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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Sunday
Mar192017

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

Sin and Grace

In his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus said that a person can’t even see the kingdom of God unless he is first born again. In other words, because we are dead in sin, we must first be spiritually regenerated before we can express faith in Jesus or make a decision to follow him. Coming to grips with the seriousness of sin helps us to better understand the amazingness of grace.

Click Here

Wednesday
Mar152017

I Wonder If Baseball's "Siri" Will Get Tired of All the Inane Questions 

Jose Siri is a Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer.  Can you imagine the grief he'll endure should his baseball career progress?

"Hey Siri, where's my glove?"

"Siri, where's the closest Starbucks?"

"Siri, what's the traffic like on my way home?"

"Hey Siri, who was the thirty-first president?"

"Siri, who won the 1975 AL MVP?"

"Siri, would you send a text to my wife?"

"Siri, you bum, why'd you strike out?"

Wednesday
Mar152017

"The Son of Man Is Coming" -- Matthew 24:29-44

An Introduction to the Book of Daniel (Part Two)

Before we begin our series on the Book of Daniel, we are spending several weeks looking at Jesus’ use of Daniel’s prophecy as recounted in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.  Jesus sees the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy as centered in his own messianic mission.  Jesus even declares himself to be Daniel’s mysterious “Son of Man,” making a connection to the remarkable vision found in Daniel 7.  At the end of Matthew 23, Jesus pronounces seven words of woe (covenant curses) upon Israel, the Pharisees, and teachers of the law.  Jesus also announced that Israel will be left desolate–its people scattered among the nations.  And then shortly after as he was walking in the temple area with his disciples, Jesus points to the temple’s great stones and tells them “you see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”  If the magnificent temple of Herod will be destroyed, the disciples quite naturally thought the end of the age must be at hand–they are mistaken.  It is in the context of dispensing covenant blessings and curses upon Israel that Jesus appeals to Daniel’s prophecy.  

With this prophetic warning ringing in their ears, at the very first moment the disciples are alone with Jesus they ask him three questions, prompted by all of the things that Jesus has just told them.  In the opening verses of Matthew 24–the account of Jesus’ speaking about the course of future events known as the Olivet Discourse–the disciples ask Jesus “`tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”  In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus answers these three questions, and in doing so speaks authoritatively about the future desolation of Israel as well as his own coming in judgment at the end of the age.  Throughout the discourse, Jesus appeals to the prophecy of Daniel, and as we will see, Jesus even speaks of himself as the “Son of Man”–one of the key figures from the remarkable vision in the seventh chapter of Daniel’s prophecy.

The key to interpreting the Olivet Discourse correctly–given what Jesus has foretold about the immediate future of Israel–is that the disciples incorrectly assume that an event so disastrous to Israel such as the destruction of the temple, must mean that when the temple is destroyed the end of the age must therefore be at hand.  But this is not correct, and as we have seen, as Jesus answers their questions, he corrects this faulty assumption.  The destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem will come to pass within a generation–AD 70, but the end of the age, and the Parousia (or coming of the Son of Man) will come much later, only after an indeterminate period of time, when the sign of the Son of Man appears in the sky and all of the nations mourn as the day of the Lord and final judgment has come.

In verses 4-14, Jesus answers the disciples’ last question put to him first–“what are the signs of the end of the age?”  In answering their question, Jesus speaks of various signs of the end of the age, including wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and famine, the coming of messianic pretenders, the coming persecution of God’s people, as well as the preaching of the gospel to the ends of the earth.  While all of these things will be experienced by Jesus’ disciples between the time of his soon to come death and resurrection, and the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, these signs also extend into the present age as guarantees of our Lord’s second advent at the end of the age.  Because Jesus speaks of the preaching of the gospel to all nations as a sign of the end, the things of which Jesus has just spoken will indeed continue on into the present age after the destruction of Jerusalem, in A.D. 70.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Tuesday
Mar142017

Reformation Theology -- Just Got My Copy!

This important new volume is ready! 

My contribution is, "The Eschatology of the Reformers"

Here's the publisher's (Crossway) summary:

Reformation Theology: A Systematic Summary

Edited by Matthew Barrett, Foreword by Michael Horton, Contributions by R. Michael Allen, Gerald Bray, Graham A. Cole, Aaron Denlinger, J. V. Fesko, Eun Jin Kim, Douglas Kelly, Robert Kolb, Robert Letham, Peter A. Lillback, Korey Maas, Donald Macleod, Keith A. Mathison, Michael Reeves, Kim Riddlebarger, Scott R. Swain, Mark D. Thompson, Carl R. Trueman, Cornelis P. Venema, Matthew Barrett

About Reformation Theology

Far too often, the Protestant Reformation is seen as a bygone and irrelevant movement in church history. Some of the best theologians and historians of today, including Michael Reeves, Gerald Bray, Michael A. G. Haykin, Carl R. Trueman, and many others, have collaborated to counter this view, showing how Reformation theology is not only still relevant but actually essential—even five hundred years later. Offering readers accessible summaries of a host of important doctrinal issues discussed and debated by the Reformers, this comprehensive book includes entries on topics such as biblical authority, the Trinity, the attributes of God, predestination, union with Christ, justification by faith, the church, the sacraments, and more. Perfect for both individual and classroom use, this volume demonstrates that Reformation theology—far from being irrelevant—is more crucial to the vitality of the church than ever.

Recommendations:

“Dr. Barrett has gathered a full stable of blue-ribbon theologians for this winning volume. All the essays are carefully contextualized, the Reformers judiciously selected, and the bibliographies thoughtfully assembled. Some chapters are especially notable for the breadth and depth of the author’s research, others for their adroit summaries of complex themes. There is little doubt that Reformation Theology will ably serve the church and academy as a textbook for students and a reference work for scholars. It is already reshaping my own teaching on late-medieval and early-modern theology, and I commend it heartily.”
Chad Van Dixhoorn, Chancellor’s Professor of Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary–Washington, DC

“This delightful volume is a breath of fresh air in Reformation studies, putting theology back at the center. It shows with crystal clarity how the Reformers expounded the heart of the Christian faith, and why these evangelical doctrines still matter so much.”
Andrew Atherstone, Latimer Research Fellow, Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford

“This rich book takes up the challenge to think beyond 2017 and does so in a very stimulating manner. Each of the contributors is an expert in his field and knows that the Reformation is a highly relevant treasure for both the church and theology. They convincingly encourage the readers to think through this treasure and adopt it. Everyone eager to not just look back at five hundred years of reformation but also look forward finds here the perfect material.”
Herman Selderhuis, Director, Refo500; Professor and Director of the Institute for Reformation Research, Theological University Apeldoorn, the Netherlands; author, Calvin’s Theology of the Psalms

“Dr. Matthew Barrett has assembled a first-rate team of pastors and scholars to write an anniversary volume of the Reformation that promises to receive a welcoming readership across a wide spectrum of the evangelical community. At a time when some are suggesting that for all practical purposes the Reformation is ‘over,’ Barrett’s Reformation Theology offers a needed corrective by showing the relevance of the Reformation for healthy church ministry and the Christian life today.”
Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College; author, Loving the Way Jesus Loves

“This collection of essays is both necessary and appropriate. It’s necessary because the issues addressed mattered then and matter now. It’s appropriate because this is how we best remember our past and honor the Reformers. The Reformation is our pivot point in the past, and the issues it addressed remain the pivot point for church life and discipleship.”
Stephen J. Nichols, President, Reformation Bible College; Chief Academic Officer, Ligonier Ministries; author, Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought and The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World

“A superb collection of first-rate essays on Reformation theology—one of the best I have seen. A welcome addition to the swell of literature in this year of Reformation remembrance.”
Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School; General Editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

“An anniversary is a great moment to do a book like Reformation Theology. And with the passing of time, Reformation truths and the importance of the Reformation as a milestone in church history get forgotten—incredible as that sounds. But it is true. Perhaps we should not be surprised. How many times in the Old Testament do we read that the Israelites ‘forgot’? So I am enthusiastic about Reformation Theology.”
David F. Wells, Distinguished Senior Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; author, The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-Lovers, Marketers and Emergents in the Postmodern World

“Matthew Barrett is certainly to be congratulated on bringing together this outstanding group of top-tier theologians and Reformation scholars to produce this wonderful resource. Not only are readers given a masterful survey of historical theology illuminating the key reformational themes of the sixteenth century, but also we are provided thoughtful and insightful guidance to wrestle with the important theological issues facing the church in the twenty-first century. I am delighted to recommend this comprehensive work.”
David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University

Reformation Theology promises to be an influential book indeed. Written by recognized historians and theologians, this volume aims to clearly articulate the teaching of the Reformers according to traditional theological categories. It is a genuine contribution and a great read besides.”
Fred G. Zaspel, Pastor, Reformed Baptist Church, Franconia, Pennsylvania; author, The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary and Warfield on the Christian Life: Living in Light of the Gospel

“Nothing would benefit American evangelicals more than a real rediscovery of the Reformation—not a superficial regurgitation of the familiar talking points but a powerful, experiential encounter with the learned depth, wisdom, humility, piety, and practical know-how of our Reformation forefathers. A volume like the one Dr. Matthew Barrett has put together is a big step in the right direction.”
Greg ForsterDirector, Oikonomia Network at the Center for Transformational Churches, Trinity International University; author, The Joy of Calvinism

“The lineup of authors in Reformation Theology and their respective topics reflect the very best in Reformed evangelical scholarship. The book should be of widespread interest. Not only would seminary and college students find the volume profitable in their studies, but all informed Christians would benefit from the essays.”
W. Andrew Hoffecker, Professor of Church History Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary–Jackson; author, Charles Hodge: The Pride of Princeton

“A clear articulation of one’s Reformed faith requires familiarity with the ideas and events in which that faith is rooted. Unfortunately, there are few books on the subject currently in print that are both learned and accessible. Thankfully, this volume offers an outstanding solution to this problem.”
Chris Castaldo, Pastor, New Covenant Church, Naperville, Illinois; author, Talking with Catholics about the Gospel; coauthor, The Unfinished Reformation: What Unites and Divides Catholics and Protestants after 500 Years

 You can pre-order it here:  Reformation Theology

Monday
Mar132017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (March 13-19)

Sunday Morning, March 19:  We begin a new series on Paul's letter to the Galatians.  In our first sermon in the series, we will be discussing Paul's stern warning about the presence of false gospels (Galatians 1:1-9).  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We continue our time in that section of the Heidelberg Catechism dealing with the sacraments (Lord's Day 25, Q & A 65-68).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, March 15 (7:30 p.m.):  We continue our series on personal evangelism entitled, "Telling the Truth in Love."  We are discussing those biblical categories necessary to engage in pre-evangelism.

Academy, Friday, March 17 (7:30 p.m.):  We will be viewing and discussing Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American MindOur text for this series will be Hollinger and Capper, The American Intellectual Tradition.  Be sure to get a used copy!  They are much cheaper!

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

Sunday
Mar122017

"Continue Steadfastly in Prayer" -- Colossians 4:2-18

Here's the audio from the concluding sermon in our ten-part series on Colossians

Sunday
Mar122017

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

What Is Original Sin?

Why is there so much evil and corruption in the world? Why do children need to be taught to behave, whereas disobedience and naughtiness come rather naturally? What exactly is sin, where does it come from, and how does it relate to our view of God’s mercy and grace in Jesus Christ? On this program the hosts will discuss these questions and more as they begin a new four-part series on the doctrine of Original Sin.

Click Here

Wednesday
Mar082017

"Spoken of by the Prophet Daniel" -- Matthew 24:15-28

An Introduction to the Study of the Book of Daniel (Part One)

We begin our series on the Book of Daniel in a surprising place–the Gospel of Matthew with Jesus giving the Olivet Discourse.  The discourse is so named because Jesus and this disciples were sitting on the Mount of Olives, looking across the Kidron Valley at the magnificent Jersualem temple, restored to its original grandeur by king Herod.  Jesus uses this occasion to predict the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem, as well as discuss the end of the age.  When passing the temple earlier that day, his disciples asked him a question about the end of the age and what would happen to the temple.  Jesus told them, “you see all these, do you not?  Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2).  The temple will be completely destroyed–again.  Jesus is predicting something unthinkable for a Jew, since the Jewish people had endured this fate once already.  And this time, Jesus implies the destruction will be final.  While predicting the destruction of the temple and teaching his disciples about the end of age, Jesus repeatedly appeals to the prophet Daniel.  And so it is here we will begin our series on the Book of Daniel–with Jesus, on the Mount of Olives, teaching his disciples about the end, by quoting from or alluding to Daniel’s prophecies.  By considering how Jesus read and understood the Book of Daniel and considering our Lord’s role in Daniel’s prophecies, we will be better able to interpret Daniel correctly.

Taking this brief detour will prepare us by providing background for our upcoming series on Daniel, a book which many preachers avoid because Daniel is a very difficult book to interpret.  I also chose to start with the Olivet Discourse because our recent sermon series on Ezra-Nehemiah, and our recent Advent sermons in many ways, are either tied to the Book of Daniel, or address some of the same themes (especially the fate of the Jewish people, their temple, and Jerusalem), which we have covered in these recent series.  So I thought it helpful to begin our series on Daniel by considering a remarkable passage in the New Testament where all of these things are in view.  That passage is the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 (with parallels in Mark 13 and Luke 21) where Jesus quotes or alludes to prophecies of Daniel, especially as these prophecies impact the future role of the temple and the city of Jerusalem in redemptive history.  As we will see next time (as we conclude our time in Matthew 24), Jesus even refers to himself as the mysterious divine figure, the Son of Man, who is the central figure in one of Daniel’s visions (chapter 7).  We must understand Daniel as does Jesus.

We begin this morning with a bit of historical recap.  The first Jerusalem temple (built by David and Solomon) was destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC in the days immediately before the Babylonian exile.  As we will see when we take up Daniel’s prophecy, Daniel actually served in Nebuchadnezzar’s royal court and even interpreted one of the king’s dreams.  The destruction of the temple and the sacking of Jerusalem in 587 was Israel’s darkest moment, until Jesus predicts an even darker day to yet come for Israel–a day of terrible distress foretold by Daniel.  In the days of Ezra-Nehemiah–who write a century or so after Daniel–the Jews eventually returned to the land, and rebuilt their temple in 516 B.C.  After four centuries of struggle and oppression by Gentile empires, by the time of Jesus, Israel’s national identity once again centered around this magnificent building.  

The Jerusalem temple figures quite prominently in the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry, because the conflict between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees escalates to the point of no return once Jesus entered the temple after his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, only to find his messianic mission challenged and then rejected by Israel’s leaders.  Though the temple pointed to the work of redemption that Jesus was about to accomplish with his death and resurrection, the Pharisees sought to keep Jesus from preaching in his father’s house.  The tragic irony in all of this is that Israel’s spiritual condition had fallen to the same level of unbelief as in the days before the exile.  The people’s hearts are once again far from YHWH.  The religious leaders trust in their rituals and in human righteousness.  They think the temple, the law, religious ceremonies and festivals, and circumcision are ends in themselves.  They see no need for the righteousness of Jesus Christ, thinking their own quite sufficient.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Tuesday
Mar072017

Yup, I've Felt Like That . . . You Probably Have Too . . .

An unfortunate "typo" surely ruined someone's Lenten bulletin . . .  It is currently making its way around the internet.

This unfortunate error demonstrates two things.  For one thing, church secretaries have great power and an awesome responsibility.  I'll bet the congregation which used this bulletin snickered throughout the entire service--even one intended to be sober and reflective.

The awkward typo also contains much truth.  There are indeed days when my own level of sanctification reaches lows which can only be described as "butt dust."  The very fact that I just posted this, proves as much.

The good news is that we can laugh at our foibles all the while taking comfort in a merciful Savior who loves us.

Monday
Mar062017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (March 6-12)

Sunday Morning, March 12:  We wrap up our series on Colossians, by considering Paul's exhortation to be in constant prayer (Colossians 4:2-18).  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We move to that section of the Heidelberg Catechism dealing with the sacraments (Lord's Day 25, Q & A 65-68).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, March 8 (7:30 p.m.):  We continue our series on personal evangelism entitled, "Telling the Truth in Love."  We are discussing those biblical categories necessary to engage in pre-evangelism.

Academy, Friday, March 19 (7:30 p.m.):  We will be viewing and discussing Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American MindOur text for this series will be Hollinger and Capper, The American Intellectual Tradition.  Be sure to get a used copy!  They are much cheaper!

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

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