We Become What We Worship

This week we sit down and talk with Dr. G.K. Beale about his book titled We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry.  This was a very helpful and insightful discussion.

Publisher’s Description: The heart of the biblical understanding of idolatry, argues Gregory Beale, is that we take on the characteristics of what we worship. employing Isaiah 6 as his interpretive lens, Beale demonstrates that this understanding of idolatry permeates the whole canon, from Genesis to Revelation. Beale concludes with an application of the biblical notion of idolatry to the challenges of contemporary life.

About the Author: G. K. Beale (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois. His books include The Book of Revelation (New International Greek Testament Commentary), 1-2 Thessalonians (The IVP New Testament Commentary Series), The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Texts?: Essays on the Use of the Old Testament in the New, John’s Use of the Old Testament in Revelation and The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God. He is also a contributor to the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology.


#25 – We Become What We Worship



Did God Really Say?

Dr. David Garner was our guest as we discussed a book he edited titled Did God Really Say?: Affirming the Truthfulness and Trustworthiness of Scripture.  David B. Garner has his Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary and  is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. Publisher’s Description: “Did God really say?” is a fundamental theological question. If God has not spoken clearly, truly, trustworthily, and in human words, then anything goes:

believe what you will, act as you wish—no one can fault you. The church’s historical belief in the truthfulness and trustworthiness of Scripture as God’s written Word is being assaulted from without and from within. In this book, seven scholars from Covenant Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary confront and repel many of these attacks. Reasoning clearly, cogently, and carefully, they show that the historical doctrine of Scripture is what Scripture teaches about itself, and that this teaching can meet and defeat the ungodly intellectual schemes brought against it.


Running Time: 53 MIN

Listen Here: #24 – Did God Really Say?


Letters from the Front

Barry Waugh was our guest as we discussed the book he edited titled Letters from the Front: J. Gresham Machen’s Correspondence from World War 1  This was a very informative discussion on the life of J. Gresham Machen.

Publisher’s Description: Never before published, here is a glimpse into the formative years of a great campaigner for the faith … and a stirring example of how the faith of a seminary professor was refined and strengthened through the trials of war.

Barry Waugh adds commentary and footnotes to provide essential guidance for fully understanding Machen’s service and ministry.

Running Time: 55 MIN

#23 – Letter from the Front




When a Pastor Leaves His Church

What happens to a pastor when he believes that God is calling him to leave one congregation to pastor another congregation? What are some of the pitfalls and problems associated with it?  Are there any fundamental processes that a pastor can use to help him determine if this is the will of God?  In this broadcast we examine these questions, and many more, with a man who labored over this exact issue.  Our guest is Rev. Ryan McGraw.

Rev. McGraw is a graduate of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (M.Div, Th. M) and was the pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Conway SC for seven years.  He is now transitioning to an Orthodox Presbyterian congregation in Sunnyvale, California.  He is married with three covenant children.

RUNNING TIME: 54 Minutes

Listen Here: #22 – When a Pastor Leaves His Church


Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons

Thabiti Anyabwile was our guest as we discussed his book Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons.  This was a very informative and practical discussion on the topic.

About the Author: Thabiti M. Anyabwile is senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman Islands. He holds B.A. and M.S. degrees in psychology from North Carolina State University. A former high school basketball coach and bookstore owner, Anyabwile is a contributing writer to 9Marks. He and his wife, Kristie, have two daughters.

Running Time: 57 MIN

Listen Here:

#21 – Elders and Deacons


Galatians and the Lectio Continua Commentary Series

Dr. J.V. Fesko was our guest as we discussed his latest work in the book of Galatians in the Lectio Continua Commentary Series.

Dr. Fesko is a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He was ordained as a church planter in 1998 and was installed as a pastor in 2003, thus serving in pastoral ministry for over ten years. He has also taught systematic theology for Reformed Theological Seminary for over eight years as a part-time professor. He has served on two committees appointed by the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. His present research interests include the integration of biblical and systematic theology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Reformed theology.


Listen Here:

#20 – Galatians and the Lectio Continua Expository Commentary Series 


In this edition of Confessing Our Hope we interviewed Stephen Lee, founder and owner of SermonAudio.com, a widely popular website that houses a plethora of sermons, lectures and videos to listen to.  If you ever wondered how SermonAudio.com got its start and what the plans are for the future you will want to listen to this broadcast.

Running Time: 37 MIN

Listen here: #19 – Sermon Audio


GPTS Mobile App Goes Live

As some of you may have heard by now, the GPTS Mobile app has gone live for Android and iOS.  We are very excited about this app and for partnering with Subsplash Consulting to make this happen.  The app is very much in its infancy and we are working to enhance it with other features that will benefit the end user.  These updates can now be pushed to your phone in real-time, as they happen.

Some of the features of the app:

1.  Ability to listen to the Confessing Our Hope podcast within the app itself.  No need for a 3rd party app/program to handle the audio.  We have it right there for you to enjoy.

2.  Ability to keep up news and other information about the seminary.

3.  Ability to listen to past Theology Conference lectures (covering 2010-2012).

4.  Ability to listen to past chapel sermons.

Some things we have planned:

1.  A video virtual tour of the campus.

2.  The addition of a video section featuring sermons and other material.
Get the app here (or scan the code in the upper left):


Coming Up on the Podcast

On Tuesday, July 10 Michael Brown will be our guest as we talk with him about his latest book Christ and the Condition: The Covenant Theology of Samuel Petto (1624-1711)

Publisher’s Description: Covenant theology is the “warp and woof” of Reformed theology, and its development was most seriously worked out during the seventeenth century. In Christ and the Condition, Michael Brown introduces us to an influential Puritan pastor who, though now largely forgotten, was a significant contributor to the covenantal debates of his day. Brown analyzes the covenantal thought of Samuel Petto and reveals a diversity of thought among the Puritans, especially concerning the Mosaic covenant. Brown’s assessment places Petto in the context of the covenantal debates and also demonstrated the implications of covenantal thought on the doctrine of justification.

160 Pages
Published January 2012

About the Author: Michael Brown is pastor of Christ United Reformed Church in Santee, California. He is co-editor and contributing author of Called to Serve: Essays for Elders and Deacons, and has published articles in several Reformed and Evangelical periodicals.

GPTS Mobile App Release Date

The NEW Mobile App of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will be officially released on Tuesday, July 10th for Android and iOS platforms (including all tablets and pads).  Be sure to stay tuned to this website or our Twitter account for more details, including the official announcement of when the app goes live in the Apple store and at Google Play.

Sneak Peek of the BUILT IN media player (featuring the most recently released Confessing Our Hope podcast)

An Analysis of the 40th PCA General Assembly

Dr. Richard Philips, Senior Minister of Second Presbyterian Church was our guest as we discussed the recent 40th PCA General Assembly.  In this candid discussion we discussed a number of issues that were debated and discussed at this year’s assembly including “intinction”, paedocommunion, and the creation issue.

The Reverend Richard D. Phillips was elected senior minister-elect by the congregation of Second Presbyterian Church, on April 15, 2007. He came to Greenville from First Presbyterian Church of Coral Springs/Margate, FL, where he served as senior minister since 2002. Previously, he served as minister of preaching at historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA. He and his wife, Sharon, have five children: Hannah, Matthew, Jonathan, Ellie, and Lydia. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BA), the University of Pennsylvania (MBA), and Westminster Theological Seminary (M. Div. with first honors).


Listen Now:

#17 – An Analysis of the 40th PCA General Assembly

Additional Resources: 

Dr. Ben Shaw, professor of Old Testament at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has written a number of articles covering the 40th PCA GA.  You can find them at his blog here: http://gptsrabbi.blogspot.com/


Church Planting in Difficult Circumstances

Scott Moore was our guest as we discussed his desire to plant a PCA work in Trinity Gardens, an urban center outside Mobile, Alabama.  On this discussion we discussed a number of matters that impact a work of this nature including safety for his wife and family; elements related to gaining trust from the community; issues related to worship and much more.  This was a very informative discussion.

If you would like to find out more information about this work you can contact Pastor Moore at scott@trinityfam.org.  Rev. Moore is the assistant pastor of Grace Community Church (PCA).  He desires the prayers of God’s people as he labors in this work as well as financial support.  We would encourage you to listen to this interview and discussion and consider helping this man as you are able.

TOPIC: Church Planting in Difficult Circumstances
GUEST: Rev. Scott Moore


#16 – Church Planting in Difficult Circumstances 


Rev. Scott Moore’s blog: http://www.therestofsunday.com/

Find Scott on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/smoore1517


Coming Up: PCA General Assembly Discussion

This Thursday, June 28, 2012 we will be sitting down with Dr. Richard Phillips, Senior Minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville SC and Dr. Ben Shaw, Professor of Old Testament at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary to discuss the recent actions of the 40th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America.  This promises to be a good and informative discussion with two men who were present at the assembly and are ordained ministers in the PCA.

Some of the issues that we will discuss are: The overture on creation; the issue of “intinction”  as well as other matters.   We expect the discussion to be released some time that evening.

If you have questions relevant to this discussion please email them to confessingourhope [at] gpts.edu

UPDATE:  This interview has been moved to Friday at 1 PM ET.

The Day of Worship

Rev. Ryan McGraw was our guest as we discussed his book The Day of Worship: Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath.

AuthorRyan M. McGraw is pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Conway, South Carolina.

TOPIC: The Day of Worship
GUEST: Rev. Ryan McGraw

#15 – The Day of Worship 

Book Endorsements  

“In the last fifteen years, there has been renewed interest in the nature and purpose of the fourth commandment and what many refer to as the Puritan Sabbath. By God’s grace a conversation has begun that is helping many come to a fuller appreciation for and use of the Lord’s Day. Pastor Ryan McGraw’s voice in the conversation needs to be heard. As he says, ‘I have sought to address what I believe to be the primary underlying issues behind the widespread neglect of the Sabbath day.’ Pastor McGraw’s book is chock-full of biblical insights, freshly applied to the issue of the Christian Sabbath. I have been helped by the book and know that each one who reads it will be as well.” — Joseph A. Pipa Jr., President, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

“Far too many Christians only believe in nine commandments. The command to keep a day of rest on which to worship our triune covenant Lord is deemed as irrelevant or no longer binding. Providing helpful exegesis and theological consideration, Ryan McGraw gives the church important reasons to recover the abiding validity and necessity of the fourth commandment. Far from being legalistic, McGraw’s treatment encourages all Christians to find worship, rest, and a foretaste of heaven to come on each and every Lord’s Day.” — J. V. Fesko, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology Westminster Seminary California

“Ryan McGraw has written a very fresh pastoral teaching on Sabbath observance in his new book, The Day of Worship. He gives us important principles from Scripture for understanding the Christian Sabbath. The book is convincing in its argument that much of what lies behind a dislike of the Sabbath is a tragic love of this world. Practical helps abound for the keeping of the fourth commandment.

“The Day of Worship does not merely rehash other works on the topic that are available today. If you are well-read on the Sabbath you will find here supplemental material to strengthen your own godliness.” — Walter J. Chantry, author of Call the Sabbath a Delight

Additional Resources

Coming Soon!

GPTS Mobile App Sneak Peek

I have included a sneek peek screen shot of the soon-to-be released mobile app for Android and iPhone.  These screen shots are from the perspective of the Android operating system but it will not be much different for the iOS.

I am hopeful that this will be released in about one-week from today.  Stay tuned to this website for more information and updates as I get them.  There are some things remaining to do to finalize things in the production stage but we are getting very close.


Coming Soon: GPTS Mobile App

I have been busy working on a brand new mobile app for Android and iPhone.  This app will be fully integrated in to your mobile device including the iPad and Android powered devices.  Some of the features that will be included in this app are:

  • Access to all the “Confessing Our Hope” podcasts.
  • Access to chapel sermons that are preached throughout the semester.
  • Access to the past three years of the Spring Theology conference lectures.
  • News items related to the seminary and ability to sign up for various conferences, institutes and special lectures that are held at the seminary.
  • Blog related items (i.e. items that are posted on the Confessing Our Hope website)
  • Video of various lectures as well as a virtual video tour of the seminary capturing a “day in the life” of seminary operations.

We hope you will enjoy this new app.  It will be a free download for those who are interested.

The Solid Ground of the Word of God

Gabe Fluhrer was our guest as we discussed a book he edited titled Solid Ground: The Inerrant Word of God in an Errant World.  This was an extremely practical conversation about the sufficiency of Scxripture in the life of the believer.  Gabe is also the pastor of Shiloh OPC in Cary, NC.

To purchase this book you can do so at the Greenville Presbyterian Bookstore.


#14 – The Solid Ground of the Word of God


The Creation Issue and the PCA

Rev. Wes White was our guest as we discussed the issue of creation, especially in light of the current trend toward the bil-logos perspective.  Mr. White regularly blogs over at Johannes Weslianus.  The subject of our discussion was related to an article that Wes put together discussing the The PCA General Assembly’s 10 Declarations on Creation and Evolution

Rev. White is also doing a series of articles looking at the early days of the founding of the PCA and it is well worth the time to review and study.


The Validity of the Sacrament

This is a sermon preached by Ryan McGraw, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Conway SC.  He is also a graduate of Greenville Seminary


This sermon seeks to answer the question of what makes a baptism valid in light of the teaching of Scripture. The primary thrust of the sermon is what it means that ministers of the Word are “stewards of the mysteries of God” and why this is important. Pastor McGraw preached this sermon at the baptism of a former Roman catholic and, in part, it makes a case against the validity of Roman Catholic baptism. A single sermon cannot address every issue that is relevant in this connection and the tone of the message is positive rather than polemical. However, by the blessing of the Spirit, we hope that this resource might be useful to some in thinking through an important and very practical issue that confronts the local church.

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