Westminster Seminary California

Valiant for Truth

Posts by: John G. Bales

Building the Minister’s Library: Church History
John G. Bales

The noted Lutheran theologian, Gerhard Ebeling, wrote a provocative essay entitled, “Church History is the History of the Exposition of Scripture.”[1] The essay attempts to locate the place of church history within the broader study of theology, defining its relationship to it. 

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

The Scriptures tell us that the gospel is “the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The gospel, preached and attended to by the Holy Spirit, has the unique ability to transform enslaved sinners into free children of God. And that gospel is best illustrated to people from the lives of others who have come to know Christ. The book of Acts portrays several people who came to know Christ through the preaching of the gospel and their stories, filled with suffering and hope, are powerful as they bear witness to the saving work of Jesus Christ.

Building the Minister’s Library: Commentaries on the Psalms
John G. Bales

John Calvin, in his commentary on Psalm 20 said, “But the design of the Holy Spirit, in my judgment, was to deliver to the Church a common form of prayer, which, as we may gather from the words, was to be used whenever she was threatened with any danger.” 

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

When Herman Witsius’ assumed the theological chair at the University of Franeker, he delivered an Inaugural Oration entitled, “The Character of the Genuine Theologian.”[ i ] Among the advice he gave to aspiring divinity students Witsius centered upon the study of the Scriptures as foundational to the development of character in a theologian.

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

A letter sent on February 1, 1757, from Dominie John Henry Goetschius to the classis of Amsterdam expresses a telling, but not surprising need of this popular colonial pastor and tutor: