May the church ordain women as deacons? The Canadian Reformed Church addressed this issue in 2010, in connection with fellowship discussions with the Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA), which ordains women deacons. At that time I addressed this in my post Female Deacons and Church Unity. Subsequently, the CanRC Synod of 2010 found this practice to be a barrier to ecclesiastical fellowship.
Friday, February 5, 2016
Last week I gave a number of lectures in Ontario. I had been invited to give a speech for a post-confession series for Canadian Reformed churches in the Niagara peninsula. Two weeks earlier Dr. C. van Dam had presented a lecture on "Interpreting Genesis 1 and 2: Faith Seeks Understanding".
Thursday, December 31, 2015
I should alert the interested reader to a very useful site: Creation - Evolution Headlines. This site is run by David Coppedge, who used to work for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He combs many current scientific journals, reports almost daily on the latest scientific discoveries concerning origins, and adds his own creationist assessments.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
What was the Star of Bethlehem? Each Christmas produces renewed speculations, as discussed in my post The Star of Bethlehem. A recent addition is the book The Great Christ Comet: Revealing the True Star of Bethlehem (2015), by Dr Colin Nicholl, a New Testament scholar. Dr Nicholl claims that the star was a comet, a conclusion that has been challenged by Jason Engwer on Triablogue.
Friday, August 28, 2015
In a previous post (The Myth of the Merely Hypothetical) I noted that several Canadian Reformed supporters of the Reformed Academic blog claim that evolution is "as yet unfalsified." This reflects the widely held notion that evolution has all the evidence in its favour, and none against. Allegedly, evolution gives a powerful explanation--the only valid explanation-- of biological facts, and is essential to understanding the life sciences.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Thursday, August 13, 2015
A study Bible can be very useful, particularly for those who do not have easy access to commentaries. Today there are numerous study Bibles, but very few are soundly Biblical and solidly Reformed. I was therefore pleased with the recent publication of The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible (Reformed Heritage Books, 2014, 2216 pages).
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Is Genesis 1 historically accurate, or is it more like a story for kids?
How should one reconcile Genesis with evolutionary science? One way is to accept the plain reading of Genesis, and to modify one's science accordingly. A second way is to accept evolutionary science, and to re-interpret Genesis. Some claim to accept both as true, as we saw in a previous post, but this entails an untenable state of cognitive dissonance.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Dr Tony Jelsma, biology professor at Dordt College, and one of the editors of the Reformed Academic blog, has just posted a series of three articles on, “Religion and Science – A Reformed Perspective”. A few years ago Dr. Jelsma argued for non-literal creation days and a local Flood. Now he moves on to address the question of the historical Adam.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
A few weeks ago a new website was launched - Creation Without Compromise. Its stated purpose is:
We are Reformed Christians concerned about the issue of origins in our midst. Through this resource site and blog, we aim to provide support to those who share our concerns. We are committed to the historic Reformed understanding of Genesis and believe that a failure to maintain the orthodox position not only attacks biblical truth in general, but the gospel of Jesus Christ in particular.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
A few months ago there was an interesting post by Nicholas Batzig, A Biblical Theology of the Trees of the Garden. He contends that the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil did not have any inherent magical powers. Rather, both trees were sacramental symbols, pointing to a reality beyond themselves.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
A recent proposal in a Canadian Reformed classis to alter the Belgic Confession is already generating contentious discussion. The proposal specified:
God created the human race by making and forming Adam from dust (Gen. 2:7) and Eve from Adam’s side (Gen.2:21-22). They were created as the first two humans and the biological ancestors of all other humans. There were no pre-Adamites, whether human or hominid.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Yesterday, on March 11, 2015, Classis Ontario-West of the Canadian Reformed Churches held in Kerwood, Ontario adopted an important overture regarding theistic evolution.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
The Deputies Report to the Synod of the Free Reformed Churches in Australia (to be held in June 2015) has just been published. Of special interest is its recommendations regarding relations with its Dutch sister church, the Gereformeerde Kerken vrijgemaakt (i.e., GKV, referred to in the report as the RCN = Reformed Churches in the Netherlands).
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Review: More than Myth? Seeking the Full Truth about Genesis, Creation, and Evolution, P.D. Brown and R. Stackpole, editors (Chartwell Press, 2014).
This recent book defends Old-Earth Creationism (OEC), also known as "Progressive Creationism". It consists of 11 chapters, written by 7 different authors, including one by Dr Hugh Ross. It is edited by Dr Paul Brown, science professor at Trinity Western University, and Dr Robert Stackpole, a Roman Catholic theologian.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
1. Creation Days - Real or Analogous?
At The Gospel Coalition website, Justin Taylor has just posted an article, Biblical Reasons to Doubt that the Creation Days were 24-hour Periods. According to their website, The Gospel Coalition is "a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures."
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
PCA Pastor Rick Phillips has just posted an article Is Evolution Biblically Acceptable? the Question of Genesis 1. He is reacting to the efforts by Biologos to promote the acceptance of evolution among evangelical Christians.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Recently I was had the privilege of visiting Brazil. I gave a series of four lectures on "Science and Christianity", hosted by the John Calvin Institute, the seminary of the Igrejas Reformadas do Brasil (IRB = Reformed Churches of Brazil), held at the Northern Presbyterian Seminary in Recife on Oct.23-25, 2014. The IRB was originated through mission work by the Canadian Reformed Church, which still supports it by sending missionaries and mission aid workers.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Recently I spent two weeks in the Philippines. I had been invited by Pastor Glimar (Glem) Melo to give a series of lectures on "Science and Christianity". I gave these lectures three times, at three different locations.