Introduction to Summer Issue 2019

We cover three chapters of the Confession in this issue of the Founders Journal. The themes of Christian liberty, worship, and regulated piety are common themes in each of these chapters. The chapter titles are XXI – “Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience,” XXII – “Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day,” and XXIII-  “Of Lawful Oaths and Vows.” In all three subjects, Christian history has provided examples of unbiblical legalism on the one hand and Bible-ignoring libertinism on the other. Tom Nettles discusses chapter XXI highlighting aspects of both the moral and the ceremonial law, unwarranted restrictions, and careless interpretations of freedom. John English Lee gives a masterful discussion of the regulative principle of worship and how it relates to the concept of Sabbath worship among the new covenant people. Paul Taylor unfolds for us the relevance and beauty of the carefully constructed chapter on “Lawful Oaths and Vows.” In addition, we include a book review by Ryan Denton on an important discussion of the Reformation by Carlos M. N. Eire. Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650, a Yale University Press imprint. We pray that each article will increase each reader’s understanding of the historic witness to biblical faith, will enhance desire for faithful ministry, and will move each in joyful anticipation of the time when “the morning star rises in your hearts.”

Tom Nettles

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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