Last week I enjoyed the privilege of spending a couple of days with a man who for years has devoted himself to sitting in front of an abortion clinic. John Barros arrives every day of the week throughout the entire year at the Orlando Women’s Center. He comes not to just sit passively and pray. Nor does he engage in “picket and yell” tactics that lack sobriety and genuine concern. He daily pours his soul into prayer, preaching the word of God, and into intimate interaction with mothers … [Read more...] about Four Generations…Almost
We recently took a jaunt through John Murray’s essay, The Covenant of Grace. In it, he takes us through each of the covenant administrations in an attempt to redefine the notion of a divine covenant as a mutual compact or agreement. He prefers the more unilateral formulation expressed as “a sovereign administration of grace and promise”. During the course of his discussion, he repeatedly demonstrates that this does not exclude conditions within the relationship. It merely limits them to … [Read more...] about What About Witsius?
Let’s briefly wrap up our discussion on John Murray’s, The Covenant of Grace. If you missed the first couple of articles they are here and here. I will continue in my attempt to use as many of Murray’s own words as possible. Up to this point Murray has discussed the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic covenants. He has done so in an attempt to overturn the more traditional notion of a divine covenant as a mutual compact or agreement. [T]he question that confronts us is whether the notion … [Read more...] about A Crescendo of Grace: John Murray Part 3
In a previous article we visited John Murray’s, The Covenant of Grace. This little booklet is a rich contribution to any discussion regarding covenant theology. In it he wrestles with the very definition of a divine covenant. He carefully addresses the notion of both a conditional and unconditional covenant of grace. Murray understands a divine covenant to be “a sovereign administration of grace and promise”[i]. God sovereignly and unilaterally initiates a special covenant with his … [Read more...] about The Unconditional Mosaic Covenant: John Murray Part 2
Yes, a Baptist pastor baptizing infants. Perhaps you ran across the story. Just a few weeks ago, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio baptized a 7-month old baby. "There was an overpowering sense that this was the right thing to do, and there was a sense of God’s presence there,” he said. “It was just a really high and holy moment".[i] The right thing to do? A lot of committed Baptists would take issue with his claim. “But this is probably just some Baptist-by-name … [Read more...] about Little Lambs and Baptists Baptizing Infants
I stated last week that this would be the last in a series of seven articles on the subject of infant baptism. I truly had every intention of writing only one more. There are a few factors that have hindered me in my efforts to reach that goal. Two are very practical. First, if an article is too long, most won’t read it. They may not read it anyway. That’s the thing about discussions involving doctrine. If you are struggling with a particular doctrinal issue, then good content and even … [Read more...] about John Murray: A Conditional or Unconditional Abrahamic Covenant?
The last two articles in this series of seven on baptism will close out with some thoughts from Charles Hodge and John Murray. Doing so will provide additional perspective on the Covenant of Grace with the support of two important Presbyterian (and Princeton) theologians. These men both held to and defended Reformed theology as set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. In our present discussion it is important to note a … [Read more...] about The Covenant of Grace in History
When opposing ideas and Biblical interpretations clash, it is important to understand what presuppositions are being brought to the table. Likely, there are key assumptions that need to be dealt with in such a way so as to create a completely different and more efficient conversation. Throughout the life of an ongoing debate this has to be done intentionally and repeatedly. As the market of ideas continually changes, there is a need to reframe these key assumptions in light of new … [Read more...] about The Fatal Misunderstanding
Earlier this week in Orlando, FL, Dr. James White and Dr. Gregg Strawbridge engaged in debate on the topic of baptism. Over the past few weeks I took the opportunity to write a few articles and discuss some more recently published books that support the Reformed Baptist perspective. I did so for two reasons. First, I thought it might be of interest to both Baptist and paedobaptist readers. For my Baptist brethren who read the blog or receive the newsletter my plea would be to hang on … [Read more...] about The Fatal Flaw of Paedobaptist Theology?
I am going to jump right into the discussion, so if you haven’t read the previous two articles, you can read them here and here. I mentioned in the first article that The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology is the product of valuable labor and a very relevant contribution to the contemporary discussion regarding infant baptism. In it, Denault interacts with a number of original sources from seventeenth-century theologians on both sides of the debate. As a Baptist, he deals … [Read more...] about The Heart of the Issue: Objecting to Objectivity