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Paragon of Orthodoxy, by Dr. Jack B. Scott (1977)

In "TR" Debates (1977), Dr. Jack B. Scott, Presbyterian Journal, Reformed Theological Seminary on 18/06/2011 at 22:22

This was part of the previous post on the TR Debates. In that post, I strung a series of articles and letters together, which made for a rather long item. For those who might want these items separately, I’m reposting.  Of particularly note in this instance is the recent passing of the author of this article, Dr. Jack B. Scott, who was such an important leader in the early days of the PCA, single-handedly providing much of the needed adult Bible study curriculum for our churches. 

THE PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL, 35.45 (9 MARCH 1977): 9-10.

Is the truth of the Reformed faith still true when it is not loving?

Paragon of Orthodoxy

JACK B. SCOTT

The author, professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Miss., is author of the Journal’s Sunday school lessons. This message originally was given as a seminary chapel talk.

The portion of Scripture taken from the first speech of Eliphaz to Job surely commends itself as a paragon of orthodoxy:

“But as for me, I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: Who doeth great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number: Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: So that He setteth up on high those that are low; and those that mourn are exalted to safety.

“He frustrateth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.  He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the cunning is carried headlong. They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noonday as in the night.

“But He saveth from the sword of their mouth, even the needy from the hand of the mighty. So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth. Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth:  therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty” (Job 5:8-17). First comes a clear call to seek God: “As for me, I would seek God” (v. 8). The prophets also called for men to seek God while He may be found. In the New Testament, our Lord likewise taught that we are to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and seeking, we shall find.

Eliphaz praised God in clear, certain terms, speaking of the marvelous deeds of God, the unsearchable quality of God (vv. 9-16). Paul also concluded a part of his letter to the Romans with a clear statement of the unsearchable knowledge and wisdom of God (Rom. 11). Then Eliphaz spoke of the providence of God, of a God who gives rain on the earth and sends water upon the fields.

Next, he told of the exaltation of the lowly (v. 11), in words much like those of Hannah. When she received the answer to her earlier prayer for a son, Hannah praised God who exalts the lowly.
Eliphaz declared that God will and surely does oppose His enemies. He frustrates the devices of the crafty. Again, he declared that God overturns the wisdom of this world; Paul’s words in I Corinthians are not unlike these. Read the rest of this entry »

Van Horn’s study on Pride

In Devotionals, Reformed Theological Seminary on 30/05/2011 at 15:42

In processing a collection recently at the PCA Historical Center, I came across the following devotional by the Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn. He was instrumental in the organization of Reformed Theological Seminary and he was later one of the founding fathers of the PCA. The following was formatted as a bulletin insert; we have a set of his similarly formatted work on the Westminster Shorter Catechism, but this series was one I had not seen before.

To God’s Glory: A Devotional Study of the Reformed Faith for Theological Students

The Subject : Pride.
The Bible Verses to Read : Isa. 42.8; 48:11; Jer. 9:23-24; Mark 7:21; Matt. 18:4; I Cor. 4:10; I Tim. 6:20-21.

Through the years I have learned I will be used by God to the extent I make I Cor. 4:10 operative in my life : “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised.”  Paul knew the secret of the combination of humility and love and was mightily used by God.

The sin of pride is especially prevalent among young ministers. It is so easy to see oneself standing in the pulpit in the unique status the ministry occupies in the eyes of those present. The position could lead to self-importance, arrogance and deceit.

What is pride? In essence, pride amounts to a declaration of independence of God. It rests upon a false assumption, that of believing I can be something and do something apart from God. It is a fearful thing for it seeks to contend with God.

As a young minister I found myself constantly fighting this temptation. I do not mean to infer I never have to fight it now! But it was a great problem at that time. A person would praise me for a sermon. I would bring forth a thought in the midst of the verbal interchange in which ministers are constantly engaged and I would be praised for it. The glow of pride would well up within me.

It is the Lord Himself who needs to be exalted, no one else. Any excellence should be His and should be desired by no one else. The objectives of popularity, acceptance, and wisdom need to be replaced by service to God’s glory.

How can this sin be combated? There are many ways to mention two will help. (1) Remember the warning declared by God: “For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up and high; . . .and the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” (Isa. 2:12, 17). A minister called by God dare not submit himself to the awesome judgment of God through the sin of pride. It is a sure road to falling and thus hurting the testimony of God before an evil world.

(2) Remember the responsibilities of mortification. The Christian life is to begin with the recognition of the total inability of man to save himself and of the knowledge that salvation is merited. All the believer has is from God and it is the duty of the believer to put to death all aspects of pride as it makes itself known in his life. Read the rest of this entry »