Posts by John Fonville

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"The Myth of the Via Media, and other Canterbury Tales," by Mark Earngey

Mark Earngey

Dr. Mark Earngey, head of Church History and Christian Doctrine at Moore Theological College, recently spoke at GAFCON Australasia 2022 answering the question, "What is an authentic approach to Anglican identity?"...

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Martin Luther and how Evangelicalism Departed from its Reformation Roots

John Wesley

My argument is this: By the year 1700, Protestant Christianity had begun developing significantly new practices and understandings of the Christian faith that focused upon Christian renewal, conversion, new birth and the coming millennial kingdom. These new practices and understandings were a dramatic departure not only from Roman Catholic Christianity, but also from the o...

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Martin Luther's Primary Concern in Liturgical Reformation

Martin Luther Cranach

Martin Luther's primary concern when constructing the German mass and order of the liturgy in 1526 was that the gospel be proclaimed for the people in their context....

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1662 BCP- Altar, Table, Sacrifice

Instead of using the word "altar," the 1662 BCP uses the word, "Table." The word, "sacrifice" is used carefully....

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Worthy Reception of the Lord's Supper

Cranach Last Supper

Martin Luther on the worthy reception of the Lord's Supper....

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Infant Baptism and Discipleship

Infant Baptism

Infant baptism sets Christian discipleship from birth within a covenant context, which means means to understand discipleship as something connected to the ordinary means of God’s grace and the routine work of the church....

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‘Against Peril of Idolatry.’

The Book of Homilies

The homily, 'Against Peril of Idolatry,' in the Second Book of Homilies, makes four key points against the use of images, which, it says, are idols under another name. ...

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The Thirty-Nine Articles and the Christian Life

J.I. Packer on the Thirty-Nine Articles for the living of your life as a Christian....

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J.V. Fesko on The Illegitimacy of Paedocommunion

J.V. Fesko on The Illegitimacy of Paedocommunion. Just because infants are baptized and are members of the church does not mean that they are automatically entitled to participate in the Lord’s Supper....

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We are Hiring!

We are Hiring!- Paramount Church is currently seeking to hire a Senior Executive Pastor. Click the link below for the job description. All enquiries can be sent to admin@paramountchurch.com....

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Adoption is Greater Mercy

Thomas Watson, "Adoption is greater mercy than Adam had in paradise."...

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The Sunday Next Before Easter or Palm Sunday?

Why does the 1662 BCP have "The Sunday Next Before Easter" rather than "Palm Sunday?"...

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The Basic Function of the Law

The basic function of the law never changes. What is this function? Read on to find out....

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How Do Believers Respond to the Moral Law?

How do believers respond to the moral law?...

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Sailing and the Christian Life

Sailing and the Christian life....

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John Calvin: Three Uses of the Moral Law

John Calvin discusses the three uses of the moral law....

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Godless Preaching

Graeme Goldsworthy explains godless preaching. ...

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Ten Propositions in Response to Lordship Salvation

Ten propositions in response to Lordship Salvation from the book, Christ the Lord: The Reformation and Lordship Salvation....

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Why St. Patrick Came Back to Ireland

Why St. Patrick came back to Ireland in his own words....

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A Commination

A Commination or denouncing of God’s anger and judgements against sinners with certain prayers to be used on the first day of Lent and at other times as the ordinary shall appoint....

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How Do I Know I'm A Christian?

Assurance lies in the very direct act of faith as one is presented with Christ, the object of faith. The reflex act of faith can support our profession but it cannot become the ground our assurance....

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Holiness is not an Option for the Christian

Holiness is not an option for a Christian. ...

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The Office of Salvation

The Office of Salvation- Hugh Latimer on the importance of the office of preaching....

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The Most Comfortable Thing in the World

Hugh Latimer on the most comfortable thing in the world....

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A New Garment Before God

In her book, The Lamentation of a Sinner, Katherine Parr recounts her conversion to the truth of the gospel of justification by grace, through faith, in Christ alone....

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The Relationship of the Gospel to Christian Living

Graeme Goldsworthy on the relationship of the gospel to Christian living. ...

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Justification and a Divided Church

Justification and a Divided Church- Michael Horton discusses the two distinct positions on justification that continue to divide Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church....

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The Gospel in the Prayer Book

The Gospel in the Prayer Book- Collected short writings by J. I. Packer on The 1662 Book of Common Prayer....

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A Collect for Reformation Sunday

A collect for Reformation Sunday....

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Thomas Cranmer: Justification Sola Gratia, Sola Fide is catholic

In his homily, A Sermon of the Salvation of Mankind, Thomas Cranmer quotes from many scholars and sources to convince us of the catholicity or universality of justification sola fide....

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The General Confession of Sins

From 1552 onward, the striking thing about the daily services [in the Book of Common Prayer) was the prominent place given to the general confession of sins in corporate worship....

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Ten Propositions

Ten propositions in response to Lordship Salvation....

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Two Radically Different Views of Salvation

Two Radically Different Views of Salvation: Thirty Nine Articles, Articles 11-13 & The Council of Trent: Chapter 7: The Causes of this justification are; Session 6, Canons 9, 11-12...

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Nowell's Catechism on the Chief Parts of the Word of God

Nowell's Catechism on the Chief Parts of the Word of God...

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The Marks of the Church Point to the Gospel

How do the marks of the church point to the gospel?...

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Sola Fide: A Most Wholesome Doctrine

According to the Thirty-nine Articles, the Homily of Salvation or Homily of Justification outlines “a most wholesome doctrine”, that “we are justified by Faith only”. Lee Gatiss...

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A Distortion of History

Mark Chapman writes about the historical distortion of history made by the 19th century Oxford movement. ...

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Why Do Anglicans Refer to Their Ordained Ministers as Priests?

Why do Anglicans refer to their ordained ministers as priest?...

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A Feast of Scripture

A distinctive feature of Thomas Cranmer's reforms of the worship of the English church was the prominent place he gave to the extensive reading of Scripture. ...

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Thomas Cranmer's Revolution in Worship: Grace and Gratitude

Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer's Revolution in Worship: Grace and Gratitude...

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Thomas Cranmer: A Theological Liturgist

Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer was a theological liturgist, which means the Reformer possessed a set of theological convictions that he hoped to express through his liturgy. These theological convictions were a clear step away from the worship of the medieval Catholic Church and the theological convictions that it represented....

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What is "New" about the New Covenant?

In their book, Sacred Bond, Michael Brown and Zach Keele answer the question what is "new" about the new covenant?...

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Richard Sibbes: The Scope of the Whole Scriptures is Christ

Richard Sibbes discussing the Christ-centered focus of all the Scriptures....

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We Receive A Double Grace

In partaking of Christ by grace alone through faith alone, we receive a double grace, namely justification and sanctification. ...

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How can our imperfect works be accepted by God?

Since our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin how can they be accepted by God?...

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Jerry Bridges: The Greatest Obstacle to the Gospel

Jerry Bridges: The Greatest Obstacle to the Gospel...

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Election is to be understood and recognized in Christ alone

John Calvin: Election is to be understood and recognized in Christ alone...

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James Ussher on the Law and Gospel

James Ussher

In his work, A Body of Divinity, James Ussher sets forth the difference between the law (i.e., covenant of works) and the gospel (i.e., covenant of grace)....

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We Never Move On From The Gospel

In their book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer and Gary Parrett make the vital observation that in discipleship believers never move on from the gospel but deeper into it....

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Scott Swain on the Errors of Eternal Functional Subordinationism (EFS)

In his book, The Trinity: An Introduction, Scott Swain argues that Eternal Functional Subordinationism (EFS) is a serious error that Christians should roundly reject because it inaccurately represents biblical teaching on the Trinity and therefore fails to provide a solid foundation for faith in the Trinity....

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William Perkins: The Most Significant English Theologian of the Elizabethan Period

William Perkins defined theology as “the science of living blessedly forever.” The phrase captures the intellectual rigor and heartfelt piety that come together in the writings of this eminent English theologian, preacher, and spiritual director. Often overlooked or underestimated by modern scholars, Perkins was a very significant and influential scholastic theologian ...

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Zacharias Ursinus on the Differences Between the Law and Gospel

Zacharias Ursinus

In his commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, Zacharias Ursinus discusses four differences between the law and gospel....

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Zacharias Ursinus: What is the Gospel?

Zacharias Ursinus answering the question, What is the Gospel?...

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John Calvin on How to Obtain Peace for the Conscience

Calvin explains how believers find peace for their conscience in the direct act of faith. ...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 1

Detailed chapter outlines of Walter Marshall's book, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification....

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 2

Detailed outline of Chapter 2 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 3

Detailed outline of Chapter 3 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 4

Detailed outline of Chapter 4 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 5

Detailed outline of Chapter 5 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 6, Part 1

Detailed outline of Chapter 6 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 6, Part 2

Notes...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 7

Notes...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 8

Detailed outline of Chapter 8 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 9

Detailed outline of Chapter 9 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 10

Detailed outline of Chapter 10 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 11

Detailed outline of Chapter 11 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 12

Detailed outline of Chapter 12 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 14

Detailed outline of Chapter 14 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Appendix

Detailed outline of the Appendix in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification Outlines: Chapter 13

Detailed outline of Chapter 13 in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification...

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Keeping Baptism Central: How Baptism Transforms Our Daily Lives

To their detriment, it never occurs to a great deal of believers that their baptism has application to their current daily walk. This paper is written to help believers view their baptism as more than an event that happened in their past and to consider how the Scriptures set forth the benefits of baptism for the believer’s daily life....

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We Cannot Command Other People to Live or Do the Gospel

Graeme Goldsworthy explains how we do not live but rather proclaim and believe the gospel....

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Richard Hooker: "I rather term the one sort Presbyters than Priests"

Richard Hooker: "I rather term the one sort Presbyters than Priests"...

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What is a Priest? Another Anglican View

C. FitzSimons Allison discusses four ways in which pastoral ministry has been separated from its true purpose....

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J.I. Packer on Four Problems of Keswick Teaching

J.I. Packer on Four Problems of Keswick Teaching ...

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Understanding the Contrast of “Law” and “Promise” in Galatians 3

Understanding the Contrast of “Law” and “Promise” in Galatians 3....

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"Christ is not divided. You cannot have half a Christ."

Walter Marshall on how true saving faith embraces Christ for both justification and sanctification. He shows that God's grace is twofold (i.e., the duplex [twofold] beneficium [benefit]). Justification is the first benefit (beneficium) and sanctification is the second benefit (beneficium). ...

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COVID Lament

A season of lament. ...

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Revisiting "Every Member a Minister"

There is only one "ministry" but there are multiple vocations. All believers are sheep but not all believers are shepherds. All believers are priests, not all are pastors. All believers have been called by Christ to saving faith but not all believers have been called and entrusted with the one ministry of Christ's church, namely Word and sacrament. All believers are equipp...

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Graeme Goldsworthy on the Four Reformation Solas

Graeme Goldsworthy on the Four Reformation Solas: Grace alone, Christ alone, Scripture alone, Faith alone....

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St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer

St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer (5th Century)...

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Misquoting Moses and Viruses

New covenant believers are not under the Mosaic covenant. Therefore, calls for prayer based on the Mosaic (old) covenant during a worldwide pandemic is wrong and should be abandoned. Through Christ, the Mediator of a better (new) covenant, we have been given a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled ...

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Richard Sibbes: Death is the Death and Destruction of Itself

Richard Sibbes on a sweet consideration against the fear of death....

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Richard Sibbes: The Glory of God is Greatest in the Gospel

Richard Sibbes: The Glory of God is Greatest in the Gospel...

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Michael Horton: What the Third Use of the Law Can and Cannot Do

Michael Horton on what the third use of the law can and cannot do....

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Gerald Bray: WWJD is Impossible to Answer

Gerald Bray: "'What would Jesus do?’ seems like an innocent question to ask, but it is impossible to answer literally and does not reflect the teaching of the New Testament. ...

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Richard Sibbes on the Difference Between the Law and the Gospel

Richard Sibbes, a 17th Century Anglican theologian, commenting on 2 Corinthians 3 concerning the difference between the law and the gospel....

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James Ussher on the Difference between the Covenants of Works and Grace

James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland for the Church of Ireland (1625-1656) on the difference between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace....

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William Perkins on Seven Differences between the Law and Gospel

The late 16th century Anglican pastor/theologian, William Perkins, on seven differences between the law and gospel....

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No Creed But The Bible?

No Creed But The Bible?- Carl Trueman on the unbiblical creedal statement, "The bible is our only creed and our only confession."...

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Evangelicalism and the Priority of Parachurch Institutions

Carl Trueman on how evangelicalism prioritizes parachurch institutions over and above the church. ...

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Philip Schaff: The 39 Articles Are Reformed

Philip Schaff: The 39 Articles are found in every collection of Reformed confessions....

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Why Do We Like To Be Constantly Told What To Do?

Graeme Goldsworthy explains why we like to be constantly told what we are to do and why we like to be battered and bruised by preachers....

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Baptism Is Far From Automatic

Michael Green discussing The Gorham Judgement and clarifying the Anglican position on baptism and regeneration....

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Confirmation Cannot Be a Sacrament

Confirmation cannot be a sacrament- a means of grace. Rather, confirmation is one's profession of faith- the believer's act, a response to the promise made in baptism....

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Why are the means of grace restricted to Word and sacrament?

J.V. Fesko, in his book, Word, Water and Spirit: A Reformed Perspective on Baptism, explains why the means of grace are restricted to Word and sacrament....

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Reconciliation: The Good News of the Gospel

Jerry Bridges discussing the good news of God's initiative in reconciling His enemies to Himself. ...

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Clarifying, “ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda”

Martin Davie clarifying the often misunderstood post-World War II Latin phrase, “ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda."...

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There Are No “Non-Liturgical” Churches

There is no such thing as a “non-liturgical church.” The choice is not between liturgy or no liturgy, but between having an agreed-upon, well-thought-out liturgy or leaving things to the spur of the moment and the discretion of the leader. As one wag has rightly observed, if you think “organized religion” is bad, try disorganized religion....

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The Protestant Reformation: A Two-Front War

The Protestant Reformation was waged on two fronts: the errors of Rome and the errors of the radical Reformation (i.e., so-called Anabaptists)....

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The Double-Edged Nature of the Gospel and Sacraments

The Double-Edged Nature of God's Revelation- The sacraments are means of grace. However, because they are linked to the covenant and more broadly to divine revelation, they are not always means of grace but sometimes means of judgment apart from a Spirit-wrought faith....

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Christ has Redeemed us through His Obedience

John Calvin: Christ has Redeemed us through His Obedience, which He practiced throughout His Life (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.16.5)...

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Andy Stanley, Marcion, and the Bible

According to Andy Stanley, the 21st century church must “unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures.” Is this correct? No! We know this from Jesus' attitude towards the Old Testament, as well as the Apostles' and NT writers. We also object to Stanley's suggestion because of the nature of progressive revelation and the Scriptures central witness to Christ ...

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The Mountain of Law vs. The Mountain of Grace

In Hebrews 12:18-24, the author of Hebrews expresses deep concern about where his readers stand in relation to the God who asks, “Adam, where are you?” To prevent his readers from a calamitous reversion to Jewish beliefs and practices, the author of Hebrews sets forth two contrasting relationships with God, determined by two antithetical covenants. By contrasting the...

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The Movement of Baptism: From God to Us

Why does understanding the movement of baptism matter?...

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Eternal Functional Subordination and the Problem of the Divine Will

The doctrine of eternal functional subordination (hereafter EFS) has been growing in support in evangelical circles in recent years. EFS claims that the Father and the Son are eternally distinguished by an “authority-submission structure”1 such that the Son eternally submits to the Father and the Father eternally has au- thority over the Son. This structure is the patt...

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Good-Day, Bad-Day and the Covenant of Grace

Why is the covenant of grace important for the Christian life? We will consider two radically different days in a Christian's life to understand....

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The Collapsing of the Covenants: Narrow is the Way that Leads to Destruction

Collapsing the covenants into one overarching theme of grace confuses law and gospel and effectively eliminates an explicit law-gospel distinction in Scripture....

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Dishonoring the Spirit?

Does placing primary emphasis upon justification for assurance understate the importance and necessity of good works (i.e., sanctification)? Does this emphasis dishonor the Holy Spirit’s indwelling work?...

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John Calvin on the Four Causes of Salvation

John Calvin discusses the four "causes" of salvation (i.e, the efficient cause- God the Father's mercy; the material cause- Christ's obedience/death; the formal/instrumental cause- faith alone; the final cause- the glory of God)....

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Law and Gospel: The Chief and Most Expressive Mark of the True Church

Zacharias Ursinus, author of the Heidelberg Catechism, discusses the law and gospel. Ursinus refers to the law and gospel the "chief and most expressive mark of the true church."...

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Theodore Beza on how the Gospel changes the effect of the preaching of the Law in believers

Theodore Beza on how the Gospel changes the effect of the preaching of the Law in believers....

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Theodore Beza on the Law and Gospel, Part 2

Theodore Beza on the similarities and the differences between the Law and the Gospel....

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Theodore Beza on the Law and Gospel, Part 3

Theodore Beza on what end (purpose) the Holy Spirit uses the preaching of the Law....

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Theodore Beza on the Law and the Gospel, Part 4

Theodore Beza on the Gospel and its authority, why, how and for what end (purpose) it was written....

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Theodore Beza on the Law and Gospel, Part 5

Theodore Beza on the manner in which the Gospel includes, in substance, the books of the Old Testament....

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Theodore Beza on the Law and Gospel, Part 1

Theodore Beza on the two parts of the Word of God....

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Confusing Law and Gospel: A Review of David Platt's book, Radical.

A review of David Platt's book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream....

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Dispositional Soteriology: Jonathan Edwards on Justification by Faith Alone

George Hunsinger shows how Jonathan Edwards crosses the fine line laid down by the Reformation concerning justification sola fide. Edwards taught that works are not simply external evidence that faith exists. Rather, works are necessary to the efficacy of faith. Works, as the external expression of faith, play a role in justification....

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Abba is not Daddy

James Barr carefully argues for the correct meaning of the Aramaic term, "abba," showing that this word doesn't mean, "daddy." Since “abba” doesn’t mean “daddy or papa” one must not use these infantile ideas when addressing his or her heavenly Father in prayer. Otherwise, one may be addressing God the Father without the honor that is due Him....

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The Role of Music in the Worship and Witness of the Church

The Bible sets forth a high view of the role of music in the church’s worship and witness and believers should as well. Why then does the church gather to sing? What is the role of music in the worship and witness of the church? This paper seeks to explore and answer this question....

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Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

There often exists a widespread suspicion that belief in the sovereignty of God”"particularly election”"undermines or even inhibits zeal for missions and evangelism. Dr. J.I. Packer in his book, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, persuasively demonstrates that such a misunderstanding is, in his words, “nonsense.” Election, faith, the gospel and evangelism go ...

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