As we announced at yesterday’s meeting, we are going to support Reformed Baptist Seminary. Here are some of the answers to common questions I was being asked:
How can RBS offer a full ministerial education at such a reduced cost?
Part of the reason lies in the fact that we are a distance learning school. We do not need to charge the student to maintain the overhead expenses of building facilities and a resident faculty. But another part of the reason lies in the fact that RBS is partially supported by the generosity of local churches. Indeed, this is one more reason why RBS is a “church-based” seminary. We believe local churches should be willing to invest in those who aspire after and show potential for the ministry.
Students of churches that support the seminary for $2,000 or more per year may receive their theological education tuition free. (And members can audit courses free).
As Pastor Jay mentioned yesterday, you can learn a lot more about the seminary from these two audio podcasts:
In the two audio podcasts linked below, Jason Delgado interviews Dr Bob Gonzales for The Confessing Baptist Podcast. Dr Gonzales shares his testimony of coming to faith in Christ, his theological journal, his experience as a pastor, and his current role as dean of Reformed Baptist Seminary. He discusses the history of the seminary, its doctrinal position, its “church-based” distinctives, its online and modular course offerings, and the issue of accreditation. Finally, he talks about the opportunities God has given the seminary to provide modular training to foreign pastors in Latin America. If you’d like to learn more about RBS, you’ll probably benefit from listening to the two-part podcast interview below.
As Pastor Jay had mentioned earlier this month, his wife went to the 22nd annual Emmanuel Baptist Church Ladies’ Conference. Christian highly recommends checking out the conference audio/video and the book on the same theme. She writes:
We need a refresher course, as women, on why we are doing the things we do, in order to ensure that we are serving from pure hearts that seek to please Christ and obey His Word; not out of fear of man, obeying the dictates of our hearts or the pressure from the world telling us who we are and what we should do. The Womanly Dominion Conference at Emmanuel Baptist Church was a refreshing look at a woman’s high calling at home, at church, and in society. Mark Chanski’s, the author of Womanly Dominion, More than a Gentle and Quiet Spirit, presented the material of his book in a very honest, helpful, and biblically objective manner. A pastor for 27 years, married for three decades, and with five children of his own, Pastor Chanski empathizes with the joys, challenges,and capabilities of a woman of dominion.
My favorite aspect of the conference was that it was directed toward women but from a trusted pastor’s perspective. I had the privilege of enjoying this conference with my daughter and mother-in-law, and the biblical teaching and practical counsel ministered to each of our very different spheres of life. All women, young or mature, single or married, will benefit from this exhortation to “win it” and “play your position” as a woman with her God-ordained responsibilities in her unique role as woman.
Mark Chanski has labored as a full-time Pastor since 1986 in churches in Ohio and Michigan. He has been Pastor of the Reformed Baptist Church of Holland, Michigan, since 1994. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornerstone University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He teaches Hermeneutics for the Reformed Baptist Seminary in Easley, SC. Mark is married to his wife Dianne, and has fathered their four sons and one daughter, whose ages stretch from 24-14 (born 1983 to1994).
Here is the post I, Jason Delgado, promised during this past Sunday Seminary, when I was teaching on the Baptist Confession of 1689, chapter ten and paragraph three. We made it through chapter ten but I can see how paragraph three could use a lot more explanation (even taking up two Sunday Seminaries). But, I decided to point you to several resources.
First, here is the audio and powerpoint from Sunday:
3. Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit,10 whoworks when and where and how he pleases.11 The same is true of every elect person who isincapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
10 John 3:3, 5, 6. 11 John 3:8.
“This paragraph addresses an issue that can be very emotionally charged. The very first five words, elect infants dying in infancy, are enough to send sparks a flying in some quarters. It is rather assumed in this day and age that all babies are born “innocent,” and therefore of course all babies go to heaven. But if we stop and think about the words elect infants we are reminded that only those whom God chooses are his. All babies are born into sin (Ps. 51:5) and inherit the same sin nature as everyone. This means that if an infant is to go to heaven, then God had to regenerate them and save them. And God only does this work in those who are elect. The atonement accomplished by Christ is God’s provision for his decree of election. Without the atonement, no infant who died could ever be saved. So though the Confession only has two words to cover Christ’s work, by Christ, they are certainly the most important of the words….
So we can be hopeful that all infants will be in heaven, and we can be certain elect infants will be saved, but in doing so we must be clear in our thinking. In having this hope, we can’t just throw the doctrine of imputed sin out the window simply because we can’t bear the thought of an infant going to hell. We must always think biblically and do so consistently. Two things we want to be clear on here: if all infants or any infant goes to heaven, it is only because they are elected. If there is such a thing as a non-elect infant, then the non-elect infant will go to hell due to their imputed sin from their first parents. And let’s beware that this very issue is where we ourselves are tested from within and by Arminians in the Biblical belief of imputed sin. However, we are not to let emotions dictate doctrine, but only the Word of God.
There is a way to deal with this emotional issue biblically that is full of hope. We just need to be precise and clear on the topic, and this is exactly what the Confession helps us do. This is important, and it is immensely practical. We know those who have lost infants or have children who are mentally incapacitated from birth. In those situations, there is a real need for true and sound biblical comfort. To be perfectly clear, the Confession is not denying that all infants go to heaven; it is merely saying if they go to heaven it is because they are elect. This is a sound Biblical position.”
I would be more explicit than the 1689 Confession, as would Pastor Jay, and say that I believe that all babies who died would have been elect and thus would go to Heaven. Let me recommend the resources in the same way I did on my wife’s blog on November 18, 2008, which was just weeks after two of my girls had died:
“…There is not one verse that says ‘Babies go to Heaven’ or anything like that, so a look at the entire scope of the Bible is needed to answer the question. Earlier this year (before my wife got pregnant) I became more convinced than ever, that when a baby dies it goes to Heaven. I came to this conclusion from many implicit references in the Bible (again there are no explicit references about this).
I decided to give you the arguments and writings of one who has already written about this (no need re-inventing the wheel, right?). So I recommend the following resources to you from Pastor John MacArthur.
Despite the fact that most Christians spend half of their waking lives at work, most have been taught very little on Sunday mornings about how to apply the truths of the gospel to the practicalities of their Monday to Friday work life. It is not uncommon for Christian professionals to hold an undeveloped, if not flat-out unbiblical, theology of work.
The conference will address questions like:
• What is God’s purpose for my work?
• How does the gospel change my work?
• How does applying the truths of the gospel help me manage differently?
• How does a Christian strategize and plan his or her career?
Biblical Theology of Work – Michael Lawrence | mp3
Conference What Every Christian Needs to Know about Love, Authority, and Church Membership
River City Grace Community Church of Sacramento (Greg Stoever, Pastor-Teacher) hosted “The People of God: What Every Christian Needs to Know About Love, Authority, and Church Membership”. The speaker was Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director of 9Marks ministries. The topic focused on the importance, privilege, and responsibility of local church membership for every Christian – for the display of God’s glory.
Session 1: The Idolatry of Love [download] Leeman discusses our culture’s idolatry of love, and what this looks like in the local church. Then he contrasts this with the Bible’s own view of love.
Session 2: The Display of Love [download] God means to display all the attributes of his character, including his holy love, in the life of the church. This means that church membership is a commitment to such love and a witness of it.
Session 4: The Submission of Membership [download] How should we submit ourselves to the local church? We should submit publicly, physically, socially, affectionately, vocationally, ethically, and spiritually.
Session 5: The Discipline of Membership [download] Church discipline is a tough topic, but it’s critical for protecting the gospel, the good of the saints, and the reputation of Christ in the world. Here’s a guide to the basic of what church discipline is, and how to practice it.
Session 6: The Power and Preaching of the Word [download] It’s tempting for church leaders to put their trust in their own ideas and ingenuity. But God’s Word alone gives life, and the power of ministry depends on exposing people to God’s Word, whether inside or outside the church
Session 7: The Reverberation of the Word [download] The ministry of the word may begin in the mouth of the evangelist and preacher, but that Word should reverberate through the church’s music, prayers, and relationships. The echoing word gives life to the church in all its parts.