Introduction: The Issues of Death, Resurrection and Judgment

In our undertaking to give an exposition of the Second London Confession, we have come to our final issue.  The important and existentially absolute issues of death, resurrection, and judgment constitute the final issue on this subject. After I give a brief treatment of chapter 31, paragraph 1, Eric Smith deals with the next two paragraphs. In his unusual gripping and pleasing combination of biblical exegesis, doctrinal synthesis, charming illustrations, and flowing literary style Eric gives a clear and certain sound on the issue of the resurrection of the body to glory and in a glorious habitation. In a virtual magnum opus, Reagan Marsh gives an exposition of both chapters in light of how these biblical truths organized confessionally can be accessed fittingly for biblical counseling. What a clearly and absolutely relevant reality it is that counselors employ the issues death, resurrection, judgment, heaven, and hell as awaiting every person after the short term of this life. How should that reality enter the words, encouragements, and admonitions of the biblical counselor? Reagan gives closely reasoned biblical concepts arising from (the Bible!) the confessional arrangement of biblical truths. The footnotes contain a wealth of biblically sound, historically reformed guidance on how to work through these ideas as a pastoral curer-of-souls. Aaron Matherly takes on chapter 32 with a lively style that is filled with both the serious joy and the frightening horror of the person who will be consigned to one of two destinies on the day that “God hath appointed . . .wherein he will judge the world in righteousness.” Matherly invokes the literature and art of western culture to demonstrate how pervasively these ideas have influenced the perceptions of the idea-crafters in those disciplines. His use, moreover, of Benjamin Keach’s expositions as a guide to understanding the biblical ideas in the confession gives a fitting wrap-up to this expositional adventure. Keach signed the confession in 1689 along with 36 others representing 107 churches. The synthesis of biblical exposition and the harvesting of expositional wheat from Keach makes for a great lesson in the beauty of theology done in the context of close biblical interpretation, confessional assertion, and historical theology.

Founders Ministries jointly prays that the reader of the exposition of this confession will find food for the soul, encouragement for discipleship and ministry, and renewed conviction of the eternal relevance and truthfulness of the “faith once delivered to the saints.”

Tom has most recently served as the Professor of Historical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he was Professor of Church History and Chair of the Department of Church History. Prior to that, he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Along with numerous journal articles and scholarly papers, Dr. Nettles is the author and editor of fifteen books. Among his books are By His Grace and For His Glory; Baptists and the Bible, James Petigru Boyce: A Southern Baptist Statesman, and Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles H. Spurgeon.
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