Articles

Heinrich Bullinger (1504-75) and the Catabaptists

Heinrich Bullinger (1504-75) and the Catabaptists: An examination of Alleged Roots of Present Day Baptists A brief look at the meaning of ‘Catabaptist’.      Most Baptists nowadays look upon the Swiss Catabaptists or Anabaptists of the 1520s as being the forerunners of the British Baptists who are, in turn, seen as the founders of the American Baptist churches. This argument is far from compelling as the following study of Heinrich Bullinger’s discussions with the Swiss Catabaptists will show.      The term Catabaptist is thought to have been coined by Gregory of Nazianzus in the fourth century to tease those Christians who insisted on a sacramental understanding of the amount of water necessary for baptism by… Full Article

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Irresistible Grace

A lecture given at the Protestant Reformation Society, August 27th, 2009, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, England      Irresistible grace represents the traditional ‘I’ in the acronym ‘TULIP’. So now I shall tease you a little. The name ‘Tulip’ comes from the same Turkish root as ‘turban’ and the flower of that name was introduced by the Turks to Europe as a symbol of the spreading Ottoman Empire, or the TULIP ERA as the Islamising of Europe was called. The popular strains Tulipa turkestanica and Tulipa kurdica point to this. Why the Turkestan turban-shaped talismanic Tulip and Turkoman black merchants robes were chosen as Christian symbols of faith and ministry by post-Reformation parties, must be the subject of… Full Article

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Henry Bullinger

Henry Bullinger was a pioneer Reformer who, like his contemporary Martin Bucer, has long remained in the shadows cast by Martin Luther and John Calvin. Happily, modern scholarship is revealing both Bucer and Bullinger to have been top rank Reformers in no way secondary to Luther and Calvin. Indeed, modern research shows that Bullinger was a more thorough and consistent Reformer than both Luther and Calvin. Born in 1504 in Bremgarten, Switzerland to a wealthy priest and his common-law wife who later joined the Reformation movement, Bullinger was already treading Reformed paths by 1521 and within the next seven years had produced 86 works on Reformed doctrine which would be entitled ‘Calvinist’ today, though they preceded Calvin’s… Full Article

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The Temple Church Controversy

     The debates between the Master of the Temple Church, Richard Hooker and his Deputy Walter Travers between 1585-1586 sparked off controversies which are still unsettled. The original subject matter, however, has been radically altered through changing theological fashions and back-projections of subsequent controversies. The original discussions arose through differences regarding preaching and lecturing, public worship, predestination, justification, the Lord’s Supper, and the fate of those dying outside of the Protestant fold. Modern debates have turned the Temple Controversy into a discussion about the pros and cons of Presbyterianism and Episcopacy which were not even mentioned in the original debate. Sadly, history is… Full Article

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The Atonement

The Atonement in Evangelical Thought: Part I The New-Look in Neo-Evangelicalism      Enemies of the Word of God tend to develop their theories along lines of general fashion. One generation chooses to challenge the Sonship of Christ whereas another generation fixes its doubting gaze on the work of the Spirit. In one age it is fashionable to be social-minded, another age chooses to be ascetic and turn its back on the world with all its responsibilities. Modern critics have become more sophisticated and analytical and, professing to be within the church rather than without, they are focusing their gaze on the very centre of our faith and salvation. This is the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, otherwise known as the… Full Article

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The Devil and Arthur Miller

During the 1990s Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible was widely read in British, Continental European and American Schools, introducing Miller’s own particular Hollywood-style morals at the cost of Christian truths. Here is an article originally published in the Spring of 1991 in Spectrum, a magazine for Christian teachers. A colleague by the name of Dr. David Barratt responded and I was asked to briefly reply in the following issue of Spectrum. The Crucible and the Classroom: An Examination of Arthur Miller’s Technique of Dealing with the Devil   The Crucible and the Curriculum      Arthur Miller is widely proclaimed as a moral writer whose aim is to bring out the good in man rather than the bad. This is perhaps why… Full Article

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The Synod of Dort

The Synod of Dort (1618-9): Milestone of the Reformation The background      The Dutch town of Dortrecht (Engl. Dort), may be unfamiliar to many an English-speaking Christian but it was the place where the churches of Holland, Britain, Germany and Switzerland held a great ecumenical conference which resulted in their unanimous agreement concerning the doctrines of grace reflected in the clear teaching of Scripture and the orthodox faith since New Testament times.      From the start, Britain played a major role in this conference due to several factors, the most well-known being the influence of James I on the Continent. James had studied the works of Vorstius, one of the Continent’s Arch-Arminians and was alarmed that… Full Article

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Antinomianism and the Righteousness of the Law

     Most readers are familiar with the Calvinist-Arminian controversy of the 18th century in which free-grace, championed by Whitefield, Toplady and Romaine was set against free-will, maintained by Fletcher, Sellon and Wesley. The controversy dealt with whether salvation was made possible by Christ, depending on man’s acceptance of it, or whether Christ secured His Church’s salvation by His atoning death. At the same time, a similar controversy was raging on a closely related topic.  “Is the Mosaic Law God’s eternal standard or has it become irrelevant to unbeliever and believer alike as a Covenant of Works and as a yardstick of sanctification?”      The leading contestants in the Calvinistic-Arminian controversy were mainly… Full Article

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Tobias Crisp (1600-1643): Exalter of Christ Alone

     Tobias Crisp served the Lord during a time of civil war and ecclesiastical unrest. There were threats of a papal take-over in the Established Church and Amyraldianism, Arminianism, Grotianism and Socinianism were flooding into the country to water down the faith inherited from the Reformers and defended by the Puritans. Crisp found these new religions false as they did not exalt Christ. Entering the ministry as an unconverted man      This ‘holy and judicious’ person, as Augustus Toplady describes Crisp, was born into a family of London sheriffs and aldermen and was educated at Eton, Cambridge and Oxford, finishing his studies by gaining a D.D.. He married Mary Wilson, an Alderman’s daughter, and the couple were… Full Article

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Why I am not a Follower of Andrew Fuller

     Great changes are occurring in the contemporary theological scene and there seems to be a mass exodus from the old paths of our fathers in the faith to the new-fangled paths of what is now known as ‘Evangelical Calvinism’. The inspired teachings of the New Testament, the Reformation and the preaching of such 18th century stalwarts as John Gill, James Hervey and Augustus Toplady are being given up for the teachings of a comparatively nobody who is being re-created as a star, given VIP treatment and promoted as the new Luther, the trumpet blast, the sounder of the alarm, the one who fanned the smoking wick of the evangelical Awakening into a blaze and the prophet of the new evangelism. This person is none other than Andrew Fuller… Full Article

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