Scotland . the Westminster Standards . the Creeds of Modern Evangelical Denominations. (See Volume One: Part I for the Table of Contents for this volume.) Swiss theologian PHILIP SCHAFF (1819-1893) was educated in Germany and eventually came to the United States to teach at the German Reformed Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. He wrote a number of books and hymnals for children, including History of the Christian Church and The Creeds of the Evangelical Protestant Churches.
Church leadership and authority have been perennial theological issues facing Protestant churches of the Reformed tradition since the sixteenth century. What is ordination and what occurs when the Church ordains women and men to offices are questions that Reformed churches have attempted to answer for over five hundred years. In Here I Am, Lord, Send Me, Neal Presa combs the rich confessional, constitutional, and theological tradition of the Reformed churches. He critiques previous methods that have tried to answer questions of the meaning of ordination, and then proposes a new methodology that focuses on the ritual and stories of ordination, the shape and content of an assembly's worship. This work provides pathways for deeper and helpful engagement with present church debates and ecumenical discussions on ordination and ecclesiastical authority.
Civil government is what we often call the state, which shares characteristics with other institutions. But unlike any other institution, the state can encourage or compel people to do certain things. It sometimes has the legitimate authority to deprive us of life, liberty, and property. The Bible tells us that it and our human governors are ordained by God. The key question this book asks is, “What has God taught us about the state?” The author also explores other questions, such as: Have we uncritically accepted ideas about civil government from our culture? Is our political identity adequately characterized as “conservative” or “progressive”—or should there be something more? What does the Old Testament teach us about civil government? What can we learn from Jesus’s relationship with the political powers of his day? This book also highlights the apostles’ interaction with local and Roman authorities and how the doctrinal statements of thoughtful Christians of the past should inform our views of civil government. Challenge political assumptions and ground your thinking in ways to honor God with the wisdom in Christians and Civil Government.
A biblical, historical, theological, and practical foundation for pastoral leadership Pastors have been entrusted with leading the people of God. The shepherds of God’s flock must protect them from and guide them through the many dangers believers face. Although ultimately the Church is led by Christ, pastors are to provide godly examples of what it means to be a follower of the Lord. Consequently, who leads the church, the type of authority they are given, how they relate to one another, to whom they are accountable, and how they are selected are of utmost importance to the life and health of God’s people. This book provides the biblical, historical, theological, and practical foundation of the crucial task of leading God’s people.
J. Todd Billings and I. John Hesselink have compiled an essential collection of essays for the study of John Calvin's theology. Leading Calvin scholars examine the early and late reception-history of Calvin's fundamental teachings, including reflections on the contemporary possibilities and limitations in developing Calvin's thought. Contributors include Timothy Hessel-Robinson, Michael S. Horton, Mark Husbands, David Little, Suzanne McDonald, Jeannine E. Olson, Sue A. Rozeboom, and Carl R. Trueman.
This study centers on the question: how do particular readers read a biblical passage? What factors govern each reading? DeLapp here attempts to set up a test case for observing how both socio-historical and textual factors play a part in how a person reads a biblical text. Using a reception-historical methodology, he surveys five Reformed authors and their readings of the David and Saul story (primarily 1 Sam 24 and 26). From this survey two interrelated phenomena emerge. First, all the authors find in David an ideal model for civic praxis-a “Davidic social imaginary” (Charles Taylor). Second, despite this primary agreement, the authors display two different reading trajectories when discussing David's relationship with Saul. Some read the story as showing a persecuted exile, who refuses to offer active resistance against a tyrannical monarch. Others read the story as exemplifying active defensive resistance against a tyrant. To account for this convergence and divergence in the readings, DeLapp argues for a two-fold conclusion. The authors are influenced both by their socio-historical contexts and by the shape of the biblical text itself. Given a Deuteronomic frame conducive to the social imaginary, the paradigmatic narratives of 1 Sam 24 and 26 offer a narrative gap never resolved. The story never makes explicit to the reader what David is doing in the wilderness in relation to King Saul. As a result, the authors fill in the “gap” in ways that accord with their own socio-historical experiences.
Following the work and presence of God’s Spirit into communities across North America, the authors find stories of people—ordinary, humble, and faithful people—in the Christian Reformed Church in North America who are sharing themselves with those they meet. We believe stories we tell reflect these questions: What is the Holy Spirit’s invitation to the church today and what is the implication for the future? Our answer is to go local, to look at what is set before us, to admit we are disconnected from our neighbors—the person right next door or the person in front of us. We realize we need to find ways to connect with them and stay put by remaining faithfully present. More broadly, the ministries we feature illustrate that the job of the church is to trust God and not to make things happen by ourselves. Don’t be afraid of the changes around you. Listen to the Spirit’s prodding. Embrace your place and love the people in the tangible, ordinariness of life. Inspired by an incarnational theology that emerges from an imaginative, missional reading of Luke 10, in which Jesus sends out disciples to every town and palace, the authors visit workers who labor in the harvest fields of the Lord’s uncommon, upside down kingdom. A kingdom that—at this point mostly under the radar—has already come.
This collection of studies in theology is written from the perspective of one from within the Christian faith, and seeking greater understanding of the doctrinal deposit of that faith. As a leading scholar in Christian and analytic theology, Oliver D. Crisp summarizes and analyses Christian doctrine, written in the form of traditional dogmatics. Beginning with issues concerning the task of theology, Crisp explores the challenges to systematic theology as a discipline, the uses of Scripture in theological discourse, and the reception of the theology of John Calvin. He then moves issues at the centre of serious theological debate in recent theology, the relationship between God and abstract objects in the thought of Jonathan Edwards, and theological anthropology. This volume culminates with studies that focus on central and defining issues in contemporary systematic and philosophical theology, taking forward a constructive theological program in dialogue with important figures in the Christian tradition, and engaged with some of the best contemporary theological scholarship.
Rediscover the Reformations in Europe with this insightful and comprehensive new edition of a long-time favorite Amongst the authoritative works covering the European Reformation, Carter Lindberg’s The European Reformations has stood the test of time. Widely used in classrooms around the world for over twenty-five years, the first two editions of the book were enjoyed and acclaimed by students and teachers alike. Now, the revised and updated Third Edition of The European Reformations continues the author’s work to sketch the various efforts to reform received expressions of faith and their social and political effects, both historical and modern. He has expanded his coverage of women in the Reformations and added a chapter on reforms in East-Central Europe. Comprehensively covering all of Europe, The European Reformations provides an in-depth exploration of the Reformations’ effects on a wide variety of countries. The author discusses: div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent; overflow: visible; cursor: text; clear: both; position: relative; direction: ltr;" div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent; position: relative;" The late Middle Ages and the historical context in which the Reformations gained a foothold Martin Luther, the theological and past
Regarded as the leading text in Christian theology for the last 25 years, Alister E. McGrath’s The Christian Theology Reader is now available in a new 5th edition featuring completely revised and updated content. Brings together more than 350 readings from over 200 sources that chart 2,000 years of Christian history Situates each reading within the appropriate historical and theological context with its own introduction, commentary, and study questions Includes new readings on world Christianity and feminist, liberation, and postcolonial theologies, as well as more selections by female theologians and theologians from the developing world Contains additional pedagogical features, such as new discussion questions and case studies, and a robust website with new videos by the author to aid student learning Designed to function as a stand-alone volume, or as a companion to Christian Theology: An Introduction, 6th edition, for a complete overview of the subject
The Sabbath-Lord's Day controversy exists because of a lack of faithful hermeneutics and attempts to validate denominational traditions with Scripture. Terrence O'Hare has studied this topic for a decade and presents his findings with the hope of attaining a consensus among professing Christians. The Sabbath Complete is thoroughly researched and comprehensive in its scope. In a readable and instructional manner O'Hare analyzes the full range of biblical texts on this topic, two millennia of church history, and literature from Jewish, Catholic, and many Protestant varieties, thus providing a comprehensive and unique answer that should appeal to a wide range of interested readers.
Most historical theology texts follow Christian beliefs chronologically, discussing notable doctrinal developments for all areas of theology according to their historical appearance. And while this may be good history, it can make for confusing theology, with the classic theological loci scattered throughout various time periods, movements, and controversies. In Historical Theology, Gregg Allison offers students the opportunity to study the historical development of theology according to a topical-chronological arrangement, setting out the history of Christian doctrine one theological element at a time. Such an approach allows readers to concentrate on one tenet of Christianity and its formulation in the early church, through the Middle Ages, Reformation, and post-Reformation era, and into the modern period. The text includes a generous mix of primary source material as well, citing the words of Cyprian, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Barth, and others. Allison references the most accessible editions of these notable theologians’ work so that readers can continue their study of historical theology through Christian history’s most important contributors. Historical Theology is a superb resource for those familiar with Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology or interested in understanding the development of Christian theology.
This project explores the relationship between worship, discipleship, and evangelism within the missional church movement. Engaging contributions from liturgical theology, Christian ethics, and post-Christendom evangelism, the book proposes a missional approach to worship that, when integrated with a praxis-oriented discipleship, cultivates Jesus’ character among God’s people. Along the way, the project attends to the Holy Spirit’s transformative presence, the liturgical rhythms of remembering and anticipating, and the practices of hospitality and compassion. In the end, Cultivating an Evangelistic Character contends that the Spirit works through the integration of worship and discipleship to form God’s people. In other words, God’s people become evangelistic, or as Newbigin said, “the hermeneutic of the gospel.”
In this exciting volume, new and emerging voices join senior Reformed scholars in presenting a coherent and impassioned articulation of Calvinism for today's world. Evangelical Calvinism represents a mood within current Reformed theology. The various contributors are in different ways articulating that mood, of which their very diversity is a significant element. In attempting to outline features of an Evangelical Calvinism, a number of the contributors compare and contrast this approach with that of Federal Calvinism currently dominant in North American Reformed theology, challenging the assumption that Federal Calvinism is the only possible expression of orthodox Reformed theology. This book does not, however, represent the arrival of a "new Calvinism" or even a "neo-Calvinism," if by those terms are meant a novel reading of the Reformed faith. An Evangelical Calvinism highlights a Calvinistic tradition that has developed particularly within Scotland, but is not unique to the Scots. The editors have picked up the baton passed on by John Calvin, Karl Barth, Thomas Torrance, and others, in order to offer the family of Reformed theologies a reinvigorated theological and spiritual ethos. This volume promises to set the agenda for Reformed-Calvinist discussion for some time to come.
This work supplies a long-standing need in the field of early modern studies by providing a basic introduction to Reformed Scholasticism. Although technical studies abound and interest in the subject continues to rise, until the appearance of this work by Willem van Asselt and his colleagues, students of history have lacked a concise guide to help them navigate the difficult waters of Reformed Scholasticism. This book carefully defines the phenomena of scholasticism and orthodoxy, concisely surveys the era, notes the most significant thinkers together with the various trajectories of thought, and references the relevant secondary scholarship. In short, this Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism surveys the topic and provides a guide for further study in early modern Reformed thought. Table of Contents: Introduction: What Is Reformed Scholasticism? – Willem J. van Asselt and Pieter L. Rouwendal The State of Scholarship: From Discontinuity to Continuity – Willem J. van Asselt and Pieter L. Rouwendal ‘As the Philosopher Says’: Aristotle – T. Theo J. Pleizier and Maarten Wisse The Teacher of the Ancient Church: Augustine – Maarten Wisse The Method of the Schools: Medieval Scholasticism – Pieter L. Rouwendal ‘Open Hand and Fist’: Humanism and Scholasticisim in the Reformation – Willem J. Van Asselt Distinguishing and Teaching: Constructing a Theological Argument in Reformed Scholasticism – Willem J. van Asselt and Pieter L. Rouwendal Scholasticism in the Time of Early Orthodoxy (ca. 1560-1620) – Willem J. van Asselt Scholasticism in the Time of High Orthodoxy (ca. 1620-1700) – Willem J. van Asselt Scholasticism in the Time of Late Orthodoxy (ca. 1700-1790) ‘The Abutment against Which the Bridge of All later Protestant
Presenting a neo-Calvinist account of human moral experience, this book is an advance upon the tradition of Augustinian moral theology. The first two chapters are theological interpretations of Genesis 2:17 and 3:6 respectively. Chapter 3 approaches the neo-Calvinist notion of God as absolute person through a consideration of theologies of human reason and history. Chapter 4 considers the relationship between absolute person and classical trinitarianism, and the significance of absolute person for accommodation, hermeneutics, and the Creator/creature relation and distinction. The fifth chapter considers the role of the incarnation in Bavinck's thought, and thus provides a backdrop for reflection upon absolute person from a biblical theological point of view. Shannon concludes with the claim that, according to the Bavincks, Vos, and Van Til, human moral experience is the product of a divine self-expression primarily in the Son.
On March 11, 2011, from deep within the earth's crust, enormous forces drove tectonic plates toward over another. In the collision, one plate riding over the other displaced massive amounts of water. The displaced water began racing toward the Japanese shoreline, each mile exponentially increasing in its fury. Coming ashore in Japan, the tsunami swept aside everything in its path as if they were small toys. In sixteenth century Europe, there also was a collision of changing environmental, technological, educational, and political forces. Like the energy created by colliding tectonic plates in 2011, these surging and chaotic waters emerged from within the depths of human experiences and spiritual yearnings. Through the guiding hands of the Holy Spirit, these waters swept up the Reformation movement, emptying it into theological lakes and streams across Europe. Therefore, to understand the Reformation movement, one needs to comprehend these varied forces that moved it into reality. The book further details the resulting contributions of the Reformation movements within Germany, Switzerland, the British Isles, France, and the Netherlands. In conclusion, the author addresses the lasting legacy of the Reformation for contemporary society, and the means for a new congregational and governing body Reformation today.