Theology

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 "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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Review of "The Philosophy of The Christian Curriculum" by Rousas J. Rushdoony

The Philosophy of The Christian Curriculum by Rousas J. Rushdoony, Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1981, reprinted 2001, 190 pp. In a book that essentially amounts to an extended quotation of Cornelius Van Til, the message of The Philosophy of The Christian Curriculum is clear: Secular BAAAAD . . . Christian GOOOOOD. Though the book …

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Three David Steele's in American Church History.

One of my greatest interests is church history, particularly American Presbyterian church history. In my readings of such I’ve come across the name “David Steele” a number of times. But the widely diverse historical times and geographical locations mentioned in these references brought me to suppose that there was more than one individual by that …

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Review of "Can The Presbyterian Church In America be saved?" by Sean Gerety

Can The Presbyterian Church In America be saved? by Sean Gerety, Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 2009, 158 pp. Sean Gerety’s Can The Presbyterian Church In America by saved? is an excellent study on the problem of the heresy of the Federal Vision, its root causes, and its effects on the PCA. Although I read …

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Review of "Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God" by J. I. Packer

Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God by J. I. Packer, InterVarsity Press, 1961 [reformatted 1991], 126 pp. In Chapter I “The Sovereignty of God,” J. I. Packer writes to Arminians that “you know” and “you believe this already” referring to the sovereignty of God. That is, Arminians do not credit themselves with their own salvation [even …

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Review of "Before Jerusalem Fell" by Kenneth L. Gentry Jr.

Before Jerusalem Fell, Dating the Book of Revelation, An Exegetical and Historical Argument for a Pre-A.D. 70 Composition, by Kenneth L. Gentry Jr., Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989, 418 pp. As the author of this book Kenneth L. Gentry notes, the debate over the dating of the book of Revelation is ultimately between …

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GPTS Conference 2018

This is the second year that I’ve attended the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (GPTS) conference. It is held at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church, a large and rather dashing church in Greenville, SC. My current church is a financial supporter of GPTS and it is the seminary I would most likely recommend to prospective ministry students. GPTS, …

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Which preacher has the most sermons on SermonAudio?

I thought of this question, “Which preacher has the most sermons on Sermonaudio.com?” after noticing that Dr. Joe Morecraft had over 2,000 sermons posted there. So is there anyone who has more than him? I don’t believe there is a way to sort by number of sermons, so we might just look up some prominent …

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Calvin, "Calvinists," and the Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart

There are at least three key passages in Calvin’s Institutes where he gives his view on the matter of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. In these passages Calvin rejects the explanation that such hardening is merely by the “permission” of God. The permission view rejected by Calvin, however, has been taken up by some modern …

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