Tag Archives: Culture

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

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All Israel, Part 1 – Preface

A biblical examination of some commonly held views

of the present and future state of Israel

All my life I have consciously entertained a generally positive attitude about Jewish culture. This is due in part I think, because I, like most people in America, have been brought up to think that Jewish people occupy a special place in world history. Modern Jews are supposed to be the same ancient people of Israel spoken of in the Bible. I knew this even as an unbeliever in my youth. So I imagine that it was through cultural conditioning that I was made to think that modern Jews are presently God’s special people. Clearly, the Old Testament is largely taken up with the ancient history of the Jewish people. Everyone knows that Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of the Christian faith was Jewish too. I have also, always been aware that Jews have historically been persecuted as a group, and this evoked in me a desire to look sympathetically toward them as a sort of underdog class of people in the world. Therefore, I have always been fascinated with the subject of Israel. Continue reading

Public Worship is a Sacred and Solemn Assembly

Preface

A friend of mine and I were talking about a church he is reluctantly attending. It’s the same old story. He was a member of the only Reformed church in the area in which he lives. This church was once vibrant but has since declined due to prolonged ministerial neglect and misconduct on the part of the minister and the people. It is something that is rampant in this area as well as throughout America today. After enough time had elapsed in this condition some of the more spiritually minded folk tried to do something about this, all to no avail. And of course, there was the usual fiasco that attends such a situation as this, when someone tries to wake the spiritually sleeping from their slumber. Continue reading

Apostasy, Part 4 – The all Pervasive Nature of Apostasy in the World

II-The all Pervasive Nature of Apostasy in the World

After considering the problem of doctrinal apostasy as it was encountered in the New Testament church, it is now our task to consider it from a much broader perspective, so that the vastness of the subject can be better appreciated. The purpose now intended in doing this is to view apostasy from God as it relates to man, history and society in general. Apostasy is clearly a theological concept, and not one that is just secular in origin, even though it may be used on occasion by people as nothing more than purely a literary device. We refer once again to Charles Buck who provides a good outline for this subject in his book. “Apostacy may be farther considered as, 1. Original, in which we have all participated, Rom. iii. 23;–2. National, when a kingdom relinquishes the profession of Christianity;–3. Personal, when an individual backslides from God, Heb. x. 38;–4. Final, when men are given up to the judicial hardness of heart, as Judas.” (A Theological Dictionary-Buck, Woodward Edition 1825). Continue reading

Christ Came From the House of David

Introduction

Another Christmas season is here in America and the focus of it is already the same as usual. Black Friday touched the season off with its Christmas bargains and the throngs of wild-eyed shoppers that lined up to get them. We are told on the news that this is a good thing for the economy, for the stores look to this season to make the bulk of their yearly sales in it. Whether they manage to do this or not has nothing to do with the reason for Christmas. Christmas is supposed to be a time of remembrance of the birthday of the most important person in history ever to be born, Jesus of Nazareth. How the gift of a Savior to the world from the God who made it turned into a season filled with crass materialism, I’ll never know. Wasn’t Christmas supposed to be a religious holiday, or so we have been told for generations? Continue reading