The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology

From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical EschatologyDr. Fowler White and Dr. Keith Mathison join the Christ the Center panel to discuss eschatology and the varied millennial perspectives. Mathison’s new book From Age to Age is the focus of the discussion.

There are some interesting exchanges on recaptiulation, Preterism, optimistic amillennialism and pessimistic postmillenialism. Mathison points to the differences in how premillennailists look at Revelation 19 & 20 compared to how amillennialists do.

Though, personally, I’m in the premil camp, I found this discussion fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the consideration of prophecy requiring a look at the whole Bible, not just beginning with Revelation. I’m looking forward to reading Mathison’s book which examines prophecy as a move beginning in Genesis.

The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology >>>

Worship: Grudem Sys Theo

Worship is something every Christian should have a strong grasp of .  A great resource is Wayne Grudem’s class on worship, which is part of his Christian Essentials course, the textbook of which is his Systematic Theology book.

Grudem tackles a lot of questions and issues that surface whenever people discuss worship.  What constitutes true worship? Are not our lives to be worship? What guidelines should we use in defining our worship?

One important point that Grudem touches on is that worship should grow out of a life of worship.  If we aren’t living lives of worship during the week we will not be able to correctly switch on worship on Sunday.

Grudem on Worship mp3 >>>

Geerhardus Vos Double Header

Heads up: A Vos Spectacular.  Danny Olinger is interviewed by Christ the Center and Iron Sharpens Iron about this very influential character named Geerhardus Vos.   Olinger is the editor of a new book titled “Geerhardus Vos; An Anthology“.

First up, the boys at Christ the Center provide a first rate interview with Olinger so that not only will you come away with some knowledge about who Vos is, you will also have a healthy grasp of some tremendous theology that should frame our lives and outlook on living in this world.  Two heavy-weight doctrines emerge that were convictions of Vos.

The first is summed up in the phrase, “Eschatology before Soteriology”.  If we understand the fourfold state of humanity(pre-fall, fallen, redeemed, glorified,) Vos understood that Adam was not in his final state where he could not sin.  God had an eschatology for Adam before the fall.  Adam looked forward to a glorification.  Olinger says that if we don’t understand this, then we shouldn’t waste our time reading Vos, because this is crucial.

The second is that the biblical understanding of “practicality” is not the same as our human understanding of being “practical.”  Practicality in Scripture means that we are driven to communion with God, that he becomes our highest goal and our supreme inheritance that we look forward to.  If we understand that God is our inheritance, then we will not be sidetracked by seeking “higher purposes” that are fixed in this world which is passing away.  If God is our inheritance, then we will have no trouble spending our lives for God’s Kingdom, and at that point we truly become salt and light in the world.

One other interesting note is that Vos taught that Redemption and Revelation are bound up together.  If God had not intended to redeem humanity then there would have been no need for Scripture.

This is one interview that will truly enlarge your horizons to where Scripture is.

Geerhardus Vos at CTC >>>

Chris Arnzen on the Iron Sharpens Iron radio program asks Olinger  why Vos has been labeled as “The Father of Biblical Theology”?   Olinger explains how the new field of Biblical theology which began in the 18oo’s sought to drive a wedge between itself and systematic theology.  But Vos, as a biblical theologian, stood in the gap and fought for the legitimacy of both forms of theology.

Chris also asks how Princeton deteriorated into the unbiblical muddle it’s in today.  Olinger explains how Vos and B. B. Warfield were the best of friends, and how Warfield even died of a heart attack in Vos’ front yard.  There was an election for a president near the end of Warfield’s life, and Warfield lost by a slim margin to a Baltimore minister named Stevens.  Stevens sought to broaden Princeton into something more than a seminary, and this began the decline.  Warfield attended the first faculty meeting after Stevens was elected, and was so disgusted with him that he never attended another faculty meeting.  Machen took over Warfield’s position after his death and immediately began to attack Stevens. Olinger relates a fascinating history of how Machen and Vos fought a loosing battle with liberalism that eventually destroyed the glory of Princeton.

Olinger also talks about how doctrine and life goes together, and how Vos opposed the ideology that “doctrine divides but practice unites”.

These two interviews with Olinger are a joy to listen to and will enlarge your understanding of theology and recent church history.

Chris Arnzen inteviews Danny Olinger >>>

Some of the books referred to in these interviews (links to

Grace & Glory, by Vos
Pauline Eschatology, by Vos
The Eschatology of the Old Testament, by Vos & Dennison
Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation, by Vos and Gaffin

The Promise of the Future, by Cornelis Venema
James, by Dan McCartney

Collections: Dick Lucas

Dick Lucas, pastor of St. Helens Bishopgate Church in London, is a marvelous British preacher who brings sound biblical exposition and direct, no-nonsense application to the pulpit.  He never makes apologies for the Bible or his exhortation to his people.  God’s Word is God’s Word, and that’s all there is to it.  He also has a high view of preaching.  In the middle of one sermon someone’s mobile phone went off very briefly and Dick simply said in a dry, stern manner, “Turn it off, I don’t want to hear it.”  In an address about the authority of preaching he said,

“The pew cannot control the pulpit. We cannot deliver ‘demand led’ preaching because no one demands the Gospel.”

Dick Lucas is also one of the founders of the Proclamation Trust whose purpose is to promote sound expository preaching.

Dick has also been heard to say,

“I’m not going to tell you the page number. The Bible is the most important book in the world, and if you don’t know your way round it, then you should.”

(Thanks to John H. for that quote).

9 Marks 2002 Interview >>>

St. Helens >>>

Dick Lucas at Simeon Trust  >>>

Dick Lucas at Monergism >>>

Sinclair Ferguson on the Puritans

Sinclair Ferguson delivered this lecture at the dedication to the opening of the Puritan Resource Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Ferguson has spent his life drinking from Puritan writings, and this message overflows with valuable observations that help us today.

The difference between a Puritan church and an evangelical, is that if you would ask the average evangelical how they would characterize their church they would say that we preach the Word of God from the pulpit. But for the Puritan, that doesn’t go far enough. The Puritan would demand that preaching would give a platform for the Word of God to go into the hearts and lives of the people. “There is a crying need for clear, discriminating, fundamental, simple yet profound, heart-searching, heart-warming, heart-illuminating preaching. What we don’t need today are more famous preachers. What we need today are more godly, educated, resident preachers.”

Further, Ferguson observes that what drove the Puritans was the glory of a triune God, and they work that out in the life of the believer. He also says that we can be so absorbed in our own experience, pursuing our own godliness so that we are frustrated in that pursuit because we have ignored the One who gives us godliness.

Fascinating lecture.

Sinclair Ferguson on the Puritans >>>

The Prodigal God: Tim Keller

The Parable of the Prodigal Son has been a popular subject of books of late.  Both John MacArthur and Tim Keller have tackled this parable in their own fashion and both produced stellar works, each tremendously grand in their own rights.

Keller takes some effective cues from Augustine by looking at the two sons as engaged in idolatry, and helpfully builds the categories of the younger son idolatry of immorality and the older son idolatry of self-righteousness.  Both are hard to identify.  But when compared to each other in light of the father’s conduct clarity is found.

Sonship is a big theme in Keller’s message, and it is one of the most memorable aspects of this series.  In the hands of good preachers, this parable can be a very power picture of the gospel.  The audio of the original sermons delivered at Redeemer Presbyterian Church are available.

Get the book The Prodigal God at >>>

The Prodigal God >>>

Psalms Project

Union University Chapel has begun a series of guest chapel lectures to focus on the Psalms.

Ray Ortlundt kicked off the series with a very thoughtful and impassioned look at Psalm 1. I really enjoy Ortlundt’s preaching, and this one was a real treat. One great quote (paraphrase) to whet your taste buds, “What we delight in will shape our eternity.”

Ray Ortlundt: Psalm 1 – The Word and Worship>>>

Craig Blaising looks at how the Psalms were used in the early church as a part of the worship.

Craig Blaising: The Psalms in Early Christian Worship >>>

John Witvliet takes a fresh, and very stirring, look at the Psalms as a guide to exercise our interaction with God.  He makes a special point for worship leaders not to get too hung up on style, but on content.  Our musical worship should give us voice to say things to God that we don’t normally say.

John Witvliet: A Gymnasium for the Soul >>>

Puritan Theology

James O’Brien is pastor of Reedy River Presbyterian Church and an avid reader of the Puritans. He joins the Christ The Center team to talk about the Puritans and how we should read them. This is another one of those discussions where you will want pen and paper in hand to write down authors (many I’ve never heard of before), titles, websites and addresses. The Puritans were certainly a unique movement in the history of the church, and they have left an overwhelming wealth of material that we can benefit from. Discussions like this help one to navigate the Puritan sea.

Some of the discussion tackles the difficult aspect of some Puritan writing which often leaves true Christians in doubt of their salvation. O’Brien argues that much of this must be read with the audience in view, which was culturally religious and culturally pious, lacking true conversion.

Google Books and carry a wealth of these Puritan books in digitized form, and they have both been added to the links on the Faith By Hearing site if you wish to check them out.

Sony PRS-700BC Reader Digital Book

The Sony e-Reader would be a great tool for Puritan lovers as Google Books has recently made a deal with Sony to open up their archives of 600,000 books to the Sony e-Reader, and Google will soon have 1.5 million titles available. Kindle currently has under 300,000 titles. The difference is that Kindle carries newer books. Google’s titles are all old, public domain works, which is perfect for Church History and theology lovers. With Google Books you could have hundreds of Puritan books for your e-Reader, which has created the same easy-on-the-eyes screen that Amazon Kindle has. And the new Sony PRS-700 has touchscreen technology.

Puritan Theology >>>