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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources


Living in Light of Two Ages


Entries by Kim Riddlebarger (3560)


Synod Wheaton 2018 -- A Couple of Thoughts


There were many important items addressed at the 2018 URCNA Synod in Wheaton, Ill.  It was a tremendous blessing and most profitable to attend a concurrent URCNA Synod/OPC General Assembly.  Our two churches have much in common and no doubt this will encourage more joint efforts between us in the future. 

But two things stand out as the most important take-aways in my mind.  One is the production of a joint URC/OPC Hymnal, the Trinity Psalter Hymnal.  This is a huge development in many ways.  First, we have an outstanding Psalter with appropriate numbering--Psalm 1 is on page one.  Imagine that?  Second, the Psalms are versified so you can tell what verse from the Psalm you are singing. Third, the revivalist tunes ("couples only on stanza three") are gone.  What a joy to have a first-rate Psalter which is faithful to the biblical text.

Another take-away from Synod/General Assembly is the stress on both domestic and foreign missions.  The amount of mission work and church planting in which these two small confessional bodies are engaged is simply astonishing and a testimony to God's gracious purposes.  There is much for the URCNA to learn from our OPC brothers and sisters about how to do mission work and plant churches.  That learning process was given a giant boost at Synod. 

I wish that every joker who claims Reformed Christians "are not interested in evangelism" be made to sit through a video recording of Wednesday and Thursday night's missions presentations.  Our two churches are driven by our love for the lost--even if we in the URCNA need to improve the ways we put this love for the lost into practice.

If you were to ask me, "what was the main theme of Synod?"  I would answer "missions."


I was privileged to work on the committee tasked with addressing the four overtures sent on to our synod requesting a statement regarding marriage, which would not only reflect our historic position on marriage so as to provide protection from litigation, but also serve as a teaching tool to our millennials who do not see gay marriage in the same way most of us over 40 do. 

I'm the bald guy in praying posture.  Dr. Brian Lee of the "other" Christ Reformed Church in DC was the chair.  Our reporter--who does the work of keeping track of the discussions (Rev. Talman Wagenmaker)--is the best at this in the URCNA.  I think we produced a very solid document.  Synod did too.  It passed without dissent.  It will be available soon on the URCNA website.


"Daddy, what did you do at Synod?"  Most of you who know me, know I'm not a "synod kind of guy."  I certainly do realize the importance of Synod but I don't speak to matters on the floor unless necessary--as when I chaired the liturgical forms committee a few years ago.  I think the networking which takes place over coffee (at lunch and at breaks), or the beer and cigar afterglow is where much fruitful conversation takes place about matters regarding both Synod and our future as a federation. 

I'm chatting with Rev. Mike Brown and Dr. Ryan Glomsrud of WSC--one of many such informal sessions,

I always dread going to Synod, but then am glad I went.


Off To Synod

I'll be at Wheaton College for the URCNA 2018 Synod this coming week, and upon return home, Lord willing, I'll begin my annual summer sabbatical/vacation. 

Our Synod will be held concurrently with the OPC, which is holding its 85th General Assembly.  This will be a historic occasion for both.

I do plan on blogging throughout the Summer, so I won't be entirely absent.


"Against Jerusalem" -- 2 Kings 25:1-22

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on the Minor Prophets--the Fate of Judah and Jerusalem



This Week's White Horse Inn

Christianity in North and South Korea

What is it like to be a Christian in North Korea where believers are persecuted for their faith? How does their experience differ from those living in prosperous South Korea? How do the cultural forces of totalitarianism on the one hand and consumerism and secularism on the other shape the way we live out our faith as Christians? On this special edition of White Horse Inn recorded in Seoul, Korea, Michael Horton discusses these issues and more with Steven Chang, Samuel Kim, and Julius Kim.

Click Here


Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Common Ground and Presuppositions (Part One)

Here's the audio from our Wednesday night Bible Study:  Common Ground and the Role of Presuppositions

Previous lectures in this series can be found here (scroll down): Apologetics in a Post Christian Age


Take a Moment to Listen . . . Especially if You Are Under Forty

On June 6, 1944--seventy four years ago today--the allies sucessfully landed on five beaches in Normandy.  Many celebrations of this world-changing event (known simply as D-Day) have come and gone.  Few are left alive who fought this day to breach Hitler's supposedly impenetrable Atlantic Wall and open that "second front" which would bring Nazi Germany to its final defeat nearly a year later.

On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of D-Day, Ronald Reagan gave his famous speech, "The Boys of Ponte du Hoc."  I post this because it is the most fitting tribute I know to the soldiers who fought there.  But as I too am getting older, I find fewer and fewer people who know the significance of what happened at Ponte du Hoc on June 6, 1944, or who have heard Ronald Reagan give a speech.

In our age of political lunacy, banality, corruption, and incompetence, Reagan's words harken me back to the courage of my father's generation.  They also remind me how much I miss Ronald Reagan in this age of Trump.

Please take a moment to listen.  It is well worth your time.


"In Him" -- Colossians 2:6-15

The Fifth in a Series of Sermons on Colossians

One of the unique emphases of Reformed theology is the doctrine of “union with Christ,” which arises from reflection upon the letters of Paul.  Union with Christ is the answer to one of the theological problems created by the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.  The problem is this–since Jesus has ascended into heaven where he presently rules over all things, how then do we participate in all his saving benefits since he is no longer physically present with us on the earth?  The answer given throughout the New Testament, and especially in the letters of Paul, is through our union with Christ–a union established between each believer and Jesus by the indwelling Holy Spirit, a union which commences immediately the moment we believe in Jesus and are justified (being declared righteous).  This union endures until we die and enter the Lord’s presence.  To believe in Jesus is to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit in which Jesus has baptized us.  To believe in Jesus is to be united to him in his three-fold on-going office of prophet, priest, and king.  To be baptized into Jesus is to be baptized into his death and resurrection, the visible sign and seal of Jesus’ saving work and of our union with him.  To believe in Jesus is to be “in Christ.”

The believer’s union with Christ is just one of the points Paul makes in his response to the so-called Colossian heresy, which the Epistle of Colossians is written to refute.  In refuting this heresy, Paul has argued for the supremacy of Jesus by speaking of Jesus as creator of all things and firstborn from the dead (in his resurrection), thereby commencing his work of new creation in which Jesus reconciles sinners to God and is head of his church.  Through our union with Jesus, we are members of his church which is his body (manifest through membership in a local congregation).  Because we are said to be “in Christ,” we are in union with Jesus in his death and resurrection, and as Paul points out in verse 24 of chapter 1, we are also united to Jesus in the fellowship of his sufferings.    

Throughout the opening chapter of Colossians, Paul has made his case for the supremacy of Jesus as Lord of all things, based upon that which was revealed to Paul by Jesus himself, what Paul describes as the mystery hidden for long ages past in the Old Testament, to which Paul repeatedly alludes as he makes his case.  In fact, there are many overlooked but loud echoes from the Old Testament in Colossians 1.  The mystery now revealed through the preaching of the gospel, is the person and work of Jesus, which Paul says was being proclaimed throughout much of the first century Mediterranean world in churches such as those in Colossae (to which Paul writes) and Laodicea (which he mentions).  When Jesus entered human history to accomplish the work of our redemption, the mystery was “revealed.”  This is worth considering as one of the main points in Paul’s refutation of the Colossian heresy.  Nothing secret about Christianity.  Jesus’ saving work was very public and unfolds in ordinary human history–not within the human heart, nor tied to secret powers and forces supposedly at work in the universe.

There is much packed into our text (vv. 6-15) of Colossians 2, so we will proceed as follows.  First, we will take up Paul’s discussion in verses 6-7 of the importance of holding fast to the things which the Colossians have been taught by Epaphras, their pastor.  Then, second, we will consider what Paul means when he speaks of  “plausible arguments” (v. 4), the kinds of arguments the Christians in Colossae were facing from the false teachers–that which Paul will describe as “philosophy, deceit, and tradition” grounded in elemental things, not in Christ (v. 8).  Third, in verses 9-10, Paul explains that all true spiritual fulness is found only in Jesus–God incarnate.  Paul goes on to explain in verse 11-15 how Christians are united to Christ so as to experience this spiritual fulness.  Then we will wrap up by making several points of application.

To read the rest of this sermon: Click Here


This Week at Christ Reformed Church (June 4-10)

Sunday Morning, June 10:  This week we will be taking a look at the tragic fall of Judah and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple (2 Kings 25), as part of our series on the Minor Prophets.  What role does this tragic event play in redemptive history?  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We have come to Article 17 of the Belgic Confession and a discussion of Christ's role as redeemer.  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (June 6 @ 7:30 p.m.):  We continue with our series, "Apologetics in a Post-Christian Age."  Our topic, "Common Ground and Presuppositions."  

The Academy:  On Hiatus until the Fall 

For more information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here (Christ Reformed Church), or on Facebook (Christ Reformed on Facebook).


"The Righteous By His Faith Shall live" -- Habakkuk 2:1-3:19

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on Habakkuk from our series on the Minor Prophets:  Click Here


This Week's White Horse Inn

Seeing Jesus in the Psalms

How are we to read and profit from the Book of Psalms? Is it simply a collection of 150 poems randomly thrown together, or is there some kind of order and structure to the book as a whole? What are the unifying themes of this book, and how does it speak of the person and work of Jesus Christ? On this program, Michael Horton discusses these issues with W. Robert Godfrey, author of Learning to Love the Psalms.

Click Here