Counsel of Chalcedon
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2001 Issue 3

In verse 13, the author of Hebrews mentions a distinguishing mark of patriarchal faith to which he will return regularly throughout this section. Though the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were consigned to lives of waiting and wandering, they persevered in faith. They never gave up or turned back. In their final hours, they did not grow bitter at the many delays a holy God placed in their paths, nor did the fires of their faith dwindle. They retained the same affection and delight in God's promises that had sustained them throughout their lives. If we would die in a similar manner, full of faith and years, we must live as the patriarchs did. We must pursue God's promises and covenant, endure all the assaults of the wicked, and persevere during periods of severe testing. Then, death will be neither a terror nor a savage foe. Christ removed its sting (1 Corinthians 15:55, 56), and therefore we can die composed, in faith, honor, and hope. For the same God who has preserved us throughout every step of life will see us through death, and will transform an unnatural evil into a glorious entrance to everlasting life.

In any discipline polysyllabic terms roam the landscape often appearing like untamable beasts to the uninitiated. Theology is certainly not immune to this characterization. We find this to be true with the term theological prolegomena. What is it and to what does it refer? The first term, theological, is made up of the two Greek words, theos (God) and logos (word), and refers to the study of God. The second, prolegomena, is made up of two Greek words, pro (before) and legomena, the participle form of the word lego (I say). Hence prolegomena literally means "before words," or "sayings." Within the context of theology, then, theological prolegomena is the term that refers to "the introductory section of a treatise or system of thought in which basic principles and premises are enunciated." Stated simply, theological prolegomena is the section in a theological work where a theologian's presuppositions are laid out. For example, What is theology? What is the relationship between God's knowledge and our knowledge? How does human reason relate to theology? Now, theological prolegomena is something that we might take for granted because of the place in church history where we stand. Therefore, let us first conduct a brief reconnaissance of the history of the development of prolegomena. This will set the stage for an examination of what Francis Turretin writes on the subject.

Covenant Presbytery of the RPCUS met on Jan. 27-28,2001, in Haslett, MI, to organize the "Chalcedon Christian Church."

A petition to be organized as a particular church was submitted to the RPCUS by eight households. These families nominated Rev. Brian Schwertley, former Associate Pastor of the Southfield RPCNA, as their minister. Mr. Miguel Gutierriez and Mr. Ed Burley were also nominated to serve as Ruling Elders in the newly forming church.

Prior to the organizational meeting of the church, the three nominees for the offices of Teaching and Ruling Elder were thoroughly examined in an all day session of the Presbytery. They were unanimously and enthusiastically approved to be presented to the congregation as eligible for election by the congregation. All three men demonstrated exceptional knowledge of the system of doctrine and gave evidence of maturity, wisdom, and genuine pastoral experience and concern.

One of the most maligned, disbelieved and perverted sections of the Bible is the first three chapters of Genesis. If one were to attend any secular university, or any modernistic or liberal church, one would be told that the early chapters of Genesis do not record actual events. The secular humanist college professor and modernist pastor would argue that these early narratives are myth, legend, saga or parable. In other words, there was not a literal Adam and Eve or a literal space-time fall in history. Given the current and widespread denial of a historical, literal Adam and Eve (and the connection of a historical Adam to the New Testament exposition of the gospel), it is very important to understand the Bible's teaching regarding the historicity of Adam.

America is in the midst of the most serious spiritual and moral declension in her history, and it is devastating every aspect of our life and society. We have changed gods, and our new gods are failing us. As a result, we are experiencing worsening consequences as time goes on. When did this tragic decline begin? With the election of Bill Clinton? With World War I? With the War Between the States?

Let us ask another question. When did the decline in Israel begin that eventually led to her destruction at the hands of the Babylonians? Jeremiah, as the mouthpiece of the Lord, gives the answer in 32:31-33.