A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith – 5th edition

If you haven’t yet purchased the recently published 5th edition of A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith by Sam Waldron, or if you would like another copy to give as a gift to someone else, then now is the time to take advantage of the great discount price offered at Grace and Truth Books. Here is a brief description of the book:

Long awaited, this 5th Edition of Dr. Samuel Waldron’s work is the definitive version, now in hardcover.

Modern Christianity is awash in a flood of doctrinal relativity. Satan and his forces love the imprecision and ambiguity which are rampant in our day. As C. H. Spurgeon observed, “The arch- enemy of truth has invited us to level our walls and take away our fenced cities.”

This exposition was originally published in 1989 to mark the 300th anniversary of the publication of the Second London Confession, which also became known as the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. Today, Reformed Baptists worldwide hold this Confession in high esteem and many churches continue to regard it as their official statement of faith. In this extensive exposition, the author Sam Waldron shows that the 1689 Confession is a masterly statement of the historic Christian faith. He writes in a direct and lucid style that will help ministers, students and laymen alike to a clear understanding of this Confession and to its relevance and application to our modern age.

Right now Grace and Truth Books is offering the book for just $23.95, so pick up your copy soon. This is one of those books every Reformed Baptist ought to have.

"A Curious Clue About the Origins of the New Testament Canon" by Michael Kruger

Over at the Canon Fodder blog — which is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs — Michael Kruger has written an intriguing post entitled A Curious Clue About the Origins of the New Testament Canon, in which he highlights evidence from 2 Corinthians 3 regarding the concept of a canon of Scripture and the formation of the New Testament canon. Here is a portion of the post, which follows evidence from passages speaking of the Old Covenant as something that is written:

These passages indicate that covenants were largely conceived as something written or read; i.e., something in a book.  It is precisely for this reason that warnings were given not to change the text of the covenant (Deut 4:2), and there were concerns about it being in the proper physical location (Ex 25:16).

If so, then what shall we make of Paul’s statement in 2 Cor 3:6 that he and the other apostles are “ministers of a new covenant”?

Given Paul’s statement in 2 Cor 3:14 that we just noted, it would be natural to think that Paul has in mind a new set of written documents that testify to the terms of the covenantal arrangement in Christ.

As Carmignac argues, “In order to use the expression ‘Old Testament’ he [Paul] must also be aware of the existence of a ‘New Testament.’” Carmignac even goes further and suggests that this ‘New Testament’ may have had contained a number of books in order for it to be parallel with the Old.

The likelihood that Paul views the new covenant as having written documents increases when we make the simple observation that Paul is claiming for himself this distinctive covenantal authority within a written letter to the Corinthians. And scholars have observed how this very letter functions as a “covenant lawsuit”against the Corinthians.

I recommend reading the entire post. I also highly recommend Kruger’s book Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books, which is the best book I’ve read on the subject.

"Five Lessons Learned from Practicing Church Discipline" by Tom Hicks

Today Tom Hicks posted an excellent article on the Founders Ministries blog entitled Five Lessons Learned from Practicing Church Discipline. In it he offers some lessons he has learned from practicing church discipline over more than ten years of pastoral ministry.

Tom says that he has learned or had reinforced for him the fact that he is a greater sinner than he knew, that anyone can fall into great sin, that it’s possible to move too quickly or too slowly in practicing church disciple, that pastors need to know the whole counsel of God, and that a full pastoral ministry is vitally important.

I recommend reading the article in order to hear some solid, Scriptural wisdom about each of these points.

A 12th Dead Sea Scrolls Cave Discovered

Some of our readers may already have seen the reports of a discovery of another Dead Sea Scrolls cave by archaeologist Randall Price, which brings the number to twelve. The cave includes finds of Neolithic remains, including arrowheads and knives, broken jars which would have contained papyri, and small fragments of parchment and papyrus (see photo by Randall Price at left), as well as at least one linen used for wrapping scrolls. The Logos Academic Blog has a nice article on the find here.The article also holds out hope for the discovery of a thirteenth cave in the near future:

It is hard to believe it, but Price and his team seem to have discovered a twelfth cave, something Scrolls scholars have been dreaming about for sixty years. And not only that, Price thinks there may even be a thirteenth cave near the Qumran ruins.

Unlike the newly discovered Cave 12, the mouth of the suspected thirteenth cave is concealed — which means there is a chance that it has not been looted. If that is the case, more texts could be discovered. If that happens, who knows what new things we might learn?

Such a discovery would be very exciting indeed!

"Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?" Debate


Here is the description posted on YouTube:

Watch as Trent Horn of Catholic Answers and Dr. James R. White of Alpha and Omega Ministries debate the theology surrounding the topic: “Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?” This debate was moderated by Michael O’Fallon on January 18, 2017. Sovereign Alliance sponsored the event at the 2017 G3 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia with over 1,300 audience members in attendance.

Of course, I think James White was on the right side of this debate.

eStudySource.com Offers Good Prices on e-Sword Resources

Regular readers of this blog will remember that I have been a long time user of e-Sword (alongside BibleWorks) and cannot recommend it highly enough. It is a free Bible study software program that rivals many that you would have to pay for and is better than most. This program also makes basic word studies a breeze and has been of great use to those in my congregation to whom I have recommended it. In fact, they often tell me that they love the layout and how user-friendly the program is. There is not a very steep learning curve with this program, so most anyone can catch on to it quickly, and there is a complete set of training demos available.

Regular readers may also recall that I have previously recommended BibleSupport.com as a great place to find many excellent free resources, as well as helpful support, for e-Sword. I have also pointed out the free ESV resources available for e-Sword. Today, however, I would like to recommend eStudySource.com as a good place to buy premium e-Sword resources. They offer a number of outstanding Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries for very good prices. Here are some of the modules I have purchased and used over the years and which our readers may find helpful:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
New King James Version
Ancient Christian Commentary, 29 Vols (Tom C. Oden, Editor)
IVP Bible Background Commentary OT & NT (OT: John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, Mark W. Chavalas , NT: Craig S. Keener)
IVP New Testament Commentary Series, 20 Vols. (Grant R. Osborne, D. Stuart Briscoe, and Haddon Robinson, Editors)  
New International Commentary of the Old Testament, 25 Vols. (Robert L. Hubbard Jr, General Editor)
New International Commentary on the New Testament, 18 Vols. (Gordon D. Fee & Joel B. Green, Editors)
The Preachers Commentary 35 Vols (Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Editor)
Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Manners & Customs

To give some idea of how good the prices are (and there are regular sales as well), consider the cost of one of the more expensive modules, the New International Commentary of the Old Testament (NICOT), which currently lists for $139.99. That sounds expensive until you think about what it would cost to buy the set in book form, which is currently listed on Amazon Prime for $1,353.00, although other sellers offer it for as little as $948.00, which may not include shipping. And, by the way, one would currently have to pay $984.99 for the Logos Bible Software version of NICOT.

To further highlight the difference, right now I am studying to teach through Proverbs, and one of the commentaries I am using is the excellent two volume set by Bruce Waltke, which is part of the NICOT set. For both volumes in book form (which I own), I would have to pay $90.58 right now through Amazon Prime, and it would cost $74.87 in Kindle format. But I can own the entire Old Testament set for $139.99 and make use of it in e-Sword wherever I can take my laptop. That is something to think about.

If you are a regular e-Sword user, as I am, you may want to check out some of the resources at eStudySource.com. It may be well worth your while.