I usually don’t read Christianity Today magazine, because, as the prophet Clint Eastwood once said, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” But I was interested in reviewing this article when it was first mentioned on the web.
“Young, Restless and Reformed“ is now online at:
What Christianity Today notes as a growing phenomenon, actually began in the 1950s in England and Scotland when Banner of Truth began republishing the long out-of-print Puritan classics. The article mentions Jonathan Edwards as having a modern resurgence in popularity among young Christians who want to go deeper in doctrine – along with the writings of Puritan and Neo-Puritan churchmen who literally led revolutions in England, Scotland and America from the 1500s to 1776. Nothing short of a mighty Neo-Puritan Awakening can awake our nation from its slumber today and save us from enemies within and without.
Calvinism, of course, was the prevailing theology of Puritan America and the Great Awakening. It fueled the political philosophy of the American Revolution and was prevalent during the so-called Second Great Awakening of the 1800s. But around 1850, Reformed theology started to die off. Some blame classic Arminianism for its demise. However, Classic and Wesleyan Arminianism actually worked in tandem with Reformed theology for hundreds of years bolstering Christian culture. The real culprit in my view was dispensational theology which began to replace the full-orbed covenantal view of scripture in the 1800s.
See my article on covenantalism vs. dispensationalism: “Two Views of Government.”
Now there is a resurgence of Reformed and covenantal theology which has been going on since the mid-20th century. I have been a part of this, although I have never called myself a “Calvinist.” I have always enjoyed reading the sermons and works of the great preachers of history, most of whom happen to be Augustinian or Reformed.
I’ve been a member of St. Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida, for the past few years. The noted Reformed scholar, R.C. Sproul, serves as the pastor of preaching and teaching. Many of my Charismatic and Pentecostal friends are surprised to know how happy I am with this church. The emphasis on Reformed theology is a drawing point, but it is the emphasis on just plain “sane theology” and God-centered worship that sets the church apart from almost every central Florida church I had visited in the few years prior. In fact, it is well worth the 55 minute drive each Sunday. I know of other members who actually drive longer distances and almost never miss a service. That speaks of a famine for sound doctrine in an area that is saturated with churches.
The positive side of this is that there is a real hunger among a minority of young Christian leaders who I believe God is grooming for a coming Great Awakening among young people. Like the prior Great Awakenings, this movement will be Reformed in doctrine. I’ve thought this was coming for the past 15 years. At one time, we planned to publish a magazine called Puritan Storm Rising. Now it is remarkable to see a major evangelical magazine comment on the burgeoning Neo-Puritan Awakening.
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High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
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Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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