Non-Biblical Literature & the Bible [12-Part Blog Series by Doug Van Dorn]


Douglas Van Dorn
Douglas Van Dorn

Over at The Decablog, Pastor Doug Van Dorn finished up his series Non-Biblical Literature and the Bible.

Here is the series overview:

When I was first asked to do this series, it’s focus was to be only on Ancient Near Eastern [ANE] Literature and the Bible. But then I started thinking. Because there is an aversion that many have not only to ANE stuff, but even to ancient books closer to the Christian home, perhaps something more basic and broad would be more helpful.

So this is going to be a series of posts on non-biblical literature and how to think, well, “biblically” about it. It will focus on ancient literature, with individual posts given to the The_Good_The_Bad_and_The_UglyApocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha, other Second Temple Literature (Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus and Philo, Mishna, Targums), the Apostolic Fathers, some of the Church Fathers, Gnostic Texts, Ancient Near Eastern Literature, and relevant Ancient World Literature (Part I and Part II).

Don’t know what a lot of this even is? Have no idea why you should care? Never fear. These posts will help give you some answers.

The final post (an annotated bibliography) to lead you to some good sources to help you begin your adventure. As this is a blog, we can only do the most basic of overviews. This is my attempt to whet your appetite to a whole world you never knew existed. And what an amazing world it is: The good, the bad, and the ugly!

Here is the series:

  1. Introduction Part I (The Bible)
  2. Introduction Part II (Objections and Suggestions)
  3. The Apocrypha
  4. The Pseudepigrapha
  5. Other Second Temple Literature (Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus and Philo, Mishna, Targums)
  6. Apostolic Fathers
  7. Church Fathers
  8. Gnostic Texts
  9. Ancient Near Eastern Literature
  10. World Literature Part I, Part II

Appendix: Annotated Bibliography

Interview #83 – Douglas Van Dorn – Covenant Theology: A Reformed Baptist Primer [Audio Podcast]

Covenant Theology A Reformed Baptist Primer by Douglas Van Dorn


Douglas Van Dorn
Douglas Van Dorn

On episode 83 of our interview podcast we have Brandon Adams guest hosting for us as he interviews Douglas Van Dorn about his latest book Covenant Theology: A Reformed Baptist Primer.


  • Testimony
  • What are the two types of covenants found in the Bible?
  • Is Covenant of Redemption in the Bible?
  • How do you respond to objections to the Covenant of Works
  • Overview of “Gracious/Legal Covenants”
  • What on Earth is the Levitical (Priestly) Covenant?
  • How is the New Covenant “new” but not “brand new”?
  • + more


Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunesStitcherTuneIn or by Email.



The Gospel by Citizens & Saints

New Book: ‘Covenant Theology: A Reformed Baptist Primer’ by Douglas Van Dorn

Covenant Theology A Reformed Baptist Primer by Douglas Van Dorn

Covenant Theology: A Reformed Baptist Primer

[$7.99 Kindle Edition | £6]

by Douglas Van Dorn


Covenant theology is often said to be the domain of infant baptists alone. But there really are such things as Reformed Baptists who believe in covenant theology as a basic system for approaching Scripture. This primer sets out to give the basics of a Reformed Baptist covenant theology.

It agrees with classical formulations of covenant theology in that there is a Covenant of Redemption, a Covenant of Works, and a Covenant of Grace in the Bible. It differs from Paedobaptist covenant theology in that it sees the the Covenant of Grace as only properly coming through Jesus Christ. OT gracious covenants are typological of the Covenant of Grace, but save people on the basis of the coming work of Christ through faith alone. This is the traditional way Reformed Baptists have articulated the Covenant of Grace.

It takes a multi-perspective approach to the Covenant of Redemption in that this covenant is the basis for the classic formula that Christ’s death is sufficient for all, but efficient for the elect. It sees the Covenant of Works for Adam in a broader context of a covenant made with all of creation, a covenant where laws establish the parameters for creation’s existence. Finally, it sees an entire covenant in the Old Testament as often (but not always) missing from formulations of covenant theology. In the opinion of the author, this “priestly covenant” is vital to a proper understanding of 1. The continuity of the the practice of baptism from OT to NT, 2. The answer to why we never find infants being baptized in the NT, and 3. A more precise way to parse the legal aspects of the OT economy, thereby helping us understand why the moral law continues today.

This volume works from the basic presupposition that continuity in God’s word is more basic than discontinuity. In this, it differs from dispensationalism and new covenant theology. The book suggests that this is the greatest strength of covenant theology, which does also recognize discontinuity.

13-Part ‘Christ in the Old Testament’ Series [Doug Van Dorn]


Doug Van Dorn
Doug Van Dorn

The newest guest Decablogger, Doug Van Dorn, has finished up his [giant!?] 13- part series on Christ in the Old Testament.

His conclusion says (and links) to it all:

In this series [intro], we have looked at how Jesus gives us his own key for interpreting the Bible. This key is to see him in all the Scripture. When a person does this, it is the key to life itself, for it opens the way by which we may come to him. We have seen many NT passages that explicitly teach that Jesus was in the OT. We have learned how prophecytypology, and the law each point to him in their own unique ways. We have also seen how there are certain words and ideas that, sometimes, profoundly and mysteriously describe an actual person in the OT, a person who is present with his people, who walks among them, who fights for them, who delivers them, who covenants with them, but who had not yet come in the flesh. We have seen that he is the Word (here and here), the Angel, the Name, the Wisdom, The Son, the Glory, and the Arm of the LORD.

Feb. 27-28, 2014 School of Church Planting [ARBCA]

Register Here

The Elm Street Baptist Church in Sweet Home, Oregon hopes to host a School of Church Planting on February 27-28, 2014. For the school to be held both the church and the ARBCA Church Planting Committee agree that there needs to be 15 registered by January 15, 2014. All registrations will be online. Online registration will be available by December 2, 2013.

Hosted by:
Elm Street Baptist Church
P O Box 461
1150 Elm Street
Sweet Home, OR 97386

Contact Person:
Larsen Arndt
Telephone: (541) 409-6154

Cost: $30.00 per person


Deadline: The School will be held only if 15 register by January 15, 2014. Please register today but do not send any money or make travel arrangements until you are notified.

Any registration submitted after February 21, 2014 must pay an additional $10.00 late fee (per person). The registration fee covers the cost of lunch and 2 coffee breaks, as well as materials. Each person is responsible for the cost of travel.

Transportation Information:

The closest airport is in Eugene, OR. Elm Street will provide transportation from there and back if needed.

The Portland International Airport is often less expensive to fly into, but it is over 2 hours away. However there is a shuttle service that makes regular trips between the Portland airport and Albany. Elm Street can provide transportation from the drop off point.

Housing and Hotel Accommodations:

Elm Street Baptist Church will provide housing on a first come first serve basis.

The recommended hotel in Sweet Home is the
Sweet Home Inn.
805 Long St
Sweet Home, OR 97386
(541) 367-5137.
It is very close to the church and is a good clean place.

If you fly into Portland and take the shuttle you may want to stay in Albany and Elm Street will provide transportation to and from the church. Albany is not far away and has the nicest hotels.

Phoenix Inn in Albany is where the shuttle stops and is a good hotel.
3410 Spicer Dr SE
Albany OR 97322
(888) 889-0208


School of Church Planting Schedule and Speakers

Thursday – February 27, 2014
Introduction: Doug Van Dorn

7:00 PM Session 1: “Theology of Church Planting” – Jim Renihan
This session will address the Biblical basis of church planting and the method as illustrated from the New Testament.

Friday – February 28, 2014
8:15 AM – Devotions – Jim Dundas

8:45 AM Session 2: “Cultivating Men for Church Planting” – Steve Martin
This session will address the need to cultivate and train men for church planting.

9:30 AM Session 3: “Q & A on Training Men for Church Planting”
(Moderator: Doug Van Dorn – Participants: Jim Renihan, Nick Kennicott, Steve Martin)

10:15 AM Break

10:45 AM Session 4: “Models and Methods of Church Planting” – Gordon Taylor
This session will address the various ways that churches are planted. About 15 minutes will be reserved for a Q & A.

11:30 AM Session 5: Panel Discussion on the Sending Church & the Church Planter
(Moderator: Hank Rast – Participants: John Miller, Doug Van Dorn) (10 minutes each) The panel will discuss the need for the sending church to care for the church planter and the kind of relationship that must exist between the church planter and the sending church. Discussion and questions will be encouraged.

12:15 PM Lunch

1:15 PM Session 6: Panel Discussion on Confessional Unity & Diversity
(Moderator: Doug Van Dorn – Participants: Jim Renihan, Gordon Taylor) The confessional stance of the Association will be explained stressing those matters that are most surely believed among us and also explaining the differences that may legitimately exist among our churches while still holding to a common understanding of the 1689 Second London Confession. A Q & A time will be included in this session.

2:15 PM Break

2:30 PM Session7: Panel Discussion on Hazards and Encouragements for the church planter, the new church and the sending church.
(Moderator: Doug Van Dorn: Participants: Jim Dundas, Gordon Taylor – (Each participant will have 15 minutes to allow time for the “forum” i.e. questions, etc) Jim Dundas will speak from his own experience about the dangers that commonly attend a new church plant. Gordon Taylor will speak of the encouragements that come from planting a new church. Discussion and questions will be encouraged.

3:30 PM Session 8: “Panel Discussion on Practical Matters in Church Planting”
(Moderator: Doug Van Dorn – Participants – Gordon Taylor, Hank Rast, Brad Swygard) Among the questions addressed in this session will be: How does a church planter learn and adapt to the culture in which he is ministering? How does a church planter screen potential members in a new church situation being aware of those who may come with an agenda and at the same time being sensitive to those who know little of the Reformed faith but may be teachable? What are the legal issues of which the church planter needs to be aware? Discussion and questions will be encouraged.

4:25 PM Closing Summary & Prayer

4:30 PM Adjourn

School of Church Planting 2014 Brochure