“The Lord’s Supper: Only in the Assembly” by Joe Thorn

“Because this is a church ordinance it is to be administered or overseen by the elders of the church. This was at the heart of the problem in the Corinthian church. Not only had the membership gone off the tracks with the sacrament, but there wasn’t proper oversight.”




I Hate It When God “Shows Up”

Polemics Report

I remember attending Christian retreats/festivals/revivals/conferences. These were much-loved quiet times of reflection, a time to spend in unabashed and unashamed camaraderie with fellow believers. More importantly though, they always had great music. I knew without a doubt that the evenings would be intense. It would be a kamikaze of blue lights, key changes, tears, sweat, and a 23 minute rendition of  Michael W Smith’s Let it rain.  It is a collusion of blood, bone and brain matter; fused with flickering lights, heat, glowsticks and D-chords. The synapses are firing. The skin is getting prickly. It leaves people on their knees, chest heaving and body crumpled on the floor because they could not stand the weight of the glory of God in the room. The air get thick with it, and it invariably becomes more than people’s hearts can bear.

In the aftermath, in the stillness,  we would reflect…

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Back Off the Baptists: Why Steven Furtick Does Not Anathematize the SBC

Polemics Report

Many of have taken issue with Steven Furtick in recent years. Pointing out Furtick-level pastoral narcissism has been common fare on a number of popular podcasts. I’ll assume you haven’t actually made your habitation under a rock and that you’re aware of the Furtick controversies; the increasingly scary cult mentality of Elevation Church as it pledges allegiance to it’s “visionary,” that Elevation Church demands unity not around the Gospel but around Furtick’s “vision,” the continued “corrections” about Furtick and the church’s property and finances that are made each time the local media points out their perpetual dishonesty, contrived “spontaneous” and miraculous baptisms, manipulated book sale figures that even the New York Times has caught on to, letting women and anti-Trinitarians preach from his Southern Baptist pulpit, and his insanely self-centered eisegesis, just to name a few. I would provide links to all of this, but once again, unless you’re not…

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Are We Entering a Golden Age of 17th Century Baptist Literature?

Thoughts of a Pastor-Historian

I certainly hope so. Having done my PhD in this largely unmined area of church history, I have a vested interest in making the inspiring stories and helpful theological musings of our 17th-century Baptist counterparts known. I’m committed to doing my part. In recent days, I have been encouraged by the number of solid publications about or containing the original works of 17th-century Baptists that have either been recently released or are slated to be released soon. In addition to the works listed below, I am currently revising my dissertation on Hercules Collins for publication and plan to separately publish Collins’ The Temple Repair’d in the near future.

Available Now:

The Reformed Theology of Benjamin Keach (1640-1704)Jonathan W. Arnold, The Reformed Theology of Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) (Regent’s Park College Publications, 2013).

Jonathan Arnold completed his dissertation on the most important seventeenth-century English Particular Baptist at Regent’s Park College of Oxford University. This work is a slightly…

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Elijah, Mount Horeb and the Quest for Illegitimate Religious Experience

Polemics Report

R. Scott Clark, professor at Westminster Seminary California and author of the book Recovering the Reformed Confession, has a phrase called QIRE – the Quest for Illegitimate Religious Experience. By that, Dr. Clark refers to the desire to experience God outside of the “ordinary” means of grace in the preaching of the Word and the administration of the ordinances. That quest takes all kinds of forms – from charismatic excesses to the desire to hear that “still, small voice”. Don’t believe me? Look up a list of the fastest growing churches – the vast majority caters in providing outlets for QIRE candidates. Few cater to believers who simply want to hear the Bible taught in-depth and without frills.

Ironically, whenever I think of people who fuel their faith on the experiential and objective, I am always drawn back to the “still, small voice” passage:

And he said, “Go…

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