In this thought-provoking podcast episode, we delve into the third and fourth main points of doctrine in the Canons of Dort, focusing on human corruption and conversion. Our guest, Kim Riddlebarger, provides valuable insights into these topics and helps us understand the theological significance of these canons. The Canons of Dort were written as a response to the errors of the Arminians and the Remonstrants, who challenged the doctrines of election and the efficacy of the gospel. By examining these canons, we gain a deeper understanding of the nature of sin, the need for regeneration, and the role of faith in salvation.
The Nature of Human Corruption
The Canons of Dort begin by affirming that man was originally created in the image of God, with a true knowledge of his Creator and a righteous nature. However, due to Adam's rebellion, sin entered the world, and all of his descendants inherited a sinful nature. This corruption affects every aspect of our being, including our mind, heart, and will. We are blinded by sin, our judgment is distorted, and our hearts are hardened. The Canons of Dort emphasize that this corruption is not merely a lack of goodness, but an active rebellion against God. We are inclined to evil and incapable of reforming ourselves or disposing ourselves to reform. In other words, we are dead in sin and slaves to our sinful nature.
The Spread of Corruption and Total Inability
The Canons of Dort further explain that this corruption spreads to all of Adam's descendants, except for Christ. We are conceived in sin and born as children of wrath. Our sinful nature makes us neither willing nor able to return to God or reform ourselves. We are spiritually dead and enslaved to sin. The Canons of Dort make it clear that we cannot save ourselves or contribute to our salvation in any way. Our wills are in bondage to our sinful nature, and we are incapable of choosing Christ unless God intervenes and changes our hearts.
The Insufficiency of Natural Revelation and the Law
The Canons of Dort address the insufficiency of natural revelation and the law in bringing about salvation. While natural revelation and the law can expose the magnitude of our sin and convict us of our guilt, they do not offer a remedy or enable us to escape from our misery. Natural revelation reveals God's existence and some aspects of His character, but it cannot reveal the gospel or the way of salvation. The law, on the other hand, exposes our sin and condemns us, but it cannot give us the ability to obey God's commands. The Canons of Dort emphasize that salvation is not achieved through the observance of the law or the works of the flesh, but through faith in Christ alone.
The Gospel as the Means of Salvation
The Canons of Dort highlight the centrality of the gospel in God's plan of salvation. The gospel is the means through which the Holy Spirit works to bring about true conversion in the hearts of the elect. It is through the preaching of the gospel that God calls His chosen ones to faith. The Canons of Dort affirm that the gospel is found in both the Old and New Testaments and that it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. The gospel is not a hypothetical offer of salvation, but a message of new life and new birth. It is through the gospel that God delivers sinners from the wrath to come and grants them rest for their souls and eternal life.
The Connection Between Election and Preaching the Gospel
The Canons of Dort address the objection that if God chooses some to save and others not to, there is no need to preach the gospel. They emphasize that God has ordained the preaching of the gospel as the means through which He calls His elect to faith. While God could save His chosen ones without the use of means, He has chosen to work through the preaching of the gospel to accomplish His purposes. The Canons of Dort make it clear that the preaching of the gospel is not a mere formality or a human invention, but a divinely ordained means of grace. It is through the preaching of the gospel that the Holy Spirit regenerates the hearts of the elect and brings them to faith in Christ.
The Role of the Holy Spirit in Conversion
The Canons of Dort emphasize that the work of conversion is carried out by the Holy Spirit. Regeneration, faith, and repentance are all the result of the Holy Spirit's work in the hearts of the elect. The Holy Spirit spiritually revives, heals, and reforms the will, bending it back to its proper condition. The Canons of Dort make it clear that conversion is not a coercive act, but a matter of God's powerful and pleasing work in the hearts of His chosen ones. The Holy Spirit uses the means of grace, such as the preaching of the gospel and the sacraments, to bring about true conversion in the lives of believers.
The Canons of Dort provide a comprehensive and biblical understanding of human corruption, conversion, and the role of God's grace in salvation. They remind us that we are dead in sin and incapable of saving ourselves. It is only through the supernatural work of God's grace that we are regenerated, brought to faith, and granted eternal life. The Canons of Dort emphasize the importance of preaching the gospel and the use of means in the process of salvation. They affirm that faith is a gift from God and that our response to His grace should be one of thanksgiving. Ultimately, the Canons of Dort point us to the transforming power of God's grace and the central role of the Holy Spirit in the work of conversion.
*This article may have been AI generated -- if you have a problem with it, just voice your complaint to "Alice" in the hearing of any internet-connected device -- she will hear you. #JackCarr
In this thought-provoking podcast episode, we delve into the rich history and theological significance of the Belgian Confession. Our guest, Drew Hukama, provides valuable insights into the origins, structure, and relevance of this confession within the Reformed tradition. The Belgian Confession, written by Guido Debray, serves as a powerful testament to the enduring faith of the early Reformers and their unwavering commitment to the truths of Scripture.
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Welcome to Renewalcast, a weekly podcast that delves into various biblical and theological subjects. In this episode, we have a special guest, William Bookenstein, who will help us navigate the Heidelberg Catechism and its relevance in our daily lives. The Heidelberg Catechism is a teaching tool that provides guidance and understanding of the Christian faith. Let's dive into this discussion and explore the themes presented in the transcript.
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In this thought leadership article, we will delve into the topic of cessationism, a theological position that asserts that the miraculous and revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues and prophecy, ceased with the end of the apostolic era. We will explore the main arguments and biblical evidence put forth by cessationists, as well as address some common misconceptions about this position. Through a detailed analysis of the transcript from a podcast featuring Robert Rothwell, a writer for Table Talk magazine and an associate editor for Ligonier Ministries, we will gain a deeper understanding of the theological significance of cessationism and its implications for the Christian faith.
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The Cessationist Perspective: Examining the Role of the Holy Spirit in the Modern Church
In the world of theology, few topics generate as much debate and controversy as the role of the Holy Spirit in the modern church. One particular viewpoint that has gained traction in recent years is cessationism. Cessationism is the belief that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as healing, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy, ceased after the apostolic age. This perspective holds that these gifts were given by the Holy Spirit to confirm the ministry of the apostles and establish the foundation of the early church. Today, we will delve into the subject of cessationism and explore its implications for the church.
Cessationism is a spectrum, ranging from those who believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit continue today but are not normative, to those who believe that all miraculous gifts have ceased entirely. It is important to note that cessationism does not deny the power of God to heal or perform miracles in the present day. Rather, it questions the continuation of specific sign gifts outlined in the Bible, such as healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy.
According to David Lovi, a pastor and producer of the film "Cessationist," the specific sign gifts were given by the Holy Spirit to confirm the ministry of the apostles and lay the foundation of the church. These gifts, including prophecy, were authoritative, infallible, and inerrant words from God. They served a specific purpose during the apostolic age but ceased after the completion of the foundation of the church.
The Definition of Prophecy
One of the key gifts discussed in the context of cessationism is prophecy. Prophecy, as defined by Lovi, is divine revelation and communication through a prophet. It is direct revelation from God through a person, and it has always maintained the same definition throughout history. In the Old Testament, prophets who received revelations from God had to be 100% accurate in their communication, or else they were considered false prophets. In the New Testament, prophecy continued to be an authoritative word from God, confirming the ministry of the apostles and edifying the church.
Lovi emphasizes that the modern charismatic notion of prophecy, which suggests that it is a subjective word brought to mind for edification, is not supported by the Bible. True prophecy is not a mixture of divine and human thoughts, but rather a direct communication from God. The danger of redefining prophecy is that it opens the door for false prophets and undermines the sufficiency of Scripture.
The Redefinition of Tongues
Another gift often discussed in the context of cessationism is tongues. Lovi points out that the biblical definition of tongues is the ability to speak in foreign languages. In the Bible, tongues served as a sign of judgment on unbelieving Israel, as seen in Isaiah 28:11-13. In Acts 2, the gift of tongues was manifested as a sign to the unbelieving Jews that the gospel was now going out to the nations. However, in modern charismatic circles, tongues have been redefined as heavenly or angelic languages, detached from any specific linguistic meaning.
Lovi highlights the inconsistency of this redefinition and the lack of biblical support for it. He argues that the biblical gift of tongues involved the ability to speak in actual foreign languages, not unintelligible utterances. The shift in definition occurred in the early 20th century when Agnes Osmond claimed to speak Chinese, but her words were incomprehensible to native Chinese speakers. To justify this discrepancy, charismatic theology redefined tongues as heavenly words or angel tongues. However, there is no biblical basis for this redefinition.
The Misunderstanding of Healing
Healing is another gift that cessationism addresses. Lovi clarifies that cessationism does not deny the power of God to heal or perform miracles in the present day. However, it questions the continuation of the specific gift of healing as described in the Bible. In the New Testament, healing was immediate and miraculous, often involving the restoration of missing limbs or the curing of incurable diseases. Today, healing is often portrayed as the relief of physical ailments or the improvement of mental health conditions.
Lovi emphasizes that the lack of verifiable biblical miracles in the modern context raises doubts about the authenticity of contemporary healing claims. While there may be reports of miraculous healings from distant places, they are often based on hearsay and lack substantial evidence. The cessationist perspective challenges the redefinition of healing and calls for a careful examination of biblical accounts to discern the true nature of this gift.
Implications and Future Outlook
The cessationist perspective has significant implications for the church. By affirming the sufficiency of Scripture and the completion of the foundation of the church, cessationism emphasizes the finality of God's revelation through the apostles and prophets. It encourages believers to rely on the written Word of God as the ultimate authority for faith and practice.
Cessationism also highlights the importance of discernment and the need to test all things against the standard of Scripture. It cautions against the dangers of false prophecies, counterfeit miracles, and subjective experiences that can lead believers astray. By grounding our faith in the objective truth of God's Word, cessationism provides a solid foundation for the Christian life.
In the future, the cessationist perspective will continue to be a point of contention and discussion within the church. As more people engage with the theological arguments presented in films like "Cessationist," the conversation surrounding the role of the Holy Spirit and the gifts will likely intensify. It is crucial for believers to approach these discussions with humility, grace, and a commitment to biblical truth.
The cessationist perspective offers a thought-provoking examination of the role of the Holy Spirit in the modern church. By exploring the biblical definition of prophecy, the redefinition of tongues, and the misunderstanding of healing, cessationism challenges prevailing charismatic beliefs. It emphasizes the sufficiency of Scripture, the completion of the foundation of the church, and the need for discernment in evaluating spiritual experiences.
While cessationism may be a contentious topic, it provides a framework for understanding the work of the Holy Spirit and the authority of God's Word. As believers engage in respectful dialogue and seek to align their beliefs with the teachings of Scripture, they can navigate the complexities of pneumatology and grow in their understanding of the Holy Spirit's role in the church today.
This article may have been AI generated -- if you have a problem with it, just voice your complaint to "Alice" in the hearing of any internet-connected device -- she will hear you. #JackCarr
In the vast tapestry of church history, there are certain controversies that have shaped the course of theological thought. One such controversy is the Plagian Controversy, which emerged during the time of Augustine. This controversy centered around the nature of sin, human nature, and the role of grace in salvation. To delve into this topic, we are joined by Dr. Tom Nettles, a renowned theologian who has extensively studied and taught on this subject.
Christ-Centered Preaching: Unveiling the Beauty of Jesus
In the world of preaching, there is a term that has gained popularity in recent years: Christ-centered preaching. But what does it really mean to preach Christ-centered sermons? Is it simply mentioning the name of Jesus or talking about the gospel? In this article, we will explore the concept of Christ-centered preaching and its significance in shaping the minds and hearts of believers. We will delve into the key themes discussed in a podcast episode featuring Christopher Gordon, a pastor at Escondido United Reform Church, who sheds light on the essence of Christ-centered preaching.
The Aim of Christ-Centered Preaching
At the heart of Christ-centered preaching is the recognition that the Bible presents one overarching theme: the person and work of Jesus Christ. It goes beyond simply mentioning Jesus' name or using the word "gospel" in a sermon. As Christopher Gordon explains, "Christ-centered preaching aims to exposit the text without dealing with what that particular text is in its indicative or imperative, law or gospel. But it has an aim at showing the excellencies and the beauties of Jesus Christ since he is the unifying theme of Scripture."
Distinguishing Christ-Centered Preaching
Not all preaching can be considered Christ-centered preaching. It is important to understand the distinction between preaching that focuses on Christ and preaching that is centered on Christ. As Gordon points out, "Just to say the name of Jesus, as important as that name is, that doesn't necessarily constitute Christ-centered preaching." Christ-centered preaching goes beyond surface-level mentions of Jesus and delves into the depths of Scripture to reveal the redemptive work of Christ.
Discerning Christ-Centered Preaching
For those seeking a church or evaluating sermons, it is crucial to discern whether the preaching is truly Christ-centered. One key aspect to consider is the pastor's aim or goal in preaching. Is the pastor aiming to refresh people in the wonderful Gospel? Is the pastor pointing people to the person and work of Christ as the ultimate remedy for sin and the source of salvation? Christ-centered preaching should consistently present the good news of Jesus Christ and remind believers of their need for His grace and righteousness.
The Law and Gospel Distinction
A fundamental aspect of Christ-centered preaching is the understanding and application of the law and gospel distinction. The law reveals the exceeding sinfulness of sin and demonstrates the need for a Savior, while the gospel proclaims the good news of Jesus Christ's fulfillment of the law and His provision for salvation. Gordon emphasizes the importance of this distinction, stating, "Law gospel is taught everywhere in Scripture that the law comes to us and tells us what we must do and the gospel tells us what has been done."
The Role of Expository Preaching
Expository preaching, when done correctly, can be a powerful tool for Christ-centered preaching. However, it is essential to approach expository preaching with the right mindset and methodology. Gordon cautions against a verse-by-verse approach that fails to consider the overarching point and intention of the author. He suggests looking at the problem the author is solving, the larger context of the book, and the overarching meta-narrative of Scripture to properly understand and preach Christ-centered sermons.
The Tone of Christ-Centered Preaching
The tone of Christ-centered preaching plays a significant role in effectively communicating the message of the Gospel. While there may be moments of strong conviction and confrontation, the overall tone should reflect the graciousness and compassion of Christ. Gordon highlights the importance of demonstrating the appropriate expression that belongs to the message being preached. He states, "In this good news that's being preached to us, God is for us. He's not angrily yelling at us."
Resources for Pastors
For pastors seeking to improve their Christ-centered preaching, there are several valuable resources available. One suggestion is to find a mentor who exhibits the qualities and approach desired in Christ-centered preaching. Learning from experienced pastors who have a deep love for the Scriptures and a gracious teaching style can be immensely beneficial. Additionally, there are books on preaching that provide practical guidance and insights. Some recommended titles include Dabney's "Evangelical Eloquence" and Lloyd Jones's "Preachers and Preaching."
Conclusion and Future Outlook
Christ-centered preaching is not a mere buzzword or a formulaic approach to sermons. It is a call to faithfully proclaim the person and work of Jesus Christ as the central theme of Scripture. By understanding the law and gospel distinction, employing expository preaching methods, and adopting a gracious tone, pastors can effectively communicate the transformative power of the Gospel. As believers continue to hear Christ-centered preaching, they are reminded of their need for Christ's righteousness and are encouraged to live in light of His grace.
This article may have been AI generated -- if you have a problem with it, just voice your complaint to "Alice" in the hearing of any internet-connected device -- she will hear you.
Typology is a term that may sound unfamiliar to many people, but it is an essential concept for understanding the Bible and its message. In simple terms, typology refers to the way in which patterns, events, and characters in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New Testament. It is a way of reading the Bible that sees the whole story as one unified narrative, with each part pointing towards the ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
In this article, we will explore the main themes of typology and its practical implications for biblical interpretation. We will draw on the insights of Mitchell Chase, author of "40 Questions on Typology and Allegory", who has extensive experience in teaching and writing on this subject.
Show Notes (AI CREATED): RenewalCast with Mike Beck
Introduction Mike Beck is a South African pastor, theologian, and author based in New Zealand. He has been in ministry for over 18 years and is currently teaching at a local college in Wellington. He is also the host of the podcast 'TwoAgeSojourner' and has recently published his dissertation on Meredith Klein in the two kingdoms.
OverviewIn this episode of Renewal Cast, Mike Beck joins the hosts to discuss Covenant Theology, specifically the Abrahamic covenant. They explore whether the Abrahamic covenant is a covenant of grace and dive deep into the theological implications of this covenant.
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Introduction: In this episode of Renewal Cast, Coalt and Jay speak with Justin Deberry, a pastor at West Center Baptist Church in Madison, South Dakota. Deberry shares his background and experiences in church ministry, and the group discusses the importance of church polity and government.
OverviewThe conversation centers around the significance of church polity and government in creating a safe and flourishing environment for church members. Deberry uses the metaphor of a trellis and vine to explain how good structure and order help guide the spiritual growth of the church in the right direction. The group also touches on the importance of membership, accountability, and clear decision-making processes in creating a healthy church environment.
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