Review: The Bible Project – Brilliant but Flawed

“Understanding and teaching the Bible can be hard work so it feels like a win to find a resource that can help us do it well. Over the last few years, many people have watched and enjoyed The Bible Project videos and started to use them more in teaching.

In this post, I want to raise a few concerns about the theology taught in The Bible Project and invite you to think about how you use them for yourself and in teaching.

Firstly, though, let me say there’s a lot to like about these videos. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Richard Sweatman raises some important questions about a popular teaching resource.

How to preach 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 well

On this week’s edition of The Pastor’s Heart podcast/vodcast, Dominic Steele speaks with Dani Treweek and Lionel Windsor about a key New Testament ‘gender’ passage.

It’s well worth spending 38 minutes to think about the passage, and how to preach it in today’s culture.

Thankful for the Doctrine of the Trinity — Leon Morris

“Some people seem to think that the doctrine of the Trinity is the result of a concerted effort by the theologians to make it difficult for ordinary men to understand the nature of God.

So far from this being the case history shows that theologians tried every alternative they could, and the Trinity is simply man’s effort to say what he can about the deity in the light of Scripture and the history of Christian thought. …”

– from Leon Morris, in The Australian Church Record, June 1955.

(Today, 27 May 2018, is Trinity Sunday.)

On how the Reformation changed Sunday gatherings — 9Marks

In the latest 9Marks “Pastors’ Talk” podcast, Dr. Jonathan Gibson (Moore College; Cambridge University; now teaching at Westminster Seminary) is interviewed about the book Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present.

He wrote and edited the book with former ACL Council member Mark Earngey.

From the Foreword by Sinclair Ferguson:

“The book you now hold in your hands, or that perhaps lies on your desk, is a resource of almost unparalleled richness in its field, representing as it does an immense labor of love on the part of its editors and translators. Here, gathered together in one large volume, are liturgies crafted by some of the leading figures in the Protestant Reformation and employed by them to aid worship in a wide variety of places and churches.

We owe an immense debt of gratitude to those who have participated in this project. They would, I feel sure, tell us that the best way we can repay that debt is to read carefully, to assess biblically, and then to reach down into the first principles of worship variously expressed in these liturgies from the past, and apply them wisely and sensitively in our worship in the present. This can only lead to a new reformation of the worship of God the Trinity. Such access to the Father through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit can alone help the congregations of God’s people, in the place and time they occupy, to worship with renewed mind, transformed affections, and holy joy. …

… we ought not to devalue the contents of these pages by treating them as a kind of liturgical archaeological dig, the concern only of those who are interested in antiquities or aesthetics. For these liturgies were crafted out of a passion for the glory of God. And while this compilation is not formulated as a tract for the times, it carries an important and powerful message for the contemporary church.

Download a PDF sample from New Growth Press.

(Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present is available from these booksellers.)

T C Hammond on Article 28, the Lord’s Supper

“Next to the question of Justification by Faith only the problems connected with the Lord’s Supper present a wide field of controversy in the Reformation period. This is illustrated by the fact that four Articles are devoted to the consideration of these questions.

The Article we are considering underwent an important change in 1563. Much controversy has gathered around the change. Some have urged that it indicates a change in theological thought between 1552 and 1563. In order to appreciate the position we have just to notice the change which was made and then to examine with care the wording of our present Article. …”

The Australian Church Record has republished T.C. Hammond’s 1961 consideration of Article 28.

Secured by Christ on the cross

To meditate on this Sunday:

“Everything that we know and appreciate and praise God for in all Christian experience both in this life and in the life to come springs from this bloody cross.

Do we have the gift of the Spirit? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we enjoy the fellowship of saints? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Does he give us comfort in life and death? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Does he watch over us faithfully, providentially, graciously, and covenantally? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we have hope of a heaven to come? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we anticipate resurrection bodies on the last day? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Is there a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we now enjoy new identities, so that we are no longer to see ourselves as nothing but failures, moral pariahs, disappointments to our parents—but deeply loved, blood-bought, human beings, redeemed by Christ, declared just by God himself, owing to the fact that God himself presented his Son Jesus as the propitiation for our sins? All this is secured by Christ on the cross and granted to those who have faith in him.”

— D.A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Crossway, 2010), 70-71.

T.C. Hammond on Baptism (Article 27)

“The controversy concerning infant baptism has occasioned much difficulty to many students. The great body of the Reformed Churches accept it. A determined and earnest company, however, reject it as unscriptural.

There are two questions that need to be kept clearly distinguished from one another. …”

– In the latest posts from The Australian Church Record’s archives, T.C. Hammond turns to the question of Baptism from Article 27 – and then considers The Baptism of Young Children.

Related: The Thirty Nine Articles.

Five reasons why Pope Francis’ answer was demonic

“Pope Francis has made several controversial statements throughout the years, but perhaps none quite as controversial as the one in this video.

You can watch it here. …”

– At The Cripplegate, Jordan Standridge comes to a tragic conclusion. (link via Tim Challies.)

Keeping the Evangel in Evangelism

“In our culture, people who think themselves autonomous will claim the right to define all meaning for themselves. Any truth claim they reject or resist is simply ruled out of bounds by society at large. We will make our own world of meaning and dare anyone to violate our autonomy.

This is why evangelism is often perceived as insensitive or even threatening in our culture. Evangelism demands that we press the authority of Scripture and the claims of Christ on sinners as we invite them to the free gift of salvation provided through Christ’s atoning work…”

– Albert Mohler writes with a timely reminder of what evangelism is all about.

The Heart at Peace — Lent Reflections from Dr Peter Jensen – Part 7

GAFCON General Secretary, Dr. Peter Jensen, speaks about how our hearts are now at peace with God.

Citing Romans 5, he reflects that while many of us doubt this, ‘the work of the Holy Spirit is to assure us of the love of God for us.’

Why did Jesus die?

“There are a numbers of ways we could answer the question “Why did Jesus die?”

On the historical level, we can say that Jesus was caught between the crunching gears of apocalyptic messianic expectation, Jewish temple politics, and Roman imperial intrigue.

On the theological level, there is so much more to say. …”

– At With Meagre Powers, Dr George Athas addresses the big question of Easter.

De-Conversion

“De-conversion is the reverse of conver­sion. While some creep away from the faith like a gliding glacier, the de-converted are glaciers calving off, crashing into the sea with devastating effect. Read on with holy fear. …”

Do read on. From Reformation21.

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