Duty Faith and the Protestant Reformed Churches

Dear Brother J.,       Thank you so much for your detailed analysis of my attempt to illustrate saving faith as opposed to duty-faith. You brought many coals to Newcastle for me and your Athens-bound ships were full of wise old owls, all of which were welcome. It is good to find that though you may disagrees with me on terms, we have so very much agreement on contents, though we are only at the beginning of a debate. It is very obvious that you Presbyterians use many words that I do, yet with different meanings. Thomas Scott used to say that all denominations tend to inject their own particular meaning into words and thus distinguish themselves from others. This is a true observation but it makes it difficult for outsiders to… Full Article

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Reflections on Some Recent Banner of Truth Criticisms Regarding William Huntington and Avarice

     The Banner critics portray Huntington as living like an Eastern Nabob in the lap of luxury. Providence Chapel paid their pastor a salary of £100 per annum at the beginning of his ministry but this was rapidly doubled. This was not an unusual amount. Rowland Hill, the only London pastor who could compete in numbers received half to a third more salary than Huntington. James Hervey (1714-1758) received £180 per year and also the profits from a farm which had been in the family for generations. In spite of his popularity, Hervey’s congregations was only half that of Huntington’s. Pastors in patronised livings, however, often received between £600 and £1,000 a year. Many Evangelical clergymen such as Moses Browne, Vicar of Olney… Full Article

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The Dumbing Down of Doctrine

The Aims of This Lecture:      In my paper, I would like to air the perpetual challenge of presenting doctrine in evangelism, pastoral work and personal witness to a people who find doctrine hard to digest, difficult to understand and indeed, an insult to their view of themselves. I will first look at the fact that even in Christian circles doctrine is dumbed down and then at the methods used and reasons given for such an attitude. I will follow this up by defining doctrine as it is found in Scripture and analysing its obvious use in evangelism and Christian edification. Indeed, I hope to show that no evangelism can be done without doctrine as doctrine is the framework and contents of the gospel. We shall look at this framework… Full Article

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The Gospel of Deceit

Calvinism confused      Our Lord tells us to be balanced in our teaching, not giving that which is holy to the dogs, nor giving stones where bread is needed. This balance has been broken severely by the modern pseudo-Free-Offer movement.      Spurgeon summed Calvinism up as ‘salvation by grace alone’, but views of Calvinists in relation to saving grace have drastically changed. Besides, Calvin would be appalled to learn that the saving Gospel which emanates from God but which is open to such contrary interpretations now bears his name. It would be thus better to drop the term. This article is therefore not a defence of Calvinism but a defence of the doctrine of salvation by grace alone.      Two factions have… Full Article

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To Honour God

To Honour God: The Spirituality of Oliver Cromwell (134 pages) Classics of Reformed Spirituality Series Edited and introduced by Michael A. G. Haykin. The pimples and warts of the Protector      The editor opens up this fine little book by explaining that Cromwell (1599-1658) liked to have his portrait painted with all his “roughness, pimples, warts and everything.” History has taken Cromwell at his word. The verbal pictures handed down to us by historians and theologians alike have contained far more warts than those revealed in Samuel Cooper’s famous portrait of England’s Lord Protector.  Mrs Macaulay, they say, proved in her History of England, that the idol, which seemed to be of gold, was a wooden one. William… Full Article

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John Gill and the Charge of Hyper-Calvinism

     One of the most successful Baptist contenders for the truth in the 18th century was John Gill  (1697-1771) , a London pastor who was second to none in the kingdom for scholarly learning and prowess as a preacher. Sadly Gill has faded from the reading of most evangelicals, owing to the fact that his successors held to a radically different view of the gospel. Now he is being rediscovered as the number of publications dealing with him over the last few years show . Something, however, is going seriously wrong. Though contemporary American works such as Thomas J. Nettle’s By His Grace and for His Glory and Timothy George’s essay on Gill in Baptist Theologians show clearly that Gill was no Hyper-Calvinist but a great Reformed 18th… Full Article

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Six Remarkables

SIX REMARKABLE MINISTERS ed. B. A. Ramsbottom Gospel Standard Trust Publications h/b, 348 pages, £8.89.      The word ‘remarkable’ sums up admirably the six testimonies given in this highly commendable book. Thomas Godwin (1803-1877), was an illiterate cobbler who taught himself to read by praying over the Bible on his knees. Alexander Barrie Taylor (1804-1887), a poacher, hunter and singer, was chosen from his worldly ways to became an eloquent preacher and William Gadsby’s successor at Manchester. Frances Covell (1808-1879) stammered so badly that it was often impossible to understand what he was trying to say. His stammering stopped suddenly on his first preaching engagement and he never stammered again! Edward Samuel… Full Article

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Joseph Kinghorn

The Life and Works of Joseph Kinghorn, Vol. 1 Particular Baptist Press, Springfield, MO, USA, hb. 530 pp, $24.50, ISBN 1-888514-00-0      As soon as this volume reached my hands, I read it with delight and with edification. I found in it a wealth of instruction and just cause to thank the Lord for such a faithful 18th century Baptist witness. The lives of the great Anglicans of by-gone years such as Hervey, Toplady, Whitefield and Venn are well-documented and researched but there is a dire lack of information on their Dissenting brethren. This book will certainly help to fill this breach as Joseph Kinghorn (1766-1832) was a workman who had no cause to be ashamed. The fine way he was used by God as a preacher and writer of note… Full Article

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Hold Fast

“Hold-Fast!” A Sketch of Covenant Truth and Its Witnesses John E. Hazleton      I discovered a real gem in this morning’s post. It was a small, solidly-backed, well-illustrated book. I forgot my morning newspaper as I read through its pages. Rarely have I found such excellency packed into such a small space. Truth for Today has done their readers a great service by reprinting this 1909 account of God’s covenant mercies.      Hazleton portrays the cloud of witnesses who have held fast the form of sound words and preached the everlasting covenant (2 Tim. 1.13; 2 Sam. 23:5). Starting with Peter’s confession, “Thou hast the words of eternal life,” we are given many covenant treasures in the hands of worthy stewards of the… Full Article

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Henry Bullinger (1504-1575)

Shepherd of the Churches Bullinger’s importance for the English Reformation      Perhaps no Reformer has been so neglected in modern times as Henry Bullinger, though he produced far more sound Christian writings than Luther, Calvin and Zwingli combined. An average of four editions of his works per year were printed in Switzerland alone for a hundred years and over fifty printers in other European countries were turning out countless editions. Reformers such as Miles Coverdale translated Bullinger into English from the 1530s on. Bullinger’s books were internationally treasured because they were said to be free of Calvin’s obscurity and Musculus’ scholastical subtlety and packed much sound, perspicuous doctrine into… Full Article

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