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Showing posts from October, 2017

Alliance Editorial Director Jonathan Master on the Presbycast podcast (Robert Brady)

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Alliance Editorial Director Jonathan Master joins William Castro and G. Vijay Raju on the Presbycast podcast recorded at this year's Reformation Worship Conference. From Peru to Greenville, from India to... the Alliance - three interesting guests that demonstrate the range of Reformed witness. Jonathan discusses his work here at the Alliance, including discussing his podcast Theology on the Go. Listen here: Presbycast... Continue Reading at Reformation21 Blog reformation21 is the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting reformation21 and the mission of the Alliance. Please donate here.



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Racial Reconciliation: Political Or Theological?

We should hate injustice, love good, and establish justice. Like William Wilberforce and Francis J. Grimké, we must do whatever is in our capacity to establish justice. However, we must not lose sight of the gospel. Real racial reconciliation isn’t political, it’s theological. We evangelicals are already reconciled to each other in Christ. We just have to remember that and live like it.If racial reconciliation could be legislated by laws, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation would have reconciled Americans in the 19th century. If racial reconciliation could be achieved by social justice, Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream would have become a reality in the 20th century. If racial reconciliation could be resolved by politics, Barack Obama would have united Americans under his presidency.Racial reconciliation cannot be legislated by laws, promoted by protests, or enacted by elections. Yet our conversations about racial reconciliation are almost always political. We have elevated tert…

Why “Be Strong” or “Buck Up” is the Wrong Response to Suffering…

It overestimates the power of the human will and emotions. It assumes that if only the person tried harder or thought more positively, things would be better. It assumes that the problem is with the person’s effort or attitude. This ends up isolating the sufferer from resources and people that may be necessary for their situation.In the context of talking about people in difficult and ongoing situations, someone once asked me: “Why is the simple instruction to ‘be strong’ or ‘buck up’ at best insufficient and at worst harmful?”When I heard this question, I was immediately struck 1) by my strong feelings on the subject and 2) by my natural ability to answer the question with insight and nuance. This was presumably in large part because I’ve dealt with significant and ongoing health issues (both physical and psychological) in recent years that have forced me to stare the painful realities of life full in the face. While on this journey, I’ve had my share of both helpful and unhelpful re…

On Campus, Threats Suppress Testimony to Christian Sexual Ethics

At Georgetown University, a pro-family student club awaits a hearing that could very possibly strip its official standing as a recognized campus organization. Why? Because the student group, Love Saxa, advances orthodox views on sex and marriage. Thankfully, these bullying tactics didn’t stop hundreds of students from gathering over the weekend at Princeton University to consider the value of traditional sexual ethics among human flourishing. A new rank-and-file dogma surrounding human sexuality is nearly inescapable on American college campuses. So pervasive, many students and faculty holding to traditional Christian sexual ethics hesitate to “come out of the closet” for fear of failing grades, denied tenures, or some other punishment from the academy.At Georgetown University, a pro-family student club awaits a hearing that could very possibly strip its official standing as a recognized campus organization. Why? Because the student group, Love Saxa, advances orthodox views on sex and…

Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide

In summary, the Reformers rejected not only the view that authority in matters of faith and practice lies ultimately in the church but also the view that such authority lies ultimately in the individual. This authority, rather, is the Scripture alone. In rejecting the teaching that people are justified, even in part, on the basis of their good works, the Reformers also insisted that people who are justified by faith alone must pursue good works as the fruit and evidence of their justifying faith. The Reformers understood that radical individualism and licentious living were, in reality, bondage to sin. The Reformers did not want to see human beings transferred from one form of spiritual bondage to another. This year, many people are celebrating the five-hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. But not everyone is. Some have raised severe criticisms against the Reformers and their work. The Reformers, they allege, replaced the authority of the church with the authority of t…

A Friendly Dialogue on the Sufficiency of Scripture

To help clarify, I’m for any resource that helps us understand the Bible more. Including, but not limited to, lexicons, grammars, etc. In the words of 2 Timothy 4:13, bring me the scrolls, especially the parchments. But the issue at stake with the sufficiency of Scripture in counseling is what to do with wisdom from psychology. Biblical counselors say that we don’t need wisdom from psychologists.Sean Perron is a biblical counselor who specializes in marriage and child counseling. He and I have been having a friendly online dialogue about the sufficiency of scripture and biblical counseling. With his permission I am posting the dialogue as a blog post as I think it helps clarify and advance the conversation. The conversation began when Sean responded to my article Do We Need More than the Bible for Biblical Counseling? My responses to Sean are in bold.David,I am always grateful to see conversations about the importance and relevance of the Bible in preaching and counseling. I have pers…

10 Marks of a Grace-Alone Church

To be able to point Christians to a sovereign God who has revealed himself as gracious in Christ is perhaps the single most important thing that a pastor can do. When the problems of this fallen world close in on us, as they inevitably will, there can be a tendency to see our sin or our suffering or the evil machinations of the world around us as the last word. God’s grace in Christ says otherwise, and the church that takes that grace seriously will constantly point her people to that truth with the aim of reassuring them that, whatever comes to pass, God is both sovereign and gracious.As we look back to the sola gratia cry of the Reformation, it is helpful to ask ourselves: What would a “grace alone” church look like today? What would characterize its life as a church? How might we recognize such a church when we see it?The answer to these questions falls into two parts: doctrinal and practical. But these parts are closely connected. Here, I offer 10 points that show the interconnect…

Internet Proverbs: If Solomon Had Been A Millennial

Do not read the prattling posts of an idiot; He speaks many words yet says nothing of value. One who seeks to incite drama and discord is wicked;
he spews fake news and his lies are as malware for your brain. He who swallows nonsense like delicious morsels is not woke, and she who births contention is not winning.Arguing with a fool on the internet is like wrestling a pig;
you both get dirty, and the pig likes it.A wise woman considers her child’s health and nutrition,
but posting about it on Facebook is like poking a thousand bears.The prudent person recognizes a troll and mutes them,
but the simple keep arguing and suffer needless stress.Train up a child in either Apple or Android;
and even when they are old they will not depart from it.A wise man reads an article before commenting;
a foolish man forms his opinion based on the preview title.Block an irritating heckler and banish strife;
Mute a troll and quarreling and abuse will cease.Some people read your posts to understand your pe…

Westminster & Ordination: The Vows

Some, especially those in non-confessional denominations, believe that having confessional standards for ordination that elders are required to know, affirm, and uphold is unnecessarily strict. Some have called the standards a “straitjacket.” On the contrary, the structure and protection the standards provide should be a great comfort both for elders and for members of the congregation. Each knows what to expect. By requiring elders to “receive and adopt” the confessional standards of their denomination, the men, women, and children of the congregation are protected from false teaching and the peace and purity of the church and denomination are upheld.The men whom we mean are seeking not membership in the Church, but a place in the ministry, and they desire not to learn but to teach. … Whether it be desirable or not, the ordination declaration is part of the constitution of the Church. If a man can stand on that platform he may be an officer in the Presbyterian Church; if he cannot st…

Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 10

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Q. 10. How did God create man?A. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.— Westminster Shorter Catechism

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You Cannot Guarantee Your Child’s Godliness

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If Christian parents could choose to control one thing about our child’s future, we all would choose the same thing, wouldn’t we? Across every nation, every culture, in any generation, one thing rises highest on the prayer list of any Christian parent, dwarfing every other request we might make for our precious son or daughter: we want them to know, obey, and enjoy Jesus.Of course we want them to live long and healthy lives. Of course we want them to learn and mature through their school years without caving in to peer pressure. Of course we want them to thrive in a career, whether they work in an office or at home. Of course we want them to marry, if God wills, and give us grandbabies. But even more than we want grandchildren — far more than we want grandchildren — we want our children to love our Lord with all their heart, and all their soul, and all their strength, and all their mind (Matthew 22:37).We would trade in a heartbeat eighty years of cancer-free health, summa cum laude a…

Six Common Ways Preachers Dishonor God’s Word

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The stakes are high when pastors do not root their points plainly from the text in front of them. Here are six consequences.Listen Now

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Mobile Ed: NT337 Book Study: Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians

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Mobile Ed: NT337 Book Study: Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians

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In Book Study: Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, Dr. George Guthrie walks you through the text of 2 Corinthians, where Paul expresses what he thinks about authentic Christian ministry—what does it mean to follow Christ as a real Christian minister in the world? Dr. Guthrie deals …

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Alliance Editorial Director Jonathan Master on the Presbycast podcast

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Alliance Editorial Director Jonathan Master joins William Castro and G. Vijay Raju on the Presbycast podcast recorded at this year’s Reformation Worship Conference.


The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

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Baptist in the Spirit, Part 5: The Spirit in the Life of Jesus

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Why did Jesus need to be filled with the Spirit?Luke 4 records the temptation of Christ and the beginning of his ministry here on earth. In verses 1-2 we are told, “Then Jesus left the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by the devil.” Then, when the forty days were over, verse 14 tells us how Jesus began his ministry. “Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread throughout the entire vicinity.” Jesus was led by the Spirit and empowered by the Spirit from the beginning of his earthly ministry to the end.That seems odd, doesn’t it? I understand why I need the Holy Spirit. I have a sin nature that pulls me down and I am not able in my own strength to fight it. I am called to perform tasks that are far beyond my fleshly abilities. I do not understand the things of God without the illumination and guidance of the Spirit. I need the fullness of the Holy Spirit to understand the th…

The Annotated Luther, Volume 6: The Interpretation of Scripture

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This volume features Martin Luther the exegete and Bible teacher. His vast exegetical writings and lectures on Scripture are introduced through important examples from both the Old and New Testaments. Included in the volume is his brief treatise “On Translating” and his prefaces to both …

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Mobile Ed: TH321 Cultural Implications of Theology: Influences of Christian Doctrine on Society

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In Cultural Implications of Theology: Influences of Christian Doctrine on Society, Dr. Richard S. Park seeks to demonstrate how theology makes a real difference in society and how the gospel transforms culture. Dr. Park explores the social implications of the doctrines of creation, fall, …

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Alliance Editorial Director Jonathan Master on the Presbycast podcast

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Alliance Editorial Director Jonathan Master joins William Castro and G. Vijay Raju on the Presbycast podcast recorded at this year’s Reformation Worship Conference. From Peru to Greenville, from India to... the Alliance – three interesting guests that demonstrate the range of Reformed witness. Jonathan discusses his work here at the Alliance, including discussing his podcast Theology on the Go. Listen here: Presbycast

The Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance. Donate here >

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Logos Pro Tech Tip: Reforming the Way You Study the Works of Jonathan Edwards

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Few American theologians have shaped Christian thinking, preaching, and even revival practices as much as Jonathan Edwards. And Edwards left many volumes of memoirs, letters, sermons, and notes. His “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is probably the most famous English sermon ever written, and is studied to this day by students of American literature. However, the popularity of this sermon has led some to dismiss Edwards as merely a “hellfire and brimstone” preacher.In this week’s video, we’ll take a look at the Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale Edition, and discover how easy it is to search for key terms and theological concepts inside the writings of this towering Christian figure.While you’re watching, you may want to consider taking advantage of the limited-time discount on resources like this one and others from Yale University Press.Recommended ResourcesThe Works of Jonathan Edwards are on sale for an unprecedently low price, 75% off.The Anchor Yale Bible commentaries are also…

FROM THE STATES: Va., Ill. and Tenn. evangelism/missions news; 'Go do God's Work'

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Copyright (c) 2017 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at http://ift.tt/2iN7Rnz; new - 27 minutes agoFROM THE STATES: Va., Ill. and Tenn. evangelism/missions news; 'Go do God's Work'Today's From the States features items from:The Proclaimer (Virginia)Illinois BaptistBaptist and Reflector (Tennessee)**********Va. church reaching its'Jerusalem' in nearby neighborhoodBy Darrell WebbFREDERICKSBURG, Va. (The Proclaimer) -- Cornerstone is a small but growing church in Fredericksburg, Va. It is an Acts 1:8 church seeking to reach its Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth with the Gospel. Through Disaster Relief, English as a Second Language (ESL), and orality training opportunities with the SBC of Virginia, their love for the peoples of the world has grown. Of 150 people in the congregation, 40 percent have been on short-term mission trips thro…