Review - The Church of the Fundamentalists

Larry Oats prefaces his new book, The Church of the Fundamentalists, by noting “While much has been written on the histories of the fundamentalist and evangelical movement, the theological basis of that division has frequently been overlooked. The purpose of this book is to examine how the ecclesiologies of mid-twentieth century fundamentalists and evangelicals affected their views of ecclesiastical separation and how those views led individuals to establish, abandon, or modify their views of ecclesiastical separation.” In other words, the controversies swirling around the fundamentalist issue center on the question, “What is the church supposed to be?”

The book contains four chapters with an introduction and conclusion in its 176 pages. The first chapter surveys “Varieties of Ecclesiologies,” really a survey of the “primary historical views of the nature of the church.” (25) This background is necessary in order to understand the theology driving the fundamentalist-vs.-evangelical answers to this central question. Read more about Review - The Church of the Fundamentalists

Discipleship in the Wilderness: Helping Our Fellow Believers Live Out the Pursuits of Psalm 63 (Part 3)

From Faith Pulpit. Read Part 1: Seek God Earnestly, and Part 2: Reflect on God Continually.

Praise God Submissively

Our words and actions always give praise to someone or something. As we walk beside our brothers and sisters, we have the wonderful privilege of encouraging them to live in praise to God. As we speak to them about the glory of their God, we will encourage them to speak to Him and to others about His glorious nature and acts. As we help them consider how their words and actions express praise to the persons or objects of their trust and meditation, we will help them to consider their conduct and live for new reasons and in new ways, bringing praise to God. As we help them praise God in the midst of the changes that crisis and suffering call on them to make, we will assist them to reorganize their lives with the goal of bringing praise to God in the midst of the new opportunities and limitations. Read more about Discipleship in the Wilderness: Helping Our Fellow Believers Live Out the Pursuits of Psalm 63 (Part 3)

Theology Thursday - The Council at Antioch Weighs In (325 A.D.)

Bishop Alexander, of Alexandria

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions. We hope these short readings are a stimulus for personal reflection, a challenge to theological complacency, and an impetus for apologetic zeal “to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints,” (Jude 3).

About the Council at Antioch (325 A.D.)

The Council at Antioch was a regional synod held in, well … Antioch, probably in the early portion of 325 A.D. It was a local affair, in preparation for the great ecumenical Council of Nicaea which took place later that same year. Astonishingly, this council was completely unknown to history until a scholar discovered records of it in a Syriac codex in 1905. It was written from the President of the Synod to Alexander, of Thessalonica.1

The Letter from the Council to Alexander, of Thessalonica

The catholic church throughout the world resembles the parts of a body, in that it is one body even if it has diversely located places of assembly. It follows naturally that our love for you would lead us to inform you of what I and all our holy brothers with me have done, setting events in motion. This way you may be present with us in a united spirit, and speak together with us as you make rulings according to the common decisions and actions which we have taken according to church law. Read more about Theology Thursday - The Council at Antioch Weighs In (325 A.D.)

Discipleship in the Wilderness: Helping Our Fellow Believers Live Out the Pursuits of Psalm 63 (Part 2)

From Faith Pulpit. Read Part 1: Seek God Earnestly.

Reflect on God Continually

In the midst of this life’s wilderness, everyone thinks; in the arid regions of the wilderness, thoughts sometimes scream. In these times, we must learn what captivates the thoughts of our brothers and sisters. We must help them not only to give themselves to learning more about their God, but also to capturing their thoughts with the truth of God that they know and are learning.

Evaluating Meditation

In order to evaluate, once again, we must be loving, compassionate, and wise listeners. Words both reveal and betray our meditations. We speak out of the thoughts of our hearts. As we listen to our brothers and sisters, we must pay close attention to what they say and to what they do not say. We must listen for words that are in harmony with the actions we observe, and we must listen for words that are discordant with behavior. As we listen, we should consider the thinking of our fellow believers in at least three important areas: their views of God, their views of themselves, and their views of others. Read more about Discipleship in the Wilderness: Helping Our Fellow Believers Live Out the Pursuits of Psalm 63 (Part 2)

Discipleship in the Wilderness: Helping Our Fellow Believers Live Out the Pursuits of Psalm 63 (Part 1)

From Faith Pulpit, Winter 2016-2017. Used with permission.

In the July/August issue of The Baptist Bulletin, Dr. Jeff Newman, professor of Biblical Counseling at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, wrote an article titled “Dependence in the Wilderness.” In that article, available here, Dr. Newman explored Psalm 63 and its implications for growth during difficult circumstances. This Faith Pulpit article builds upon his previous work by applying the Biblical concepts to discipleship ministries. For a more thorough study of these concepts, you may purchase his most recent book, Dependence in the Wilderness (Regular Baptist Press, 2015).

This side of glory all of us will walk together with brothers and sisters who face arid regions of this life’s wilderness. In the eighth grade, Mary faces constant pressure from her unbelieving friends to turn her back on her faith. Now her friend, Sue, who in the past had encouraged Mary in her walk with the Lord, offers Mary a joint and scorns her when she refuses. Mary sits crying in your office, struggling to believe that God is truly a friend when He allows her other friends to forsake her. Read more about Discipleship in the Wilderness: Helping Our Fellow Believers Live Out the Pursuits of Psalm 63 (Part 1)

The Curious Case of Jesus and the Leper

The account of Jesus healing the leper appears in all three synoptic Gospels. It is a famous story. At first glance, it seems to have some bearing on Jesus’ divinity and, by extension, on the doctrine of the Trinity. It is particularly fascinating to see Mark’s account in parallel with Matthew and Luke.1 Here is the first portion of the story:

Did the Leper Worship Jesus as God?

Read more about The Curious Case of Jesus and the Leper

Modern Spiritualism Briefly Tested by Scripture

(About this series)

CHAPTER XI—MODERN SPIRITUALISM BRIEFLY TESTED BY SCRIPTURE*

BY ALGERNON. J. POLLOCK, WESTON-SUPER-MARE, ENGLAND

I. ORIGIN AND GROWTH

Modern Spiritualism claims as its birthday March 31, 1848, and the place of its birth Hydesville, Wayne County„ New York, U. S. A.; but it is in reality almost as old as the world’s history, and will go on to its close. Read more about Modern Spiritualism Briefly Tested by Scripture

Theology Thursday - Emperor Constantine on "Vain" & "Unimportant Matters"

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions. We hope these short readings are a stimulus for personal reflection, a challenge to theological complacency, and an impetus for apologetic zeal “to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints,” (Jude 3).

The Emperor Constantine being grieved at the Disturbance of the Churches, sends Hosius the Spaniard to Alexandria, exhorting the Bishop and Arius to Reconciliation and Unity.

WHEN the emperor was made acquainted with these disorders, he was very deeply grieved; and regarding the matter as a personal misfortune, immediately exerted himself to extinguish the conflagration which had been kindled, and sent a letter to Alexander and Arius by a trustworthy person named Hosius, who was bishop of Cordova, in Spain.

The emperor greatly loved this man and held him in the highest estimation. It will not be out of place to introduce here a portion of this letter, the whole of which is given in the life of Constantine by Eusebius.

Victor Constantine Maximum Augustus to Alexander and Arius

I am informed that your present controversy originated thus: Read more about Theology Thursday - Emperor Constantine on "Vain" & "Unimportant Matters"