Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, June 18, 2006

George Whitefield on the 17th Article of Religion

  • But passing by this, as also your equivocal definition of the word grace, and your false definition of the word free, and that I may be as short as possible, I frankly acknowledge: I believe the doctrine of reprobation, in this view, that God intends to give saving grace, through Jesus Christ, only to a certain number, and that the rest of mankind, after the fall of Adam, being justly left of God to continue in sin, will at last suffer that eternal death which is its proper wages.
  • This is the established doctrine of Scripture, and acknowledged as such in the 17th article of the Church of England, as Bishop Burnet himself confesses. Yet dear Mr. Wesley absolutely denies it.
  • http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/articles/full.asp?id=4129

This quote is from Whitefield's letter to John Wesley debating the issue of election from a Calvinist perspective. Wesley, an Arminian, had attacked the reformed view. We might note that Whitefield clearly sees double predestination as the subject of Article Seventeen and he appeals to Bishop Burnet to substantiate that view.

(Article 17 is linked here: http://www.churchofengland.freeserve.co.uk/x39arts.htm#art17).

Again, the evidence that Anglo-Catholics are misreading the Articles of Religion and the Prayer Book is overwhelming. Wesley himself knew what the article said yet persisted in re-inventing the Articles to fit his Arminianism. The Methodist Book of Discipline is good evidence of this since we find there a serious editing of the Articles of Religion.

Sincerely in Christ,



John Meade said...


Very insightful post. I do not have much time to read church history, but if I did, I would read Whitefield in a heart beat.

Have you read much Augustine on this matter? Do you think that he held to double predestination or not? I am inclined to think that he does, and that there is no substantive difference between him and Calvin on this point. I have read Calvin's "Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God" and in there, he cites Augustine almost as much as Scripture itself. Anyway, thanks for the information.

-John Meade

Charlie said...

Hi, John...

I don't have that much time to read myself since I'm working in construction at this time to support myself. However, I've found that church history is just as important as systematic theology or biblical theology because there is nothing new under the sun. Most of the problems we deal with today have been dealt with before from a different angle, excepting maybe some of the extremes of today like existentialism, post modernism, etc.

Both Augustine and, later on, Aquinas, taught double predestination. Aquinas was an augustinian, though the Roman Catholic Church these days is dominated by semi-pelagianism. The Protestant Reformation arose out of the augustinian tradition within the Roman Catholic Church and this is why most all of the Reformers were originally Augustinians.

The Confessions of St. Augustine is a must read if you have never read them before. Also, you might want to take a peek at the regional Council of Orange and the Council at Valence, 529 A.D.


John Meade said...


Good point about Aquinas and the augustinanian order in general. I took a class on the subject from Paul Helm. He also includes Anselm, particularly his work De Concordia. The work was quite difficult to read, but I think Helm may be right to include Anselm here.

Could you point me to Augustine's discussion of predestination in the Confessions? I am not too familiar with that work to my own shame. I have read other things by him on this issue, just not the confessions. Thanks.

- John

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charlie said...

Charlie said...
Hi, John.....

I made a mistake. I'm sorry. The Confessions do deal with some of the issues Protestants are concerned about. However, Augustine's Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints in his writings against the pelagians deals specifically with predestination and reprobation. Here's a link to the work at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.xxi.ii.html.

I read The Institutes of the Christian Religion thoroughly when I was in seminary. In fact, Asbury is a Wesleyan holiness seminary. I became convinced that Calvin was right and the professor was wrong during a seminar I took on the Institutes.

Also, during an introduction to Christian philosophy class with Jerry Walls, I became convinced that the compatibility theory fit well with the sovereignty of God and providence. Again, the professor took the opposite view and believed that free will would be impossible if God decreed everything. As A.A. Hodge pointed out in the Outlines of Theology, though, Arminians believe in foreknowledge which directly implies foreordination whether they are willing to admit it or not. It was this contradiction that eventually led me to switch from Arminian to Calvinist. As R.C. Sproul said, Christians are born Arminians but by the grace of God they become Calvinists.

The peace of God be with you!

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