The Church: Identity, Mission, & Cultivation

The below is a Gospel Life Course taught during May 2018 at CrossWay Community Church.

Week 1 — Introduction, Identity, & Mission
May 6th, 2018

Week 2 — Cultivation, pt. 1
May 13th, 2018

Week 3 — Cultivation, pt. 2
May 20th, 2018

Week 4 — Cultivation, pt. 3
May 27th, 2018

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A Tabular Comparison of the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) and the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)

I found this tabular comparison between the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) and the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) by James N. Anderson and thought I’d share it in case anyone else might find it useful.

For those of you who don’t know, in the 17th century, English Baptists constructed an original confession now called the First London Baptist Confession of Faith (1644). It is Reformed in terms of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation). In other words, it’s ‘Calvinistic’ in the typical sense of how that word is often used today.

However, the authors of this second confession basically reduplicated the Westminster Confession in an attempt to align themselves much more closely to Reformed (specifically Covenant) Theology. In other words, they not only sought to align themselves with Reformed soteriology, but also, to some degree, with Reformed theology more broadly.[1]

Nonetheless, being Baptists, they obviously didn’t reduplicate everything in the Westminster Confession.[2] So, we find differences.

This chart makes it very easy to examine those differences.


Notes

[1] For this reason, New Covenant Theology adheres to the First London Confession but rejects the Second.

[2] Note: baptist distinctives are incompatible with full-on, traditional, Reformed covenant theology by definition of holding to baptist ecclesiology (doctrine of the church).

The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Abridged Version) by John Calvin

The following is a summary of and reflection upon an abridged version of Calvin’s Institutes produced by Tony Lane and Hilary Osborne (see it here on Amazon). I should note that I did not read the final book, Book IV: Outward Means by which God Helps Us, in its entirety; and therefore, it was directly not taken into consideration in the writing of this review.

* * * * *

Summary

Calvin’s understanding of how men know God, know themselves, and the relationship between these two types of knowledge is seemingly foundational to the entirety of his theology (1:1:1). For Calvin, knowledge of self is intrinsically linked to knowledge of God while knowledge of God results in proper assessment of self (1:1:1). Genuine knowledge of self necessarily assumes knowledge of God. One cannot fully grasp the existence of the creature apart from his fundamental relationship to his Creator and Sustainer (1:1:1). Comprehension of man’s falleness assumes an ideal, one that is rooted in God’s creative-design; transgression implies the reality of Judge (1:1:1). On the other hand, without knowledge of God, no one ever truly knows himself (1:1:2). Lacking insight into the purpose for which He was created, ignorance of his original nature and its divine intent flourish. Unaware of God’s standard of righteousness, man consequently assesses his moral condition inaccurately (2:1:1).

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