Theology

Not So Fast! – Comments on Keith Mathison’s “Christianity and Van Tillianism”

First there was J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism. Then there was Cornelius Van Til’s Christianity and Barthianism. And now there is Keith Mathison’s “Christianity and Van Tillianism.” Machen’s contention was that Liberalism is not Christianity but an entirely different religion. Van Til was making the same point regarding Barthianism when he likewise contrasted it …

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Letters of William Jennings Bryan to Bible Presbyterian minister Roy T. Brumbaugh

My favorite source of historical information is letter collections. I’ve recently found these letters from William Jennings Bryan to Bible Presbyterian minister Roy T. Brumbaugh in the collection of the latter’s papers owned by Brumbaugh’s grandson, David Sinding. Whenever I find letters like these I wonder if there is some scholar, like a William Jennings …

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Notes on Ronald H. Nash’s lecture series, “History of Philosophy and Christian Thought”

This is a series of 36 lectures given by Ronald H. Nash at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando. Though lectures of the same title were given in the Fall of 2001 (and released in 2014 on MP3 CDs), this series on iTunes was given in 1991 (and once sold as a set of 24 audio cassettes). …

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Two Erroneous Epistemological Distinctions

In The Word of God and the Mind of Man, Ronald Nash contends for the existence of both propositional revelation and “personal revelation.” Though to this idea of “personal revelation” Nash gives various other terms—including “encounter” and “event”—nowhere does he provide a definition. What he means then by “personal revelation”is impossible to know. It is …

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List of Trinity Papers

The Trinity Foundation appears to have numbered each of the volumes they’ve published as a series of “Trinity Papers.” The first few books had the number labeled on the front cover. Over time it seems the number was less prominently displayed (on the back cover) or possibly omitted entirely. I’ve been able to accumulate information …

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From Paradox to Contradiction in the Theology of John Murray

Followers of the theology of Cornelius Van Til have long argued that while there are “apparent paradoxes” in Scripture these are not contradictions in the ultimate sense. For example, in The Trinity and the Vindication of Christian Paradox, B. A. Bosserman explains, “When it comes to evaluating apparent contradictions, the believer has every right to …

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Bibliographies of a few reformed authors.

I’ve put together the following bibliographies of some reformed authors whose books I’m particularly interested it. Please let me know if you have additional information and I’d be glad to update this post. J. Oliver Buswell Jr. (January 16, 1895 – February 4, 1977) A. B. from the University of Minnesota, B. D. from McCormick Theological …

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The Transcendental Argument, Its Got What Theologians Crave

The movie Idiocracy portrays a dystopian era five-hundred years in the future where the breeding of the dullest has drastically lowered the average mental abilities of the whole society. An average man from our own times who finds his way there is found to be the smartest man in their world. In one scene he …

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A Phantom Presbyterian Denomination

Among the presbyterian denominations listed on wikipedia’s “List of Presbyterian and Reformed denominations in North America” is one called the Evangelical Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in America (EAPCA). To the best of my knowledge this group does not exist. On the wikipedia page for the EAPCA there is the dubious claim that they have 73 churches. …

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Using God's Money for Man's Kingdom

Using God’s Money for Man’s Kingdom A Short History of a Financial Scandal by Rev. Douglas J. Douma Perhaps the greatest financial scandal in Presbyterian history—the failure of Cornerstone Ministries Investments (CMI)—saw the loss of over 100 million dollars. Yet the story of this scandal seems to be largely unknown to members—and even to ministers—of …

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Practical Apologetics

“Practical Apologetics” by Rev. Douglas J. Douma Keynote Speech given at The Geneva Institute for Christian Thought, July 18, 2018 When one hears the word “practical” he might be inclined to think of the philosophy of pragmatism. Pragmatism assesses the truth of a belief in terms of the success of its practical applications. The pragmatist …

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Gordon Clark and Other Reformed Critics of Karl Barth

[This essay was published in two parts; in the October and November-December 2018 issues of the Trinity Review. The pdf version is available here: Gordon Clark and Other Reformed Critics of Karl Barth] Gordon Clark and Other Reformed Critics of Karl Barth By Douglas J. Douma Introduction Proponents of the Reformed Faith—Calvinism—have long contended that it is …

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Reformed Author Groups

In his excellent book Reformed Theology in America, David F. Wells distinguishes five groups that might be said in some sense to follow Reformed theology. He lists them as “The Princeton Theology,” “The Westminster School,” “The Dutch Schools,” “The Southern Tradition,” and “Neoorthodoxy.” There are many other Reformed groups however that could be distinguished. Some …

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Is there a Dabney – d'Aubigné connection?

Was Robert Lewis Dabney a descendant of the Huguenot Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné? I had once heard that the surname “Dabney” of Robert Lewis Dabney (1820 – 1898), a leading American Southern Presbyterian pastor and theologian, came from the Huguenot family d’Aubigné. That is, “Dabney” would be an Anglicized version of “d’Aubigné.” One of the most well-known of …

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Geneva Lecture 1: What is Religion? – On the Importance of Definitions

[This summer I’ll be giving three lectures and a speech at the Summer Studies in Christian Thought program at the Geneva Institute for Christian Thought in Elizabethton, Tennessee. (http://genevainstitute.org) If you are a junior or senior in high school or are in college, I recommend you check out the program and contact the institute if …

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Audio of the Panel Discussion at the 2018 Gordon H. Clark Philosophy Symposium

https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=47182010432 Thanks to Rev. Dr. Charles Roberts of Reedy River Presbyterian Church for uploading this audio of the panel discussion from this morning (4/7/2018) at the Gordon H. Clark Philosophy Symposium. The panel consisted of myself, Dr. Bill Davis, and Dr. Bill Higgins and was moderated by Dr. John Wingard. I failed to record audio …

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Review of "Demon Possession" by John L. Nevius

Demon Possession, John L. Nevius, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1894, 8th edition Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1968. 367 pp. John L. Nevius, a Christian missionary whose writing is of a cultured and educated style, begins his book on Demon Possession by noting: “I brought with me to China [in 1854] a strong conviction that …

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Review of "Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer"

Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer, ed. Lane T. Dennis, Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1985, 264 pp. In about the year 2009 I met a man at my church who was a philosophy professor at the University of Texas. Interested in his course on “Christian Philosophy” I asked him for  a copy of his syllabus. Receiving the …

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Review of "Hell on Trial" by Robert A. Peterson

Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment by Robert A. Peterson, Forewords by John F. MacArthur, Jr. & David F. Wells, P&R, 1995, 258 pp. I found the first few chapters of Robert A. Peterson’s Hell on Trail  to be rather uninteresting but perhaps valuable as a reference to interpretations of various Biblical passages relating …

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Who teaches American Presbyterian history? (and what books do they assign?)

I was curious to know what courses the various Reformed seminaries teach on American Presbyterian history. And so I have canvassed some of them and found the following information: Covenant Theological Seminary The closest course CTS offers is “Reformation and Modern Church History.” It is taught by Dr. Dan Doriani. He tells me that they …

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Review of "Race Over Grace" by Charles H. Roberts

Race Over Grace, The Racialist Religion of the Christian Identity Movement, by Charles H. Roberts, iUniverse, 2002, 109 pp. I’ve long had a fascination with oddities. I frequently read about cryptozoology, ooparts, and the JFK assassination conspiracy theories. More recently I’ve been following the blog of Jason Colavito, a critical skeptic of the ancient aliens literature …

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Low, High, and In Between – Confessional Subscription and the Clark – Van Til Controversy

https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=324181454112 Low, High, and In Between – Confessional Subscription and the Clark – Van Til Controversy by Douglas J. Douma Speech given on March 24, 2017 at Reedy River Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC Introduction The intent of my speech today is to argue for the necessity and sufficiency of the Westminster Standards as the bounds …

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