Home > Worship > The Regulative Principle of the Church 12: Its Specific Application (Part 1)

The Regulative Principle of the Church 12: Its Specific Application (Part 1)

A clear understanding of and a thorough commitment to the regulative principle of the church is, I am convinced, absolutely crucial if biblical church reformation is ever to become a reality in our churches. The regulative principle is intended, as we have seen, to govern the whole of the church’s life both as an institution and as an assembly. Let me trace out its significance for four areas of church life in this and following blogs.

I. For the Government of the Church

Puritans who held the regulative principle have historically been committed to the jus divinum. In other words, they have been committed to the concept that there is a divinely ordained form of church government given us in the Bible. Historically, Anglicans (beginning with Hooker’s treatise on the government of the Church of England) and many others since then have argued that God has left the church free within very general principles to construct its own government. Richard Hooker in his work, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, expressly denies the regulative principle of the Puritans. One writer says, “Its object is to assert the right of a broad liberty on the basis of Scripture and reason.”1

 

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