Princeton Versus The New Divinity

Banner of Truth Trust, £11:50   A long hoped-for sign from the Banner of Truth      New Divinity, alias New England theology, modified Calvinism radically. Its adherents, termed Edwardeans, took the go-ahead from Jonathan Edwards, hence their nick-name. However, they drew conclusions from Edward’s highly philosophical view of man, that were wildly speculative. This was particularly the case regarding man’s supposed ‘natural’ and ‘moral’ attributes. Joseph Bellamy (1719-90), Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803), Jonathan Edwards Jr. (1745-1801), Nathaniel Emmons (1745-1801) and Timothy Dwight (1752-1817) popularised themselves with such catch-phrases as ‘true religion delineated’; ‘God… Full Article

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pink on Satisfaction

Arthur Pink, The Satisfaction of Christ: Studies in the Atonement, Truth for Today Publications.      Arthur Pink hardly needs an introduction to the bulk of present day Reformed evangelicals as many of us have grown up with Pink’s books and grown in grace whilst reading them. Pink’s massive tome An Exposition of Hebrews has opened our eyes to covenant blessings, his Elijah (now being translated into Dutch) has shown us how God is still working his purpose out in this modern world and his The Sovereignty of God fills us with awe before our great and glorious Heavenly Father. Pink’s Profiting from the Word is a very handy tool for young Christians and, together with Grier’s The Momentous Event has been the work I have presented a… Full Article

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Puritan Papers

Puritan Papers Volume I, 1956-59: A Review Article A Conference downgraded      Puritan Papers brought back memories of my early years in England as a new born Christian and the help which I received from the teaching of the Puritan Conference up to 1964 and my continued interest during my later sojourn in Sweden and Germany. When the Puritan Conference ended in 1970, my interest waned. The Westminster Conference became more narrow in spiritual scope but broader in political and denominational tub-thumping. It radically redefined Puritanism. The shutting out of Jim Packer, one of my first mentors in Christ, was a tragic move on the part of John Knox-like Martyn Lloyd Jones. It bordered on an excommunication and forced Jim to find… Full Article

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Portraits of Faithful Saints

Portraits of Faithful Saints, Herman Hanko, Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1999.      When the postman called with my author’s copies of Mountain Movers, he also brought Herman Hanko’s  similar book entitled Portraits of Faithful Saints. A peep into the Preface confirmed this similarity as Hanko, like myself, makes Heb. 12:1 ff. his starting point. Where I, however, have merely portrayed those Christian stalwarts who have personally influenced my faith, Hanko’s aim is to demonstrate “the works of God in His providential government of the world.” Whereas I merely list my mentors in chronological order, Hanko covering a wider sphere, divides his book into seven parts, each dealing with a different… Full Article

Tags: , , , , ,

Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel

David Engelsma, Reformed Free Publishing Association      Prof. Engelsma’s book which reveals the follies of what he terms preaching the ‘well-meant offer’ has been around for a number of years, providing much food for thought. This book has now been revised and reprinted. As the subject has become a common topic of debate amongst Reformed Christians, readers may value the comments of one long familiar with the book before purchasing it themselves, a purchase I urgently advise them to make.      Not that I can wholeheartedly recommend the entire work. The book has great strengths and most obvious weaknesses. Its main strength is that it examines the motives of those who claim that all who do not indiscriminately ‘offer’… Full Article

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Life and Thought of John Gill

The Life and Thought of John Gill (1697-1771): A Tercentennial Appreciation Ed. Michael A. G. Haykin Brill Anxious thoughts repelled      I turned to The Life and Thought of John Gill edited by Michael Haykin with apprehension because of former highly negative comments on the subjects by several contributors to this Festschrift. I read the book, however, with increasing delight as it became obvious that the winds of change are blowing away the myths that have encompassed Gill in recent years.      In his introduction Dr. Haykin reviews the research done on Gill up to the present and rightly argues that there is little deep, sound work on Gill’s theology available. The book under his editorship book seeks to make good the… Full Article

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,