Post Tenebras Lux Conf. feat. Victor Tavitian & Peter Smith [9-part AUDIO & VIDEO]

After Darkness... Light!

ReformedOnTheWeb reports:

These are some excellent sermons which contain much history concerning the Reformed Baptist and the Protestant Reformation.

After Darkness... Light!
After Darkness… Light!

The following is from a conference which took place at  Sola Church (in Sydney, Australia) on April 2-4, 2015:

AUDIO [series]:

1. The Five Solas | Victor Tavitian

2. Calvinism (TULIP) | Peter Rev Smith

3. The 1689 London Baptist Confession | Peter Rev Smith

4. The Regulative Principle | Victor Tavitian

5. Covenant Theology (1689 Federalism) | Peter Rev Smith

6. Biblical Separation | Victor Tavitian

7. Law and Gospel Evangelism | Victor Tavitian

8. The Religious Affections | Victor Tavitian

9. Amillennialism | Peter Rev Smith

VIDEO [series]:

Interview #89 – Going Beyond the 5 Points – Earl Blackburn & Rob Ventura [Audio Podcast] (2 of 2)

Going Beyond the Five Points


Pastor Rob Ventura
Pastor Rob Ventura
Pastor Earl Blackburn
Pastor Earl Blackburn

“I would hope that any evangelical believer would pick it up and read it.”

On episode 89 of our interview podcast we finishes up our two part interview with Pastor Earl Blackburn and Pastor Rob Ventura about the new book “Going Beyond the Five Points: Pursuing a More Comprehensive Reformation”.

Part 1 of the interview.


  • What is your disagreements with “1689 Federalism”?
  • What is the church and why is it so important?
  • How do you respond to those who disagree with church membership?
  • What kind of church should we be looking for to become members of?
  • Is it legitimate for us to subscribe to confessions of faith?
  • + more


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


40 min. Reformation Preaching Conf. 2015 promo video explains the Doctrines of Grace feat. Waldron, Brown Jr., Hernandez, Zachariades + more

James Brown Jr.:

Pastor James Brown Jr.
Pastor James Brown Jr.

We are pleased to announce the release of RP15’s promotional video for the conference this October 9-10. RP15 is a free conference on the Doctrines of Grace with many of the leader pastors and scholars of our day. Registration is required so we can be better prepared to serve you this October. Please register today!

Here is the 40 minute video:

It covers the following:

  • 00:00 Short RP15 Promotional Video
  • 05:37 The Sovereignty of God / Doctrines of Grace
  • 07:40 The Fall of Man / Total Depravity
  • 11:53 The Value of the Doctrines of Grace
  • 17:50 What is Calvinism?
  • 21:58 The Theology of Calvinism
  • 28:08 Practical Calvinism / Perseverance of the Saints
  • 32:14 Calvinism and Worship
  • 33:05 Calvinism and Evangelism
  • 35:42 Calvinism and the Consummation

Speakers | Schedule | Location | Registration

reformation preaching conf 2015

Interview #88 – Going Beyond the 5 Points – Earl Blackburn & Rob Ventura [Audio Podcast] (1 of 2)

Going Beyond the Five Points


Pastor Earl Blackburn
Pastor Earl Blackburn
Pastor Rob Ventura
Pastor Rob Ventura

“This book is by Reformed Baptists for Reformed Baptists.”

On episode 88 of our interview podcast we have Pastor Earl Blackburn and Pastor Rob Ventura back on  to tell us all about the new book “Going Beyond the Five Points: Pursuing a More Comprehensive Reformation”.

We first got to know Rob Ventura on episode #40 (he also joined us on episodes #64). We first got to know Pastor Earl Blackburn on episode #68.


  • Why this book?
  • Why shouldn’t we just stop at the “Five Points of Calvinism” (T.U.L.I.P.)?
  • The importance of God’s law in the Christian’s life
  • Why the Regulative Principle of Worship matters
  • Why we shouldn’t be afraid to dive into Covenant Theology
  • + more


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



A Debtor To Mercy Alone [feat. Sandra McCracken] by Indelible Grace Music

Listen to part two.

Barcellos’ lecture “New Covenant Theology & the Law of God” with PowerPoint + Q&A [AUDIO] from the Greenville Seminary Spring Theology Conf. + more

March 10-12, 2015 was “The Law of God in a Lawless Age” Greenville Seminary’s Spring Theology Conference which took place in Simpsonville, SC.

GPTS Conf Law 2015

(Recall that we discussed this with Dr. Pipa here and here, as well as featured this audio interview with Richard Barcellos on “Knowing The Truth” Radio regarding New Covenant Theology and the Law and this conference.)

Below is the audio from Richard Barcellos’ lecture “New Covenant Theology & The Law of God: Views, Critiques, Proposals” [64 min. mp3]:

Here is the PowerPoint he prepared for the lecture but note that “The lecture does not follow the PowerPoint presentation due to various unforeseen factors.”:

Dr Barcellos at #gpts2015

A photo posted by Mike Hutchinson (@hutch.ces) on

#gpts2015 conference attendees.

A photo posted by William Hill (@re4med) on

The Panel Discussion (Day 1) also featured Richard Barcellos with most of the questions directed towards him. Also on the panel was Jospeh Pipa and Tony Curto. Below is a timeline followed by the audio:

• 00:52 – 08:35  “In relation to the threefold division of the law, how should we understand the distinction of clean and unclean animals in Genesis 7 and what appears to be Levirate Marriage in Genesis 38?”

• 08:47 – 10:20 “Do you disagree with the Marrow Men and Fisher when they say that the substance of the Covenant of Works was Moral Law?”

• 10:44 – 13:45 “Did John Bunyan hold the Mosaic Covenant to be a republication of the Covenant of Works for eternal life?”

• 13:50 – 17:38  “Can you explain New Covenant [Theology’s] interpretation of Jeremiah 31:31ff and offer a critique?”

• 14:47 – 22:33 “Can you make a few comments about the use of the law to bring a Christian to Christ in the context of counseling…”

• 22:38 – 24:34 “What is the best and most succinct way to defend  Sabbath keeping for those who claim that since it is not a command repeated in the New Testament it is not applicable to Christians.”

• 24:43 – 28:28 “What key passages from the Apostolic practice of evangelism among the Gentiles demonstrate the Law’s role in Gospel work.”

• 28:36 – 31:48 “Given the denial of the three-fold division of the law by New Covenant Theology advocates what Biblical principles govern their understanding of the day of worship?”

• 31:56 – 42:00 “Would you open up more practically how one might open up the law… in terms of evangelism.”

Audio [mp3]:

You can find the rest of the conference audio [RSS] below:

The Sabbath & the Conscience [5-Part Blog Series by Tom Chantry]

Pastor Tom Chantry
Pastor Tom Chantry

Pastor Tom Chantry:

I wrote a post about the Sabbath and the conscience. It was long, so – being “that kind of Puritan” – I made it longer. Then I broke it up into a series. Now we have five small installments, none of which should be too much for a day’s musing on the subject…

My intent this week is not to thoroughly examine the doctrine and practice of Sabbath, nor to defend the same. I have no intention of answering every random question anyone ever wanted to pose to a Sabbatarian. Instead we will be very tightly focused on the questions of conscience: is the Sabbath command “written on the heart” as Paul describes the conscience, and to the degree that it is not, what does that tell us?

Part 1: The Reformed view of the moral law

The confessional position, then, may be summarized in a few points:

  1. There is a universal and moral law, rooted in the character of God Himself, and applicable to all men at all times.
  2. That law was first given to Adam, instilled in him through conscience, and remains on the conscience of every one of his descendants, even if the conscience is muted by sin and may be repressed through consistent transgression.
  3. The same moral principles have been applicable at every point in history, and have been written in the Scriptures at various places. The moral law is summarized briefly in the two “Great Commandments” cited by Christ, and is summarized at greater length in the Ten Commandments.
  4. One evidence of this universal morality is that all men everywhere know the same basic moral code, regardless of whether or not they have even encountered the Bible.


4thcommand sabbathPart 2: The challenge to this theology in the current context

One critique of the Sabbath plays a large role in the thinking of many. It is the argument that Sabbath constitutes an exception to Paul’s conscience proof. “All right,” says the antinomian, “You want to say that the law written on men’s hearts is moral. That is true of the other Commandments, but the Fourth? We have a whole society which does not practice Sabbath, and no one feels pangs of conscience about it! How do you explain this if the moral law is written on everyone’s heart?


Part 3: The initial three steps, having to do with the problem of identifying moral law from general revelation

  1. Understand that the argument is formulated backwards
  2. The question fails to account for the power of depravity
  3. One wonders exactly how many commandments the antinomian is willing to abandon


Part 4: The last three steps, in which we ask whether or not it is even true that the Sabbath is entirely absent from our conscience

  1. If your awareness of Christian practice goes back more than one generation, you’ll have to admit that the Sabbath once pricked the conscience of men
  2. Don’t be so certain that the Sabbath isn’t written on every Christian’s heart – even today
  3. In fact, ours has increasingly become a culture of morally-enforced Sabbaths


rest-work-after-millet-1890.jpg!BlogPart 5: Conclusion

God’s law – properly observed – is always going to be better than the pale imitations our hearts devise when we suppress the conscience and ignore His commandments.


Tattoos for the Soul: Why We Need Confessions of Faith [Joe Thorn |]

You don’t see this on the front of everyday. In fact, pretty sure this is a first…

Hand of Pastor Joe Thorn
Hand of Pastor Joe Thorn
Pastor Joe Thorn
Pastor Joe Thorn

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…

Read the explanation of those four purposes in “Tattoos for the Soul: Why We Need Confessions of Faith”

The Regulative, Vertical, & Internal Principle of the Worship of God [5-Part Blog Series by Nicolas Alford]

Nicolas Alford
Nicolas Alford

In a series posted at The DecablogNicolas Alford (now one of the pastors at Grace Baptist Church of Taylors, SC.) explains not only the Regulative Principle of Worship, but also the Vertical and Internal Principle of Worship as well. He explains in the series introduction:

If the church at worship is the epicenter of our spiritual lives then it follows that our God would take a unique interest in what goes one there. He does. In fact, he has given us nonnegotiable Biblical principles to guide us as we think though what we do in worship and why we do it.

The three principles he talks about weave together to form and inform our worship of God. He explain in the series conclusion:

Imagine that in preparation for coming together as the church in worship, we are members of a symphony, getting ready for a concert.

The Vertical Principal of Worship has explained to us who we will be playing for. It is a concert for a King, and so while there are many others who can and should benefit from it, it is for the King. His desires and requirements must always rule.

The Regulative Principle of Worship has shown us how to build our instruments. It has shown us how to identify the parts; to indentify what is in and what is out. Using it we can build an instrument that meets the King’s design.

The Internal Principle of Worship has shown us that from within us must flow the breath that will take that beautiful instrument and make it perform the function it was designed for. The King doesn’t want us to just show him the instruments; he wants them played.

“Worship is a vertical act with horizontal impact.

We must worship God in all the ways and only the ways he has commanded in His Word.

The external act of worship must be an expression of true internal realities.”

When all the principles come together, then you have a symphony of beautiful music worthy to be offered to the King.

symphony worship

Read his “A Principled Approach to the Worship of God” series:

Series Introduction

The Vertical Principle

The Regulative Principle

The Internal Principle

Series Conclusion


Three Thieves That Will Steal Your Worship

Calvin and Hobbs on the Regulative Principle

Can a confessional Calvinist affirm a libertarian view of free will? Dr. James N. Anderson answers

James Anderson
James Anderson

After examining his own confession (Westminster) Dr. James N. Anderson examines the 1689 to see if it would allow for a libertarian view of free will:

This is a follow-up to the previous post in which I argued that “libertarian Calvinism” (a view recently explored by Oliver Crisp in his book Deviant Calvinism) is not compatible with the Westminster Confession of Faith.Not all Presbyterians hold to the WCF, although it is arguably the most widely-adopted Reformed confession among Presbyterians in the English-speaking world. Moreover, Reformed Baptists have their own parallel confession: deviant_calvinismthe 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. Since the WCF and the LBCF are very similar (often word-for-word identical) in their statements on major points of Reformed doctrine (see here for a side-by-side comparison) I thought it would be interesting to quote the relevant sections from the LBCF to show that libertarian Calvinism isn’t a live option for Reformed Baptists who take the LBCF as their doctrinal standard.

Read “Libertarian Reformed Baptists?”.

On Confessional Subscription [2-Part Audio|Video] by Dr. Bob Gonzales [RBS]

HT501 Creeds and Confessions Banner-3

Dr. Robert Gonzales
Dr. Robert Gonzales

Bob Gonzales:

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.]

Confessional Subscription, part 1


In this lecture, Dr Bob Gonzales summarizes some of the vocabulary related to confessional subscription. He also surveys the first three of six types or forms of confessional subscription.


Confessional Subscription, part 2


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.


On the Validity & Value of a Confession of Faith [2-Part Video] by Dr. Bob Gonzales

HT501 Creeds and Confessions Banner-3


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.

On the Validity of Confessions of Faith:

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.

On the Value of Confessions of Faith:

In this lecture Dr. Gonzales suggests a number of ways in which a good confession of faith can benefit the ministry of the church.


Update Nov. 26, 2014: Uploaded on

This paper reflects the substance of a two-part lecture series I give on the legitimacy and usefulness of creeds and confessions for the Christian church.

Does Modern Evangelism Differ from Biblical Evangelism? Jeff Pollard answers

Acts Apostles Peaching Gospel Evangelism Peter  Dore
Jeff-PollardJeff Pollard:

[S]omething has happened to biblical evangelism. A great deal of today’s evangelism with its man-centered theology has dramatically changed the methods and sometimes even the authoritative message of biblical evangelism. To understand the difference between biblical and modern evangelism and to grasp why the difference is crucial, we must consider these things:

1. God designed and authorized biblical evangelism,

2. God has authorized only one message for evangelism,

3. God has given biblical principles for our methods of evangelism.

Read “How Modern Evangelism Might Differ from Biblical Evangelism”.

It is, as Scott Brown puts it:

“[A] transcript of a really good message given by Jeff Pollard titled during the White Unto Harvest ConferenceThe message is titled: ‘Modern Evangelism Methods.'”

Zambia Annual Reformed Conf. [AUDIO] “25 Years of Reformation: Running Forward, Remaining Faithful” feat. Mbwene, Baucham, Ken Jones

25th Zambia Annual Reformed Conference

As announced, the 25th Zambia Annual Reformed Conference was held from the 25th to 29th of August at Lusaka Baptist Church.

This year’s theme was “25 Years of Reformation: Running Forward, Remaining Faithful”Here is the audio from the key speakers [rss]:

 Voddie Baucham – Running forward (across Africa in missions)

Conrad Mbewe:

Dr Voddie Baucham attempting to preach with a megaphone last night at the Zambian Reformed Conference during a power outage. Welcome to Africa!

Voddie Baucham megaphone
Voddie Baucham with megaphone

Missions throughout the Bible

Missions and Worship

The Great Commission

Missions, Warfare and Prayer

Preserve, Proclaim and Endure

Ken Jones – Remaining faithful (to the Doctrines of Grace)

Ken Jones
Ken Jones

Conrad Mbewe:

Pastor Ken Jones walked us through “The doctrines of grace” with the greatest clarity and pastoral sensitivity at the just-ended 25th Zambian Annual Reformed Conference. His approach of stating the doctrine, proving it from Scripture, and then answering the various questions often asked, went a long way in making his sessions easy to understand. You could tell that this man is a pastor!

Features of Reformed Theology

The Doctrine of Total Depravity-TULIP

Unconditional Election – TULIP

The Doctrine of Limited Atonement – TULIP

The Doctrine of Irresistible Grace – TULIP

The Doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints – TULIP

Keynote address:

Conrad Mbewe
Conrad Mbewe

Pastoral Gratitude and Fears

What are the Distinctives of a Reformed Church? Malcolm Watts Answers [Book Snippet]

Watts_reformed_church__77913_zoomReformation Heritage Books posted a 3-part snippet from Malcolm Watts’ “What is a Reformed Church”. It begins:

In our day, the term Reformed is used freely and without thought. Great variety exists among churches that claim this title. In many cases, the term means little more than some adherence to the “five points of Calvinism.” The term has lost its great historical richness and depth as the struggles of the Reformation have faded into distant history. The stand taken by the Reformers is virtually forgotten, and many consider it irrelevant today. If, however, we have a true and earnest desire to maintain the faith and fight the adversaries of God’s Word, we would do well to look back to those who so clearly searched the Scriptures and stood firmly for the great truths of the Word of God…


Today, when the term is so loosely used, it is important to consider what these common distinctives were, and to understand that these essential attributes of a Reformed church are what make a biblical church.

He goes on to explain each of the following marks:

  • Scripture Alone
  • God’s Transcendence
  • The Way of Salvation (T.U.L.I.P.)
  • God’s Covenant of Grace
  • Proclamation of the Gospel
  • Malcolm Watts
    Malcolm Watts

    Consecration of Life

    • That is the spirit of the Reformation… If a church is really biblical and Reformed, its members will be fully committed to Christ. The time has come for self-examination. Do we sincerely love the Lord? What kind of service do we offer Him? My friends, could it be that we are Reformed in name only?

Here is the 3-part series: