Skip to main content

History should humble us...

Nothing new under the sun. Although it grieves me to see the controversies raging in the church today, it comforts me to know that it has always been this way. We are not so learned and clever as we think. If one studies Church History, one will soon discover that what the church is debating today has already been discussed and debated in length by the men who have gone before us. If nothing else, studying the controversies within the church (ancient to modern) should, at the very least humble us, but preferably--make us realize that it might benefit all to read what has already been debated before we think we have something great and wonderful to offer. Let us look at a little modern history:

In his earliest writings Perkins frequently defined faith with reference to a direct relationship to Christ. Later he came to lay more emphasis upon the relationship of faith to the words of God in Holy Scripture. He defined faith as “a gift of God whereby we give assent or credence to God’s Word. (Does this not sound familiar?)

He held that “it is all one to say the saving promise and Christ promised” is the object of faith. The earlier reformers, Luther and Calvin, had believed that the conjunction of Word and Spirit made the Scriptures normative through the way in which they created and nourished faith.

As the Bible came to be regarded as a book of metaphysical knowledge concentration upon what it directly said assumed a greater role. The efficacy of Scripture rested no more on the work of the Spirit, but upon the identification of the text and the Spirit, through a conception of the Bible as verbally inspired and inerrant. The Bible was thus seen as a book of delivered truth; theology was the orderly statement of truth and truth became identical with propositional statement. This identification is seen very clearly in the five “points” of the Remonstrants and in the five “counter-points” of the High Calvinists at the Synod of Dort in 1619. Whilst Luther and Calvin had moved from the authority of the Bible to the inerrancy of the text, later Reformed teachers moved in the reverse direction. The battle with Roman Catholicism over the authority of the Bible also caused the Protestants to defend the Bible as the recorded document of the very words of God Himself. Perkins’ position was, as it were, a half-way point between Calvin and the High Calvinists who attended the Synod of Dort.

One of the chief characteristics of Puritanism was its great interest in the doctrine of the assurance of eternal salvation and in the related problems of conscience. The reason for this absorbing interest may perhaps be traced to two sources. First, many ordinary people had been thrown into spiritual chaos by the sweeping changes made in the parish church in regard to the services of worship and the religious observances; these people needed counsel and help. (Sound familiar?)

The complete Federal Theology of the early seventeenth century combined various strands of Reformation thought and made these into a systematic whole through the use of Ramist logic and method. Though it did stimulate much that was good in the religious life of the English Puritans, the Scottish Covenanters and the New England settlers, it did gradually harden into an arid theological system, just as the theology of Calvin hardened into scholastic Calvinism. (Sound familiar?)

The majority of High Calvinists believed that when God converted a sinner He acted directly upon both the intellect and will of the person concerned. He convinced the mind of His truth and constrained the will to accept His offered grace. Cameron taught that God acted solely on the mind, but because of the inter-relation of mind and will, the will is eventually affected even as the effect follows the cause. This way of describing conversion was meant to soften the harsh idea that the term “irresistible grace” suggests. It made conversion more of an intellectual response to God’s truth.

To read the entire article click here.


Popular posts from this blog

Painted Patio Wall Transformation - Our New "Secret Garden"

Michael and I have discovered a Secret Garden every where we have lived since getting married in 2010.  Whether it was the creek that ran behind our first apartment in Sacramento or the tiny little space of our 520 square foot, 1962 single-wide, mobile home in Rancho Cordova, California, we were always able to discover and create a unique sanctuary to call home.  Even though, in years past, we did what we could to make our surroundings uniquely wonderful, we never had the room to go really crazy until now.

Since moving to our new home in North Carolina in May, we have not only discovered a world of exotic creatures and plants outdoors, but we have also started taking full advantage of the additional space we now have available to add our own touch of whimsy to the new "Wood's Secret Garden".

Our first major project was the Patio which joins the in-law quarters (where mom lives) to the kitchen entrance into the main house.  We have received so many questions about "…

On the Market and Creating Quite a Stir! - Mobile Home for Sale in Rancho Cordova UPDATE: Sold

For those of you who have been following me on, you are already aware of all the work that went into making this 1964, single-wide, mobile home into what it is today.  We have enjoyed living in it for the past two and half years.  However, we will eventually be moving to North Carolina and therefore will be putting our little house on the market.  If you are interested in buying it, please leave a comment.  It is located in Rancho Cordova, California in a gated senior park and the lot space per month is under $700.    Take a look around and let others know who are 55+ and would like to own this little house.   Let me know if you have any questions.  It will come with lots of little extra's!

Living Room will come with the floor to ceiling oak wall unit, the Faux Fireplace Heater, the floor lamp, and the large framed mirror.

Kitchen includes a new refrigerator, new Range Top, microwave, toaster oven, and a wave oven.  If you want the built in desk that can also be arran…

Just a few more a working shower!

As promised, the following are some "after" pictures.  We have moved everything in and organized most of our things.  We still have several all day projects, like replacing the diverter valve and the washers in the shower.  Currently no functioning shower; but, I can always take a bath until we can get this done.  Yuck!

No time to write.  Just enough time to post a few pictures:

and clearly - Monkey is back to normal!