New (Free) eBook: “The Lord’s Day” by Sam Waldron

The Lord’s Day
Its Presuppositions, Proofs, Precedents, and Practice

by Sam Waldron

Chapel Library: FREE | Kindle: $0.99

Description:

Dr. Sam Waldron

The Lord’s Day is a thoroughly up-to-date consideration of the Fourth Commandment and its ramifications for modern Christianity. Its four sections include the Presuppositions that influence our thinking; Proofs at creation, by Moses, and in the New Testament; Precedents in the Apostolic Fathers and John Calvin; and finally its Practice. While precise and careful, the author avoids extremes and makes the nuances and complexities of the theological issues clear for most Christians.

Pages: 138


[HT: Scott Brown]

[Upcoming book snippet] On the remaining sabbatismos for the people of God (Heb. 4:9) [Richard Barcellos]

Richard Barcellos:

taken from my forthcoming book by Founders Press, Getting the Garden Wrong: A Critique of New Covenant Theology on the Covenant of Works and the Sabbath

Copyright © 2016 Richard C. Barcellos. All rights reserved.

That which “remains” is “a Sabbath rest.” The noun “a Sabbath rest” (σαββατισμὸς [sabbatismos]) is used only here in the Bible. Various cognate forms of it are used in the Septuagint (LXX) in at least four places (Exod. 16:30; Lev. 23:32; 26:34; 2 Chron. 36:21). Each use in the LXX, when referring to men, refers to Sabbath-keeping in terms of an activity in the (then) here and now. Lincoln admits this, when he says, “In each of these places the term denotes the observance or celebration of the Sabbath.”[1] This can be seen especially in Exodus 16:30, Leviticus 23:32, and 26:35.

heb4

So the people rested (LXX: ἐσαββάτισεν [esabbatisen]; a verb) on the seventh day. (Exod. 16:30)

It is to be a sabbath (LXX: σάββατα [sabbata]; a noun) of complete rest (LXX: σαββάτων [sabbatōn]; a noun) to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep (LXX: σαββατιεῖτε [sabbatieite]; a verb) your sabbath (LXX: τὰ σάββατα ὑμῶν [ta sabbata hymōn]; a noun). (Lev. 23:32)

All the days of its [i.e., the land’s] desolation it will observe the rest (LXX: σαββατιεῖ [sabbatiei]; a verb) which it did not observe (LXX: ἐσαββάτισεν [esabbatisen]; a verb) on your sabbaths (LXX: τοῖς σαββάτοις ὑμῶν [tois sabbatois hymōn]; a noun), while you were living on it. (Lev. 26:34-35)

Dr. Richard Barcellos
Dr. Richard Barcellos

Something interesting occurs in the LXX version of Leviticus 23:32a. The LXX text reads as follows: σάββατα σαββάτων ἔσται ὑμῖν (sabbata sabbatōn estai hymin). The NASB translates this verse: “It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you.” The word σάββατα in the LXX compliments the verb “to be” (ἔσται). The word σαββάτων (“of complete rest”) modifies σάββατα. Both nouns clearly refer to an activity, a Sabbath-keeping to be rendered by those addressed in the passage. In Leviticus 23:32b of the LXX a verb is followed by its direct object as follows: σαββατιεῖτε τὰ σάββατα ὑμῶν (sabbatieite ta sabbata hymōn [“you shall keep your sabbath”]). Here a Sabbath for the people of God to keep is pressed upon them, explicitly by verbs and implicitly by nouns. Also, in each case the word “Sabbath” is the same used by Moses in Genesis 2:2, “and He rested on the seventh day” (emphasis added). Pertinent to our discussion as well is the fact that God’s creational rest in the LXX of Exodus 20:11 is referred to with the verb κατέπαυσεν (katepausen), the same word translated “rest” in Hebrews 3 and 4. In the LXX, what for the Creator is “rest” implies a Sabbath day to be kept for creatures. Hebrews 3 and 4 seem to follow this septuagintal pattern (see the discussion on divine rests above and the exposition of Heb. 4:10 below).

Robert P. Martin has an excellent discussion on the word “a Sabbath rest” (σαββατισμὸς [sabbatismos]). In the context of interacting with Andrew T. Lincoln, Martin says:

It is interesting that Lincoln acknowledges that “in each of these places [i.e., the LXX texts cited above] the term denotes the observance or celebration of the Sabbath,” i.e., not a Sabbath rest as a state to be entered into but a Sabbath-keeping as a practice to be observed. This, of course, corresponds to the word’s morphology, for the suffix —μoς indicates anaction and not just a state. This at least suggests that if the writer of Hebrews meant only “a Sabbath rest,” i.e., “a Sabbath state” to be entered into, he would have used the term σάββατον (“Sabbath”) or continued to use κατάπαυσις (“rest”), for he already had established the referent of κατάπαυσις as God’s own Sabbath rest which is to be entered into by faith (cf., 4:1, 3-4, 11). Thus σαββατισμὸς suggests a Sabbath action, i.e., “a Sabbath-keeping,” although the idea of a “a Sabbath state” is not necessarily excluded because of the overarching theme of the larger context.[2]

Throughout the passage thus far, the word translated “rest” is κατάπαυσις (katapausis). This word is also used in Hebrews 4:10-11. The shift from katapausis to sabbatismos at Hebrews 4:9 is deliberate.[3] But why the change? Joseph A. Pipa suggests the following:

The uniqueness of the word suggests a deliberate, theological purpose. He selects or coins sabbatismos because, in addition to referring to spiritual rest, it suggests as well an observance of that rest by a ‘Sabbath-keeping’. Because the promised rest lies ahead for the New Covenant people, they are to strive to enter the future rest. Yet as they do so, they anticipate it by continuing to keep the Sabbath.[4]

Notice that Pipa includes “spiritual rest” in his understanding of the word sabbatismos. This is an important observation, also made by Martin above (i.e., “the idea of ‘a Sabbath state’ is not necessarily excluded because of the overarching theme of the larger context”).

Though many commentators take sabbatismos as either salvation rest in Christ now and in the future or exclusively eschatological rest, its use here in light of the flow of the contextual argument and its LXX usages suggest a different meaning. The LXX use has already been noted. In the context of Hebrews 4:9-10, the divine rests referred to have at least three things in common:  1) a divine rest after a divine work; 2) a rest to be entered in terms of man’s obedience and worship in light of the divine work/rest; and 3) a day of rest as a pledge and token of the divine work/rest and of man’s entrance into it. Each divine rest as given to the people of God (i.e., at creation and Canaan) both had an abiding rest day remaining once the rest was instituted. If the other two divine rests included rest-keeping in the form of a Sabbath day, it is not without warrant to expect future divine rests (assuming they occur) to include the same. I am suggesting Hebrews 4:9-10 indicates just such a rest.

[1] Lincoln, “Sabbath, Rest, and Eschatology in the New Testament,” 213.

[2] Martin, The Christian Sabbath, 251-52.

[3] See Lincoln, “Sabbath, Rest, and Eschatology in the New Testament,” 213, where he admits this.

[4] Pipa, The Lord’s Day, 117.


More snippets from this upcoming book:

Jesus and the Sabbath – Matthew 12:1-14:

Just as the temple yields to Christ and is transformed to fit the redemptive-historical circumstances brought in by his sufferings and glory, so the Sabbath yields to Christ and is transformed to fit the same redemptive-historical circumstances. The inaugurated new covenant has both a temple and a Sabbath. This connects Christ’s teaching on the temple and the Sabbath with subsequent revelation.

Symbols, Types, Vos, and the Sabbath:

It is necessary to distinguish between symbols and types.[1] A symbol portrays a fact or reality that presently exists. A type is prospective. Perhaps Geerhardus Vos’ discussion of the fourth commandment can help at this juncture.[2] In his Biblical Theology the fourth commandment gets much more comment from Vos than the others.[3] One of the reasons is due to its origin and modified applicability throughout redemptive history.

New Book [Update]: “The Christian Sabbath: Its Redemptive-Historical Foundation, Present Obligation, & Practical Observance” by Dr. Robert Paul Martin

Looks like this new book, that we first mentioned here, is now being published by Reformation Heritage Books:

christian sabbath

The Christian Sabbath:
Its Redemptive-Historical Foundation, Present Obligation, and Practical Observance

by Dr. Robert Paul Martin 

“Everyone who loves the Scriptures yet has questions about whether we should keep the Fourth Commandment today should read this book.”

Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Summary:

Christian history has shown that in each generation the issue of the role of God’s law in the Christian life always resolves itself into a critical question, especially for those who wish to affirm the integrity and on-going authority of the Ten Commandments as a God-given ethical norm for Christian behavior. The question: what about the fourth commandment? Most believers have no doubt concerning the other nine commandments of the Decalogue. But under the terms of the New Covenant, does God require his people to keep holy a Sabbath day? This question never proves simple, but the answer given in some cases defines a group of Christians as much as their answers on other disputed points, such as church order, baptism, or spiritual gifts. Here is an honest attempt to answer this question biblically.

Author:

even-smaller-robert-martinRobert Paul Martin served for many years as Dean and Professor of Biblical Theology in Trinity Ministerial Academy, Montville, New Jersey. Subsequently he served for twenty years as pastor of Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, Seattle, Washington and continues to serve as Professor of Biblical Theology in Reformed Baptist Seminary, Taylors, South Carolina. Dr Martin and his wife Colleen have three children, Andrew, Iain-Josiah, and Lydia, and live in Renton, Washington.

Details:

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Trinity Pulpit Press; 1 edition (February 16, 2016)

Endorsements:

“An exegetical, theological, historical, ethical, polemical, and practical masterpiece that made me worshipfully exclaim, “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” This book has the potential to transform a seventh of your life from a legalistic drudge, or a dry duty, to an immeasurable delight.”

– Dr. David Murray, Pastor and Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

“In an age where the Fourth Commandment appears to have been completely forgotten, a comprehensive and careful study of the Sabbath issue is welcome. This is a classic treatment deserving careful and sustained consideration by an equally careful scholar-preacher.”

– Derek W.H. Thomas, Robert Strong Professor of Systematic and Pastoral Theology, RTS Atlanta

“The Christian Sabbath is one of the greatest blessings that the risen Christ gave to his church. Yet for many, the assertion that there is a Christian Sabbath is a foreign concept. Robert Martin presents the grounds of Sabbath-keeping in light of its place in redemptive-history, culminating in theological and practical conclusions regarding how we should observe it today. This makes his book a useful blend of biblical, exegetical, and practical theology that aims to recover a vital aspect of the Christian life.”

– Ryan M. McGraw, Pastor of First OPC, Sunnyvale, CA

New Book: “The Christian Sabbath: Its Redemptive-Historical Foundation, Present Obligation, & Practical Observance” by Robert Martin

The Christian Sabbath Book

The Christian Sabbath:
Its Redemptive-Historical Foundation, Present Obligation, and Practical Observance

by Dr. Robert Paul Martin 

Summary:

Christian history has shown that in each generation the issue of the role of God’s law in the Christian life always resolves itself into a critical question, especially for those who wish to affirm the integrity and on-going authority of the Ten Commandments as a God-given ethical norm for Christian behavior. The question: what about the fourth commandment? Most believers have no doubt concerning the other nine commandments of the Decalogue. But under the terms of the New Covenant, does God require his people to keep holy a Sabbath day? This question never proves simple, but the answer given in some cases defines a group of Christians as much as their answers on other disputed points, such as church order, baptism, or spiritual gifts. Here is an honest attempt to answer this question biblically.

Author:

even-smaller-robert-martinRobert Paul Martin served for many years as Dean and Professor of Biblical Theology in Trinity Ministerial Academy, Montville, New Jersey. Subsequently he served for twenty years as pastor of Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, Seattle, Washington and continues to serve as Professor of Biblical Theology in Reformed Baptist Seminary, Taylors, South Carolina. Dr Martin and his wife Colleen have three children, Andrew, Iain-Josiah, and Lydia, and live in Renton, Washington.

Details:

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Trinity Pulpit Press; 1 edition (February 16, 2016)

Of Lent [Roundup]

Re-post from last year with some additions:

Aaron Hoak:

And, granted, there’s no command to commemorate the birth, death, or resurrection of Christ, but the way we do those things is through ordinary worship – gathering together as the people of God to sing, pray, receive his Word, and observe the sacraments. Wonderful! But on Ash Wednesday, folks get together to do those things and smear ash on their foreheads. Jesus gave his church two beautiful gospel pictures – baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Ash Wednesday adds a 3rd picture not ordained by Jesus or commanded by God. Adding things not prescribed by Scripture to worship is not wise.

Lord's Supper Ernest Kevin SpurgeonI believe it is (as many observers of Ash Wednesday and the Lent season it kicks off point out) beneficial to think on our sin and our need for repentance; to actually repent. I believe that prayer and fasting are a good way to do this (though as I noted in a post several years ago, what typically happens in Lent is not really fasting). I believe that meditating on our sinfulness and need is helpful preparation for truly appreciating the resurrection of Jesus. But I also believe that Jesus himself gave us the perfect way to do that. It is by remembering his finished work in our observance of the Lord’s Supper. Here we remember and have our faith fed by what He has done. Ash Wednesday and Lent dangerously try to reproduce in our lives what Jesus went through in 40 days in the wilderness which tends to emphasize what we do. Dear friends, Jesus underwent that experience in the wilderness so I don’t have to! He earned acceptance with the Father because I never could.

Read “Ashes, Ashes, We All Do What?!”

ash-wednesdayRichard Barcellos from last year:

Recently, The Gospel Coalition (TGC) site posted a blog entry entitled – “Lent Is About Jesus: A Free Devotional Guide.” No, I did not make that up… As I read the post and thought about it a bit, I concluded I would like to respond to it. So, as many of you do on various blogs, I sent a comment to that post. Before sending the comment, however, I sent copies of my response to a few friends, just to make sure I was responding correctly and clearly. They encouraged me to post my thoughts…

This is not helpful to me as an individual or, especially, as a pastor. It creates more work for me.

Read “To Lent or reLent? Thoughts on [last year’s] post at The Gospel Coalition”

“Putting the ‘Ent’ Back in ‘Lent.’”
“Putting the ‘Ent’ Back in ‘Lent.’”

Days after that post, Tom Chantry chimed in as well:

It has slowly dawned on me this week that the folks at The Gospel Coalition have reached down from their lofty pinnacle to tell the rest of us that Lent is all about Jesus and that we really ought to consider celebrating it.  Childish practice turns sinister when respected pastors tell me that I ought to engage in it.  How should I respond?

Read “The Lenten Brouhaha”

church05In the above post Jeremy Walker’s post, from a year before, was quoted:

“Frankly, it seems odd to me that many of those who have proved very quick to abandon all manner of patterns and habits and convictions of Christians over decades or centuries, retain Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter (Resurrection) Sunday as set in stone in the calendar, one of the high points of the Christian year (which pattern, we are informed, provides the central event in the church year – the climax of worship, expectation, and celebration, an exercise of the church’s discipline). If you’re not sold on Easter, you might be dismissed as one of the “diehard Reformed” for whom “this [Easter] Monday is like every other Monday because Easter Sunday is like every other Sunday.” To say that Easter Sunday is like every other Sunday is not to suggest an upgraded view of Easter Sunday but a downgraded view of every other one.”

Read “This Lent I am giving up . . . reticence”

chocolate-truffle-no-4Three years ago Reformed Baptist Fellowship featured this one:

Another unbiblical aspect of Lent is the very public manner in which it is practiced.  Jesus condemned hypocrites for their outward displays of piety (Matt. 6:1-18), revealing the self-righteous nature of such gestures.  Lent is very legalistic as well and Paul warns us against binding the conscience in areas which God has left free (Rom. 14:1-12).  True sanctification involves the recognition that our consciences are liberated by Christ’s teachings (Mark 7:17-18) while also understanding that the corrupt, sinful heart is what separates us from God (vv. 20-23).

Read “Lent and the Sufficient Work of Christ”

Jeremy WalkerJeremy Walker chimed in again last year:

So, here’s a thought: how about giving up semi-Roman Catholic dogma, humanly-mandated asceticism, and empty gestures? Rend your heart and not your garments, and do so not because it is a particular time of year, but because you have a particular kind of heart with its particular manifestations of rebellion. Self-control is never out of fashion. Repentance and confession may have their particular seasons in the life of the saints, but it is worth remembering that when our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent,” he called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

Read “Not relenting”

Any we missed?

The Weekly Supper [Spurgeon]

Th139967Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog shares a quote from Hughes Oliphant Old’s book, Holy Communion in the Piety of the Reformed Church, regarding Spurgeon’s enjoyment of the weekly sacrament:

I thank God that, coming to this table every Sabbath-day, as some of us do, and have done for many years, we have yet for the most part enjoyed the nearest communion with Christ here that we have ever known, and have a thousand times blessed his name for this ordinance. – C.H. Spurgeon

 

Surely one of the paradoxes in Spurgeon’s ministry was that although he was famous as a practitioner of the art of preaching as well as the most well-known homiletical theoretician among British evangelicals, he was a vigorous promoter of celebrating Holy Communion each Lord’s Day. He often expressed his conviction on this subject. For instance, in a sermon on the dimension of table fellowship he tells us that it is his custom to observe the sacrament every Sabbath day as a number of others in his congregation regularly do and have done for many years. In this, he tells us, they enjoyed the nearest communion with Christ they had ever known and again and again blessed his name for this ordinance. (Hughes Oliphant Old. “Holy Communion in the Piety of the Reformed Church”. Ed. Jon D. Payne. Tolle Lege Press, 2013. p.788.)

HT: Reformed Baptist Fellowship

For a great resource on the significance of the Lord’s Supper, grab a copy of Dr. Richard Barcellos’ book, The Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace: More than a Memory.

Some thoughts on Jesus’ statement that He is Lord of the Sabbath [Barcellos]

sabbathRichard Barcellos:

What the Lord is affirming is that the Sabbath has its place within the sphere of his messianic lordship and that he exercises lordship over the Sabbath because the Sabbath was made for man. Since he is Lord of the Sabbath it is his to guard it against those distortions and perversions with which Pharisaism had surrounded it and by which its truly beneficent purpose has been defeated. But he is also its Lord to guard and vindicate its permanent place within that messianic lordship which he exercises over all things–he is Lord of the Sabbath, too. And he is Lord of it, not for the purpose of depriving men of that inestimable benefit which the Sabbath bestows, but for the purpose of bringing to the fullest realization on behalf of men that beneficent design for which the Sabbath was instituted. If the Sabbath was made for man, and if Jesus is the Son of man to save man, surely the lordship which he exercises to that end is not to deprive man of that which was made for his good, but to seal to man that which the Sabbath institution involves. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath–we dare not tamper with his authority and we dare not misconstrue the intent of his words.

Read “some thoughts on Mark 2 and the Sabbath [9 min. readout]

of New Covenant Theology [Resource Roundup]

This is meant to be a replacement of the soon to cease Credopedia page on New Covenant Theology. Note that dead links were removed or replaced with “living” ones:

moses law dore header commandments 10

VIDEOS:

vs-NCT.Still001-301x251

via 1689federalism.com

Discover how the covenant theology of the 2nd London Baptist Confession compares to New Covenant Theology and Progressive Dispensationalism.

Charts from the above video and site:

click to enlarge
click to enlarge
Comparison_NCT
black & white version for printing

Dr. Sam Waldron and Dr. Richard Barcellos discuss (on video)  Tom Wells’ book, “The Christian and The Sabbath”:

Please read Dr. Barcellos’ comments on the MCTS Blog.

“There are some who choose to confess the 1646 London Baptist confession rather than the 1677 London Baptist confession. Their reasons for this choice vary, but among them are those who wish to adhere to what is known as ‘New Covenant Theology.’ In making this move, it is claimed, they are identifying with Baptists who did not hold such a ‘rigid’ stance on the law as it is expressed in the 1677 London Baptist confession. However, when examined in its historical context, there is no difference between the views of the early and later baptists concerning the law.”

Sam Renihan

With that said, see Dr. James Renihan’s exposition of the entire 1st LBC 1644/1646 [3 Videos]:

irbs prev james renihan bow tie

Intro, Outline, and Unit 1 of the Confession (paragraphs 1 through 6) [49 min. video]:

Units 2, 3, and 4 of the Confession (paragraphs 7 through 32) [75 min. video]:

Units 5 and 6 of the Confession (paragraphs 33 through 53) [67 min. video]:

AUDIO:

2005-Sep-23: Jim Renihan, New Covenant Theology

2006-Oct-07: Sam Waldron, The Law and New Covenant Theology

2010-Feb-17: Richard Barcellos, Through New Eyes Interview (Part 1)

2010-Mar-18: Richard Barcellos, Through New Eyes Interview (Part 2) [PDF Transcript]

ARTICLES:

BOOKS:

In Defense of the Decalogue : A Critique of New Covenant Theology [Paperback] Richard Barcellos
In Defense of the Decalogue: A Critique of New Covenant Theology [Paperback]
by Richard C. Barcellos

The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology: Geerhardus Vos and John Owen, Their Methods of and Contributions to the Articulation of Redemptive History [Paperback] by Richard C Barcellos
The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology: Geerhardus Vos and John Owen, Their Methods of and Contributions to the Articulation of Redemptive History [Paperback | Amazon]
by Richard C Barcellos

(see especially Appendix 2: John Owen and Reformed Orthodoxy on the Functions of the Decalogue in Redemptive History)

Excerpt: The Temporal Revelation of the Covenant of Works in Owen – Absolutely or Relatively Coeval with Creation?

A Reformed Baptist Manifesto: The New Covenant Constitution of the Church
A Reformed Baptist Manifesto: The New Covenant Constitution of the Church [Paperback | Amazon]
by Samuel E. Waldron & Richard C. Barcellos

 (see especially Chapter 2: “The New Covenant Constitution of the Church and Antinomianism” and Appendix 2: “Book Review of ‘New Covenant Theology’”)

Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, 2014
Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, 2014 [Paperback | Amazon]

(see especially “Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants, A Review Article by Samuel Renihan” [sample])

Upcoming: Recovering a Covenantal Heritage: Essays in Baptist Covenant Theology
Upcoming: Recovering a Covenantal Heritage: Essays in Baptist Covenant Theology

Excerpt: Conclusion of Chapter 2 Covenant Theology in the First and Second London Baptist Confessions by James M. Renihan

Excerpt: Conclusion to Chapter 1 of Recovering a Covenantal Heritage: Essays in Baptist Covenant Theology by Richard C. Barcellos

all our post on “New Covenant Theology”

Any we missed?

Anticipation: What about post-Easter Sunday? [Jeremy Walker]

JEREMY Walker
Pastor Jeremy Walker

 

What about the Sunday after last? Jeremy Walker on the passing of Easter/Resurrection Sunday/April 20…

Last weekend brought with it all the brouhaha that seems to be the sadly-increasing norm among evangelicals with regard to ‘holy week’ and Easter Sunday…

And so the brouhaha dies down, at least until next year. After all, this next one is just an ordinary Sunday, isn’t it?

If that is your attitude, might I suggest that your view of the Lord’s day is sadly deficient and probably damaging. I hope you would not need to be a full-orbed sabbatarian to recognise the significance of the first day of the week, the day on which the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, the day on which he met again and again with his disciples, making himself known to them and impressing upon them the realities of his resurrection.

Read the rest here: Anticipation – Reformation21 Blog.

Of Lent [Roundup: Barcellos, Chantry, Walker, Gill + more]

ash-wednesdayRichard Barcellos from last year:

Recently, The Gospel Coalition (TGC) site posted a blog entry entitled – “Lent Is About Jesus: A Free Devotional Guide.” No, I did not make that up… As I read the post and thought about it a bit, I concluded I would like to respond to it. So, as many of you do on various blogs, I sent a comment to that post. Before sending the comment, however, I sent copies of my response to a few friends, just to make sure I was responding correctly and clearly. They encouraged me to post my thoughts…

 

This is not helpful to me as an individual or, especially, as a pastor. It creates more work for me.

Read “To Lent or reLent? Thoughts on [last year’s] post at The Gospel Coalition” [4 min. readout]

“Putting the ‘Ent’ Back in ‘Lent.’”
“Putting the ‘Ent’ Back in ‘Lent.’”

Days after that post, Tom Chantry chimed in as well:

It has slowly dawned on me this week that the folks at The Gospel Coalition have reached down from their lofty pinnacle to tell the rest of us that Lent is all about Jesus and that we really ought to consider celebrating it.  Childish practice turns sinister when respected pastors tell me that I ought to engage in it.  How should I respond?

Read “The Lenten Brouhaha” [6 min. readout]

church05In the above post Jeremy Walker’s post, from a year before, was quoted:

“Frankly, it seems odd to me that many of those who have proved very quick to abandon all manner of patterns and habits and convictions of Christians over decades or centuries, retain Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter (Resurrection) Sunday as set in stone in the calendar, one of the high points of the Christian year (which pattern, we are informed, provides the central event in the church year – the climax of worship, expectation, and celebration, an exercise of the church’s discipline). If you’re not sold on Easter, you might be dismissed as one of the “diehard Reformed” for whom “this [Easter] Monday is like every other Monday because Easter Sunday is like every other Sunday.” To say that Easter Sunday is like every other Sunday is not to suggest an upgraded view of Easter Sunday but a downgraded view of every other one.”

Read “This Lent I am giving up . . . reticence” [8 min. readout]

chocolate-truffle-no-4Two years ago Reformed Baptist Fellowship featured this one:

Another unbiblical aspect of Lent is the very public manner in which it is practiced.  Jesus condemned hypocrites for their outward displays of piety (Matt. 6:1-18), revealing the self-righteous nature of such gestures.  Lent is very legalistic as well and Paul warns us against binding the conscience in areas which God has left free (Rom. 14:1-12).  True sanctification involves the recognition that our consciences are liberated by Christ’s teachings (Mark 7:17-18) while also understanding that the corrupt, sinful heart is what separates us from God (vv. 20-23).

Read “Lent and the Sufficient Work of Christ” [3 min. readout]

gill_johnUpdate Mar. 5, 2014: John Gill:

…commanding to abstain from meats: as on Wednesdays and Fridays in every week, and during the quadragesima or Lent, the fast of forty days. And now whereas it is most clearly manifest, that all these characters of antichrist, and all these things predicted of him hundreds of years before his appearance, exactly answers to the Pope of Rome.

Read “Lent, a character of antichrist?” [5 min. readout]

Jeremy WalkerUpdate Mar. 7, 2014: Jeremy Walker chimed in again this year:

So, here’s a thought: how about giving up semi-Roman Catholic dogma, humanly-mandated asceticism, and empty gestures? Rend your heart and not your garments, and do so not because it is a particular time of year, but because you have a particular kind of heart with its particular manifestations of rebellion. Self-control is never out of fashion. Repentance and confession may have their particular seasons in the life of the saints, but it is worth remembering that when our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent,” he called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

Read “Not relenting”

Any we missed?

Working on Sunday by Nicolas Alford

work oxI want to encourage us all to work on Sunday, and by that I don’t mean do the labors we ought to be pursuing on the other six days.  Rather, I mean let’s work on Sunday by working on our faithfulness, purposefulness, and delight in this good gift from our God.  Here are five ways we should work on our Sundays:

  1. We should work to structure our lives in a way that honors the Lord’s Day

  2. We should work to build up the body of Christ

  3. We should work to involve the totality of our being in the worship of God

  4. We should work to relieve the sufferings of our fellow man

  5. We should work to grow in our enjoyment of the gifts of God

Read the rest or listen to the eight minute readout.

Why is the Sabbath so Controversial? Nicolas Alford Answers

Nicolas Alford
Nicolas Alford

…here I simply wish to point out five reasons why I believe the whole issue of a Christian Sabbath has become controversial in our day.  Rather than going to the Scriptures and studying the issue on its own merits, people often develop views on the Sabbath because of extra-biblical concerns and assumptions, and then go the the Bible in search of confirmation.  I’m not trying to offend conscientious brothers and sisters who disagree with me on this issue by suggesting that they are duplicitous in their argumentation, rather I simply want to share some of those observations I have noticed which seem to lie behind their conclusions.  Often our own presuppositions and outside pressures are difficult to discern, so perhaps this will be both a challenge to those who doubt that a Christian Sabbath remains for the people of God and also a help to those who are in discussion with brothers and sisters who differ on this point.So without further introduction, here are five reasons the Christian Sabbath is controversial in our day:

  1. Living in a generally affluent society means that a “day of rest” often involves resting from play, and not work

  2. We have a tendency to focus on Sabbath restriction rather than Sabbath blessing

  3. Opposition to the Sabbath is representative of a wider opposition to the third use of the law

  4. Some legitimate instances of Sabbath legalism have alienated many Christians

  5. The Sabbath is not always defended in a helpful way, even where it is practised faithfully

Read or listen to seven minute readout.

A Brief Biblical Theology of the Sabbath from Hebrews 4:9-10 – Robert P. Martin [RBTR 2004]

rbtr-244x300 eformed Baptist Theological ReviewFrom The Reformed Baptist Theological Review 1, no. 2 (2004): 9–11

If 4:10 refers to Christ’s entering into his rest, what then is the Sabbath rest which v. 9 refers to as remaining for the people of God to enter? It is (as throughout the context) the Sabbath rest of God; but it is also the Sabbath rest of the Son, which he entered when he finished his works, which remains to be entered by all who are joint-heirs with him.
But what does this have to do with the Christian Sabbath?

Read the rest or listen to four minute readout.

God’s Rest as Prescriptive – Jon English Lee [Founders]

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In this post from the Founders Ministries blog, Jon English Lee looks at some reasons why God’s rest at the end of the creation week should be understood as a pattern for humanity to follow. Here’s a snippet:

That the Sabbath is a creation reality is also clear because unlike the other commandments, the fourth begins with “remember.” The command to remember is telling for two reasons: (1) this is not a new command, and (2) some were already guilty of not keeping the Sabbath, as is the sinful tendency of all mankind. As William Perkins wrote: “This clause doth insinuate, that in times past there was great neglect in the observation of the Sabbath.”  The call to remember raises another question: to whom or what are the Jews pointed when being reminded to remember? It was not to Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. It was to the very beginning; specifically, the Lord’s rest at the end of His creative week. The Jews would already be aware of the pattern of work and rest that God has built into creation. While the Mosaic Law would bring peculiarly Jewish ceremonial and civil laws built off of the Sabbath commandment, the core of the moral law was derivative off of God’s example in creation.

Read Lee’s other arguments here.

Deepening Your Lord’s Day Enjoyment – Jeffrey T. Riddle

In this short post from a couple of years ago on Reformed Baptist Fellowship, Jeffrey T. Riddle presents four helpful ideas on how to make the Lord’s Day a blessing:ozarks_fall051

 1. Understand the spiritual significance of the Fourth Commandment.

 

2. Set apart this day as special.

 

3. Make worship a priority.

 

4. Be intentional in preparation and planning for the Lord’s Day.

See how he fleshes these ideas out in the rest of the post which can be read here. [4 min. readout]