Intro to Reformed Theology (12th Grade+)

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Logos Press

The books that help form our reformed heritage.


    The Bondage of the Will (Martin Luther)

    "This may be the only classic theological work you ever read which makes you laugh out loud multiple times." ~ Douglas Wilson, Introduction

    In this new offering from the Christian Heritage Series, Luther replies to the arguments of Erasmus of Rotterdam. Erasmus was the most distinguished scholar of Luther’s day, but that only made Luther all the more eager to defend the truth. Erasmus argued that all the commands in Scripture clearly showed that man had the ability to obey God through his own power. In this work, Luther replies that such an argument emptied the Gospel of its power, and that instead man’s will is bound captive to sin, and that only through the Gospel are we freed from its power.

    While this rambunctious and punchy book is entertaining, Luther never loses sight of the heart of the matter: man's inability to earn his salvation and his absolute need for grace and forgiveness.

    "A man cannot be thoroughly humbled until he comes to know that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsel, endeavors, will, and works, and absolutely depending on the will, counsel, pleasure, and work of another, that is, of God only." ~ Luther in The Bondage of the Will

      Calvinism: The Stone Lectures (Abraham Kuyper)

      “God created hand, head, and heart, the hand for the deed, the head for the world, the heart for mysticism. King in deed, prophet in profession, and priest in heart, shall man in his threefold office stand before God.” ~Abraham Kuyper

      Although Abraham Kuyper was the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and a great educator, his true legacy is his exhortation to pietistic and passive Christians. He advocated for the submission of all things—life, art, and politics—to the Lord Jesus Christ. Kuyper reminded the Church that there is no square inch over which Christ does not cry, “Mine!” In this series of lectures given at Princeton Theological Seminary, he explains how Christianity, and particularly Calvinism, is a comprehensive worldview that explains how we should approach religion, politics, science, art, and the future of the modern world.

      “Abraham Kuyper believed that everything began with the Triune God, and everything—body, mind, soul, and strength—needed to be rooted in this commitment to the Triune God. Likewise, if Calvinism is to triumph in the religious realm, the political sphere, the science laboratory, the marketplace of ideas, and the arts, then it must be unashamedly Christian from its first thought to its last.” ~From Uriesou Brito’s Introduction

        Holiness (J.C. Ryle)

        “Many Christians are not sure what to do. Some have sought to claim the crown rights of King Jesus all the way up to the high places only to find themselves sacrificing to idols upon arrival. Others have opted for the monastery in a Benedictine attempt to preserve the faith amid the rise of Barbarian culture. Neither of those options will suffice…. It is past time for a recovery of the full exercise of the Christian religion. And such a recovery requires the vital, life-animating power of holiness.” ~From the introduction by Jared Longshore

        The modern American Church has forgotten the call to holy living.

        If we are not blithely ignoring the sin in our lives, we often restrict holiness to reading our Bibles and praying. However holiness is something that should include everything in our lives, and in this series of sermons, J.C. Ryle shows why we must fight sin in every area of life.

        He shows how Christians can be assured that they are saved in Christ and how through Him they can be victorious in their own battles.

        “You are often sick at heart of your own short-comings…. But know now that Jesus can see some beauty in everything that you do from a conscientious desire to please Him. His eye can discern excellence in the least thing which is a fruit of His own Spirit. He can pick out the grains of gold from amidst the dross of your performances, and sift the wheat from amidst the chaff, in all your doings. Your tears are all put into His bottle. Your endeavors to do good to others, however feeble, are written in His book of remembrance.” ~J.C. Ryle

        Three Forms of Unity (The Synod of Dort)

        “The Three Forms of Unity are simply seeking to set forth the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ in all its beauty, and the various implications of the Gospel for human thought and life. Anyone expecting to find a dry, abstract, narrow-spirited, over-complicated Calvinist “scholasticism” will be greatly disappointed.” ~from Dr. Nick Needham's Introduction

        Christianity is not a religion built on stuffy, intellectual doctrines, but on the kinds of truths that men are willing to die for. First collected by Reformed Protestants in the 1600s, the Three Forms of Unity contains the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort. These confessions are a beautiful summary of the deep truths of Scripture concerning God, our salvation, and the church.

        “What is thy only comfort in life and in death? That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me, that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation.” ~The First Question of the Heidelberg Catechism

        Three Treatises (Martin Luther)

        "Luther is lyrical, even ecstatic, as he proclaims the benefits of justification by faith alone...The three treatises are short reads. It would not be unfair to refer to them as pamphlets. But they are surely the weightiest pamphlets in Christian history." ~ from Wedgeworth's Introduction

        Luther was not just a firebrand who riled up the establishment and accidentally started a religious movement.

        In these three treatises, we get a full picture of what Luther stood for and what he stood against.

        In his An Open Letter to the Christian Nobility, he explains the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers and calls upon German princes to reform the church, since the Papacy refused to do so.

        Then in The Babylonian Captivity of the Church he attacks the sacramental system of the Roman Catholic church and explains that the Lord's Supper is not a sacrifice made to God, but an offering of the promise to the people. He calls for them to feed the people the bread and wine again.

        Finally, in his inspiring On the Freedom of the Christian, Luther proclaims the heart of the Reformation: the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Because God has saved us once and for all from our sins and no works can increase our salvation, we are free to love both God and our neighbor, not from a spirit of fear, but out of gratitude for everything God has done for us.

        Read these works and be inspired.

        "What man is there whose heart, hearing these things, will not rejoice to its very core, and in receiving such comfort grow tender so as to love Christ, as he never could be made to love by any laws or works?

        Who would have power to harm such a heart or to make it afraid? For it believes that the righteousness of Christ is its own, and that its sin is not its own, but Christ's, and that all sin is swallowed up by the righteousness of Christ is a necessary consequence of faith in Christ.

        So the heart learns to scoff at death and sin, and to say with the apostle, 'Where, O death, is thy victory? Where, O death, is thy sting?'. For death is swallowed up not only in the victory of Christ, but also by our victory, because through faith His victory has become ours, and in that faith we also are conquerors." ~ From On the Freedom of the Christian

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