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Frequently Asked Symbolics Questions: Private Spirits

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Over the years, I have taught Symbolics in many places. Without fail, my students are bright and interested and ask me very useful and thought provoking questions. For the next few days, I want to explore some of those questions here. Let’s begin with Chapter 1.

Do You Know What Your People are Reading?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Recently, I obtained a copy of Crawford Gribben’s new book Writing the Rapture: Prophecy Fiction in Evangelical America (Oxford: OUP, 2009). It is one of the most important books I have read in a while, and is definitely worth buying and digesting carefully.

A High and Proper View of the Pastoral Ministry

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

We live in a day when the distinctions between pastors and people have largely broken down. Loud voices cry out, calling for a mobilization of every member of the church, as if all had the same call and responsibilities from the Lord. While this may be the dominant view today, it is really an historical […]

The Problem with Words

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Human life is all about communication. God made us to be social creatures, interacting with others over a wide spectrum of occassions. From the womb onward, we express ourselves. Parents nurture their children; friends encourage friends; people reach out to one another. But most importantly, the Lord speaks to us.

Puritan Patristics: Protestant Catholicity

Friday, January 16th, 2009

B. The Puritan use of the Fathers. This positive exposition still needs some careful qualification. No reformed writer treated any church father as if his writings were on a par with Scripture. But neither did they succumb to a naïve Biblicism, thinking that they alone with their Bibles could arrive at a satisfactory system of […]

Puritan Patristics: Archetypal Heresy

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

2. Archetypal error: the great heresies. We must consider the other side of this coin. Not only did the Puritans employ the writings of the Fathers as an aid in support of their orthodoxy, so also they viewed the errors of the patristic era as archetypal heresies: i.e. many of their own battles were simply […]

Puritan Patristics: Archetypal Theology

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Let’s consider two key points. The study of the writings of their predecessors were important for two reasons—it established right and wrong doctrine and practice: 1. Archetypal theology and practice. How does one establish orthodoxy and orthopraxy? By building from scratch? No. Rather it is by recognizing the work of the Spirit in the church […]

Puritan Patristics: Historical Continuity

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Puritan Patristics A statement cited by Alister McGrath may serve as an entrée to our study. While not a puritan, the great Anglican Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626; a chief translator of the AV Bible) is said to have “declared that orthodox Christianity was based upon two testaments, three creeds, four gospels, and the first five centuries […]

The Puritans and the Past

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Over the next few days, I will publish some material from my Puritanism in Context lecture notes. In developing the class, it seemed important to spend some time considering how the Puritan divines viewed themselves in relation to the past. They were well aware of the criticism of novelty leveled against the Reformers and their […]

Making Progress in a Day of Decline

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Submitted by Prof. Renihan In my last post, I mentioned my encouragement at the general state of the many churches I visited and pastors I spoke with in 2008. Overall, the state of our churches seems to be healthy. But I cannot say the same about the state of Evangelical Christianity in general. When I […]

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