Posts Tagged Presbyterian

Hooker and the Counter-Reformation Part One

The Real Teaching of Richard Hooker      Dr Roger Beckwith opened his essay entitled ‘The Real Teaching of Richard Hooker’ by saying:      Hooker was a second-generation Reformer. He did not have the task of distinguishing Anglican theology from that of Roman Catholics or Anabaptists. This had been done by the first-generation Reformers Cranmer and his colleagues, and their conclusions had been embodied in the Anglican formularies, especially the Thirty-nine Articles, from the teaching of which Hooker never strayed. Hooker’s task was the more sensitive one of defending Anglican theology against other Protestants, who wanted to alter it. His great book ‘The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity’ is this defence. He uses some new… 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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Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658): Rebel, Republican and Reformer Part Two

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658): Rebel, Republican and Reformer Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658): Rebel, Republican and Reformer Part Two Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658): Rebel, Republican and Reformer Part Three Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658): Rebel, Republican and Reformer Part Four Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658): Rebel, Republican and Reformer Part Two Cromwell’s swift rise to power      Now sitting firmly in his cavalry saddle in the war against the King and the Church of England, Cromwell was soon reimbursed by Parliament of all his expenses in building up his personal army. Before entering officially into the Civil War, in May, 1641, Cromwell signed a Commons’ vow, ‘To maintain and defend as far as Lawfully I may, with my life,… Full Article

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Reply to a Critic of the Church of England Reformation Concerning my Biopgraphy of Toplady

An uninformed know-all seeks to suppress the truth concerning Augustus Toplady.        This letter was written to an enemy of the Church of England Reformers who wished to censor and suppress the publication of my Augustus Toplady biography. He maintained that my work was that of a Roman Catholic and an enemy and that I had defended ‘malignants’ and ‘drunkards’. Mention is made of two books in the letter but the biography and anthology were eventually printed together in one large volume. The criticisms of my correspondent were based on secondary and tertiary literature without my critic being aware of the original documents needed in forming an opinion. Sadly, most of theological discussion nowadays has become a rabies… Full Article

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The Seventeenth Century: No Time of Reformation

True heroes exchanged for lesser men     Nowadays, at least in Britain, our Reformed churches teach us to take our gaze off the 16th century Reformation and concentrate on the Revolutionary period of the 17th century where, they say, we shall find true Reformation theology. This, they say, was the age of Puritanism, though they define Puritanism in a very limited and often political way. This is advice which would be foolish to follow. The 17th century brought with it a grave departure from the teaching of the Reformation. The British public, government and churches experienced military and moral rebellion, down-grading and back-sliding in religion, fierce intolerance, anarchy in politics, an upsurge of Rationalism, a bawdy… Full Article

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The Free Offer: Biblical and Reformed By David Silversides

The Free Offer: Biblical and Reformed By David Silversides Marpet Press, 2005      Yet another former sturdy defender of the faith now endorses a deceitful gospel which outclasses the errors of older Liberalism. David Silversides has joined such modern apostles as John and Iain Murray, Malcolm H. Watts, Phillip R. Johnson, Errol Hulse, David Gay and Ken Stebbins in their campaign to alter radically the Christian’s view of God and His Word. Pastor Silversides traces the roots of opposition to his new divinity in the formation of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the nineteen-twenties under the leadership of Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965), arguing that the PRC presented a caricature of the free-offer position thus fostering… 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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Letter written to the Evangelical Times on Toplady

     Sir: Graham Hind’s June review sadly hides all I wrote in remembrance of that godly man, Augustus Toplady. Instead, he shows preference for John Wesley, disdain for the Gospel Magazine and disinterest in the great work of God done through the pre-Rebellion Reformed Church of England. Hind’s simplistic etymology is used as an excuse for his lack of attention to the subject matter.      Rather than refute Toplady by praising Wesley, one must ask oneself which Christian stood nearest to Biblical, Reformed doctrine. Glossing over Wesley’s dishonesty against Calvinistic evangelists is an unhelpful argument from silence.      Mr Hind’s prejudiced reading has missed my point concerning whether John, James or Julius… Full Article

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The Ecclesiastical Chaos of 1643-1662

Part One: The Ejection of the ‘Scandalous Ministers’ The problem outlined      Having spent all my life in Free Church circles, I learnt very early of the severe persecutions meted out in England during the 17th century to Dissenters, Non-Conformists and Non-Jurors who wished to preach, teach and witness in Anglican parishes. Two books which became of special influence in forming my judgement were Thomas Coleman’s The Two Thousand Confessors of Sixteen Hundred and Sixty-Two and Edmund Calamy’s The Nonconformist’s Memorial, a three-volumed work on the same period. I treasure these works which served under God to cause me to abhor any form of religious, political and social persecution.      As a result… Full Article

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The Temple Church Controversy

     The debates between the Master of the Temple Church, Richard Hooker and his Deputy Walter Travers between 1585-1586 sparked off controversies which are still unsettled. The original subject matter, however, has been radically altered through changing theological fashions and back-projections of subsequent controversies. The original discussions arose through differences regarding preaching and lecturing, public worship, predestination, justification, the Lord’s Supper, and the fate of those dying outside of the Protestant fold. Modern debates have turned the Temple Controversy into a discussion about the pros and cons of Presbyterianism and Episcopacy which were not even mentioned in the original debate. Sadly, history is… Full Article

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