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Are Bones a Luxury?

Our pastor preached another doctrinal sermon. It is gelling to be almost more than we can stand! This remark of a Covenanter church member betrays a common, but deplorably wrong-headed, attitude toward the doctrinal system of the Christian Faith. People who say such things regard instruction in Christian truth as a boresome nuisance. They prefer “inspirational” sermons. But “inspiration” will be a […]

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The Apostle Paul’s Concern for His Countrymen One biblical argument that relates to the question of the well-meant offer of the gospel is often neglected or overlooked: the apostle Paul’s testimony at two key points in the argument of Romans (9:1–5; 10:1) that his heart’s desire and prayer to God was for the salvation of […]

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In the history of the Reformed churches, the distinction between a universal and an effectual call of the gospel is a commonplace. Even though there are a few advocates of a strong form of hyper-Calvinism, which denies that the gospel call should be preached to all sinners, the elect and non-elect alike, the mainstream of […]

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Herman Bavinck: A Sketch of His Life

In my office at Mid-America Re­formed Seminary, there are two portraits of Reformed theologians whom I admire and seek to emulate in a small, limited way in my work as a professor of doctrinal studies or systematic theology. One of the portraits is a well-known sketch of John Calvin in his library. The other is […]

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Examining the Nine Points: An Introduction

In the Reformed and Presbyterian world summer usually means Synod or General Assembly, and the summer of 2007 was a particularly notable season for such assemblies since both the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA) took action regarding the New Perspective(s) on Paul and the self-described Fed­eral […]

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Examining the Nine Points: An Introduction

The Prologue to the Nine Points Synod affirms that the Scriptures and confessions teach the doc­trine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone and that nothing that is taught under the rubric of covenant theology in our churches may contradict this fundamental doctrine. Therefore Synod rejects the er­rors of those: This preface to the […]

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Examining the Nine Points: The Introduction (III)

Synod affirms that the Scriptures and confessions teach the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone and that nothing that is taught under the rubric of covenant theology in our churches may contradict this fundamental doctrine. Therefore Synod rejects the errors of those…       Last month, as part of our consideration of […]

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Bavinck the Dogmatician (II)

The place of dogmatics in theological study As a form of human knowledge of God and ourselves, which is based upon the divine testimony of God’s revelation, dogmatics has a par­ticular place in the field of theo­logical study. Biblical studies fo­cus upon the interpretation of the biblical text, and are organized broadly in terms of […]

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Examining the Nine Points: Point One

Synod affirms that the Scriptures and confessions teach the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone and that nothing that is taught under the rubric of covenant theology in our churches may contradict this fundamental doctrine. Point 1 Therefore Synod rejects the errors of those: 1. who deny or modify the teaching that […]

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Examining the Nine Points: Point Two

Synod affirms that the Scriptures and confessions teach the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone and that nothing that is taught under the rubric of covenant theology in our churches may contradict this fundamental doctrine. Point 2 Therefore Synod rejects the errors of those 2. who, in any way and for any […]

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