The Troubles at Frankfurt

Lecture given at the Protestant Reformation Society, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, 2007 The Troubles at Frankfurt A Vindication of our Martyrs’ Legacy   The tiny enclave that rescued the Reformation in England      Readers of Asterix will be familiar with a tiny fortress, a mere dot on the map of the Roman Empire, which was to bring Rome to its knees. So much for fairy-tales. Solid fact are better than airy fiction. The real Frankfurt of 1553-59 was also a tiny bastion on the Roman Catholic map which because of its hospitality to the bulk of the Marian refugees, succeeded, by God’s grace, in providing the doctrinal and spiritual power which brought down a more dangerous Rome in Reformation England. Sadly… Full Article

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The Donatists and Their Relation to Church and State

The new search for historical roots      Nowadays, Christians are becoming increasingly interested in the history of their churches and in the search for giants of the faith in the past who might be used as models for their future. Perhaps never before has this longing to know more about the past so motivated the churches. Of course, there are great spiritual treasures to be found in church history and much to be learnt through past triumphs and failures. However, there is also a danger in this preoccupation with the past against which we must be warned. As our churches grow sadly less and less dependent on Scripture, we tend to look for historical roots for our support. So many once Bible-believing churches who scorned tradition… Full Article

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Reply to Tony Bickley

Sir:      Tony Bickley accuses me of being controversial over a point entirely foreign to me, leaving me puzzled at his logic and reasoning. He concludes from my repeated claim that Christ in His human nature was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin, that I teach that the Sinless One was a sinner. Furthermore, he concludes from my belief that Christ became sin on our behalf that I teach that this sin was Christ’s own and not Brother Bickley’s sin and mine. Moreover, he asks me to tell him how Christ rid himself of the sin imputed to Him. This question is best answered by the NT, especially Romans 8:16, “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” I would link… Full Article

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Letter On Our Reformers’ View of the Word

     Letter to the Evangelical Times claiming that later Puritans and Dissenters were sounder than our Reformers in their understanding of Scripture – The letter was not published. Sir:      Towards the end of the nineteen fifties, several Christian magazines served their readership well by re-introducing the teachings of the long-neglected Puritans. Subsequently, the Puritans have become the staple reading of Reformed men. Sadly, however, this has led to a great neglect of our first generation Reformers whose works were used as a basis for Puritan teaching. Reformers such as Jewel, Lever, Latimer, Coverdale, Cox, Grindal, Bullinger, Bucer and Peter Martyr, pillars of the Church of England, were most strong on doctrine,… Full Article

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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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