Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sunday School Reading - March 31, 2009

Apologies that this took an extra day to get up again this week. Here are some recommended reading materials from this week's discussion. I'm going to limit this to recommendations on the sacraments in general since our discussion this coming Sunday will be entirely about baptism and I'll hold those recommendations for next week. The problem with this is that there are not many books that deal with just the sacraments. Instead they largely focus on either baptism (and there often on the paedo-credo debate) or the Lord's Supper (and there on the presence of Christ in the Supper). So for this week you should mainly focus on the recommendations in the confessions and in the systematic theologies.

First, here are the sections in the Reformed and Presbyterian confessions that describe the sacraments:

Second, here are some books that I would recommend on this topic:
  • Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 2: Systematic Theology by John Murray- Since I do not have any books dealing only with the sacraments to recommend I'm going to suggest this. Murray has several articles in the last section of this book dealing with the sacraments and one on the sacraments in general. All of these articles are very helpful and I would suggest that everything in this book (and the entire set) is worth reading.

Third, here are the relevant portions of several Presbyterian and Reformed systematic theologies that deal with the sacraments in general:
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin - Calvin discusses the sacraments in Book 4, Chapter 14.
  • Reformed Dogmatics by Herman Bavinck - Bavinck deals with the sacraments in general in Volume 4, Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Chapter 9.
  • Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge - Hodge treats the sacraments in Chapter 20, Sections 2-6. This is available as a free .pdf file at the link provided.
  • Systematic Theology by Robert Lewis Dabney - Dabney's teaching on the sacraments is in Chapter 40, this can be read online free at the link provided.
  • Outlines of Theology by A.A. Hodge - Hodge writes on the general nature of the sacraments in Chapter 38. This is available free on google books at the link provided.
  • Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof - Berkhof's discussion of the sacraments is very helpful. He has a chapter on the sacraments in general (I believe it is in section 5, part 2, chapter 1 or 2 but I'm not positive). This is available in the church library.
  • Concise Reformed Dogmatics by J. Van Genderen and W.H. Velema - The sacraments in general are dealt with in Chapter 14, Section 51.

Finally, here are some articles and essays that you can read online for free on these topics:

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