Letters

Reformation Day Declaration not Reformed

Sir:      Strictures against those who disagree with the Reformation Day Declaration outlined in Issue 7650 lose their force because the doctrine of forensic, declarative justification outlined therein is not that of our Reformers. It reflects the Humanism taught by Philip Melanchthon, often called Germany’s Erasmus. Unlike the bulk of Reformers including Bucer, Bullinger, Calvin and the English compilers of the 39 Articles and Homilies, the Melanchthon school taught a mere passive, non-causative, forensic justification turned into actual justification through obedience to natural law and the gospel. Because it was humanistic, it was man-centred. Sadly, the corrupt view of Reformation doctrine promoted in the declaration has… Full Article

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Letter on Atonement

A letter to the English Churchman defending the term ‘atonement’ as being descriptive of Christ’s full work on the cross. Sir,      The News & Comment article on the atonement (No. 7686) needs etymological and theological correction. The assertions that ‘at-one-ment’ is a breaking up of ‘atonement’; is only ‘a result of atonement’ (not atonement itself); and this is merely a ‘marvellous coincidence’; are false. The word ‘atonement’ was intentionally coined from the three particles ‘at’, ‘one’ and ‘ment’. Thus the term ‘atonement’ is meaningless if made to stand outside of its individual parts and semantic content. The word was a Reformation neologism, used to translate the Hebrew and… Full Article

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John Overall not an Arminian

Sir:      I am always thrilled to read Jason Loh’s letters-cum-articles and consider him one of the best informed churchmen of this age. However, there was a slight slip of the pen in his letter of 12th /26th March referring to John Overall’s influence under Charles I. As Overall (1559-1618) was long dead by 1625, the year of Charles I’s accession, and as Mr Loh returns to James I in the same paragraph, the reference must be to Overall during the earlier reign of James.      Overall deserves to be remembered for his part in the Hampton Court Conference, whose 40oth anniversary we are remembering this year, and for his part in the production of the King James’ Bible. Overall is often made to wear the dunce’s cap in… Full Article

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Letter Defending William Huntington

Sir:      It is understandable that one who identified himself so closely with the English Reformers, Whitfield and the Marrow Men should be criticised by Arminians. For Huntington, Arminians were Antinomians who rejected the condemning and convicting use of the law in evangelism, inviting sinners to approach God “as if they had never apostatized”. They believed that man was not totally fallen but was naturally able to make saving decisions. Huntington preached a full gospel whereas his Fullerite and Wesleyan critics taught respectively that the doctrines of grace were for believers only or to be rejected as ‘the religion of the Turks’.      Contrary to adverse criticism that Huntington stood alone, he was supported by a… Full Article

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Robert Williams on Wycliffe

Letter to the Evangelical Times on reading articles critical of John Wycliffe in the Christian Newspaper   Sir:      Robert Williams (41:11) believes that Wycliffe was not in tune with later mainstream Reformers. He cannot mean the 16th century Reformers as they obviously built on Wycliffe. So he is probably thinking of the many evangelical scholars of today who have sadly little in common with either Wycliffe or the Reformation. Williams appears to have taken over the Lechler/Green, late nineteenth century, critical interpretation of Wycliffe which was excellent in reviving Wycliffe studies but extremely weak in understanding Wycliffe’s doctrines. Like modern Reformed systematic theological appreciation, it was too… Full Article

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John Legg Contra Gospel Standard

Letter to the Editor of the Evangelical Times Dear Sir,    John Legg`s article ‘Preaching the gospel properly’, claims to be a review of John Gosden’s book on the GS Articles, though it is nothing but an attack on the Gospel Standard Churches. This is a great pity for the book`s sake. I am not a member of the GS churches; nor even a Baptist, but I found the great bulk of extensive theology expressed in Gosden’s book, Biblical, refreshing and extremely relevant to our modern age. By not keeping to his subject, Mr Legg has missed the very teaching which might have cleared up his misunderstandings.      All Mr Legg’s difficulties cannot be solved in the space of an ET letter. Two comments must suffice. Legg accuses the GSBs… Full Article

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Apostate Church of England

Letter to the English Churchman concerning criticism of the Reformed Church of England and praise of the Cromwellian chaos. Sir:      The Letters to the Editor on the spiritual state of the pre-Rebellion Church of England swing from one extreme to the other. Ignoring historical facts, they back-project later dark sectarian interpretations onto more luminous times. The rejection of the Restitution by an alleged 2,000 (nearer 800) ministers in 1662 was a direct result of the ejection of the alleged 10,000 (nearer 7,000) Anglican ministers and scholars who were outlawed in 1643. One cannot understand a ‘tit’ without consulting the ‘tat’ which gave rise to it. The number of true Reformers and Puritans were equally balanced on… Full Article

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Reply to Philip Hoskins

One letter to the English Churchman amongst several concerning whether Jews who become Christians remain Jewish. Sir:      Recently whilst checking through my namesakes in Jerusalem, I came across a young Russian who sheepishly told me that he was a new convert to the Jewish faith and had taken on the name of Ella because it sounded ethnically Jewish. The provocative caption which shocked Philip Hoskins (7698) was not from my pen as he presumed. My letter was entitled ‘Israeli Citizenship’ and not ‘Christians are not Jews’, and warned against confusing religious beliefs with citizenship of a state. I argued thus in keeping with worldwide Jewry as opposed to Israeli Jewry. Following Jewish and Christian teaching, I… Full Article

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Iain Murray’s Controversy

Letter to the Banner of Truth Dear Christian Friends,      Though The Banner of Truth Magazine is entitled to consider any matter as ‘an important controversy’ (Issue 378, p. 22), as in all controversies it is important to keep a cool head and avoid unwarranted statements. I must therefore point out that the argument that I denigrate 18th century evangelical contemporaries of William Huntington in all denominations is entirely unwarranted. Anyone who has read my recent articles and books on 18th century evangelicals of all denominations such as Cotton Mather, John Gill, James Hervey, William Romaine, William Cowper,  Risdon Darracot and Philip Doddridge will know how utterly untrue your statement is. I would like to see this error… Full Article

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Clifford’s New Reformation

     Sir: Dr Allan Clifford (Issue 7780) wants a New Reformation, built on his own mixture of Amyraldism, legal, fictive justification and works-righteousness, arguing that the old Biblical Reformation was wrong. I am suspicious of Clifford’s lip-rejection of Rome and denounce his false Protestantism. Clifford’s atonement is not the Biblical-Reformed doctrine on which our reconciliation, redemption, justification and sanctification are built. The Bride for whom Christ died is redeemed, justified and sanctified in one synergistic action, impossible to be divided. The corollary to Clifford’s Hyper-Amyraldian idea of atonement is thus his faulty view of justification and sanctification. Clifford rejects our Reformers’ doctrine of… Full Article

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