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Reflections Upon the Protestant Reformation

Preface

This time each year marks the anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. Its beginning is attributed to that now famous, yet once obscure circumstance which took place five hundred years ago, when Martin Luther nailed ninety five-theological theses to the Wittenberg castle door. As I ponder the alignment of the two anniversaries, one annual the other bi millennial, I’m immediately drawn back to my own introduction to the history some thirty-two years ago. When I say “introduction” I don’t mean to say that I had never heard of the event called the Protestant Reformation, for indeed I had. What I mean to say is it had no personal significance to me before that time. Continue reading

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The Principles of Protestantism, Part 2 – Introduction

Introduction: Christianity in America today is in rapid decline

It should be clear to anyone who pays attention to various polls and statistics that are conducted concerning the present health of the Christian church in America that it is in decline. In spite of a number of high profile mega churches in various parts of the country, the overall numbers of people committing themselves to the Christian church is decreasing. Polls should never be a determining factor for analyzing what the church is doing by way of service to the Lord. But there is one thing that is rather interesting about them. They seem to suggest that Americans are fundamentally a spiritually minded people, way more so than their European counterparts. But when it comes to defining what they believe in terms of historic orthodox definitions of the Christian faith that is entirely a different story. The point is that most Americans find little reason to identify, or even associate with any sort of historic expression of the Christian faith. Continue reading

The Reformation At 500 Conference

This year I attended a different conference than the one I usually attend in October. The conference was sponsored by the Trinity Foundation Ministry held in Johnson City Tennessee. For those who have never heard of the Trinity Foundation it is an apologetic ministry devoted to promoting the philosophy of Gordon Clark known as Scriptural Presuppositionalism. Most Christians have at some point heard of the word presuppositionalism. The word itself seems to be rather evident as to its meaning. As Christians we suppose God and His word to be true before entertaining any arguments regarding their defense. The question is why do we presuppose this to be true? This is what presuppositionalism purports to answer. Continue reading

God’s Covenant, Part 15 – Covenant Promise(s)

3-God’s Covenant Broken

The original relationship with God Adam had soon turned out to be quite untenable. This was owing to the fact that when a certain opportunity arose, he did exactly what he was warned not to do, and by it, suffered the penalty attached to it (Gen. 3:1-19). It would seem from this text that no sooner did Adam and his wife’s new life together in the garden begin than trouble entered Paradise. This came in the form of a new creature introduced to us in this text, by which then a test was placed before them, as to whether their commitment to the Creator would stand or fall. Continue reading

Hello world!

My name is Mark and I’m the new blogger on the block. I started this blog in order to share my thoughts on a number of things all related to my faith as a Christian. The name of this blog “The Church Essential” expresses the fact that I am very interested in the nature of the Christian church. The phrase “The Church Essential” is a quotation from John Owen’s treatise on the doctrine of the church. I chose it for the simple reason that Owen’s doctrine of the church is that which expresses my own conviction on this matter. Continue reading