Archive by Author

3GT Episode 35: Incrementalism or Absolutionism?

To start things off, the boys open the mailbag and get excited. They discover there are such creatures as English Presbyterians, and one has even listened to every 3GT episode. Another listener responds to our Lord’s Day episode with an encouraging testimony in the workplace.

Then Aaron rewinds to Episode 22 and brings us back to the issue of abortion and the pro-life movement. Should Christians be content with small steps of progress? Or should our simple aim be to outlaw this awful practice? And does the Bible speak to our approach? With little lives on the line, we must keep this issue ever before the church without losing the gospel in the process.

Thank you to the Westminster Conference for sponsoring this episode! Being held September 8-9, 2017, at RPTS, this year’s theme is “Post Tenebras Lux: Celebrating 500 Years of Martin Luther’s Influence.” Be sure to register early as space is limited! Also, listen for how you can win a digital anthology of all the past Westminster Conferences.

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/3gt-episode-351.mp3

Download

You can also subscribe to 3GT on iTunes!

What a Weekend!

My heart overflows with joy this morning. So I’ve decided just to practice the original idea of blogging and do “web logging” today of what I experienced this weekend. The Lord is so good to his people.

Friday night my daughter’s Christian school put on a talent show. Run by the students, it was a fun night of watching young people put their considerable gifts on display, from piano playing to high school boys spoofing ‘N Sync. In the process, they raised nearly $1500 to encourage one of the school’s families who is involved in developing orphanages in Haiti. The enthusiasm of the youth was contagious, and made me grateful for the community the school provides for our family.

With a cool but pleasant spring Saturday, I delighted in getting out in the yard and working on projects with my family. Mowing, trimming, and blowing got the lawn back into shape. I attacked the winter’s algae in our little fishpond with new filters and a UV light. The back porch was swept and washed down to ready for visits there. These and other projects left my middle-aged body at the end of the day with those happy muscular aches that promise a […]

African American Preaching at RPTS

The Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary where I teach is blessed to have local African Americans from the Pittsburgh area studying here. Serving in a denomination that is historically a predominantly Anglo-Saxon one, the presence of these students has been a rich blessing to our community as the Lord helps us see the greatness of his kingdom in its diversity and power. We rejoice that the dividing walls are broken down in Christ where “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female,” for we are all one in Christ (Gal 3:28). Yet we can also discuss, appreciate, and laugh good-naturedly over our different backgrounds, traditions, and races as we learn from one another.

I love having these men in my preaching classes. Many of them have been preaching a long time before they arrive here, and they often do more teaching with their own preaching than I can hope to impart to them. More than once a brother a few shades darker than me has asked after witnessing a typical Presbyterian-style sermon, “Do I have to preach like that?” I usually like to respond, “Please don’t!”

For one of the lessons we do learn […]

3GT Episode 34: Sing Praises with a Psalm!

Though not a guest on our podcast, Dr. Robert Godfrey has us talking again about one of our favorite subjects – the psalms and the joy of singing them. From the experiential union with Christ a worshiper can have to the worldview they encourage, these Three Guys love Theologizing about the psalms. And in case you are ever shipwrecked on a “three hour tour, a three hour tour,” one of us reveals how you can sing many of them to the tune of Gilligan’s Island!

Thank you to the Westminster Conference, with this year’s theme of “Post Tenebras Lux: Celebrating 500 Years of Martin Luther’s Influence,” for sponsoring this episode! Being held September 8-9, 2017, at RPTS, you will want to be sure to register early as space is limited! Also, listen for how you can win a digital anthology of all the past Westminster Conferences.

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/3gt-episode-34.mp3

Download

You can also subscribe to 3GT on iTunes!

References cited

Why I Love the Psalms | Robert Godfrey

Learning to Love the Psalms: A Live Interview with W. Robert Godfrey

The Book of Psalms for Worship Starting Kit

Psalters for Singing and Worship

CDs of Psalm Singing

Sandra McCracken Website

Shane & Shane Website

Martha’s Bum Rap

Often when we look at Biblical characters we only see them one-dimensionally. Because of this tendency, we fail to see the complexities that any human being will have. So Thomas is simply the doubter, though all the other disciples doubted Christ’s resurrection and needed the same proof as well (Luke 24:36-43), and church history tells us Thomas was one of the bravest of men. David is the giant-killer, and certainly he was, but he clearly feared a great deal as both his story and his recorded prayers in the Psalms tell us.

Such is the case of Martha. She is forever compared to her sister, Mary, and dubbed “the Worrier” because of this story contained in Luke 10:38-42.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled […]

3GT Episode 33: From Inscrutability to Concursus

The Three Guys go deeper than usual as they are joined by another guy leading them there, namely Jeff Stivason. Interviewed in the thick, musty air of the Rare Books Room at RPTS, Dr. Stivason tells us about his new book on Princeton theologian B.B. Warfield and his journey regarding his view of the inspiration of Scripture. Did God deliver his word in an inscrutable way (in a mysterious way impossible to understand) or concursively (the divine working in cooperation with the human authors)? Listen, for Warfield’s wisdom on this subject is needed today! (Note: In case you are wondering, the picture is of Warfield not Stivason. Jeff only wishes he could grow a beard like that.)

Plus, by listening you can find out how to win a free copy of Jeff’s book! Our thanks to P&R Publishing for sponsoring this episode!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/3gt-episode-331.mp3

Download

You can also subscribe to 3GT on iTunes!

Books cited

B.B. Warfield | Studies In Theology

B.B. Warfield | Faith & Life

Jeff Stivason | From Inscrutability to Concursus

Speaking of the Spirit

Reformed Christians are often accused, perhaps rightly so, of not emphasizing the person and work of the Holy Spirit sufficiently enough. As the Father has sent Jesus as our God-man mediator, from worship to evangelism our focus is to call people to come to the Father through the Son. We speak of being Christ-centered in our worship and preaching, as we should.  Yet often we can slip into “binitarian” tendencies instead of practicing a robust Trinitarian faith by not recognizing fully enough our dependency on the Spirit of God. Simply put, we fail to speak of the Spirit like we ought.

J.I. Packer has done a great deal to help us in the Reformed faith honor the Spirit’s role, most notably from his book on the third person of the Trinity entitled Keeping in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God. However, note how his familiar “hidden floodlight” illustration could be easily misunderstood if taken out of context.

I remember walking to a church one winter evening to preach on the words ‘he shall glorify me,’ seeing the building floodlit as I turned the corner, and realizing that this was exactly the illustration my ministry needed. When flood-lighting is […]

Browse Worthy: Mike Pence and the Billy Graham Rule

Surely you have heard by now the firestorm that broke out in the media this past week regarding Mike Pence following the “Billy Graham Rule.” Simply stated, Pence refuses to eat meals alone with another woman even when conducting business as a pledge of allegiance to his wife and their marriage. Rather than being admired for his marital fidelity, Pence has been ridiculed mercilessly.

In a day when many prominent Christian leaders and pastors are failing and falling in the area of fidelity, this situation provides a teaching moment. Here are some links to help tutor us.

Karen Pence is the vice president’s ‘prayer warrior,’ gut check and shield | Ashley Parker

This article is the original, favorable piece done on Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, that describes how inseparable they are and mentioned Pence’s marital rule. Of special note is that this article did not go viral until the author tweeted out Pence’s rule.

Mike Pence’s Marriage Rule Holds Women Back  | Glennon Doyle Melton

For a sample of the outrage, try this Time hit piece.

Don’t Mock Mike Pence For Protecting His Marriage, Commend Him | Mollie Hemingway

This post does just that.

Mike Pence, “Truth’s Table” and Fencing the Law | Richard Phillips

Phillips interacts with a female-hosted Reformed podcast that also took […]

3GT Episode 32: Grab ‘Em by Their Ordination

What is ordination? Why do churches perform this ritual – or not? After Kyle and Barry chime in, Aaron shows he does not just polish the pews. The difference between ordination and installation is discussed. Then more questions and answers begin to fly. Are deacons as well as elders to be ordained? How does apostolic succession factor in? What’s up with the laying on of hands? Is it merely symbolic or is a true power present when it occurs? Do elders of the church have authority? Is ordination permanent? And if you are going to grab someone by his ordination, where and how do you grab? Listen and learn why everyone in the church needs to understand this practice!

We thank Crown & Covenant for sponsoring the podcast! Be sure to listen for this week’s special offer!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/3gt-episode-32.mp3

Download

You can also subscribe to 3GT on iTunes!

With Him by Ken G. Smith

At the end of last week, I had the privilege of visiting with Ken Smith. Ken was my pastor when I was in seminary years ago. His Spirit-filled preaching, the warm hospitality he and Floy always gave us, and Friday morning prayer times with him and a few other men were just some of the ways he ministered to me during those years. I learned so much from him then, and now that I am back in the Pittsburgh area he has again been a rich source of encouragement to me. So I have not only heard him teach, but experienced him practicing, the truth contained in the title of his new book With Him.

This short volume on this simple yet profound principal of discipleship is chocked full with insights into Jesus’ way of working with men. As the Scriptures tell us, our Lord chose his disciples to be “with him” (Mark 3:14). Ken demonstrates from Christ’s life that the most powerful way of developing another is to take him or her with you as you minister and live. He also develops how other key biblical figures practiced the with him principal, backs it up with the teaching of others, and shares wonderful anecdotes […]