S. Lewis Johnson

Probably the best thing about the internet for me has been the availability of previously unknown teachers being made known and their influence on the development of my theology. This goes for men from John Calvin (who I first discovered back in 1998 online, not in my PC(USA) church growing up) to the gentleman I have noted above in the title of this post. S. Lewis Johnson was Professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and was a strident defender of 5-point Calvinism and Reformed thought in general. Exepting his Dispensationalism he is a dynamite speaker and thorough exegete.

Read More Here: The SLJ Institute

I highly recommend starting your listening with S. Lewis Johnson’s lectures against “Modified Calvinism” better known as Amyraldism.


Book Review: Doug Kelly’s Systematic Theology

I recently completed Doug Kelly’s first volume of his Systematic Theology (other volumes have not been printed yet) and would like to offer a couple of words on why you need to have this (yes another) Systematic in your library.

1) Doug Kelly offers an erudite and exhaustive discussion of the Doctrine of God that spans the entire history of the Church. The wide variety and positive use of Church scholars, including Patristic, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic authors (while still maintaining and defending Confessional Reformed Doctrine) is unparalleled as far as I can tell.

2) Building off the above not near enough can be said about the plethora of both Ante and Post-Nicene Fathers quoted to support and critique the author’s thesis on any given topic.  If anything this volume will serve as a deep mine for those seeking quotations by the Church Fathers on topics concerning the Doctrine of Scripture and the Trinity (including the hotly debated filioque).

3) In the style of Old Princeton Dr. Kelly does not seek to teach us anything “new” but only to confirm what it is we as a Church have confessed since the last Apostle laid down his pen. It was quite refreshing to see how united the Church is on the Trinity and how quite novel and heterodox recent teaching has been on the central Doctrine that makes us Christians and not another humanistic religion.

Tolle Lege!!!

Systematic Theology, Day 6

“The Gospel, strictly taken, differs from the Law, in that, 1. The Law considers us as God’s rational creatures and subjects, who were originally formed with sufficient abilities perfectly to obey it, and hence directs and binds us to have such abilities, and to exercise them in a proper manner towards God, ourselves, and our neighbours, as our duty (Matt 22:37-39); but the Gospel considers us as sinful and self-ruined men, graciously pitied by God and declares what He, according to His infinite mercy and grace, has done, prepared for, and offers to be, and do to us (Isa. 42:6-7, 49, 53-55, Ps. 22, 68, 146). Hence its offers and invitations continue to believers while their sinfulness remains, and no longer condemns.”

“IV. The Harmony of the Law and Gospel is their suitableness and subserviency to each other:  the Gospel promises, offers, and gives to sinful men every thing which the Law, in any form, demands of them.  It provides them with their righteousness of the Son of God, which answers and magnifies all the demands of the Law, as a broken covenant: and lays an effectual foundation of universal, and at last perfect obedience to it, as a rule.  Nay, it promises preparation for, assistance in,  and a gracious reward of every duty which the law, as a rule,  requires…”

— John Brown of Haddington, Systematic Theology pg. 502

Systematic Theology, Day 5

“Though Christ effectually save none but His Elect (Eph. 5:23). He is by Divine Appointment, grant, and office the Savior of the World, fit for all sinful men, and to whom they are all warrented by God to apply for salvation (John 4:42, 1 John 4:14). His salvation is a common salvation (Jude 3) and his gospel is grace, which bringeth salvation in offer to all men that hear it (Titus 2:11, 1 Tim 1:15). If Christ’s administration of the new covenant were not thus general and indefinite, some men would have no more warrant to hear the Gospel, or believe in and receive him for their salvation, than devils have, contrary to Mark 16:15-16. ” –John Brown of Haddington, Systematic Theology pg.  244

Systematic Theology, Day 3

“That the Doctrine concerning [the Trinity], being unfolded only by Revelation, we ought to use as few words as possible concerning it but such as are scriptural. We are certain that God perfectly knows himself, though we do not; and that his expressions concerning himself, though we should not understand them, are just and safe; whereas those of human invention may be neither; and may lead us, unawares, into blashphemous views or representations of Him.” – John Brown of Haddington, Systematic Theology pg. 145

Systematic Theology, Day 2

“The Heathen, Mahometan, and the Popish revelations, if examined by these desirable, and some of them absolutely necessary marks of revelation from God, clearly appear to be mere imposters. They nevertheless indirectly suggest the reality of some genuine and authentic revelation of the mind and will of God; otherwise, why should so many attempt to counterfiet it?–But, the more narrowly that revelation, which is contained in our Bibles, is examined by these or any other proper charachteristics, the more clearly will its excellency, suitableness, and divine authority appear.” — John Brown of Haddington, pg. 46

Systematic Theology, Day 1

“Though some of God’s dispensations of providence appearr to smile upon the wicked and frown on the virtuous, yet it must be admitted that we often mistake with respect to men’s real charachters, and that we are apt to think there is a great deal more happinness in ease, wealth, or honour, and more unhappinness in afflictions, than really is.  A future eternity of rewards and punishments may sufficiently balance any apparent inequality of providence in this life” — John Brown of Haddington The Systematic Theology pg. 11-12