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


Living in Light of Two Ages



Tonight--New Academy Series: "Historic Christianity's Seven Dangerous Ideas"

When:  Join us tonight at 7:30 p.m. when Professor Kenneth Samples  begins a new Academy series entitled "Historic Christianity’s Seven Dangerous Ideas”.  The lecture for this evening will be Dead Men Don’t Stay Dead: The Resurrection of Jesus.

Topic:  “Dangerous Ideas” in such disciplines as philosophy and science are ideas that challenge the standard paradigm (accepted model) of the day. These ideas go against what most people naturally think to be true and real. Such revolutionary ideas tend to threaten accepted beliefs and often contain explosive world-and-life view implications for all humanity. Historic Christianity contains numerous beliefs that are theologically and philosophically volatile in the best sense of the term. The Christian faith contains powerful truth-claims that have succeeded in transforming the church and turning the world upside down. This series of lectures will explore seven such provocative beliefs proclaimed by historic Christianity.

Textbook:  This is the topic and content of a new book that Kenneth Samples is presently working on to be published by Baker Books (2012).

Where:  The Academy meets at Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim.  The lectures begin at 7:30 p.m., are free of charge, and are followed by a time for questions and answers, as well as a time for fellowship and refreshments.

For more info:  Click here


"Building Up the Body" -- Ephesians 4:7-16

The Ninth in a Series of Sermons on Ephesians

When God called us to faith in Jesus Christ he added us to Christ’s church.  Paul refers to this church as the “body of Jesus Christ.”  Once we become members of that church we are to strive for unity within the body by living humbly, acting gently, and bearing one another’s burdens in love.  Paul’s point is that we are to strive eagerly to maintain the unity of the Spirt in the bond of peace, because it is Christ’s one body to which we’ve been added by grace through faith.   But God does not command this of us, and then leave us on our own.  When Jesus ascended into heaven, Paul says, Jesus gave to his church gifts–everything we need to ensure that Christ’s church functions properly, and so that we are equipped to be built up in love, maturing, and together growing into the fullness of Christ.

As we continue our series on Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, we have made our way into the second half of this epistle (chapters 4-6).  Paul begins to work out the application of those same doctrines he has set forth in chapters 1-3.  As we work our way through Ephesians 4, I am dividing the chapter into three sections.  We covered the first of these three sections last time–Paul’s exhortation regarding Christian unity as exemplified in the words of the creed given us by Paul in verses 4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”  Paul’s point is that we are to confess this faith with our lips, and then strive to make sure that our lives match our profession.

In verses 7-16, Paul takes up the subject of God’s provision for the spiritual health and growth of the church.  Within this section of Ephesians 4, there are two different topics which are the source of some fair bit of controversy in Reformed circles.  The first has to do with the question as to what Paul means when he speaks of Christ’s “descent into lower regions.”  The issue under debate here is “did Jesus actually descend into Hell after his death upon the cross?”  The Reformed have always said “no” to that question, following John Calvin in understanding Christ’s death upon the cross as his suffering the anguish of Hell.  Jesus himself steers us in this direction when he speaks of his own messianic mission in terms of a descent to earth, followed by an ascent to his Father upon completion of his redemptive work.  

The second point of contention arises from Paul’s discussion of Christ giving gifts to the churches so that they might grow into maturity.  Here the question is, “is it God’s desire that every member of the church be equipped for `ministry’ (the so-called `every member ministry’ model)?  Or does God give ministers to the church whose task it is to bring the saints to maturity, (a view which does not see every member of the church as a “minister” with a “ministry”).  We will tackle both of these controversies.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click here


Speaking of Dr. Clark . . .

Took a few hours off this morning to attend Scott Clark's installation service down at the seminary.  Scott gave an important lecture on Caspar Olevianus' treatment of law and gospel, concentrating on the material in Olevianus' commentary on Romans.  Dr. Clark demonstrated the great similarity between Olevianus and Luther (Calvin as well) on a number of key law-gospel texts.  Good stuff.

Thought some of you would enjoy a picture from today's event.  Scott even broke out his special bow tie and formal wear for the occasion. 

During my time on the seminary board I was privileged to participate in several of these installations.  I enjoy them greatly, and I'm not one for ceremonies.    


A Big Day for Scott Clark!

A hearty word of congratulations to my good friend Dr. Scott Clark, who will be formally installed tomorrow as Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California.  For a seminary professor, the inauguration to "full" professor is a big deal.  And well-deserved at that!

Here's the announcement from the seminary:  "An inauguration ceremony for the installation of Dr. R. Scott Clark as Professor of Church History and Historical Theology will be held on April 14, 2010 in the WSC Chapel at 10am. His inaugural address is entitled, "That we should retain the distinction between Law and Gospel: Hermeneutical Conservatism in Early Reformed Orthodoxy."  Following the ceremony will be a reception in the chapel lobby to honor Dr. Clark."

For more information, Click here


Any Guesses?

Any idea what this might be?  Here's a photo essay which will explain it all.

Click here


"You Were Bought With a Price" -- 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, the eleventh in a series on 1 Corinthians.

Click here

This Week's White Horse Inn

Christianity: A Faith Founded on Facts

How would you attempt to persuade someone who is unconvinced about the basic truth claims of the Christian faith? We asked pastors that question at a recent convention and their answers will surprise you. Joining the panel for this discussion is noted apologist Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, author numerous books including History & Christianity, and Faith Founded on Fact (originally broadcast April 16, 2006).


Who Said That?

From a controversial figure in American history:

"I . . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins."

Leave your guess in the comments section below.  Please, no google searches or cheating.  Answer to follow next week.


My Two Seconds of Fame

So, I'm watching the History Channel's program "The Antichrist."  Except for interviews with prophecy "experts" like Ted Haggard and Tofik Benedictus (Benny Hinn), it wasn't bad.  Hal Lindsey--the man of many mustaches (Click here)--was the primary dispensational expert, but people like Fuller, McGinn and Boyer, were interviewed as well. 

All of a sudden, I look up and there's the cover of my book!  It wasn't on for long, but it was there!

The next time History Channel ran the program, I DVR'd it.  My two seconds of fame!  Immortalized on my hard drive!

Warhol said I'd get 15 minutes, not two seconds.



The National Debt -- A Staggering Figure

As of today (April 8), this is the national debt.  I can't even fathom the number.  It amounts to $41,524.26 per person.  The latter number (41K) I can fathom.  This is your share and mine . . . as of today.   Remember, the meter is still running.  The politicians are still spending.

As a sobering news article points out, the share of the debt per household amounts to $72,000 this year, and will rise to $170,000 per household by 2020 (Click here).

Most Christians agree that any federal mandate requiring tax-payer funding for abortion is a moral outrage.  It is pretty clear to me that making someone who is opposed to the procedure as a matter of conscience, provide insurance for someone else to have the procedure, is flat-out immoral.

But the national debt is a moral issue as well.  We are spending money we don't have, which means we'll have to either print it, or borrow it, or raises taxes to unsustainable levels, because we refuse to live within our national means.  This debt will dramatically impact the lives of our children and our children's children.

When I read through Revelation 17-18, I am reminded how similar modern  America is to ancient Rome.  Rome, if you recall, was too big to fail.  I guess Alaric didn't think that was true.  We too had better not believe that nonsense. 

We keep spending like this, it is only a matter of time.