Faith and Practice #8

In this eighth edition of the “Faith and Practice” segment Dr. Joseph Pipa sits down and interacts with questions from our listeners.  This is a new monthly feature of the podcast and you can get more information about this feature here.

In this edition we dealt with the following questions:

Faith and Practice #8


Short-term missions have come under some scrutiny recently. Some feel they do more harm than good. What is your perspective?
(from the GPTS Facebook page)

–Jim from Norfolk VA

Question: Dr. Pipa, could you please provide a brief critique of Two Kingdom or Escondido Theology. I realize this is an expansive issue and one which John Frame wrote on, but could you provide a perspective from a solid confessional stance please?

Thank you Dr. Pipa. I am grateful for your faithfulness in Gospel ministry and the ministry of GPTS in preparing men to shepherd the flock of God.

–Randall from Missouri

Question: Reading the letters of Paul I can see clearly the pattern of leadership to guide a herd to Christ, a pattern of experienced leadership. I’ve seen a considerable amount of news and singles preachers, elders and deacons theologically prepared, but they have failed when it comes about practical problems because of the lack of mature. Would you ordain new and singles leaders for your church? What’s the practical problems that we can find in this situations?

–Davi from Brazil

Question: Hello Dr. Pipa,

I really enjoy the Faith and Practice segments! I have several questions below that I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on.

1. What is the reformed confessional view of God’s impassibility? How should we defend the doctrine of impassibility, especially as it seems to becoming less popular in modern evangelicalism?

2. What does it mean in 1 Peter 3:21 when it says that baptism saves us?

3. What are the unique features of Gordon Clark’s teachings as opposed to Van Til?

4. Can you explain the Norman Shepherd controversy at WTS from the 70s and 80s? What was Shepherd trying to say and was he outside of the confession at that time?

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions! If you are able to read any my questions on the program, these are the top 4 books I would be interested in. Thanks again for all that you guys have been doing!

–David from Florida

Question: We see online the name, NEW Calvinist. What is so new? How does it differ from the OLD Calvinism? Theologically, and Pastorally, how do we warn people about its danger without disrupting the unity of the Church?

–Arthur from Pennsylvania

Question: Greetings,

My question is whether or not a Reformed believer can benefit from anything at all from the theology of the medieval theologians such as Thomas Aquinas or Duns Scotus? Or is it the case that the medieval period is dark chapter in the history of the church where unbiblical doctrines were propounded and enforced as dogma to be believed by the faithful. Thank you for taking the time to look at my question and for your services to the Church at large

–Micah from Hawaii

Question: What are some of biblical and theological reasons for NOT practicing weekly Communion in any Presbyterian congregation?

–Jesse from Florida

Listen Here:


  • Brothers, if you do a full length podcast on the Gordon Clark issue, I would love to have you involve Dr. W. Gary Crampton to insure it is an accurate analysis so that the actual points of disagreement are discussed, as opposed to misrepresentations and misunderstandings by those who have not studied Clark in any depth.

    Furthermore, to make the podcast profitable, I would suggest narrowing the focus to The Complaint and The Answer:

    • Or, better yet, consult with E. Calvin Beisner, who I know Dr. Pipa knows and respects. He wrote an excellent article on the Clark/Van-Til issue in defense of Robert Reymond’s ordination in the OPC (where it was being challenged):

      Critical Comments on
      John Muether’s (April 9, 2009) “Robert Reymond and Cornelius Van Til: Some Reflections”

      by E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. April 22, 2009, revised May 31, 2010

      At its spring meeting, the Presbytery of the South of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) voted to receive the ministerial credentials of Dr. Robert L. Reymond, a widely known Reformed theologian, seminary professor, and, until then, minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. The vote was lopsided, with only a handful opposed. RE John Muether, official historian of the OPC, led the opposition during Dr. Reymond’s floor exam and wrote and distributed a paper in advance of the Presbytery meeting offering his reasons. Believing RE Muether’s reasoning was mistaken, I composed annotations to his paper in advance of the meeting…

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