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Posts Tagged ‘Historic Protestantism’

Reaffirming Sola Scriptura

by Tom Nettles

Sola Scriptura as Philip Schaff indicated, confessions and creeds hold no absolute authority for Protestants. Their authority is only an ad hoc, ecclesial, and localized standard for the sake of unity in fellowship and consistency of witness either in a denomination or a local assembly of believers. They can be amended or expanded in light of evidence from more mature biblical exegesis or in light of doctrinal and cultural challenges to biblical truth. For this reason, confessions arising from within Protestantism usually contain an article that affirms the sole authority, inspiration and infallible authority of Scripture. For example, the Second London Confession of the Baptists stated in its first sentence, “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, Faith, and Obedience.” In paragraph 6 of the same article on Scripture, reflecting the words and concepts of both the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Savoy Declaration with one slight variation [italicized], the confession added: “The whole Councel of God concerning all things necessary for his own Glory, Man’s Salvation, Faith and Life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture; unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new Revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” Thus, one of the most influential confessions in Protestantism begins with a ten paragraph article affirming the sole and certain authority of Scripture closing with these words: “The supreme judge by which all controversies of Religion are to be determined, and all Decrees of Councils, opinions of ancient Writers, Doctrines of men, and private Spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture” [WCF]. Again, the Second London Confession varied the language slightly, insisting even more clearly on the sole authority of Scripture, closing with the phrase after the words “can be no other,” with these words, “but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.”

For Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, however, the view of the creedal tradition is quite different. The Orthodox churches consider the first seven ecumenical councils as guided by the Holy Spirit resulting…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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Roman Catholic Apologists: an Hour Long Phone Call in Response to Rome’s Claims

By James White

Took a phone call from 18-year-old Luke who has been talking to some Roman Catholic apologists—spent the entire hour with Luke addressing issues like sola scriptura, apostolic succession, the gospel, grace, justification—we about covered it all! Should be helpful to many!

 
Download the audio here.

 

 

Source [Alpha Omega Ministries]

Double Or Nothing: Martin Luther’s Doctrine of Predestination

December 22, 2014 1 comment

In fact, while many students of the Reformation today focus their attention to the obvious differences between Protestantism and Romanism, such as the Papacy, mass, indulgences, et cetera, Luther himself recognizes those issues to be entirely peripheral to the conflict. He wrote in 1525 to Erasmus of Rotterdam, with whom he had been debating the Sovereignty of God’s grace (in election and salvation) and the freedom of man’s will:

I give you hearty praise and commendation on this further account—that you alone, in contrast with all others, have attacked the real thing, that is, the essential issue. You have not wearied me with those extraneous issues about the Papacy, purgatory, indulgences and such like—trifles, rather than issues in respect of which almost all to date have sought my blood (though without success); you, and you alone, have seen the hinge on which all turns, and aimed for the vital spot.3

With this admission by the Father of the Protestant Reformation, the present study becomes highly important in understanding the Reformation. The debate over single versus double predestination has certainly been an issue throughout church history, but was it an issue among the Reformers? Specifically, were Luther and Calvin at odds on this issue? 19th Century Scottish theologian William Cunningham asserts,

When Luther’s followers, in a subsequent generation, openly deviated from scriptural orthodoxy on these points, they set themselves to prove that Luther had never held Calvinistic principles. . . But we have no hesitation in saying, that it can be established beyond all reasonable question, that Luther held the doctrines which are commonly regarded as most peculiarly Calvinistic, though he was never led to explain and apply, to illustrate and defend some of them, so fully as Calvin did.4

Though Cunningham is confident enough to make this claim, his reader may be disappointed that he fails to make a comprehensive case for his assertion (though his claim is not entirely without defense). Another Reformed5 theologian, Loraine Boettner, in his work The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination claims that “Luther. . .went into the doctrine [of predestination] as heartily as did Calvin himself. He even asserted it with more warmth and proceeded to much harsher lengths in defending it than Calvin ever did.”6 Boettner’s work displays a far better defense of his claim than Cunningham’s, but both fail to fully analyze Luther’s position.

What Cunningham and Boettner both fail to support, the present work intends to prove. Where their assertions fall short, this work will provide ample evidence to support their claims. The Modern Lutheran church does not stand with Martin Luther on the issue of predestination, and thus suffers from an internal contradiction. It’s efforts to modify Luther’s views and to present a more moderate case for predestination ultimately end in conflict with Luther’s uncompromising doctrine of God’s Sovereignty. However, before critically analyzing the writings of Luther, an examination must be made of the various presuppositions possible in approaching Luther’s writings.

 

 
Read the entire article here (Pdf 112 Kb).

 

 

 

3 Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will, (Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1992) p.319.
4 William Cunningham, The Reformers & the Theology of the Reformation, (London: Banner of Truth, 1967) p.109.
5 The term “Reformed,” unless otherwise indicated, denotes a scholar from the Calvinist tradition.
6 Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian & Reformed,
1932) p.1.

Lordship Salvation is Biblical

There is a move within Christendom known as ‘Dispensationalism’. This movement is widely popular among the western churches of the world; namely among those who identify themselves as Christians in America. This movement has gained vast popularity because of its emphasis on the doctrines concerning eschatology. The word eschatology is a word that is defined as ‘a study of things related to the end times’.

What most do not realize concerning this movement known as dispensationalism, is that it is very antinomian at the core of its teachings. The word ‘antinomianism’ simply means ‘against law’. The proponents of dispensationalism are of the sort who teach that the law has simply been done away with in Christ. They proclaim that all the laws of the Old Testament, namely the civil, ceremonial, and moral laws have been abolished. This type teaching has caused some serious damage to the doctrines of sanctification and how Christians are to walk and live their lives since coming to know Christ.

For instance a new doctrine has been added to the scriptures that never had existed until the rise of dispensationalism. This doctrine is a doctrine that distinguishes between three types of persons in the world. The first type of person would be the natural man. The natural man doesn’t know Christ, but lives after the sinful nature that he is born with. The second type person is a carnal Christian. A carnal Christian is one who has come to the knowledge of Christ and has accepted him as saviour, yet doesn’t allow him to reign as Lord in his life. This carnal Christian can live in all types of heinous sins and still be a Christian because he is just one who is still living after the flesh and not the spirit. The third type person would be the spiritual Christian. This is the Christian who has accepted Christ as both Saviour and Lord. Though he may at times still sin, nonetheless he allows Christ to be the Lord of his life.

The Bible knows of no such doctrines as I described above. The Bible distinguishes between the natural man and the spiritual man. The natural man is unsaved, the spiritual man is one who has accepted Christ as Saviour and Lord.

A debate arose within dispensational circles between Charles Ryrie, Zane Hodges and John MacArthur over this subject. Ryrie and Hodge were of the belief that one could accept Christ as Saviour, but not Lord, while still living in an unchanged state. MacArthur took the opposite approach and defended the historic Protestant position that conversion is an act of God that will cause the sinner to affirm Christ as both Saviour and Lord and a changed life will be the result of this affirmation. Only within a belief system such as dispensationalism would such a debate arise.

Below I want to show you a video by James White who is teaching on the fact that “Lordship Salvation is the Biblical Historic Protestant Teaching.”