Archive for the 'Reformed Confessionalism' Category

Works It And Strengthens It

January 27, 2009

Heidelberg Catechism

Q. 65. Since then faith alone makes us share in Christ and all His benefits, where does this faith come from?

A. From the Holy Spirit, who works it in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and strengthens it by the use of the sacraments.

heidelberg catechism


Out Of Mere Grace

January 23, 2009

heidelberg catechismQ. 60. How are you righteous before God?

A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. Although my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned against all God’s commandments, have never kept any of them, and am still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of my own, out of mere grace, imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ. He grants these to me as if I had never had nor committed any sin, and as if I myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me, if only I accept this gift with a believing heart.

The Sabbath

January 8, 2009

An Unexpected JourneyI am currently reading An Unexpected Journey by W. Robert Godfrey. The section that has struck me most is where rtrcGodfrey writes about the importance of the Sabbath in the Reformed tradition. I have also recently read Recovering The Reformed Confession by R. Scott Clark who makes similar arguments about the importance of the second service in Reformed churches as part of reverence for the Sabbath day.

Being brought up in the evangelical church I had been accustomed to going to church on Sunday for a morning service and then coming back for an evening service. Absent to me was any reason that Sunday was the day that one went to church or why one went to church on the first day of the week. An outflowing of this evangelical philosophy is manifested in offerings of Saturday worship services, Friday worship services, or whenever one can fit a worship service into his/her busy schedule.

Clark writes that the creation narrative “has the effect of saying that time and the calender as we experience the are not mere conventions, but rather they are grounded in the creative will of God.” Of the seventh day, Dr. Clark writes:

“It is not too much to say that it, rather than the length of days, is the point of the creation narrative.” (299)

Godfrey notes that “the Sabbath is not just a Mosaic institution, but a creation ordinance and a picture of the consummation.” Therefore, the importance of the Sabbath predates the Mosaic laws. The coming of Christ does not do away with Sabbath observance as Sabbath observance is not only due to the Mosaic laws. God created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day as example of how we as creatures should model our lives.

Godfrey writes further:

“When we recognize that Sunday is the Lord’s Day, we begin to see a beautiful element of God’s redemptive work in human history. We see how the seventh-day Sabbath pointed forward to rest that would come at the end of work. The Lord’s Day on the first day of the week points to rest already won in Christ.” (49)

As an evangelical on the road to Geneva I find it encouraging to see the reverence that these two men have for God as evidenced in their arguments for respect for the Sabbath.

Recovering The Reformed Confession

November 27, 2008

I am currently reading “Recovering The Reformed Confession” by R. Scott Clark. I heard Dr. Clark speak at Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim a few weeks ago. I even had the chance for him to sign my book.

The book’s main thesis is that to be truly Reformed is to confess to the major historical Reformed confessions. These confessions include the Three Forms of Unity: the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort; and the Westminster Confession of Faith, Westminster Larger Catechism, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

More on my thoughts of this book are to come.