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Reformed Forum supports the church in presenting every person mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28) by providing Reformed theological resources to pastors, scholars, and anyone who desires to grow in their understanding of Scripture and the theology that faithfully summarizes its teachings.
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Harrison Perkins speaks about Samuel Miller’s views on Presbyterianism. Dr. Perkins has edited a new edition of Miller’s Presbyterianism: Its History, Doctrine, Government, and Worship, which has been published by Log College Press. Samuel Miller, the first professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government at Princeton Theological Seminary and a prolific author, published this introduction and defense of Presbyterianism in 1835. Originally titled Presbyterianism: The Truly Primitive and Apostolical Constitution of the Church of Christ, Miller covers the basics of Presbyterian belief and practice, grounding his material in the Scriptures primarily and church history secondarily. Dr. Harrison Perkins is Stated Supply at Oakland Hills Community Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan Visiting lecturer in systematic theology at Edinburgh Theological Seminary and online instructor at Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the author of Catholicity and the Covenant of Works: James Ussher and the Reformed Tradition, of which he spoke on Christ the Center episode 677.
After having created Adam in his image and placing him in the Garden of Eden, God entered into a covenant with him (Gen. 2:16–17). In Westminster Confession of Faith 7.1, the divines wrote, The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant. There are several important things to note in this passage. First, upon creation and prior to the establishment of the covenant, Adam already knew God and owed him obedience merely from the fact that he was created in God's image. God did not owe Adam anything, and Adam could in no way place God into his debt. Second, the type of fruition that the covenant affords is that of God as "blessedness and reward." Adam already owed God personal, perfect, exact and entire obedience, though God voluntarily condescended to establish the covenant of works by which Adam could consummately come to know God in glory. In other words, he could ascend God's holy hill (Psalm 24) through the gratuitous means God provided. Westminster Confession of Faith 7.1 is not describing covenant as the means by which God ontologically or metaphysically condescends to creation. God does not assume new properties, attributes, or characteristics to do so. Neither does the confession speak of the covenant as the means by which Adam comes to know God generally—as if Adam would not even know that God existed apart from a covenant. The covenant is the means by which he may come to know God specifically as his blessedness and reward. https://vimeo.com/410742856
In this installment of Van Til Group, we turn to pp. 73–77 of Cornelius Van Til's classic book, The Defense of the Faith. In this section, Van Til critiques both Roman Catholicism and certain strands of Evangelicalism for their approach to human autonomy and the nature of sin. Van Til argues that Roman Catholicism, as represented by Thomas Aquinas, assigns too much autonomy to human consciousness, even before the Fall, which undermines the Scriptural notion of authority and total depravity. He contends that Aquinas views fallen man as not entirely different from Adam in paradise, thus diminishing the need for grace. Similarly, Van Til criticizes C.S. Lewis, representing a segment of Evangelical thought, for conflating metaphysical and ethical issues and for not adequately emphasizing human disobedience to God as the root of ethical problems. Both perspectives, according to Van Til, fail to uphold the biblical doctrine that only through faith and complete reliance on the triune God of Scripture can true ethical behavior be achieved.
Camden Bucey provides a preview of our upcoming symposium scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2024. In this event, we will explore pivotal moments and figures in the history of the Reformed tradition. This event will feature four presentations and related discussions on critical theological developments and historical events that have shaped the Protestant Church, particularly within the French-speaking world. Whether you are a scholar, student, or simply passionate about church history and theology, this symposium offers enriching insights into the enduring legacy and challenges of the Reformed tradition. Sessions Dan Borvan: The Church Under the Cross: An Overview of the French Reformed Church David Noe: Theodore Beza at the Colloquy of Poissy (1561) Marty Klauber: The Eucharistic Theology of Jean Mestrezat Stephen Davis: The War of the Camisards (1702–1704): Huguenot Resistance Under Louis XIV Visit https://www.reformedforum.org/francophone for more information. We also include the first two lessons in Dr. Carlton Wynne’s new course on John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, Books 1–2. Chapters 00:00:07 Introduction 00:02:29 Symposium on the Reformation in the Francophone World 00:06:57 Overview of the French Reformed Church 00:11:30 Beza at the Colloquy of Poissy 00:13:12 The Eucharistic Theology of Jean Mestrezat 00:15:12 The War of the Camisards (1702–1704) 00:18:09 Carlton Wynne’s Course on Calvin’s Institutes, Books 1-2 00:23:38 Introduction to Calvin’s Institutes 00:52:03 John Calvin the Man 01:26:01 Conclusion
This episode addresses the heart of Reformed evangelism, featuring a compelling conversation with the Rev. Paul Murphy, pastor of evangelism at Messiah's Reformed Fellowship in New York, and Dr. Eric Watkins, director of the Center for Missions and Evangelism at Mid-America Reformed Seminary. In this conversation, we explore the unique approach of Reformed theology to evangelism, addressing common stereotypes, and addressing the challenges and opportunities for spreading the gospel in urban settings. We unpack the misconception that Reformed Christians do not engage in evangelism, shedding light on the historical and theological roots of this stereotype. It also highlights the exciting new opportunities, including church planting and revitalization efforts in Chicago and New York. Listeners will gain insights into the distinct aspects of Reformed evangelism, as outlined by the Reformed creeds and confessions, and the importance of understanding one's role within the Body of Christ. The discussion emphasizes the need for a culture of evangelism within local congregations and offers practical suggestions for fostering this culture.
In this thought-provoking episode, we dive deep into the intriguing account of Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness. Join us as we explore the profound insights offered by Geerhardus Vos on pages 339–342 in his work Biblical Theology and unpack the ultimate issue at stake in this cosmic confrontation: Who should be God, and whose Messiah would Jesus be? We grapple with the perplexing questions surrounding Jesus’ temptability and peccability. How could a sinless Jesus be tempted, and what does this imply about his ability to sin? We examine Vos’s argument that the things Satan suggested were not inherently sinful, only wrong due to God’s prohibition, and consider how this differs from modern interpretations that see the temptations as allurements towards a worldly, political messianic role. Vos’s work invites us to ponder the profound mystery of a fully human Jesus who is intimately united with the Holy Spirit and possesses a divine nature. We consider how these unique aspects of Jesus’ identity make his sinlessness even more unthinkable than Adam’s, and we wrestle with the implications for our understanding of Jesus’ impeccability. Through a careful analysis of Vos’s insights and a lively discussion of the theological complexities involved, we aim to shed light on this pivotal moment in Jesus’ earthly mission and its significance for our faith. Join us as we explore the depths of Jesus’ commitment to the path of humiliation and suffering, and the ultimate triumph of his messianic glory. This is Christ the Center episode 853 (https://www.reformedforum.org/ctc853)
In this episode, we welcome Scott J. Hatch, author of Reformed Forum’s latest publication, Van Til and the Foundation of Christian Ethics: A God-Centered Approach to Moral Philosophy, to consider the profound relationship between theology and ethics as articulated by Cornelius Van Til. In addition to providing an original treatment of the subject, Hatch has also edited a critical edition of Van Til’s Christian-Theistic Ethics, which is included as a lengthy appendix in this volume. This never before been available, and anyone interested in the thought of Cornelius Van Til should surely get a copy for their library. This insightful conversation illuminates Van Til’s unique approach to Christian ethics, emphasizing a God-centered moral philosophy grounded in the doctrine of the self-contained ontological Trinity. Hatch explores Van Til’s critique of moral relativism and how his theological framework offers a compelling solution to ethical dilemmas, contrasting with the perspectives of other ethicists and theologians. The episode promises to enrich understanding of Christian ethics through the lens of Reformed theology, challenging believers to consider the foundational role of the Triune God in all moral considerations. Join us for a thought-provoking exploration of how Cornelius Van Til’s groundbreaking work continues to shape contemporary discussions on Christian ethics, offering a robust, God-centered approach that speaks to the challenges of modern moral relativism.
We welcome Mark Sanders, President of Harvest USA, for an enriching dialogue on confronting and healing from sexual brokenness within the church. As our society grapples with rapidly evolving norms around gender and sexuality, the church is called to respond with both theological depth and compassionate outreach. Harvest USA stands at the forefront of this mission, offering resources, discipleship, and education to equip believers to address these challenges through the lens of Reformed theology. Throughout this conversation, Camden Bucey and Mark Sanders discuss the significance of understanding our identity in Christ and how it shapes our approach to sexual ethics. They discuss the "Harvest Tree" model—a comprehensive biblical framework employed by Harvest USA to aid individuals and families in navigating sexual brokenness with biblical fidelity. The episode also spotlights new initiatives from Harvest USA, including free courses designed to assist parents in raising sexually faithful children and addressing gender confusion with grace and truth. Listeners will gain insights into the theological underpinnings that guide Harvest USA's ministry, emphasizing the importance of a proper ecclesiology and a biblically grounded anthropology. This episode not only addresses the pressing issues of our time but also offers hope and direction for the church to minister effectively in a culture of confusion and search for identity. Join us for an enlightening discussion that bridges deep theological concepts with practical application, illuminating the path toward healing and wholeness in Christ amidst a world of sexual and gender confusion. Visit harvestusa.org for more resources and information on how you can engage with this important ministry. 00:07 Introduction 04:06 The History and Ministry of Harvest USA 10:04 Reformed Theological Anthropology 25:47 Courses Available through Harvest 30:37 Discipling Your Children 37:35 The Tree Model 44:32 Thoughts from the Front Line 54:10 Additional Resources 57:18 Conclusion This is Christ the Center episode 851 (https://www.reformedforum.org/ctc851)
Christ the Center is on the road as Camden Bucey speaks with two guest from the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Conference. This episode explores Reformed theology and its profound impact on missions. Camden is joined by Chad Vegas, founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Church and founding board chairman of Radius International, along with Jonathan Master, president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, to explore the vital relationship between theological education and missionary work. The conversation covers a broad spectrum, from the excitement surrounding the seminary’s annual spring conference to the innovative partnership between Greenville Seminary and Radius International, aimed at equipping the next generation for church planting among unreached language groups. Chad Vegas also shares his personal journey from a dispensationalist background to embracing Reformed theology and the inception of Radius International. This episode sheds light on the challenges and strategies of missionary work, emphasizing the necessity of a solid biblical foundation, cultural sensitivity, and the indispensable role of the local church in sending and supporting missionaries. Join us for an engaging discussion that reaffirms the vital role of Reformed theology in advancing the gospel to the ends of the earth. [00:00:07] Introduction [00:06:35] Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and a Focus on Missions [00:08:35] Radius International and Church Planting among Unreached Groups [00:12:43] Missionary Training and Biblical Foundations [00:18:13] Historical and Theological Foundations of Missions [00:23:22] A Personal Journey to Reformed Theology [00:39:13] Development of Radius International [00:48:24] Missionary Work and Cultural Engagement [00:58:46] Evolving Role of Reformed Theology in Modern Missions [01:10:09] Future Directions for Presbyterian Missions This is Christ the Center episode 850 (https://www.reformedforum.org/ctc850)
In this installment of Vos Group, we turn to p. 336 of Vos’s book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments, focusing on the temptations of Jesus Christ. This discussion ventures into the heart of Jesus’s wilderness temptations, offering a rich, theological analysis that challenges and enlightens. We consider the strategic use of Old Testament quotations by Jesus during his confrontation with Satan, underscoring the deep, theological significance of these moments. This episode not only unpacks the unique messianic nature of Jesus’s temptations but also firmly opposes a moralizing interpretation, instead highlighting the redemptive work accomplished through Christ’s victory over sin. Through a careful examination of Jesus as the obedient Son and true Israel, this episode reveals the layers of meaning in these biblical narratives, connecting them to broader themes of redemption, covenant theology, and the Christian life. As we understand Jesus’s role as the mediator who binds and spoils the strong man, this episode encourages believers to find their identity in Christ, resting in his victorious work on our behalf. 00:07 Introduction 04:44 Jesus' Temptation as a Prime Example of His Earthly Ministry 08:43 The Wilderness Temptation 17:10 The Temple Temptation 23:05 The Mountain Temptation 28:44 The Emphases of Matthew and Luke 38:38 Overcoming in Jesus and Entering Paradise 45:01 Looking Ahead 48:11 Conclusion
Reformed Forum exhibited at the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary conference in Greer, SC. This episode offers a deep dive into the Confessional Presbyterian Journal's latest issue, with a special focus on the 50th anniversary of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the historical development of the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission (SJC). Camden Bucey brings together Rev. Zachary Groff, pastor of Antioch Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Scott Cook, visiting professor of apologetics at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, both of whom are deeply involved in the Confessional Presbyterian Journal. The conversation starts with an exploration of the journal itself, highlighting its dedication to addressing pressing issues in the church through a blend of pastoral scholarship and rigorous theological analysis. The latest issue's theme revolves around the PCA's 50th anniversary, offering a collection of articles that reflect on the denomination's history, mission, and theological commitments. Zachary Groff provides an overview of the journal's contents, emphasizing the significance of the PCA's commitment to the Great Commission and its historical context. He mentions various contributions that examine the PCA's foundation, its growth, and its ongoing theological debates, particularly those concerning the church's mission and the inclusivity of nations in God's plan through Christ. Dr. Scott Cook focuses on the specific topic of the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission, outlining its origin and evolution. He describes the initial challenges faced by the PCA in maintaining discipline and order within its rapidly growing community. Cook traces the SJC's development back to the 1980s, a period marked by significant debate and eventual compromise within the denomination. He articulates the tension between the desire for a grassroots, decentralized approach to church governance and the practical need for an efficient, centralized judicial body to handle disciplinary cases. This part of the conversation sheds light on the broader issues of polity and ecclesiastical authority within the PCA and offers insights into how the denomination has navigated these challenges over the years. Throughout the episode, the guests underscore the Confessional Presbyterian Journal's role in fostering informed theological conversation and community engagement within the Reformed tradition. The discussion not only celebrates the PCA's past achievements but also critically examines its struggles and future directions, particularly in the realms of theological fidelity, church discipline, and mission​​. 00:00:07 - Introduction 00:03:38 - Guest Introductions: Rev. Zachary Groff and Dr. Scott Cook 00:07:35 - In-depth Look at the Confessional Presbyterian Journal 00:23:00 - The Formation and Significance of the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission 00:27:06 - Challenges and Future Directions for the PCA 00:56:35 - The Development of the SJC: From Concept to Reality 01:00:20 - The Challenges and Controversies of Implementing the SJC 01:04:26 - Reflecting on Growth and the Future of the PCA 01:12:23 - Reflecting on PCA's Place in the Reformed World This is Christ the Center episode 848 (https://www.reformedforum.org/ctc848)
In this enlightening episode, we discuss the nuances of conscience and confessional identity during the Reformation. Joined by Dr. Timothy Scheuers, we turn our attention to the transformative period of the 16th century, exploring how conscience acted not only as a catalyst for reform but also as a complex element influencing church unity, confessional standards, and the intricate relationship between church and state. The core of our discussion centers around Dr. Scheuer’s book, Consciences and the Reformation: Scruples over Oaths and Confessions in the Era of Calvin and His Contemporaries (Oxford University Press), providing a fresh perspective on the role of conscience in driving forward the Reformation’s agenda. We explore the pivotal moments and figures of this era, including Calvin’s return to Geneva and the establishment of the Geneva Academy, to understand how these historical milestones continue to influence contemporary Christian thought and practice. Through a blend of historical examination and practical application, this episode not only sheds light on the foundational aspects of Reformed theology but also invites listeners to reflect on the relevance of these principles in today’s ecclesiastical landscape. Whether you're a theologian, a pastor, or simply someone interested in Christian history and doctrine, this episode offers valuable insights into the enduring legacy of the Reformation and its significance for the contemporary church. Rev. Dr. Scheuers is the Associate Pastor of First United Reformed Church of Chino, CA, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Providence Christian College (Pasadena, CA).
In this episode, we speak with William Boekestein, Jonathan Landry Cruse, and Andrew J. Miller, the authors behind a new book, Glorifying and Enjoying God: 52 Devotions through the Westminster Shorter Catechism. These three pastors and theologians share their insights and experiences from their journey through the Westminster Shorter Catechism, offering listeners a unique opportunity to understand the profound theological truths encapsulated in this historic summary of faith. William Boekestein, serving the Immanuel Fellowship Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, alongside his wife Amy and their four children, brings a pastoral heart to our discussion. Jonathan Landry Cruse, author of What Happens When We Worship and pastor of Community Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Kalamazoo, where he resides with his wife and three children, offers a perspective enriched by his literary and ministerial endeavors. Andrew J. Miller, the Regional Home Missionary for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in central Pennsylvania, shares his extensive missionary experiences, living out the catechism’s teachings alongside his wife Rebekah and their five children. Together, they speak about the motivations behind their collaborative work, the importance of the Westminster Shorter Catechism in today’s Christian walk, and how the book aims to deepen the reader’s love and knowledge of God. Join us as we explore how understanding God leads to a richer relationship with Him, and how the intertwined nature of heart and mind can bring us closer to the glory and enjoyment of God.
In this episode, we welcome Aaron Renn, author of Life in the Negative World: Confronting Challenges in an Anti-Christian Culture, to explore the profound shifts in cultural attitudes towards Christianity and the broader implications for faith in the modern era. Renn, with a diverse background ranging from management and technology consulting as a Partner at Accenture, to urban policy as a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and now a Senior Fellow at American Reformer, brings a unique perspective to the discussion. His extensive work has been featured in globally recognized publications such as The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic. Life in the Negative World considers the dramatic changes in societal views on Christianity, tracing the journey from the mid-twentieth century—when church attendance was at its peak—to the present day, where professing Christian beliefs often results in social demotion within elite circles. Renn examines the transition from a once Christianity-affirming society to one that is, at best, indifferent, and at worst, hostile to Christian morals and teachings. In our conversation, he articulates the lessons learned from over seven decades of Christian cultural engagement, offering insightful strategies for churches, institutions, and individuals to maintain their faithfulness in an increasingly adversarial environment. This episode is not just a reflection on the challenges faced by modern Christians but also a guide on how to navigate these tumultuous waters with grace, resilience, and a deepened faith. Renn emphasizes the necessity for a diverse array of strategies to engage missionally with a world that often seems at odds with Christian values. Whether you’re a person of faith struggling to find your place in this “negative world,” a church leader seeking direction for your community, or simply interested in the evolving relationship between religion and society, this conversation with Aaron Renn offers valuable insights and hope for the path forward. Join us as we discuss the implications of living out one’s faith in an era that increasingly marginalizes Christian perspectives, and discover how to embrace the challenges of the negative world with courage and conviction. Links Balaji Srinivasan, The Network State James C. Scott, Seeing Like a State AaronRenn.com American Reformer
In this installment of Van Til Group, we turn to the section of Defense of the Faith (pp. 69–72), which begins the chapter titled “The Christian Philosophy of Behavior.” This section outlines the Christian perspective on ethics, drawing from the Reformed confessions to emphasize that human actions, or behavior, should aim to glorify God. It presents a confessional scheme focusing on three key aspects: the highest good (summum bonum) that humans should strive for, the criterion for achieving this good (which must be based on God’s revealed will in Scripture), and the motivation for pursuing this good, highlighting the necessity of faith and regeneration by the Holy Spirit for genuine ethical action. The chapter then considers the relationship between ethics and the Christian philosophy of knowledge. It asserts that understanding God’s nature is fundamental to grasping the essence of Christian ethics, with God’s absolute personality serving as the ultimate interpretative category for human existence. This perspective contrasts with non-Christian views by emphasizing that the good is defined by God’s nature and will, rather than existing independently. The section on “Man as Made in God’s Image” discusses the original moral perfection of humanity, created in the image of the Godhead, and underscores the derivative nature of human moral consciousness. Unlike non-Christian ethics, which may view moral consciousness as the ultimate arbiter of good, Christian ethics sees it as reliant on divine revelation. This foundational difference in epistemology between Christian and non-Christian thought underscores the Christian belief in a receptive rather than creative construction of moral knowledge, with humanity’s moral nature and external revelation jointly guiding ethical understanding.
In this episode, we sit down with David Hall, Senior Pastor of Midway Presbyterian Church in Powder Springs, GA, and a prolific author, to discuss his latest book, Irony and the Presbyterian Church in America: The First Fifty Years. Hall’s work, a historical and analytical exploration of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), offers a unique perspective on the denomination’s fifty-year journey since its inception in 1973. Through the lens of irony, reminiscent of Greek dramas, Hall examines the PCA’s evolution within the wider context of American Presbyterianism. David Hall is the author of over 40 books, including influential titles like Savior or Servant? Putting Government in Its Place and The Legacy of John Calvin. As the Founder and Senior Fellow of the Kuyper Institute and a leading figure in the Calvin500 celebration, Hall’s expertise offers a profound look into the PCA’s successes, challenges, and the critical question: can it avoid the decline that other religious communions have faced?
In this episode, Camden Bucey engages in a thought-provoking discussion with Terry Johnson, Senior Minister of Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, Georgia and the author of Understanding Family Worship: Its History, Theology, and Practice (Christian Focus). This book provides a timely perspective on family worship. Rev. Johnson reflects on his personal journey, starting with the birth of his first child, which sparked a deep commitment to family worship. Johnson emphasizes the need for consistency and the avoidance of lethargy in practicing family worship. He discusses the challenges and strategies for implementing daily family worship, highlighting the importance of a godly home environment for its effectiveness.  The conversation also covers theological arguments supporting family worship, rooted in Reformed doctrine, and practical aspects like singing, prayer, Scripture reading, and the role of catechesis in family life. The episode concludes with encouragement for families to embrace this historic Christian practice, underscoring its foundational role in imparting faith and nurturing spiritual growth within the family unit.
In this episode, we welcome Drs. Benjamin Gladd and G. K. Beale, co-editors of The Dictionary of the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Baker Academic) along with D. A. Carson and Andrew Naselli. We explore various theological and biblical topics, particularly focusing on the intricate relationship between the New Testament and the Old Testament. This conversation includes examining how New Testament writers drew upon and interpreted Old Testament texts, shedding light on the continuity and development of biblical themes across the testaments. The episode illuminates the complex intertextuality present in the Bible, emphasizing the importance of understanding these connections for a more comprehensive grasp of Christian theology. Additionally, the dialogue touches upon various methods and challenges in biblical scholarship, including the interpretation of biblical allusions and the significance of these allusions in understanding the New Testament’s fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and typologies. Drs. Gladd and Beale’s expertise provides a rich, nuanced perspective on these subjects, making the episode particularly valuable for those interested in deepening their understanding of biblical theology and the hermeneutical principles underlying the study of Scripture.
Dr. Cornelis Van Dam joins us to speak about his book In the Beginning: Listening to Genesis 1 and 2, in which he argues that reading Genesis 1 and 2 as history is not only justified but necessary. Van Dam clarifies the different roles that ancient Near Eastern literature and scientific theories should play in our understanding of the Bible as he carefully deals with the exegetical details of the first two chapters of the Bible. He writes: The focus of this work is therefore not to give an all-around commentary and explanation of every verse in Genesis 1 and 2, but to listen to Scripture in order to find out what God is revealing to us about the historicity of the beginning chapters of Genesis. Concentrating on listening to what Scripture actually says brings with it the realization that the reader of the Word has a relatively modest place. The one who listens to Scripture acknowledges that the Word, not the reader, determines the meaning of the text (p. 9). Dr. Van Dam is an Old Testament scholar, who has served with distinction as a professor of Old Testament at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary from 1981 to 2011. He holds degrees from Wilfrid Laurier University, Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary, Knox College at the University of Toronto, and the Theological University of Kampen. Over his career, he has made significant contributions to Old Testament scholarship, with a special focus on the Pentateuch. He is the author of notable works including In the Beginning: Listening to Genesis 1 and 2, The Elder, and The Deacon. These publications reflect his commitment to exploring not merely themes in biblical studies but also their implications for Christian doctrine and practice. Dr. Van Dam was honored in 2011 with a Festschrift titled Living Waters from Ancient Springs: Essays in Honor of Cornelis Van Dam. This volume, featuring contributions from notable scholars such as Hans Boersma and Al Wolters, is a testament to his significant impact on theological scholarship and his enduring legacy in biblical studies.
In this installment of our Vos Group, we turn to pp. 335–336 of Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to explore the uniquely messianic nature of these temptations, examining how Christ’s experiences differ significantly from human temptations. A key theme of this passage is the comparison of Christ’s temptation with Adam’s, emphasizing Christ’s role as the second Adam and the federal head encountering temptation. Vos warns against a moralizing interpretation of the temptations, instead focusing on their theocentric character and their relation to true religion. The episode further explores the role of the Holy Spirit in these temptations, particularly in empowering Christ and highlighting the inauguration of the kingdom of God. The discussion is rich in its exploration of redemptive history, connecting Christ’s temptations to the broader biblical narrative, from Adam’s failure to Israel’s typological sonship, leading to Christ’s successful fulfillment as the obedient Son of God. This comprehensive analysis aims to deepen understanding of Christ’s work and encourages listeners to appreciate the significance of these biblical events in the context of the entire history of salvation​​.
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