Westminster Seminary California

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Posts by: John G. Bales

Building the Minister’s Library: Typology
John G. Bales

One of the definitions of typology is “that form of biblical interpretation which deals with the correspondence between traditions concerning divinely appointed persons, events, and institutions, within the framework of salvation history” (E. Achtemeier, IDBSup, 926-27.) A common example of biblical typology with respect to divinely appointed persons is the correspondence between Adam and Christ (Rom. 5:14).

Building the Minister’s Library: The Lord’s Prayer
John G. Bales

The Lord’s Prayer has played an important role in the life of the church. Its place in the liturgical life of the church is well established and documented by historians from the early church to the present. Catechetical authors found it essential to address the prayer as a means of expressing Christian faith. Many theologians throughout the centuries have seen a need to exegete the prayer. But what does the Lord’s Prayer mean and what are its implications for the life of the church? 

Building the Minister’s Library: Limericks
John G. Bales

In an April 1975 editorial of Theology Today, Hugh T. Kerr jokingly lamented the loss of a certain kind of humor among seminary students. Kerr reminisced about his years at Princeton University, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Edinburgh University when students gave their professors various nicknames. He provided several examples, including, “Root’s Roots” (for Robert Root’s course on language), and “Wee” Hodge (Caspar Wistar Hodge, contrasted with the more famous Hodges.) Kerr believed that it was healthy for an individual to laugh at oneself, at one’s teachers and at each other.

Building the Minister’s Library: Inerrancy
John G. Bales

Inerrancy is an essential doctrine held by orthodox Christians. If we are to know God and our true spiritual condition, then we must have confidence in His special revelation, the Holy Bible. (Only then, of course, can we learn what God has done to rectify our condition and to gain assurance in His work for us.) So the doctrine of Scripture and our confidence in its utter trustworthiness is critical for all other doctrines. While some form of the doctrine of Scripture has existed since the beginning of the church, the concept of inerrancy is a fairly recent addition to the debate. Below is a list of books to help one enter the discussion.

Building the Minister’s Library: Historical Theology
John G. Bales

Historical theology is the branch of theology which examines the doctrines of the church within their historical context and development. Historical theologians investigate the theology of individuals and schools of thought, in order to determine the continuity and discontinuity within the broader Christian tradition. It is always best done when one investigates the original sources and attempts to hear the authors in their own thought-categories.