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Posts Tagged ‘Reformers’

Reformers’ pro-life views recounted

February 16, 2017 Leave a comment

By David Roach

EDITOR’S NOTE: During the coming months, Baptist Press will periodically publish stories observing the 500th anniversary of when Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, Oct. 31, 1517.

NASHVILLE (BP) — With pro-life rallies and events making headlines in the past few days, ethicists and historians have issued a reminder that the pro-life ethic has deep historical roots, including advocacy by the 16th-century Protestant Reformers.

Reformation leaders John Calvin and Martin Bucer both condemned willful termination of a pregnancy directly while Martin Luther addressed the dignity of unborn children and the glory of childbearing. Anabaptists likewise dignified unborn life.

The Reformers’ “anthropology — their doctrine of humanity — led them to confess that abortion was the killing of a human being,” said Union University bioethicist and provost C. Ben Mitchell.

“Similarly, for pro-life evangelicals, biblical anthropology leads…..

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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Does God Change?

By Bill Hier

It is of note, and the most great importance, to observe that none of the Reformers or Puritans conceived of God as having to “take on covenantal/relational properties” which were in addition to His “essential essence.” Such thoughts of God as He is, and in how He defines His being and existence in His Scripture, were not only unknown to the orthodox of the church in all ages, but especially unknown to the orthodox of the church in that most orthodox time of theological exposition of the Scriptures by very learned men of God, the Reformation and post-Reformation Scholastic period.

They dealt with those who posited God as being able to experience emotions as the consequence of His relating to men, and classified them as heretics (primarily the Socinians, among others).

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

How Christians Will Know They Can Join Hands With Rome

by Eric Davis

 

“With Reformation Day coming up, this is a good time to recall why the Reformers departed from Roman Catholicism. In our day especially, it seems that many Christians have history-amnesia when it comes to the importance of what God did through the Reformers. During the Reformation, great confusion existed regarding what was, and was not, the true church of Christ. Rome had asserted itself as the true church for centuries, and continues to do so today. However, as the Reformers recognized then, Christians must follow in step today by recalling that joining hands with Rome is a departure from Christ.

To be clear, this is not to say that everyone who sits in a Roman Catholic church is not a Christian. What it is saying is that several changes must occur before Roman Catholicism, by the book, can be considered biblical Christianity. And the men and women of the Reformation understood this, hence their necessary break with Rome. In their case, and ours, joining Christ necessitates breaking with Rome and coming under Christ means coming out from under Rome.”

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Free Ebook-The Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation

September 8, 2014 1 comment

by William Cunningham

Available in ePub and Kindle .mobi formats

This book is made up of a number of Articles contributed by Dr Cunningham to the British and Foreign Evangelical Review, with a few additions from his manuscript Lectures on Church History. The substance of these Articles originally formed a series of carefully prepared Lectures, delivered to his Class, on the leading Reformers and the character of their Theology ; and they were subsequently transferred to the pages of the Review in which they appeared, with almost no alteration beyond extensive enlargements and additions, and such references to the more recent criticisms upon the Reformers as were suggested by the books reviewed. They were written upon a plan, and as an orderly series of discussions, embracing the leading historical characters, and the great developments of scriptural truth at the time of the Reformation ; and were intended by their Author for separate publication as a connected whole. Happily the series was completed before Dr Cunningham’s death; and it now exhibits a full and systematic view of the leading agents, and of the spiritual principles, of that great theological and ecclesiastical movement in the sixteenth century, which constitutes the greatest event in the history of the Church of Christ since the Apostolic Age, and which has bequeathed to us, in the present day, both our Church creeds and our Church polity. The alterations which the Editors, in the exercise of their discretion, have made on the original text, have been more numerous than important, and in no case have affected the substance of the thought or reasoning. They have been guided in these alterations, sometimes by the manuscript corrections made by Dr Cunningham himself; sometimes by the desire to avoid those repetitions and references to passing events, which naturally occur in a series of Articles appearing at intervals in the pages of a periodical ; and sometimes by a conviction — which many years of confidential intercourse with the Author on the subjects handled, as well as his own last instructions to them, enabled and warranted them to act upon — of what he himself would have done had he been permitted to revise, with his own eye, the sheets before publication. The quotations and references have been verified and corrected, with the kind assistance of the Rev. John Laing, Librarian to the New College.

The Editors expect to be enabled in a short time to issue two other volumes similar to the present, and comprising a full review of the leading theological discussions that have taken place in the Christian Church since the Apostolic Age.

JAMES BUCHANAN.
JAMES BANNERMAN.

New College, Edinburgh, April 1862.

Table of Contents

Leaders of the Reformation
Luther
The Reformers and the Doctrine of Assurance
Melancthon and the Theology of the Church of England
Zwingli and the Doctrine of the Sacraments
John Calvin
Calvin and Beza
Calvinism and Arminianism
Calvinism and the Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity
Calvinism and Its Practical Application
The Reformers and the Lessons From Their History

 

Source: [Monergism.com]

Appendix on James 5:14-16 Pt 2-Reformers and Puritans

Arthur PinkSecond, the position generally taken by the Reformers and Puritans, was, that this anointing the sick with oil was not designed as a sacrament, they being but two in number: baptism and the Lord’s supper. They pointed out that so far from this being a standing rite, the apostles themselves seldom used oil in the healing of the sick: they wrought cures by a touch (Acts 3:7), by their shadow (Acts 5:15), by handkerchiefs (Acts 19:12), by laying on of hands (Acts 28:8), by word of mouth (Acts 9:34).
Nor does it appear that they were permitted to employ this gift indiscriminately, no not even among brethren in Christ dear to them, or why should Paul leave Trophimus at Miletum sick (2 Timothy 4:20) or sorrow so much over the illness of Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:27)? In this too God exercised His sovereignty. But what is more to the point, this supernatural endowment was only of brief duration:

“But that grace of healing has disappeared, like all other miraculous powers, which the Lord was pleased to exhibit for a time, that He might render the power of the Gospel, which was then new, the object of admiration forever” (Calvin).

A list of the “charismata” or supernatural gifts which obtained during th apostolic period is found in 1 Corinthians 12:

“to another faith, by the same Spirit; to another the gift of healing, by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another divers kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” (vv. 9, 10.).

They were designed chiefly for the authenticating of Christianity and to confirm it in heathen countries. Their purpose, then, was only a temporary one, and as soon as the canon of Scripture was closed they were withdrawn. As 1 Corinthians 13 plainly intimates “whether there be prophecies (inspired messages from God) they shall fail (to be given any more); whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be (supernatural) knowledge, it shall vanish away” (v. 8). It was the view of Matthew Henry, Thomas Manton, John Owen, and in fact nearly all of the Puritan divines, that James 5:14, 15 refers to the exercise of one of those supernatural gifts which the church enjoyed only in the first century.

Among the leading arguments advanced in support of this contention are the following. First, the “anointing with oil” clearly appears to look back to Mark 6:13 where we are told of the twelve, they “anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” Second, the positive promise of healing, verse 15, seems to be an unconditional and general one, as though no exceptions, no cases of failure, were to be looked for. Third, “healing” was certainly one of the miraculous gifts specified in 1 Corinthians 12. Moreover, it hardly seems likely that the “faith” here mentioned is an ordinary one: though whether it differed in kind or only in degree is not easy to determine. There was the “faith of miracles”—either to work them or the expectation of them on the part of those who were the beneficiaries, as is clear from Matthew 21:24; Mark 11:24; 1 Corinthians 13:2. The “anointing with oil’’ after the praying over the sick is regarded as a seal or pledge of the certainty of healing or recovery.

On the other side, we find such a deeply-taught man and so able an expositor as Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680) insisting on the contrary. He pointed out, first, that James 5:14 is quite different from Mark 6:13, for here the anointing with oil is joined with prayer, whereas prayer is not mentioned there, but only the miraculous gift. Second, the ones to be sent for were not specified as men endowed with the gift of healing, but the “elders,” and there is nothing to show that all of them possessed that gift. The “elders” were standing officers who were to continue. Third, the ones to be healed are the “sick” or infirm, but extraordinary healing would have extended further—to the blind, the deaf and dumb, and would have reached to unbelievers instead of being restricted to church members: cf. 1 Corinthians 14:22. Fourth, the means commanded: oil and prayer on all such occasions, whereas the extraordinary gift of healing was not so confined, but was frequently effected without any means at all, by mere
word of mouth.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Sam Storms and Two Types of Tongues

April 22, 2014 1 comment

In last week’s post, we introduced a series about the gift of tongues. Cessationists generally define the gift of tongues as the supernatural ability to speak authentic foreign languages that the speaker had not previously learned. Continuationists, by contrast, generally allow for the possibility that the gift produces speech that does not correspond to any human language. The question we are asking in this series is whether or not that possibility is biblically warranted.

Does the Gift of Tongues Produce Non-Human Languages?

Most continuationists acknowledge that modern tongues-speech predominately consists of something other than human foreign languages.

Of course, some continuationists point to anecdotal evidence to claim that modern glossolalia (tongues-speaking) can sometimes consist of human languages. But even supporters of modern tongues, like George P. Wood of the Assemblies of God, admit the infrequency of such reported occurrences. After commenting on alleged accounts “where one person spoke in a tongue that a second person recognized as a human language,” Wood is quick to state: “Admittedly, such occurrences are rare” (from his review of Strange Fire, published Jan. 13, 2014).

 
Read the entire article here.

Are Tongues Real Languages?

February 25, 2014 5 comments

Here is an outstanding article that explains what the gifts of tongues actually consisted of and was believed to be: by the Early Church, the Reformers, and the founders of the modern Pentecostal movement. All affirmed that this gift was the ability to speak in other languages, of which the speaker had never learned. The founders of the modern Pentecostal movement also confessed that this is what the gift of tongues consisted of, until they began to speak in utterances and realized that none of them had actually spoken a foreign language. The founders of the modern Pentecostal movement, then came up with a new doctrine, in which they taught, that some tongues are unintelligible prayer languages. This false view of tongues is not found anywhere in scripture. Here is a portion of the article:

 

We begin today’s post with a question: In New Testament times, did the gift of tongues produce authentic foreign languages only, or did it also result in non-cognitive speech (like the private prayer languages of modern charismatics)? The answer is of critical importance to the contemporary continuationist/cessationist debate regarding the gift of tongues.

From the outset, it is important to note that the gift of tongues was, in reality, the gift of languages. I agree with continuationist author Wayne Grudem when he writes:

It should be said at the outset that the Greek word glossa, translated “tongue,” is not used only to mean the physical tongue in a person’s mouth, but also to mean “language.” In the New Testament passages where speaking in tongues is discussed, the meaning “languages” is certainly in view. It is unfortunate, therefore, that English translations have continued to use the phrase “speaking in tongues,” which is an expression not otherwise used in ordinary English and which gives the impression of a strange experience, something completely foreign to ordinary human life. But if English translations were to use the expression “speaking in languages,” it would not seem nearly as strange, and would give the reader a sense much closer to what first century Greek speaking readers would have heard in the phrase when they read it in Acts or 1 Corinthians. (Systematic Theology, 1069).

But what are we to think about the gift of languages?

If we consider the history of the church, we find that the gift of languages was universally considered to be the supernatural ability to speak authentic foreign languages that the speaker had not learned.

 

Read the entire article here.