But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Meet the Puritans - Apologetic Report
Monday, 17 September 2018 02:35

The Life and Works of John Geree

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The Life of John Geree

John Geree is thought to have been born in 1601 in Yorkshire County in the north of England. He entered Magdalen Hall, Oxford University in 1615 and graduated B.A. in 1619 and M.A. in 1621. While it may seem extraordinary to us to have a Master’s degree by age 20, this...

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Friday, 14 September 2018 04:25

The 39: The Sacraments (5)

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The exposition on the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper concludes three final articles that address Lutheran consubstantiation and the blasphemy of the Roman Mass. The doctrine that was fully explained in article 25, ‘in such only as worthily receive the same they have a wholesome effect...

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018 06:55

Antinomianism

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In several articles, I have referred to the so-calledantinomians” by which I mean the 17th century English theologians who were labelled antinomians. In this article, I will provide a brief explanation of English antinomianism.
 
The term “antinomian” was a term...

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Monday, 10 September 2018 05:06

Edwards in Ministry

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The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire...[1]

Though this is arguably the most famous sermon ever preached on American soil, Jonathan Edwards preached just as much—if not more frequently—on the anticipated joys...

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Tuesday, 04 September 2018 06:06

Owen and Universal Redemption

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John Owen's The Death of Death in the Death of Christ is a polemical work, designed to show, among other things, that the doctrine of universal redemption is unscriptural and destructive of the Gospel. There are many, therefore, to whom it is not likely to be of interest. Those who see no need...

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Friday, 31 August 2018 05:25

An Unchanging God and a Changing World (2)

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In the last article, I looked at how interactions with the so-called antinomians over important soteriological issues required Westminster divine Anthony Burgess to discuss the doctrine of God. The antinomians, at times, appealed to divine attributes, such as immutability and impassibility, in...

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018 04:41

The Early Life of Jonathan Edwards

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The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to...

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Thursday, 23 August 2018 03:39

Themes in Puritan Theology: Christology

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Moving on from a Puritan theology of the covenants, we come to consider the foundation of such in the person and work of Jesus Christ. To some extent, we have been introduced to Christ in our consideration of him as the second person of the Trinity, and specifically to our understanding of the...

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018 07:51

True Love: A Funeral Sermon for a Friend

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Introduction
In the movie The Princess Bride, Westley has to leave his fiancé Buttercup in order to make his fortune. Buttercup is worried that she will never see him again. Westley reassures her: “This is true love-you think this happens every day.”
 
True love is the reason...

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Monday, 13 August 2018 01:12

Suffering and the Shepherd’s Crook

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Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?

As we contemplate the way that God works in the world, He teaches us the right way to live. We learn to praise God for prosperity and trust God through adversity. We learn to live a God-fearing life that is free from...

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Thursday, 09 August 2018 07:02

Themes in Puritan Theology: Covenants

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Moving on from God’s historical execution (past and present) of his eternal decrees (timeless), we consider the “special act of providence” that God the creator exercised toward man when he was created (WSC, Q&A 12). In other words, God stooped down to freely enter into a...

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Richard Snoddy, The Soteriology of James Ussher: The Act and Object of Saving Faith, Oxford Studies in Historical Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). 287pp. Hardcover.
 
James Ussher (1581-1656) was a prominent theologian in Northern Ireland in the seventeenth-century who, until...

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Sunday, 29 July 2018 17:00

Avoiding Two Dangers

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It is one thing to say that we believe in the sovereignty of God, but another thing to live that out in a world that often seems meaningless. No sooner has the Preacher told us to consider the works of God than he struggles with some of the implications of God's sovereignty. 

Remember, the...

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How can God, who is simple (theologically speaking), unchanging and impassible, meaningfully interact with a world that is constantly changing? The Westminster divine Anthony Burgess had to face this issue in his interactions with the so-called antinomians in London during the middle of the 17th...

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Monday, 23 July 2018 04:21

Six Benefits of Studying Church History

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Many of us may struggle with the feeling that the church is already too old-fashioned. If so, why should we study church history? Shouldn't we stop looking backward to the 16th century and start living in the 21st century?

Contrary to our concerns, the church has always realized that a...

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 06:51

Good Days, Bad Days

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Trusting in the sovereign goodness of God helps us know how to respond to all the joys and trials of life.  Whether we are having a good day or a bad day, there is always a way for us to glorify God. So the Preacher says: "In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity...

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Friday, 13 July 2018 07:41

The 39: The Sacraments (4)

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In our continual series through "The 39" Articles of Religion of the Reformed Church of England, Thomas Cranmer continues the exposition of the sacraments in a more specific study of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
XXVIII—Of the Lord’s Supper
The Supper of the Lord is not...

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Having considered the decrees of God or his eternal purposes in which he foreordains whatever  comes to pass (WSC, Q7), we now look at how God “executes” or carries out these plans “in the works of creation and providence” (WSC,Q8). In connection with decree and...

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018 17:33

The Crook In the Lot

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One of the first people that I hope to meet in heaven is the Scottish theologian Thomas Boston.[1]  I admire the man for the depth of his theology; Jonathan Edwards said that Boston's work on the covenants distinguished him as a "truly great divine."[2]I also admire for the breadth of his...

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018 08:40

Does Jesus Repent for Us?

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Does Jesus repent for us? That question was raised in an online discussion group due to a comment made on social media that asserted that Jesus completely repents for us. It reminded me of the heated debate the Westminster divines had with the so-called antinomians in London during the 1640s. John...

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Tuesday, 26 June 2018 06:56

The Imitation of Christ (2)

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For part 1 of this series, see here.

There are two errors that need to be avoided regarding the doctrine of the imitation of Christ. One error is theological liberalism or moralism, which teaches that Jesus suffered and died merely to set an example for us to follow. This is a serious error and is,...

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Editor's Note: This is the final post in a four-part series on the life and relevance of Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661).  Find previous entries here

Rutherford as a Preacher

There is no getting around the fact that Rutherford was an exceptional preacher. Historian Robert Wodrow even goes...

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Thursday, 21 June 2018 18:00

The 39: The Sacraments (3)

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As we have seen in our study of the preceding articles in the Thirty-Nine Articles, article 25 on the sacraments maintains that they are not only badges and tokens of Christian men’s profession, but “…certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God’s good will...

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Paul T. Nimmo and David A. F. Fergusson, The Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016). 345pp. Paperback.
 
What is Reformed Theology? This is a valid and important question. Answering it may be more difficult than appears at first. Unlike Lutheran...

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Editor's Note: This is the third post in a four-part series on the life and relevance of Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661).  Find previous entries here

A Ministry of Sacrifice and Suffering 

Being called to the small, obscure parish of Anwoth did not give Rutherford an opportunity to...

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