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By In Podcast, Politics

The Lavish Grace of Christmas with Pastor Steve Wilkins

The Lavish Grace of Christmas! Pastor and Author J. Steven Wilkins discusses the misguided thinking that Christians should not give lavish gifts at Christmas. Our talk centers around a recent movement called the Advent Conspiracy. Pastor Wilkins reminds us of what Christ has done for us at Christmas and how we are to respond in kind. a

  1. Recorded a few years ago  (back)

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By In Podcast, Theology

Episode 23: RC Sproul

In this episode of the Kuyperian Commentary Podcast, Pastor Uri Brito and Dustin Messer discuss the life and legacy of the late Dr. RC Sproul. On December 14, 2017, at 78-years-old Dr. Sproul passed away and went to be at home with the Lord.

Dr. R.C. Sproul (1939–2017) was founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry located near Orlando, Fla. In addition, he was copastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel, first president and chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. a

 

  1. https://www.ligonier.org/about/rc-sproul/  (back)

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By In Theology, Wisdom

Reflecting on the Life of R.C. Sproul

I recall meeting Dr. R.C. Sproul for the first time. He was sitting with his wife Vesta and a few other scholars at lunch. A friend took me there and introduced me to him. “How are you, young man?” he asked. I didn’t respond to his question. Instead, I uttered with all the courage I could muster: “Thank you for your ministry.” Indeed I was thankful and still am.

Dr. R.C. Sproul died on the 14th of December, 2017. He died the year we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. I have read the many tributes to Dr. Sproul in these last several days. Some of them written by people I know well and who worked closely with Dr. Sproul. Death provides a time of reflection. Sproul’s death at the age of 78 brought back many memories of my days in Orlando. His influence continues in my library. I have dozens of his books and an unending selection of Tabletalk magazines and almost a gigabyte of his audio lectures. His legacy will live on for generations to come.

Introduction to R.C. Sproul

I lived in Pennsylvania in the late 90’s. I had arrived to study a year in America. The evenings were cold in December. The only distraction I had at night was an old radio that worked half the time. One particular night, I turned on the radio to the sound of Handel’s Messiah. The lecturer was clear and poetic in his delivery. I listened intently for 20 minutes or so to a lecture on Augustine. “You’ve been listening to Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R.C. Sproul,” the voice concluded after each episode. I retired to my room early every evening to hear his talks.

Though my curiosity increased with each year, my commitments to my synergistic theology prevailed. I could not embrace a theology that took away my liberty to have a voice in my spiritual condition. The following winter I returned to Pennsylvania for Christmas. It was there that I read Michael Horton’s “Putting Amazing Back into Grace.” His brilliant analysis of John’s gospel pierced me and persuaded me to put down my lingering hesitations of Reformed Theology. (more…)

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By In Podcast, Worship

Episode 22: Singing Through Advent

In this Episode of the Kuyperian Commentary Podcast, Pastor Uri Brito and Mr. Sean Johnson discuss our worship music for the Advent season.

The two discuss the important theme, tone, and composition distinctions between Advent and Christmas hymns. Pastor Uri Brito mentions the Cantus Christi Hymnal and The Lutheran Hymnal which both include a section of Advent hymns.

The two also discuss their favorite examples of Advent songs.

  1. O Come O Come Emmanuel” (8th Century, translated by John Mason Neale)
    The words for “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” comes from the seven verse poem that dates all the way back to the 8th century.
  2. “Savior of the Nations, Come”
    The original version of Savior of the Nations, Come was St. Ambrose’s Veni, Redemptor Gentium composed in the late fourth century.
  3. “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”
    A Christmas carol based on the 1863 poem “Christmas Bells” by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
  4. Comfort, comfort Ye my people
    This song is based on Isaiah 40 to express the hope that Judah’s exile in Babylon was almost over.

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By In Scribblings

RIP, R.C. Sproul

UPDATE: The Sproul family has shared the sad news with us that our founder, Dr. R.C. Sproul, went home to be with the Lord this afternoon. Please pray for the Sprouls. Further updates will be available soon.

I’ve been reflecting on Dr. R.C. Sproul’s life as he nears the end of his earthly journey.

I lived in Pennsylvania in the late 90’s. I had arrived to study a year in America. The evenings were cold in December. The only distraction I had at night was an old radio that worked half the time. One particular night, I turned on the radio to the sound of Handel’s Messiah. The lecturer was clear and poetic in his delivery. I listened intently for 20 minutes or so to a lecture on Augustine. “You’ve been listening to Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R.C. Sproul,” the voice concluded after each episode. I retired to my room early every evening to hear his talks.

Though my curiosity increased with each year, my commitments to my synergistic theology prevailed. I simply could not embrace a theology that took away my liberty to have a voice in my spiritual condition. The following winter I returned to Pennsylvania for Christmas. It was there that I read Michael Horton’s “Putting Amazing Back into Grace.” His brilliant analysis of John’s gospel pierced me and persuaded me to put down my lingering hesitations of Reformed Theology.

Returning to college after changing my convictions gave me a tremendous sense of liberty to explore and read unhindered by past traditions. I immediately read “The Holiness of God” and “Chosen by God” and experienced the closest thing to a revivalistic episode. I was awed as Isaiah was in chapter 6. I am sure I cried with the new knowledge of a God who was far more glorious and powerful than I ever believed.

Years later, I had the joy of sitting under his teaching ministry in Sanford and had the opportunity to interact with him on numerous occasions.

I am deeply grateful to R.C.’s labors. He made theology accessible to me and millions of others. He taught that Jesus is Lord over everything and his sovereignty extends to every molecule. May he die as he lived: in the comfort and faithfulness of his God. Soli Deo Gloria.

“If God is the Creator of the entire universe, then it must follow that He is the Lord of the whole universe. No part of the world is outside of His lordship. That means that no part of my life must be outside of His lordship.” -R.C. Sproul

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By In Scribblings

The Importance of Scholarship

I am often amazed at the level of diversity even within my Reformed tradition. Dutch, Scottish, Continental, Puritan Augustinian, Calvinistic, Bucerian, etc.The intramural debates within intramural debates get microscopically precise. It’s a luxury of a highly Christianized society. In a society that does not have to concern itself with persecution, there should be a greater investment in translating books into the common language, delve deeper into scriptural truths, and grow in theological knowledge. We are seeing this in a revival of translations of unknown Latin texts into English, sending of American scholars to educate third-world countries, an explosion of missiological works around the world, and more. My conclusion, then, is two-fold:
 
First, good scholarship is for the sake of the people. It is needed more than ever today. We should not fall prey to old fundamentalist dogma that all scholarship is tainted by liberalism. We need good pastor/theologians in the Church. Ministers are shepherds who ought to lead well and this requires adequate preparation. Historically, the most influential leaders in the Church were also the most theologically equipped.
 
Secondly, we still suffer from a dichotomy between theology and practice. It’s a hangover of pietism which purposefully kept these two apart. But pietism needs to die and replaced with a pastoral anthropology. In other words, man is created to love God in order to love his fellow man better. This love of God is to be grounded in a deeper understanding of who He is.
 
When scholarship is uninterested in the practice of faith it will die a thousand deaths and fail to bring life to future generations. But when scholarship is conveyed clearly, as a gift of God about Himself, scholarship becomes a delicious exercise worthy of sharing with hungry souls.

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By In Books, Podcast

Episode 21: The Essential Trinity with Dr. Brandon Crowe

On this episode Pastor Uri Brito interviews Dr. Brandon Crowe, Associate Professor of New Testament Studies at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Brandon is the co-editor of The Essential Trinity: New Testament Foundations and Practical Relevance published by P&R.

(more…)

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