Tag Archives: Authority

The Principles of Protestantism, Part 2 – Introduction

Introduction: Christianity in America today is in rapid decline

It should be clear to anyone who pays attention to various polls and statistics that are conducted concerning the present health of the Christian church in America that it is in decline. In spite of a number of high profile mega churches in various parts of the country, the overall numbers of people committing themselves to the Christian church is decreasing. Polls should never be a determining factor for analyzing what the church is doing by way of service to the Lord. But there is one thing that is rather interesting about them. They seem to suggest that Americans are fundamentally a spiritually minded people, way more so than their European counterparts. But when it comes to defining what they believe in terms of historic orthodox definitions of the Christian faith that is entirely a different story. The point is that most Americans find little reason to identify, or even associate with any sort of historic expression of the Christian faith. Continue reading

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Seventeenth Century Congregationalism – An Introduction

Preface

This paper is the product of a personal interest in the origins and principles of Reformed Congregationalism. It is a subject which has engaged my attention since I first obtained a newly reprinted copy of the Cambridge Platform, back in 1995.[1] It is part of the story of my development as a Christian over the years, since first believing in my Savior in the beginning of 1986. As Providence had it, I was led to associate with Baptistic churches. However, in my second year as a Christian, I was blessed to be led into a deeper understanding of salvation, from a Calvinistic and Reformed perspective. This led eventually to my association with the Reformed Baptist church. The mid nineties were a time that was especially developmental for me as a Reformed Christian. As I studied the 1689 London Baptist Confession, and the Scriptural foundation for it, I became a committed Congregationalist. This might be surprising for some people to hear. This is owing to the fact that modern day Reformed Baptists customarily denounce Congregationalism. They are in fact, very much like their cousins the Fundamentalists. That is to say, they are run by extreme authoritarians. Continue reading

Reformed Baptist Ideas of Authority

A critical examination of the Reformed Baptist Ministry

Preface

I have purposed here to write a critique of the Reformed Baptist ministry; this is done out of the conviction that it is a most necessary thing to do. Having been a Christian for thirty years, I have been exposed to a great many things in the Christian church that deserve criticism. But there are few things that strike me as worthy of it more than the ideas men hold on authority in the Reformed Baptist ministry. Fifteen years of my time as a Christian in the American church has been spent in association with the Reformed Baptist church. Therefore, I feel compelled, as well as especially qualified to write on some of the issues I have personally witnessed firsthand. Since I had been a part of this particular church identity for a considerable period of time, I have formed my own personal perspective on what constitutes its idea of authority. I am referring to Elder authority in particular, as this is a major theme as well as source of controversy in these churches. I have ruminated long and hard upon the subject before coming to the point that I would write about it. Also, I have studied the issues surrounding this matter from church history as part of the formation of my present thinking. Continue reading