Archive for January, 2009

Split Pea Soup

Let me first state that what follows is a very brief (despite its appearance) and therefore a very general overview of American Presbyterianism.  If you want more information, I recommend Seeking a Better Country:  300 Years of American Presbyterianism by D. G. Hart and John R. Muether.

The first presbytery meeting in the United States was in Philadelphia in 1706.  A presbytery meeting is a meeting of the elders in a given geographical region to conduct church business.  The church grew, other presbyteries formed, and the first synod convened in 1717.  A synod is a group of presbyteries that gather to conduct church business.  Overtime, the synod became too large to function efficiently, so in 1786 the sixteen presbyteries that made up the synod were divided into four separate synods.  Three years later, in 1789 the first General Assembly (meeting of all the synods) convened. 

However, the eighty-three year journey from the first presbytery meeting to the first General Assembly was not without bumps.  From 1741 to 1758, the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America split between the Old Side and New Side over the issue of revivalism.  The New Side, following men such as George Whitfield and Gilbert Tennent were pro-revivalism and viewed by the Old Side, represented by John Thomson and George Gillespie, as emotional and theatrical in their preaching.  When the two sides came back together in 1758 the influence of the New Side was apparent.

While the Old Side and New Side were able to reunite, the issue of revivalism continued to cause controversy in the Presbyterian Church.  Following the tradition of the New Side, the Cumberland Presbytery, located in Kentucky, began ordaining men who did not meet the education requirements of the Presbyterian Church and who only loosely subscribed to the Westminster Confession of Faith, the long standing doctrinal standard of Presbyterians.  The Cumberland Presbyterian Church began pulling away in 1810, and in 1825, the Presbyterian Church in United States of America officially excluded the Cumberland Presbyterians from the General Assembly. 

In the 1830′s a new debate, or perhaps the same debate with a new focus, arose.  The two sides were the Old School and the New School.  The Old School party pushed for a strict subscription to the Westminster Standards, and accused the New School party of unbiblical views of the depravity of man, the headship of Adam, and other central doctrines.  The split was official in 1838 when the Old School constituents to the General Assembly effectively locked the New School constituents out of the assembly meeting. 

As the Old School New School controversy lingered on, the issues of slavery and states’ rights, the hot political issues of the day, further complicated the debate.  Holding a higher view of states’ rights and seeing slavery as not necessarily condemned in Scripture, the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America organized in 1861.  The organizing churches were southern and predominately Old School congregations.  With the end of the Civil War in 1865, the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America was renamed the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS). 

In 1869, eight years after the Southern church formed, the Old School and New School sides came back together to form the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA).  The reuniting of the Old and New School in the North established two main Presbyterian bodies divided less over theological issues and more over Civil War era politics.  The Northern Church was the PCUSA, and the Southern Church was the PCUS.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, theological liberalism grew within the PCUSA, the Northern Church.  In the 1920′s, the debate between fundamentalism and liberalism reached fever pitch.  Harry Emerson Fosdick, a liberal Baptist minister preached a sermon titled “Shall the Fundamentalists Win” at the First Presbyterian Church of New York City in 1922.  In his sermon, Fosdick openly denied fundamentals of the faith such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the inspiration of Scripture, and the second coming of Jesus Christ.  In 1923 the General Assembly responded by affirming five fundamentals:  1) the inerrancy of Scripture; 2) the miracles of Christ; 3) the virgin birth of Christ; 4) the substitutionary atonement (the doctrine that Christ died in place of his people, as a substitute); and 5) the bodily resurrection.  In addition, J. Gresham Machen, a leading conservative theologian and Princeton professor, sought to address the issue with a book titled, Christianity and Liberalism.  Machen’s argument was that the debate between fundamentalism and liberalism was not a debate between two different varieties of Christianity but a debate between Christianity and a different religion altogether, liberalism.  The liberal camp responded in 1924 with the Auburn Affirmation, a document calling into question the need for men to affirm the five fundamentals in order to be ordained as ministers in the PCUSA.

The controversy continued, resulting in Machen and the fundamentalists opening Westminster Theological Seminary in 1929 and forming the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions in 1933.  These separatist actions by Machen and others resulted in their suspension from the ministry by the PCUSA in 1935.  In 1936, Machen and the others organized the Presbyterian Church in America, which then changed its name to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in 1939.  Westminster Theological Seminary and the OPC still stand as biblically faithful institutions today.

Forms of liberalism, similar to that in the Northern Church, crept into the Southern Church in the late 20′s and early 30′s.  By the 1940′s, liberalism had firmly taken root in the PCUS.  One of the landmark cases within the PCUS involved Hay Watson Smith, a minister in Little Rock, AR whom the Arkansas Presbytery received as a minister despite his denial of Biblical inerrancy and affirmation of other liberal positions.  In 1929, the General Assembly requested that the Arkansas Presbytery open a disciplinary investigation regarding Smith’s beliefs.  The investigation went on until 1934 and ended with the Presbytery refusing to discipline Smith for his unorthodox and even heretical views. 

As the fight against liberalism in the Southern Church grew, several groups emerged to uphold the conservative, biblical position.  Dr. L. Nelson Bell, Billy Graham’s father-in-law, began the Southern Presbyterian Journal in 1942, which joined with the Association for the Preservation of the Southern Presbyterian Church in 1954.  In 1964, a group of laymen formed the Concerned Presbyterians and joined a conservative group of clergy known as the Presbyterian Churchmen United.  The Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship formed in the same year and eventually formed the Executive Committee on Overseas Missions in 1971.  This group was concerned with carrying out biblically faithful evangelism in the U.S. and abroad.  The education of ministers had always been important to most Presbyterians.  Therefore, a group of men started Reformed Theological Seminary in 1966 in Jackson, MS to educate men to be biblically faithful ministers.  Representatives from each of these groups drafted a Declaration of Commitment in 1969, which was a commitment to take the necessary action in the event that the doctrine of the church was further compromised. 

Only a few years later a Plan of Union was introduced which forced the hand of the conservative groups in the PCUS resulting in a meeting at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL at which the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA – originally called the National Presbyterian Church) was formed.  In 1982, the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod (RPCES), a micro-denomination made up of groups from various Presbyterian and Reformed backgrounds including the OPC, merged with the PCA.  The RPCES brought with it Covenant College (Lookout Mountain, GA) and Covenant Seminary (St. Louis, MO) which remain as the denominational undergraduate college and seminary of the PCA.

In 1983, the remaining liberal sides of the Southern Church (PCUS) and the Northern Church (PCUSA), which had come to be known as the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, reunited to form the Presbyterian Church (USA).  The OPC and the PCA remain biblically faithful “sister” denominations ministering alongside and in conjunction with one another.

The history of American Presbyterianism is eye opening.  What I have presented in this article is only a fraction of the divisions and mergers that have taken place between various groups over the last 300-or-so years.  With good reason, many refer to Presbyterian history as “split-pea-soup.”  However, the reality is that every denomination shares a similar history made up of various episodes of divisiveness and grace.  

The PCA does not claim to be a perfect denomination.  Nor does the PCA claim to be the only true Christian denomination.  We recognize that there are other biblically sound and faithful denominations alongside whom we have the privilege of proclaiming the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ.  If our history teaches us anything, it teaches us that we are great sinners in need of a great Savior.

 

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Dr. Mohler, Fairness, and God

Dr. Albert Mohler Jr. is the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. I have only met him briefly one time (all he said was, “Nice tie, I wore that one yesterday.”), but he has a reputation of being a godly and brilliant man.  Recently, he made a comment on his blog that I found to be both abrasive and helpful.  In a post commenting on American notions of fairness verse Biblical notions of God, Dr. Mohler wrote, “We hope to make things fair. God makes things right.”  What a contrast!  If we rely on our own abilities and ideas, we can only hope for something that is at best a shadow and at worst a distorted imitation of what God can, and does in Jesus Christ, bring about.  Let us not settle for American ideals of fairness when true justice lies with God, and justification is found in Jesus Christ, which is supremely unfair in our American schemes. 

To read the rest of Dr. Mohler’s post click here

 

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Do all things for the glory of God.

Jason Harms, a jazz musician, recently posted an article on the Desiring God Blog about his musical trip to the Dominican Republic, why he plays jazz, and why the theme of his song is Jesus Christ.  His article, “Jesus and Jazz,” is a great reminder that we do not live partitioned lives but lives that are, in every aspect, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  You can read Jason’s article here, or you can visit his site here.

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We Can’t Improve the Word of God

Today I received a catalog in the mail that contained only Bibles (with the exception of one product page).  In all, there were 59 pages of Bibles!  One could pick from Bibles that were big, tiny, leather, paper, metal, gender neutral, gender specific, Amplified, ESV, HCSB, KJV, The Message, HASB, NCV, NIV, NirV, NKJV, KLT, NRSV, TNIV, camouflaged, reference, pew, electronic, audio, age specific, etc., etc., etc.  I found this to be at least a bit paradoxical. 

On the one hand, it was an absolute joy to see how readily available the Word of God is to English speakers.  Having studied periods of history in which one had to know Latin, or Hebrew and Greek in order to read the Scriptures, I find it a great privilege of God’s grace to live in a time and culture that enjoys such access to His inspired Word.

On the other hand, it was somewhat depressing to see how business and marketing practices and standards influence, and to some degree drive, our consumption of God’s Word.  To be sure, I understand many of the options.  The church would be remiss, I think, not to publish a Giant (or at least Large) Print Bible for those who do not see well.  The church also benefits from the work of linguists seeking to produce more intelligible translations than generations before have possessed.  I even understand the benefit of Bibles with various exegetical and theological notes.  However, many more options seem to be driven more purely by the infamous bottom line and seem to undermine the value of what is being sold.  Here are a few titles and taglines.

“NIV 2:52 Boys Bible – At last – a Bible designed just for 8- to 12-year-old boys!  Special Features:  Focusing on Luke 2:52, Rick Osborne’s study tracks help young men to grow ‘Deeper, Smarter, Stronger, and Cooler’ in the Lord…”

“NIV ReaLife Devotional Bible for Kids – It’s God’s Word, made extra faith-affirming and fun for 9- to 12-year-olds!  Special Features:  Five fictional friends guide tweens [apparently a new age group that did not exist when I would have been one] through Scripture…Zany line art sketches…”

“Revolve 2007:  The Complete NCV New Testament for Girls – Your teenage girls will love reading this New Testament that looks more like a fashion magazine!  Special Features:  Relationship and ‘Guys Speak Out’ articles…Beauty secrets.”

“NKJV Family Foundations Study Bible – Biblical tools to help you grow as a family!  Special Features:  Articles on peer pressure, grandparents and more.  ‘When Kids Ask’ helps you answer children’s tough questions.”

The common idea seems to be, “What can we do to make Bible’s more attractive and more effective?”  The Bible is the Word of God!  It does not need our pity, and we would do good to recognize what exactly we have.  If the Bible were printed by a five year old with a dull crayon on unbound 2′x3′ corrugated cardboard pages, we should be clamoring for it because it is the Word of God – not because it has zany line art sketches, beauty tips, and articles about grandparents. 

Consider the following passages in which the Bible helps us understand what exactly we have.

Deuteronomy 32.44-47 – Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun.  And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law.  For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

Luke 24.27 – And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

2 Timothy 3.16-17 – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 1.1-2 – Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

2 Peter 1.16-21 – For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory,  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.  And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

But alas, we are sinners, and apart from God changing our hearts by His Spirit and making us new creations in Jesus Christ we will continue to exalt the creature over the Creator.  I fear the marketing of the Word of God via attempts to make it more attractive and effective than it necessarily is on its own, is symptomatic of a church that has turned from proclaiming and worshipping her Lord to fearing and seeking man.

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The Shack – A Review

William Paul Young, author of the bestselling book The Shack, grew up as a missionary kid living with the Dani tribe in New Guinea.  His childhood and life experiences have greatly shaped his understanding of life and God.  Throughout his life, Willie, as he commonly addresses himself and as he appears in the book, has been a writer, though he mostly wrote for his business, friends, and family.  Young began The Shack on his daily train commute to work in Portland, Oregon as a series of conversations with God.  He originally intended the story to be for his children saying, “I wanted my kids to enjoy a story and through the story to understand their own father better and the God that their father is so in love with. ”1

There are four main characters in The Shack, or perhaps more accurately two main characters, Mack and God, who appears as three persons.  God the Father primarily appears as an African-American woman named Elousia or Papa.  God the Son is a Jewish handyman named Jesus.  God the Holy Spirit appears as a somewhat physically nebulous Asian woman named Sarayu.

The Shack reads as a biographical account of the events leading up to and including a particularly healing and formative weekend that Mack spends in a shack with God.  “The Great Sadness” had descended on Mack following his daughter’s abduction and murder by a man known only as the “little lady killer.”  As Mack, who has an uncomfortably formal relationship with God, is trying to get on with life he receives a note inviting him to meet at the shack and signed by Papa, the personal name Nan, Mack’s wife, has for God.  The Shack at which they are to meet is the very location where the search party found Missy’s bloody dress a few years earlier.  When Mack arrives at the shack, with a gun in hand, what unfolds is a multi-day theophanic conversation with the three persons of the Godhead that results in Mack dealing with not only the pain of Missy’s murder but also the pain of his relationship with his own biological father, which has drastically shaped his understanding of God as Father.

On one hand, from a literary standpoint, The Shack is a good book.  It is an engaging, easy-to-read, and thought provoking, work of fiction – both literarily and theologically.  The fact that Young has had to address whether Mack, the main character, is real or not shows the brilliance of Young’s writing (including the “Foreword” and “After Words”).  Some may argue that this is because the book is somewhat deceptive, but it is actually because Young was convincingly realistic and appropriately thorough in the development of both the characters and the parts of the story set in “reality.”

On the other hand, from a theological standpoint The Shack is wanting.  Throughout the book, Young repeats multiple heresies and unorthodox teachings through imprecise and unbiblical statements.  In the course of a couple hundred pages, Young undermines God’s sovereignty, puts the Father and the Spirit on the cross with Christ, teaches a form of modalism, denies the deity of the incarnate Christ, teaches pantheism, repudiates God’s desire and holy need to vindicate His glory by pouring out His wrath on sin, rejects any economic formulation of the Trinity, affirms universalism, promotes antinomianism, teaches pelagianism, resets the limits of natural theology, diminishes God’s consuming glory, and undermines Christ’s propitiation of God’s wrath.  Further, through the fictional theophany Young does this all from the mouth of God.

The very device that makes The Shack brilliant from a literary standpoint heightens the danger of the book from a theological standpoint by masking the half-truths as God’s words.  Because the book is so well written, the reader is emotionally involved in the story.  The emotional involvement makes it hard for the reader, because of what is at stake with a man whose daughter was brutally murdered and because it is God speaking, to say, “That is wrong; God does not work that way.  Any comfort found in this presentation of God is a false comfort.”

While all of the critiques above are certainly serious, they are in a sense secondary to and allowed by the low view of Scripture that Young presents in The Shack.  The following paragraph records Mack trying to get his mind around the note he received from God.

“Try as he might, Mack could not escape the desperate possibility that the note just might be from God   after all, even if the thought of God passing notes did not fit well with his theological training.  In seminary, he had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course.  God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects.  It seemed that direct communication with God was something exclusively for the ancients and uncivilized, while educated Westerners’ access to God was mediated and controlled by the intelligentsia.  Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book.  Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?”2

Young brilliantly validates the theological musings of his God character by compromising the centrality and authority of Scripture as God’s revealed will, and cynically presenting as orthodox a view of the Bible as God’s authoritative self-revelation that is itself a denial of the priesthood of the believer.  What then is a proper view of Scripture?  We can begin by considering what the Bible says of itself.

The first statement to be considered comes from the hand of Paul in his second letter to Timothy.  “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3.16-17, ESV).  Here two claims are made.  Scripture is breathed out by God, and Scripture is useful.  B.B. Warfield summarizes the force of the first claim.  ”What is [theopnustos] is ‘God-breathed,’ produced by the creative breath of the Almighty.  And Scripture is called [theopnustos] in order to designate it as ‘God-breathed,’ the product of Divine spiration, the creation of that Spirit who is in all spheres of the Divine activity the executive of the Godhead.”3  The force of the second major claim in this passage is that it posits both intention on the part of God in His inspiration of the Scriptures and efficiency on the part of Scripture.

Paul is clearly writing of the Old Testament in 2 Timothy.  Peter likewise affirms the divine origin of the Old Testament when he writes, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1.21, ESV).  However, the designation, inspired Word of God, is not to be left for the Old Testament alone.  Paul also writes to the Thessalonians, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (2 Thessalonians 2.13, ESV).  Here, Paul is recognizing the authority of both his and the other Apostles writings as Word of God.  Again, Peter’s witness confirms Paul’s witness that the New Testament, or at least Paul’s writing, carries the same authority as the Old Testament. Peter writes,

And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures (2 Peter 3.15-16, ESV).

Peter’s phrase, “as they do the other Scriptures”, assumes Paul’s writings under the heading Scripture.  In addition, the author of Hebrew’s begins his letter with a statement affirming Christ as fulfilling the role the prophets formerly fulfilled.  He writes, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Hebrews 1.1-2, ESV).  Christ is the means of divine special revelation.  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all state explicitly that Jesus Christ, the means of divine special revelation, is the subject of their gospel accounts.  Luke attaches Acts to his gospel as the sequel thereby also attaching the authority that rests on the gospel to Acts.   John explicitly states in Revelation that this book is “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place.  He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1.1-2, ESV).  Further, Jesus, at the end of his ministry on earth, as attested by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, sent the apostles out with a specific God-ordained teaching ministry.  It is easy to understand from the apostolic writings, that their letters are a definite part of this teaching ministry.  This taken with Paul’s statement, cited above, in II Thessalonians gives adequate reason to understand all true apostolic writings as the word of God.  Therefore, both claims in Paul’s statement in II Timothy 3.16-17 can be appropriately applied to the New Testament based on the biblical parameters defined in Scripture.  That is to say, “The holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God.”4  Scripture as the Word of God belongs in a literary category all its own.  As the word of God, Scripture has certain characteristics that no other writing or body of writings shares.  As outlined above, Scripture is inspired by God.  In addition to being an inspired text, as the word of God Scripture is also understood to be infallible and authoritative, characteristics necessarily associated with the divine authorship.5

Again, the reader’s emotional involvement in Mack’s heart-wrenching story bodes well for the skeptical presentation of God as the church has understood Him throughout history.  However, once Young throws out Scripture as the only rule of faith and life, the sky is the limit theologically.  Unfortunately, the Scriptures never cross the threshold of The Shack.


1. www.windrumors.com/30/is-the-story-of-the-shack-trueis-mack-a-real-person/

2. William P. Young, The Shack (Los Angeles: Windblown Media, 2008), 65-66.

3. Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, the, vol. I: Revelation and Inspiration (Baker Book House, 2003), 280.

4. Westminster Confession of Faith (Glasgow: Free Presbyterian Publications, 2003), 130.

5. William G. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 3rd ed. (Phillipsburg: P & R Publishing, 2003), 113.

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Tithe, Offering, Collection – What Does the Bible Teach?

When we consider the teaching of Scripture on giving, we find that tithing is no longer the standard for our giving; Christ is.  When we consider Christ as our standard we see that the obligation is far greater, including both giving to the Church and giving to individuals in need.  As Dr. Sproul points out, the tithe is a good starting place, but the New Testament call goes beyond that.  In other words, saying that the tithe is not the binding standard, but Christ is, does not give us the freedom to hoard the blessings of God for our own hedonistic pleasure.  Nor does starting with a tithe as a base for our giving give us the freedom to guiltlessly keep the other 90% for our own hedonistic pleasure.  We are to honor God by spending every penny with which he blesses us for his glory.  The biblical call is to give to the church, to give to individuals in need, and to do so willingly, abundantly, and joyfully.

In the Old Testament, the tithing that is commanded is attached to the tabernacle and temple worship.  While this does help us to understand giving as a part of worship, we must be careful not to undo what Christ has done in fulfilling the law for us by importing these ceremonial commands into the modern day church.  In the New Testament tithing is only actually mentioned three times and never as a command for the church.  However, giving and stewardship are brought up repeatedly throughout the New Testament with an emphasis on giving to meet the needs that exist around us.  When I say, “Tithing is no longer the standard of our giving; Christ is,” we must understand the standard is higher, requiring every penny be spent for God’s glory.

Admittedly this is, at best, a cursory statement on giving.  If you would like to read more on this issue the linked articles may prove helpful.  However, I do encourage you to search it out in Scripture and be convinced rather than simply reading a few articles.  You could begin this study by simply looking at a concordance and taking a look at all the places that key words appear (tithe, tithing, giving, money, etc.)

D.A. Carson is a professor at a seminary in Chicago, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and is standard reading for biblically minded pastors, seminary students, and laymen.  You can read Dr. Carson’s article at here.

R.C. Sproul is a well-known pastor, theologian, and author.  Sproul is an ordained minister in the PCA and is the founder and president of Ligonier ministries.  You can read Dr. Sproul’s article here.

Andreas Kostenberger is a highly respected professor of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Dr. Kostenberger’s articles are much longer than the previous two.  In the first article, he traces out the teaching on tithing though the entire Bible.  In the second article, he works toward developing a positive statement on giving in light of the full witness of Scripture.  While these articles are long, they deal with the issue of tithing in a very thorough manner and are quite helpful.  You can read Dr. Kostenberger’s articles at the following links:  part 1 and part 2.

 

 

 

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Value of Theologians

The church does not need even one more doctrinaire; she needs men whose theological depth is founded in the depth of their love for Jesus Christ.

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