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John Owen: He Is, He Always Has Been, Precious

11 Aug john-owen

1616 -1683. Preeminent English Puritan theologian, pastor, and independent.

Unto them that believe unto the saving of the soul, he is, he always hath been, precious—the sun, the rock, the life, the bread of their souls—every thing that is good, useful, amiable, desirable, here or unto eternity. In, from, and by him, is all their spiritual and eternal life, light, power, growth, consolation, and joy here; with everlasting salvation hereafter. By him alone do they desire, expect, and obtain deliverance from that woful apostasy from God, which is accompanied with—which containeth in it virtually and meritoriously—whatever is evil, noxious, and destructive unto our nature, and which, without relief, will issue in eternal misery. By him are they brought into the nearest cognation, alliance, and friendship with God, the firmest union unto him, and the most holy communion with him, that our finite natures are capable of and so conducted unto the eternal enjoyment of him.

~John Owen~





The Works of John Owen, Volume 1: The Glory of Christ (ed. William H. Goold, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 5.

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Francis Schaeffer – A Dead, Ugly Orthodoxy

10 Aug schaeffer

schaeffer

Let us emphasize again as we have before: we believe with all our hearts that Christian truth can be presented in propositions, and that anybody who diminishes the concept of the propositionalness of the Word of God is playing into twentieth-century, non-Christian hands. But, and it is a great and strong but, the end of Christianity is not the repetition of mere propositions. Without the proper propositions you cannot have that which should follow. But after having the correct propositions, the end of the matter is to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds. The end of the matter, after we know about God in the revelation He has given in verbalized, propositional terms in the Scripture, is to be in relationship to Him. A dead, ugly orthodoxy with no real spiritual reality must be rejected as sub-Christian.


~Francis Schaeffer




Two Contents, Two Realities, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer (vol. 3, Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 416.

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Francis Grimke – A Spurious Evangelism

9 Aug francis-j-grimke1-604x528

francis-j-grimke1-604x528There is an evangelism that is genuine… that means accepting Jesus Christ in reality and not in pretense–an evangelism that carries along with it brotherhood, that so presents Jesus Christ that men see, and see plainly, what is involved in accepting him. The Apostle Paul who understood what was in solved in it, and who preached the true evangel, says: ‘Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of Him that created him: where there can not be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.’ An evangelism that permits men to believe that they can be Christians without making an earnest and honest effort to rid themselves of race prejudice is a spurious evangelism.

~Francis J. Grimke~






“Evangelism and Institutes of Evangelism” The Works of Francis J. Grimke, Volume 1: Addresses (ed. Carter G. Woodson, Washington, D.C.: The Associated Publishers, Inc., 1942), 524.

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Charles Spurgeon – Self-Congratulation vs. Wonder

8 Aug Spurgeon

Spurgeon

There is, however, a truth that is even more significant and instructive than that. It is not merely true that we were once Christ’s enemies, and that we were also utterly insignificant, and unworthy of his notice; but it is wonderful that he should lay down his life for such unworthy friends, even as friends, as we are. There are some professing Christians who can speak of themselves in terms of admiration; but, from my inmost heart, I loathe such speeches more and more every day that I live. Those who talk in such a boastful fashion must be constituted very differently from me. While they are congratulating themselves all upon the good things that they find within themselves, I have to lie humbly at the foot of Christ’s cross, and marvel that I am saved at all, for I know that I am saved. I have to wonder that I do not believe Christ more, and equally wonder that I am privileged to believe in him at all;—to wonder that I do not love him more, and equally to wonder that I love him at all;—to wonder that I am not holier, and equally to wonder that I have any desire to be holy at all considering what a polluted, debased, depraved nature I find still within my soul notwithstanding all that divine grace has done in me. If God were ever to allow the fountains of the great deeps of depravity to break up in the best man that lives, he would make as bad a devil as the devil himself is. I care nothing for what these boasters say concerning their own perfections; I feel sure that they do not know themselves, or they could not talk as they often do. There is tinder enough in the saint who is nearest to heaven to kindle another hell if God should but permit a spark to fall upon it. In the very best of men, there is an infernal and well-nigh infinite depth of depravity. Some Christians never seem to find this out. I almost wish that they might not do so, for it is a painful discovery for anyone to make; but it has the beneficial effect of making us cease from trusting in ourselves, and causing us to glory only in the Lord.


Charles Spurgeon




“Sermon #2986: One Aspect of Christ’s Death” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 52 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1906), 225.

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Charles Spurgeon – Resolve to Keep Close to Christ

6 Aug

Spurgeon

There is yet another stone wall which I will mention, namely, firmness of character. Our holy faith teaches a man to be decided in the cause of Christ, and to be resolute in getting rid of evil habits. “If thine eye offend thee”—wear a shade? No; “pluck it out.” “If thine arm offend thee”—hang it in a sling? No; “cut it off, and cast it from thee” True religion is very thorough in what it recommends. It says to us, “touch not the unclean thing.” But many persons are so idle in the ways of God that they have no mind of their own: evil companions tempt them, and they cannot say, “No.” They need a stone wall made up of noes. Here are the stones, “no, no, NO.” Dare to be singular. Resolve to keep close to Christ. Make a stern determination to permit nothing in your life, however gainful or pleasurable, if it would dishonour the name of Jesus. Be dogmatically true, obstinately holy, immovably honest, desperately kind, fixedly upright. If God’s grace sets up this hedge around you, even Satan will feel that he cannot get in, and will complain to God, “hast thou not set a hedge about him?”


Charles Spurgeon




“The Broken Fence” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 59 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1913), 558–559.

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John Calvin – The Holy Spirit is the Bond of Our Union with Christ

5 Aug

john-calvin

We must now examine this question. How do we receive those benefits which the Father bestowed on his only-begotten Son—not for Christ’s own private use, but that he might enrich poor and needy men? First, we must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value for us. Therefore, to share with us what he has received from the Father, he had to become ours and to dwell within us. For this reason, he is called “our Head” [Eph. 4:15], and “the first-born among many brethren” [Rom. 8:29]. We also, in turn, are said to be “engrafted into him” [Rom. 11:17], and to “put on Christ” [Gal. 3:27]; for, as I have said, all that he possesses is nothing to us until we grow into one body with him. It is true that we obtain this by faith. Yet since we see that not all indiscriminately embrace that communion with Christ which is offered through the gospel, reason itself teaches us to climb higher and to examine into the secret energy of the Spirit, by which we come to enjoy Christ and all his benefits… the Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ effectually unites us to himself.

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1, p. 537. Book 3.1.1

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Martin Luther – How to Hear God Speak

4 Aug

martin-luther
He who wants to hear God speak should read Holy Scripture.




~Martin Luther~






Luther’s Works, Vol. 41: Church and Ministry III, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 41 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 332.

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SALE: Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology – 3 Volumes for $20

3 Aug

Charles Hodge Systematics

ChristianBook.com has Charles Hodge’s three volume Systematic Theology on sale again for $20.

This was the magnum opus of one of America’s most prominent theologians and offers an in-depth exploration of theology, anthropology, soteriology, and eschatology. This monumental work, now a standard for theological students, was written while Hodge served as a professor at Princeton (replacing the use of Francis Turretin’s “Elenctic Theology”) where he permanently influenced American Christianity as a teacher, preacher, and exegete. Includes a comprehensive index. Three hardcovers, from Hendrickson.”

Check the sale out here.

John Calvin – General Revelation and the Spectacles of Faith

3 Aug

john-calvin

It is therefore in vain that so many burning lamps shine for us in the workmanship of the universe to show forth the glory of its Author. Although they bathe us wholly in their radiance, yet they can of themselves in no way lead us into the right path. Surely they strike some sparks, but before their fuller light shines forth these are smothered. For this reason, the apostle, in that very passage where he calls the worlds the images of things invisible, adds that through faith we understand that they have been fashioned by God’s word [Heb. 11:3]. He means by this that the invisible divinity is made manifest in such spectacles, but that we have not the eyes to see this unless they be illumined by the inner revelation of God through faith. And where Paul teaches that what is to be known of God is made plain from the creation of the universe [Rom. 1:19], he does not signify such a manifestation as men’s discernment can comprehend; but, rather, shows it not to go farther than to render them inexcusable. The same apostle also, even if he somewhere denies that God is to be sought far off, inasmuch as he dwells within us [Acts 17:27], in another place teaches of what avail that sort of nearness is, saying: “In past generations the Lord let the nations follow their own ways. Yet God did not leave himself without witness, sending benefits from heaven, giving rain and fruitful seasons, filling men’s hearts with food and gladness” [Acts 14:16–17; vs. 15–16, Vg.]. Therefore, although the Lord does not want for testimony while he sweetly attracts men to the knowledge of himself with many and varied kindnesses, they do not cease on this account to follow their own ways, that is, their fatal errors.

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1.5.14 p. 68.

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Reformed Ethics by Herman Bavinck – A New Translation Project

22 Jan

Below is an excerpt from a recent editorial in the Bavinck Review updating readers on the exciting news of a discovery and subsequent plans to translate a volume from Herman Bavinck on Reformed Ethics which will likely be produced in three English volumes:

Readers of this journal were introduced in our first issue to Dirk Van Keulen’s discovery in the Bavinck archives at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, of a large hand-written manuscript, Reformed Ethics. A small group of Bavinck scholars at the time agreed that this work should be published and translated. After Dirk Van Keulen prepared an electron- ic, transcribed version of the first half of the manuscript (560 pages), your editor began translating and annotating the work in 2012. I came to the realization in the winter of 2013/14 that at the pace I was going, it was going to take a lot longer than I had initially envisioned. With the help of a gift from the Dutch Reformed Translation Society and a number of generous benefactors, I was able to hire out the translation work, a section at a time. In addition, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Fund of Calvin Theological Society, an editorial team consisting of myself, Dirk Van Keulen, Nelson Kloosterman, and Ph.D. students Jessica Driesenga and Antoine Theron, spent the week of August 3–7, 2015 carefully editing already translated sections, establishing editorial protocol for the work as a whole. Deo volente, we will repeat this communal editorial work in the summers of 2016, 2017, and 2018. Readers of this journal who are also members of the Bavinck Society already know that the American mem- bers of the editorial team got a large surprise this summer when we learned that the Bavinck manuscript was over 1100 pages instead of the 560 total that we were working with. This also means that instead of a one-volume work, we are now projecting a three-volume work along the following lines:

I. Created, Fallen, and Converted Humanity
II. The Duties of the Christian Life (Ten Commandments)
III. The Life of the Redeemed in the World (Marriage and Family)

We are profoundly grateful to the Baker Publishing Group for its willingness to take on the enlarged project. It is our goal to have the translated and edited Volume I in the hands of the publisher January 2017.

A final word of thanks to long-time friends Harry Van Dyke and Nelson Kloosterman for the gift of their translations that enrich this volume.

~John Bolt~






Bavinck Review Volume 6, 2015.

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