You don’t see this on the front of DesiringGod.org everyday. In fact, pretty sure this is a first…
Pastor Joe Thorn on the value of confessions of faith:
…Because I love God, I love his word. And because I love God and his word, I love theology. And because I love theology, I love confessions of faith. To know God is to believe who he has revealed himself to be in Christ, to rest in his grace, and to obey him in faith. In all of this, we are dependent on the Holy Scripture, and are compelled to affirm and articulate the truths revealed therein. This is where confessions of faith play a vital role in the spiritual health of the Christian and the local church…
Even with the growing interest in Calvinism among evangelicals in recent years, too often the resurging interest in doctrine has not led to a robust understanding of Reformed theology or an embrace of Reformed confessions.
In my own context, I occasionally hear some Baptists say things like, “We need no creed but the Bible.” While I affirm their belief in the supremacy and sufficiency of the Scripture, such a sentiment ignores the purpose and use of confessions. And by the way, such a statement is itself a confession.
Proper confessions of faith, like Westminster, or the 1689 Baptist Confession, serve four purposes: clarity, unity, charity, and safety…
Tom Ascol, Executive Director of Founders Ministries, author, and pastor, joins the Spin Crew for a riveting conversation on Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention. Are Calvinists and Baptists so oil-and-water after all? Tom speaks on why Baptists do what they do, and the Gang gets down to business asking some important questions: Are all southerners die-hard tailgaters or does Tom Ascol break the mold? And when will he retire to that Harley Davidson he deserves? But most important, will Tom reprimand our three hosts for leaving their Baptist roots? So much to discuss, so little time. It’s another conversation that’ll have your head spinning!
In conjunction with the podcast they are giving away “The Five Points of Calvinism [from the 1974 Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology] by Roger Nicole as a free audio download from The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.” The discount is applied at checkout.
Driscoll has been among the most vociferous and voluble of those sailing under the flag of the New Calvinism. Toward the latter half of 2014, significant concerns and charges began to accumulate around him…
What do we make of all this? There are several things of which we must take account. The New Calvinism is far bigger and often better than Mark Driscoll, although he has epitomised or been connected with some of its biggest dangers, worst excesses and greatest failings as a movement. Visitors to the website are encouraged to make donations to help ‘support the ministry’, hosting and distributing past and promised future Bible teaching and resources, with a non-profit launch assured. But Mr Driscoll, though down, was not out. In December, he launched a new website with a very familiar design (and the Mars Hill name attached), a well-laundered resumé (containing nothing of the recent and well-attested allegations), and the vast majority of his preached and written material, all under the title ‘Pastor Mark Driscoll’.
We should avoid tarring all with the same brush, even if some have been spattered with the muck. None of us — myself included — are in possession of every relevant fact. Most of us are not in possession of many relevant facts. If we are to speak to a matter, we must speak to what is clear and evident, and avoid imputing evil without definite evidence.
Another thing to avoid is the kind of vindictiveness and viciousness that gloats in the downfall of another. No Christian should gleefully revel in someone else’s disgrace, even if you think you saw it coming. There may be a righteous sense of the vindication of God’s honour, but we do better to weep over another’s sin than wallow in our own pride.
So, what principles are enforced and what lessons should be learned from this situation?
We should learn the value of a robust ecclesiology
We should learn the importance of maintaining biblical standards for pastoral ministry
We should learn the necessity of real friends
We should learn the significance of true repentance
We should learn the blessing of doctrinal standards
We should learn the ugliness of celebrification
We should learn the worth of hearing our critics
Finally, we should learn the danger of our own circumstances
I have started to read Samuel Renihan’s “God Without Passions: a Reader”. I could not even get past the foreword (by Carl Trueman) without being reminded of how the smallest departure from the Doctrine of God can lead to many unintended and dangerous consequences.
He mentions some particular examples from church history to illustrate this. The Socinians started with what may appear to be small departures from historic Christianity but ended up teaching a “Unitarian God with limited or no knowledge of the future…” What is shocking is not that there was some group teaching heretical doctrines but that this group started as a “biblicist movement” that “…claimed a high view of scripture.” (Trueman)
Many naively believe that we should simply study the Bible without having a conversation of how the church has historically understood the Bible. However, is this not choosing to consciously ignore the wealth of information that the Holy Spirit has given as an inheritance to the church already? Are we willing to lightly cast aside what the Spirit has shown to our forefathers in the faith throughout history? Are we really expected to start at square one every generation?
How does using a Confession of Faith benefit a church body? What are some of the strengths of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689? Do pastors/elders relate differently 2LCF than church members that don’t hold office? How does the Confession serve in cases of church discipline? These are some of the questions Dr Tom Ascol addresses from the perspective of a pastor in the 35 minute lecture below.
Video includes how Pastor Tom Ascol implemented the 1689 back at his church in 1989, plus a time of Q&A.
Having argued for the legitimacy and usefulness of confessions of faith in a previous post [2 part video], I turn to the issue of confessional subscription in this post. One’s subscription to a confession refers to one’s affirmation of and commitment to that body of doctrines or articles of faith. The issue of subscription is obviously important for churches or ecclesiastical bodies that are self-consciously “confessional.” In the two-part lecture series below, I examine the key terminology associated with confessional subscription, survey the six major types of subscription, and set forth some of the biblical and theological principles for choosing and using a confession of faith. [These lectures form a part of RBS’s course HT 501 Creeds & Confessions.]
In this lecture, Dr Bob Gonzales summarizes the remaining three of the six types of confessional subscription. He concludes by highlighting several biblical principles that help the pastor and church ascertain the best confession and form of subscription.
This year we gathered to commemorate the 325th anniversary of the historic 1689 Baptist Confession.
Our hearts were lifted and our commitment to Scripture renewed as we reflected upon the kind providence of our covenant God toward His people.
The LORD was pleased to bless the conference with a precious unity of hearts and a single focus on orthodox confessional truths, that we pray will fortify and equip our gospel churches to proclaim the Lordship of Christ to all the nations.
In addition, the LORD through the working of His Spirit begun a confessing, reformed Baptist pastoral fellowship that will begin to meet bi-monthly in the central Indianapolis area. If you would like to be notified of the date and location of the meetings do so by sending your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We pray that the Lord will bless and keep you all, hope to see you again next year – LORD willing!
Should a church or association of churches adopt and affirm a written confession of faith? Or is a simple commitment to the Scripture or NT as the church’s creed sufficient? In the two-part lecture series below, I define a creed or confession of faith and present three arguments to validate its use in the church. I also attempt to address and answer common objections to the use of creeds or confessions in the church. Then, in the second lecture, I highlight a number of ways in which a good confession of faith can benefit the ministry of the church. Orthodoxy alone is not the only mark of a healthy church. But it is one of the marks, and a good confession of faith can assist the church toward that end. These lectures form a part of RBS’s course HT 501 Creeds & Confessions.
In this lecture, Dr. Bob Gonzales defines a creed or confession of faith and presents three arguments to validate its use in the church. He also seeks to address and answer common objections to the use of creeds or confessions in the church.
This year marks the 325th anniversary of the 1689 Second London Confession of Faith. In recognition of the impact this confession has played in our history and its significance for our future, we restarted our podcasts [RSS | iTunes] to highlight this standard of confessional Reformed Baptists.
We began with three podcasts focusing upon the purpose of the 1689…
In these three podcasts we attempt to set forth the purpose for the publication of the 1689 London Confession of Faith. The spirit of this document cannot be separated from its content. It was the purpose of these English Baptists to show our unity with the catholic Church and our distinctions as Baptists within the universal visible Church.
In this episode, we will begin examining the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Instead of beginning with its historical background or content, we will begin by looking at the reasons it was drafted to be used as the basis of the London association of Credobaptist churches. Their intent, purpose and the nature of the document is revealed in its Preface to the Reader. If we are going to recover true confessionalism, it must include the purpose and not just the content. In other words, we must recover the spirit of the confession along with the letter of the confession.
[Purpose 1: To set forth the Reformed Baptist principles.]
James Brown Jr. is a pastor at Reformed Church of the Holy Trinity, a 1689 London Baptist church plant in Mooresville, Indiana. He is an ordained Baptist minister who has served Independent and Southern Baptist Churches in Indiana and Georgia since 1998.
James is a Gulf War veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps. He and his wife, Sonya, have 8 children and 1 grandchild.
“The most obvious and the best way of making sure that the faith is transmitted in a stable form, across the face of the globe and from generation to generation, is to have a clearly stated public confession that can be tested by Scripture and can be passed from generation to generation.”
“The thesis of this study is that Geerhardus Vos’ biblical-theological
method should be viewed as a post-Enlightenment continuation of the
pre-critical federal theology of seventeenth-century Reformed orthodoxy.”
– Richard Barcellos
On episode 55 of our interviewpodcast we are replaying an interview from ReformedCast. Why? Because ReformedCast is, “discontinuing operations effective June 15, 2014. All MP3s will be removed at that time.”
We didn’t want these resources to disappear off the Internet so we asked the ReformedCast host, Scott Oakland, if we could republish the interviews he conducted over the past several years that fit our site/podcast scope. He graciously agreed! So, here is the first, fitting, replay (we’ll add onto these every now and then throughout the year.)
Reformed Baptist Seminary is offering a three-credit course on symbolics entitled “Creeds & Confessions.”
Michael Haykin (PhD) and Tom Nettles (PhD) will lecture on the history of creeds and confessions with a special focus on the origins, composition, and legacy of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689.
Bob Gonzales (PhD) will address the biblical basis for creeds and provide an exposition of the Confession’s doctrine of Scripture.
Pascal Denault (ThM) will lecture on the covenant theology of the Confession.
Finally, Tom Ascol (PhD) will expound the Confession’s chapters on the gospel and on the church as well as discuss some pastoral issues related to the use of confessions and catechisms in the church’s life and ministry.
First Baptist Church of the Lakes of Las Vegas, Nevada, will host the module on the week of October 27 thru 31, 2014…