Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Churches, Get a Calvinist Pastor! by Tom Nettles

Earlier today the Founders Ministries blog posted an article by Tom Nettles entitled Churches, Get a Calvinist Pastor! Here are the reasons Tom listed that churches should seek Calvinist pastors:
1. A Calvinist firmly believes in the divine inspiration of Scriptures.

2. A Calvinist firmly believes the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.

3. A Calvinist firmly believes the doctrine of substitutionary atonement.

4. A Calvinist firmly believes in religious liberty.

5. A Calvinist firmly believes in missions and evangelism.

6. A Calvinist firmly believes in Christ-centered preaching.

7. A Calvinist firmly believes in holiness of life.

8. A Calvinist firmly believes in regenerate church membership.
I recommend reading the article, with which I happen to agree, because I am convinced that the Doctrines of Grace are revealed in Scripture.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Patrick's Life and Missionary Labors by Michael Haykin



This video is presented at the Reformed Baptist Seminary website. Here is the description:
For many St. Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is mainly about food and alcohol consumption. One would think Ireland’s patron saint was a monk who partied a lot and got drunk. But behind the legend and myth, there’s a real Patrick who was “intoxicated” with a life of serving God and spreading the gospel. If you’d like to learn about the man behind the myth and his real mission, check out the lecture below by Dr. Michael Haykin on “Patrick’s Life and Missionary Labors.” This lecture is part of the curriculum for Reformed Baptist Seminary‘s course on The Early Church
Thanks to Bob Gonzales for letting us know about this free resource.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

10 Most Popluar Posts Over the First 10 Years

Back in November I posted an article entitled Ten Years of the Reformed Baptist Blog, in which I briefly rehearsed the purpose and history of the blog. Today I thought I might share the top ten posts over the first ten years of the blog, dating from the first post on November 17, 2006 to November 17, 2016.
1. The American Revolution: Was it Biblical? (Saturday, February 06, 2010)

2. Disappointed in John Piper's Judgment About Doug Wilson (Friday, June 26, 2009)

3. The Three Best Books in Defense of Believer's Baptism (Thursday, March 29, 2007)

4. Michael Marlowe's Review of the NET Bible (Friday, December 08, 2006)

5. John MacArthur on the "Rape of Solomon's Song" (Friday, April 17, 2009)

6. Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders (Matthew 7:24-27 Teaching Outline) (Tuesday, October 08, 2013)

7. Reformed Baptists Address the Family-Integrated Church Movement (Friday, October 16, 2009)

8. Response to the House-Church Movement: Conclusion (Thursday, March 19, 2009)

9. Why I Call Myself a Reformed Baptist (Thursday, July 02, 2009)

10. The Fatal Flaw of the Theology Behind Infant Baptism (Wednesday, May 05, 2010)
Apparently 2009 was a pretty good year for the blog, since five of the top ten posts come from that year, although the post entitled "Why I Call Myself a Reformed Baptist" was given its own page after drawing so much early attention and appreciation, so perhaps it made the top ten for that reason as well. I have to admit, though, that a couple of these came as a surprise to me. Anyway, thanks to all of our readers for a great first ten years! And thanks be to God, most of all, for His grace! Soli Deo gloria!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Free Audio Download of 'The Gospel Call and True Conversion' by Paul Washer

This month's free audio download from ChristianAudio.com is The Gospel Call and True Conversion by Paul washer. Here is the description from the product page:
The apostle Paul gave the gospel the first place in his preaching, endeavored with all his might to proclaim it clearly, and even went so far as to pronounce a curse upon all those who would pervert its truth. Yet how sad it is that many, even among those considering themselves evangelicals, have reduced the gospel message to a few trite statements to be repeated, and view conversion as a mere human decision. In The Gospel Call and True Conversion, Paul Washer challenges such easy believism as he examines the real meaning of things like faith, repentance, and receiving Christ. He also deals extensively with the effects of saving grace that God promises in the new covenant; namely, the creation of new hearts and new people. 
I haven't yet read or listened to the book myself, but it looks like it would be a good one, and I thought our readers would like to know about it. If you download it and listen to it, perhaps you could let us know what you think in the comments below.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith – 5th edition

If you haven't yet purchased the recently published 5th edition of A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith by Sam Waldron, or if you would like another copy to give as a gift to someone else, then now is the time to take advantage of the great discount price offered at Grace and Truth Books. Here is a brief description of the book:
Long awaited, this 5th Edition of Dr. Samuel Waldron’s work is the definitive version, now in hardcover.
Modern Christianity is awash in a flood of doctrinal relativity. Satan and his forces love the imprecision and ambiguity which are rampant in our day. As C. H. Spurgeon observed, “The arch- enemy of truth has invited us to level our walls and take away our fenced cities.”
This exposition was originally published in 1989 to mark the 300th anniversary of the publication of the Second London Confession, which also became known as the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. Today, Reformed Baptists worldwide hold this Confession in high esteem and many churches continue to regard it as their official statement of faith. In this extensive exposition, the author Sam Waldron shows that the 1689 Confession is a masterly statement of the historic Christian faith. He writes in a direct and lucid style that will help ministers, students and laymen alike to a clear understanding of this Confession and to its relevance and application to our modern age.
Right now Grace and Truth Books is offering the book for just $23.95, so pick up your copy soon. This is one of those books every Reformed Baptist ought to have.

Monday, February 20, 2017

"A Curious Clue About the Origins of the New Testament Canon" by Michael Kruger

Over at the Canon Fodder blog -- which is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs -- Michael Kruger has written an intriguing post entitled A Curious Clue About the Origins of the New Testament Canon, in which he highlights evidence from 2 Corinthians 3 regarding the concept of a canon of Scripture and the formation of the New Testament canon. Here is a portion of the post, which follows evidence from passages speaking of the Old Covenant as something that is written:
These passages indicate that covenants were largely conceived as something written or read; i.e., something in a book.  It is precisely for this reason that warnings were given not to change the text of the covenant (Deut 4:2), and there were concerns about it being in the proper physical location (Ex 25:16).

If so, then what shall we make of Paul’s statement in 2 Cor 3:6 that he and the other apostles are “ministers of a new covenant”?

Given Paul’s statement in 2 Cor 3:14 that we just noted, it would be natural to think that Paul has in mind a new set of written documents that testify to the terms of the covenantal arrangement in Christ.

As Carmignac argues, “In order to use the expression ‘Old Testament’ he [Paul] must also be aware of the existence of a ‘New Testament.’” Carmignac even goes further and suggests that this ‘New Testament’ may have had contained a number of books in order for it to be parallel with the Old.

The likelihood that Paul views the new covenant as having written documents increases when we make the simple observation that Paul is claiming for himself this distinctive covenantal authority within a written letter to the Corinthians. And scholars have observed how this very letter functions as a “covenant lawsuit”against the Corinthians.
I recommend reading the entire post. I also highly recommend Kruger's book Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books, which is the best book I've read on the subject.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Five Lessons Learned from Practicing Church Discipline" by Tom Hicks

Today Tom Hicks posted an excellent article on the Founders Ministries blog entitled Five Lessons Learned from Practicing Church Discipline. In it he offers some lessons he has learned from practicing church discipline over more than ten years of pastoral ministry.

Tom says that he has learned or had reinforced for him the fact that he is a greater sinner than he knew, that anyone can fall into great sin, that it's possible to move too quickly or too slowly in practicing church disciple, that pastors need to know the whole counsel of God, and that a full pastoral ministry is vitally important.

I recommend reading the article in order to hear some solid, Scriptural wisdom about each of these points.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A 12th Dead Sea Scrolls Cave Discovered

Some of our readers may already have seen the reports of a discovery of another Dead Sea Scrolls cave by archaeologist Randall Price, which brings the number to twelve. The cave includes finds of Neolithic remains, including arrowheads and knives, broken jars which would have contained papyri, and small fragments of parchment and papyrus (see photo by Randall Price at left), as well as at least one linen used for wrapping scrolls. The Logos Academic Blog has a nice article on the find here.The article also holds out hope for the discovery of a thirteenth cave in the near future:
It is hard to believe it, but Price and his team seem to have discovered a twelfth cave, something Scrolls scholars have been dreaming about for sixty years. And not only that, Price thinks there may even be a thirteenth cave near the Qumran ruins.
Unlike the newly discovered Cave 12, the mouth of the suspected thirteenth cave is concealed — which means there is a chance that it has not been looted. If that is the case, more texts could be discovered. If that happens, who knows what new things we might learn?
Such a discovery would be very exciting indeed!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

"Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?" Debate




Here is the description posted on YouTube:
Watch as Trent Horn of Catholic Answers and Dr. James R. White of Alpha and Omega Ministries debate the theology surrounding the topic: "Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?" This debate was moderated by Michael O'Fallon on January 18, 2017. Sovereign Alliance sponsored the event at the 2017 G3 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia with over 1,300 audience members in attendance.
Of course, I think James White was on the right side of this debate.

Friday, February 03, 2017

eStudySource.com Offers Good Prices on e-Sword Resources

Regular readers of this blog will remember that I have been a long time user of e-Sword (alongside BibleWorks) and cannot recommend it highly enough. It is a free Bible study software program that rivals many that you would have to pay for and is better than most. This program also makes basic word studies a breeze and has been of great use to those in my congregation to whom I have recommended it. In fact, they often tell me that they love the layout and how user-friendly the program is. There is not a very steep learning curve with this program, so most anyone can catch on to it quickly, and there is a complete set of training demos available.

Regular readers may also recall that I have previously recommended BibleSupport.com as a great place to find many excellent free resources, as well as helpful support, for e-Sword. I have also pointed out the free ESV resources available for e-Sword. Today, however, I would like to recommend eStudySource.com as a good place to buy premium e-Sword resources. They offer a number of outstanding Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries for very good prices. Here are some of the modules I have purchased and used over the years and which our readers may find helpful:
Holman Christian Standard Bible
New King James Version
Ancient Christian Commentary, 29 Vols (Tom C. Oden, Editor)
IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT (OT: John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas , NT: Craig S. Keener)
IVP New Testament Commentary Series, 20 Vols. (Grant R. Osborne, D. Stuart Briscoe, and Haddon Robinson, Editors)  
New International Commentary of the Old Testament, 25 Vols. (Robert L. Hubbard Jr, General Editor)
New International Commentary on the New Testament, 18 Vols. (Gordon D. Fee & Joel B. Green, Editors)
The Preachers Commentary 35 Vols (Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Editor)
Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Manners & Customs
To give some idea of how good the prices are (and there are regular sales as well), consider the cost of one of the more expensive modules, the New International Commentary of the Old Testament (NICOT), which currently lists for $139.99. That sounds expensive until you think about what it would cost to buy the set in book form, which is currently listed on Amazon Prime for $1,353.00, although other sellers offer it for as little as $948.00, which may not include shipping. And, by the way, one would currently have to pay $984.99 for the Logos Bible Software version of NICOT.

To further highlight the difference, right now I am studying to teach through Proverbs, and one of the commentaries I am using is the excellent two volume set by Bruce Waltke, which is part of the NICOT set. For both volumes in book form (which I own), I would have to pay $90.58 right now through Amazon Prime, and it would cost $74.87 in Kindle format. But I can own the entire Old Testament set for $139.99 and make use of it in e-Sword wherever I can take my laptop. That is something to think about.

If you are a regular e-Sword user, as I am, you may want to check out some of the resources at eStudySource.com. It may be well worth your while.