keeping at it

Not much on my mind to write about, but in an effort to blog more regularly, I thought I would just write for the writing’s sake. I did start reading a new nonfiction book today. It is an old RC Sproul book, The Holiness of God. I started it while my 3 children were in their hour-long gymnastics class. So far, I am enjoying it. I am reading it in an effort to familiarize myself with some of the popular books that might be helpful to some “newly reformed” friends.

I came to an understanding (at least the understanding that I have) of reformed theology through somewhat unusual means. At least compared to stories I have heard from other people, it seems unusual. From what I can tell, a lot of folks “become reformed” in their thinking after reading some book or books with reformed theology in it. Or, maybe they heard a reformed preacher on tv or the radio, and started investigating for themselves. I, on the other hand, had some exposure to presbyterian thought in college through a regional college ministry in western PA called the Coalition for Christian Outreach. [After meeting Mark, I found out that this group is influenced by a Dutch guy name Dooeyweerd (sp?)] I also attended an Orthodox Presbyterian church for a year of my college life. Then after graduating, I went to Florida to live with my Baptist sister and her husband, and they took me to Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. It is a big PCA church that some will say is not really reformed, but the Sunday school classes are excellent there (or at least were), and that is what got me hooked. Three weeks after my first Sunday in worship there, I was working for Dr. Kennedy’s television ministry in the communications department. There, I edited all of the “pastoral correspondence.” I did that job for 9 months, and every day I read the staff pastor’s answers to people’s theological and spiritual questions. I learned a lot about reformed theology in that job. So, while I knew about a lot of the popular reformed books, I didn’t actually read many of them. Of course, after moving through various positions at Coral Ridge, I met Mark, who got a job for Coral Ridge 2 years after me. We worked together for 2 more years, dated for 3 months, got engaged, dated 3 more months, and got married. I learned most of the rest of what I know about reformed theology from him.

All of that was a long explanation for why I am just now getting down to reading some of the more basic stuff in reformed circles. For having nothing to say, I managed to ramble for quite a long time. Anyway, perhaps I’ll write a few of my thoughts about the book as I read it. Also, if anyone has any suggestions of good “basic” reformed theology books, feel free to let me know. I am looking at a couple other RC Sproul titles to possibly use in a discussion type Bible study with these “newly reformed” friends, but I would welcome other ideas.

4 thoughts on “keeping at it”

  1. Jenn- they way my wife Marie would learn reformed theology when we were newly married was that we’d have Scripture and prayer before bed-time. She’d ask me some question about the text; I’d haul-out the Confession of Faith and Catechisms and try to explain. She’d say, “No — you tell me in your own words.” Smart girl, that one.

  2. okcalvin–I imagine that practice has turned out to be helpful to you in ministry.

  3. Hey Jennifer,

    Just an added affirmative for Chosen By God. Reading it had an instrumental role in my earliest hashings out of reformed theology during my teen years. It’s what got me riled up at first, and then truly thinking through and coming to understand and then appreciate many doctrines and truths surrounding and stemming from Election.

    These days I must admit, much of my continuing learning results not so much from my own reading, but from Jay striking up conversations with me about things he’s working through and then us going over Scripture together to talk things out. 😉

    Two other texts, both of which, interestingly enough use the same title were invaluable to me in teaching my rather intensive high school girls’ Bible Study on The Five Points of Calvinism (also the title of the books). One is by Steele/Thomas, the other by Edwin Palmer. S/T has a TON of scripture proofs and text, all written out in the book as they work through each point. Palmer’s book was just a good study of the topic, with discussion questions for further thought at the end of each section.

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