Reading with an accountability partner is an excellent means to keep you on track. If you miss a day, do not stop and wait for the next January 1 st to roll around. Take up the next day and begin again to search the Scriptures. May be a year of the Bible in your life by which you are left in more awe of the God who creates, redeems, sustains, and keeps! Mark Dever organized this listing that covers the early church, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Sibbes, Spurgeon, and others! As Zack shows, this is a very intense and ambitious reading plan.
I would not recommend someone do this on their own I have tried!! Not only is this another means of accountability but this will provide excellent opportunities to engage and learn with others regarding what you are reading. Furthermore, you might be prone to read only one person or era in church history.
This is an excellent way to become more familiar with figures from each epoch of church history. What a goldmine! The Puritans can be difficult to read at times but it is profitable to the soul. Why not form a group in your church that is dedicated to reading one of these books a month and discussing it? You will find your life enriched and solid wisdom given to pass on to others! While I am a history nerd, I realize that not everyone else cares for history like me.
Still, I would argue that we suffer greatly when we fail to know history and live as if time began with us. One of the best means to acquaint yourself with history is by reading biographies. These volumes are manageable to read. While these are not exhaustive or even typical biographies, this collection of books will introduce you to some of the heroes of the faith showing how their lives still speak to us today. If any one person strikes up your interest more, there are many resources cited in the book that will guide you in further reading.
I highly recommend these books! Above all, read in ! You will be amazed at how much you can cover and learn if you set 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour each day to read. In you reading, heed the words of C. When it comes to the event called preaching, there might not be anything more exhilarating, more puzzling, more exhaustive, more challenging, and more rewarding then the man standing behind the sacred desk expounding the Word of God. Truly, preaching is strange because it an event that requires human discipline and preparation, while at the same time can only accomplish good by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
As those who are commissioned to preach the Word of God, there can be no substitute for diligent study and preparation. Our time must be well-spent in working through the text, understanding the passage in the context of the redemptive narrative of the Bible, as well as gleaning the doctrines from the text through the lens of systematic, biblical, and historical theology. Meditating upon the text and chewing on the text are essential for us as we think about the congregation, we will be feeding the Word to.
None of this can be neglected. Yet, discipline in the study is not only a process of reading, thinking, and writing. I will confess, more times than I care to admit, that my time in the study was an exercise in writing a sermon rather than seeking to be personally fed and changed. In our time in the study, we must come desiring first to be changed and to be conformed into the image of Christ. It is not enough for me to know what my people need to hear from the text.
I need to hear from the text. I need the conviction of the Word to pierce my own heart. Preaching is a public act of worship. How dangerous it can be for us to substitute that public act for private adoration, worship, and sanctification. Let us commit to pray for ourselves and for other ministers of the Word that we not neglect personal holiness for the public platform that comes with preaching. No matter how far along the Christian way we travel, our need of these things will never diminish.
As has often been said, there are no shortcuts to holiness. Paul was a model theologian-preacher. The apostle faithfully expounded the Word, connecting Christ to the themes of the OT, and rightly setting forth the word of truth. Yet, as the apostle argues in 1 Corinthians , the power lies not in the preacher but the Holy Spirit.
For all of our preparation and study, there can be no substitute for our reliance upon the Spirit of God. Ezekiel 37 summons us to join with Ezekiel in understanding that the breath of God is what brings life to the valley of dry bones. There is no more humbling truth for the preacher to know and live by then that his role as a herald means that he is not the main attraction.
When the preacher begins to think he is the star of a production, then he has forgotten all he claims to be. The preacher is the messenger sent forth to declare the glories of God and the mighty power of the kingdom. As we step into the pulpit, realizing how we are totally dependent upon the Spirit of God brings a peace and rest to our souls. This does not give space for laziness in the time of preparation. However, it will cause us to be aware that the people need not hear from me but from the God of heaven.
This is why we need Him during our time in private study and prayer. May God help us all to realize how desperately we need the Spirit as we preach! What about those Sundays when I step out of the pulpit and feel like a failure? I imagine that all preachers feel this way at some time.
Personally, the Lord has blessed me where I preached and everything seemed to go almost perfectly. When I stepped out of the pulpit, I felt like Whitefield or Spurgeon, like I just hit a grand-slam, and any other image you can think of from sports. Not every Sunday feels that way. What do we do then? Some Sundays we can feel like hypocrites because we know that we are sinners and fall short in so many areas.
Brother preachers, you are not supermen. Each time we preach, we are involved in a spiritual battle. As I was recently reminded, preaching is about us being faithful and not about attaining a feeling. Preaching is no easy task. Sometimes the reward comes a time after we are finished preaching that sermon. Regardless of where Christ has put you, remember that you are His herald. Preaching is strange. Just as soon as you think you have figured it out, you receive a divine reminder that you really have not.
That sermon you think you fell flat on your face in the pulpit is the one that God uses to change a life. Is it because of the preacher? No, it is because of the Spirit of God who happens to use clay pots like you and me. Let us rejoice in that as Sunday approaches! May our preaching be that which glorifies God! For some people, the term represents a theology and a people who are cold, selfish, eggheads, academics, not practical, and isolated.
The caricature of Calvinism oozes forth from many people as if being a Calvinist and being a leper were synonymous with one another. As someone who gladly embraces the term with qualifiers as a Baptist , along with unashamedly declaring the doctrines of grace from the pulpit, it raises a concern that perhaps our zeal apart from love contributes to the scarecrow straw-man constructed by those who oppose Calvinism. A Calvinist must be a man or woman who is a Calvinist all-around. This is play on C. I would suggest a few elements that are needed for us to be all-around Calvinists.
Some might get the impression fairly and unfairly that to be a Calvinist requires an oath to reject any type of feelings and emotions in regards to the Christian faith. If one reads just a few Puritan works, the conclusion will be made that this is not true. As I read The Valley of Vision which you should too prayers, my heart stirs within me considering the greatness of our God and His grace manifest in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Calvinism fuels true experiential religion built upon the Word of God.
He must ask himself, Has the Holy Spirit brought be me to this profound sense of God that has worked in me at least in some measure the grace of humility. The doctrines of grace are the marrow for experiential religion for they are anchored to the text of the Bible, beholding the majesty of God, humbling our prideful spirits, and taking us upward to behold the Lamb of God.
Is your Calvinism causing you to be a man or woman of biblical, experiential religion? May God help us if our Calvinism causes us to be cold and indifferent! Such an experience would indict us of not truly knowing the doctrines of grace. Biblical and historic Calvinism provides a guide for how to view all of life.
In fact, this is one of the great problems of the day. A ritualistic morality is a poor and cheap substitute for biblical Christianity. The great Princeton theologian B. Warfield defined a Calvinist in the following way:. He who believes in God without reserve and is determined that God shall be God to him in all his thinking, feeling and willing — in the entire compass of his life activities, intellectual, moral, and spiritual — throughout all his individual social and religious relations, is, by force of that strictest of all logic which presides over the outworking of principles into thought and life, by the very necessity of the case, a Calvinist.
Warfield expands the playing field when it comes to Calvinism as being more than a theological acrostic. Theology can never be impractical due to the fact that doctrine fuels our lives. Each day decisions are made based upon a worldview, a grid for life. Calvinism will influence how you parent, how you relate to your spouse, the way you view your job, politics, and so forth. If Calvinism only comes into play when TULIP is spoken of, then it is not Calvinism but a sort of pragmatism that reigns in the heart and mind of an individual. Calvinism is the consistent endeavor to acknowledge the Creator as the Lord, working all things after the counsel of his will.
Calvinism, in other words, is the theology of the Bible viewed from the perspective of the Bible — the God-centered outlook which sees the Creator as the source, and means, and end, of everything that is, both in nature and in grace. Calvinism is thus theism belief in God as the ground of all things , religion dependence on God as the giver of all things , and evangelicalism trust in God through Christ for all things , all in their purest and most highly developed form. The five points assert no more than God is sovereign in saving the individual, but Calvinism, as such, is concerned with the much broader assertion that he is sovereign everywhere.
Confessing a theology known as the doctrines of grace must impact us in being gracious to others. Sometimes I cringe reading Twitter and seeing how men who I am persuaded are true believers, who call themselves Calvinists, and yet speak to each other in ways that lack any type of grace and charity. Keyboard Calvinism is as dangerous as pragmatism.
When one gets a true sense of the grace that God has shown, how can that not humble us and guide us in our dealings with others? One of the great concerns I have is that many Facebook and Twitter Calvinists are pragmatists when it comes to their ecclesiology. If you choose where you attend church and are a member at based on pragmatic values, then it does not matter how well you can articulate the doctrines of unconditional election and irresistible grace.
One of the greatest changes in my life when I came to understand the doctrines of grace involved how I viewed the local church. If you want to destroy the caricature of cold Calvinism, band together with like-minded believers. The false dichotomy that states being gracious and compassionate means the absence of convictions and beliefs must be rejected.
Our Lord is all-gracious and compassionate yet He is dogmatic and narrow as He declares that He alone is the way, the truth, and the life. Calvinism must be compassionate and convictional. Our theology does matter. Our beliefs do matter. Further reformation is needed today when it comes to the regulative principle of worship, the perpetuity of the moral law of God, confessionalism, and covenant theology. However, a person can be fervently committed to the 2 nd London Baptist Confession of Faith without being obnoxious about it.
In my opinion, no one combined the doctrinal fidelity of Calvinism with experiential religion, powerful evangelism, compassionate ministry, and selfless service like C. Yet, Spurgeon was no ecumenical in the sense of watering down doctrine and theological railing. Beliefs do matter.
Practice does matter. They go hand-in-hand. Calvinism must be convictional and compassionate. I urge you to explore ministries like Ligonier Ministries, Reformation21 of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Founders Ministries, and Banner of Truth as examples of how Calvinism serves for all of life. I will close with a word from Mr. A knowledge of doctrine will tend very much to confirm your faith. Put the doctrines together. Get real, theological knowledge founded upon the infallible Word. Martin, The Practical Implications of Calvinism.
Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, , One year ago, we set out to explore a book heralded as one of the modern Christian classics. Why should you read this book either for the first time or tenth time? There are many more reasons why you should read J. What does it mean to know God? How would you answer that? Packer, Knowing God.
One of the greatest discoveries for me in learning about Reformed Theology came in discovering the concept of the ordinary means of grace. What exactly is that all about? The ordinary means of grace are a part of the warmth and joy that is found in Reformed Theology. Wrestling with the attributes of God, sovereign election, particular redemption, and covenant theology can be quite hard.
Those deep theological matters cannot be reduced to a bumper-sticker with a catchy phrase or hashtag. The ordinary means of grace present another aspect of Reformed Theology: finding joy in that which is simple. Faith is ordinarily produced by the ministry of the Word. Other ordinary means of grace that can be identified, especially in a corporate worship gathering, are singing and fellowship. The beauty and richness of the ordinary means of grace comes shining forth when we consider how God uses the ordinary to bless us in an extraordinary way.
Are we comprehending just how nourishing the proclamation of the Word is when the Bible is read, explained, and applied to our hearts? However, as I have learned more, I have come to realize not just the historic Baptist view of the Supper as both a memorial and spiritual nourishment but that the Scriptures teach this as well. As one might deduce, the ordinary means of grace are connected to the fellowship and assembly of the local church. How magnificent is our Lord to remind us through these means of how we are a covenant people together in need of encouragement, strength, and reminders of who we are in Christ.
I often tell people that if you believe Reformed Theology is found only in T-U-L-I-P then you are missing out on what the real meaning of doctrines of grace is. Reformed theology changes your outlook on everything. It changed my outlook on preaching as I come to more and more find rest and solace in the sovereignty of the Spirit in the Word. Rather, meditate upon the extraordinary power of God unleashed in the ordinary means of grace!
The notion of climbing a ladder, seeking the maximum achievement in your profession, and doing what you can to promote yourself expresses the common belief, practice, and mindset in American culture when it comes to your career. Certainly, one should not settle for mediocrity but the drive to succeed and be known among your peers becomes one of the dominate themes in many lives.
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None of us in ministry should ever think we are immune to such overtures. As soon as you think that you are not susceptible to the bright lights and fame of ministry, you best be aware that you are in the prime spot to fall into the trap. As Paul finishes his first letter to Timothy, the apostle makes a profound statement. In this section of 1 Timothy, Paul provides a connection between false teachers and motivations of greed consuming their lives.
Yet, if the only application or implication we draw from this text deal with Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and that sordid band of false prophets, then we are neglecting a needful truth. Today, with social media, blogging, podcasts, etc. What is the Spirit of God saying to those of us in ministry?
What does it matter if we are called to minister in obscurity? I do not write these things from an ivory tower as someone who keeps this truth perfectly. I can confess that over the last few months, the Lord has taught me and shown me that pride had gripped my heart more than I realized. The temptation is real to not be content with what the Lord has called me to. As some dear brothers came around me, I began to see more and more how ego-driven I had become. This had led to lapses and shortcomings in private devotion and holiness as time in the Word and prayer diminished at times.
When the feelings of insecurity would grow in my life, I had nothing to fall back on except my own whims and wisdom. All the while I might hear more compliments from people on my sermons and writings, I was hearing applause for me. My mind has gone back over and over the last two months to a statement I heard Dr. Steven J. He made the statement that the Last Day will reveal many faithful pastors who were off the main highways and plodding along in a Nazareth. I want that to be my testimony. We are off the beaten path. Despite my failures and shortcomings, the Lord continues to grow us in love for Christ and one another, as well as to bring new people and families into our midst.
The work we are doing is spectacular because it is driven by the Word of God seeking the Glory of God. The King calls me to be the pastor-theologian in this context, to care for the souls of this flock, and to be ready to give an account for them. This is more than enough to send me to my knees and keep my head in the book ploughing forward. I highly recommend this publishing house for they offer a treasure trove of wealth when it comes to Particular Baptist theology and history.
In the chapter on Benjamin Francis, Dr. Michael A. Haykin provides a quote from British Baptist historian Raymond Brown concerning some of the British Particular Baptist pastors of the time. These words gripped my heart as to what really matters:.
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There is nothing here that gives room to concern for prestige, platform, or publicity. May to God we learn from and take such a heritage as our own! I am still learning, still growing, and still fighting. I do not write these words as if to say I have arrived. The allurement is still real. Pray for me that I would keep my head down and be busy for the Master regardless of who knows about it. Let us be content in His calling for us satisfied in the One who has called us.
Haykin, ed. Certainly Philemon 3 is not the only verse in the Pauline epistles that contain a variation of that statement. Since this is a familiar greeting, one can easily over look the profound significance of what Paul is saying. Whether a person has been a believer for one year or for 25 years, the blessing of divine grace and peace should never get old to them. Far too often in my own life, I must confess that I can read a verse like Philemon 3 and move on to what I might think is more exciting, challenging, or profound. This truth is deep enough, profound enough, and exciting enough to meditate upon!
Later in this epistle, Paul asks Philemon to show grace to Onesimus; to forgive this runaway slave who stole from his master. Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon with this letter urging Philemon to receive Onesimus back as a brother in Christ. Why is Paul stressing this? In the fast-paced life that most of us are engaged in, we must intentionally stop and consider what God has shown us in salvation. The thrice holy God shows us grace by forgiving our sins, making peace with sinful rebels which is what we are , and all of this is due to the Son of God bearing the wrath of God on behalf of His people.
Ephesians paints a bleak picture of our natural condition. Spiritually dead in our sins and trespasses, in bondage to the corrupt world system of evil run by Satan, walking spiritual zombies with a passion to only satisfy our wicked desires: this is the condition of all of humanity before God. This holy God shows grace and mercy to wretched sinners. This wonderful grace manifests itself at the cross. The only way in which any sinner knows forgiveness is by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Do you see why Paul stresses on the grace that God shows to sinners? How can we say there is something more profound than that my sins have been forgiven, judged on Christ, and the perfect righteousness of Christ clothes me? Just as Philemon needed to remember to show grace to another due to the grace shown to him, we stand in need of such exhortations. How often are we tempted to not show grace to another because of the way we feel slighted or mistreated? Beloved, if you and I know grace from Almighty God, there is no room for us to ever withhold grace.
If we confess the doctrines of grace expounded upon in documents such as the London Baptist Confession of Faith and the Westminster Confession of Faith, then let us not be intellectual Calvinists but practical Calvinists as well. This peace is the peace that Philemon now enjoys with God. Romans describes justification by faith alone in Christ alone producing peace with God. Jesus Christ died for enemies of God. Fallen sinners are at enmity with God. The unconverted hate God for His holiness and sovereignty, hate Christ since He perfectly kept the Law of God as the God-man being the standard of righteousness by which all are judged, and hate the Spirit for convicting the world of sin.
Christ dies for the ungodly! Those who were standing under the wrath of God are completely transformed! Peace with God comes from God seeing not my sin and wretchedness but the righteousness of Christ. I have been radically changed going from a warring sinner in a futile, vain quest against the King to now being adopted by the King, clothed by the King, and seated at the table of the King! Grace to you and peace! What marvelous tidings of great joy these are! Is it any wonder Paul puts this in the greetings of his letters?
Finally, notice that Paul says this grace and peace come from both the Father and the Son. Paul declares the divine equality and unity within the Trinity. Our salvation is rooted in the covenant of redemption whereby the Father, Son, and Spirit in complete harmony accomplish the salvation of a people for the glory of God.
If you are struggling in a dark night of the soul, brother or sister, remember that the Trinity showed you and continues to show you grace and peace. There is a covenant surety attached to your salvation that nothing of hell can null and void. If you are reading this and do not know this grace and peace, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. You cannot earn or merit this grace and peace.
It is wrought by the Spirit, accomplished by the Son, and given by the Father! Renounce yourself and rest in Christ who beckons to you to come and know Him! Allen S. This book is written by a Baptist pastor form Arkansas as a primer to guide a reader into understanding biblically how salvation actually works.
Nelson does not seek to present a technical soteriological work for the academic scholar. As a Baptist pastor in Mississippi, I found myself either highlighting or nodding in agreement as I read each page. The Bible Belt contains many people who say they are saved, believe the gospel, yet they do not really have a biblical understanding of the gospel and salvation. This has been transferred into how the gospel is presented in many churches in the South.
Allen rightly hits on the theme of how a misguided view of the gospel causes pastors, ministers, churches, and individuals to believe they must either water down the gospel or make the gospel more attractive. As you read this book, it reads like a doctrinal exposition as Nelson moves from why we need to be saved, why we cannot save ourselves, why God must be the one who saves, what I must to do repent and believe to be saved, and how I live now that I am saved. Nelson writes in a way you can feel the emotion that would come forth from the preacher addressing the congregation.
This book contains in the body or the footnotes many Scripture references. Allen Nelson focuses in on the texts with precision explaining them in context. He does not isolate one verse out of context but rather makes the case with many passages to explain the great doctrines of the faith that are a part of the gospel message. I urge anyone reading to consider the arguments presented by Nelson of how antithetical to the sovereign grace and sufficiency of the gospel these recent devices are.
While Nelson deals with these issues straight-forward, he does so lovingly and with a heart for true conversions to take place. Nelson deals with systematic theology, historic theology, the doctrines of grace, and even some covenant theology all the while breaking it down for laymen and laywomen as well as the unconverted in a digestible fashion.
Nelson unpacks the rich truths concerning regeneration, effectual grace, and sovereign choice with references to the Scriptures and historic Baptist confessions of faith. This book is a must for pastors to use in teaching the people Soteriology in a manner in which they will be able to comprehend systematic theology when it comes to how a dead sinner is made into a living saint. There were only two negatives to me with this publication. First, there is no Scripture index in the back. Allen provides many Scripture references in the footnotes of each chapter.
However, I think it would have been helpful to have a full index in the back. Second, along with the Scripture index, a resource page of books Allen would recommend in regards to different subjects like conversion, regeneration, church membership, etc. Bottom line: you need to buy this book for yourself, church family, discipleship training, small group, and unconverted friends and family.
I cannot strongly endorse this book enough especially if you are living and laboring in the context of cultural Christianity. On June 8, , I preached an overview sermon on the book of Matthew to launch our series of preaching through this book. After sermons, this past Sunday, April 29, , marked the completion of that journey. There are many wonderful lessons I learned over the course of preaching this first Gospel in the New Testament. Consider these reflections with me:. I want to be clear that just because it took me nearly 4 years to preach through Matthew does not mean that I would say that a book series must be multiple years.
Some churches will not be accustomed to a lengthy series and some pastors might not feel comfortable going that slow through a book.
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The pastor must learn his congregation. There is no way that I could have preached Matthew the way I have were it not for the support, patience, and endurance of the flock I pastor. Their hunger for expositional preaching deepened the further we journeyed into this book. I am so thankful for the way in which I saw their appetite for the Word developed.
Teaching Catechism: What is Catechism?
In days of unbelievable turmoil politically and culturally, the church must fasten itself closer to the reality of who our King is. Paraphrasing John Piper, kings and presidents will be dust and forgotten in eternity while King Jesus rules and reigns. Let us not be hopeless! He is ever with us! All authority is given to Him and He sends us with His authority to our neighborhoods and to the nations! He is building His kingdom and He will accomplish His purpose. We are New Covenant citizens! Matthew 2 teaches us how a passage like Hosea finds fulfillment in Christ for Christ is the True Israel.
Matthew cites or alludes to numerous OT passages teaching the early church and us that we read the OT with Christ always in mind and the gospel of redemption to be the tapestry with different threads making it up. Matthew 8 tells the story of the Roman centurion who comes to Jesus. The Great Commission closes Matthew with the gospel to be carried out to every corner. Much more could be said but I encourage you to read Matthew! Read it in one setting and be prepared to be amazed by King Jesus!
Fellow pastors, I exhort you to preach through this book soon! You will find yourself amazed by the precious jewels that you uncover week after week! The pulpit ministry that upholds and follows biblical exposition heeds these words of Paul. Theologically-rich, biblically based hymns are also a means by which the congregation is taught sound doctrine. Each of these is rooted in the Scripture: 1. But Baptists are not anti-creedalists. While it is true that Baptists rejected creeds as a litmus test for citizenship, since Baptists abhor a state church, Baptists never disowned creeds as though they had no importance in the life of the church.
Both Particular and General Baptists affirmed the use of creeds. In The Orthodox Creed , the General Baptists affirm and encourage Baptists to learn and teach the aforementioned creeds. The early Southern Baptist theologian, B. Why should Baptist churches use the historic, ecumenical, orthodox creeds in corporate worship? These creeds provide biblically faithful and understandable defenses and explanations of the Trinity, the hypostatic union of Christ, and other central tenets of the Christian faith.
How should Baptist churches use these creeds in corporate worship? Reciting the creeds together will remind the congregation of the essential doctrine that unites them, but it will also remind them of the link they have with those who have gone before us in the Christian pilgrimage. Founders Ministries has many excellent resources on confessions of faith. The public reading of confessions of faith is of practical use in corporate worship. Either the leader behind the pulpit or the entire congregation may read an article or paragraph from one of the historic Baptist confessions during congregational worship to teach the church sound doctrine and to express praise and worship to God for such wonderful truths.
The New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith and the Abstract of Principles are excellent confessions that can be read systematically by article. The London Baptist Confession of Faith often explains its doctrines in longer form and thus might require the reading of multiple paragraphs and it could take a little longer. In any case, reading sound confessions in worship and explaining them teaches the church sound doctrine. Additionally, as a pastor preaches through a book of the Bible, he might come upon a theological truth that is particularly well-articulated in a confession of faith, and he could use a confessional definition in his sermon.
Utilizing confessions of faith contributes to the sound doctrine being taught to the people. This will also equip them to explaining the faith to others. In , C. Spurgeon gave an explanation as to why the was reprinted and the importance of confessions:. This little volume is not issued as an authoritative rule, or code of faith, whereby ye are to be fettered, but as an assistance to you in controversy, a confirmation in faith, and a means of edification in righteousness. Here the younger members of our church will have a body of divinity in small compass, and by means of the scriptural proofs, will be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them.
Some in Baptist life think that only Roman Catholics use catechisms. But that notion reveals a lack of knowledge about Protestantism in general and Baptist history in particular. Baptists employed catechisms from the very beginning. In Southern Baptist life of the 19th century, both James P. Boyce and John A. Broadus wrote catechisms to teach Baptists sound doctrine. Spurgeon modified The Baptist Catechism and also produced a catechism for his church. Parents should use catechisms regularly in the home as a tool for training up their children in the Lord.
Catechisms are also great tools to be used in corporate worship.
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For example, the leader could ask the congregation a catechism question, and the congregation could read the answer from the worship guide, which has the Scripture references printed there as well. Catechisms are wonderful tools of memorization. A case might be made that Baptist young people are unable to defend their faith when it comes under assault, partly because Baptists have neglected catechisms over the past century.
It is nothing short of heartbreaking that men and women sitting in Baptist churches for 50 years are unable to explain in a simple way the tenets of the biblical faith. Once again, consider the counsel of C. In matters of doctrine, you will find that orthodox congregations frequently change to heterodoxy in the course of thirty to forty years, and it is because too often there has been no catechizing of the children in the essential doctrines of the Gospel.
For my part, I am more and more persuaded that the study of a good Scriptural catechism is of infinite value to our children. That is a tragedy because the doctrine of the covenant is one of unifying themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Church membership is covenantal. In a time when membership has become meaningless and even non-existent in many Baptist churches, I submit that church covenants need to be restored and used. Does it mean anything to be a member of your church? Baptists historically have used covenants to teach and strengthen the covenantal bonds among members in a local church.
Timothy George describes the early Baptist covenants this way:. Common themes which resound through the various church covenants. Communion has direct links to church membership and church disciple. A congregation that reads the covenant together beautifully reminds everyone of the sacred vows that they have taken to Christ and of the oaths they have made to each other. Greek-English Lexicon, 9th Ed. Liddell, et. Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament, by E. Gresham Machen. Puritan Daily Devotional Chronicles, by I.
Clark A Cloud of Witnesses, by J. Thomson, editor Plumer, D. Pink Glorious Body of Christ, by R. John H. Practical Truths, by Archibald Alexander. Packer Puritan Papers, Volume 3, edited by J. White The Power of Prayer, by R. Plumer Warnings to the Churches, J. Ryle Why Read the Puritans Today? Wagner Immersion and Immersionists, by W. Clark Ancient Philosophy, by Gordon H. Clark and Aurelius Augustine Miracles, by C. Lewis Reason in the Balance, by Phillip E.
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Clark Worldviews in Conflict, by Ronald Nash. Letters to Young Men William B. Palmer and J. The Genesis of Sex, by O. The Augsburg Confession A. Facebook Twitter. Matthew McMahon Books are extremely important — what about an entire Puritan Library at your fingertips? You should have all the books here.
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