You are here:Home-Resources


Family and Home Management



The Duties of the Family in All Its Relationships

See Counsel of Chalcedon issue 2012.2 for Introduction and Chapters 1-3.


Richard Baxter (1615‑1691)

By Michael Wagner


Published in the July/August 2012 issue of
Reformed Perspective magazine, p. 19-20.



Michael WagnerAmong people who claim to follow the Bible, only a small minority embrace what is commonly called Calvinismthe Biblical teaching that God is in control of all things, including who comes to believe in Him. But it has not always been this way. Indeed, back in the time of the Reformation, Calvinism was the dominant view among Christians in some nations.


Britain, for example, was a Calvinist country. In 1643 the nations of England, Scotland and Ireland swore a covenant with God (called the Solemn League and Covenant) to uphold the doctrine and practice of Reformed Christianity. Like in Old Testament times, however, it wasnt long before people began to drift away from their commitment to the Lord.

A Message to Wavering Christians
on the Absolute Supremacy of Jesus Christ


by Wayne Rogers


Wayne Rogers

A. Reading a Book of the Bible: One of the first things to do when reading any book of the Bible is to try to get the big picture of that book and that book within the context of redemptive history. The best way to do this is to read or skim through the book 2-3 times at least and to note the natural divisions, the main themes, repeated words, and try to write out a brief outline. After that, since Jesus gave some to be pastors and teachers, you may compare your notes with a reliable resource. The Reformation Study Bible has good overviews and outlines. I have listed other resources at the conclusion of this study.


B. Reading Hebrews: Sinclair Ferguson, wrote, “Of all the New Testament letters, Hebrews seems to be one many Christians find strange and alien. Here we enter the world of Melchizedek and Aaron, angels and Moses, sacrifices and priests. It all seems so OT, so intricate, and even confusing,” Sinclair Ferguson, Tabletalk, Time to (Re)discover Hebrews, Jan. 2011. pg. 24.

By Dr. Eric Hankins, Pastor of First Baptist
Church in Oxford, Mississippi


2012 3 03 SBC Crosses

The following is a suggested statement of what Southern Baptists believe about the doctrine of salvation. Compiled by a number of pastors, professors, and leaders in response to the growing debate over Calvinism in Southern Baptist life, it begins with a rationale for such a statement at this time, followed by ten articles of affirmation and denial. The goal was to create a statement that would accurately reflect the beliefs of the majority of Southern Baptists, who are not Calvinists. The concern of the developers of this statement was that the viewpoint of this majority was not well-­‐represented by the term “non-­‐ Calvinist” and that an instrument was needed by which that majority might articulate positively what they believe vis-­‐à-­‐vis Calvinism. There is no thought that this document reflects what all Southern Baptists believe or that it should be imposed upon all Southern Baptists. We believe that it does reflect what most Southern Baptists believe for good, biblical reasons. Its purpose is to engender a much needed Convention-­‐wide discussion about the place of Calvinism in Southern Baptist life.


Communicant, Alamo First Baptist Church, Alamo, Georgia


Misguided philosophy leads to similarly inappropriate and ineffectual ministry and can have drastic implications for free ecclesiastic and civil polity.  The current soteriological confrontation, epitomized in Hankins’s Statement and recently instigated by the majority (non-Calvinist) faction within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), may signify a critical shift in the theological direction of the Convention.  This rebuttal is a response to the divisive article published in SBC Today that, according to the Statement coordinator, Pastor Eric Hankins (First Baptist, Oxford, MS), was written to generate discussion about the future of Calvinism's “place” in Baptist theology.  

 Samuel Miller

NEW-YORK – 1793


Samuel MillerSamuel Miller (1769–1850). A native of Delaware, Miller was educated at home by his father, Reverend John Miller, and his brothers, followed by a year at the University of Pennsylvania and theological training with Reverend John Nisbet, principal of Dickinson College. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister in New York City in 1793 (the year of the sermon reprinted here) and eventually became pastor of the Wall Street congregation that later became First Presbyterian Church. He was appointed professor of church history and government at Princeton Theological Seminary, which he had helped to found in 1813. Under Miller, Archibald Alexander, and George Hodge, the seminary dominated Princeton for over fifty years.

The history of the Christian world shows that there has been a wide-spread sensibility in the consciences of Christians to the sin of indulgence in superfluities. This sensibility has sometimes shown itself in a morbid, and sometimes in a blind, undistinguishing way.

Among the mendicant and some monastic orders of the Romish communion, poverty and simplicity of life formed a part of the vows and rules, however little part they may have had in their practice.

Among the churches of the Reformation we find the Mennonites forbidding, not only any luxuries of dress, equipage and furniture, but even the fine arts and liberal education.

The denomination of Quakers, as is well known, practiced a similar sobriety.

A part of the original discipline of the Methodists was to enforce a strict renunciation of all the pomps and vanities of the world.

These facts indicate that the conscience of the Christian world has had an extensive feeling of the obligation to moderation and self-denial in the use of wealth, though they may prove that this feeling has not been very well defined nor intelligent.

"Next to the Bible," Richard Baxter’s Christian Directory,"is the greatest Christian book ever written," wrote Dr. J.I. Packer. It, continues Packer, "is the richest and best single counseling resource available to those who give pastoral guidance today…. It is the fullest, most thorough, most profound treatment of Christian spirituality and standards that has ever been attempted by an evangelical author….'Back to Baxter,' would make a good and healthful motto for the Christian leadership of our time."(1)

Richard Baxter (1615-1691), considered one of the most influential of the English Puritan Theologians, attained his education largely through self-instruction. Some of his more familiar works still being reprinted today are The Saints Everlasting Rest, The Reformed Pastor, and A Call to the Unconverted. The Christian Directory was first published in 1673.

There is nothing which so constantly controls the mind of a man, and so intensely affects his character, as the views which he entertains of the Deity. These take up their abode in the inmost sanctuary of the heart, and give tone to all its powers and coloring to all its actions. Whatever the forms and activities of the outward life, as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Men do, undoubtedly, liken God, in a measure, to themselves, and transfer to him somewhat of their own passions and predominating moral qualities, and determine the choice of their religion by the prevailing sentiments of their hearts and the habits in which they have been trained; but it is also true that their conceptions of God have a controlling influence in forming their character and regulating their conduct. The unfaithful servant in the parable of the Talents gave as the reason for his idleness his conception of the master as a hard and exacting man. He shaped his conduct not by what the master was, but by what he believed him to be. And if that divine parable have a worldwide application, it discloses the secret spring of a man’s life in the conceptions which he has of God. As these are true or false, so his character and life will be. “As long as we look upon God as an exactor, not a giver, exactors, and not givers, shall we be.” “All the value of service rendered,” says Dr. Arnot, “by intellectual and moral beings depends on the thoughts of God which they entertain.” Hence no sincerity of purpose and no intensity of zeal can atone for a false creed or save a man from the fatal consequences of wrong principles.

The dominant philosophies on secular campuses are not Christian, and could even be described as actively anti-Christian. But while a Christian student just starting college or university has good reason to be concerned, I strongly believe that a student who works hard and treats people with respect will be treated with respect in turn.

I became a believing Christian during my undergraduate years and later went on to graduate school at two different universities. In total, I had nine years as a Christian in secular universities. My experiences gave me a particular outlook on how a Christian student should approach his or her studies in secular institutions. Different people will encounter different circumstances, so I wouldn't want to lay down a set of proposed rules for Christian students. This article is just "for what it's worth" based on my own observations and experiences. I was in a social science field, so my views apply primarily to the study of social sciences.