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ceedub
Member



Joined: 2009/5/1
Posts: 215
Canada

 Re:

Nice reply.
I was in a church recently where an elder opposed to the doctrines of grace did a horrific smear against Augustine without, of course, reading anything but third party criticism.
You're right. When you read his stuff yourself, you're hard pressed to not be impressed.

 2009/5/31 0:31Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Brother Adam wrote:


Quote:
Rookie, I must ask, have you ever read anything by Augustine?



Maybe 10 years ago, I started to read Augustine but lost interest quickly. Whether it is Augustine, Tozer, Murray, Wesley, Wigglesworth or Calvin, I've always lost interest in reading the books other than the bible.

It is like before I was saved I listened to all types of music. Now when I occasionally go back to these I once listened to, I quickly loose interest. I find that not to be so when the music that I listen to is filled with Scripture.

For me, I always go back to reading the Scriptures. There is no other place that I can find where the truth is pure, untainted by the thoughts of men. I have found that the promise of the New Covenant...

Hebrews 8:
1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

8:3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.

6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 4
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

We have a High Priest who is willing to teach us individually through the whole council of God found in the Holy Scriptures. I have found the same things that the writer of Psalm 119 found.

This man's prayer is my prayer because I have tasted the goodness of the word of God...

Psalm 119
13 With my lips I have declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
16 I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.
17 Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.

Has you learned Christ in this way?

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2009/5/31 6:35Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re: Reformed from what?

run2win wrote:


Quote:
Anyway, I have noticed that a lot of Reformed theology followers and teachers quote heavily from the leaders of the Reformation (Luther and Calvin mostly), but also from Roman Catholics, most often Augustine.



The Catholic church created an order of monks called Augustinian Monks. Luther was one of them. In reality the Reformation replaced the state church of Catholicism with the state church of Protestantism. And both state churches killed the people who strove to live as true to the word of God as possible. These people that were killed are known as the Anabaptist. From the Anabaptist we have the Baptist, Pentecostals and Mennonites.

So whether it is the Catholic church or Reformed church both have their roots in the teachings of Augustine.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2009/5/31 6:49Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Quote:
And both state churches killed the people who strove to live as true to the word of God as possible. These people that were killed are known as the Anabaptist.



Those who accuse the Reformers of persecuting the Anabaptists are being unfair and selective in not reporting the whole context. The Anabaptists were not so much opposed and convicted for not being willing to baptise babies, but because the Anabaptists in the 1520's and 1530's were radical, violent revolutionaries.

While the Anabaptists claimed to be the only true Christians, they denied many of the key elements of the Faith. They rejected Biblical Law, Christian ministry, worship and sacraments, and the Anabaptists proclaimed socialism, egalitarianism and revolution. They claimed "it is impossible to be Christian and wealthy at the same time"; "all authorities, secular and clerical, must be deprived of their offices once and for all or be killed by the sword…"

Igor Shafarevich in his book The Socialist Phenomenon, documents the teachings and activities of two important Anabaptist leaders, Thomas Muntzer and John of Leyden. Muntzer, an itinerant preacher and organiser of rebellions, established his revolutionary base in Muhlhausen from where he issued proclamations damning landowners, magistrates, and the Reformers. "I would like to smell your frying carcass" he wrote to Martin Luther.

In 1525, Muntzer was successful in rousing up many of the peasants of central Germany in the bloody, so called Peasants Revolt, which it should be noted attracted several nobles to his side. "Let your swords be ever-warm with blood!" Muntzer exhorted his faithful followers. Muntzer's army of Anabaptists struck terror throughout the countryside, robbing, burning and destroying the property of the faithful, killing many thousands.

Frederick Engels praised Muntzer's "robust vandalism" and explained "by the Kingdom of God Muntzer meant a society without class differences, private property and the state authority…. All the existing authorities…were to be overthrown, all work and property shared in common and complete equality introduced."

Engels praised Muntzer's doctrines in this way: "Under the cloak of Christianity he preached a kind of pantheism, which curiously resembled modern speculative contemplation and at times even approached atheism. He repudiated the Bible both as the only and as the infallible revelation. The real and living revelation, he said, was reason, a revelation which existed and always exists amongst all people at all times. To hold up the Bible against reason, he maintained, was to kill the spirit with the letter, …faith is nothing but reason come alive in man, and pagans could therefore also have faith…just as there is no heaven in the beyond, there is no hell and no damnation. Similarly, there is no devil…Christ was a man, as we are, a prophet and a teacher..."

In 1534, Anabaptist leader Jan Matthijs siezed the town of Munster. "Armed Anabaptists broke into houses and drove out everyone who was unwilling to accept second baptism. Winter was drawing to a close; it was a stormy day and wet snow was falling. An eyewitness account describes crowds of expelled citizens walking through the knee-deep snow. They had not been allowed even to take warm clothing with them. Women carrying children in their arms, old men leaning on staffs. At the city gate they were robbed once more." (The Socialist Phenomenon - Shafarevich)

Jan Matthijs and Johan Bokelson then instituted a reign of terror in Munster, ordering the socialisation of all property, and ordaining apostles of revolution to preach throughout Europe. The communist paradise of Munster attracted thousands of Anabaptists from throughout Germany and Holland. Matthijs was killed in one of the early battles with surrounding cities. Johan Bokelson took command and established a dictatorship in Munster. He then issued the order for holding everything in common, including wives.

As Frederick Engels observed: "It is a curious fact that in every large revolutionary movement the question of free-love comes to the foreground". No woman was allowed to be exempt - there was a law against being unmarried, which meant that every girl was forced to be passed around amongst the men. Every woman in Munster became fair game for the lusts of these Anabaptist men. Rapes, suicides, severe punishments and mass executions took place almost every day. On one notable occasion, Bokelson himself beheaded a virtuous woman who had refused his sexual advances. As he ceremoniously chopped her head off in the public square, a choir of his wives sang "Glory to God in the Highest"! (Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators by David Chilton).

This reign of terror continued for a year and a half until the city was freed by Protestant forces who put Bokelson and his lieutenants to death for their crimes - crimes committed in the name of love, equality and spirituality.

I have left out most of the sordid and horrifying details of the 1525 Peasants Revolt and the 1534 Anabaptist "Kingdom of God" established in Munster. But these few examples should be sufficient to explain why Anabaptists were opposed. It was not that they were being persecuted for taking the Scriptures seriously, but because they were violent revolutionaries subverting the entire social order and guilty of the deaths of many thousands of innocent people. - Dr. Peter Hammond


_________________
TJ

 2009/5/31 7:28Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

To Brother tjservant'

This is all true by what you have written. But this in not the Anabaptists that I was pointing too.

Have you ever read the letter that Conrad Grebel wrote to Muntzer?

You see Conrad Grebel is known as the one who turned back to God by resting only on the foundation of the Holy Scriptures. You will find that Grebel warned Muntzer of many errors.

God did not extend the covenant that He made with Israel to the church. What I mean by this is that Israel as a nation is the only nation that God made a covenant with. The new covenant did not include the nations that followed the death of Christ. Yet whether it is the Catholic church or the denominations created out of the Reformation, these have sought to establish God's kingdom on earth. This goes against the New Covenant. So whether it was the Church of England or the Church established by Calvin in Geneva, all were apostate according to the New Covenant.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2009/5/31 8:33Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Reformed from what?

Run2Win,

You are definitely onto something. The reformers weren't without their critics even from within their own movements, and there were those in their days that didn't think they were reformed enough. You have such groups as the Anabaptists, the Puritans, the German Pietists and others who thought Luther, Calvin, ans Zwingli had not gone far enough. Each group leveled their own unique criticism.

To really understand things though, I would highly suggest you get a basic grasp of church history. Such is really the only way you can properly assess our Reformed brethren and the roots of their stances and methods.

Consider the following books. Naturally, they are all academic in nature:

Christianity Through the Centuries by Earle E. Cairns. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0310208122/christianstep-20

Theology of the Reformers by Timothy George.

A History of Christian Thought. Volume 3: From the Protestant Reformation to the Twentieth Century.

All are very good reads.


_________________
Jimmy H

 2009/5/31 8:37Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Quote:
This is all true by what you have written. But this in not the Anabaptists that I was pointing too. Have you ever read the letter that Conrad Grebel wrote to Muntzer? You see Conrad Grebel is known as the one who turned back to God by resting only on the foundation of the Holy Scriptures. You will find that Grebel warned Muntzer of many errors.



Thanks for explaining brother.

I just wanted to point out that the Anabaptists were far from perfect. A lot of militant anti-reformed folks (not placing you in this lot brother) like to treat them like God’s special select few…the ones who truly reformed and found some special more spiritual form of Christianity. They are often held in the same un-warranted super high esteem as the reformed groups that have made idols of Luther and Calvin.

You can find thousands of articles, preachers, pastors and professors on both sides of this and every issue. I'm sure you know this…I’m just saying…

As far as my research goes…

I would say that few men throughout Christian history have endured such levels of character assassination and massive amounts of smear tactics as have Martin Luther and John Calvin. They were not perfect. But neither was the adulterous murderer King David.

Once again, I am not lumping you into this group. I just wanted to add some additional info to the thread.

I appreciate your insights and thanks again for taking the time to explain.


_________________
TJ

 2009/5/31 9:00Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Reformed from ...

Quote:
We note outstanding teachers and refer to them as a secondary source when interpreting scripture. In fact, this very site is a testimony to this practice.



Quote:
I was in a church recently where an elder opposed to the doctrines of grace did a horrific smear against Augustine without, of course, reading anything but third party criticism.
You're right. When you read his stuff yourself, you're hard pressed to not be impressed.



Quote:
Those who accuse the Reformers of persecuting the Anabaptists are being unfair and selective in not reporting the whole context.



All very well said. There is always [i]much more[/i] to consider - First person accounts where they are available so you are not being [i]guided[/i] by a preposition of a 'third party' view. Too often, even subconsciously we can read into matters with our minds made up by however we have been persuaded before hand ...

Thought I would offer up a compelling alternative that I have been reading over the course of the last few months -

[i][b]John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and Wilberforce -[/b][/i]

D. Bruce Hindmarsh

An older mention - Excerpts, etc.
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=26483&forum=35&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=0]Letters of John Newton[/url]

Mr. Hindmarsh did an outstanding job in my opinion on a number of fronts. He uses an incredible amount of first hand accounts for one, but also manages to shelve his [i]opinion[/i] other than where there are breaks in continuity of accounts, things of that sort. He must have spent a great deal of time to put this together, a lot of research - It is excellent since it is not a scholarly style read, nor a theological treatise but does contain the theological tenets in place in that era - mid to late 1700's.

Didn't set out to write some type of review here but wanted to bridge some of the quotes above with why I find it important on some peripheral levels.

One of the things in the book that is striking revolves around the whole Cal\Arm debate, ever present, aways ongoing, the constant feuding etc. etc. I am speaking of [i]now[/i] in emphasis more than ... then. What I found and almost expected was far more a camaraderie in a sense even amongst the varying viewpoints, frankly it was less hostile than it often is now. Part of that is in the way the subject matter is treated. Because it is something of a biography set in the surrounding times and locations it is less ... a dogmatic setting forth of viewpoints but more of a [i]looking into[/i] the matter over the course of several chapters - In other words, more like a sideways glance, an observance but again with first person accounts and so forth. Coming at it from a less decided angle, bias lets it stand on it's own merits, not punctuating one 'side' over the other.

Another older post touched on the letters exchanged between Wesley and Newton that had me full of wonder of what else might be available;
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=26785&forum=34&post_id=&refresh=Go]John Wesley's Letters[/url]

And it was interesting to stumble upon this book that contained so many of both bewtween them.

It's very difficult to summarize all this because it is a very long account of correspondence between the two ... and only a portion of overall scope of the book itself. But maybe the point I am trying to tie together is that things are just never so simple as to put these and other men into categorical constructs and tie them to their own stakes as it were. They are lot's of changes, there is a great deal of [i]silence[/i], there are [i]reasons[/i], situations, for instance just the inherent extremism within in their own corresponding 'ranks' that blur and confuse matters. Times were even Wesley's followers were taking his positions and key word here, (one of his own) - [i]Expressions[/i] out to seed and the various attempts to reel them back in.

On the flip-side was Newton's great difficulty in getting a pastorate (as things were conducted at that time) because of his mere associations with Wesley and others - Years it took to get through these very same things - Hard line stances in the "Established church" and his own wrangling over whether he should not just go the way of the Methodists and others despite his background, upbrining "Calvinism". It's tremendous in the sense that there was a lot more blurring of the lines than might be supposed. From the Moravian's to what was called Particular Baptist's there is a word that stands out and was often appealed to -

[i]Latitudinarianism[/i]

It may be the one 'ism' worth latching on to-

[b]Latitudinarianism
LATITUDINA'RIANISM, n.[/b]

1. Freedom or liberality of opinion, particularly in theology.

2. Indifference to religion.

Still, there were many disagreements, many often, heated controversy's - Even a seeming 'divide' in latter years, but there is that missing element again - Letter's from one side missing the response from the other. Added to that is changes in locations and travels and a drop in correspondence. Added to this is a change in perception and a change of mind on particulars.

For however many years now when it comes to SI there has been this tension and this seeming wish for a silver bullet to end all controversy. Have touted the 'both' of it all if it must be distilled down to the two fractional entities but it is never that simple and always that complicated.

Is it running down the 'middle' that fosters a compromise? Or is it putting oneself in-between the warring factions that get their teeth set on edge when their [i]point of view[/i] is the be all end all of any other consideration?

What makes this site differ in my opinion is the strange ability it has presented to force all to think and consider, that a great deal of the past, old, 'dead saints' are often extremely difficult to pigeon hole. Tozer, Ravenhill, Chambers or Wesley - Even the so called 'Mystics" - "Catholics" and on and on backward - The Anabaptists may be one of the greatest examples already mentioned here, [i]great extremes[/i] that need to be presented openly and honestly - The reformation itself and the outgoing tentacles.

Again it is difficult to put this all in Reader Digest styled language. There is a sense of [i]backing off[/i] and holding ones peace when things begin to get acrimonious, it is less to do with particulars then it is with a sense of ...

Php 2:3 [i]Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.[/i]

A portion from the book;

There was always the danger of Calvinist spirituality slipping into into quietism. At it's worst there was the temptation (to which Newton gave in not a little) to pour exaggerated abuse on oneself as a way of exalting the power of Christ to save. Romaine's rhetoric could be easily construed this way when he wrote, 'Depend upon it, man cannot be laid too low, nor Christ set too high. I would therefore, always aim, as good brother Grimshaw expresses it, to get the old gentleman down, and keep him down and then Christ reigns like himself, when he is ALL and man is nothing!' While the determination not to wink at sin and the desire to exalt Christ were admirable, the keeping oneself low could easily lead to low expectations of sanctifying grace altogether. Newton sought to temper such excesses in his Calvinist spirituality by gathering insights from Wesley's doctrine of perfection.

Indebted to Wesley for theological method and constructive criticisms of Calvinism, Newton was also influenced by Wesley's evangelical latitudinarianism. Wesley emphasized, despite their differences, the basis which they had in religious experience for shared Christian communion. He wrote that though they differed on some things, 'notwithstanding this, we tasted each other's spirits, and often took sweet counsel together'. Jean Orcibal comments on Wesley's efforts in this direction: 'Totally opposed to religious indifference, he was the exponent of a toleration which was mystical rather than doctrinal, such as he had seen John Byrom champion from the time of his youth. Newton sounded remarkably like this when he wrote to John Ryland about a disagreement in 1772, making appeal to their common experience of the thing they described differently. He said, 'If we hold the [i]head[/i] and love the Lord, we [i]agree[/i] in him, and I should think my time ill employed in disputing the point with you'. Or again, when writing to John Campbell, Newton said, 'I congratulate you and myself on the progress of what some may call latitudinarianism in Scotland. May we not say with the apostle, "Grace be with all that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity?" I think that is a latitudinarianism prayer - I hope many agree in loving him, who sadly disagree about trifles.' Newton and Wesley could both ground latitude on common religious experience.

When it came to straightforward discursive theology the situation was more difficult. Initially Newton was able to treat his differences with Wesley simply as adiaphora. He was satisfied with Wesley's distinction between opinions and essential doctrines. But then the problem came, as always with this formula, when they could no longer agree over which principles were essential and which were non-essential. As noted above, by 1765 Newton's convictions about predestination had become more firm, and he refused to think of it as only an opinion. Still he was able to work out a revised formula of concord that would maintain evangelical solidarity, by saying, 'Though a man does not accord with my view of election, yet if he gives me good evidence, that [i]he[/i] is [i]effectually called of God[/i], he is my brother' (vi.199).41* Thus, he reverted to the shared experience of grace. He was not, however, able to work out such a formula for perfectionism.

*41 Likewise, Newton wrote to Hannah More about Calvinism on one occasion, and told her; 'I believe you are one yourself, though you are not aware of it.' [i]Memoirs of Hannah More[/i], ii. 410.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2009/5/31 11:06Profile









 Re: Reforemd from what?

Hi Jeff,

How would you like to put some meat on these bones you offered?

Quote:
The new covenant did not include the nations that followed the death of Christ.

I'm looking forward to your reply. :-)

 2009/5/31 14:33
JoeGrey
Member



Joined: 2007/2/1
Posts: 20
South Africa

 Re: Reformed from what?

Interesting discussion here!

I think the reply to this post on reform = the restoration to pure doctrine throws a lot of light on the issue at hand.

Concerning Augustine, I suggest you listen to John Piper's biographical sketch (sermon) about his life. It made me understand much better where and how he fits in.

blessings! :-)


_________________
Joseph

 2009/5/31 15:24Profile





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