Wilhelmus Brakel: The Christian’s Reasonable Service

Reasonable Service

The supreme object of God’s servants’ desire and delight is living a life in accordance to the will of God. In order to do so, God’s servants must know God. Systematical knowledge of God and practical application of that knowledge in ordinary Christians’ lives is the heart of Wilhelmus à Brakel’s (1635-1711), one of the less known but most eloquent Reformed minister and theologian, masterwork The Christian’s Reasonable Service.

This masterwork is 17th century’s Didache. Brakel unloaded unmatched practical and systematic theology that would not only lead its readers to delight in God but also to personally apply the biblical truth acquired in their daily conducts.

Brakel is a minister first and a theologian second. He is James first and Paul (in Romans) second. He wrote this tremendously edifying work to lay churchmen and women first and scholars second. Echoing the practicality of the epistle of James, Brakel provided a biblical insight on how ordinary Christians ought to practically conduct themselves in their communities.

The Christian’s Reasonable Service’s contents and the style it was written makes it easy for an ordinary Christians, with only basic Bible knowledge, to understand the core doctrines of Christianity. Repeatedly Brakel introduces each doctrine with short definition and exposition packed with biblical passages’ support. He then raised and addressed possible misunderstanding. Last Brakel provided ways in which Christians can apply that particular doctrine in their daily walk with God and people around them.

Brakel’s masterwork is divided into four volumes. Volume one includes proper theology, anthropology, and Christology. Volume two includes ecclesiology and soteriology.  Soteriology covered the whole volume three and half of volume four.  The other half of this volume four includes eschatology and appendix, which touched some of the issues in ecclesiology that were not covered in volume two.

Logos Bible Software’s features enables you to take Brakel’s systematic and practical theology a step further.  The ability to read cited Bible passages, to view the timeline(see here), and to share notes with other readers is revolutionary.

Thank you Logos Bible Software for a review copy of Wilhelmus à Brakel’s The Christian’s Reasonable Service, given to me for the purposes of review.

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Pow! There Goes Richard Dawkins Down

Dawkins: In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.

Christian: Isn’t what you said, Professor Dawkins just another blind pitiless indifference? Because if what you said is true, I do not see why I should also affirm your blind pitiless indifference?

God is Sovereign

God is Sovereign

 

    “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
(Isaiah 46:8-10 ESV)

Picture: Blogmatics.wordpress.com

Is God Dead?

Alvin Plantinga

“Philosophers refurbish the tools of reason to sharpen arguments for theism God? Wasn’t he chased out of heaven by Marx, banished to the unconscious by Freud and announced by Nietzsche to be deceased? Did not Darwin drive him out of the empirical world? Well, not entirely. In a quiet revolution in thought and argument that hardly anyone could have foreseen only two decades ago, God is making a comeback. Most intriguingly, this is happening not among theologians or ordinary believers—most of whom never accepted for a moment that he was in any serious trouble—but in the crisp, intellectual circles of academic philosophers, where the consensus had long banished the Almighty from fruitful discourse.”

In “Modernizing the Case for God,”  Monday, April 7 1980, Time magazine

Is God Dead?

A wonderful article on the come back of Arguments for Existence of God answering  “Is God Dead?” Times’ cover story of  April 8, 1966.

Is God dead? It is a question that tantalizes both believers, who perhaps secretly fear that he is, and atheists, who possibly suspect that the answer is no.

God is making a come back and I am proud to be alive witnessing  a great number of Christians recapturing our lost ground of Reason/Philosophy, in loving God with all our mind.

No fear, No tantalizing question, God is alive and well in the intelligentsia. As “Modernizing the Case for God” article concludes:

But if in an age of science, faith in God can be more rationally grounded, as a growing number of philosophers now attest, then the reasoning soul who is so inclined can more surely and assuredly feel comfortable in moving beyond reason.

My Top Seven Christian Philosophers:

  1. Alvin Plantinga (Recommended books: God Freedom and Evil, The Nature of Necessity, Warranted Christian Belief, Naturalism Defeated?)
  2. William Lane Craig (Reasonable Faith, Does God Exist? (w/ Antony Flew), The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview) Continue reading

Pow! There Goes Jehovah’s Witnesses Down

A wonderfully and respectfully dressed young lady, Linda passing out the Watch Tower and & Awake Magazines met  Christian at a cafe.

Christian: Why should I be a Jehovah’s Witness?

End of Doomed System

Linda: Because you love Creator Jehovah God, you appreciate the great sacrifice he and his Son Jesus Christ made for you, because you long to see an end to all wickedness and suffering, and because you want to share the knowledge of that hope with others.

Christian: Is that why you became a Jehovah’s Witness?

Linda: Yes and the truth that only Jehovah’s Witnesses have hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.

Christian: Okay!

Linda: Oh! and also to receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify Jehovah Witnesses’ organization and serve God as part of it.

Christian: I do love God. I believe and worship Christ Jesus as my Lord and my God(John 20:28), and I believe that God the Father in his joy and pleasure loved me and demonstrated this by sending His Son to died for my sins showing his holiness and justice. An act that goes beyond appreciation and adoration.

Linda: I understand your position, but I think you are mistaken in thinking Jesus is God.

Christian: Then who is Jesus?

Linda: Jesus is an archangel Michael, the first creation of Jehovah God.

Christian: If Jesus is a creature, then we ought not to worship him as God.

Linda: Yes, reverent adoration should be expressed only to God. To render worship to anyone or anything else would be a form of idolatry, which is condemned in both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. — Exodus 20:4, 5; Galatians 5: 19, 20.

WT Oct 15, 1945 p 313

Christian:  Please do take my next question in a loving way:
Why did Jehovah’s Witness worshiped Jesus in their first 75 years?

Linda: That is not true, we never worshiped Jesus!

Christian: Can I  quote you from The Watchtower, your official magazine, October 15th of 1945, page 313?

Linda: Go ahead.

Christian: It says:

“….whosoever should worship Him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah’s Chief One in that capital organization, namely, Christ Jesus.”

Linda: I honestly did not know that. But I believe there must be an explanation for that.

Christian: I thought that too, but then I also read Interesting Queries from July 15th of 1898, Question and Answers in Zion’s Watch Tower page 216.

Question. “… Was he[Jesus] really worshipped, or is the translation faulty?

Answer. Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshipped, and properly so” Continue reading