The Helvetic Confession’s High View of Preaching

“The preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God. Wherefore when this Word of God is now preached … we believe that the very Word of God is proclaimed, and received by the faithful … and that now the Word itself which is preached is to be regarded, not the minister that preaches….”

—The Second Helvetic Confession (Chapter I)

“Concerning the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven which the Lord gave to the apostles … all properly called ministers possess and exercise the keys or the use of them when they proclaim the Gospel; that is, when they teach, exhort, comfort, rebuke, and keep in discipline the people committed to their trust. For in this way they open the Kingdom of Heaven to the obedient and shut it to the disobedient. … Christ’s ministers discharge the office of an ambassador in Christ’s name, as if God himself through ministers exhorted the people to be reconciled to God. … Therefore, they excercise the keys when they persuade [men] to believe and repent. Thus they reconcile men to God. Thus they remit sins.”

—The Second Helvetic Confession (Chapter XIV)

“Ministers, therefore, rightly and effectually absolve when they preach the Gospel of Christ and thereby the remission of sins, which is promised to each one who believes, … and when they testify that it pertains to each one peculiarly. … The remission of sins in the blood of Christ is to be diligently proclaimed, and that each one is to be admonished that the forgiveness of sins pertains to him.”

—The Second Helvetic Confession (Chapter XIV)

The Formal Cause of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura

The following sermon is the first half of a two-part series on the Protestant Reformation, in celebration and memorial of its 500th year anniversary.

The series covered the formal cause of the Reformation (sola scriptura, “scripture alone”), as well as its material cause (sola fide, “faith alone”). I preached on the former topic, as found below.


The Formal Cause of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura
South City Church
10/15/2017

Podcast link.

Goodreads Reviews of Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism by R.C. Sproul

Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman CatholicismAre We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism by R.C. Sproul

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is written to those who are Protestant, in an effort to help them sense the theological chasm between Protestantism and Rome. As such, it is not written as much with an eye towards Catholics, to help them understand Protestant convictions or arguments.

Almost all attention is given to unpacking Catholic thought. Protestant views are only mentioned occasionally in so much as to provide a contrast. But they are not expanded upon.

The above is not a critique of the book, just a clarification that if you are looking for a book that contrasts Protestant and Catholic belief, simultaneously making a case for Protestantism, for example, this is not your book. Sproul, rather, is detailing Catholic thought with an aim of depressing inappropriate ecumenical tendencies (i.e., blowing off differences with Rome) among protestants.

As he proceeds towards this aim, Sproul does a fair job presenting Catholic views. He is charitable, and avoids caricatures, which are all too common among protestants. He gives the needed nuance to Catholic views. He wants to help protestants genuinely understand Catholic theology, and to see it’s rationale.

This book is to be recommended for those looking to understand Catholicism better, specifically on those key subjects where it differs most significantly from Protestant thought.

View all my reviews

Preservation by Mean of Perseverance (1 Peter 1:5)

Preservation by Mean of Perseverance (1 Peter 1:5)
South City Church
February 26, 2017

Podcast link.

See all sermons from this series on 1 Peter.

Preservation & Perseverance: Views Charted

“We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God according to which he effectually regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners, not on the basis of anything foreseen in them, but solely based on his free and sovereign grace. We believe that this election comprehends all the means connected with its end such that the salvation of all who trust in Christ is guaranteed, that by God’s unfailing grace all genuine believers will persevere in faith unto full and complete salvation.” – SCC Statement of Faith