Currents in Reformed Theology

Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018


EDITORIAL: MODERN AND ORTHODOX?

PAUL WELLS - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
It Is Beyond Unfashionable Today Among Young Evangelicals Involved In Theology To Aspire To Orthodoxy. The Famous Statement Made By Charles Hodge About Old Princeton That “a New Idea Never Originated In This Seminary” Is Not Something That Appeals To Bright Young Theologians, Nor Need It Be Taken At Face Value. On The Other Hand, New, Innovative, And Adventurous Ideas Are Top Drawer, In Line With The Attitude Of Our Day That The Latest Is The Greatest, And The Newest The Best. ...

THE HEART OF THE MATTER: LUTHER’S CONCEPT OF REFORMATION

HERMAN J. SELDERHUIS - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
Luther Is Often Presented As A Reformer Of The Church, But This Paper Demonstrates That The Reformation Of The Church Was A Consequence Of The Real Issue: A Reformation Of The Relationship Between God And Man. Luther’s Spiritual Biography And Especially His Debate With Erasmus Make Clear That To Him The Heart Of The Matter Was How To Define The Relationship Between The Righteous God And Sinful Man And How To Repair That Relationship. Only From This Perspective Can The History And ...

“MIDDLE KNOWLEDGE”: SOLUTION OR SEDUCTION?1

HENRI A. G. BLOCHER - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
In This Article, Henri Blocher Examines The Status And Function Of “middle Knowledge,” A Proposed Median Between Determinism And Indeterminism, And One That Satisfies Our Natural Aspirations To Freedom. The Theses Of Molina And Suarez In Particular Are Carefully Presented And Evaluated, With Reference To The Thought Of One Of Their Recent Capable Advocates, William Lane Craig. The Seduction Of The “middle Knowledge” Thesis Provides An Opportunity For Reflection And Wisdom, And ...

THE ETERNAL “SUBORDINATION” OF THE SON OF GOD?

GERALD BRAY - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
The Relationship Between The Father And The Son In The Trinity Can Be Described In Terms Of “eternal Subordination,” But It Is Unhelpful To Do So. The New Testament Uses The Language Of Subordination With Respect To This Relationship Only In 1 Corinthians 15:28, And Then With A Very Specific Act In Mind. The Word Also Has Arian Connotations That Are Best Avoided. The Submission Of The Son To The Father Is A Voluntary Act Of Mutual Love, Not Something Imposed Or Made Inevitable By Their

EVANGELICAL REFORMULATIONS OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY AND CALVIN ON THE FULL EQUALITY OF ALL PERSONS OF THE TRINITY

DOUGLAS F. KELLY - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
In The Context Of Evangelical Reformulations Of The Trinity In A New Sub- Ordinationism, The Article Reasserts The Traditional Assertion Of The Full Equality Of All Persons Of The Trinity. To That End, The Author Exposits John Calvin’s Formulation Of The Trinity And That Of The Church Fathers, Which Anticipates Calvin’s Doctrine. Crucial To A Proper Understanding Are The Distinctions Between Essence And Persons And Between The Ontological Trinity And Each Person’s Role In Redemption...

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHURCH’S SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

YUZO ADHINARTA - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
This Article Responds To Criticisms Regarding Pneumatology And The Church’s Social Responsibility That Are Often Joined And Directed At Reformed Tradition And Theology. We Will Argue That, As Reflected By Its Confessional Standards, The Reformed Tradition Inherits A Comprehensive Doctrine Of The Holy Spirit. Moreover, It Also Provides Rich Materials For Christian Guidance And Reflection On The Church’s Social Responsibility. Therefore, If Local Churches Neglect Their Social ...

GOD THE LAWGIVER ACCORDING TO THE WESTMINSTER DIVINE BURGESS

STEPHEN J. CASSELLI - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
In This Essay, We Will Consider The Way In Which Anthony Burgess—and Therefore, Presumably, The Westminster Confession Of Faith—grounds Its Doctrine Of God’s Law In An “experimental Awareness Of The Exalted Lawgiver.” His And Their Understanding Of The Law Is Not Abstract Or Philosophical, But Rather Theological And Therefore Personal. We Will Conclude With Some Brief Comments On The Implications Of Burgess’s Work For Contemporary Reflections About Natural Law In The Reformed ...

COMMENDING SOLA SCRIPTURA: THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE CHURCH, AND DOCTRINE

DAVID B. GARNER - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
In post-Reformation dogmatics, the role of the Holy Spirit in relation to the doctrine of Scripture has often received insufficient attention. Contemporary treatments have erred in different directions, subjugating the doctrine of Scripture to communal hermeneutics or individual experience. By contrast, the magisterial Reformers offer a vital doctrine of the Holy Spirit for the doctrine of Holy Scripture in conjunction with the stewardship of that Scripture by the Spirit-birthed, ...

THE DISTINCTIVES OF “TWO KINGDOM” THEOLOGY

JIM WEST - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
In recent years the Reformed world has tackled a number of doctrinal issues, the most recent being the Two Kingdom theology, the epicenter being Westminster Theological Seminary in California. This theology is intensely practical, since it impacts the daily work of the Christians as pilgrims through God’s world. The practicalities are depicted by the title of David VanDrunen’s intriguing book and defense, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms. This article examines Two Kingdom theology, reviews ...

DEVELOPMENTS IN CHURCH GOVERNMENT IN THE POST- REFORMATION FRENCH CHURCHES1

PAUL WELLS - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
The history of the Protestant Reformed churches in France in the century following the Wars of Religion, their trials and sufferings, is well documented. It is a tragic page in modern European history and retains the attention of commentators because rarely has a people group been persecuted so intensely for so long, to the point of virtual extinction. Less known, perhaps because of the linguistic barriers, is the development of church life and the theological struggles in the ...

WHOSE REBELLION? REFORMED RESISTANCE THEORY IN AMERICA: PART II

SARAH MORGAN SMITH AND MARK DAVID HALL - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
Students of the American Founding routinely assert that America’s civic leaders were influenced by secular Lockean political ideas, especially on the question of resistance to tyrannical authority. In the first part of this series, we showed that virtually all Reformed writers, from Calvin to the end of the Glorious Revolution, agreed that tyrants could be actively resisted. The only debated question was who could resist them. In this essay, we contend that the Reformed approach to ...

THE WORD MADE FLESH: THE LIGONIER STATEMENT ON CHRISTOLOGY

STEPHEN J. NICHOLS - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
This article explains the origin and construction of The Word Made Flesh: The Ligonier Statement on Christology. The text of the statement and the articles of affirmation and denial are included, preceded by introductory comments on creeds and confessions and the aims of this statement.

A TRIBUTE TO DR. R. C. SPROUL (1939–2017)

K. SCOTT OLIPHINT - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
There is no way to state the impact of Dr. R. C. Sproul adequately. The impact on people could perhaps be measured, but the immeasurable spiritual impact that R. C.’s teaching has had on so many can only be quantified by the Lord himself. Its vast reach will always remain incalculable to us. No one has had more influence on students coming to Westminster Theological Seminary than R. C. Sproul.

INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT C.SPROUL ( † )

PETER A. LILLBACK - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018

A MORATORIUM ON DYNAMIC-EQUIVALENT BIBLE TRANSLATING

STEFAN FELBER - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
In this personal reflection, a congruence or resemblance of critiques of modern theories of language and translation is detected. One of them arose from a thorough study of literature (Ian Robinson), the other from biblical studies (Stefan Felber). The author calls for a moratorium on new translations of the Bible into European languages.

AN EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO THE LESSONS OF HISTORY IN MONGOLIA

JOHN GIBBENS AND N. ALTANCHIMEG WITH LYNN SUCHY - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
Garamtseren Bayarjargal’s Article “Re-Establishment Of The Christian Church In Mongolia: The Mongolian Standard Version Translation By National Christians” Describes A Past Christian Presence Among Mongolians And Asserts That Post- 1990 Mongolian Christianity Is Not New, But Is In A Process Of “re-establishment.”The Article Also Describes Mongolian Bible Translation History With Special Emphasis Given To The Author’s Mongolian Standard Version Bible Translation Project.

THE REFORMED DOGMATICS OF GEERHARDUS VOS

RICHARD B. GAFFIN JR. - in Vol. 4 No. 1 / Apr 2018
Many readers of this journal are familiar with Geerhardus Vos (1862–1949), fairly seen as the father of Reformed biblical theology for his numerous publications in this area. These largely date from the period 1893–1932, when he was the first occupant of the chair of biblical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, and after that in his retirement. Less well known is that prior to his Princeton years, he taught at the Theological School of the Christian Reformed Church, now...