A Reformed Conference in Spain
I just returned from a Reformed pastors conference here in Spain. It was refreshing to take four days out of the usual routine to meet with other workers-pastors and missionaries-of like convictions. I preached the opening message at the conference, on Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28:10-22. The two main speakers were a Reformed pastor from Holland named Peter De Vries and a Spaniard from Madrid named Julian Mellado.
Peter De Vries has just published a doctoral thesis on the work of John Owen, and his three messages dealt with Owen’s teaching on each Person of the Trinity. Julian Mellado spoke three times on the subject of ‘Jesus in His Historical Context,’ a biblical reply to the so-called ‘Search for the Historical Jesus’ that dominates the religion departments at secular universities. His main thesis was that the New Testament does not present either a ‘christology from below,’ stripping Jesus of his divine attributes, nor a Docetic ‘theology from above,’ negating the true humanity of our Lord, but rather a truly ‘incarnational theology,’ enunciated clearly by Chalcedon, and never surpassed by that historical council. One fact that he pointed out, which I found particularly interesting in light of the current debate, is that in some of the very oldest papyri fragments that have been discovered in the Middle East (dating from the first century) , the name of Christ appears in an abbreviated form which the Jews only used when writing the name of God.
The messages by De Vries on Owen’s theology were particularly rich and enlightening. He emphasized the pastoral concern and zeal for God’s glory that lay behind many of Owen’s polemical writings-in his battles against Arminianism, for example-as well as his desire to be a truly catholic theologian, drawing insights not only from the Reformers, but from medieval thinkers such as Anselm and Bernard of Clairveaux.
Hope of the Church 15 October 2021
To help us in the dealings of our lives we should have such a conception of God as not to limit him in our thoughts. When we are in extremity we must not tie him to this thing or to that thing. He can make matter out of nothing. Why should we limit the unlimited […]
The Prayer Meeting 3 September 2021
Why bother coming to the prayer meeting? In the pecking order of many congregations, it is somewhere below the much-lamented evening service. In the priorities of too many Christians, it seems to have little value. It’s the one we can afford to miss. It’s the one to which we don’t, or maybe wouldn’t, take our […]