I am posting another e-book by Dr. Norman Spurgeon MacPherson titled Tell It Like It Will Be where he outlines his views on eschatology. It is concise, well written and an accurate summary of end-times events.
Dr. Norman S. MacPherson is a graduate of Columbia University and Princeton Theological Seminary and is the former Pastor, First Baptist Church, Otego, New York.
An essay on the Sabbath by reformed theologian A. A. Hodge:
What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?
(From: “God in the Dock”, C. S. Lewis)
‘What are we to make of Jesus Christ?’ This is a question, which has, in a sense, a frantically comic side. For the real question is not what are we to make of Christ, but what is He to make of us? The picture of a fly sitting deciding what it is going to make of an elephant has comic elements about it. But perhaps the questioner meant what are we to make of Him in the sense of ‘How are we to solve the historical problem set us by the recorded sayings and acts of this Man?’ This problem is to reconcile two things. On the one hand you have got the almost generally admitted depth and sanity of His moral teaching, which is not very seriously questioned, even by those who are opposed to Christianity. In fact, I find when I am arguing with very anti-God people that they rather make a point of saying, ‘I am entirely in favour of the moral teaching of Christianity’ — and there seems to be a general agreement that in the teaching of this Man and of His immediate followers, moral truth is exhibited at its purest and best. It is not sloppy idealism; it is full of wisdom and shrewdness. The whole thing is realistic, fresh to the highest degree, the product of a sane mind. That is one phenomenon.
The e-book The Coming Of The Son Of Man By E. J. Poole-Connor is an excellent summary of the Second Coming and surrounding events. I don’t necessarily agree with all of his points but I think this is a well-done and very balanced treatment of the subject.
John Murray was a Scottish theologian who came to the U.S. and taught at Princeton Theological Seminary and Westminster Seminary. He was also a respected author and his book Redemption Accomplished And Applied is still in print and widely read and used in reformed circles. The e-book I am posting today is The Death of Christ by Dr. Murray where he analyzes the results of Christ’s death and gives a detailed exposition of the doctrines of Sacrifice, Propitiation, Reconciliation, and Redemption.
The doctrines of predestination and election were the hardest for me to understand when I first started studying reformed theology. Two short essays by B. B. Warfield helped. They are non-technical and easy to follow unlike many writings on the subject.
B. B. Warfield (1851-1921) was professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Seminary from 1887 to 1921. Warfield is considered to be one of the greatest of the old-school Calvinistic theologians.
I am pleased to be able to provide a copy of the book Triumph Through Tribulation (A Frank Appraisal Of Twenty Arguments That The Church Will Not Pass Through The Tribulation), by Dr. Norman Spurgeon MacPherson. In the book MacPherson gives the background on the Biblical term ‘tribulation’ and completely disproves the arguments for a pretrib rapture.
Note: I was given permission to post this book by Dr. MacPherson’s son Dave MacPherson.
I am posting The Second Coming Of Christ by Louis Berkhof which is taken from his Systematic Theology. Berkhof was a reformed theologian, pastor, and author and is considered to be one of the top theologians of his era. He was an amillennialist so I don’t agree with his position on the millennium but his writings on the Second Coming and its concomitant events are right on point. It seems that his understanding of the millennium differs from the premillennial position on the question of whether the 1000 years is literal or symbolic of a long period of time (as in “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day” (2 Peter 3:8 – NASB).
I am posting another article by W. J. Grier: The Wrath Of God. This is a subject neglected by liberal theologians and even some conservatives. The same Bible that teaches us about the love of God also has a great deal to say about His wrath, and both should be taught and discussed.
W. J. Grier was an Irish Presbyterian minister and author. He wrote several books and numerous articles. Attached is one of his excellent essays on Justification By Faith:
How many dispensations are there? It depends on who you ask! I have documented schemes that claim anywhere between 3 and 19. I quote one author that says it could be as many as 37! The following article I wrote several years ago shows the confusion about the number of dispensations which are supposed to be “clearly defined” and “marked off” in Scripture and demonstrates the futility of trying to defend the dispensational hermeneutic.
In the opening of his essay “Law And Grace” John Murray states:
“No subject is more intimately bound up with the nature of the gospel than that of law and grace. In the degree to which error is entertained at this point, in the same degree is our conception of the gospel perverted”. Murray goes on to state the classic covenantal understanding in his comprehensive essay:
The Gospel Of The Incarnation is a book of 2 sermons preached by B. B. Warfield in the Chapel of Princeton Seminary. The sermons were so popular that the students requested that they be published. I have formatted the book and converted it to an e-book:
Ask several people “what is the Gospel?” and you probably get a number of different answers ranging from “the Good News” to a lengthy theological explanation. Reformed theologian Loraine Boettner wrote a booklet answering the question and it is well worth reading. In it he addresses a wide range of subjects and compares the Calvinistic and Arminian view of the Gospel.
Presuppositions and Axioms: a quote from Gordon H. Clark:
“Every philosophic or theological system must begin somewhere, for if it did not begin it could not continue. But a beginning cannot be preceded by anything else, or it would not be the beginning. Therefore every system must be based on presuppositions (Require as a precondition of possibility or coherence. Tacitly assume to be the case) or axioms (An accepted statement or proposition regarded as being self-evidently true). They may be Spinoza’s axioms; they may be Locke’s sensory starting point, or whatever. Every system must therefore be presuppositional.
The first principle cannot be demonstrated because there is nothing prior from which to deduce it. Call it presuppositionalism, call it fideism, names do not matter. But I know no better presupposition than “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the word of God written, and therefore inerrant in the autographs.”
(Gordon Haddon Clark (1902-1985) was an American philosopher and Calvinist theologian. He was a leading figure associated with presuppositional apologetics. He taught at Wheaton College early in his career and later served as Chairman of the Philosophy Department at Butler University, a position he held for 28 years).
Loraine Boettner wrote:
“In all the history of the world Jesus emerges as the only “expected” person. No one was looking for such a person as Julius Caesar, or Napoleon, or Washington, or Lincoln to appear at the time and place that they did appear. No other person has had his course foretold or his work laid out for him centuries before he was born. But the coming of the Messiah had been predicted for centuries. In fact, the first promise of His coming was given to Adam and Eve soon after their fall into sin. As time went on various details concerning His Person and work were revealed through the prophets; and at the time Jesus was born there was a general expectation through the Jewish world that the Messiah was soon to appear, even the manner of His birth and the town in which it would occur having been clearly indicated”.
(Loraine Boettner, Studies In Theology, p. 160)
Recently I was doing some research on the internet and ran across an article on the Canons Of Dort (the origin for the acronym TULIP) at the Reformed Church Of America’s website. Reading the article I started wondering how the familiar TULIP used by Calvinists originated since the Canons had different descriptions of the 5 points. I started researching this and came across an article “The Five Points of Calvinism Historically Considered” written in 1913 by Dr. William H. Wail in 1913. He said the 1st use of the acronym was by a presbyterian theologian and pastor Dr. Cleland Boyd McAfee at a lecture on Calvinism in 1905. Prior to that time there were a number of ways the 5 points were described. I was unable to find any reference to TULIP before 1905 so I think Dr. Wail is probably right.
Following is a short article I wrote about the origin of the acronym TULIP:
Here is the original article by Dr. Wail:
I was searching the web for articles and/or quotes by John Murray and came across a study on the atonement by Dr. Van Lees. After reading it I think is one of the best I have ever seen. He also has some other great articles from a reformed viewpoint on his web-site: covenantofgracechurch.org. Check it out!
I have been reading a lot of materials on the covenants lately as I try to sort out the differences between CT and NCT. I found an article by Dr. John Murray. This is the best treatment of the covenants I have found so far.
The Covenant Of Grace — A Biblico-Theological Study By John Murray (e-book):
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758 ) was a Christian preacher, philosopher, and theologian. Edwards “is widely acknowledged to be America’s most important and original philosophical theologian,” and one of America’s greatest intellectuals. His essay on the Trinity is a classic:
In 1973 while working for Wheaton College I prepared a short article for a class I was going to teach on why I held to the posttribulational position. I read through it yesterday and found a serious typo which I corrected and am now reposting it.
B. W. Newton was a contemporary of John Nelson Darby and worked with him in establishing the first Plymouth Brethren churches. He later split with Darby over church polity and teachings about the Second Coming Of Christ. Newton firmly rejected Darby’s notion that there were two future comings of Christ, one before and one after the tribulation ( a 2nd and 3rd Coming). Here is one of Newton’s essays on the subject showing that there are events preceding the Lords return and that the any-moment coming is not tenable when compared to Scripture:
A Liar, A Lunatic, Or The Son Of God? (quoted from: Mere Christianity, Book 2, Chapter 3 “The Shocking Alternative”, 1952, Macmillan, 1952)
Among the Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it.
One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic. We can all understand how a man forgives offences against himself. You tread on my toe and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money? Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned; the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as a silliness and conceit unrivalled by any other character in history.
Loraine Boettner was a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.B., 1928; Th.M., 1929), where he studied Systematic Theology under the late Dr. C. W. Hodge. One of his most popular writings was “The Reformed Faith” where he outlines the theology of Calvinism and compares it to Arminianism. Boettner’s writing style is understandable to the layman and helpful to the theologian alike.
If you are interested in the theology of Calvinism and its comparison to Arminianism you would do well to download this e-book:
“If, ten years ago, you had told me that I would live to see literate evangelicals, some with doctorates and a seminary teaching record, arguing for the reality of an eternal salvation, divinely guaranteed, that may have in it no repentance, no discipleship, no behavioral change, no practical acknowledgment of Christ as Lord of one’s life, and no perseverance in faith, then I would have told you that you were out of your mind. Stark, staring, bonkers, is the British phrase I would probably have used.”
“Repentance is more than just sorrow for the past; repentance is a change of mind and heart, a new life of denying self and serving the Savior as King in self’s place…More than once Christ deliberately called attention to the radical break with the past that repentance involves.”
Charles Hodge was one of the outstanding Calvinistic theologians of the 19th century. His writings are still being published and his ‘Systematic Theology’ textbook is used in some reformed seminaries. I put together some articles on Hodges view of justification and created an e-book. The first three articles ‘Justification’, ‘The Demands Of The Law Are Satisfied By What Christ Has Done’, and ‘The Righteousness Of Christ The True Ground Of Our Justification’ were published together, the forth ‘Justification Is a Forensic Act’, I added.
“The Scriptures teach us that the Son of God, the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, became flesh, and subjected himself to the very law to which we were bound; that he perfectly obeyed that law, and suffered its penalty, and thus, by satisfying its demands, delivered us from its bondage, and introduced us into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. It is thus that the doctrine of redemption is presented in the Scriptures. “God,” says the apostle, “sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law” (Gal. 4.4-5). Being made under the law, we know that he obeyed it perfectly, and brought in everlasting righteousness, and is therefore declared to be “the Lord our righteousness, “(Jer. 23.6) since, by his obedience, many are constituted righteous (Rom. 5.19). He, therefore, is said to be made righteousness unto us (1 Cor. 1.30). And those who are in him are said to be righteous before God, not having their own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ (Phil. 3.9”).
(From the book “Justification”, section 2, “The Demands Of The Law Are Satisfied By What Christ Has Done” by Charles Hodge).
The TULIP acrostic, while useful, is only an inadequate summary of the theology espoused at the Synod of Dort, much less that of the theology known as Calvinism. Properly understood, the theology known by the nickname of Calvinism is simply a full-orbed understanding of what the Bible teaches. In that light, a mere five points cannot summarize the whole, or even the crux of Scriptural doctrine. Are you a student of God’s Word, the Bible? Regular, daily time in the Bible is crucial to your spiritual health.
“But his delight in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth he meditate, day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:2-3, KJV)
From the blog This Day In Presbyterian History.
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)
“I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as ‘God on the cross.’ In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross that symbolizes divine suffering. ‘The cross of Christ … is God’s only self-justification in such a world” as ours….’ ‘The other gods were strong; but thou wast weak; they rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak, And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.”
(John R.W. Stott, The Cross)