Augustine – Suffering for the Righteous and the Unrighteous

28 May

st-augustine-of-hippo

When good and bad men suffer alike, they are not, for that reason indistinguishable because what they suffer is similar. The sufferers are different even though the sufferings are the same trials; though what they endure is the same, their virtue and vice are different. For, in the same fire, gold gleams and straw smokes; under the same flail the stalk is crushed and the grain threshed; the lees are not mistaken for oil because they have issued from the same press. So, too, the tide of trouble will test, purify, and improve the good, but beat, crush, and wash away the wicked. So it is that, under the weight of the same affliction, the wicked deny and blaspheme God, and the good pray to Him and praise Him. The difference is not in what people suffer but in the way they suffer. The same shaking that makes fetid water stink makes perfume issue a more pleasant odor.

~Augustine~


The City of God, Books I-VII, Volume 8, The Fathers of the Church, ed. Hermigild Dressler, trans. Demetrius B. Zema and Gerald G. Walsh. (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1950), 29.

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Geerhardus Vos – The Eschatological Complexion of Paul’s Theology

16 May
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1862-1949. Dutch Reformed pastor who became professor of Biblical Theology at Princeton Seminary. Known as the father of Reformed Biblical Theology.

By giving the soteric movement this cosmical setting it claims for it the significance of a central world-process, around the core of which all happenings in the course of time group themselves. By this one stroke order is brought into the disconnected multitudinousness of events. The eschatology, without losing touch with history, nevertheless, owing to the large sweep of its historical reach, becomes philosophico-theological. It no longer forms one item in the sum-total of revealed teaching, but draws within its circle as correlated and eschatologically-complexioned parts practically all of the fundamental tenets of Pauline Christianity… It will appear throughout that to unfold the Apostle’s eschatology means to set forth his theology as a whole.

~Geerhardus Vos~


The Pauline Eschatology (Princeton, NJ; Geerhardus Vos, 1930), p. 11.

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Abraham Kuyper – The Birth of Common Grace

15 May

1837-1920. Dutch pastor, theologian, politician, and even Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Founded the Free University of Amsterdam, formed the Anti-Revolutionary Party. Known for his lectures “On Calvinism” and his views on Common Grace.

Among the perfections of God, it is particularly his forbearance that is not exhausted in this common grace, but rather is magnified in a moving way. God’s holiness and majesty respond against all sin, not merely in part, but completely, in the most absolute sense. If this outworking of God’s holiness against sin were to proceed unimpeded in all of its dreadfulness, there would be no common grace. But the Lord our God is not merely holy, but also in his holiness he is at the same time forbearing, and it is from that forbearance, which yields the divine patience of the Almighty for bearing temporarily with sin, that common grace is born.

~Abraham Kuyper~





Common Grace, Volume 1: God’s Gifts for a Fallen World: The Historical Section. Edited by Jordan J. Ballor, Melvin Flikkema, and Stephen J. Grail. Translated by Nelson D. Kloosterman and Ed M. van der Maas. Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press; Acton Institute, 2015), 7.

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John Owen: Psalm 130 and His Experimental Acquaintance with God Through Christ

12 May

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

I myself preached Christ… some years, when I had but very little, if any, experimental acquaintance with access to God through Christ; until the Lord was pleased to visit me with sore affliction, whereby I was brought to the mouth of the grave, and under which my soul was oppressed with horror and darkness; but God graciously relieved my spirit by a powerful application of Psalm 130:4, ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared;’ from whence I received special instruction, peace, and comfort, in drawing near to God through the Mediator, and preached thereupon immediately after my recovery.

~John Owen~





A Practical Exposition Upon Psalm 130, The Works of John Owen, Volume 6 (ed. William H. Goold, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 324.

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John Newton – As To Your Opponent

12 Apr

As to your opponent, I wish, that, before you set pen to paper against him, and during the whole time you are preparing your answer, you may commend him by earnest prayer to the Lord’s teaching and blessing. This practice will have a direct tendency to conciliate your heart to love and pity him; and such a disposition will have a good influence upon every page you write. If you account him a believer, though greatly mistaken in the subject of debate between you, the words of David to Joab, concerning Absalom, are very applicable: “Deal gently with him for my sake.” The Lord loves him and bears with him; therefore you must not despise him, or treat him harshly. The Lord bears with you likewise, and expects that you should shew tenderness to others, from a sense of the much forgiveness you need yourself. In a little while you will meet in heaven; he will then be dearer to you than the nearest friend you have upon earth is to you now. Anticipate that period in your thoughts; and though you may find it necessary to oppose his errors, view him personally as a kindred soul, with whom you are to be happy in Christ for ever. But if you look upon him as an unconverted person, in a state of enmity against God and his grace, (a supposition which, without good evidence, you should be very unwilling to admit,) he is a more proper object of your compassion than of your anger. Alas! “he knows not what he does.” But you know who has made you to differ. If God, in his sovereign pleasure, had so appointed, you might have been as he is now; and he, instead of you, might have been set for the defence of the Gospel. You were both equally blind by nature. If you attend to this, you will not reproach or hate him, because the Lord has been pleased to open your eyes, and not his. Of all people who engage in controversy, we, who are called Calvinists, are most expressly bound by our own principles to the exercise of gentleness and moderation. If, indeed, they who differ from us have a power of changing themselves, if they can open their own eyes, and soften their own hearts, then we might with less inconsistence be offended at their obstinacy; but if we believe the very contrary to this, our part is, not to strive, but in meekness to instruct those who oppose, “if peradventure God will give them repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth.” If you write with a desire of being an instrument of correcting mistakes, you will of course be cautious of laying stumbling-blocks in the way of the blind, or of using any expressions that may exasperate their passions, confirm them in their prejudices, and thereby make their conviction, humanly speaking, more impracticable.

~John Newton~





John Newton, Richard Cecil, The Works of the John Newton, vol. 1: Forty-One Letters on Religious Subjects, “Letter XIX: On Controversy” (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 268-270.

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Wilhelmus à Brakel – Struggles With Loving Our Neighbor

9 Jan
Wilhelmus a Brakel 1

1635-1711. Dutch Reformed Pastor in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, if one considers the conduct of many of the truly regenerate, how much they fall short of this standard! It is true: They love the godly because God loves them and because they love God in Christ. Their heart is knit to them in that respect—with the exclusion of all other men. They esteem them, their heart goes out toward them, they rejoice when they perceive the godly in their essential nature; but when it comes to their deeds, it is manifest how weak their love is. They keep to themselves and it is as if all others were strangers to them, or they exercise fellowship with only one or with but a few, and ignore others. If one of the godly has a fault, they will immediately render his godliness suspect. If he is perceived as a challenge to us and he does not act according to our wishes, then displeasure, wrath, strife, and backbiting surface, and one gives him the cold shoulder—acting as if their spiritual life did not proceed from one and the same Spirit. And in regard to the unconverted, where is the heartfelt affection for them? Where is the joy about their prosperity, the grief over their mishaps, and the exercise concerning their spiritual and physical welfare?

It ought indeed to be investigated why it is that there is so little love among the godly, so that everyone would be motivated to remove the causes of his lovelessness which he perceives within himself, and thus enhance his progress in the exercise of love.”

~Wilhelmus à Brakel~





The Christian’s Reasonable Service, ed. Joel R. Beeke, trans. Bartel Elshout, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 1992), 61.

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à Brakel’s Works on Logos Bible Software

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Introducing the New Features in Logos 7 – The Preeminent Digital Biblical and Theological Resource

22 Aug

As I mentioned in my previous post, Logos Bible Software released their newest update of their software today: Logos 7! Check out a special offer they have for readers of The Old Guys.

In the previous post I pointed to the new release and the resources and packages worth considering, here I’m going to highlight a few of the amazing new features.

New Features

Before I get to the books, let me introduce you to a few of the new features in Logos 7.

Sermon Editor Logos 7 Sermon Editor
One of the new things in Logos 7 is the Sermon Editor. This is a fairly capable text editor built specifically for sermon writing, and since it’s in Logos, it ties into to other features. So, when you begin building the sermon and setting your main points as headers, the editor automatically creates slides for you for those points. Also, when you enter a verse reference, the verse of your favorite translation is automatically pulled in. Once you’re done, you automatically populate and edit a handout and questions if those are things you use in your worship service or small groups. Finally, having all your sermons in Logos will no doubt be helpful in the future to search them and even see what your previous comments were on a passage.

View a video overview of this resource here.


Panel View Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 11.23.22 PM
The panel view in Logos 7 is actually really handy. Previously, you could pull up multiple, related texts in two windows next to one another, but this forced you to reconfigure your windows. Now, within one window you can bring up related texts that will stay perfectly in sync. This is extremely helpful when trying to read an English translation of the Bible along with the Greek or Hebrew, when trying to read two English translations beside one another, or when comparing the BHS and the LXX on a verse.

New Testament Use of the Old TestamentScreen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.22.18 AM
Studying the New Testament Use of the Old Testament is a very important, as well as profitable, exercise in light of how interwoven the two are. This new interactive feature that Logos has produced makes doing this really easy for any user. For example, previously if one wanted to examine all of the Old Testament citations found in the book of Romans they would have to identify these manually, but Logos 7 makes it a cinch. Just pull up the interactive, identify “citation” as your type of use, click on “Romans” to narrow down to that book, and then enjoying spending your precious time examining the list of citations in Romans right alongside their Old Testament counterpart in both English as well as in Greek and Hebrew.

Bible Manuscripts Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 11.27.33 PM
This feature is just another example of all the cool things that Logos is capable of producing that really help make things simple for the average user while exposing them to top-notch scholarship. This feature walks users through all kinds of data on the Biblical manuscripts while also exposing them to high-quality media of many of the actual sources. It’s an extremely helpful resource.

Systematic and Biblical Theology Keyed to Biblical Texts Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.34.40 AM
This is actually an extremely powerful resource that, in many ways, serves to leverage the Systematic and Biblical Theology’s you own for use when studying a passage. And Logos is to be thanked for doing the incredible work of tagging all of these resources to work in this way. So, if I’m looking at Ephesians 2:1-10 and I want to run the Passage Guide to start reading some of my resources on this passage, not only do my commentaries come up now, but also my Systematic and Biblical Theology’s (and even my journals) that address the verses in question. So, I can click over and see how some of the Reformed Systematicians used the verse in their sections on soteriology, but I can also see how Pentecostal’s have used it, and so on. A very incredible new addition to the Passage Guide! This is something that would be nearly impossible to duplicate with physical books.

View a video overview of this feature here.


Concordance Tool Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 11.51.19 PM
Finally, the concordance tool is just crazy. We are familiar with concordances that are produced for the English Bible, which will list every single word used in the Bible along with every single Biblical instance of its use. The concordance tool will do just that. But, there’s more. This tool will, nearly instantaneously, compile a concordance FOR ANY BOOK IN YOUR LIBRARY. So, instead of having to rely on a selective index at the back of a physical book to see if an author spoke on a certain topic, this tool allows you to see every instance of their use of a particular word, even words that may not have made it to the back of the physical book’s index. This is another incredibly powerful tool that we just would never have access to outside of a digital platform like this.

View a video overview of this feature here.

Introducing Logos 7 with a Special Offer for Readers of The Old Guys

22 Aug


(Click through for overview video)

Many of you may have noticed through the years that I am a big fan of Logos Bible Software. And one of the reasons for that is because there is no other Bible software platform committed to bringing quality works from theologians old and new to the digital age as Logos Bible Software is. Check out their recent projects to translate, produce, and even print:

The vast majority of books I read and quotes I post come from Logos resources. And one of the things that makes Logos so great is that I am able to carry a library’s worth of books around in the palm of my hand or on my laptop, making reading books a breeze any time the opportunity arises. And not only that, but having books in Logos allows me to effectively walk into a massive curated library and search every book for exactly what I’m looking for. So, if accessibility to physical books is an issue for you or if you spend a lot of time doing tedious, page-turning research then you might consider giving Logos a look.

The reason I am bringing this up today, is because Logos is launching a new version of their software: Logos 7. This version builds on their previous work and adds many amazing improvements and new features. When I survey how accessible so many amazing works are in Logos and how powerful the tools are it provides for Biblical research I wonder if we, in the Christian world, are really using such unprecedented abilities to our advantage. I thank God for the advancements Logos is making

Special Offer

For readers of The Old Guys, Logos has created a special landing page at Logos.com. If you are interested in purchasing a new base package and do so through this page you will receive a special discount. On top of that, I’ve selected the first volume of Abraham Kuyper’s new “Collected Works in Public Theology” titled “Common Grace: God’s Gifts for a Fallen World – Volume 1” for FREE.

If you are new to Logos, but are interested in a base package, I would recommend checking out the Logos Reformed base packages. These packages combine resources for studying the Biblical text along with many Reformed works of theology.

In the Gold Package, for example, here are a few of the resources you would get:

– Multiple versions of the English Bible
– Calvin’s Commentaries (46 vols.)
– The Gospel According to the Old Testament Series (13 vols.)
– Wipf & Stock D.A. Carson Collection (5 vols.)
– Wipf & Stock Works of Meredith Kline (7 vols.)
– Mobile Ed: Preaching the Psalms
– Mobile Ed: The Gospel Message in the Early Church
– Sidney Greidanus Preaching Collection (5 vols.)
– NA28 Greek New Testament with Morphology
– BHS with Morphology
– Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (McNeil/Battles)
– The Letters of John Calvin (4 vols.)
– Tracts and Treatises of John Calvin (8 vols.)
– Geerhardus Vos’s Reformed Dogmatics (5 vols.)
– Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology (3 vols.)
– Classic Studies on the Heidelberg Catechism (16 vols.)
– Early Church Fathers (37 vols.)
– Select Works of Jeremiah Burroughs (7 vols.)
– The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks (6 vols.)
– The Works of John Owen (17 vols.)
– The Essential Works of Jonathan Edwards (11 vols.)
– J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols.)
– The Works of B.B. Warfield (10 vols.)
– Select Works of Geerhardus Vos (14 vols.)
– The Works of Cornelius Van Til (39 vols.)
– And much more



Get your special discount here.

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

11 Aug

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.

Books by John Owen

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The Works of John Owen on Logos Bible Software

Biography of John Owen

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Francis Schaeffer – A Dead, Ugly Orthodoxy

10 Aug

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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