SO WHAT HAVE I LEARNED IN THE LAST THREE YEARS!
Following my last ministerial work here in Portsmouth Ohio, I was blessed with a newer Gateway computer as I have said before. I elected to have AOL as my Internet server. This was my first time on the Internet.
Thankfully, I was in a spirit of learning. I was listening to Calvary Chapel Network of churches on radio. Each program had a web site. I had this idea of viewing each web site. This idea led to a search of all the churches on the Calvary Network. There were over 600 churches at the time, and in about a year I had researched all these churches. What an experience. I would download a homepage of the churches that I would like. I have three three-ring binders.
Within this search, one church site had several links that they recommended. One such link took me to Expository. org. . And when I went on this site, they had links to some twenty other links. And each of those links had other links. I am still today, after three years, still linking to links. One of the links:
Contend for the Faith: An Apologetics and Theology Resource Page by Matt Perman and Justin Taylor A fine collection of articles, most by these two men associated with Bethlehem Baptist Church and John Piper. An Apologetics and Theology Resource Page
Christian Growth & Theology Links.
PHIL JOHNSON’S BOOKMARKS....
This site sponsored by Phil Johnson has 100's of links, and literally I have yet to get all of the links
I began to download certain articles and placed the articles in three-ring binders. I believe I had about ten binders at the end of the first year. From all these sites.
Beginning in early 2004 I was directed to monergism. com John .W. Hendryx This site is devoted to the Reformed point of view. But it also has other points of view as well.
On this site they had a list of topical index. From Abraham to John Calvin, from grace to Spurgeon Election to Free Will. And each topic like Election had several hundred articles on the subject.
I was asked to do a study on the Doctrines of Grace in our church for the Discipleship Class. So I went to the topical study of the Doctrines of Grace.. To my surprise there were 255 articles. I was in shock to see so many articles. I decided to start to look at each one and to read them. Then I thought, why don’t I just download the ones I really like. And thus I started. I am still working on this project.
Then I went to about thirty other topics. This has been a major joy of study. I started downloading some of the articles and putting them in three ring binders for future references and study. 30 binders x 200 pages = 6,000 pages (just the theological topics binders)
I was glad to discover printpal. com because the ink for the printer was 80% less than buying them at Wal-Mark or K-Mart. Then Sam’s had reams of paper at a very reasonable price. I also was able to find some specials on binders as well. The only problem has been I have used up four Epson printers Today I am using a Lexmark 611. I am glad printers are very cheap.
What is interesting, pre 2003 all my information came from reading books. Books were my life in ministry. I read and studied for most of thirty years. I thought I was well read and rather informed on the Word of God. All my sermon preparations were by reading and studying books. And all my sermons were hand written on folded typing paper. Over 4,000 manuscript sermons, hand written. What I could have done if I’d had monergism.com for those years.
While I had some of the books that are now on the Internet, it’s really good to be able to print them and read and study them.
Now monergism.com has the Covenant Reformed Theology, which I was not really knowledgeable of before I started reading the articles on this site.
To name a few of the writers on Monergism.com
The Reformers:. John Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, R.L.. Dabney,. Thomas Boston, Martin Luther, Richard Bacters. Then others, Charles Spurgeon, John Gill, Octavius Winslow, A.W. Pink, George Whitefield. Current men:, John Piper, John MacArthur, Jim Elliff, John Reisinger, R.C. Sproul, James White, John Murray, James Boyce, and many more.
Predominantly I have studied from this point of view. Covenant Reformed Theology. I agree with the position on the Doctrines of Grace, but that is about all that I would agree with.
All this study has affirmed my belief in my preaching style while in Altoona, Kansas. When you study different views you can strengthen your view or change it. While teaching for sixteen years in Altoona, and preaching expositionally you preached from the standpoint of teaching the meaning of the text. I studied to understand the text, more than I studied the doctrinal issues. While I taught doctrinally, my focus was on a practical interpretation.
What I have discovered in these doctrinal studies, I realized that I was generally doctrinally correct in what I preached. Or at least, from my point of view. And as I learn, I am allowing myself to change my point of view.
- What are some of the different and agreeable points of view?
1A I preached primarily from the New Testament, using the Old Testament for examples of a New Testament principle. What I am learning is that Covenant Theology says that the Old Testament is as necessary to preach as the New Testament.
- 2A When I taught in the Old Testament, I would try to tell the story that was in the text. I taught Genesis and Isaiah in Sunday School, Proverbs and Daniel on Wednesday. What Covenant Theology teaches is the Old Testament is to be taught with Christ in every verse. Christ-Centered Preaching. Redemptive-History Teaching. Every sermon is to be Christ-centered, gospel-centered from either the Old or the New.
- 3A I taught the book of Revelation in Roanoke, Va.,. Minford Ohio, and Altoona, Kansas, and started at Second Baptist. My perspective is that Revelation is future prophecy. The Covenant Theology states that Revelation is unknown. Several viewpoints are held, of which I do not agree with any of them.
- 4A Covenant Theology teaches the Redemptive Historical Theme. That is Christ is the reason for the whole purpose of the writing of the Old Testament. They teach that Israel and the church are the same in nature. Thus, they do not see Israel today as having any significance.. I do not agree.
- 5A I had never really read any of the Confessionals: The Westminster Confession and Catechisms were written (1642-1647), any of the London Baptist Confession. I never knew how they fit in.
- 6A I had never understood the Reformation Period or what that had to do with Religion.
- 7A I had never really read John Calvin’s The Institutes of the Christian Religion
- 8A Reformed Baptist? Are you kidding? Fundamentalist, Independent Baptist. I discovered there are some good folks that are not Baptist. While I am still a Baptist, I go to a non- Baptist church.
- 9A MOST SIGNIFICANTLY I have come to understand the Sovereignty of God and the Providence of God. I have come to better comprehend the Doctrines of Grace
- 10A Sola Scriptura: Solus Christus Sola Gratia: Sola Fide: (Faith Alone)Soli Deo Gloria: What? I have never heard of these before this study.I taught the idea, believed the principles, but now understand them better.
- 11A Covenant, Reformed Folks have a real problem with Dispensationalism.
I have gained a better understanding of this position. I still believe the Israel in the O.T. is not the Church in the N.T. But I believe salvation in the Old is the same as in the New. I still am "pre" everything, Pre-Tribulation and Pre-millenial..
- 12A Some believe in Covenant baptism, infant baptism, that is. I don’t. Some believe all the gifts are no longer necessary today.
- 13A But what I have learned is to learn from those who may not hold my personal position,. because it seems we have more in common than areas we disagree.
- 14A The glory of God is preeminent. His glory is foremost in everything.
- Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 10 21 06 Proof Read Charity 10 23 06