Posts by Mark Jones

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10. Omnes in Adam , by Aaron Denlinger. Absolutely essential reading if you feel as though you need to know more about Ambrogio Catarino's Doctrine of Covenantal Solidarity and Its Influence on Post-Reformation Reformed Theologians. 9. Reformed Orthodoxy in Scotland , edited by Aaron Denlinger...
The best theologians have typically been pastors (e.g., Augustine, Calvin, Owen, Edwards). And the theologians I enjoy reading the most are those who had/have real pastoral experience. There is a purpose to their writing that sometimes isn't found when scholars attempt to write for the church. (I...
Roger Olson is reviewing Oliver Crisp's new book, Deviant Calvinism . I plan to do some interacting with Crisp's book in the new year. The Reformed tradition is diverse, but there is the thorny question of just how diverse. I have quickly realized that one man's diversity may not be another man's...
We must be careful not to speak flippantly about Christ's obedience. The nature, quality, and difficulty of what he actually went through in order to save us will always be beyond our abilities to fully grasp in this life; but that does not mean we should not try to understand something of what it...
What is the incarnation? It is the kissing of heaven and earth. To borrow a phrase from Thomas Goodwin, when the Son became flesh, "Heaven and Earth met and kissed one another, namely, God and man." The incarnation makes theology possible. It makes communion with God possible. Whatever saving...
I spent the last three days with Paul Levy and his family. Great fun. Levy gave me directions to get to a train near his house, but the grammar and spelling were so bad that I ended up in a hot air balloon over the Thames River, where I saw Jeremy Walker at Bunhill fields, giving a tour to Japanese...
After discussing the tensions among evolutionists concerning the precise mechanism of evolution, I thought it might be good to address the underlying metaphysical assumptions of words that are used in the academy, such as "evolution." The explanatory power of the Neo-Darwinian synthesis has given a...
Contrary to popular opinion, Charles Darwin did not invent the theory of biological evolution. But his famous work, The Origin of Species , certainly gave impetus to an idea that would quickly become orthodoxy in the scientific establishment. In his work he made several significant points that have...
Alright folks, here is a great Christmas present to get someone who likes John Owen, the Puritans, or Reformed theology: The Ashgate Research Companion to John Owen's Theology, edited by Kelly Kapic and Mark Jones . The price has been dramatically reduced to $44.95 from about $150. Hardback cover,...
Sitting in the Heathrow airport en route to Johannesburg to lecture Seminary students, I thought it might be good to disclose my vision for a course at Seminary that, I believe, is nowhere offered at any major Reformed seminary in America. The course would be called "Ant Farm 101". Students hoping...
A recent post on Reformation21 was removed by the author. But thanks be to the Aquila "Report" (quotes mine), republication is truly well and alive . The author on the Aquila "Report" takes issue with a certain Ref21 blogger for undermining good works in the Christian life. This Ref21 blogger...
In my mind, the only person fully equipped to be a mega-church pastor is Christ, who knows all of his sheep by name. He alone, by his Spirit, can minister to each of his sheep. He alone, by his Spirit, can meet the spiritual needs of all his flock (Jn. 14:16-17). In connection with that, Jesus has...
Understanding the distinction between God's absolute power and his ordained power might solve a lot of theological problems among many evangelical Christians, especially among the (unwittingly) hyper-Calvinistic sort. God's absolute power is that power to do that which he will not effect. He could...
Why do we love justification and sanctification? And do we love one more than the other? If you've ever been in a position where you think you might die, your theology really begins to matter, and you learn a great deal about yourself and what you believe. A legalistic type of Christian probably...
The key to understanding the transfiguration lies in understanding its parallel: the crucifixion. There are few, more beautiful, contrasts found anywhere in God's word than the contrasts between the transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-9) and the events surrounding the crucifixion (Matt. 27:33-54). On Mount...
After reading a rather punchy and critical review by Thomas McCall, "a Wesleyan-Arminian Christian (and thus only "Reformed" in a fairly broad sense)," I thought it might be a good time to discuss briefly the topic of book puffs/commendations, and also perhaps the worrying direction of Ref21...
Okay, readers, listen to me, listen to Ignacio: Banner of Truth, the publisher that makes the most beautiful books in the (Reformed) world, have a great sale on . Don't forget to buy Chad van Dixhoorn's really good work on the Wesminster Standards . Owen - except for the stuff about Christ being...
Now the great design of all believers is to be like Jesus Christ, in all grace, and all the exercise of it. He is in all things their pattern and example . Wherefore, when they have a view of the glory of any grace as it was exercised in Christ, and a sense of their own defect and lack of...
As a Pastor, I get some really encouraging emails from my congregation: "Pastor Mark, thanks for the message today. I never leave Faith encouraged, convicted, and prompted to keep going on in the faith. Take care, ___" I'm sure my anti-pietistic friends will respond, "many a true word spoken [by...
The life he lived, he lived by faith in God who loved him and gave the Holy Spirit to him. The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness furnishes us with clear evidence that the life he lived he lived by faith in God. He trusted in the God who was able to help him in his time of need (Heb. 2:13)...
"FOR TO THIS YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED, BECAUSE CHRIST ALSO SUFFERED FOR YOU, LEAVING YOU AN EXAMPLE, SO THAT YOU MIGHT FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS." --1 PETER 2:21 In the broader Reformed world there are some who seem to have distaste for the theological concept commonly known as the "imitation of Christ."...
People who have an excellent understanding of the Scriptures really impress me. If there's one thing I detest, besides Manchester United, it's Bible studies or theological discussions where the Scriptures function like the crumbs in a bag of chips: you get to them only if you're desperate. As...
While doing my MA in historical and dogmatic theology I had a very neat (i.e., narrow) understanding of the Reformed tradition. I typically thought in these categories: Reformed versus Arminian; Reformed versus Socinian; Reformed versus Roman Catholicism; etc. But as I moved into my PhD studies I...
"For my part, I had much rather my lot should be found among them who do really believe with the heart unto righteousness, though they are not able to give a tolerable definition of faith unto others, than among them who can endlessly dispute about it with seeming accuracy and skill, but are...
With Carl's sad anouncement that he is retiring (honourably?) from the Reformation21 blog, the responses have been flooding in, from home-school moms to top men from TGC. I give you a mere sampling. From an anonymous reader: Some lady is an avid reader of the blog; but, alas, she is not so fond of...
With bad news on the horizon....I am taking this opportunity to post before the storm. In the interests of showing that I am happy to receive "push-back" on articles, here is Denny Burk responding to my post, A Plea For Realism . Now, I only found out about this post today. But I have written two...
Part 2 of 2 (see part 1 on "Why I Pour" here ). As a pastor, who has many baptistic families in his church (who are fine Christians, dear friends, and those I commune with at the table), there are several points I typically raise in order to persuade them of the theological necessity of...
Here is the first of two posts: "Why I Pour" & "Why I Baptize Babies." They are both roughly 900 words each. Should we only baptize by immersion, the full submersion of the body under water? Should we argue that baptizo means immerse and get on with it? Isn't Romans six a water-tight case...
The reports of my retreat have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, I did back out of the ring after seeing 20 Baptists step in. But, listening to Metallica (coupled with a Liverpool loss today) has put me in a punchy mood: To any Baptist pastor who will come to my church and say the following to all the...
I'm terribly sorry to disappoint, but no more responses from me on this topic. I just realized that I am running out of friends: first the baptists ; second the twitteristas ; third the republicationists ; fourth the masturbationists ; fifth the ubiquitarians ; sixth the covenanters ; seventh the...
Professor Michael Haykin has responded to my piece on Baptists and the Lord's Supper. Dr. Haykin is a leading Baptist historian, an excellent scholar, and most importantly he is a godly Christian man with strong convictions. I praise God for him. He also co-supervised my doctoral dissertation and...
Presbyterian ecclesiology has some advantages. For example, we try to refrain from being sectarian. There is a healthy catholicity to our ecclesiology, which is seen in our communion practice (section 7; see also PCA, BOCO 57-5). In relation to our healthy catholicity, I want to raise some...
Few people, this side of eternity, can claim to have known Jesus like the Apostle Paul did. Yet, not as a man outside of Christ, but as a man "in Christ," Paul considered everything apart from Christ as "dung" because he knew Jesus. Indeed, as a man sometimes privy to direct revelation from God,...
Comments are not allowed here at Reformation21. Why? Well, someone has to be in charge of editing out all of the stupid, vitriolic, inane, off-topic, and poorly worded comments that appear with great regularity on blogs that sometimes discuss controversial issues. If those wishing to comment are...
Comments are not allowed here at Reformation21. Why? Well, someone has to be in charge of editing out all of the stupid, vitriolic, inane, off-topic, and poorly worded comments that appear with great regularity on blogs that sometimes discuss controversial issues. If those wishing to comment are...
Today was a special day for me: I crossed the border to pick up my Amazon orders, which included a Nacho Libre mask (for Halloween), and a couple of books. The book that immediately impressed me the most is Chad van Dixhoorn's latest, Confessing the Faith: A Reader's Guide to the Westminster...
"The Just [One] Shall Live by Faith" The top men here at the Alliance are not happy with me. I posted my piece on the covenant of works on a day that does not maximize top viewing. My apologies. It will never happen again. Here is my penance: a "Part Deux" to the previous post. Did Jesus, like Adam...
Sorry, glitch with the first post. Had to republish this again. "Virtually all of the Reformed theologians of the era recognized, albeit in varying degrees, that there could be no relationship between God and the finite, mutable creature apart from grace. This was also the burden of the medieval...
Sorry, glitch with the first post. Had to republish this again. "Virtually all of the Reformed theologians of the era recognized, albeit in varying degrees, that there could be no relationship between God and the finite, mutable creature apart from grace. This was also the burden of the medieval...
The Baptists love their water; The Covenanters love their Psalter; But mess with the Klineans, You'll soon be on the altar! The good folk at Ref21 - that is, the top men - were so chuffed with my entrance into this intra-Reformed debate, that they'd like to see more publications on republication...
A regrettable piece was published on the Aquila report concerning the Reformed doctrine of republication. I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In it the author claims that the views of Meredith G. Kline represent "historic, mainstream Reformed federalism, espoused from the time of the...
Warning: this post may be offensive to people with absolutely no sense of humour: Twitter can be a dangerous place for trying to do theology. Information sharing is one thing; but "tweeting" - is that a word? - theology is quite another. Personally, theology is not easy at the best of times - you...
What does the holiness of the minister have to do with the efficacy of the preached Word? Are we falling into a Donatist error (from Donatus who re-baptized clergy who had lapsed in the Great Persecution, A.D. 303-305) by insisting that the holiness of the minister has some sort of causal...
A council member from - ahem - The Gospel Coalition sent me this today. We here at Reformation21 nominate the entire Gospel Coalition, all 1,000,000+ of you. Carl Trueman's Ice-Bucket challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7XUU6DWSjU Some observations are in order: 1. We know Carl is against...
Years ago I was asked the following question by someone who holds to exclusive Psalmody: "Do you think it is better to sing God's words or man's words?" My answer: we should never sing man's words. But I say this as someone who sings hymns (e.g., "Be Thou My Vision"). As much as I love "Shine,...
Why do good things happen to bad people and why do bad things happen to good people? Strictly speaking, there has only ever been one good person who has had bad things happen to him, and he volunteered! But the Scriptures are filled with examples of good things happening to bad people (Mal. 3:15;...
At an OPC youth camp over a year ago I had the privilege of addressing young men and women on the topic of masturbation, among other topics (e.g., Machen, Machen, and more Machen). As some of you may know, the OPC are notorious for letting the PCA do their theological dirty-work. But I digress.....
In his book, "Tough Topics" , Sam Storms addresses the question of Christ's impeccability ("Could Jesus Sin?"). He writes: "For many years I strongly advocated the impeccability of Christ, insisting that because he was God incarnate, he was incapable of sinning. Now, make no mistake, he was and...
Ne Mihi Suffenus essem - Not to be my own Suffenus "Duller is he than country dullness' self, Once he takes pen in hand, yet ne'er so happy As when he scribbles verse; then is he all Self-admiration and self-centered bliss." Because of the internet, and thus the ability to "self-publish", there are...
I am I am, I am I am I think I am, I think I am I'm glad I am I'm proud I am A real [balanced] man Who is this person in the middle who carefully avoids extremes in his theologizing? It is all of us, or so we think. If you are a Pastor or theologian, you are likely a man of "balance". In fact, if...

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