Free Classic eBooks on Justification by Faith (Sola Fide) at Monergism.com

For free eBooks on this topic by A.W. Pink, John Owen, Charles Hodge, Martin Luther and more click here.

The New City Catechism: A Modern Method to Learn Core Christian Doctrines

The New City Catechism” is a modern-day resource aimed at helping children and adults alike learn the core doctrines of the Christian faith via 52 questions and answers. Below is an excerpt. It is available in Book, Web App and Mobile App form. Each question also includes a Scripture, a Prayer and a Commentary for weekly devotional use. Questions and answers are adapted from various historic catechisms.

Question 1: 
What is our only hope in life and death?

Answer 1: 
That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.

Children’s Answer 1: 
That we are not our own but belong to God.

Scripture: Romans 14:7–8
For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

Prayer: 
Christ Our Hope, in life and in death, we cast ourselves on your merciful, fatherly care. You love us because we are your own. We have no good apart from you, and we could ask for no greater gift than to belong to you. Amen.

Commentary: John Calvin

If we, then, are not our own but the Lord’s, it is clear what error we must flee, and whither we must direct all the acts of our life. We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us. . . . We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us forget ourselves and all that is ours. Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God’s: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal. O, how much has that man profited who, having been taught that he is not his own, has taken away dominion and rule from his own reason that he may yield it to God! For, as consulting our self-interest is the pestilence that most effectively leads to our destruction, so the sole haven of salvation is to be wise in nothing and to will nothing through ourselves but to follow the leading of the Lord alone.

Commentary: Timothy Keller 
At one point in his writings John Calvin lays out the essence of what it means to live the Christian life. He says that he could make us a list of the commandments we should be keeping or a list of all the character traits we should be exhibiting. But instead, he wants to boil it down to the basic motive and the basic principle of what it means to live the Christian life.
Continue reading

96.4% Eclipse, 100% Glory of God

We are told that in our area of southeastern North Carolina, we will be able to experience 96.4% of the total eclipse today (Monday, August 21). The opening verses of Psalm 19 remind us that the majesty of the heavens declare, with nary a word, the glory of their Creator, not only to some, but to all.
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”

“God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.”

Is God a Beneficent Provider or Cruel Oppressor?

“[T]he snake…said to the woman, ‘Indeed! To think that God said you are not to eat of any tree of the garden!'” (Gen. 3:1)

“[T]he serpent…grossly exaggerates God’s prohibition, claiming that God did not allow them access to any of the orchard trees. Apart from this claim being unadulterated distortion, it is an attempt to create in the woman’s mind the impression that God is spiteful, mean, obsessively jealous and self-protective. [B]y this one statement of the snake God has moved from beneficent provider to cruel oppressor.”

Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis Chapters 1-17 (1990) Eerdmans 186, 188-189

How the Wisdom of God Healed Man

“Seeing, then, that man fell through pride, He restored him through humility. We were ensnared by the wisdom of the serpent: we are set free by the foolishness of God. Moreover, just as the former was called wisdom, but was in reality the folly of those who despised God, so the latter is called foolishness, but is true wisdom in those who overcome the devil.”

Augustine, bishop of Hippo Regius, Numidia in north Africa (354-430 AD) , On Christian Doctrine, Book 1, Chapter 14.

The Problem of Evil

Addressing the question, “How could a good God allow so much, evil, pain, and suffering – or does he simply not care?

“Having looked at the four commonly proposed solutions, I’d like to offer what I am convinced is a vastly better option: to live in the tension and accept that there is a God [he exists] – One who is good [he hates evil], who is great [he is all-powerful], and who nevertheless allows real evil in the world [things that are in rebellion to him and that at this moment are challenging him] for a season and for his greater purposes.

It’s also wise to admit to ourselves that we don’t have a simplistic solution that wraps this problem up in neat bow that makes everyone feel good. In fact, there’s nothing we can say to make people suddenly okay with the evil around them or the suffering in their lives. Because – let’s be honest – we’re not okay with it, either! That said, there are some practical thoughts we can offer to our friends to show them that Christianity offers the most satisfying answers to this problem.”

Mark Mittelberg, The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask: With Answers (2010) Tyndale House 130, 138.

Reaching Your World with the Gospel: Three Commitments

“There are at least three commitments that every church should make.

“[1]…to support the church in other parts of the world…[with] theological training…prayer…finances…

[2]…to send out missionaries…Christians who are willing to go…totally committed to living for Christ…willing to die for Christ…

[3]…to realize that every Christian is a missionary…[in] your local community…helping to plant growing, vibrant missions-minded churches…re-evangelizing dying congregations…reaching out to internationals…speak[ing] about spiritual things with friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members…penetrating society in culture-transforming ways [as] Christian lawyers and doctors, singers and dancers, builders and bakers, students and teachers, buyers and sellers, journalists and politicians.”

Philip Graham Ryken, City On a Hill: Reclaiming the Biblical Pattern for the Church in the 21st Century (2003) Moody Publishers 141-145.

 

Drawing People into Christ

“…the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952) Barbour and Company 168-169.

Man as the Image of Christ

“In Christ man sees what manhood was meant to be…men are the image of Christ so far as they are like Christ…this is how man, the image of God, who is already man, already the image of God, can become fully man, fully the image of God.”

Considering the New Testament appropriation of Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his image. In the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Clines, Tynbul 19 (1968) 103 in Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis Chapters 1-17 (1990) Eerdmans 147.

 

Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) Position Paper on Human Sexuality

Adopted by the 37th General Assembly, June 2017

https://www.epc.org/file/beliefs/positionpapers/PositionPaper-HumanSexuality.pdf

An excerpt…

“In a time when views of human sexuality and marriage are rapidly changing, we believe it is necessary and helpful to state clearly and compassionately to the church and the world our beliefs about God’s design for human sexuality. We wish to do so with love toward all as we attempt to imitate God’s love for us.1 We long for the Church as well as society to conform to biblical standards of sexuality; but our ultimate desire is that, through the gospel, all may come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives and receive His gift of eternal life.”

A Position Paper expresses the mind of the General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church on a subject of compelling interest. It is a definitive but not an exhaustive statement. A Position Paper is not to be regarded as binding on the conscience of churches or individuals.

Equipping Pastors in Cuba, Part 4

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Cuban pastors and ministry leaders with Certificates in Biblical and Theological Foundations

Pastors and ministry leaders in Havana, Cuba completed Timothy Two Project International’s Workshop 4, “Serving God: Living Life in Response to Grace” in which we studied and discussed what the Bible teaches about serving God in the church, the community and the world.

Having also completed three previous workshops in our “Growing in Grace” series earlier this year, they each received a Certificate in Biblical and Theological Foundations.

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Pastors and ministry leaders with workbook 4

On this trip, my wife, Beth, accompanied me for the first time to teach classes for children’s ministry leaders and music ministry leaders. She is pictured below with her students and some of their children.

See my full report (with more photos) on our teaching trip to Cuba during June 2017.

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Beth with children’s ministry leaders and music ministry leaders

See also:

For more information about our work in Latin America:

For more information about the work of other Timothy Two instructors in Africa and Asia:

 

Equipping Pastors in Cuba, Part 3

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Cuban pastors and ministry leaders with instructor Dan Sonnenberg

These Cuban pastors and ministry leaders recently completed Timothy Two Project International’s Workshop 3, “Trusting God: Practicing Kingdom Living” in which they studied and discussed what the Bible teaches about trusting God in relationships, social issues and personal issues. See my full report (including more photos and videos) after this teaching trip to Cuba during May 2017.

See also:

For more information about our work in Latin America:

For more information about the work of other Timothy Two instructors in Africa and Asia:

Equipping Pastors in Cuba, Part 2

 “You would be amazed at how quickly the materials you bring here are copied and distributed throughout our towns and cities and nation.” – Cuban pastor

These Cuban pastors and ministry leaders recently completed Timothy Two Project International’s Workshop 2, “Loving God: Transformed from Darkness to Light” in which we studied and discussed the work of Christ to accomplish salvation and the work of the Holy Spirit to apply salvation in the lives of believers (Christology, pneumatology, soteriology).

And I was thrilled to hear that several participants had already begun teaching the material from Workshop 1 to the next generation of students in their churches and neighborhoods.

Watch the videos below to hear their stories.

We asked the coordinating pastors to share their vision for the work of Timothy Two in Cuba. The pre-revolution National Capitol Building can be seen in the background. Here is their story.

See and hear the sights and sounds of a street corner in Old Havana.

Listen to congregational singing at a Cuban house church.

This group is highly motivated to complete the training. We have been invited to return as soon as possible to teach Workshops 3 and 4 before the beginning of hurricane season in the Caribbean. I am scheduled to teach Workshop 3 the week of April 30 – May 5.

See also:

For more information about our work in Latin America:

For more information about the work of other Timothy Two instructors in Africa and Asia:

Equipping Pastors in Cuba, Part 1

We recently made our first trip to Havana, Cuba to equip a group of 10 pastors and ministry leaders by teaching and discussing Timothy Two Project International’s Workshop 1, “Knowing God” concerning the attributes and works of God (theology proper). These students from various denominations and various cities and towns throughout the region, are now prepared to teach these 21 lessons to those in their local churches and communities using the biblical content we provided, as well as culturally relevant illustrations and study questions they developed in group discussions together with one another throughout the week.

Timothy Two instructors equip pastors in the majority world who do not have access to formal theological training. And we do so, not using a lecturer-listener format, but in a small group teaching-and-discussion format. This not only trains pastors in systematic and practical theology, but also equips them to train others.

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With Cuban pastors, ministry leaders and interpreter
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Group discussion with Cuban pastors

Watch participant testimonials. Watch a video filmed while walking the streets of Havana in the morning. See a video of congregational and small group singing in Cuba. See my full report on this trip.

See also:

For more information about our work in Latin America:

For more information about the work of other Timothy Two instructors in Africa and Asia:

Why We Serve with Timothy Two

The ministry of Timothy Two Project International began five years ago in the hearts of a group of elders and leaders from Myrtle Grove Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, NC.

The calling of Timothy Two comes from 2 Tim. 2:2, where Paul wrote to Timothy, “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

The mission of Timothy Two is to train indigenous pastors and ministry leaders in the essential doctrines of the faith and to equip them to train others.”

I began working with Timothy Two in March of this year when I interned in Vietnam (fig. 1) with Steve Curtis, International Director, by observing him as he taught the group.1. Vietnam

Then we traveled on to Burma (fig. 2) where I taught the group most of the week by myself. Read my report on the Vietnam and Burma trip. Continue reading

Participant Questions During Timothy Two “Knowing God” Workshops in Haiti and Colombia

I recently taught a workshop in two developing nations entitled, “Knowing God” which is the first of four in Timothy Two Project International’s Growing in Grace series for indigenous pastors and ministry leaders.

Small group discussion is one of the priorities of our teaching method. During each of the twenty-one lessons in the workshops, we take time to discuss participants’ questions and to develop culturally relevant illustrations and responses for each topic. Below is a sampling of the many questions raised by participants under the various topics during these two workshops. Note that some questions do not necessarily pertain to the particular topic, but apparently came to mind during that discussion.

My purpose in this article is not to to answer or debate the stated questions, but to illustrate for the reader the need for biblical and theological training among ministry leaders in developing nations whose access to such training is severely limited by distance and/or finances. This is the need that the ministry of Timothy Two seeks to meet. More info at TimothyTwo.org.

On Knowing God

  • Can we know about God also by the image of God in us?

 God Is (Being)

  • How do we explain that we won’t get old in eternity?
  • Did those who went to heaven without dying (Elijah/Enoch) do so because they were sinless? Did Christ have to die for them?
  • What is the biblical evidence that people gained immortality?

 God Exists in Three Persons

  • Would it be more correct to say that God exists or subsists in three persons?
  • Did people speak of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the OT (Old Testament)?
  • Are the three persons of the Trinity sometimes one person or always three?
  • Some people say Jesus is not God, why?
  • Referring to the verse “no man can come to the Father except through me” seems to prove that Jesus is not God. Does it?
  • In Acts 2 it says the Holy Spirit is a power, and if a power, can we pray to the Spirit as we pray to the Father and the Son? Prove this in the Bible.
  • Compare angels to the Holy Spirit.
  • Where does the Scripture say that we should worship the Holy Spirit as God?
  • May I pray to the Holy Spirit?
  • Are the three persons of the Trinity the same or different, and does God work as the Holy Spirit sometimes, as Jesus other times?

Continue reading

Timothy Two Curriculum: “Growing in Grace” Series Table of Contents

Timothy Two Project International equips pastors and ministry leaders in developing nations who have little or no access to biblical or theological training. Timothy Two instructors utilize a series of four workbooks developed by International Director, Steve Curtis. Below are the titles and tables of contents of the workbooks. More information at TimothyTwo.org.


Growing in Grace Series Summary 

Workbook 1 – Knowing God

Workbook 2 – Loving God: Transformed from Darkness to Light

Workbook 3 – Trusting God: Practicing Kingdom Living

Workbook 4 – Serving God: Living Life in Response to Grace


Workbook 1 – Knowing God

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. On Knowing God

The Person of God

  1. God is (Being)
  2. God Exists in Three Persons
  3. God Is Self-Existent
  4. God Is Infinite
  5. God Is Eternal
  6. God Is Unchanging
  7. God Is Self-Sufficient

The Power of God

  1. God Is All-Powerful
  2. God Is All-Knowing
  3. God is All-Present

The Perfections of God

  1. God is Great
  2. God Is Sovereign
  3. God Is All-Wise
  4. God Is Good
  5. God Is Loving
  6. God Is Gracious
  7. God Is Jealous
  8. God Is Just
  9. God Is True
  10. God Is Holy

Continue reading

Equipping Colombian Pastors and Church Leaders with Timothy Two Workshop “Knowing God”

Eight pastors and leaders of three local churches gathered together with me and several translators in Barbosa, Antioquia, Colombia for four days last week to study and discuss the attributes of God.

Some comments from participants at the conclusion of the training:

“The material puts things in the right place, it helps me see the differences between God and us, and it’s good for discipling other people.” 

“Knowing God gives me security and peace and motivates me to be diligent.”

“The method of meeting in a small group helps us because many questions arise in our minds. Many passages are harder to understand, but by talking together in the group many things are clarified.” 

“We already know many things about God, but we have ignored many other things about him. Because of this teaching it is much easier to ‘fall in love with God’ now that I know him better. I can now see one God, all-wise, all powerful, yet loving and merciful – that blows my mind.”

“I give thanks to God for sending people from other countries to teach and preach his word to us.”

Click here to read my full report including more participants’ comments about the workshop, photos and videos, and my visit to the Latin American Reformed Seminary in Medellin.

For more information about Timothy Two Project International, click here.

 Equipping pastors and ministry leaders in developing nations who have little or no access to Biblical and theological training – so that they might teach others also. 

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Equipping Haitian Pastors and Ministry Leaders with Timothy Two Workshop “Knowing God”

Ten young pastors and ministry leaders, including two translators, gathered together with me for four days in Jacmel, Haiti to study and discuss the attributes of God.

Click here to read my full report, see photos of the group and watch video testimonials of two participants of this workshop.

To learn more about the ministry of Timothy Two Project International, click here.

Equipping pastors and ministry leaders in developing nations who have little or no access to Biblical and theological training – so that they might teach others also. 

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Upcoming Teaching Trips to Haiti and Colombia

Click here to see the details of my upcoming trips with Timothy Two Project International to equip pastors who have little or no access to theological training in the Caribbean and Latin America.

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Vietnamese & Burmese Pastors Complete Timothy Two Workshop “Loving God”

Read about our recent trip to train local pastors in Vietnam and Myanmar (Burma) in the doctrines concerning the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in salvation.

To learn more about our ministry with Timothy Two, click here.

Teaching pastors and ministry leaders who have little or no access to Biblical and theological training – so that they might teach others also. 

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With Vietnamese Pastors
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With Burmese Pastors

 

Preparing for Vietnam & Burma

Postcard_DanMy trip to Vietnam and Myanmar (Burma) with Timothy Two International begins in just 20 days.

Teaching pastors who have little or no access to Biblical and theological training – so that they might teach others also. 


Praise reports:

  • Sufficient funds for this trip had been received by Jan. 13.
  • All airline tickets have been purchased.
  • My new passport arrived a couple weeks ago.
  • All overnight accommodations have been secured.
  • All visas have been received.

Prayer requests:

  • Click here for my Prayer Calendar which I’m updating with new requests as I get closer to departure.
  • Pray for Beth’s continued recovery from hip replacement surgery. She’s doing very well, but it takes 6-12 months for full recovery. The surgery was on Dec. 15.
  • Pray that our fundraising and painting efforts will enable us to move out of Beth’s mother’s house and back into our own house by April 1.
  • Pray for the many final pre-trip preparations.
  • Pray for my departure from Myrtle Beach airport Feb. 24 and return Mar. 12.  See the Calendar for travel details.
  • Pray for safety and wisdom for Timothy Two President Steve Curtis as he travels to Bogota, Colombia this week seeking to set up my next teaching trip in South America for May or June.

Information about the Church in Vietnam and Myanmar you might find helpful as you pray:


“…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also…”
– 2 Timothy 2:2


Dan Sonnenberg
Instructor
Timothy Two Project International
phone   419-265-1405
web  TimothyTwo.org/Dan
blog  DanSonnenberg.com

 

 

 

Beginning with Timothy Two Project International

Postcard_DanEarly last year after resigning from the church in Ohio, I heard from Steve Curtis who invited us to consider joining him and his wife Rissa as teaching missionaries with Timothy Two Project International. Through translators, Timothy Two instructors equip pastors and ministry leaders in developing nations with the fundamentals of the Christian faith so that they, in turn, can equip others. Timothy Two missionaries seek to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples in areas of the world where there is little or no formal biblical or theological instruction available. Continue reading

Why the Word Became Flesh: 7 Reasons the Incarnation Was Necessary to Fulfill God’s Plan of Redemption

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1.5). He came for no other purpose than to redeem those whom the Father has given Him. Hodge affirms this declaration when he says, “the only reason Christ came in the flesh was because of the fall…Christ came into the world voluntarily to save his people from their sins; to seek and save the lost.”[1] Christ’s coming into the world as not only God, but also Man, is of critical importance to anthropology and Christology. It was necessary for the Word, the second Person of the Trinity, to become man to fulfill God’s plan to redeem fallen humankind.  A survey of some of the Christological and anthropological literature supports this premise and supplies several listings of the reasons Christ had to become a man. Continue reading

Why the Word Became Flesh: Appendix A, Table 1

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

The table below (Appendix A, Table 1) accompanies the paper entitled “Why the Word Became Flesh: 7 Reasons the Incarnation Was Necessary to Fulfill God’s Plan of Redemption.”

Continue reading

The Westminster Larger Catechism: EPC Modern English Version

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

At the time of this writing, the EPC Modern English Version of the Westminster Larger Catechism is published only in pdf format on the Evangelical Presbyterian Church website. However, pdf documents are notoriously difficult to read online, especially by mobile devices. The purpose of the Catechism’s duplication in the form below is to facilitate online reading and studying of this document using mobile devices.

The EPC Westminster Larger Catechism (Modern English Version) below has been duplicated with no changes* from the original pdf download on the EPC website.

*Concerning the duplication of this document: from the EPC website.

“The Westminster Confession and Larger Catechism downloads are the EPC Modern English Versions. Licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs under Creative Commons. The work may be duplicated with no changes and with attribution to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. It may not be sold for profit.”

Continue reading

Dr. C. Matthew McMahon’s Shorter and Longer Summaries of Calvin’s Institutes

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

Would you like to read a modern summary of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion online? Dr. C. Matthew McMahon has written two of them.

“A Condensed Summary of Calvin’s Institutes is a shorter overview of John Calvin’s magnum opus – the equivalent of about 14 pages in Word. Outline 1 below itemizes the contents of Dr. McMahon’s shorter summary.

“A Longer Overview of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion” is the equivalent of about 44 pages in Word. Outline 2 below itemizes the contents of Dr. McMahon’s longer summary. Continue reading

Teaching Local Pastors in Southeast Asia

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

Looking forward to teaching pastors in Southeast Asia in March 2016 as an Instructor with Timothy Two Project, International.

Timothy Two Project, International exists to serve a critical need around the world. We are committed to equipping and training indigenous pastors and ministry leaders with the foundational truths of the Christian faith that they may then be able to train others. In this way, the mandate from Christ in the Great Commission to “make disciples” can be realized in areas of the world where there is little to no formal biblical and theological training available.

“The things you heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men that they may be able to train others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).

Shelved?

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

What should an ordained pastor, or any Christian, think about being “put on the shelf” for a period of time – like a book that was once open, useful, referenced and needed, but now closed and put in its place among the other books in the library? The term “shelved” came to me this morning as I walked into my home office lined with books. I have been using a tamer sounding phrase about my current situation – “between churches” – which, I suppose, communicates my desire to serve a church once again in the future. But the raw truth is that maybe I will serve a church again as a pastor, and maybe I won’t. One can’t normally call oneself to a church.

Being “shelved” reminds me of Moses, who for 40 years after killing the Egyptian, tended sheep in the Midian desert. During those years he met and married Zipporah (remember her more famous father Jethro?) and they raised a family together. But only after those 40 years in virtual exile, did God call him by means of a burning bush to lead Israel out of Egypt. A rather long wait. Continue reading

The Hovering Spirit in Creation (Gen. 1:2)

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

On Genesis 1:2, the Spirit’s care of the earth at creation.

“‘…the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.’ The verb [rahap] basically means ‘flutter fly’; it is used in Deuteronomy 32:11 to describe an eagle stirring up the nest, fluttering over its young. In much the same way, the unformed, lifeless mass of the watery earth was under the care of the divine Spirit, who hovered over it, ensuring its future development.”

Allen P. Ross, Creation & Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis, p. 107. Continue reading

Why We Never Give Up (2 Corinthians 4:13-16a)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | July 19, 2015


Text:

But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”   Continue reading

Death for Us, Life for You (2 Corinthians 4:7-12)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | June 21, 2015


Text:

7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.   Continue reading

7 Characteristics of Reformed Spirituality

I first met Dr. Hughes Old at RTS Orlando when I attended a course he taught based on his book Leading in Prayer. Though some will disagree with his evaluation, I respect his view on this subject because he has written so widely on the Reformed tradition including such works as Worship: Reformed According to Scripture, The Patristic Roots of Reformed WorshipThe Shaping of the Reformed Baptismal Rite in the Sixteenth CenturyHoly Communion in the Piety of the Reformed Church and “Reformed tradition of Eucharistic piety and reflection.”

In “What is Reformed Spirituality? Played Over Again Lightly,” Hughes Oliphant Old identifies 7 central characteristics of the way Reformed culture has expressed itself since the time of John Calvin and his successors. He says it is a spirituality (piety, devotion, practice of Christian living) that emphasizes: the Word; the Psalter; the Lord’s Day; works of mercy; the covenant of grace embodied in the Lord’s Supper; stewardship; and, meditation on the mystery of divine Providence. Dr. Old states: Continue reading

Understanding the Presbyterian and Reformed Order of Worship

Reformed Forum’s audio discussion: The Order of Worship.

Glen Clary walks through a Reformed order of worship, explaining the Biblical precedent and rationale for elements such as the call to worship, invocation, different types of prayer, and the benediction along with the administration of Word and sacrament. Rev. Clary is pastor of Providence OPC in Pflugerville, TX.

Introduction begins at 0:00. Explanation begins at 4:45.

Seeking a New Ministry Position

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg | June 2015

God uses many differing means to lead his people to their next ministry positions. And it’s been said that it’s not so much what you know as it is who you know that often opens such doors. So I’m reaching out to those of you who know the Lord and who know me because I am currently seeking a new ministry position that combines the following elements: Continue reading

Daily Dose of Greek

Want to begin or continue your study of New Testament Greek? Here’s something that may help. Sign up at www.DailyDoseOfGreek.com. Recommended by Dr. Mark Futato, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando. Also, in August, Mark Futato’s www.DailyDoseOfHebrew.com will launch.

EPC Statement on Supreme Court Marriage Ruling

EPC statement on Supreme Court marriage ruling.

The Role of Pastors in the Church (1 Timothy 5:17-25)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | January 11, 2015


This message is adapted from a sermon by Philip Ryken, entitled “What Sheep Owe Their Shepherds” in the Reformed Expository Commentary series on 1 Timothy.

Text:

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.  Continue reading

The Role of Elders in the Church (1 Timothy 3:1-7)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | January 4, 2015

Audio recording not available. However, the text and manuscript can be read below.

This message is adapted from a sermon by Philip Ryken, entitled “Qualifications for Elders” in the Reformed Expository Commentary series on 1 Timothy.

Text:

1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. Continue reading

Who Is the Redeemer of God’s Chosen People? (John 1:1-5, 9-14; WLC 36)

Sermon by Daniel L. Sonnenberg | December 21, 2014

Audio file not available. However, the sermon text and manuscript can be found below.


Text:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Continue reading