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

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Is the Gospel Coalition on a Downward Spiral: An Endorsement of N. T. Wright

Dr. R. Scott Clark reports that the theology of N. T. Wright is now being openly endorsed by the Gospel Coalition (see Heidelblog: M. Jay Bennett is Reading CJPM). I attended a People Growth/Gospel Growth last February in Chicago. I was not impressed with the conference or the Gospel Coalition. The Coalition is partnered by those who are openly Amyraldian or worse, including Philip Jensen of the Sydney Anglicans. D.A. Carson and Tim Keller are also leaders in the Gospel Coalition. Keller's triperspectivalism has been shown to be problematic already. One has to wonder where the 9 Marks ministry of Mark Dever falls on the five points of Calvinism and the five solas of the Protestant Reformation?

I'm finding that those who are not strict Calvinists in agreement with the Westminster Standards and/or the Three Forms of Unity are more apt to compromise openly with those who attack the Gospel. For example, the Sydney Anglicans are in full communion now with the Anglican Church in North America, which is predominately Anglo-Catholic and openly semi-pelagian and papist in their theology of the sacraments and their soteriology.

I recently had to break fellowship with Christ Church Longwood over what I can only describe as pelagianism. While the pastor, David Paul Knox (son of the late David Broughton Knox), gives lip service to the doctrines of the Reformed faith, he really does not believe any of them due to his unconfessional theology. While he does agree with the 39 Articles as an Evangelical document, Knox rejects all--and I do mean all--the other Reformed confessions of faith. In doing so, he also eisogetes into the 39 Articles his preconceived theology, including a blatant rejection of both Augustinian and Calvinist views on predestination to election and reprobation. Clearly Article 17 includes the doctrine of reprobation, a fact that theological liberals, Arminians and Amyraldians reject. The fact is Amyraldians have more in common with Anglo-Catholics and Arminians on soteriology than they do with the English Reformers or the Swiss Reformers.

It is practically impossible these days to find any Anglican congregation where the pure Gospel is preached or the sacraments are rightly and duly administered. Those congregations which do not use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer are for all practical purposes not Reformed. Most Anglican Evangelicals in the United States have more in common with Anglo-Catholics, Arminians and theological liberals than anything else. Increasingly I am coming to the same conclusion about the Sydney Anglicans since they are much more concerned with being in full fellowship with papists of the conservative variety than they are concerned with preaching the pure Gospel, the doctrines of grace, or rightly administering the sacraments. Likewise, the Sydney Anglicans have started down the path toward liberalism by the ordination of women to the diaconate, an official office of the church ministry. It will not be long before they begin to ordain women as presbyters and bishops, which in turn leads to the ordination of homosexuals.

It seems to me that Reformed believers ought to more concerned about the purity of doctrine than about the catholicity of the church. Too much emphasis on catholicity leads to man-centered theology rather than God-centered theology, which in turn leads to theological liberalism and the social gospel.

The fact that my former pastor, David Knox, has more in common with the Anglo-Catholics than with Reformed believers only proves that my thesis is correct. Sydney Anglicans hate the smells and the bells and ritualism but their soteriology is essentially the same as any Anglo-Catholic, Arminian or Amyraldian. If you want to be saved, you must strive, merit, work your way to heaven. God cannot save you without your cooperation is their view.

I, on the other hand, believe that God and God alone can save a lost sinner. God alone can regenerate a dead soul and God alone can progessively sanctify a saved and elect sinner. All of the glory goes to God and God alone since the biblical teaching is that salvation is a monergistic work of God given to sinners by grace and mercy alone.

Sola Scriptura!


Bruce said...

“It is practically impossible these days to find any Anglican congregation where the pure Gospel is preached or the sacraments are rightly and duly administered.”

So where do we go to worship and fellowship? Who has it all together, who is perfectly orthodox in doctrine? What does God want us to do with this situation?

Charlie J. Ray said...

God wants us to break fellowship with heretics. Just as the local congregation should excommunicate those in open sin, so congregations should excommunicate other congregations and ministers and bishops who refuse to submit to the authority of Scripture and the 39 Articles as a Reformed confession of faith.

Catholicity is way less important than being confessional in our theology. The only way I can see for Anglicans is to supplement the 39 Articles with the Three Forms of Unity and/or the Westminster Standards. Otherwise the heretics will continue to dominate the Anglican Communion worldwide.

The greatest enemy of the Presbyterian denominations is the Federal Vision heresy and N.T. Wright's new perspectives on Paul. The same is true of the Anglican Communion. But in addition the greatest enemy of the Anglican Communion is Anglo-Catholicism and anyone who would compromise with those teaching the false gospel of Tractarianism. The Sydney Anglicans have revealed themselves as open sympathizers with heretics.

There can be no compromise with heresy of the semi-pelagian variety OR with the idolatry of the Anglo-Catholic and papist theology of the sacraments, purgatory, prayers to the saints, worshiping icons and cookies and wine.

Smells and bells and meritorious works are absolutely heretical.

So where should Anglicans go? They should withdraw and start independent congregations unless and until the leadership of the Anglican provinces and the Communion repent of their liberalism, idolatry, and semi-pelagianism.



aaytch said...


I agree with you 100%. The only consistent course of action for Anglican Calvinists is to withdraw from Anglican hierarchies and reconvene on the other side of the Wilderness, as it were. Let's not be embarrassed about the fact that there is presently no home for us. When Luther posted his 95 Theses, they said the same thing, that he was just a schismatic.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Thanks for your comment aaytch. It is increasingly difficult to find even a Presbyterian Church in America that has not forsaken its reformed heritage. Anyone who reads classical theology on a regular basis will notice this right away.

God bless,


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