Volume 6, Number 1 (Spring 1995)

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  • by John F. MacArthur

    A recent document entitled "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium," signed by a number of prominent evangelicals, has neglected the wide doctrinal breach that separates evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism. It declares the unity of the two participating groups, emphasizes their common faith, allows for doctrinal differences, but states that the two nevertheless have a common mission. A fatal flaw in the document is its assumption that a common mission is possible in spite of the doctrinal differences. The alleged common mission is in effect a contradiction of the truths treasured among evangelicals. Reasons given by evangelical signers of the agreement are hollow and unconvincing. The statement in effect reverses what the Protestant Reformation advocated regarding sola Scriptura and sola fide. The position of the Reformers regarding justification, which was quite biblical, was pronounced as anathema by the Roman Catholic Council of Trent in 1547. Other essential biblical doctrines have been denied by Roman Catholic pronouncements, even recent ones. Unity with Roman Catholicism is not a worthy goal if it means sacrificing the truth.

  • by Richard L. Mayhue

    Current unbiblical changes beginning to overtake the church could injuriously mark the 21st century church if they continue unchecked. A growing number of respected evangelicals believe that the contemporary redirection of the church toward being less biblical and more acceptable to society will ultimately lead to a Christ-condemned church. However, by using Scripture to answer the questions "What is a pastor to be and do?" and "How can contemporary ministry be shaped by biblical mandates?", the church can be revived and obediently realign herself with God's revealed purposes for the bride of Christ. In this manner, it is possible to achieve a biblically balanced, complementing relationship between understanding God's will for the church, engaging in relevant pastoral ministry, and preparing a new generation of pastors for ministry as outlined by God's Word.

  • by James E. Rosscup

    Ephesians in general and its "armor" passage (6:10-20) in particular devote a major focus to the importance of prayer in Christian life and ministry. The power in the armor is essential if believers are to win the battle against Satan and his demonic forces. The parts of the armor denote different spiritual aspects of Christian living that are also essential. None of the above can be appropriated without prayer modeled according to the principles of Scripture. Eleven considerations show prayer to be inseparable from victory in spiritual warfare. The uses of "all" in Eph 6:18 are a call to an "all-out" commitment to prayer and remind Christian soldiers of its crucial importance.

  • by Robert L. Thomas

    Progressive Dispensationalism differs from Dispensationalism in a number of ways, one of them being in not viewing the time of the rapture to be as crucial. Progressive dispensationalists view themselves as a continuation of the dispensational tradition, but realize they are moving toward nondispensational systems. The movement's desire for rapprochement with other theological systems has involved a hermeneutical shift in its understanding of Scripture. It has replaced grammatical-historical interpretation with a system of hermeneutics called historical-grammatical-literary-theological. Several comparisons that illustrate the differences between the two hermeneutical systems relate to the function of the interpreter, the historical dimension, the "single-meaning" principle, the issue of sensus plenior , and the importance of thoroughness. The bottom line is that a choice between Dispensationalism and Progressive Dispensationalism amounts to a choice of which system of hermeneutics an interpreter chooses to follow.

Volume 6, Number 2 (Fall 1995)

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  • by Richard L. Mayhue

    Isaiah 53:4-5 raises the question, "For what did Christ atone?" or more specifically, "Is physical healing in the atonement?" Outside Isaiah 53, Scriptures touching on Christ's atonement in Leviticus and Hebrews deal only with sin, not sickness. The context and language of Isa 53:3-12 address sin alone. A broad range of Scriptures teach that Christ died to deal with humankind's sin dilemma. Matthew 8:16-17 uses an illustration of physical healing to demonstrate a spiritual truth about the Christian's resurrection hope of being sinless and thus in perfect health. First Pet 2:24, studied in both broad context (2:18-25) and narrow (2:24-25), reasons that Christ atoned for sin, not sickness. Therefore, the conclusion is that physical healing is not in the atonement, but rather comes through the atonement after resurrection, because only then does the atonement eliminate the moral cause of physical infirmities, which is sin in one's personal experience.

  • by James F. Stitzinger

    The biblical pattern for pastoral ministry derives from both testaments of the Bible. Deviations from that pattern crept into the church during the second century A.D., and continued, becoming increasingly severe into the Medieval period of the church. Nevertheless, isolated groups continued their efforts to follow the biblical pattern. These included Chrysostom and Augustine in the early church and the Paulicans, Cathari, Albigenses, and Waldenses during the Medieval period. The Reformation period witnessed a broader return to the biblical pattern through the magisterial reformation of Luther, Calvin, and others and through the Anabaptist reformation. During the Modern period, Puritan leaders such as Baxter, Perkins, and Edwards have led a return to biblical principles in pastoral ministry. Bridges, Morgan, and Allen were nineteenth century examples of biblical ministers. The late twentieth century has produced others, including Lloyd-Jones, Adams, and MacArthur.

  • by Benjamin B. Warfield

    A minister must be both learned and religious. It is not a matter of choosing between the two. He must study, but he must study as in the presence of God and not in a secular spirit. He must recognize the privilege of pursuing his studies in the environment where God and salvation from sin are the air he breathes. He must also take advantage of every opportunity for corporate worship, particularly while he trains in the Theological Seminary. Christ Himself leads in setting the example of the importance of participating in corporate expressions of the religious life of the community. Ministerial work without taking time to pray is a tragic mistake. The two must combine if the servant of God is to give a pure, clear, and strong message.

  • by Sean Michael Lucas

    Charles G. Finney is famous for his career in revival ministries, but he patterned his theology to fit his revivalistic practices. His unique view of original sin included a distinction between physical and moral depravity, the universal nature of moral depravity, and a rejection of the doctrine of imputation. Three possible reasons for his alteration of the theology in which he received training include the influences of Jacksonian democracy, an inclination toward favoring his legal training, and pragmatism. Finney has had a lasting influence on the church, including those who tend toward pragmatic methodology in ministry. Today's church must beware of such pragmatism and of being dragged into Finney's Pelagianistic theology.

  • by Michael G. Vanlaningham

    Paul's use of 1 Kgs 19:10-18 in Rom 11:2-6 has an important role in his proof that God has not cast off His people Israel. His main dependence is upon the Massoretic Text rather than the Septuagint. He makes a number of changes in his adaptation of the OT passage, none of which violates the meaning of the OT context. Despite apparent parallels between Elijah and Moses in the OT, the 1 Kings passage does not elevate Elijah to the level of Moses in God's plan. Rather it emphasizes the sovereignty of God at work to preserve a remnant. Paul's theological emphasis in Rom 11:2-6 is upon God's preservation of a remnant of Jews through grace, not human merit. Through this means He guards against the total loss of the people of Israel.