Category Archives: Confessionalism

The Presbyterian Narrative

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If Ref21 had commboxes with their posts, I could simply make this point (or set of points) in response to Rick Phillips over there. But I guess ACE stands for Anti-Commbox Evangelicals. At the risk of offending Bill McClay (as if he reads OL) who wrote a very fine piece on the “American narrative,” the… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, Piety with Excitement, Piety without Exuberance | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 68 Responses

An Easy Way to tell a New Calvinist from an Old Calvinist — Say Lutheranism!

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This is inspired by R. Phillips’ post on why Old Calvinists should be encouraged by, even rejoice over, New Calvinism. The word inspired is key because inspiration does not come easily to Old Calvinists unless we are talking the doctrine of Scripture. Temperamentally, we tend to be phlegmatic souls who see almost nothing new under… Read More→

Also posted in Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, Piety with Excitement, Reformed Protestantism | Tagged , , | 125 Responses

The Book for which New Calvinists Have Been Waiting

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Recovering Mother Kirk was at one time selling for upwards of $200 at some used book outlets, much more a function of economics than of talent (Baker pulled the plug sooner than markets became saturated). Now it is back in print, thanks to the folks at Wipf & Stock. Here is a sample that may… Read More→

Also posted in Shameless Selves Promotion, Shock and Awe | Tagged , , , | 24 Responses

What If We Are In Communion with Celebrity Pastors?

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Carl Trueman takes stock of the celebrity pastor phenomenon and calls on the revived Presbyterians to spend some of their leadership capital (is Tim Keller paying attention?): But here is the rub: If there are people out there who still believe that there is such a thing as reformed evangelicalism as a trans-denominational movement, if… Read More→

Also posted in Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, Evangelicalism | Tagged , , | 61 Responses

Golden Oldie (part three)

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From Make War No More?: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of J. Gresham Machen’s Warrior Children J. Gresham Machen may not be the gold standard for twentieth-century Reformed orthodoxy but he does stand out not only in every account of American Presbyterianism but in most accounts of religion in United States as arguably the most… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, J. Gresham Machen, Orthodox Presbyterian Church | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Responses

Golden Oldie (part two)

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An excerpt from “‘Reformed’ or ‘Revived’: Why Words Matter”, Modern Reformation (July/August 1998): Perhaps a better way of showing these differences is to contrast the words “revive” and “reform.” These words connote the same difference already noted between Tennent and the Second Helvetic Confession. The word, “revive,” suggests an effort to recover genuine spiritual existence… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, Piety with Excitement, Piety without Exuberance, Reformed Protestantism | Tagged | 11 Responses

Why the “Calvinist” Resurgence is Troubling

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Mark Dever has tried to account for the prominence recently of Calvinism among Baptists and independents. Coming in at #6 out of 10 influences is the Presbyterian Church in America: Born out of theological controversy in 1973, this denomination’s official doctrinal standard is a revision of the Westminster Confession of Faith—a document “so associated with… Read More→

Also posted in Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, New World Presbyterianism | Tagged , , , , , | 42 Responses

First Baptists, Now Reformed Charismatics?

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Not if John MacArthur has anything to say about it. I read at various blogs that the California pastor recently sponsored a conference, Strange Fire, in which he and other speakers took aim at charismatics. MacArthur affirms, so I’m told, cessationism. For the life of me I don’t understand why Protestants outside churches that confess… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, Reformed Protestantism | Tagged , , , , , | 210 Responses

The Secular Litmus Test

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Contemporary conservatism — religious, political, cultural — is defined at least in part by opposition to secularism. Jerry Falwell and Francis Schaeffer scored early and often when throwing around the phrase secular humanism, for instance. Meanwhile, one of the complaints (or worse) about 2K is that it tolerates — even welcomes — a secular world.… Read More→

Also posted in Reformed Protestantism | Tagged , , | 8 Responses

Is Infant Baptism (or the Mass) a Life-Style Choice?

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George Weigel comments on the anniversary of the Edict of Milan (313). I agree with this (though leveling the dangers of coercion to Protestants and Roman Catholics when Inquisitions were a Roman Catholic reality until 1870 is a bit much): The immediate effects of the Constantinian settlement, both good and ill, were limned with customary… Read More→

Also posted in Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, Christ and culture | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Responses