Richard Barcellos interviewed on upcoming book [AUDIO | Regular Reformed Guys]

Regular Reformed Guys Podcast:

Dr. Richard Barcellos

Episode 37: Getting the Garden Right

Pastor Richard Barcellos joins the Regular Reformed Guys to talk about his upcoming, as yet unnamed book about the Covenant of Works, the Garden of Eden and a number of other questions in relation to the New Covenant Theology…

AUDIO [81-min. MP3]:

New “Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, 2016, Vol. 3” [RBAP]

Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies 2016 (Vol. 3)

[RBAP: $12 (arrives Dec. 15) | Amz $18/£14.47]

Description:

The Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies (JIRBS) is published to explain and support the theology of Holy Scripture as it is summarized in the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith. The journal will be published annually.

Details:

Paperback: 246 pages
Published: 2016

Articles:

THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH: Its Reasons, Duration and Goal, and Practical Effects (Ephesians 4:11-16), with Special Emphasis on verse 12 by Richard C. Barcellos

BRING THEM TO THE WORD, NOT THE WATER: Pastoral Instructions for Fathers in the First and Second Century Church by Ryan Davidson

THE COVENANTAL THEOLOGY OF JOHN SPILSBERY by Matthew C. Bingham

THE STRANGE CASE OF THOMAS COLLIER by James M. Renihan

THE CONSEQUENCES OF POSITIVE LAW: The Particular Baptists’ Use of Inferential Reasoning in Theology by Samuel Renihan

UNITY AND DISTINCTION—One God in Three Persons: Unity of Essence, Distinction of Persons, Implications for Life, A Review Article by Stefan T. Lindblad

THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE OF WORSHIP: Contemporary Objections by Samuel E. Waldron

Book Reviews:

Faith, Freedom and the Spirit: The Economic Trinity in Barth, Torrance and Contemporary Theology, Paul D. Molnar reviewed by James E. Dolezal

Covenants Made Simple: Understanding God’s Unfolding Promises to His People, Jonty Rhodes reviewed by Pascal Denault

Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the Making of Modern Evangelicalism, Timothy E. W. Gloege reviewed by James M. Renihan

Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme, Stephen Westerholm reviewed by Tom Hicks

The Gospel Ministry, Thomas Foxcraft reviewed by Robert E. Cosby, III

The Quest for the Historical Adam: Genesis, Hermeneutics, and Human Origins, William VanDoodewaard reviewed by Terry Clarke

Their Rock is Not Like Our Rock: A Theology of Religions, Daniel Strange reviewed by John A. Divito

AUDIO from SoCal RB Pastors Conf. “Of God’s Decree” now online feat. S. Lindblad, Hodgins & Barcellos

scrbpc_2016

SCRBPC Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors ConferenceThe 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).

THEME:

scrbpc-2016-stefan-lindblad-3

SPEAKERS:

Stefan Linblad
Stefan T. Linblad

Key-note speaker:

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.

Guest speakers:

Pastor Arden Hodgins, Trinity Reformed Baptist Church, La Mirada, CA
Pastor Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D., Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA

AUDIO:

From October 24 – Tuesday, October 25, 2016

1st 3 books in the “Recovering our Confessional Heritage” series OUT NOW! [IRBS | RBAP]

recovering-confessional-heritage-books

The series is sponsored by the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies in cooperation with RBAP. The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies is a graduate theological school which aids churches in preparing men to serve in the Gospel Ministry. For more information please visit irbsseminary.org.

The purpose of the series . . . is to address issues related to the Second London Confession of Faith of 1677/89 (2LCF). . . . The series will include treatments of various subjects by multiple authors. The subjects to be covered are those the series editors (along with consultants) determine to be of particular interest in our day. The authors will be those who display ample ability to address the issue under discussion. Some of the installments will be more involved than others due to the nature of the subject addressed and perceived current needs. Many of the contributions will cover foundational aspects of the self-consistent theological system expressed in the Confession. Others will address difficult, often misunderstood, or even denied facets of the doctrinal formulations of the 2LCF. Each installment will have a “For Further Reading” bibliography at the end to encourage further study on the issue discussed.

~ from the series editors, James M. Renihan and Richard C. Barcellos

Read the purpose of the “Recovering our Confessional Heritage” series.


defense-of-confessionalism

A Defense of Confessionalism:
Biblical Foundations & Confessional Considerations

by Arden L. Hodgins, Jr.

Arden Hodgins
Arden Hodgins

[This book] seek to show how creeds and confessions exist in every church, denomination, or association, though they are not always written down…
the biblical warrant for creeds and confessions is established…
a further definition of what a confession of faith is and how it differs from the Scriptures…
the confession is shown to be a consensus document, both in its original formation and in its continued function…
addresses very briefly the matter of words and terms and the need to understand the authorial intent of the confession…
practical applications, addressed primarily to ministers and elders…

Pages: 118


associational-churchmanship

Associational Churchmanship:
Second London Confession of Faith 26.12-15

by James M. Renihan

Dr. James Renihan
Dr. James Renihan

Theology does not occur in a vacuum. It develops out of real-life situations. Men study the Word of God, contemplate its teaching, and express their conclusions. Often it is the circumstances of life that force them to think more closely and clearly about their doctrinal views and that sharpen the expressions of truth. When Arius challenged the divinity of Christ, Christians faced new questions, and the result of the debate was a clearer view of the deity of our Savior. We could give many illustrations from the history of the Church of that increasing clarity and understanding in the Creeds and Confessions of Christianity.

The doctrine of associational churchmanship expressed in our Confession is another one of these circumstances. Our discussion will involve the following: first, the three ways to describe interchurch relations; second, the church in the Second London Confession of Faith (2LCF); third, an overview of chapter 26.1-11 and brief exposition of 26.12-13; fourth associationalism; and finally, a conclusion and application.

Pages: 90


covenant-of-works

The Covenant of Works:
Its Confessional and Scriptural Basis

by Richard C. Barcellos

Dr. Richard Barcellos
Dr. Richard Barcellos

Moses, writing after the historical acts of creation, utilizes the covenantal name of God, Yahweh, while discussing Adam’s Edenic vocation (Gen. 2:4ff.). Isaiah utilizes concepts that started with Adam to explain the universal guilt of man, while using the word “covenant” (Isa. 25:5-6). Hosea, looking back upon previous written revelation, makes explicit what was implicit in it. The prophet’s inspired words give us God’s infallible knowledge of one of the similarities between ancient Israel and Adam. Both had a covenant imposed on them by God and both transgressed their covenants (Hos. 6:7). Paul, while reflecting on Adam’s Edenic vocation, contrasts the disobedience of Adam and its results with the obedience of Christ and its results (Rom. 5:19). The term “works” in the phrase “covenant of works” contrasts with “grace” and “gift” in Romans 5:17. Paul asserts that Adam was a type of Christ (Rom. 5:14). Adam sinned and fell short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Christ did not sin (Heb. 4:15) and, upon his resurrection, entered into glory (Luke 24:46; Acts 26:19-23; 1 Pet. 1:10-12), a quality of life conferred upon him due to his obedience (Rom. 5:21). This is the life he confers upon all believers.

These scriptural realities, understood by the utilization of the hermeneutical principles of the Holy Spirit as the only infallible interpreter of Holy Scripture, analogia Scriptura, analogia fidei, and scopus Scripturae, led to the confessional formulation of the doctrine of the covenant of works.

Pages: 138

Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary’s New Website, Events & Publications

Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary:

Check out our new Website! No, it’s not chock full of fun activities for the kids, but we think you will like the new look. Whether you want to see our latest blog post, browse our course offerings, watch a free sample lecture or learn more about our Church Partnership Program, it’s all here and easy to access.

covenant-baptist-theological-seminary-new-site

CBTSeminary.org

Events & Speaking Schedule:

Dr. Tom Nettles
Dr. Tom Nettles

Dr. Tom Nettles will be instructing for us January 2-6. Join us as one of today’s foremost Baptist historians teaches the History and Doctrine of the Baptists.

Register Today!


Dr. Sam Waldron
Dr. Sam Waldron

Dr. Sam Waldron

November 20, 2016
Cornerstone Bible Fellowship,
North Ridgeville, OH

February 5,12 & 19, 2017
Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Carlisle, PA

March 3-5, 2017
Grace Covenant Church
Gilbert, AZ


Dr. Fred Malone
Dr. Fred Malone

Dr. Fred Malone

January 5-7, 2017
Young Adult Winter Retreat
Heritage Baptist Church,
Shreveport, LA


Dr. Richard Barcellos
Dr. Richard Barcellos

Dr. Richard Barcellos

January 30-31, 2017
ARBCA School of Church Planting
Ontario, CA

Publications:

Dr. Sam Waldron


Just Released:
The Lord’s Day, Its Presuppositions, Proofs, Precedents, and Practice
Chapel Library

Forthcoming:
Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, 5th edition
Evangelical Press

Article:
The Regulative Principle of Worship: Contemporary Objections
Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies 2016


Dr. Fred Malone

Forthcoming:
Founders Study Guide Commentary, Romans 9-16
Founders Press


Dr. Richard Barcellos

Article:
The Christian Ministry in the Church, Its Reasons, Duration and Goal, and Practical Effects
Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies 2016

Forthcoming:
Getting the Garden Wrong: A Critique of New Covenant Theology on the Covenant of Works and the Sabbath,
Founders Press

The Doxological Trajectory of Scripture: God Getting Glory for Himself through what He does in His Son – An Exegetical and Theological Case Study
Reformed Baptist Academic Press
A Practical Exposition of An Orthodox Catechism (Vol. I, Of Man’s Misery and Of Man’s Redemption)

Reformed Baptist Academic Press

Oct. 24-25, 2016 SoCal RB Pastors Conf. “Of God’s Decree” feat. S. Lindblad, Hodgins & Barcellos in La Mirada, CA

scrbpc_2016

SCRBPC Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors ConferenceThe 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).

CONFERENCE DATES:

Monday, October 24 – Tuesday, October 25, 2016

CONFERENCE THEME:

scrbpc-2016-stefan-lindblad-3

Interview:

CONFERENCE SPEAKERS:

 

Stefan Linblad
Stefan T. Linblad

Key-note speaker:

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.

Guest speakers:

Pastor Arden Hodgins, Trinity Reformed Baptist Church, La Mirada, CA
Pastor Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D., Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA

Schedule, registration, and more…

[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.

How the “Uses of the law… sweetly comply with… the grace of the Gospel” (2LCF 19.7) [Richard Barcellos | PDF]

Intro to the 2016 ARBCA circular letter on the 2nd London Confession of Faith (1677/1689) chapter 19 paragraph seven:

Law-Gospel2-175x150Neither are the aforementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it . . . (2LCF 19.7a)

Our subject is important for at least three reasons. First, because this is what we confess as confessional, associational churches. It is, therefore, what we believe the Bible teaches. Second, because it is one of those confessional assertions that is often misunderstood and, in our day, denied by prominent evangelicals.1 And third, it is important for the well-being of our churches, which are comprised of God’s dear children. This last reason will be examined more fully in the conclusion.

In addressing the issue of how the “uses of the law . . . sweetly comply with the grace of the Gospel” (2LCF 19.7), we will consider 2LCF 19.7 in its confessional context, define some technical terms utilized in discussions about the law of God, identify the “uses of the law” implied by this paragraph, and discuss how the “uses of the law . . . sweetly comply with the grace of the Gospel.” A conclusion to the whole will be our final consideration of this topic in light of the discussion.

Read the rest here or in the below 10-page PDF:

Download (PDF, 391KB)

Recovering our Confessional Heritage: A new series of small books coming from IRBS [RBAP]

Cov of Works - ROCHReformed Baptist Academic Press:

The purpose of the series Recovering our Confessional Heritage is to address issues related to the Second London Confession of Faith of 1677/89 (2LCF). This centuries-old Confession is widely recognized as the most important Confession of Faith in Baptist history. First published in England in 1677, it became the standard for Baptists in Colonial America through the publication of the Philadelphia (1742), Ketockton, Virginia (1766), Charleston, South Carolina, Warren, Rhode Island (both 1767), and many other editions of the Confession. As late as 1881, William Cathcart, the editor of The Baptist Encyclopedia, could say, “In England and America, churches, individuals, and Associations, with clear minds, with hearts full of love for the truth, . . . have held with veneration the articles of 1689.” Since then, it has been adopted by Baptists around the world and translated into many languages.

We believe that, due to two factors, producing a series of short books on the 2LCF will be useful to many pastors and church members. First, there has been increased interest in the 2LCF in the first decade and a half of the twenty-first century. In fact, from the early 1960s, a greater awareness of this Confession among Baptists in the United States and around the world is evident. One of the encouraging proofs of this growing attention is the multiplication of churches who identify the 2LCF as their confessional standard.

Second, there are many issues related to the Confession that need to be clearly and cogently explained in order for an informed and robust recovery of Baptist confessionalism to continue. While churches and individuals have formally adopted the 2LCF as a standard, it has not always been clear that its contents have been fully or properly understood. As a result, the goal of this series is to aid those considering the 2LCF, as well as those already committed to it, in order to produce or maintain an informed and vigorous Baptist confessionalism.

The series will include treatments of various subjects by multiple authors. The subjects to be covered are those the series editors (along with consultants) determine to be of particular interest in our day. The authors will be those who display ample ability to address the issue under discussion. Some of the installments will be more involved than others due to the nature of the subject addressed and perceived current needs. Many of the contributions will cover foundational aspects of the self-consistent theological system expressed in the Confession. Others will address difficult, often misunderstood, or even denied facets of the doctrinal formulations of the 2LCF. Each installment will have a “For Further Reading” bibliography at the end to encourage further study on the issue discussed.

It is hoped that, by the blessing of God, these brief books will produce a better understanding of “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV) as well as a clearer and more robust understanding of what it means to confess the 2LCF in the twenty-first century.

James M. Renihan, Editor-in-Chief

Richard C. Barcellos, Managing Editor

October 2016

Dr. Richard Barcellos interviewed on the Impassibility of God [Theology on the Go Podcast]

place for truth header

Dr. Richard Barcellos
Dr. Richard Barcellos

From the Alliance of Confessing Evangelical‘s Place for Truth’s podcast “Theology on the Go”:

This week on Theology on the Go the topic will be the impassibility of God [Dr. Jonathan Master interviews Dr. Richard C. Barcellos]. This podcast is the third in a series focusing on the doctrine of the Trinity. In light of the recent Trinitarian controversy, Theology on the Go believes that a series like this is an important service to the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, grab that cup of coffee and meet us at the table!

[27 min. mp3]

Richard Barcellos’ radio interview on his book “Better Than the Beginning” [Iron Sharpens Iron]

Barcellos_better_than_the_beginning__73910.1369667072.1280.1280From the recently posted February 23, 2016 Iron Sharpens Iron Radio show (relevant audio begin a little before the 63 minute mark):

RICHARD BARCELLOS,
Pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Palmdale, CA,
on
“BETTER THAN THE BEGINNING: Creation in Biblical Perspective”

2 hour audio:


Check out our interviews with the author on this book:

PodcastPromo004

podcast5promo

VIDEO Q&A & Interviews from 2015 SoCal RB Pastors Conf. now online

Though the 2016 Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference main session audio and video have already been posted, the Q&A and some interviews from the occasion were posted earlier today.

SCRBPC 2015 Panel Q&A - YouTube
SCRBPC ’15 Video Playlist

James Dolezal – Q&A [25 min. vid]:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVbWWarUL-Q


Panel Q&A feat. James Dolezal, James Renihan, Ron Baines, and Sam Renihan [55 min. vid.]:


Sam Renihan interview about his books on Divine Impassibility [14 min. vid.]:


Interview with Dr. James Dolezal [16 min. vid.]:


SoCal RB Pastor’s Conf. ’16 preview with the next speaker, Stefan Lindblad [15 min. vid.]:


Since we didn’t post the 2015 conference audio and video yet, allow us to do that now:

SCRBPC 2015 on SermonAudio

  1. Lecture 1: Foundation of all our Communion with God and Comfortable Dependence… Dr. James M. Renihan
  2. Lecture 2: The State of Theology Proper in Calvinistic Evangelicalism James Dolezal
  3. Lecture 3: Divine Simplicity – The Theological Grammar of Orthodoxy James Dolezal
  4. Lecture 4: Divine Simplicity and its Modern Detractors James Dolezal
  5. Lecture 5: Divine Eternity James Dolezal
  6. Lecture 6: The Trinity James Dolezal

SCRBPC 2015 on Youtube

Click playlist button in top left corner to see all the videos, including interviews.

Short VIDEO Interviews on Reformed Baptist Academic Press [Past & Future Books]

Some new, short video interviews have shown up today. They cover the past, present and future of Reformed Baptist Academic Press [RBAP]:

History of RBAP:

Dr. Barcellos gives us a history of RBAP and where it all began. [3 min. vid.]:


Recovering a Covenantal Heritage [3 min. vid.]:


The Making of JIRBS:

Dr. Barcellos and RobRoy explain the process of the making of the Journal of the Institute of Reformed Baptists [5 min. vid.]


Future Projects:

Dr. Barcellos gives us a sneak peak of what is to come in the next few years. [4 min. vid.]

Here is a preview of the first book (Faith and Life for Baptist: The Documents of the London Particular Baptist General Assemblies, 1689-1694) mentioned in the above video:

Faith and Life Jacket

A Report From SCRBPC15 + Book Giveaway!

9a772aa13dae19531344489253dae78bWhile we were busy adulting, Ryan Davidson had a lot of fun over at SCRBPC15 and was able to send us a full report on the conference. A special thanks to our dear brother for doing this for us.

Also make sure and check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post (courtesy of Reformed Baptist Academic Press):

scrbpc_slide1_20151

 

My coffee mug was in the cup holder of my truck as I drove through the dark, early, Monday morning streets of Virginia on the way to the airport.  It would be quite a day of travel, but it would end on a pew that evening at Trinity Reformed Baptist Church in La Mirada, California.  I, a pastor from Virginia, was headed out to California for the Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference 2015 (SCRBPC15).  It was worth the journey!  The theme of this year’s conference was “The Doctrine of God” led by keynote speaker, Dr. James Dolezal.  The vision for SCRBPC is “…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).”  Over the last few years, this conference has grown from a couple dozen brothers, to this year’s 125+ registrants, several of whom like myself, traveled from outside  California to attend. This year’s conference did not disappoint.  Among those to be commended is the host church, Trinity Reformed Baptist, and the many brothers like Richard Barcellos, who worked tirelessly to put the conference together.  The fellowship was a blessing, the food was wonderful, and the meat of the session lectures was phenomenal.  

The conference began with an opening lecture by Dr. Jim Renihan on The Foundation of our Communion and Comfortable Dependence on God and focused on the helpful summary reminder from the Baptist Confession (1677/89) which reads that the “…doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him (LBCF 1689, 2.3).”  Jim opened with this theological and pastoral theme.  Jim, a mentor to so many Reformed Baptist men over the last few decades, led with humility as we considered the confessional implications to theology proper.  Following this, there were several Q&A sessions, and five plenary sessions by Dr. James Dolezal.  Each of these mind-stretching, and soul-nourishing lectures was overflowing with meat.  Our plates were full over these two days so to speak.  Dolezal, who wrote his PhD dissertation on Divine Simplicity, led us in considering how we think about God ontologically.  However, the allowance for ‘mystery’ was a large part of our discussion.  We first considered The State of Theology Proper in Evangelicalism, specifically, Calvinistic Evangelicalism, and Dolezal charted a course for the conference in considering Classical Theism vs. what he terms “Theistic Personalism.”  This is a prevailing type of view in evangelicalism today that advertently or inadvertently allows for some changes in God which divert away from the classically-held view of God within theology proper.  With the Confession in view, and often times opened alongside our Bibles, our discussion involved a Systematic, Historical and Biblical theological look at the essence of God.  

In the second lecture, Dolezal led us to consider the long-held doctrine of Divine Simplicity, and its implications.  Some take-aways from this lecture were thoughts like (and I summarize): “God’s attributes ARE God, not constituent parts (wisdom, justice, love, etc.) These ARE God, they are not parts of God…”, “God is not composed of parts, because being composed of parts requires dependence on those parts to be, ontologically…”, “Simplicity and Trinity: Simplicity keeps the Trinity from becoming Tri-theism.”  A helpful part of this discussion is the reality that we as humans cannot fully comprehend Divine Simplicity, and we live as it were, on this side of “refracted glory”.  As a part of this discussion, some modern day views were critiqued in light of the classical, and I would add, confessional understanding of the Doctrine of God.  The last three lectures included further discussion regarding simplicity, the eternality of God, Divine impassibility and Immutability and ended with the doctrine of the Trinity.  Dolezal, a gifted teacher, both in content and in application, led the attendees in the adoration of our God.  This was not the exercise of the academic looking to define the indefinable and postulate scholarly “rightness”, this was the attempt of the spiritual child, seeking with joy, to delight in something much beyond his or her ability to understand.  Scholarly it was, but its direction was the adoration of God.  Many sessions, I left with my mind stretched, my heart enlarged, and my ministerial resolve strengthened.  

A topic of discussion in the Q&A sessions was the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility, which is confessionally expressed as God being, “without body, parts, or passions” (LBCF 1689 2.1).  Samuel Renihan participated in this part given his two recent books on the topic, one of which is a very helpful primer entitled “God Without Passions”.  For me, a pastor from the other side of the country, this visit was well worth the journey.  Not only did I walk away with new friends and theological discussion partners, I walked away with a hunger to study more, to seek to lead my people in a discussion of this vital doctrine, and I have, since the conference, found myself musing, like a babbling child who struggles to find words, on the God Who calls Himself “I AM”.  Some may say that this topic is either picking at straws, or is not practical, and yet isn’t our goal as Christians, and as pastors, to grow and to lead others in growing in the knowledge of God?  This was not a “how to grow your church in 30 days” type of conference, rather this was a “consider the vastness of our incomprehensible, transcendent, and immanent God” type of conference.  As Dolezal would say, we cannot say we know everything about God, but we must not declare God to be what He is not.  He is not a God who “became” Creator, but rather He is the Eternal Creator.  He is not a God Who experiences changes because of relationship to man.  He is not a God who experiences anger one minute, and then shifts to love or mercy the next.  No, in Him, “there is not shadow of turning…” Rather than picking at theological straws, we rejoiced that we have a God who does not change, and because of this “…we are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6).  Consider listening to the lectures when they are available (http://scrbpc.org), or check into the three available books connected to the topic at (http://www.rbap.net).

I am already looking forward to the time in 2016, when Lord willing, a discussion of God’s Decree (LBCF Chapter 3) will occur.  I landed late on Wednesday night, got back into my truck, and drove back to my own context, family and people so grateful that I had been led so richly in a time of considering the one true God.  “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36) 

Giveaway rules:

Three lucky winners will each receive:

One copy of:

Recovering A Covenantal Heritage edited by Richard Barcellos

Listen to the interview podcast with Richard Barcellos on "Recovering a Covenantal Heritage: Essays in Baptist Covenant Theology"

God Without Passions A Primer edited by Samuel Renihan

God without Passions Primer

A Reformed Baptist Manifesto by Richard Barcellos

A Reformed Baptist Manifesto: The New Covenant Constitution of the Church
A Reformed Baptist Manifesto: The New Covenant Constitution of the Church

 

 and Better Than The Beginning by Richard Barcellos

Barcellos_better_than_the_beginning__73910.1369667072.1280.1280

All you have to do is “like” , retweet, star, share, etc. this post to be automatically entered! Blogging about the conference and your experience and linking to this post will earn you two extra entries. The more you do the more entries you get.

Giveaway ends November 24th!

Upcoming Book: “Confessing the Impassible God: The Biblical, Classical, & Confessional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility” eds. Baines, Barcellos, Butler, Lindblad & J. Renihan [RBAP]

Reformed Baptist Fellowship:

Confessing the Impassible God

Confessing the Impassible God:
The Biblical, Classical, & Confessional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility
,

eds. Ronald S. Baines, Richard C. Barcellos, James P. Butler, Stefan T. Lindblad, and James M. Renihan.

 

RBAP [Reformed Baptist Academic Press] currently has two books on divine impassibility, God without Passions: a Reader and God without Passions: a Primer. What is divine impassibility? Sam Renihan, in his newest book (God without Passions: a Primer), defines it as follows: “God does not experience emotional changes either from within or effected by his relationship to creation” (19). That definition might startle you. It sounds as if God were a cold, indifferent divine rock or robot. Notice the words just used to describe God: “cold,” “indifferent,” “rock,” and “robot.” Each of these terms are creaturely; they are borrowed from the created realm. Of course God is not “cold,” “indifferent,” a “rock,” or a “robot”; He is not creature. This is exactly what the Second London Confession of 1677/89 asserts, when it says, “[God is] without body, parts, or passions” (2.1). Each of these terms – “body,” “parts,” “passions” – are indicative of creatures not the eternal Creator. “Passions” are creaturely actions which need a creaturely “body” and creaturely “parts” (i.e., faculties of the soul) in order to exist. “Passions” come into being; God is (Exod. 3:14).  Since God has neither “body” nor “parts” of which He is comprised or compounded, and due to divine immutability and eternity, He is impassible (i.e., “without…passions”).

But, someone might be thinking, does divine impassibility mean that God is not love? Of course not, for we are told that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The love of God is a divine perfection, co-extensive with the divine essence and, therefore, eternal. It is not a divine passion (a contradiction). Love is what God is (i.e., actually), not what God can become (i.e., potentially). God can and does reveal His love to creatures but He does not and cannot manufacture more love or deplete Himself of previous love. For to become more or less loving, for example, implies the imperfection of a previous state of existence. God’s perfections are immutable.

This leads to RBAP’s next book on divine impassibility, Confessing the Impassible God: The Biblical, Classical, & Confessional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility. This book will cover hermeneutics, exegesis, historical theology, systematic theology, the Confession, and practical theology. It will contain a Foreword by Paul Helm and has been endorsed by Earl Blackburn, Walter Chantry, James Dolezal, J. V. Fesko, Ryan McGraw, Fred Sanders, David VanDrunen, Jeffrey Waddington, and Sam Waldron.

Table of Contents:

Abbreviations

Foreword | Paul Helm

Preface | The Editors

Introduction

An Introduction to the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility: Why is this Doctrine Important? | James M. Renihan

Part I: Theological and Hermeneutical Prolegomena

  1. Analogy and the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility | Charles J.  Rennie
  1. Hermeneutics: Analogia Scripturae and Analogia Fidei | Ronald S. Baines

Part II: Biblical Foundations

  1. The Old Testament on Divine Impassibility: (I) Texts on the Nature of God | Steve Garrick with Ronald S. Baines
  1. The Old Testament on Divine Impassibility: (II) Texts on Immutability and Impassibility | Ronald S. Baines and Steve Garrick
  1. The Old Testament on Divine Impassibility: (III) Texts on Apparent Passibilism and Conclusion | Steve Garrick, James P. Butler, and Charles J. Rennie
  1. The New Testament on Divine Impassibility: (I) Texts on the Nature of God, Immutability, and Impassibility | Richard C. Barcellos and James P. Butler
  1. The New Testament on the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility: (II) Creation, the Incarnation and Sufferings of Christ, and Conclusion | Richard C. Barcellos

Part III: Historical Theology

  1. Historical Theology Survey of the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility: Pre-Reformation through Seventeenth-Century | Michael T. Renihan, James M. Renihan, and Samuel Renihan
  1. Historical Theology Survey of the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility: The Modern Era | Brandon Smith and James M. Renihan

Part IV: Systematic Theology

  1. A Theology of the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility: (I) Impassibility and the Essence and Attributes of God | Charles J. Rennie
  1. A Theology of the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility: (II) Impassibility and the Divine Affections | Charles J. Rennie
  1. A Theology of the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility: (III) Impassibility and Christology | Charles J. Rennie and Stefan T. Lindblad

Part V: Confessional Theology

  1. Confessional Theology and the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility | James M. Renihan

Part VI: Practical Theology

  1. Practical Theology and the Doctrine of Divine Impassibility | James P. Butler

Part VII: Conclusion

  1. Closing Comments and Affirmations and Denials | Ronald S. Baines and Charles J. Rennie

Appendices

  1. Review of God with Us: Divine Condescension and the Attributes of God, K. Scott Oliphint | Charles J. Rennie
  1. Review of God is Impassible and Impassioned: Toward a Theology of Divine Emotion, Rob Lister | James E. Dolezal

Scripture Index

Name and Subject Index

Glossary of Technical Terms and Theological Phrases

Bibliography of Works Cited

Excerpts from Paul Helm’s Foreword:

. . . This book can be said to present an interdisciplinary exposition and so a cumulative defense of divine impassibility and of the doctrine of God of which that is an aspect. Each line of argument strengthens and supports the other. Its foundation in Scripture, and the hermeneutics employed, show the doctrine to be not speculative or abstract but to have its foundation in the varied data of the both Testaments of the Bible. The chapters on history show that divine impassibility is not a recent whimsy or the peculiar invention of a Christian sect, but the historic catholic faith. Those on the confession and the doctrine of God set out its Baptist pedigree, and the connectedness of impassibility with other distinctions made in the doctrine of God, and their overall coherence. Each line of enquiry sensitizes the palate to taste the others. There is a polemical strand throughout the book, contrasting this view with those of Open Theism and aberrant statements from contemporary Calvinists and others. But these arguments are used not to score points but to set forth and make even clearer the positive, historic teaching on divine impassibility, by contrasting it with other currently-held views.

I am honored to have been asked to write this Foreword, and delighted with what I have read. Confessing the Impassible God is heartily recommended.

Paul Helm
Former Professor of the History and Philosophy of Religion
King’s College
London

Some Endorsements:

Pastor Earl BlackburnHow is the confessional phrase God is  “without . . . passions” to be understood? Is God really without passions? Isn’t he like us or rather aren’t we like God, made in his image? We have passions and emotions, therefore, God must have the same; or so the argument goes. Can God become emotionally hurt or distraught? Does God actually and emotionally change with varying circumstances and situations in human history? After all, doesn’t the Bible say that God repented? These are some questions that have been raised in the past century, but with renewed vigor in the last ten years.

The above questions are skillfully answered in this book Confessing the Impassible God. . . .

Earl M. Blackburn
Heritage Baptist Church, Senior Pastor
Shreveport, Louisiana

_______________

Pastor Walt Chantry. . . You will find within these covers profound thought that is not all easy to grasp but well-worth the effort.

I am pleased to commend this volume. May it bring much praise to “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

Walter J. Chantry
Author of Today’s Gospel, Authentic or Synthetic?,
Signs of the Apostles, and Call the Sabbath a Delight

_______________

James DolezalThe essays in this volume constitute a wonderful blend of biblical, historical, contemplative, and practical theology all in defense of the doctrine of divine impassibility. The defense mounted is not primarily against the usual cast of detractors—Open Theists and process theologians—but against those evangelicals who imagine that abandoning or reconceiving impassibility can be done with little or no detriment to the edifice of a classical theology proper. The authors are convinced that once one begins to chip away at this crucial piece of the foundation the whole house of orthodox Christian conviction about God and his attributes begins to falter. And they are right.

. . . The result is a richly rewarding study that magnifies our unchanging God.

James E. Dolezal
Assistant Professor of Theology
Cairn University

_______________

Truth sometimes sounds stranger than fiction, which is why Confessing the Impassible God is a welcomed, rigorous defense of the traditional and confessional doctrine of divine impassibility. . . . The contributors provide a significant exegetical, theological, historical, and practical engagement of the issues, which makes this eminently useful for pastors, scholars, seminarians, and even people in the pews.

J. V. Fesko
Academic Dean Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology
Westminster Seminary California

_______________

Theology is not static. The church has made progress in its understanding of the Trinity, Christology, Soteriology, and Ecclesiology. However, theological development ordinarily comes through the church combating error rather than choosing a research topic for a new book. In responding to error, the church must build upon and enrich her understanding of Scripture, in dialogue with church history, with an eye toward a new generation, rather than jettison the past in the name of theological progress. This book presents the old view of divine impassibility, using old arguments, against new critics.

Ryan M. McGraw
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

_______________

A spirited reclaiming of the doctrine of divine impassibility, this coherent, well-edited, multi-author project is unique in several commendable aspects. It is decisively Baptist, but advances its argument in ways that recent generations have stopped expecting from Baptist theologians. These authors are committed to the final authority of Scripture in doctrinal matters, but mastery of their tradition’s confessional resources gives them uncommon access to depths of theological understanding. In particular, they have chased the doctrine that God is “without passions” all the way down metaphysically, relating it meaningfully to the theology of the divine being as pure act, and steadfastly refusing mere voluntarism, the persistent Scotist reductionist temptation to make everything depend on God’s will rather than his nature. Evangelical projects of retrieval are becoming more common as theologians appropriate patristic and medieval resources. Confessing the Impassible God stands out for its commitment to a retrieval of the middle distance, the Baptist confessions of early modernity as the nearby trailhead to the great tradition of Christian theology. Good fences make good neighbors, and I think that, paradoxically, the decisively Baptist focus of this project is what will make it useful beyond its own Reformed Baptist confessional borders.

Fred Sanders
Professor of Theology
Torrey Honors Institute
Biola University

_______________

Confessing the Impassible God addresses a topic that gets to matters at the heart of our understanding of the living God. Exploring the doctrine of divine impassibility through thorough historical, confessional, systematic, and exegetical studies, the authors make a compelling case that maintaining a robust affirmation of impassibility not only secures our continuity with the long patristic, medieval, and Reformation tradition of theology proper but also guards against falling into a range of errors that entail portraying God as something fundamentally other than the God of classical, biblical Christianity.

. . . I recommend this volume to all thoughtful Christians who wish to know and worship God truly, and I expect they will find here great encouragement to embrace impassibility not as a sterile idea of Greek metaphysics but as profound biblical teaching meant to bolster our faith, hope, love, joy, and confidence in the Triune God.

David VanDrunen
Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics
Westminster Seminary California

_______________

Classical theism is under attack in our day. Specifically such doctrines as divine simplicity and impassibility are deconstructed in an effort to achieve a more believable and accessible God. Unfortunately this more believable and accessible God is not the God of the Bible. It would be bad enough if the enemies of Christ led the attack against classical theism, but it is so-called friends who undermine the classical biblical witness to our great and glorious self-contained triune God. The broader church and Reformed community owe a debt of gratitude to our Reformed Baptist brothers for producing Confessing the Impassible God. In this fine book, the classically biblical doctrine of divine impassibility is defined and defended, explored and exposited. . . . This volume covers the whole spectrum of the theological encyclopedia on divine impassibility. I salute the men who have been involved in the publication of this fine book.

Rev. Jeffrey C. Waddington
Stated Supply & Ministerial Adviser—Knox Orthodox Presbyterian Church Lansdowne, PA
Ministerial Adviser—Calvary Church of Amwell (OPC) Ringoes, NJ
Panelist & Secretary of the Board—The Reformed Forum
Articles Editor—The Confessional Presbyterian Journal
Book Series Editor & Fellow—Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

_______________

Dr. Sam WaldronThere was a time when it was my opinion that the Doctrine of God or Theology Proper was settled. It seemed to me that, except for the debates over God’s eternal decree between Reformed and Arminian Christians, the Doctrine of God was of little polemic interest. If that was ever really the case, it is surely not the case now. The onslaught of Process and Open Theism, the claims that the classical Christian doctrine of God was seriously infected with Greek philosophical ideas, and the consequent and widespread proposals to modify the traditional Theology Proper of classical Christian theism are provoking widening discussion. Confessing the Impassible God provides an important, deep, and thoughtful response to the proposed revisions to the doctrine of divine impassibility—one of the hot-spots in the polemic furor among Reformed evangelicals over the Doctrine of God. I am grateful for the theologically careful and historically informed hermeneutics and exegesis of the present volume. I am grateful especially for the reminder that this book contains of the importance of recognizing the revelation of Scripture as analogical, and sometimes anthropopathic, and the importance of recognizing this in our teaching. Confessing the Impassible God deserves close study and appreciative discussion among Reformed Christians.

Sam Waldron
Dean of Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary
Pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church
Owensboro, KY