The following episode of the Reformed Forum’s new podcast, East of Eden, was tailor-made for the readers of this blog! East of Eden is a podcast devoted to discussing all things Jonathan Edwards. Not the recent politician with good hair and a bad reputation, but the eighteenth century preacher of the First Great Awakening who became known as the theologian of revival. In this week’s episode, the co-hosts interview a guest to be named below as they discuss Edwards’ sermon on “The Importance and Advantage of a Thorough Knowledge of Divine Truth.” One comment made by Nick Batzig sums up nicely both the sermon and the theme of this blog: “You can have truth in the mind without godliness in the heart, but you can’t have godliness in the heart without truth in the mind.”
Later, I will update this post with a transcript of the context of the preceding quote. In the meantime, listen to the entire episode, “Christian Knowledge,” to be challenged to inform your godliness with a thorough understanding of the truth which accords with godliness (Titus 1:1).
I just added the website of author Simonetta Carr to my Recommended Sites page. She is the author of a series of children’s books called Christian Biographies for Young Readers. These are beautifully illustrated and informative stories of the lives of heroes of the faith to which most children’s books do not get around to featuring. Carr’s series includes titles on the lives of Athanasius, Augustine, John Calvin, John Owen and most recently, the martyr Lady Jane Grey.
I strongly recommend that you get these titles and read them to your children of any age. They are simple enough for your toddlers to get it, but informative enough to educate your interested pre-teens and even young teens, like my daughter, will enjoy them, too. She’s already submitted a request for her copy of Lady Jane Grey. She saw a movie about this martyr on Netflix last year and when I asked what the story was about, she explained that Grey was going to be killed for being a Protestant. Profoundly, yet humorously, she added, “A good way to die.”
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Arlington, Texas-based “Watchman Fellowship is an independent, non-denominational Christian research and apologetics ministry focusing on new religious movements, cults, the occult and the New Age.”
I just received a notification that they have just completed a profile on Rob Bell, Emergent (read: “Postmodern Liberal”) rock star and author of the controversial book Love Wins. The profile summarizes Bell’s personal and ministry history, and his doctrinal stand on issues such as “God’s Immanence in Other Religions” and “No One Reaches a Point of No Return“, “Hell Leads to Restoration” and “A Violent God is not the God of the Gospel” and provides a Biblical Response to “Inclusivistic Universalism“, on how “Reconciliation of ‘All Things’ does not mean All People“, and points out that the “Final Judgment is not Redemptive.”
Read Watchman Fellowship’s Profile on Rob Bell here.
Read their other profiles here.
Notice that Watchman Fellowship is one of my “Featured Sites” to the right. Their logo in my list links to their website. I highly recommend their informative work to you.
In all my searching and discussing the issue of the interpretation of the days of creation in Genesis 1, Google directed me to a statement from Westminster Theological Seminary declaring the results of their research into the history of how this issue has been treated by the leaders of the Augustinian and Reformed traditions going all the way back to Augustine himself. The statement is called, “Westminster Theological Seminary and the Days of Creation.“
The discussion among Presbyterians revolves around the reasons the Westminster Divines selected the language they did in when they framed the chapter on Creation in the Westminster Confession of Faith. The phrase in question will be highlighted in the following citation:
I. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.
The question is raised as to why the wording “in the space of six days.” Why not simply “in six days”? The statement explains:
“The paraphrase view is doubtful because if the Standards had intended simply to utilize biblical language, “in six days” would have sufficed and been a more natural choice. The words “the space of,” as the other view above recognizes, seem deliberately chosen as an interpretive or clarifying addition that functions both to affirm and to exclude or negate.
To make the long story short, the statement concludes that the divines intended to exclude Augustine’s view that God created everything instantaneously inspiring the six days, as Calvin described the view (which he did not hold), “for the mere purpose of conveying instruction.” You can read more about this discussion in the statement itself. You can link to it from the title above, and I have also added a link to the page on my “Recommended Sites” page for future reference.
Finally, here’s a quote that sums up the entire issue as they see it. I find it rather helpful:
With Augustine and E. J. Young, the revered teacher of our senior faculty members, we recognize that the exegetical question of the length of the days of Genesis 1 may be an issue which cannot be, and therefore is not intended by God to be, answered in dogmatic terms. To insist that it must comes dangerously close to demanding from God revelation which he has not been pleased to bestow upon us, and responding to a threat to the biblical world view with weapons that are not crafted from the words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God.