Monthly Archives: March 2017

Theology Gals | Episode 7 | Anglicanism



 

On this episode of Theology Gals Ashley and Coleen talk with Chuck Collins about Anglicanism. Chuck is a Pastor and author of Reformation Anglicanism.
As mentioned on the episode:
Reformed Acronyms and Abbreviations
Resources for this episode:
John Fonville – Why be Anglican?

Part 1 & Part 2
Resources recommended by Chuck:
Reformation Anglicanism: Biblical – Generous – Beautiful, by Chuck Collins

Reformation Anglicanism, ed. Ashley Null and John Yates III
Thomas Cranmer and the Doctrine of Repentance, Ashley Null
The Protestant Face of Anglicanism, Paul F. M. Zahl
Thomas Cranmer (biography), Diarmaid MacCulloch
Comfortable Words: Essays in Honor of Paul F.M. Zahl, ed. Koch and Brewer
The Rise of Moralism: C. Fitzsimons Allison
Richard Hooker: and the Authority of Scripture, Tradition and Reason, Nigel Atkinson
Brahmin Prophet: Phillips Brooks and the Rise of Liberal Protestantism, Gillis J. Harp
Five English Reformers, J.C. Ryle
Theology of the English Reformers, Philip Edgecumbe Hughes
Richard Hooker, W. Bradford Littlejohn
William Wilberforce, Eric Metaxas
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

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Theology Gals | Episode 6 | Lutheranism with Pastor Brian Thomas



This is the first episode in our “What do they believe?” series. The purpose of this series is not to debate opposing theological traditions but rather to learn about them. At the end of the series we will record an episode where we will respond and defend in more detail what we believe. As part of this series we will also be addressing how Christians from different traditions can and should discuss our differences while remembering that we are part of the same holy and apostolic church.

Our guest on this episode of Theology Gals is Pastor Brian Thomas author of Wittenberg vs Geneva: A Biblical Bout in 7 Rounds on Doctrines that Divide. Pastor Brian is an associate Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in San Diego, CA, a Congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. He is also a contributor to 1517 The Legacy Project blog

Thank you to 1517 The Legacy Project for arranging this interview and providing copies of Pastor Brian's book which we will be giving away. 1517 Legacy is committed to, “Supplying theological resources that strengthen congregations, and modeling ways of engaging the culture in a manner that is thoughtful, courageous, and Christ-centered.” Learn more here about “What is 1517?”

If you are interested in our contest, a chance to win a copy of Wittenberg vs Geneva, please see the post for this episode, either on our Facebook page or on our Twitter, like and share the post which will put you in the running to win a free book.

Check out the upcoming Here We Still Stand: A Reformation Conference, a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in San Diego California, October 19th-21st with both Reformed and Lutheran speakers including Rod Rosenbladt, Chris Rosebrough, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Jared Wilson, Steve Brown, John Warwick Montgomery and more.

 

How Christians from differing traditions can and should, discuss/debate our differences in a generous, kind, and honest fashion while recognizing we all belong to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church:

Be clear on both sides and major on the majors. Understand what it is we disagree about.
Be respectful and kind. Say what you mean, but you don't have to say it mean. Be honest and don't argue about something you know little about.
Read original sources
Be in it for the long haul
Remember the point of Theology debate is unity.

 

Also mentioned on this episode: The Thinking Fellows podcast on Eternal Subordination

 

Suggested Resources for further study from Pastor Brian Thomas:

Wittenberg vs Geneva: A Biblical Bout in 7 Rounds on Doctrines that Divide

Called, Believe, Teach, and Confess by Steven Mueller  probably the best single volume, readable, introduction to Lutheran theology
The Lutheran Difference Looks at a wide scope of theological topics with a contrast to other Christian traditions (Reformed, Methodist, Eastern, Roman Catholic).
Katie Luther: First Lady of the Reformation Thought this one of Luther's wife would be a fun and encouraging read for your listeners. She led a fascinating life and Luther would not have accomplished nearly as much as he did without her.
The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Lutheran Church

 

Suggested Resources for further study from the Theology Gals:

Resources on Understanding the Differences Between the Lutheran and Reformed Traditions by R Scott Clark
Between Wittenberg and Geneva: Lutheran and Reformed Theology in Conversation by Robert Kolb and Carl Trueman  This book which is being released in October is available for pre-order

 

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Theology Gals | Episode 5 | The Shack & Christian Discernment



Podcast Information and Episode Resources
On tonight's episode of Theology Gals, special guest host Ashley Bacon joins Coleen to talk about The Shack and Christian Discernment.
Please check out our article and resource sheet on The Shack which we previously released.
These are the resources mentioned in the podcast episode.
 

What is Heresy?

“Heresy is a false teaching about the essential doctrines of our faith – the ones we must adhere to, regarding who God is, who Jesus is, salvation by grace, and Jesus’ resurrection.”  What is Heresy?  by Amy Spreeman

CARM (Christian Apologetics & Resource Ministry) says about heresy, “Heresy is a belief or idea that is in contradiction to orthodoxy. In the context of Christianity, heresy is that which deviates from standard biblical teaching.”

What is blasphemy?

CARM says, “Blasphemy is speaking evil of God or denying Him some good which we should attribute to Him.  It could also be understood to be acting in any impious, mocking or contemptuous way toward any member of the Trinity.1 The word blasphemy comes from the Greek word , blasphemia, meaning “curse” or “vilifying.””

 

Thirteen heresies in The Shack  identified by Michael Youssef

God the Father was crucified with Jesus.

Because God’s eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).

2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice.

The Bible declares that God’s love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).

3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless.

Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).

4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil.

Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).

5. God will never judge people for their sins.

The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).

6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity.

The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn’t mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father.” Jesus also said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit” (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).

7. God submits to human wishes and choices.

Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).

8. Justice will never take place because of love.

The Bible teaches that when God’s love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).

9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.

Jesus’ own description of hell is vivid … it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).

10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn’t matter which way you get to Him.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.

Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, “In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).

12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heav…


Theology Gals | Episode 4 | What Does it Mean to be Reformed?



A common question that's asked in the TheologyGals facebook group is, “What is Reformed?”  When someone asks this question, it is answered with a variety of descriptions. One reason why this happens is that the understanding of what it means has evolved in recent years, and now has a far broader definition than it once did.
Historically, the adjective Reformed has had a specific definition. R Scott Clark explains, “I have argued that there is a stable, historic, definition of the adjective: God’s Word as confessed (theology, piety, and practice) by the Reformed churches. As a matter of history, there was no doubt as to what was meant by the qualifier Reformed from the mid-16th century until about the mid-20th century.” I would agree with Dr. Clark that there is a historic definition and I am in agreement with how he has defined it. There have been various confessions since the time of the reformation which have been considered Reformed; today the most commonly used are the Westminster Standards and The Three Forms of Unity.

I haven't forgotten about the Reformed Baptists. With some research you'll find that Reformed Baptist is a fairly new label, and it too has evolved in recent years and is now used more broadly. Before Reformed Baptist was used, confessional calvinistic Baptists used to be known as Particular Baptists. Even when the term was initially more widely used, it had a similar definition to Reformed, but specifically referring to those who held to certain Baptist confessions. In recent years, many began to use it as synonymous with calvinistic Baptist, including the non-confessional ones.

In this episode of Theology Gals, my co-host Ashley explains that even she wore the label Reformed before she really knew what it meant. Now she holds to the Reformed confessions, but she claimed the label before she really understood what those were. Because it's now so broadly used, it's caused confusion. In this video from Pastor Zach of Westside Reformed Church, he explains the confusion this has caused.  He uses a couple of examples to make the point, for instance, can a person who believes in baptism call himself a Baptist even though he believes in baptizing the babies of believers? Can't one just use Baptist the way they want to use it? I'm sure a Baptist would say, “That's not how it has historically been understood.”  If I started calling myself a Baptist, that would cause confusion. Pastor Zach continues to explain that it would also cause confusion if someone like me, a Presbyterian, started calling myself a Lutheran just because I believe in justification by faith alone. I'm sure my Lutheran brothers would take issue with that, as I don't hold to their confessions and even disagree with them on several points.

Some people have argued, “Why can't we just label ourselves Christians? Why do we need all these other labels?” Labels can be helpful. With various theological camps, Reformed distinguishes us from other theological systems. If I move somewhere and am looking for a new church, I'm going to want to attend one with like-minded believers who hold to the same confessions, and the same ecclesiology. I'm going to want to look for a Reformed or Presbyterian Church. And if a church describes itself as Reformed, I will have some expectations of what being a Reformed church means.

I've put together several resources to go along with our podcast on what it means to be Reformed. We discuss the historical understanding, but also how it's used more broadly by many today.

 

R Scott Clark on the Necessity Of An Objective Definition Of Reformed. Here he describes some of the history of the adjective. A Wonderful Illustration Of The Necessity Of An Objective Definition Of Reformed by R Scott Clark

In this short video which is part one on a series on the history of the United Reformed Church, Pastor Zach from Westside Reformed Church discusses what it means to be Reformed,