Buchenwald Inmate #2491: Christian martyr

Paul Schneider was a German Reformed minister whose early ministry coincided with the ascendancy of the National Socialist movement in the 1930s. His critique of the folk’s movement in view of the Word of God as well as a series of stands for the independent rights of the church vis-à-vis the state led to continual conflicts with Party functionaries, and penalties of increasing severity. At length, the conflict culminated in consignment to the concentration camp at Buchenwald, where his life ended. Continue reading

The Holy Catholic Church (HCC #1)

In many traditional discussions of the church, a host of definitional distinctions are brought out right away: the church invisible vs. visible; triumphant vs. militant; representational vs. lay; and so forth. All of these distinctions have their place, and in their place are very important. Here, however, I propose to start with the primary lexical meaning of the Hebrew qahal or Greek ekklesia as “the called,” which, in the biblical context, connotes a people called out of the sinful mass of humanity to be the people of God, to worship him in truth, and be constituted as the corporate body identified with the living and true God. Continue reading

Book: Barnes. Prophecy and Gnosis

Review of Robin Bruce Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis: Apocalypticism in the Wake of the Lutheran Reformation (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1988). BT 819.5 .B35 1988

Under the rubric of apocalypticism, this book weaves together a story about views of time and history, eschatology, astrology, magic and secret societies in Lutheran Germany in the century following the Reformation.

Prof. Barnes (of Davidson College) defines apocalypticism as a view of the future combining prophecy and Continue reading

A Refutation of the Framework Hypothesis’ “Ordinary Providence Argument”

The following article was part of the Minority Report of the Committee to Study the Framework Hypothesis for the Presbytery of Southern California of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, October 15-16, 1999. It is also found in Kenneth L. Gentry and Michael R. Butler, Yea Hath God Said: The Framework Hypothesis/Six-Day Creation Debate (Eugene Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2002). Continue reading

Essay. Eastern Orthodoxy, part 1

According to one estimate, the Eastern Orthodox Church in America has over six million members, making it the fourth largest religious body in the country. Historically, most Orthodox Americans have been immigrants from eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine). While this is still the case, the last twenty five years have witnessed a number of high-profile conversions to Orthodoxy. Surprisingly, many of these converts have come from evangelical roots.

Peter Gillquist and other former Campus Crusade for Christ staff members led a group of people into Orthodoxy during the 70’s and 80’s.1 Charles Bell led most of his Vineyard Christian Fellowship congregation into the Eastern church in 1993.2 Perhaps the most high-profile conversion was that of Franky Schaeffer, son of the late Francis Schaeffer, who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy in 1990.3 The trend East hit home in 1995 when a minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the denomination of Machen, Van Til, Murray and Bahnsen, demitted the ministry and converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. Even the thought of such apostasy would not have occurred twenty-five years ago. Continue reading

Essay. The Fossils Don’t Speak

This essay is based on a lecture delivered by MRB at a 1998 conference.


The title “The Fossils Don’t Speak!” is intended to evoke curiosity from those familiar with creationist literature. It is, of course, a reversal of the title of a book written by Dr. Duane Gish. However, the contradiction may or may not actually be a corrective to the work of Dr. Gish or his creation-science colleagues, as we will see.

The thesis I will argue for is that the debate between Christianity and Darwinism is conducted at the wrong level. The level that it is commonly carried out on is what we can call the evidential or factual level. One side puts forth evidence in support of Darwinian evolution while the other proffers evidence against it. The debate, then, is to be resolved by judging which side possesses the preponderance of the evidence. Obviously the Darwinists think the weight of evidence leans on the side of evolutionary theory while creationists think the scale is tipped in the other direction.

I do not maintain that scientific evidence is irrelevant to the creation-evolution debate – such a claim would be patently absurd. Nevertheless, scientific evidence in itself is insufficient to decide the issue either way. By this I do not mean that I think the evidence is ambiguous. I firmly believe that the scientific research that has been done clearly indicates that every living (and non-living) thing in the universe is the result of direct act of creation by God and not the product of an evolutionary process.
However, I also believe that a debate of this issue on purely scientific evidence will get nowhere. The debate must take place on a different level before any resolution is possible. Thus my present objective is not to refute Darwinism and vindicate creationism. Instead I will endeavor to realign the terms of the Continue reading