The popular 17th century Presbyterian preacher Stephen Marshall stated that rejecting infant baptism necessitated a rejection of the Lord’s Day Sabbath as well. Here is the reply from John Tombes.
John Tombes: An examen of the sermon of Mr. Stephen Marshal about infant-baptisme in a letter sent to him. 1645:
…Their ground you say is, because there is not an expresse institution or command in the New Testament: this then is their principle, that what hath not an expresse institution or command in the New Testament is to be rejected. But give me leave to tell you, that you leave out two explications that are needful to be taken in; First, that when they say so, they meane it of positive instituted worship, consisting in outward rites, such as Circumcision, Baptisme and the Lord’s Supper are, which have nothing morall or naturall in them, but are in whole and in part Ceremoniall. For that which is naturall or morall in worship, they allow an institution or command in the old Testament as obligatory to Christians, and such doe they conceive a Sabbath to be, as being of the Law of nature, that outward worship being due to God, days are due to God to that end, and therefore even in Paradise, appointed from the creation; and in all nations, in all ages observed: enough to prove so much to be of the Law of nature, and therefore the fourth Commandment justly put amongst the Morals…
I recently stumbled upon a youtube video by a young atheist apologist named Jaclyn Glenn titled “Disproving Christianity: Jesus is a Lie” (posted in 2013). I thought it might be worthwhile to offer a brief critique.
Her main argument: She claims that that Christians plagiarized the life of Jesus from myths of various pagan deities, including:
The Egyptian god Horus, The Hindu/Indian god Krishna, And the Persian/Roman god Mithras.
Here are five logical and factual problems with this claim…
Useful for personal study as well as for pastors and churches
The increase in terrorism, the push for gender fluidity, the eradicating of Christianity from schools – During these worrying times, Earl Blackburn shows that learning about our history can be one of the best tools for encouraging us in our faith. Hearing stories of the perseverance of Christian heroes such as John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, and William Wilberforce is inspirational for everyday struggles; while seeing how God has grown His church through times of hardship and persecution helps us to have courage about the church of today.
This really is a fine piece of work and should be very popular and highly useful in the church.
– Tom J. Nettles, Senior Professor of Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
… 50 World-Changing Events in Christian History is a helpful overview of church history written from an evangelical and reformed perspective. I hope it will help many believers understand how their own lives and local churches fit into the ongoing story of God’s new covenant people from every tribe, language, and nation.
– Nathan A. Finn, Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Baptist Studies, The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina
… As a professor of Church History, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is for a recommendation of a simple survey of the life of the church over the last 2,000 years. Now I have the answer to that question…
– James M. Renihan, Dean and Professor of Historical Theology, Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, Escondido, California
Paperback: 336 pages Publisher: Christian Focus (July 20, 2016)
If you were asked to identify the primary quality which defines a true man of God in his specific relation to a true woman of God – distinctively within the marriage relationship – what one-word answer might you give? What if the opposite question were asked: what single quality ought to characterise a woman of God in relation to her husband in particular?
…the distinctive feature of masculinity in this relation to femininity is love. Leadership or headship may be implied, but the focus of the apostle is on the motive and nature of the husband’s relation to his wife. This love is neither physical lust nor romantic delight, and neither one can or will supply a lack of intelligent and principled love.
Let me briefly spell out several things about this love. Note first its character, for it is Christlike. As such, it must be principled, realistic, intelligent , sweet and – ultimately – sacrificial. Its great pattern is Christ’s coming for and dying for his church. This is not a matter of occasional spectacular demonstrations, though it may include them. It is not a notional knight in shining armour who, fortunately for the husband, never actually needs to make an appearance. It is to labour for the good of your wife regardless of the cost to yourself, a daily death of a thousand cuts to male selfishness and laziness.
While many who visit our site will be familiar with the Second London Confession (often called the 1689 Confession), usually they have only seen the text of the Confession itself. But when it was first published, it also included a letter to the reader as well as an appendix. Here, we present this Letter. It is our hope that these materials will further the understanding of this wonderful document.
Judicious and Impartial
It is now many years since divers of us (with other sober Christians then living and walking in the way of the Lord that we professe) did conceive our selves to be under a necessity of Publishing a Confession of our Faith, for the information, and satisfaction of those, that did not throughly understand what our principles were, or had entertained prejudices against our Profession, by reason of the strange representation of them, by some men of note, who had taken very wrong measures, and accordingly led others into misapprehensions, of us, and them: and this was first put forth about the year, 1643. in the name of seven Congregations then gathered in London; since which time, diverse impressions thereof have been dispersed abroad, and our end proposed, in good measure answered, inasmuch as many (and some of those men eminent, both for piety and learning) were thereby satisfied, that we were no way guilty of those Heterodoxies and fundamental errors, which had too frequently been charged upon us without ground, or occasion given on our part. And forasmuch, as that Confession is not now commonly to be had; and also that many others have since embraced the same truth which is owned therein; it was judged necessary by us to joyn together in giving a testimony to the world; of our firm adhering to those wholesome Principles, by the publication of this which is now in your hand.
And forasmuch as our method, and manner of expressing our sentiments, in this, doth vary from the former (although the substance of the matter is the same) we shall freely impart to you the reason and occasion thereof. One thing that greatly prevailed with us to undertake this work, was (not only to give a full account of our selves, to those Christians that differ from us about the subject of Baptism, but also) the profit that might from thence arise, unto those that have any account of our labors, in their instruction, and establishment in the great truths of the Gospel; in the clear understanding, and steady belief of which, our comfortable walking with God, and fruitfulness before him, in all our ways, is most neerly concerned; and therefore we did conclude it necessary to expresse our selves the more fully, and distinctly; and also to fix on such a method as might be most comprehensive of those things which we designed to explain our sense, and belief of; and finding no defect, in this regard, in that fixed on by the assembly, and after them by those of the Congregational way, we did readily conclude it best to retain the same order in our present confession: and also, when we observed that those last mentioned, did in their confession (for reasons which seemed of weight both to themselves and others) choose not only to express their mind in words concurrent with the former in sense, concerning all those articles wherein they were agreed, but also for the most part without any variation of the terms we did in like manner conclude it best to follow their example in making use of the very same words with them both, in these articles (which are very many) wherein our faith and doctrine is the same with theirs, and this we did, the more abundantly, to manifest our consent with both, in all the fundamental articles of the Christian Religion, as also with many others, whose orthodox confessions have been published to the world; on behalf of the Protestants in divers Nations and Cities: and also to convince all, that we have no itch to clogge Religion with new words, but do readily acquiesce in that form of sound words, which hath been, in consent with the holy Scriptures, used by others before us; hereby declaring before God, Angels, & Men, our hearty agreement with them, in that wholesome Protestant Doctrine, which with so clear evidence of Scriptures they have asserted: some things indeed, are in some places added, some terms omitted, and some few changed, but these alterations are of that nature, as that we need not doubt, any charge or suspition of unsoundness in the faith, from any of our brethren upon the account of them.
In those things wherein we differ from others, we have exprest our selves with all candor and plainness that none might entertain jealousie of ought secretly lodged in our breasts, that we would not the world should be acquainted with; yet we hope we have also observed those rules of modesty, and humility, as will render our freedom in this respect inoffensive, even to those whose sentiments are different from ours.
We have also taken care to affix texts of Scripture, in the margin for the confirmation of each article in our confession; in which work we have studiously indeavoured to select such as are most clear and pertinent, for the proof of what is asserted by us: and our earnest desire is, that all into whose hands this may come, would follow that (never enough commended) example of the noble Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily, that they might find out whether the things preached to them were so or not.
There is one thing more which we sincerely professe, and earnestly desire credence in, viz. That contention is most remote from our design in all that we have done in this matter: and we hope the liberty of an ingenuous unfolding our principles, and opening our hearts unto our Brethren, with the Scripture grounds on which our faith and practise leanes, will by none of them be either denyed to us, or taken ill from us. Our whole design is accomplished, if we may obtain that Justice, as to be measured in our principles, and practise, and the judgement of both by others, according to what we have now published; which the Lord (whose eyes are as a flame of fire) knoweth to be the doctrine, which with our hearts we must firmly believe, and sincerely indeavour to conform our lives to. And oh that other contentions being laid asleep, the only care and contention of all upon whom the name of our blessed Redeemer is called, might for the future be, to walk humbly with their God, and in the exercise of all Love and Meekness towards each other, to perfect holyness in the fear of the Lord, each one endeavouring to have his conversation such as becometh the Gospel; and also suitable to his place and capacity vigorously to promote in others the practice of true Religion and undefiled in the sight of God and our Father. And that in this backsliding day, we might not spend our breath in fruitless complaints of the evils of others; but may every one begin at home, to reform in the first place our own hearts, and wayes; and then to quicken all that we may have influence upon, to the same work; that if the will of God were so, none might deceive themselves, by resting in, and trusting to, a form of Godliness, without the power of it, and inward experience of the efficacy of those truths that are professed by them.
And verily there is one spring and cause of the decay of Religion in our day, which we cannot but touch upon, and earnestly urge a redresse of; and that is the neglect of the worship of God in Families, by those to whom the charge and conduct of them is committed. May not the grosse ignorance, and instability of many; with the prophaneness of others, be justly charged upon their Parents and Masters; who have not trained them up in the way wherein they ought to walk when they were young? but have neglected those frequent and solemn commands which the Lord hath laid upon them so to catechize, and instruct them, that their tender years might be seasoned with the knowledge of the truth of God as revealed in the Scriptures; and also by their own omission of Prayer, and other duties of Religion in their families, together with the ill example of their loose conversation, have inured them first to a neglect, and then contempt of all Piety and Religion? we know this will not excuse the blindness, or wickedness of any; but certainly it will fall heavy upon those that have thus been the occasion thereof; they indeed dye in their sins; but will not their blood be required of those under whose care they were, who yet permitted them to go on without warning, yea led them into the paths of destruction? and will not the diligence of Christians with respect to the discharge of these duties, in ages past, rise up in judgment against, and condemn many of those who would be esteemed such now?
We shall conclude with our earnest prayer, that the God of all grace, will pour out those measures of his holy Spirit upon us, that the profession of truth may be accompanyed with the sound belief, and diligent practise of it by us; that his name may in all things be glorified, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
The purpose of the SCRBPC is for the edification of confessional Reformed Baptist pastors and other interested men who are in the ministry or training for the ministry. The SCRBPC will function within the theological framework of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (2nd LCF) and The Baptist Catechism (BC).
Monday, October 24 – Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Drs. Stefan T. Lindblad, B.A. in History and Classics from Seattle Pacific University, M.Div. from Westminster Seminary California and the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, and Ph.D. candidate in Systematic and Historical Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary.
Part 1: Dr. James White – “Went 135 minutes today (hence the “uber-mega” designation) covering two primary topics: sola scriptura defined and defended against a recent attack upon it by Karlo Broussard of Catholic Answers (first 90 minutes), and then a “live” review of a new video against the deity of Christ from a Muslim perspective (link). A lot of foundational, basic teaching today that we think is very, very important for all believers!”
Part 2: Dr. James White – “We continued our series on sola scriptura today, looking at what sola scriptura is and is not. Touched on the issues raised by charismatic claims of “thus says the Lord” a bit as well. We really believe this is an important series, and hope our listeners will find it foundationally edifying.”
Part 3: Dr. James White – “Three topics on the program today; for the first 15 minutes or so a quick rejoinder to Jory Micah and her ‘El Shaddai means ‘one with many breasts’ tweet, then about half an hour in response to Spencer Toy’s article on crossexamined.org, ‘An Open Question for Presuppositionalists.’ Then we got back for the last 45 minutes to our study of sola scriptura. We are now able, in the next program, to finally start working through Karlo Broussard’s comments on Catholic Answers Live.”
Part 4: Dr. James White – “Aside from a few brief comments at the start about a few current events we focused pretty much fully on the sola scriptura series, finally getting to the clip from the debate with Mitch Pacwa and listening to a number of segments from the Catholic Answers Live show with Karlo Broussard. Important information!”
Part 5: Dr. James White – “I managed to resist the temptation to do the ‘politics talk’ and finished up the introduction to sola scriptura today in a 90 minute program focusing upon the final sections of Karlo Broussard’s arguments on Catholic Answers Live, and then discussing two more important aspects, ‘Apostolic Tradition’ in the early fathers as well as the issue of the canon. Not easy material to cover, but so very important!”
Conclusion: Practical Application of God’s Holiness
I commend Charnock’s treatment of what he calls “uses” for information, comfort, and exhortation. We consider the practical application of God’s holiness to sinners and saints.
A. Practical Application of God’s Holiness to Lost Sinners
God’s holiness calls sinners to face the fact that they can’t serve God acceptably while they live in sin. It calls them to face the certainty of his punishment. It calls them to face the finality and propriety of his punishment. It presses them to get right with God through Christ now, while they still have a chance to do so. Death is coming. Christ is coming. When they come, it will be too late.
B. Practical Application of God’s Holiness to Christians
1. God’s holiness calls Christians to humility and contrition before God.
God’s holiness uncovers our remaining corruption. The more we behold his purity and devotion to his honor, the more we see our uncleanness and self-centeredness. The more we dwell in his presence, the more we feel helpless and wretched. Thus Job and Isaiah came to feel their remaining sin.
2. God’s holiness calls Christians to filial fear of God.
God’s unequivocal devotion to his own glory elicits dread. We have meaning, purpose, and value only in relation to him and his design for us. He holds our life in his hands, to do with as he pleases, when he pleases, for his glory. Thus we should walk softly with him in filial fear.
3. God’s holiness calls Christians to reverent and joyous worship.
Divine holiness demands both reverence and joy in our worship. The display of his holiness in creation and redemption calls for songs of adoration and praise. Our infinitely holy God stands worthy of incessant praise from his creatures in heaven and on earth.
4. God’s holiness calls Christians to imitate to his holy character.
God’s holiness mandates putting away sin. Imitating his holy character is essential evidence of true religion. To this end he re-created us in his image and chastens us in love. We should imitate our Father because we love him and want to be like him and in order to defend his good name.
5. God’s holiness calls Christians to trust him and rely on him.
God is our Rock. He has sworn to bless us in Christ. His honor stands bound to our welfare. Holiness moves him to protect and preserve us. Thus, we must trust him to fulfill his sworn commitments to us. We must rely on our Holy One for help, security, and provision of all our needs in Christ. In conclusion, we should never forget the great importance of God’s holiness. Let us dwell on it until we live every day devoted to his glory and longing to see him as he is and be like him.
Omniscience is useful for instruction, consolation, confirmation, provision, and exhortation.
A. Instruction from God’s Omniscience
It teaches us the excellency of wisdom (Prov. 3:19-20).
It teaches us the value of all creatures, the Christian gospel, church, and ministry (Matt. 6:26, 10:31, 11:21, 23; Eph. 3:8, 10-11).
It teaches us the inscrutability of divine providence (Eccles. 8:16-17, 9:1).
It teaches us the sufficiency of Jesus Christ (Col. 3:5-8).
It teaches us the absurdity of thinking anyone can get away with sin (Rev. 18:5).
B. Comfort from God’s Omniscience
It comforts us because God ever watches over us (Isa. 40:28).
It comforts us because God never forgets us (Isa. 49:14-16).
It comforts us because God always remembers our faithful service to him (Heb. 6:10).
It comforts because the Holy Spirit prays for us, even when we don’t know what to pray (Rom. 8:27).
C. Confirmation from God’s Omniscience
Divine foreknowledge strengthens our faith that Jehovah is the one true God (Isa. 41:21-24, 48:5).
D. Provision from God’s Omniscience
It supplies a stockpile of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 3:5; James 1:5).
It supplies effectual argument to plead before God (Neh. 13:22, 29, 31; Luke 1:72).
E. Exhortation from God’s Omniscience
It exhorts about communion with God, cultivation of grace, and contemplation of his work.
1. God’s omniscience exhorts us to godly communion with the Lord.
a. Omniscience calls us to seek God for guidance and counsel (1 Sam. 23:11-12; Prov. 3:13, 21-22; Col. 3:5).
b. Omniscience calls us to praise God (Pss. 104:1, 33, 147:5; Rom. 11:33-36, 16:27).
c. Omniscience calls us to appreciate God’s special presence (Ps. 139:17,18).
d. Omniscience calls us to cleave to God alone (Jer. 10:10-12).
e. Omniscience calls us to trust God for protection and provision (Matt. 6:31-32,10:29-31).
f. Omniscience calls us to serve God (John 21:17).
g. Omniscience calls us to honor God (Rom. 11:33-36; 1 Cor. 1:17-31).
2. God’s omniscience exhorts us to diligent cultivation of grace.
a. Omniscience urges us to cultivate humility (Job 1:21, 37:16, 38:1-39-30; Gen. 18:25).
b. Omniscience urges us to cultivate expectancy for eternal glory (Ps. 104:35; Heb. 6:10).
c. Omniscience urges us to cultivate sanctity (Ps. 139:19-22).
d. Omniscience urges us to cultivate sincerity (Ps. 139:23-24; Prov. 15:11; Ezek. 11:5; 1 John 3:19-21).
e. Omniscience urges us to cultivate sagacity (Prov. 3:13-15, 21-22).
f. Omniscience urges us to cultivate honesty (Matt. 11:21, 23).
g. Omniscience urges us to cultivate tenacity (Heb. 4:11-13).
3. God’s omniscience exhorts us to biblical contemplation of his works.
a. We should study and analyze creation until praise and gratitude flow from our lips (Ps. 104:24).
b. We should meditate on the mystery of providence until we stand lost in wonder (Eccles. 8:16-17, 9:1).
c. We should contemplate salvation until we give God all the glory (Rom. 11:33-36; 1 Cor. 1:17-25).
In Conclusion, omniscience graciously invites all sinners to forsake their sinful ways and thoughts and seek the Lord, while there is still time (Isa. 55:6-9). May the Lord be pleased to write these many lesson of his supreme mind, knowledge, and wisdom on our hearts.
Hercules Collins died on October 4, 1702. He was interred five days later at Bunhill Fields, the burial ground of dissenters. His funeral sermon was preached by John Piggott, a Seventh-Day Baptist who was renown for his funeral sermons. He preached a number of sermons around this time at the funeral services of prominent London Baptist pastors. The sermon was based on Matthew 24:44, “Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an Hour as you think not, the Son of Man cometh.
The first part of the sermon focused on the biblical text. The latter part of the sermon summarized the life of Collins. This section of the sermon is excerpted below.
In such a posture of soul was he, whose death occasions this discourse. I doubt not but he was actually as well as habitually ready; you know I mean your late worthy pastor Mr. Hercules Collins, concerning whom I have need to say the less, because his doctrine you have heard, and his example you have seen for so many years; the former was agreeable to the sentiments of the reformed churches in all fundamental articles of faith, and the latter such as did adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour…
I’m excited to announce that the long-awaited theological works of Greg Nichols will be coming out soon. We hope to have the first of seven volumes ready by December this year or by January next year. If you would, please keep the project in prayer… These books will be available on Amazon.com and through other distributors.
Greg Nichols has been pastoring and teaching systematic theology for over three decades. Greg formerly taught at Trinity Ministerial Academy in Montville, New Jersey and now teaches for Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also taught modular courses throughout the United States and in the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and Columbia. Since 1994 he has been a pastor at Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he lives with his wife Ginger.
I have waited for 20 years to see these lectures finally delivered to us in book form. Though Greg Nichols has evidently interacted with the great Systematic theologians of the past, the contents of these pages are no mere echoes of a bygone era. He has used his gifts and applied his mind in his vintage years to build on this historic foundation and bequeathed to the church a Systematic Theology that is both biblically based and historically fresh. If these are the first fruits, I wonder what the other volumes will be like!
—Dr. Conrad Mbewe, Chancellor of the African Christian University and Principal of the Lusaka Ministerial College in Lusaka, Zambia
In a day full of light books, Greg Nichols has given us a treatment on the attributes of God in a manner so thoroughly Biblical as to establish the adoration of our Lord upon the firmest of foundations. Here we find gems worth mining. Here is solid nourishment for the head and heart of every hungry believer.
—John Snyder, Christ Church, New Albany, Mississippi, Authored ‘Behold Your God’, PhD. Trinity St. David’s, University of Wales
Stay tuned tomorrow for some previews from the book…
Biographical Essays on Notable
Particular-Regular Baptists in America
Edited by Terry Wolever
This volume contains essays on twenty-four men and women, all of whom did their work for the Lord during the latter half of the eighteenth century and the mid-nineteenth century. These include such major figures in American Baptist history as Jesse Mercer, Andrew Broaddus, William Staughton, and William Parkinson.
Subjects in this volume are [link give short description]:
Read the Stories of Eight Remarkable Women and Their Vital Contributions to Church History
Throughout history, women have been crucial to the growth and flourishing of the church. Historian Michael A. G. Haykin highlights the lives of eight of these women who changed the course of history, showing how they lived out their unique callings despite challenges and opposition—inspiring modern men and women to imitate their godly examples today.