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, 12 November 2018 22:52

The Christian’s Hope for Eternity (1)

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The Christian’s hope at death is that he won’t have to cross Jordan alone. Christ by his Spirit will be with him every step of the way. The Christian’s hope after death is twofold. Death brings an end to evil and misery and is the door to a far better life with Christ in heaven....

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Friday, 09 November 2018 02:00

Proto-Puritan William Tyndale (1)

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Life in England
 
Recently, I have been immersing myself in the life and work of William Tyndale (c.1494–1536). Some time ago on this blog, I considered his biblical exegesis and called him (in agreement with many others) a proto-Puritan, which simply identifies him as an...

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Tuesday, 06 November 2018 05:43

Francis Turretin on Fundamental Articles

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What is the minimum requirement for a sound Christian profession of faith? The answer to this question is as difficult as it is important. Some churches have tried to push back to “the fundamentals” in order to stem a rising tide of liberalism. Others have reacted to strict creedal...

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Tuesday, 23 October 2018 10:30

The Christian’s Hope after Death

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The certain hope that Christians have at death is that they will not be alone. Christ by his Spirit will be with them. But what hope do we have after death? What do we have to look forward to after we die? Death is gain for believers in at least two respects.
 
First, death puts to death...

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Tuesday, 09 October 2018 05:02

The Christian’s Hope at Death

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Richard Baxter felt the unwanted invasion of deep heartache that only death can deliver when his beloved wife Margaret passed away.  He described his experience as being “under the power of melting grief.”  J.I. Packer noted in his book A Grief Sanctified that Baxter’s...

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Wednesday, 26 September 2018 06:38

Neonomianism

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The counterpart to (English) Antinomianism, which I considered last time, is Neonomianism. People today typically use the term “Neonomian” to depict views that they consider to be legalistic or moralistic. Historically, however, it was coined and employed by English Congregationalists...

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image Joel R. Beeke, Knowing and Growing in Assurance of Faith (Fearn, Ross-shire: Christian Focus Publications, 2017). 202pp. Paperback.
 
Being assured that we belong to God in Christ and that his Spirit dwells in our hearts is vitally important. Assurance that we are true Christians is a...

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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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