Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Titus 2:1 Award given to Contra Mundum

Titus 2:1 says, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.”

Jake Griesel, the author of the blog Theologia est doctrina Deo vivendi per Christum (Latin for: Theology is the doctrine of living unto God through Christ – a phrase taken from the works of the Reformed theologian Petrus van Mastricht [1630-1706]) has passed on the Titus 2:1 Award to my blog, Contra Mundum. I wish to thank Jake for the honor. In my estimation, his blog exceeds mine by far, in both scope and quality. I wholeheartedly recommend Jake’s blog. He has an amazing knack for unearthing obscure and otherwise unsung heroes of the Christian faith.  In order to celebrate, he has asked me to answer the following questions:

1. If you could have dinner with any historical Christian figure, who would it be and why?

There are numerous possible candidates, but I would probably go with Herman Witsius (2/12/1636-10/22/1708). Witsius was a Dutch pastor and theologian. He became professor of divinity successively at the University of Franeker in 1675 and then at the University of Utrecht in 1680. In 1698 he went to the University of Leiden. He ended his earthly course here.

Witsius was a leader and distinguished representative of the continuation of the Reformation in Holland, known as the Nadere Reformatie, a period of church history in the Netherlands, following the Reformation, from roughly 1600 until 1750. Witsius’ most significant contributions were in the fields of systematic theology and pastoral practice. His masterpiece, “The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man,” is a systematic theology presented in true a Covenant theology format.

The reason I would chose Witsius is that his “Economy” had a profound effect on my thinking, perhaps more profound than anyone else, including the Church Fathers, Calvin and the Puritans, in whose works I have lived for at least two decades. Witsius' work, by highlighting the covenantal nature of all God's dealings with His people, helped me clearly see the relationship between all of Sacred History, the relevance of the Old Testament to New Testament exegesis and practice, and the unity of God's people across the centuries. Thanks to his monumental work, I no longer see any portion of Scripture, or any event in biblical history as disjointed or unrelated to the whole – or to any other portion or event.

2. What one burning question would you ask?

Knowing what Witsius wrote in regards to covenantal infant baptism, I would love to hear his assessment of the contemporary Federal Vision heresy. Witsius seemed to foresee and react to things which have come to be at the center of this movement.

3. Where and what would you eat?

Since I have never knowingly eaten Dutch cuisine, I'd let Witsius decide; and since smoked fish was a common food item in Dutch cuisine at the time, I'm sure I'd be very happy with his choices.

4. What was the last Bible verse you read?

Psalm 63:11 - But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

 I now, hand off the baton to my esteemed friend and fellow blogger, Donald Philip Veitch. Mr. Veitch’s blog, Reformed and Post-Anglican  has been to me a source of great comfort, encouragement, wisdom, information and sound doctrine. Mr. Veitch is an Anglican who loves the Westminster Standards (and oddity to be sure); he is also a retired Marine and his blog reflects these two facets of his character: strong Book of Common Prayer piety, deep Anglican scholarship, the utmost respect for the work of the Westminster Assembly, ability to spot and flout theological error in a heartbeat – all tied together by the rigorous discipline and fighting spirit of a Marine. With that, I pass the Titus 2:1 award on to the admirable Mr. Veitch at Reformed and Post-Anglican.


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