Francis Lambert and the Pan-European Reformation

Francis Lambert and the Pan-European Reformation        The Reformation in Europe around 1510-1530 was built on that of the preceding two centuries. In England Grosseteste, Bradwardine, Wycliffe and the Lollards had done great reforming work as also the Hussites, the Bohemian Brethren and the Waldensians on the Continent. There never was a century without Reformation somewhere in Europe and her influence on other countries. Such early reforms were prior to the denominational counter-Reformation which broke up the inter-Protestant and pan-European international revivals of true religion in those times. The break-up resulted in much Reformed knowledge being lost and inter-church renewal was forgotten where denominations replaced… Full Article

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The Development of Opposition to the Reformed Church of England

Part One: How things began   The gospel of transforming grace versus the gospel of unchanging law               There is much confusion concerning the alleged ‘puritanism’ of the 16th century non-Roman Catholic opposition to the Reformed Church of England and the Puritan Movement of the post-1640s and much has been written in recent years which has totally redefined, modified and radicalised what Puritanism is. Instead of describing those who campaigned for the Biblical doctrine of free grace, the term is now used of those who would curb true Puritanism and replace it by denominational legalism and external orders and disciplines set up as equally saving doctrines. Indeed, the term was widely used in the 17 century to… Full Article

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Substituting Fable for Historical Truth

Substituting Fable for Historical Truth        A marked negative feature of common-grace gospellers is the scorn which they pour on men of God who emphasise that the whole gospel must be preached to the whole man as the Spirit leads. Thus they condemn such Christians of the past as Tobias Crisp, John Ryland Senior, William Romaine, William Huntington, John Gill, Augustus Toplady and Robert Hawker who would not dilute their gospel to suit what the common-grace gospellers call ‘man’s agency’. These men were called to preach Christ’s victorious crucifixion accomplishments, including great Bible truths such as the eternal union of Christ with His Bride; Christ’s faith and righteousness imputed to His people, election,… Full Article

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Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560): The Creator of Lutheranism Part Three: Melanchthon’s Failure as a Reformer

Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560): The Creator of Lutheranism Part One: Melanchthon’s Climb to Fame Part Two: Melanchthon the Preceptor of Germany Part Three: Melanchthon’s Failure as a Reformer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Part Three: Melanchthon’s Failure as a Reformer The bigamy scandal      There is no doubt that Melanchthon’s with Luther in the scandal of Phil Philip, who maintained that it was impossible for him to remain faithful to one wife, had been encouraged by Pope Clement VII to find another. As he became more and more Reformed, he turned to Luther and Melanchthon for advice as the self-proclaimed heads of the Church. Luther thus granted Philip a dispensation in ‘his’ Church to marry a second wife on the basis… Full Article

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Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560): The Creator of Lutheranism Part Two: Melanchthon the Preceptor of Germany

Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560): The Creator of Lutheranism Part One: Melanchthon’s Climb to Fame Part Two: Melanchthon the Preceptor of Germany Part Three: Melanchthon’s Failure as a Reformer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Part Two: Melanchthon the Preceptor of Germany Rifts that did not break friendship      Now Rome sent one agent after another, including Frederick Nausea, Cardinal Campeggio’s personal secretary to win Melanchthon for themselves. He told all these emissaries of Rome that if they had the Church’s welfare at heart, they would join him in purifying it from faulty doctrines and traditions. He told Nausea that he erred if he thought Luther wanted to abolish church practices. The fight is not about external things… Full Article

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Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560): The Creator of Lutheranism Part One: Melanchthon’s Climb to Fame

Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560): The Creator of Lutheranism Part One: Melanchthon’s Climb to Fame Part Two: Melanchthon the Preceptor of Germany Part Three: Melanchthon’s Failure as a Reformer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Part One: Melanchthon’s Climb to Fame ‘Big Names’ are often deceptive      When studying the ‘Big Names’ of the Reformation in depth, one is led to suspect that such ‘Names’ are merely pronounced ‘Big’ because they have been highly illuminated by church historians with specific interests though equally ‘big’ men and women of God have been left unobserved. This is certainly the case with Philip Melanchthon, Heinrich Bullinger and Theodore Beza who have long been seen as mere successors and… Full Article

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Harmful Church Patronages

A letter to the Evangelical Times concerning their criticism of the Church of England for abolishing patrons: Dear Sir,      At long last the Anglican Church is doing away with her evil practice of having patrons lord it over churches of which they themselves are often not even members. The ET should rejoice but the ET looks upon this positive move as ´ominous` (Ominous changes in the Church of England, Jan. issue). How can this be?      Patronages, whether enforced by rich individuals, endowments or non-church-based organisations, are the curse of the C of E, often ensuring that churches receive ministers whom they do not want. A well-known example is the fate of John Newton of Olney Hymns fame. Newton was burdened with two… Full Article

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Moral Anarchy

A lecture given at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford for the Annual Protestant Reformation Society Conference, August 29. 2013   Moral Anarchy A brief evaluation of my task      I received my conference topic for this year rather reluctantly, doubting my credentials for tackling the subject. ‘Moral anarchy’ has become a fashionable, umbrella term to describe why the Western world appears to be turning from God. Like all fashionable jargon, it does not always allow for careful analysis. Indeed, the term, for many, would place man’s entire sinful rebellion against God in one field only and thus hinder us from grasping the real problem. Moral Anarchy is an outcome of the general rot but not its cause. Our conference sub-title thus stresses… Full Article

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Lessons in Humanity from the Life and Work of Jan Amos Comenius

Lessons in Humanity from the Life and Work of Jan Amos Comenius: A Study in Anthropological Pansophy Jan Hábl A Review Article   Preface: The Father of Modern Education by Thomas Johnson     Johnson, who appears to be Hábl’s mentor, writes on p. 9 of principles in nature and in human nature that we can recognize and that we should follow in order to reach our earthly and spiritual destinies. He thus wishes to separate the best parts of human nature from those in human nature which stand in conflict to them.     This is an artificial dissecting of the human in man which has often been used for totalitarian purposes in order to promote a less-than human society. True Pansophy is not limited to the anthropological and… Full Article

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Preachers Today

     Throughout last year, there was a rather one-sided debate in the internet concerning the alleged difference between preachers in pan-Biblical times and those of today. These were mostly carried out by para-church groups who had words such as ‘spiritual’ in their titles and were obviously against a settled ministry in a local church, some even arguing that the office of a preacher was only used of a peripatetic, itinerant servant of God. On most of these sites one found that the writers denigrated all modern preaching, presenting themselves, of course, as ‘spiritual’ preachers who were the exception to the sad rule. The result of this campaign was that a number of brethren copied quotes from these sites and sent them to… Full Article

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