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Steve Weaver

(4 posts)

Book Announcement: Devoted to the Service of the Temple

Sunday··2007·08·12
I have become increasingly interested lately in the history of the Church and in the lives and writings of the pastors and theologians to whom we owe our great heritage. Among the books I have had my eye on recently is Devoted to the Service of the Temple: Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins, which I discovered at Pastor Steve Weaver’s Blog (Steve is co-editor). (Who can resist Reformed Baptist theology from a guy named "Hercules"?) Steve has become one of my favorite Bible expositors (listen here), so whatever he is reading is of interest to me. Pastor Weaver has provided the following information on the new book: The new book exploring the spirituality of 17th century Baptist pastor Hercules Collins is now available for order online here. Description: While largely forgotten in modern times, Hercules Collins (1646/7-1702) was highly influential among the late 17th and early 18th century Calvinistic Baptists of London. Through a biographical sketch and 35 sample selections collected from Collins's writings, Michael A. G. Haykin and Steve Weaver introduce us to the vibrant spirituality of this colossal figure. Product Details: ISBN: 9781601780225 Format: Paperback, 160 pages Retail Price: $10.00 Commendations: “Hercules Collins is one of the great figures from our Baptist heritage—a pastor who suffered much for the cause of Christ and left a great legacy for generations that followed. There is something especially compelling about the witness of a man who was oppressed and imprisoned for his faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The witness of Hercules Collins as pastor, prisoner, and preacher is worthy of the closest attention in our own times. We are indebted to Michael Haykin and Steve Weaver for bringing Hercules Collins to life for a new generation.” —R. Albert Mohler, Jr. “The secret of Collins's courage and strength lay in his relationship with the Lord Christ. The enormous contemporary value of reading his life and writings is not just in its exposition of his evangelistic methodology, and its indirect comments on today's broader theological scene, but in the inspiration it gives to the heart of each Christian for growth in grace and deeper spirituality.” —Geoff Thomas “We are indebted to Michael Haykin and Steve Weaver for these carefully chosen selections . . . For too long Baptists have had little access to the richness of their theological tradition. We have a great past, and many able servants have given their lives to the cause of our churches, and yet so few of their works have been reprinted. This book continues a very encouraging recent trend, in which the best works are being restored to print. May the Lord bless this book, and the efforts of its editors.” —From the Foreword by James M. Renihan Authors: Michael A. G. Haykin is Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky & Research Professor of Irish Baptist College, Constituent College of Queen’s University Belfast, N. Ireland. Steve Weaver is the pastor of West Broadway Baptist Church in Lenoir City, Tennessee. Previews: Front Cover Back Cover Foreward by James Renihan Excerpt #1: “God is the Gospel“ Excerpt #2: “Plain Preaching“

Book Review: Devoted to the Service of the Temple

Wednesday··2007·08·15 · 3 Comments
Devoted to the Service of the Temple: Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins is a collection of the writings of seventeenth-century Particular Baptist pastor Hercules Collins edited by Dr. Michael Haykin and Pastor Steve Weaver. At 139 pages, including a bibliography, it is a short, easy read, but one that is packed full of rich pastoral theology. The book begins with a thirty page introduction, providing a brief biography of Hercules Collins and the historical setting of his writings, followed by thirty-five short chapters, which are excerpts of his writings. This book can easily be read in one sitting, as I did, or one chapter (2–3 short pages) a day, as a devotional. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find such rich theology in any devotional book written today. We owe considerable gratitude to Dr. Haykin and Pastor Weaver for bringing us this collection of writings from this great, though lesser known, “dead theologian.” I heartily recommend it to you, and leave you with this quotation from chapter five, titled God is the Gospel: There are many good objects in heaven and earth besides thee. There are angels in heaven and saints on earth. But, soul, what are these to thee? Heaven, without thy presence, would be no heaven to me. A palace without thee, a crown without thee, cannot satisfy me. But with thee can I be content, though in a poor cottage. With thee I am at liberty in bonds. . . . [I]f I have thy smiles, I can bear the world’s frowns. If I have spiritual liberty in my soul that I can ascend to thee by faith and have communion with thee, thou shalt choose thy portion for me in this world, “For in the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul.” —Hercules Collins, Devoted to the Service of the Temple: Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins (Reformation Heritage Books, 2007).

Monergist Father: Augustine of Hippo (3)

Monday··2018·09·10
Augustine on the intent and extent of the atonement: Augustine observed that Scripture presents more than one theme for the atonement, though the idea of substitution is predominant in his writings. With all the richness of the full counsel of God, Augustine addressed the sacrifice of Christ as a sin-bearing, punishment-canceling death. Admittedly, Augustine did not give as much attention to the extent of the atonement as he did to its accomplishment, and scholars disagree whether he ultimately taught limited or universal atonement. However, he did occasionally speak of the cross as having particular intent. Christ purchased the flock of God with the price of His blood (John 10:11, 15), Augustine said. He writes that the portion of the universal church composed of saved men “has been redeemed from all sin by the blood of the sinless Mediator.” Conversely, Augustine affirms that those whom Christ said were not His sheep were not purchased by His atonement: “He saw them predestined to everlasting destruction, not purchased by the price of His blood unto eternal life.” Only the elect were purchased by Christ; none for whom He died will suffer destruction. Augustine also stated that Christ died for those who are foreknown, predestined, and elected before the foundation of the world. Noting that Christ’s work on the cross delivered believers from eternal death, he says, “Those who belong to the grace of Christ, foreknown and predestined and chosen before the foundation of the world, . . . simply die as Christ Himself had died for them, that is to say with the death of the flesh alone and not of the spirit.” Because Christ died for those chosen and given to Him by the Father, they do not die a spiritual death. In perhaps his clearest comment on this doctrine, Augustine said that Scripture does not teach a universal salvation, but that Christ’s atonement was limited. Augustine argued that when Jesus says in John 12:32, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself,” He is not saying that all of mankind will be drawn to Him; rather, He is saying that all kinds of men will be drawn. Augustine writes: “All is limited by the context to mean ‘all sorts of people, all the predestinate. . . . All men either means men of all sorts or is to be taken with an implied limitation in justification.” These and similar texts of Scripture, Augustine affirmed, speak of a limited atonement designed for the salvation of God’s elect. —Steven J. Lawson, Pillars of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2011), 240–241.

The Evolution of Armininism

Friday··2018·09·14
Although biblical monergistic soteriology has gained wider acceptance in recent years, the church in general is still bound to a synergistic system in which salvation partly depends on the action of the sinner. We know this as Arminianism, but it really goes back much further than Arminius (1560–1609), to a monk named Pelagius (360–418) who denied original sin and taught that man is born in the same spiritual state as Adam—his will is free and he is able to follow Christ by choice. Augustine, agreeing with scripture, took exception and refuted him. But that was not the end of the story. Here is the short version: Throughout the fifth century and into the sixth, the heretical teachings of Pelagius continued to trouble the church. Despite the official condemnation of Pelagianism by church councils in Carthage (418) and Ephesus (431), and notwithstanding the theological work of Augustine, the dispute between adherents of monergistic and synergistic regeneration escalated. In the century between Augustine’s death (430) and the Synod of Orange (529), many doctrinal battles were waged over the nature of God’s grace in salvation. Amid these controversies, a mediating view emerged, one that attempted to steer away from what many perceived to be the extreme views of both Pelagius and Augustine. This view, as noted in the previous chapter, was Semi-Pelagianism. This halfway position refused Pelagius’s man-centered doctrine that denied original sin and universal guilt. But Semi-Pelagianism also rejected Augustine’s God-centered stance on sovereign election and predestination. In short, Semi-Pelagianism insisted that the work of salvation is not exclusive to God. Rather, its adherents argued, man contributes to his salvation. In the view of the Semi-Pelagians, both divine grace and human free will are necessary in salvation. . . . Semi-Pelagianism was unwilling to accept the conclusions that Augustine’s theology demanded. As a result, this compromising stance mixed human ability with divine grace, producing a synergistic view of salvation. The Semi-Pelagians’ minds were more preoccupied with avoiding the inevitable consequences of Augustinianism than with preaching the full counsel of God. That bias drove them to avoid the exposition of such biblical truths as predestination. They produced a hybrid stance that misled many minds. . . . Although the Semi-Pelagians affirmed with Augustine that the whole human race fell in Adam and that sinners cannot believe in Christ without God’s grace, they resisted Augustine’s assertion of the total bondage of the human will. Instead, they maintained that Adam’s sin merely resulted in a moral sickness in the human race, not a spiritual death. They further insisted that although a sinner could not save himself, he retained the moral ability to believe in Christ. Consequently, they taught that man, though weakened by sin, still possesses a free will with moral ability. Conversion, they argued, is a joint venture in which God and man must cooperate. At its core, Semi-Pelagianism contended that the human will can resist the effectual call of God. This being so, predestination is nothing more than passive foresight by God. The Semi-Pelagians believed that predestination involved God merely looking down the tunnel of time to see who would choose Him, then, in turn, He chose them. Election, they claimed, was God’s response to man’s initial step of faith. This same system of thought would arise again in opposition to the doctrines of grace during the Protestant Reformation in the form of Arminianism. —Steven J. Lawson, Pillars of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2011), 255–256.

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