Today I am posting “The Death Of Christ”, an e-book by James Denney.
About the author: James Denney, D.D. (1856-1917) was a Scottish theologian and preacher. Denney was Professor of Systematic Theology at Free Church College Glasgow in 1897 and spent the rest of his life teaching there.
Denney’s greatest contribution to theological literature is in his robust defense of the penal character of the atonement. First expressed in his Studies in Theology, it found its fullest expression in his 1902 work The Death of Christ (London, Hodder and Stoughton, often reprinted), and its follow-up (in later editions included as an appendix in The Death of Christ), The Atonement and the Modern Mind. Denney insists that the death of Christ cannot be understood unless it is seen as a death for sin, as Christ bearing the penalty in the place of those he came to save. (info on James Denney adapted from a WikiPedia article)
I keep a copy of the Westminster Confession and the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689 and refer to them occasionally. I haven’t given much thought to the First London Baptist Confession of 1644 (later published with minor corrections in 1646).
I read an article recently stating that the 1644 Confession aligns with New Covenant Theology more than the 1689 Confession and the Westminster Confession which are closer to Covenant Theology. After re-reading the 1644 Confession I tend to agree.
Here is the 1644 Confession with the 1646 edits:
Charles R. Erdman was a pastor, theologian, and professor at Princeton Theological Seminary during the Fundamentalist/Modernist controversy in the early 20th century. He was a contributor to the Scofield Reference Bible when it first was published in 1909, but later recanted his pretribulational beliefs due to ‘further searching of the Scriptures.’ Charles Erdman would be classified today as a ‘historic premillennialist’.
The following article was 1st published in The Fundamentals, edited by R. A. Torrey (1910):
Arminianism and Calvinism Compared, an excellent chart comparing the two theologies:
and a comment on the matter by by Charles Spurgeon:
If you have been following the Dispensational vs Covenant vs New Covent theology debate you have surely heard the term “replacement theology”, a term Classic and Hyper-Dispensationalists use to cast aspersions on and criticize those who disagree with them. They use what I call the “straw man” approach: they quote someone with which they disagree out of context, then huff and puff and try to blow them away.
Now there just may be some who believe in “replacement theology” but the Covenant theologians I have read and studied don’t agree with this assessment of the relation between Israel and the Church. The following article by Dr. Michael Milton (President, Reformed Theological Seminary, N.C.) gives a good explanation of how he views the Israel/Church relationship. The article is titled: “Engrafted – Not Replaced” (How I View True Israel, and Why I Support Ethnic Jews and the State of Israel and Pray for Them to Be Saved by Jesus Christ And Still Believe in Covenant Theology)! Quite a long title but definitely worth a read.
The Blessed Hope, a quote from Dr. George Eldon Ladd*
“The Word of God does not teach that the Blessed Hope of the Church is a hope of deliverance from persecution. The coming of Christ is described as the Blessed Hope in Titus 2:13 ‘Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ’. . . The Blessed Hope is the glorious epiphany (appearing) of Our Lord Himself, which occurs at the end of the Great Tribulation”.
“To insist that the Blessed Hope must be escape from the Great Tribulation is to place the emphasis where the Scripture does not place it; it is in fact to impose an interpretation upon the Scripture in place of what the Word of God actually says. The Word of God everywhere assures us that in this age we are to expect tribulation and persecution. The last great persecution of Antichrist will indeed be worse and more fearful than anything the world has ever seen; but when we contemplate the history of martyrdom, why should we ask deliverance from what millions have already suffered? When we read in the books of the Maccabees of the tortures inflicted upon the Jews who were faithful to the teaching of the Law by the manifestation of antichrist in the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes; when we recall the thousands of Christians who fell in torture and death and did it gladly in the name of Christ at the hands of the manifestation of the spirit of antichrist in the Roman emperors; when we are reminded of the Inquisition with its rack and wheel and flame; when we remember from our own generation the liquidation of several millions of Jews by a modern antichrist, and even more recently the martyrdom of tens of thousands of Korean Christians, what kind of faith does the Church of today exemplify and what sort of a gospel is it which we proclaim if we insist that God must deliver us from the hands of the last manifestation of antichrist at the end of the age? Read more…
I am posting the e-book Who Moved The Stone? by Frank Morison (aka Albert Henry Ross). It is a great defense of the resurrection of Christ as a historical fact. The author started out to write a book de-bunking the ‘myth’ of the resurrection and ended up becoming a christian and writing one of the best known defenses of the resurrection. It was written in 1930 and continues to be printed and circulated today.
After several attempts I was finally able to create an e-book of Alexander Reese’s book “The Approaching Advent Of Christ”. I am not totally satisfied with all of the formatting and footnote placements. Hopefully in the future I will find time to work on it and will then re-post it.
I previously posted an e-book by Dennis Swanson on Spurgeon’s eschatology. The following article is an adaptation of his chart on millennial theories.
The Not So Secret Rapture is an article by W. Fred Rice. Rev. Rice, THM (Westminster Seminary), is an author, theologian, and a former Orthodox Presbyterian minister. In the article he shows the “secret rapture” theory, as promoted by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins and a host of others, is contrary to Biblical teachings.
I am posting 3 e-books by Loraine Boettner. He was a reformed professor, theologian, and staunch defender of Calvinism.
The Divine Word by Fred Zaspel:
The apostle John is the only Biblical writer to refer to Jesus as “the Word.” He employs the other more usual titles also – Christ (Messiah), Lord, King, Lamb, etc. – but this one is unique to John. He begins his Gospel, his account of the earthly life of Jesus, by introducing Jesus as “the Word.”
Why does John refer to Jesus as “the Word” of God? What is the significance of this title? What is John trying to tell us?
One of the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith is that God speaks. Throughout all the many centuries of history God has been making himself known. He “speaks” in the very created order, revealing his power and wisdom and glory. He speaks in providence, his sovereign direction of all that is to his own ends. And he has spoken many times through the centuries to many of his chosen people and through his spokesmen the prophets. Our God speaks and makes himself known. Indeed, this is the whole ground of authority in the Christian religion. Christianity, unlike any other religion, is a revealed religion. What we believe we believe because God has communicated it to us. God has told us what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong, and we believe and respond accordingly. He has told us who he is and what he is like. He has told us how we may be saved and what will come of us if we do not comply. God has spoken. Everything about us rests on this fact. Read more…
I have been following the “Lordship” controversy for many years. During my Scofield Bible carrying days I believed in the non-lordship theory, only because it was what I was taught. I changed my mind as I began to study the Scriptures for myself (and placed my Scofield Bible on the bookshelf where it belongs!). The following short article by Dr. J. I. Packer sums up the controversy very nicely using Zane Hodges as an example of the ‘easy-believism’ advocate. It is well worth reading!
I have 2 longer and more technical article that I will post later.
“Our Lord Cometh” is a translation of ‘marantha’ in 1 Cor 16:22 (KJV). This is also the title of a book by Rev. W. J. Rowlands, a Congregationalist minister in England. The book was 1st published in 1939 by the author. It is written from the post-tribulation viewpoint and Rowlands does a good job of decimating the “two stage” theory of the Second Coming of Christ.
The Incomparable Christ
“More than 1900 years ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of nature. This man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived, which was during His exile in childhood. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood He puzzled the doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if on pavement, and hushed the sea to sleep with just the spoken word. Read more…
Today I am posting the paper Charles H. Spurgeon And Eschatology – Did He Have A Discernible Millennial Position? by Dr. Dennis M. Swanson, MDiv, DMin. Dr. Swanson is a Vice President at Masters Seminary and well regarded theologian and author. His analysis of Spurgeon’s eschatology is thorough and fair. He demonstrates that Spurgeon’s view of eschatology in relation to the millennium is best described as a “historic or covenantal premillennial” position, which may come as a surprise to many. If you like Spurgeon and eschatology this is a ‘must read’.
(posted with permission from the author)
A shorter version can be downloaded at the Masters Seminary site: http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj7g.pdf
Several years ago I came across this chart showing the main differences between Covenant (CT) and Dispensational Theology (DT) and reformatted it to post here. I think I will add a middle column for New Covenant Theology (NCT) to show how it shares some commonality with both viewpoints. Some are saying that NCT adopts the good theology of CT and DT and doesn’t include the weak theology of either, but I am not convinced of that assessment.
On my previous website I had a lot of materials on eschatology. I am in the process of converting some to PDF format to post on this blog. This article is from the American Presbyterian Church website. They don’t officially require their elders to hold to any position on eschatology but from what I have seen they do have premillennialists in their number. The article is from a Historic Premillennialist point of view and pokes holes in the dispensational/pretrib theory.
The Kingdom, The Millennium, & The Eschaton:
A Brief Overview of New Testament Prophecy
By Dr. Fred Zaspel
Another paper by Fred Zaspel. Zaspel is a Reformed Baptist and advocate of New Covenant Theology. He is a premillennialist and does a great job of explaining and defending his position on eschatology.
The Two Covenants (The Answer To Dispensational Theology) By Philip Mauro is a defense of Covenant Theology vs. Dispensationalism. Mauro was a well respected lawyer and author. This article was taken from his book The Gospel Of The Kingdom:
J. I. Packer describes how the doctrine of “penal substitution” theologically explains everything regarding the saving work of Christ’s death on the cross:
“What did Christ’s death accomplish? It redeemed us to God – purchased us at a price, that is, from captivity to sin for the freedom of life with God (Tit 2:14; Rev 5:9). How did it do that? By being a blood-sacrifice for our sins (Eph 1:7; Heb 9:11-15). How did that sacrifice have its redemptive effect? By making peace, achieving reconciliation, and so ending enmity between God and ourselves (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-20; Eph 2:13-16; Col 1:19-20). How did Christ’s death make peace? By being a propitiation, an offering appointed by God himself to dissolve his judicial wrath against us by removing our sins from his sight (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). How did the Savior’s self-sacrifice have this propitiatory effect? By being a vicarious enduring of the retribution declared due to us by God’s own law (Gal 3:13; Col 2:13-14) – in other words, by penal substitution”
(Quoted from: The Atonement in the Life of the Christian, p 416, by J. I. Packer)
The book “The Approaching Advent of Christ” by Alexander Reese is a classic defense of historic premillennialism and has been very influential in refuting the dispensational/pretrib theory of recent origin (1820’s). The following article is an extract from the book where Reese gives a very good summary of the historic premillennial position:
Dr. John Murray was a Scottish theologian who taught at Westminster Seminary for a number of years. His book “Redemption Accomplished and Applied” and his “Commentary On Romans” are considered classics of reformed theology. He also wrote a number of articles, “The Sovereignty Of God” is a collection of some of his best and is a detailed statement of one of the core doctrines of reformed theology.
In the early 1970’s I worked at Wheaton College and got to know professor J. Barton Payne quite well. I worked with him on a seminar on historic premillennialism of which he was a strong advocate. His book The Imminent Appearing Of Christ is a classic on the Second Coming (and a refutation of pretrib premillennialism). Following is a copy of a paper based on the book. I think it originally appeared in the Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society:
PS: if you are interested in eschatology you should get a copy of Dr. Payne’s book Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy. It is an invaluable resource for research and study of eschatology.
MY 100th POST! (not sure what that means)
Dr. Fred Zaspel is a pastor, scholar, author and proponent of New Covenant Theology (NCT). The previous post was his brief introduction to NCT. One area that NCT and Covenant Theology is in complete agreement is on the 5 points of Calvinism. Attached is his article on the 5 points that is concise but thorough.
I received permission to post some of Dr. Fred Zaspel’s materials and will be posting some of his articles over the next few weeks. Dr. Zaspel is a reformed theologian that holds to “New Covenant Theology. Following is his article:
A Brief Explanation of “New Covenant Theology”
Years ago I wrote an article (actually a compilation of material) on the subject of Historic Premillennialism. Following is the article and a chart comparing Dispensationalism and Historic Premillennialism:
For some time I have been studying Covenant Theology (CT) and New Covenant Theology (NCT) and have decided that I must fall somewhere in-between the two. I believe there are two main covenants, the old and the new, more like NCT than CT. I found an article by Mark LaVoie on solochristo.com that does a good job of showing the NCT position on covenants:
(Also see the article by F. F. Bruce:
“There is no greater foe to Christianity than mere profession. There is no greater discredit to Christianity today than to stand up for it, and yet not live it in our lives. There is no greater danger in the Christian world today than to stand up for the Bible, and yet to deny that Bible by the very way we defend it. There is no greater hindrance to Christianity today than to contend for orthodoxy, whatever the orthodoxy may be, and to deny it by the censoriousness, the hardness, the unattractiveness with which we champion our cause. Oh this power of personal testimony with the heart filled with the love of Christ, the mind saturated with the teaching of Christ, the conscience sensitive to the law of Christ, the whole nature aglow with grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Dr. W. H. Griffith-Thomas was an Anglican pastor, theologian, author and one of the founders of Dallas Seminary