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


Living in Light of Two Ages



B. B. Warfield on Faith, Reason and the Holy Spirit

(From chapter seven of my dissertation, The Lion of Princeton)   

In the forward to fellow Presbyterian Francis Beattie's book Apologetics:  or the Rational Vindication of Christianity, Warfield, ironically, if not prophetically, anticipated much of the criticism which would be leveled at him by those who are in many ways his direct theological descendants.  It is primarily based upon Warfield's remarks about reason in this essay that many of his critics have reached their negative assessment about Warfield's apologetic.  A brief evaluation of Warfield's essay will be extremely helpful in determining many of Warfield's own views on these matters, since Warfield specifically discusses several of the issues under debate.

Lamenting the twin enemies of rationalism and mysticism, Warfield notes,

The mystical tendency is showing itself in our day most markedly in a wide-spread inclination to decline Apologetics in favor of the so-called testimonium Spiritus Sancti.  The convictions of the Christian man we are told, are not the product of reasons addressed to the intellect, but are the immediate creation of the Holy Spirit in his heart.  Therefore, it is intimated, we can not only do very well without these reasons, but it is something very like sacrilege to attend to them.  Apologetics, accordingly, is not merely useless, but may even become noxious, because tending to substitute a barren intellectualism for a vital faith.

Many of these same charges have been leveled against Warfield himself.

Quickly dismissing the rationalists, since what they need is "not less Apologetics but more Apologetics," Warfield indeed seems quite perplexed about the role of apologetics proposed in the Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology, recently published by Abraham Kuyper.  There are two primary issues about which Warfield takes issue with his esteemed Dutch friend.  First, Warfield is concerned that Kuyper has adopted a "mystical" conception of apologetics, which in effect, results in the practical depreciation of apologetics altogether.  Second, Warfield is concerned that Kuyper's understanding of theological encyclopedia is unduly confused, and may in fact, amount to a departure from historic Reformed practice. 

To read the rest of this essay,
click here


"Was Made Manifest" -- 1 John 1:1-4

The First in a Series on the Epistles of John

I know of no religious truth claim quite like the one found in the opening verses of John’s first epistle.  According to the author (John)–who claims to be an eyewitness to the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ–God himself was manifest in the flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  The author knows this to be true, because with his own ears he has heard God in the flesh teach and preach.  With his own eyes, John has seen God in the flesh perform miracles, demonstrate his glory, and present himself alive after his resurrection from the dead.  With his own hands, John has reached out and touched the very son of God.  Even as John opens this epistle, he proclaims to us that we too may have fellowship with that same incarnate word whom John describes throughout this epistle as God manifest in the flesh.  Therefore, Christianity is a religion of flesh and blood, anchored in the public record of history, and not in the secret recesses of the sinful human heart.

We begin a new series on the epistles of John.  These epistles include the letters known to us as 1st , 2nd , and 3rd John.  In order to interpret these epistles correctly, it is vital that we know something about the historical background and circumstances which led to their composition.  Therefore, I’d like to spend some of our time this morning going through this material before we turn our attention to the first four verses of John’s first epistle, in which John announces his intention to proclaim to us that Jesus is the word of life, God manifest in the flesh.

The historical circumstances which led to the writing of John’s epistles is vastly different from that of the Book of James, or the Epistle of Jude, which we covered earlier this year.  James was written about ten years after Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension to a group of persecuted Jewish Christians living throughout Palestine and Syria.  John, on the other hand, is writing to a group of house churches in and around Ephesus (made up of Jews and Gentiles).  Not only does John compose these epistles as much as a generation later, the churches to which he was writing are facing a number of false teachers who were denying that Jesus was God in the flesh.  Sadly, many of those teaching such a thing are men who have departed from the faith.  Thus John must deal with an entirely different set of circumstances than James.  If James was the earliest letter in the New Testament, the epistles of John are surely among the last documents to be included in the canon of the New Testament.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click here


"Awaiting our Blessed Hope" -- Free Audio

The Reformation Society of Oregon has made available my recent conference lectures on eschatology (from Saturday, October 17).  Thanks guys!

There are lectures on a Christ-centered eschatology, the case for understanding Revelation 20 as a present reality, and a discussion of issues surrounding the doctrine of antichrist.

You can get them here:


Mike Horton on the Nature, Marks and Mission of the Church

Who do so many evangelicals identify with movements not churches?


Who Said That?

"Every man of God that I know today has a nice house . . . . And they drive cars, and they have BlackBerrys or iPhones or whatever.  It's what we need today to simply exist. ... Absolutely I need a private plane.  For the ministry it's a necessity, not a luxury. ... It's a necessity for me to have my own private plane to fly so I can go and do what God called me to do around the world. If I should fly commercial I would wear out.  With my schedule?  It would be madness." 

Who said that?  Leave your guess in the comments section below.  No googles searches or cheating.  Anaswer to follow in one week.


This Week's White Horse Inn

A Survey of Christian Faith & Practice

Have you ever heard of the doctrine of justification? What's the best way to summarize the Christian gospel? On this edition of the program the hosts interact with answers to questions like these as they walk through the results of a White Horse Inn survey of approximately 100 Christians.



Audio from Friday's Academy Lecture Posted

Here's the audio from Ken's 
Academy lecture (11/06/09)
"Intelligent Reading 5 / Intro
to Logic 1: Learning How to
Learn - Part 5"

Click here



Tonight's Academy Lecture -- Samples Returns

 Join us tonight at 7:30 p.m. when Professor Kenneth Samples continues the Academy series entitled “Learning Skills 101: Learning How To Learn (Part 5)”

The Study Skills 101: Learning How To Learn class is specifically offered to help believers sharpen their thinking, reading, and speaking skills. This course can be directly helpful to teachers, parents (especially homeschool parents), and students, particularly adult students who want to engage in a lifelong journey of intellectual discovery and learning. This class can serve as a fun and challenging opportunity to clear the mental cobwebs that too often accumulate with the passage of time and age. All educational levels can benefit from the content of this class. Come and learn the enduring insights of famed philosopher and educator Mortimer J. Adler by studying his best selling work How to Read a Book. -- Professor Kenneth Samples.

Textbooks: How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren and A World of Difference by Kenneth Samples

Instructor: Professor Kenneth Samples, Senior Scholar of Apologetics at Reasons to Believe, Adult Education Instructor at Christ Reformed Church, Anaheim.


Number 27!

If you read this blog, you know that I am a die-hard Yankees fan.  I've been one ever since my parents took me to see the Angels play the Yankees back in July of 1964.  I remember that game like it was yesterday. 

The game was at Dodger Stadium because Anaheim Stadium had not yet been built.  My sister got Albie Pearson's autograph on my baseball glove (he was an Angels outfielder and a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and I still have that glove).  Jim Bouton pitched for the Yankees--I remember that his hat kept falling off because of his odd follow-through.  The Yankees won 5-0.

My folks were hoping I'd become a fan of the new local baseball team (the Angels).  We are Orange Countians after all, not New Yorkers.  But when the Yankees took the field, it was love at first sight.

And now here we are, forty-five years later and I am as thrilled today, as I was on July 29, 1964.

Don't give me the same old line about A-Rod and Pettitte being cheaters, or that the Yankees bought the pennant.  They've spent big bucks every year from 2001-2008 and didn't win the World Series.  A-Rod and Pettitte came clean and the PED issue is a much bigger story than these two guys. 

The Yankees won this year because they played very good fundamental baseball, which made them a blast to watch, and in the end ensured their twenty-seventh World Series victory!  And I am thrilled!


Horton on ECT and the BVM

Horton writes,

"Ask many Protestants today why they are not Roman Catholic and they may refer to `something about Mary and the saints.'  However, for the Reformers, the heart of the problem was the sufficiency of Scripture and especially the sufficiency of Christ the Mediator for sinners.  Are we justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, or by grace and our merits, faith and our works, Christ and the intercession of Mary and the saints."

To read the rest of Michael's essay,