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Starting Out #55046
Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:54 PM
Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:54 PM
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Dallas, Tx USA
ReformedDisciple Offline OP
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If one has been a Christian for some years, but is only now falling in line to obedience and hasn't really memorized much, if any, Scripture, but already has an introductory and basic reformed theological understanding (enough to know WHAT and HOW he believes, and enough to generally explain to others), where would such a one best start in Scriptural memorization and study? This one's desire is to become an apologist, theologian and pastor.... and is 31 yrs. old with no college and needs to get busy flee

Any thoughts, suggestions, opinions and/or advice? help

Re: Starting Out [Re: ReformedDisciple] #55047
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:06 PM
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For Study: Start reading through the 1600+ books, articles and sermons on The Highway website? grin

It is impossible to know what you mean by, "already has an introductory and basic reformed theological understanding (enough to know WHAT and HOW he believes, and enough to generally explain to others),". To one, it may mean something totally different than what it means to someone else. In my many years in dealing with individuals, it is a rare thing to meet someone who professes to be a Christian who can articulate the doctrine of justification, or the atonement, or the nature and person of God (most basic and necessary knowledge), of sin, the Fall, etc. Perhaps if you don't have a copy already, purchase Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology (the original large volume). Study it slowly and in detail in order to be able to grasp the fundamentals of the Bible's core doctrines. Also, G.I. Williamson's Study Guide on the Westminster Confession of Faith is an excellent source for both those things that increase one's knowledge of the faith but also something for the heart as well. And I would be remiss to not encourage you to start reading the Puritans. Why?... read here: Why Read the Puritans Today? by Don Kistler. BigThumbUp There are lots of books, articles and sermons by Puritan men on The Highway too. wink

For Scripture memorization: Why not use something like M'Cheyne's Daily Bible Reading Calendar?
a. You will acquaint yourself with the WHOLE Word of God.
b. Pray and meditate over a particular passage which you read and which the Holy Spirit may impress upon your mind and heart.
c. From that passage, choose a specific text or passage and commit it to memory.


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Re: Starting Out [Re: Pilgrim] #55050
Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:48 AM
Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:48 AM
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Excellent! I basically understand the 5 points, and have a copy of Calvin's Institutes, which is a slow read due to archaic sentence structure and wordage. Fortunately I am refined enough in my literary skills to understand it if, like I said, read slowly heavy So I will continue to read up here on The Highway and when I can, those books. Also, I need help knowing "how" to study The Institutes book. Or, should I just read it through first and try to comprehend what I can?

Re: Starting Out [Re: ReformedDisciple] #55053
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:44 PM
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There are 2 editions of Calvin's Institutes; Beveridge Edition (older) and the Battles (Ford Lewis) edition (newer). I have both and personally prefer the Battles edition which I found easier to read due what I think is a better translation of the French. YMMV grin

Another classic is Lorraine Boettner's The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, a long time loved volume in the conservative Reformed community. Should be easily found.

Methinks a common mistake when studying theology, and also the Bible is thinking that one can grasp everything in one reading. My advice is always to read through these things completely, from beginning to end and then return to specific sections and delve in with a more focused study. This is most true in regard to Scripture. Do NOT ever think you will be able to comprehend everything contained in God's inspired Word even if you would live to be 5000 years old. drop How can a finite creature ever comprehend the knowledge and wisdom of the infinite God? scratchchin Even in eternity on the New Earth to come, no created being will be able to comprehend the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God. Add to that the noetic effects of the Fall and the fact that God has given to each according to His grace the ability to comprehend anything of God. The Spirit will reveal that which God desires you to know at every step of your journey. BigThumbUp

Lastly, if you have at this time a desire to prepare for the Christian ministry, which is an entirely different subject, there are a couple of essentials which you need to consider:

1. The testimony of the Spirit, both within and without, i.e., the wisdom of others members of a church and the scrutiny of the Elders of a sound church. Sadly, there are not many sound denominations left in our day nor individual churches that could advise you. Thus BEWARE of the source(s) you put your trust.

2. Get a formal education in the faith, particularly strive to learn the original languages; Hebrew and Greek. Have your theology down fairly solid BEFORE you enter into any formal institution. All things must be brought before the light of Scripture and tested and not given approval just because someone has a Ph.D and/or is very popular. Too many are of the mind that if so and so saId it, it must be true. nono There are men who have earned the deep respect for their knowledge of Scripture and who have lived holy lives, e.g., Calvin, Owen, Edwards, et al and more recently, men such as William Hendriksen, John Gerstner, et al. NONE have been given infallibility and thus have erred from time to time. Pray for discernment!!


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Re: Starting Out [Re: Pilgrim] #55055
Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:49 PM
Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:49 PM
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ReformedDisciple Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Methinks a common mistake when studying theology, and also the Bible is thinking that one can grasp everything in one reading. My advice is always to read through these things completely, from beginning to end and then return to specific sections and delve in with a more focused study. This is most true in regard to Scripture. Do NOT ever think you will be able to comprehend everything contained in God's inspired Word even if you would live to be 5000 years old. drop How can a finite creature ever comprehend the knowledge and wisdom of the infinite God? scratchchin


This is what is what I was wondering: Whether to read through first and comprehend (at the least, familiarize) and then return after with pen, paper and highlighter read


Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Lastly, if you have at this time a desire to prepare for the Christian ministry, which is an entirely different subject, there are a couple of essentials which you need to consider:

1. The testimony of the Spirit, both within and without, i.e., the wisdom of others members of a church and the scrutiny of the Elders of a sound church. Sadly, there are not many sound denominations left in our day nor individual churches that could advise you. Thus BEWARE of the source(s) you put your trust.

2. Get a formal education in the faith, particularly strive to learn the original languages; Hebrew and Greek. Have your theology down fairly solid BEFORE you enter into any formal institution. All things must be brought before the light of Scripture and tested and not given approval just because someone has a Ph.D and/or is very popular. Too many are of the mind that if so and so saId it, it must be true. nono There are men who have earned the deep respect for their knowledge of Scripture and who have lived holy lives, e.g., Calvin, Owen, Edwards, et al and more recently, men such as William Hendriksen, John Gerstner, et al. NONE have been given infallibility and thus have erred from time to time. Pray for discernment!!


1. What exactly do you mean by "entirely different subject"?

2. Testimony of the Spirit, within and without: what is meant by this in relation to the subject/topic?

3. I am looking into Reformation Bible College in Florida (Started by RC Sproul) and also Reformed Theological Seminary (the one here in Dallas); I fully intend to learn Hebrew and Greek, know anywhere online or in app form where I could learn or at least begin learning for free? scratchchin

4. Uh, I cannot think of any further questions at the moment...

Re: Starting Out [Re: ReformedDisciple] #55057
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:40 PM
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ReformedDisciple

1. What exactly do you mean by "entirely different subject"?

Training for the "ministry" encompasses far more than personal study for it is a calling of God to serve Christ's Church.

Originally Posted by ReformedDisciple
2. Testimony of the Spirit, within and without: what is meant by this in relation to the subject/topic?

As I tried to convey in very brief terms, the "within" begins with a burden and a personal examination of oneself, especially in regard to having the requirements and gifts for that office. The "without" refers to both the members of a local assembly and the Elders who have some wisdom as to your character, life and knowledge. The Elders should offer to examine a candidate for the ministry and offer their assessment through prayerful wisdom.

Originally Posted by ReformedDisciple
3. I am looking into Reformation Bible College in Florida (Started by RC Sproul) and also Reformed Theological Seminary (the one here in Dallas); I fully intend to learn Hebrew and Greek, know anywhere online or in app form where I could learn or at least begin learning for free? scratchchin

a. I would not consider RTS (PCA) and an option, nor Westminster Seminary (basically OPC), my alma mater since both have shown to have left orthodoxy to one degree of another and continue to do so. I know nothing of Reformation Bible College. Mid America Seminary was quite orthodox a few years ago, but I cannot testify to where it is now. Things are really going down the proverbial toilet across denominational lines in our current day. I can ask around to see what anyone would recommend in regard to a solid seminary and get back to you IF I get an answer.

Before seminaries many men where trained by the local church. They are responsible for the training of elders anyway and can offer a good foundational education in the faith before heading off to a more formal seminary education.


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Re: Starting Out [Re: Pilgrim] #55058
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:23 PM
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:23 PM
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What is PCA and OCP? I've downloaded the RTS app and listened to their free resources including sermons and lectures and everything that I've listened to on there has sounded solidly reformed, so I guess asking what PCA and ocp are May answer my next question which would have been what is wrong with Reformed Theological Seminary? Lol confused as an aside, have you guys considered developing a highway app?

Re: Starting Out [Re: ReformedDisciple] #55060
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:15 PM
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:15 PM
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PCA = Presbyterian Church of America (see here: The PCA's Apostasy: No More Lines in the Sand by Dr. Paul Elliott. And, The PCA's Slide Into the Homosexual Abyss Accelerates


OPC = Orthodox Presbyterian Church


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Re: Starting Out [Re: ReformedDisciple] #55065
Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:53 AM
Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:53 AM
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Okay and what's wrong with the OPC? I thought Orthodox and Presbyterian were both good things to look for? Both insinuating "reformed."

Re: Starting Out [Re: ReformedDisciple] #55067
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:23 AM
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There are far too many things to list in regard to the downward spiral of the OPC, which was founded in 1929 by J. Gresham Machen et al. Here are a few of the major apostasies that have taken over that denomination and their seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary in both Philadelphia, PA (my alma mater) and Escondido, CA:

1. Norman Shepherd's damnable heresy of the doctrine of justification by faith alone, which is found in several forms including Federal Vision.

2. Failure to discipline John O. Kinnard. See here: Orthodox Presbyterian Church Endorses Teaching of John O. Kinnaird.

3. The "Hermeneutic of Trust" was adopted. An example of this heresy is the OPC's ruling that basically all 'theories of the creation' are equally acceptable except for Darwinian Evolution. What this means is that the "Standards" (WCF, Shorter Catechism, Larger Catechism) and Scripture allow for the 6-day 24 hour Creation view and the various Framework views to be preached and taught in the churches.

4. John Frame's "Multiperspectivalism" was adopted. What this means is that Scripture can have several "meanings" depending upon the reader's "perspective". This is a flat denial of absolute truth and particularly that God had no particular meaning men should understand when they read the Bible.

5. A rejection of the "Regulative Principle of Worship" which allows for basically anything to be included in the worship of God, including such things as heavy metal rock music, liturgical dance, plays, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

See also, The Marks of Neo-Liberalism.


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Re: Starting Out [Re: Pilgrim] #55072
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:26 PM
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim

5. A rejection of the "Regulative Principle of Worship" which allows for basically anything to be included in the worship of God, including such things as heavy metal rock music, liturgical dance, plays, etc., etc., ad nauseam.



I have to admit, I'm in favor of variety in Christian expression... is this acceptable but different than in the context of worship during church?

Also, what's liturgical dance?

Re: Starting Out [Re: ReformedDisciple] #55077
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ReformedDisciple
Originally Posted by Pilgrim

5. A rejection of the "Regulative Principle of Worship" which allows for basically anything to be included in the worship of God, including such things as heavy metal rock music, liturgical dance, plays, etc., etc., ad nauseam.


I have to admit, I'm in favor of variety in Christian expression... is this acceptable but different than in the context of worship during church?

Also, what's liturgical dance?

1. The biblical doctrine of "The Regulative Principle" of worship simply stated is, Man is not to worship God by any means whatsoever which God Himself has not commanded man to do. This Regulative Principle addresses not only the outward/physical manner of worship, but the content of that worship and even the very soul of man, i.e., what a man thinks, desires and does 24/7 and particularly when man gathers together for corporate, formal worship.

2. The true worship of the one true God encompasses all of life, both individually and corporately. This can be described as separation [from the world] (cf. Jh 15:19; 1Cor 10:1ff; 2Cor 10:1-6; Col 2:8,9; Heb 12:28,29; Jam 4:4; 1Jh 2:15,16; et al.

3. There are quite a number of articles on The Highway that deal with the subject of worship and of separation. Here are a few suggestions for you:
- The Scriptural Regulative Principle of Worship
- The Reformers and the Regulative Principle
- Worship in the Melting Pot
There are many more articles on worship and the elements of worship, e.g., music, etc. which you can find here: Calvinism and the Reformed Faith > Ecclesiology.

On the matter of daily living, aka: sanctification, the daily worshiping of God in everyday life, living separate from the world, click on the "Praxis" button in the Calvinism and the Reformed Faith section.


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Re: Starting Out [Re: ReformedDisciple] #55078
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:44 AM
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Okay, I think I understand the issue. Sort of like OT players who made offerings and sacrifices to God that God never said he wanted. (It's a shame how much of my bible I'm still not familiar with, or rather, only barely familiar with) The example I'm thinking of is during the time of David. I believe it may have been King Saul? Anyway, I believe I've made my point. grin

If I understand correctly, corporate worship and praise are meant to be done exactly as God says explicitly, but in personal praise and worship, we are allowed to be more expressive? <<I'm thinking of our freedom in Christ.

FYI, I've yet to read any of those links. I'll do that now thewave

Re: Starting Out [Re: Pilgrim] #55079
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim


Just read this. I need to do more research because I am quite astonished to find out what was said about Van Till, and Bahnsen if I'm not mistaken? Also, RC Sproul Jr too? Did Sr know about this? Anyway, Van Till and Bahnsen are both on my reading list for apologetics, esp. in presuppositional apologetics. This is the first I've heard anything about them in a negative light. I understood them to be giants in the Faith.

As an aside, the part about Luke 5:31-32, correct me if I'm mistaken but something occurred to me whilst reading this article. It's this: That "righteous" and "sinners" here refer to a mindset or characteristic, in that Jesus is not saying that there are righteous people, but making a distinction between those who think they are righteous/good and those whom the Spirit have humbled and convicted and know they are sinners. Would this be a correct theological view or exegesis of this particular scripture?

Thanks!!

Re: Starting Out [Re: ReformedDisciple] #55080
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ReformedDisciple
[quote=Pilgrim]
See also, The Marks of Neo-Liberalism.


Just read this. I need to do more research because I am quite astonished to find out what was said about Van Till, and Bahnsen if I'm not mistaken? Also, RC Sproul Jr too? Did Sr know about this? Anyway, Van Till and Bahnsen are both on my reading list for apologetics, esp. in presuppositional apologetics. This is the first I've heard anything about them in a negative light. I understood them to be giants in the Faith.[quote]
I've spoken with Dr. Elliott personally and we agree to disagree re: his criticisms of Van Til. I'm not saying that Van Til didn't hold to some error... who doesn't? rolleyes2 Bahnsen, of course, was very good in the area of apologetics, but his "Theonomy" was tragically bad theology. I enjoy eating the fruit but spit out the pits, if you know what I mean. :grin And lastly, re: R.C. Sproul, Jr. is a sad case and his father's failure to distance himself from him is unfortunate. Rarely can you find second, or third generation progeny of 'giants in the faith' that are like their parent(s).

Originally Posted by ReformedDisciple
As an aside, the part about Luke 5:31-32, correct me if I'm mistaken but something occurred to me whilst reading this article. It's this: That "righteous" and "sinners" here refer to a mindset or characteristic, in that Jesus is not saying that there are righteous people, but making a distinction between those who think they are righteous/good and those whom the Spirit have humbled and convicted and know they are sinners. Would this be a correct theological view or exegesis of this particular scripture?

yep And this is truth that is today often ignored or flatly denied. What I'm referring to is what is referred to as a "credible profession of faith". A sinner who has been visited by the Spirit of God, through the instrumentality of the Bible and its truth brought home to bear upon the soul, is first convicted of their sin. What the regeneration of the spiritually dead soul by the Spirit reveals to the sinner is that he/she is a vile creature before God and has never had a good thought, never spoken a good word and never done a good thing since conception. And, that born again sinner is smitten through and through with the burden of guilt duly acknowledged for being such a corrupt and God-hating person and thus worth of eternal damnation by God. How often have you heard anyone speak of these things in these terms in regard to their professed conversion? How often, if ever, do you hear preaching that presses this truth home from the pulpit? How many books have you read that even mentions such things? drop This, my friend, is a fundamental element of the Gospel which the modern 'church' knows little about and when it is mentioned, it most always is met with strong resistance and rejection.

Want a excellent example? grin

1 & 2 The Strength of Sin
3 & 4 The Strength of Sin
5 & 6 The Strength of Sin


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