Old dead theologians

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Oct 27, 2015.

  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Another thread about being 'zealous of good works' based on a Spurgeon sermon has gone off track, and since I am partly to blame I thought I should move the discussion here.

    What is the benefit, if any, of reading the 'old dead theologians' as they were called in that thread? Who are some of your favourites?

    If you want you might even throw in a good quote or two.

    One of my favourite books is not by or about one dead guy, but a bunch of them. It is called 'The Valley of Vision' and is a collection of prayers and devotional thoughts of Puritan writers. I am blessed every time I read it.

    In the last couple of years I have become a big fan of J.C. Ryle. His book on holiness in probably the best I have read on the topic.

    Octavius Winslow is little known, but his little book on personal revival greatly challenged my heart.

    At the moment Spurgeon's little daily devotional 'Chequebook of Faith...' is a daily blessing.

    That ought to be a start. I am sure I'll be back. I love some of the old dead guys and one nice thing is their book are often free or nearly free for the Kindle :)
     
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  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Oops, forgot why I like them.

    There are many reasons - but I'll start with one. We can think that our struggles are unique. We can blame our battles on a spirit of materialism, on the internet, on television, or on entertainment. When I read these dead guys I realise that they faced the same battles as we do. They lusted, the coveted, and they envied. The struggled with their faith. The battled depression. The fought with the flesh. The struggles of my dead brothers and the Bible truths and principles they applied are a blessing to me today.
     
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  3. Iconoclast

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    Good thread, beat me to it!
    First off in responding on the other thread I just posted this;
    There was a time when what you call "old dead theologians "were alive here on earth.
    God is the God of the living. Just because they are not physically here does not mean they ceased to exist.


    How about looking at it this way....You have never physically seen me yet you read my words and respond to what I have written..... There is no difference.

    By the time you read my words on your screen.....they are also history correct? You do not hear me speak them instantly into your ears. So tell me what is the difference.

    The part of your quote I bolded has scriptural basis in 2 cor 1;
    3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

    4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

    5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

    6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

    7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

    There is a book ...hey...just found this in PDF form online;

    http://hisbridgemedia.com/docs/APastorsSketches.pdf

    These pastoral sketches are an excellent resource as they were the written accounts of this pastor who kept a journal of his shepherding ministry among the saints. The real value to me was noticing the detailed description and observations this pastor made as they prove to quite instructive as to what things we are to look for in helping others.
    Of course in doing this and working through this journal it is quite instructive to the reader as to how are things in your own life! if you desire to help others do you have your own ducks in a row?
    The two volume set was made available by Solid Ground Christian books...and if you mention my name, the owner might charge you extra...lol

    http://www.solid-ground-books.com/detail_58.asp?flag=3
     
  4. Iconoclast

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    NaasPreacher (C4K), .

    ?

    One of the best writings I have ever come across was from John Owen.
    It is found in His 16 volume works set,[volume 7} but now you can get it in paperback;
    The Works of John Owen, Volume 7 Sin & Grace
    Owen shines in this second volume dedicated to more “practical” subjects. (Volumes 6 through 9 are dedicated thus.) Includes The Nature and Causes of Apostasy, Spiritual-Mindedness, and The Dominion of Sin and Grace.
    Owen’s classic work On Spiritual Mindedness should be read often…one of the greatest works of devotional literature ever penned. It is also a great place to start if you are new to reading Owen.


    http://theessentialowen.com/the-works-of-john-owen/

    working through this book

    John Owen wrote this book to open up and explain one verse;
    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    Awesome book....Thumbsup
     
  5. blessedwife318

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    One of the reason I like reading old dead theologians, is you know they are not going to get involved in a scandal. There are going to be no blindsides to take away from what they are talking about. Example earlier this year, my husband and I were reading a book, not by a old dead theologian, and right after we started it, the news broke that he had cheated on his wife. We stopped reading his book at that point.

    Another reason I like reading them, is that is shows there is nothing new under the sun. We like to think we are unique in our situation, but we really are not, and we can reap the benefit of looking back on those that have gone before to see how they handled it and learn from both their mistakes and triumphs.
     
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  6. agedman

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    I am a bit peculiar (I suppose) on this topic. Thou I have read theologians and theological books, they do not hold the same significance as the old hymns and the writers of them. When I read the "stories behind the hymn" the lyric writer's own doctrinal views, their personal struggles and conflicts, there seems to be a small opening of the heart of the hymn. When I reflect upon the words, they become far more personal and often become devotional prayers from my own heart.

    So, although for intellectual purposes, reading "dead theologians" is not to be diminished, I find for me the greatest Scriptures are the Psalms, the greatest reading is about the life and living of those who wrote (write) hymns.

    For example, on another thread which asked about the favorite Hymn, mine was, "Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart." (George Croly (1780-1860)) This man is said to preach more like someone wanting to brawl at the local pub rather than cajole from the pulpit. :) When you read the words of this hymn, you see not only the author's personal life, devotion, ... but the prayer for one's own, too.

    I have no desire that the thread move off topic, but thought my post may be of interest to some readers.
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    Why spend our lives walking in another man's furrows, why not study God's word and plow our own furrow? I think an ODT wrote that thought. :)
     
  8. Iconoclast

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    It does not have to be either or does it?
    It should be both if possible.
    Scripture says a companion of wise men will be wise.

    I am across the road from Joel and Victoria Osteen meeting place....I guess I could get some advise on living my best life now....lol.....but the time would be better spent reading an ODT.;););)
     
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  9. Rippon

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    Here is a snip from Spurgeon's --A Chat About Commentaries

    Of course, you are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound Scripture without assistance from the works of divines and learned men who have laboured before you in the field of exposition. If you are not of that opinion, pray remain so, for you are not worth the trouble of conversion, and like a little coterie who think with you, would resent the attempt as an insult to your infallibility. It seems odd, that certain men talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others. My chat this afternoon is...for you who are content to learn of holy men, taught of God, and mighty in the Scriptures. It has been the fashion of late years to speak against the use of commentaries...A respectable acquaintance with the opinions of the giants of the past, might have saved many an erratic thinker from wild interpretations and outrageous inferences. Usually, we have found the despisers of commentaries to be men who have no acquaintance with them...
     
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  10. Squire Robertsson

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    We stand on the shoulders of giants, as some folks have said.
     
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  11. Squire Robertsson

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    Why reinvent the wheel? Though the riches of God's Word still supply veins gold.
     
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  12. Iconoclast

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  13. Iconoclast

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    When it comes to the book of proverbs ...Charles bridges commentary is a classic...here he is on Prov 13;20 as a sample;
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    Here is the intro to Jonathan Edwards History of Redemption

    GENERAL INTRODUCTION.
    Isaiah li. 8.
    For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
    The design of this chapter is to comfort the church under her sufferings, and the persecutions of her enemies; and the argument of consolation insisted on, is the constancy and perpetuity of God’s mercy and faithfulness towards her, which shall be manifest in continuing to work salvation for her, protecting her against all assaults of her enemies, and carrying her safely through all the changes of the world, and finally, crowning her with victory and deliverance.
    In the text, this happiness of the church of God is set forth by comparing it with the contrary fate of her enemies that oppress her. And therein we may observe,
    I. How short-lived the power and prosperity of the church’s enemies is: “The moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool;”

    Isa li. 8. i. e. however great their prosperity is, and however great their present glory, they shall by degrees consume and vanish away by a secret curse of God, till they come to nothing; and all their power and glory, and so their persecutions, eternally cease, and they be finally and irrecoverably ruined: as the finest and most glorious apparel will in time wear away, and be consumed by moths and rottenness. We learn who those are that shall thus consume away, by the foregoing verse, viz. those that are the enemies of God’s people: “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law, fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.


    II. The contrary happy lot and portion of God’s church; expressed in these words, “My righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.”

    Isa li. 8 Who shall have the benefit of this, we also learn by the preceding verse, viz.

    They that know righteousness, and the people in whose heart is God’s law; or, in one word, the church of God
    . And concerning their happiness, we may observe, wherein it consists; in its continuance.
    1. Wherein it consists, viz. In God’s righteousness and salvation towards them. By God’s righteousness here, is meant his faithfulness in fulfilling his covenant promises to his church, or his faithfulness towards his church and people, in bestowing the benefits of the covenant of grace upon them. Though these benefits are bestowed of free and sovereign grace, as being altogether undeserved; yet as God has been pleased, by the promises of the covenant of grace, to bind himself to bestow them, they are bestowed in the exercise of God’s righteousness or justice.

    And therefore the apostle says, Heb. vi. 10. “God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labour of love.” And 1 John i. 9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So the word righteousness is very often used in Scripture for God’s covenant faithfulness; as in Nehem. ix. 8. “Thou hast performed thy words, for thou art righteous.” So we are often to understand righteousness and covenant mercy for the same thing; as Psal. xxiv. 5. “He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
    Psal. xxxvi. 10. “Continue thy loving-kindness to them that know thee, and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.”
    And Psal. li. 14. “Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.” Dan. ix 16. “O Lord, according to thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away.”—And so in innumerable other places.
    The other word here used is salvation. Of these two. God’s righteousness and his salvation, the one is the cause, of which the other is the effect. God’s righteousness, or covenant mercy, is the root, of which his salvation is the fruit. Both of them relate to the covenant of grace. The one is God’s covenant mercy and faithfulness, the other intends that work of God by which this covenant mercy is accomplished in the fruits of it. For salvation is the sum of all those works of God by which the benefits that are by the covenant of grace are procured and bestowed.
    2. We may observe its continuance, signified here by two expressions; for ever, and from generation to generation. The latter seems to be explanatory of the former. The phrase for ever, is variously used in Scripture. Sometimes thereby is meant as long as a man lives. It is said, that the servant who had his ear bored through with an awl to the door of his master should be his for ever. Sometimes thereby is meant during the continuance of the Jewish state. Of many of the ceremonial and Levitical laws it is said, that they should be statutes for ever. Sometimes it means as long as the world shall stand, or to the end of the generations of men. Thus, Eccles. i. 4. “One generation passeth away, and another cometh; but the earth abideth for ever.” Sometimes thereby is meant to all eternity. So it is said, “God is blessed for ever,” Rom. i. 25. And so it is said, John vi. 51. “If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.“—And which of these senses is here to be understood, the next words determine, viz. to the end of the world, or to the end of the generations of men. It is said in the next words, “and my salvation from generation to generation.“ 612612 Isa li. 8. Indeed the fruits of God’s salvation shall remain after the end of the world, as appears in “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner, but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.” 613613 Isa li. 6. But the work of salvation itself toward the church shall continue to be wrought till then: till the end of the world God will go on to accomplish deliverance and salvation for the church, from all her enemies; for that is what the prophet is here speaking of. Till the end of the world; till her enemies cease to be, as to any power to molest the church. And this expression from generation to generation, may deter mine534us as to the time which God continues to carry on the work of salvation for his church, both with respect to the beginning and end. It is from generation to generation, i. e. throughout all generations; beginning with the generations of men on the earth, and not ending till these generations end.—And therefore we deduce from these words this
    DOCTRINE.
    The work of redemption is a work that God carries on from the fall of man to the end of the world.
    The generations of mankind on the earth which began after the fall, by ordinary generation, are partakers of the corruption of nature that followed from it; and these generations, by which the human race is propagated, shall continue to the end of the world. These two are the limits of the generations of men on the earth; the fall of man, and the end of the world, or the day of judgment. The same are the limits of the work of redemption, as to those progressive works of God, by which that redemption is brought about and accomplished, though not as to the fruits of it; for they shall be to eternity.
    The work of redemption and the work of salvation are the same thing. What is sometimes in Scripture called God’s saving his people, is in other places called his redeeming them. So Christ is called both the Saviour and the Redeemer of his people.
    Before entering on the proposed History of the Work of Redemption, I would explain the terms made use of in the doctrine;—and show what those things are that are designed to be accomplished by this great work of God.
    First. I would show in what sense the terms of the doctrine are used;—particularly the word redemption;— and, how this is a work of God, carried on from the fall of man to the end of the world.
    I. The use of the word redemption.—And here it may be observed, that the work of redemption is sometimes understood in a more limited sense, for the purchase of salvation; for the word strictly signifies, a purchase of deliverance. If we take the word in this restrained sense, the work of redemption was not so long in doing; but was begun and finished with Christ’s humiliation. It was begun with Christ’s incarnation, carried on through his life, and finished with the time of his remaining under the power of death, which ended in his resurrection. And so we say, that on the day of his resurrection Christ finished the work of redemption, i. e. then the purchase was finished, and the work itself, and all that appertained to it, was virtually done and finished, but not actually.
    stay tuned for part 2;
     
    #14 Iconoclast, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
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  15. Iconoclast

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    But sometimes the work of redemption is taken more largely, as including all that God accomplishes tending to this end; not only the purchase itself, but also all God’s works that were properly preparatory to the purchase, and accomplishing the success of it. So that the whole dispensation, as it includes the preparation and purchase, the application and success of Christ’s redemption, is here called the work of redemption. All that Christ does in this great affair as Mediator, in any of his offices, either of prophet, priest, or king; either when he was in this world, in his human nature, or before, or since. And it includes not only what Christ the Mediator has done, but also what the Father, or the Holy Ghost, have done, as united or confederated in this design of redeeming sinful men; or, in one word, all that is wrought in execution of the external covenant of redemption. This is what I call the work of redemption in the doctrine; for it is all but one work, one design. The various dispensations or works that belong to it, are but the several parts of one scheme. It is but one design that is formed, to which all the offices of Christ directly tend, and in which all the persons of the Trinity conspire. All the various dispensations that belong to it are united; and the several wheels are one machine, to answer one end, and produce one effect.
    II. When I say, this work is carried on from the fall of man to the end of the world; in order to the full understanding of my meaning in it, I would desire two or three things to be observed.

    1. That it is not meant, that nothing was done in order to it before the fall of man. Some things were done before the world was created, yea from eternity. The persons of the Trinity were, as it were, confederated in a design, and a covenant of redemption. In this covenant the Father had appointed the Son, and the Son had undertaken the work; and all things to be accomplished in the work were stipulated and agreed. There were things done at the creation of the world, in order to that work; for the world itself seems to have been created in order to it. The work of creation was in order to God’s works of providence. So that if it be inquired, which are greatest, the works of creation or those of providence? I answer, the works of providence; because those of providence are the end of his works of creation; as the building of a house, or the forming of a machine, is for its use. But God’s main work of providence is this of redemption, as will more fully appear hereafter.

    The creation of heaven was in order to the work of redemption; as a habitation for the redeemed; Matt. xxv. 34. “Then shall the King say unto them on his right, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

    Even the angels were created to be employed in this work. And therefore the apostle calls them, “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation,” Heb. i. 14.


    As to this lower world, it was doubtless created to be a stage upon which this great and wonderful work of redemption should be transacted: and therefore, as might be shown, in many respects this lower world is wisely fitted, in its formation, for such a state of man as he is in since the fall, under a possibility of redemption. So that when it is said, that the work of redemption is carried on from the fall of man to the end of the world, it is not meant, that all that ever was done in order to redemption has been done since the fall. Nor,
     
  16. SolaSaint

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    You beat me to the punch. I think I heard MacArthur may have said that. I love the Puritans, seems these men were a gift from God on expounding the scriptures. Good thread....
     
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  17. Rippon

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    I can't believe it. Someone has given a dumb to my Spurgeon quote. C.H.S. was being very reasonable, therefore he must be penalized. But, since C.H.S. can't bear the punishment --I must bear the consequences. I am Spurgeon's proxy. I guess that's how it works in the thinking of someone.
     
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  18. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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  19. JamesL

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    if the wheel is warped, you need a different one. and the warping came long, long ago.

    but if a guy only knows warped, he doesn't know it's warped.....

    he unwittingly embraces error, stands at odds with scripture, and has a doctrine built on philosophy and superstition while simultaneously pretending to embrace Sola Scriptura.
     
  20. Rippon

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    I'm glad you mentioned J.C. Ryle. I periodically relate how valuable his Christian Leaders of the 18th Century is.

    In the last decade of the twentieth century I read Ryle a lot. It initially started by a recommendation by DMLJ to read Ryle. I need to get refreshed by him again.

    So I read and appreciated Holiness which you also highly regard.
    Knots Untied
    Expository Thoughts on the Gospels
    Practical Religion
    Old Paths
    Warnings to the Churches
    Five English Reformers

    I have read them all --but they're due for a re-read.
    All of the above are packed away in America. But, thankfully, I can access some of his material on the internet. My former pastor used to say "Ryle is 95% pure gold."

    Just to let some of you know --he was an Anglican bishop, but very evangelical. He and Spurgeon were of one heart for the Lord. And I say that knowing full well how much C.H.S. strove against the Church of England.

    Ryle started his last and most famous pastorate at 64 years of age. At that time he became the Bishop of Liverpool and made friends with another fervent evangelical --Richard Hobson.

    He died on June 10th,1900 --at age 84. DML-J was barely six months at the time.

    When I read Ryle it's like a dad talking to his son. He "speaks" clearly and with love and conviction. I hope others here will look him up. You'll be blessed and learn a thing or three in the process.
     
    #20 Rippon, Oct 30, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
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