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

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Truth Hurts

I recently saw an article at the Sydney Anglicans website lamenting "labels" because "names" hurt. Jesus should have read that article before uttering the following: "You brood of vipers!" (See Matthew 3:7; 12:34; 23:33; Luke 3:7). Those poor Pharisees, scribes and Saducees. Imagine our Lord Jesus Christ using ad hominem to win an argument? How intolerant!

Are we more concerned with scriptural authority and propositional truth or are we more concerned with offending self-righteous sinners who think they do not need a Savior? The fact of the matter is labels are useful to help identify quickly where one stands on certain issues and I for one am immediately suspicious of anyone who is not honest, open, and up front with their theological positions on various issues. It is for this reason that I consider myself a "confessing" Calvinist. That is, I hold to a strict and plain interpretation of what a Calvinist is and what a Reformed Anglican is. In other words, I believe in the 39 Articles and the Westminster Standards as legitimate explanations of what a true Calvinist is.

Unfortunately, the 39 Articles leave loopholes for heretics. Heretics love to glory in the fact that the Articles do not nail down their particular heresy as heresy! Anglo-Catholics re-interpret the Articles to make them say what they do not say. Arminians read Arminianism into the Articles when it is not there. Amyraldians read Amyraldianism into the Articles and into Calvin's Insitutes when it is in neither!

Have we forgotten that Scripture is the final word on all doctrinal disputes? The Reformed confessions are there precisely because they summarize what the Reformers believed the Scriptures teach. In other words, if we take the 39 Articles, the Westminster Standards, the Three Forms of Unity, and other Reformed confessions of faith together, we can get a good idea of what Reformed theology stands for regarding Scriptural teaching.

Amyraldianism has never been accepted as the Reformed position and is illegitimately read back into Calvin's theology. The fact is Calvin's position was the same as that of the Canons of Dort, which answered the Arminians. Simply because Calvin never explicitly mentions Arminianism or Amyraldianism is no proof that Calvin endorsed Amyraldianism! Amyraldianism is a rather illogical and feeble attempt to reconcile Arminianism and pure Calvinism and is a miserable failure in doing so.

I would likewise condemn the doctrines of common grace introduced by Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck as "neo-Calvinism." Essentially anything "new" is usually a departure from the original. That can be said of "neo-evangelicalism" as well. Pure Calvinism is not compatible with common grace, Amyraldianism or Arminianism. All three of these secondary heresies are departures from scriptural truth and in fact undermine the sovereignty of God.

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