Fides et ratio, faith and reason. Christians adopt the position of fides quaerens intellectum – “faith seeking understanding.” Or, showing their hand a bit more, credo ut intelligam – “I believe that I may understand” (Anselm). While reason may distinguish humanity from the animal kingdom, Christians have distinguished ourselves by remembering the importance of faith. Rather than allowing our reason to dominate our decisions and days, or even trying to hold the two in an uneasy tension, divine revelation requires us to shape our understanding and experience of the world, and we aim for a reason that submits to revelation as received in faith.Continue reading
With the overwhelming influx of information available, discerning readers must become selective in what they give their time to read. Just in case you missed ’em, here are some links I found valuable, and hope you will also.
John Owen on Pastoral Prayer
Looking for further resources on how to pray better? Rev. Danny Hyde discusses Owen’s thoughts on public prayer at Meet the Puritans, including how to “improve” upon Christ’s gifts and what it might mean to “study prayer” and “pray while we study.”
Ussher on the Corporate Nature of Baptism
“Thus if we were wise to make a right use of [attending to the sacrament]; we might learn as much at a Baptism as at a Sermon.”
The always interesting Lauren Winner writes for Slate to query whether it is even possible to apostasize from mainline Christianity. “Would that America’s Protestant mainline could produce an apostate. For one might say that a group that lacks the necessary preconditions for making apostates can’t make disciples either.” Perhaps you’ve never thought it a good thing, but could you be kicked out of your church? Is there a proportionate relationship between the severity of exclusion and the warmth of inclusion?
“…when you can remember Him no more, God will remember you. ‘Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.’”
Contra Accountability Groups
Tullian says “Reminders Are More Effective Than Rebukes” when it comes to living out the Christian life.
Dennis Johnson on Preaching the Gospel
From his magnum opus Him We Proclaim, “…the same gospel that initially called us to faith is the means that perfects us in faith.”
The Bavinck Institute
A wealth of resources. How did I just now hear about this?! Download The Bavinck Review, surf for dissertations on Bavinck that may be downloaded, and find information on a debate regarding Bavinck’s view of Two Kingdoms theology.
The Fun Cult
“Entertainment is a huge American idol. Q/A #1 of the American catechism is this: ‘The chief end of man is to glorify fun and enjoy it forever.'” Bonus: great Trueman quotes on deconstruction of entertainment.
The Marks of the Church. Notes on the Notae to Distinguish the Bride of Christ.
Tertullian: “Those are the true churches that adhere to what they have received from the apostles.”
I was recently preparing for a Consistory meeting and we were going to talk about the third mark of the Church, and as I was preparing I started noticing diversity amongst some of our Reformed fathers. Wanting to understand a bit better the exegetical basis for some of the different decisions, I began to catalog various confessional documents and theologians on the matter. I thought others might find it useful to see these findings placed side by side, and so you will find them below in chronological order. No doubt, others ought to be added to this list, and if there is anyone of particular importance that ought to be cataloged, either for their uniqueness or influence, leave a note in the comments and I’ll try to track them down and add them to the list.