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tdskh16
Mar 30, 2021
In Book Club
Our book for next month (the next two months actually) will be The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs. Plan on reading one chapter a week. is available for free at this link: https://www.chapellibrary.org/book/rjoc/rare-jewel-of-christian-contentment-the-burroughsjeremiah
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tdskh16
Mar 20, 2021
In Book Club
"Perhaps he dreamed of still extending his conquests; but the sin of man, of which he was the author, was the appointed means of putting a final stop to iniquity, of banishing sin from the universe, with the exception of that place of torment prepared for the devil and his angels." This quote is from the end of chapter 2. This was a fascinating read. It is so encouraging to reflect on the wisdom of God in regard to sin. So often, people use the existence of sin and evil as an excuse to deny the truth of the gospel. But Haldane has done an excellent job of demonstrating the balance between the sovereignty of God and the will of the creature. In his wisdom, God ordained that the very designs of the devil to rebel would be used to bring about the glorious redemption of the church. I am reminded of what Joseph told his brothers after their reunion. What they meant for evil, God meant for good. It is such an emboldening thought that God orchestrates all events, good and evil alike, to the good of those who love him. What were some of your thoughts concerning this week's reading?
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tdskh16
Mar 13, 2021
In Book Club
The first chapter of Haldane's book reminded me of Proverbs 17:15, "He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD." Paul Washer said in one of his sermons ( I cannot remember which) that the greatest problem that sinners face is the fact that God is good. If he is good, he cannot forgive us. Yet, in his infinite wisdom, he orchestrated the perfect plan to reconcile justice and mercy. This quote stood out to me as I was reading. It has caused to consider how the entirety of our lives is to be affected by the fact at all our life is derivative, coming from Christ. "Jesus is the head of a new creation, the members of which are all partakers of eternal life—a life not derived from Adam, but from the Son of God, of the perpetuity of which His life is the assured pledge (Joh 14:19)." What are your thoughts?
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tdskh16
Mar 06, 2021
In Book Club
The book of the month for March is entitled "The Wisdom of God Displayed in the Mystery of Redemption" by James Haldane (1768-1851). You may recognize the name of James Haldane. He was a Scottish Presbyterian who came to reject paedobaptistic thinking and embrace the biblical view of Baptism. This is a short book, but the description (see below) sounded intriguing. Here is a link to read this work for free from Chapel Library (I am intentionally picking books from their site so that we can read for free): https://www.chapellibrary.org/book/wogm/wisdom-of-god-mystery-of-redemption-haldanejamesa "God has demonstrated His great wisdom in His redemption of men. In this booklet, the history of God's plan of redemption is reviewed with clarity as James Haldane considers God's glory demonstrated by the gospel of Christ. Though man's condition after he fell appeared absolutely hopeless, God in His all-knowing power provided the way for the salvation of men. Neither contradicting His own just attributes nor faltering in His redemptive purposes, 'from the foundation of the world; from the beginning He has acted on a plan, originating in infinite wisdom and perfect goodness.'"
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tdskh16
Mar 06, 2021
In Book Club
By now, everyone should have finished reading Gill's work on baptism. What were some of the takeaways you gleaned from it? How has it affected your view of the ordinance of baptism? I thoroughly enjoyed the final chapter. It is helpful, I think, to remember that baptism is a sign for us, one of the ordinary means of grace in our lives. Considering its ends is immensely beneficial. Here's a quote I found particularly impactful: "5. In the same passage it is said to be of this use and to serve this purpose: “The answer of a good conscience toward God.” A man who believes baptism to be an ordinance of God and submits to it as such discharges a good conscience, the consequence of which is joy and peace. Though “for” keeping the commands of God there is no reward, yet there is [a reward] “in” keeping them."
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tdskh16
Feb 27, 2021
In Book Club
This week's chapter in Gill dealt with the issue of the mode of baptism. I grew up in circles where the mode of baptism was not a very important issue. Sprinkling or pouring was deemed acceptable in certain situations. This discussion on mode really points to something larger, in my view, and that is the relation of abstract theology as opposed to practical theology. In other words, how does our understanding of doctrine manifest in our practice and how important is that manifestation? Does the mode of baptism really matter, or is it something we can compromise on? If immersion is the only acceptable theological mode of baptism, then does that mean that it is also the only acceptable mode in practice? Are there ever appropriate situations where sprinkling or pouring may be acceptable?
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tdskh16
Feb 20, 2021
In Book Club
Here's a quote from this week's chapter in Gill: "But our practice is not at all concerned with the parents of the persons baptized by us—whether they be Christians, Jews, Turks, or pagans—but with the persons themselves, whether they are believers in Christ or not." This sentence, in my estimation, seems to sum up the whole difference between the Baptistic view and the Reformed view. The Reformed view centers around looking at the New Testament through the lens of the Old. So, their perspective is skewed to imply state and national dealings in regards to the new covenant. In other words, infant baptism is an extension of the union between church and state that is fundamental to the Reformed view of the covenants. The Baptisitic view is completely the opposite of this. Viewing the old covenant through the lens of the new, we find that national dealings are abrogated. Entrance into the new covenant is based upon personal union with Christ, not birth right. This makes the issue of baptism a gospel issue. It's interesting to me that no doctrine can stand in isolation. All the doctrines of the Bible are tied in together, and our view of one affects our views of the rest. What are your thoughts?
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tdskh16
Feb 13, 2021
In Book Club
Here's a quote from John Gill's Introduction: "When I say it [baptism] is not a church ordinance, I mean it is not an ordinance administered in the church, but out of it and in order to admission into it and communion with it. It is preparatory to it and a qualification for it. It does not make a person a member of a church, or admit him into a visible church. Persons must first be baptized and then added to the church, as the three thousand converts were (Acts 2.41)." This echos the sentiments of the 1689 LBCF, which says in paragraph one of chapter 29: "Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life." This is opposed to the Presbyterian view (and other reformed traditions, as the Dutch Reformed as stated in the Belgic Confession article 34). This view is found in the Westminster Confession of Faith 28.1: "Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church...." The WCF cites 1 Corinthians 12.13 as its proof-text that baptism is the sacrament by which men are made members of the visible Church. What are you thoughts? How does this particular aspect of the ordinance of baptism affect our understanding of the church in general, and this ordinance in particular?
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tdskh16
Feb 08, 2021
In News
China has instituted a live-streaming ban, as well as a ban on sharing recorded sermon audio and video, on churches. This comes in the midst of a total ban on in-person gatherings for churches. Let's be praying for our Chinese brothers and sisters. Follow the link for the full article. https://www.persecution.org/2021/02/07/chinas-shandong-bans-sharing-sermon-videos-online/
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tdskh16
Feb 06, 2021
In Book Club
Let's kick things off with some John Gill! Here's a link to read a copy of "The Ordinance of Baptism" for free: https://www.chapellibrary.org/book/ooba/the-ordinance-of-baptism-gilljohn. There are six parts, but the first two and the last two are short. So, let's read parts 1 and 2 this week. I'll post a question for discussion next Saturday (Feb. 13).
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tdskh16
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