The Evangelical Liberalism of Andrew Fuller

     Andrew Fuller (1754-1815), a Particular Baptist who departed radically from the faith of his father’s is becoming quite a name amongst churches and para-church movements that once taught the doctrines of grace. Though at best a Calminian and at worst an absolute heretic, Fuller is being proclaimed by the evangelical Reformed Establishment as the Luther of the Baptists  and as the man that fanned the smoking wick of the Evangelical Awakening into a blaze.  He is seen as the reformer who rescued Calvinists from the dunghill of their fathers in the faith  and is now presented as the greatest theologian of the 19th century, a genius whose work was epoch-making.  No praise seems to be too high or too exaggerated for this sturdy… Full Article

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An Unworthy Gospel (Fullerism)

     The 18th century is often called the Century of Reason. This is because Newtonian scientists and philosophers such as Locke taught that the workings of the known world and the ways of the unknown God could all be demonstrated by logical deduction. Men of letters such as Beattie and Blair in Scotland and Lessing in Germany taught that following the paths of logic was akin to following in the footsteps of God. Lessing even went so far as to say that Christ had the right use of reason in mind when He promised that the Holy Spirit would come. In his Education of the Human Race, Lessing pointed out that by the aid of reason, man would go on to perfection and finally reach a state of being Christ-like. Many Christians accepted this… Full Article

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Living Peacefully Together in Christ

One of William Cowper’s earliest letters from Olney shows how the various denominations in the town could live peacefully together sharing a great oneness in Christ. Cowper, writing to Mrs Madan, says: We have had a Holiday Week at Olney. The Association of Baptist Ministers met here on Wednesday. We had three Sermons from them that day, and One on Thursday, besides Mr. Newton’s (Anglican minister) in the Evening. One of the Preachers was Mr. Booth, (Abraham Booth (1734-1806) was to become the pastor of a Calvinistic Baptist Church at Little Prescot Street, Goodman’s Fields  some seven months later.) who has lately published an excellent Work called the Reign of Grace. He was bred a Weaver, and has been forced to work with his Hands… Full Article

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Cowper Bicentenary

Essay Based on My Work Paradise and Poetry: An In-Depth Study of William Cowper’s Poetic Mind.      Although William Cowper has always been regarded as a fitting subject for comment and research ever since his death 200 years ago, work done on the poet has been mainly biographical. Even this biographical work has tended to be very limited as its main subject has most often been the nervous breakdowns which occurred at roughly ten-year intervals during the adult life of the poet.      Biographers have tended to view Cowper’s work as been primarily done under the influence of these times of acute depression and even insanity. The general picture left with any student who seeks to understand Cowper through the eyes of these… Full Article

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The Fifteenth Haamstede Conference

     The annual Dutch Haamstede Conference, held in Garderen, which draws some 160 pastors, evangelists and teachers has become a spiritual home for me and a highlight of each year. The conferences I occasionally visit in Scandinavia, Germany, North America and England are edifying and instructive, but there is just nothing to compare with the deep spirituality, warm fellowship, eager optimism and high academic standard found amongst the Dutch brethren. A particular joy this year was to see the large number of young pastors who hold to the doctrines of grace and the evangelistic responsibility placed on their shoulders.      However, the conference started on a sad note with the announcement that Pastor P. den Butter, a true… Full Article

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Joseph Bellamy and True Religion Delineated

     Writing a hundred years ago, Benjamin Warfield looked on the New Divinity teaching of Jonathan Edwards Jun., Samuel Hopkins and Joseph Bellamy as a lost cause. He felt it had forsaken all traces of Calvinism for Pelagianism, becoming the staple fare of Arminians. He looked upon it as an evangelistic, revivalist movement quite void of a Christian gospel with its rejection of the satisfaction of Christ and the doctrine of imputation and perversion of Edwards Sen.’s philosophical distinction between man’s natural and moral inability.  He thought it could only result in creating havoc in the churches.      Today, there is a renewed fascination with this school, initially because of its historical association with Jonathan… Full Article

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New Focus Interview on Hyper-Calvinism

Antinomian Hyper-Calvinism versus the Law and the Gospel: A New Focus Interview with George M. Ella Q. The 18th century controversy regarding Hyper-Calvinism and Antinomianism seems to have emerged again in recent years and, although your book William Huntington: Pastor of Providence has been welcomed by many, a few voices maintain that you have opened old wounds and should have let sleeping dogs lie. A. Wounds caused by cries of Hyper-Calvinism have long been open and much salt has been rubbed in them in recent years. The once sleeping dogs of Antinomianism have been barking loudly for all to hear for some time. My aim in reviving Huntington’s teaching on the full Law and the full Gospel, as also my publications on Cowper, Gill and… Full Article

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Reformation Today and Justification from Eternity

      The March/April, 1999 number of Reformation Today features four articles on John Gill. The first, entitled John Gill – a Sketch of his Life, is a succinctly written biography of Gill’s faithful and productive life in the service of the gospel. Next, Editor Errol Hulse continues with John Gill – An Appreciation, presented as a review of The Life and Thought of John Gill (1697-1771), (ed. Michael Haykin).  Here, Hulse ignores the facts of Gill’s own testimony to make what he calls ‘a fair assessment of the damage which emanated from his errors.’ Thus, though the book Hulse reviews chiefly depicts Gill as a great evangelist and soul-winner, Hulse’s one-sided critique is centred on Gill’s supposed Hyper-Calvinism and… Full Article

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Johann Gerhard Oncken: Germany’s Baptist Pioneer

The ‘Enlightenment’ that brought a deluge of immorality      The French occupation of Germany under Napoleon’s Dictatorship caused political, social and religious unrest which lasted well into the present century. The Corsican upstart conscripted Germans and compelled them to suppress their fellow-countrymen or forfeit their lives. One man by the name of Oncken, a citizen of Varel in present Schleswig-Holstein, decided to resist the tyrannical French and campaigned to overthrow the occupational forces. Napoleon’s spies, however, were everywhere and Onckenwas compelled to flee to England to carry on his work of liberation in exile. On January 26th, 1800, a son was born to the ex-patriate whom, in God’s providence, he was… Full Article

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A Sinner Becomes a Saint: William Huntington’s Conversion

     One evening, Huntington was sitting by the fireside reading his Bible when he came across the words, “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you,” John 14:20.  These words were at first incomprehensible to Huntington as he had not experienced being ‘in Christ’ and being thus a new creature. “There must be some secret  between Christ and those whom He will save, that I am ignorant of,” he exclaimed. As he thought on these things all his sins paraded themselves before him and all his false hope disappeared in a twinkling. Great conviction came upon him but his first thoughts were of hatred to God for putting him in such a position. He shouted out to his wife  in great fear, “Molly, I… Full Article

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