The Spring 2018 issue of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal is now available in pdf form (see attached). The print issue and the other digital formats (mobi and epub) will be available in a few weeks.
As you will see from the cover, the issue is packed with the fruits of solid Reformed reading, research, and reflection - all for the rich benefit of our readers.
Editor, Prof. R. Cammenga, introduces the issue with these "notes:"
The Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRCA) and the
Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary have throughout their
history opposed the teaching that the gospel is a well-meaning offer of
salvation to all who hear the preaching. This is the popular conception
of the preaching of the gospel that is defended and practiced by most
Reformed and Presbyterian churches, preachers, and theologians today.
The PRCA have always insisted that this is a mutilation of the gospel
and is contrary to Scripture and to the Reformed creeds. You will
find a number of articles and book reviews in the April 2018 issue of
PRTJ addressing this issue. The writers also point out the inevitable
despoiling of the Reformed faith in fundamental respects, for which
they who defend the well-meant offer are responsible—denial of the
extent and efficacy of the atonement, denial of the total depravity of
the natural man, embrace of the teaching of free will, and more. We
plead with defenders of the well-meant offer of the gospel to take stock
of the teaching. We urge them rigorously and honestly to evaluate it
in light of Scripture and the confessions. And we add, take note of
the devastating results of the teaching wherever it has won the day.
Prof. Russell Dykstra concludes his series on the teaching of
God’s covenant in the Psalms. He has shown in his series how rich
the Psalms are in their teaching concerning the covenant of grace. The
comfort and assurance of belonging to God’s covenant is a theme that
runs through the book of Psalms. This last article brings the series to
a fitting conclusion.
Prof. Barrett Gritters, professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant
Reformed Theological Seminary, contributes an article full of
biblical and practical advice for pastors and elders counseling members
of God’s church who suffer from depression. Officebearers will find a
great deal of encouragement to minister to the needs of these anguished
members of Christ’s flock. The greatest help is to bring these saints
the Word of God. Appended to his article is the outline of a sermon
based on portions of Psalms 42 and 43 that applies the Word of God
to the matter of depression.
Besides his several book reviews, emeritus Prof. David J. Engelsma
contributes a review article on the recently published book
by David L. Allen, The Extent of the Atonement: A Historical and
Critical Review. This work is being touted as the new “go to” book in
support for unlimited atonement and refutation of limited atonement.
Engelsma evaluates the book in light of Scripture and the Reformed
confessions and finds it seriously wanting. One important argument
in defense of his contention that the atonement of Christ’s cross is
unlimited is Allen’s appeal to the teaching of the well-meant (free)
offer of the gospel. And indeed, as the PRCA have always pointed
out, if the well-meant offer of the gospel is true, the death of Jesus
Christ, at least in its intention, could not have been limited to some
men only. The well-meant gospel offer demands that the value of the
death of Jesus Christ is wider than the elect alone.
Pastor Martyn McGeown, missionary in Limerick, Ireland on
behalf of the sister church of the PRCA, the Covenant Protestant
Reformed Church of Northern Ireland, responds to a recent article
published in the Puritan Reformed Journal, the journal of the Puritan
Reformed Theological Seminary. The article, by David B. McWilliams,
defends the free offer of the gospel. McGeown takes issue with
the contents and the conclusion of this article. And once again, we
plead for an honest and thorough re-evaluation of the teaching that
reduces the call of the gospel—power of God unto salvation—to a
helpless, ineffectual, pathetic offer.
And then there are the book reviews—summaries and critiques of
recently published works that we bring to the attention of our readers.
Some we recommend; others not. But in either case, the reviews are
a reminder that officebearers, and especially pastors, must be readers.
They must find the time and be given the time, even in busy pastorates,
Now, read and enjoy!
Soli Deo Gloria!
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