December 18, 2014

Insight into Substantive Preaching (1)

Mark Minnick

On the desk beside me lies a 1694 first edition of forty sermons by the early London Baptist, Benjamin Keach (1640–1704). Keach, one of the predecessors in the ministry assumed by C. H. Spurgeon over two centuries later, entitled his volume A Golden Mine Opened: Or, The Glory of God’s Rich Grace Displayed in the Mediator to Believers. The book’s yellowed pages throw open a revealing window back into both the style and substance of what was evidently the norm for preaching among seventeenthcentury Baptists and Puritans. I’m interested in that. Here’s why.

Not just Fundamentalist observers, but even many of the more conservative sort of Evangelicals, are dismayed at the deceptive mutation that is foisted off as preaching in many contemporary pulpits.

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Doing God’s Will

George Stiekes

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17

In this series, we have been concentrating on the WILL OF GOD. For the Christian, there really is no excuse for not knowing the will of God for it is so clearly revealed in His Word. Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote that it was impossible for a Christian who wanted to know the will of God for his life not to know it. However, just knowing the Word of God is not enough. Jesus said, He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, AND WILL MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM (John 14:21).

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Fundamentalist Response to Ecumenism

Scott Williquette

A1988 publication of One World, the magazine published by the World Council of Churches (WCC), listed a “commitment list” drafted by WCC council members at a meeting held in Spain in 1987. Two of the statements reflect the overwhelming desire of the council members to bypass all doctrinal division and bring all churches to unity: “We commit ourselves to promote the holisitic mission of the church instead of disrupting and dividing by responding to one part. . . . We commit ourselves to overcome all barriers between different faiths and ideologies which divide the human family.” The official report of the seventh assembly of the WCC is replete with references to unity regardless of doctrine. One statement reads,

Our witness is one of mission and dialogue. All tongues, nations, races, sexes, all kindreds, tribes, and peoples are God’s. They should be free. We must strive for their freedom. This is our ministry in the Holy Spirit, always and everywhere. Our dialogue with other religions and ideologies has the same basis. Our goal is the unity of the world. Such unity is not alien to the work of the Holy Spirit and the church.[1]

The WCC is an organization consisting of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches. Its desire is to unite all the churches of the world. To accomplish this, doctrine must be sacrificed. Their battle cry is “Christ unifies, doctrine divides.” The implication is that if we are going to serve Christ, we must jettison doctrine.

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  1. Michael Kinnamon, Signs of the Spirit, Official Report of the Seventh Assembly (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1991), p. 36. []

Behaving Properly (2) – Specific Application

Don Johnson

Behaving Properly Part One is here.

In our first article on this subject, I closed with these words: “The concept is this: God’s will as expressed in Scripture has a wider and deeper application/implication than mere surface understanding suggests. We are called to think and live the spirit and intent of Scripture, even if God doesn’t specifically name a particular modern expression of that sin.”

My point is that when God gives us directions in Scripture, he means for us to think about all the ramifications and applications of those directions. He doesn’t mean that we should consider the exact legal definition of a term and congratulate ourselves if we keep to that precise standard. When God say, “Thou shalt not kill,” he doesn’t mean that it is “OK” to hate, to nurse bitterness in the heart, to defame or ridicule or any of a number of expressions of anger, internal and external. The Lord Jesus himself showed us what God thinks is covered by “Thou shalt not kill.” He did the same for “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

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Theology Matters (2.3): Defining Terms Proportionally

Mark Minnick

This is a continuation of a series, the previous section was posted yesterday, other links below.

In the previous portions, Dr. Minnick discussed the importance of Defining Terms Honestly and Defining Terms Accurately. Today he moves to Defining Terms Proportionally


A third important criterion by which to test our theology is proportionality. Within the grid of a rigorously applied Biblical and systematic theology we must define terms and positions conscientiously, and then measure our preaching of them proportionately.

In other words, something can be true definitionally but untrue proportionately. For example, over a period of several centuries the Church hammered out precise statements about the person of Jesus Christ. He is both fully God and fully man. Both propositions are true.

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