Series - Theology Thursday

Theology Thursday - Persecution for Religion Judg’d and Condem’d

Thomas Helwys - John Murton's Predecessor

Background

No author is listed for the following treatise, but most attribute it to John Murton, an associate and successor of Thomas Helwys as leader of General Baptists in London. The treatise first appeared in 1615.1

Leon McBeth wrote,

“Murton made the trek to Amsterdam with Smyth, became a Baptist there, and sided with Helwys in the split from Smyth. He also suffered for his faith, spending some years in prison where apparently he died in 1626. From prison he authored two significant treatises on religious liberty.”2

Murton’s Plea for Religious Liberty

To all that truly wish Jerusalem’s Prosperity and Babylons Destruction; Wisdom and Understanding be multiplyed upon you. Read more about Theology Thursday - Persecution for Religion Judg’d and Condem’d

Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 3)

(Read Part 1 and Part 2).

A Re-opening of the Subject of Biblical Inspiration

Now just a pebble in the pond of conservative theology, this could expand to the bombshell of mid-century evangelicalism.

Evangelicals, like fundamentalists, believe that the Bible is the infallible, inspired Word of God. But evangelicals are making bold to ask, “What does ‘infallible, inspired’ mean?”

Few evangelical theologians believe today the view that it was “dictated” by God much as a business man does when he says, “Take a letter, Miss Brown.” Neither do they deny that errors have crept in as the Bible has passed down to us through translations. Read more about Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 3)

Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 2)

This article was published in the March 1956 issue of “Christian Life” magazine. It was seen by fundamentalists as a direct repudiation of the movement. One fundamentalist scholar wrote that the contributors were “crystallizing new evangelical discontent with fundamentalism.”1Still another observed that fundamentalists “viewed the leadership of new evangelicalism as a group of compromisers who were abandoning the fundamentals of the faith in order to be accepted by the larger theological world.”2 

This is Part 2 of the article.

A More Tolerant Attitude Toward Varying Views on Eschatology

Used to be that most fundamentalists were pre-millennial and pre-tribulation. That is, they believed that Christ was coming again to begin a thousand-year reign of peace. Furthermore, that the church would be “raptured” – (taken up to Heaven) – before the “tribulation” (seven years of trouble) the Book of Revelation says will come before Christ’s return.

But for the last ten years debate has been raging on these subjects. Some evangelicals have taken an “amillennial” position (no actual thousand-year period). Some are saying that the Bible doesn’t teach that the church will escape the tribulation. Read more about Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 2)

Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 1)

This article was published in the March 1956 issue of “Christian Life” magazine. It was seen by fundamentalists as a direct repudiation of the movement. One fundamentalist scholar wrote that the contributors were “crystallizing new evangelical discontent with fundamentalism.”1Still another observed that fundamentalists “viewed the leadership of new evangelicalism as a group of compromisers who were abandoning the fundamentals of the faith in order to be accepted by the larger theological world.”2

Here is the article:

During Billy Graham’s 1955 Scotland crusade a B.B.C. interviewer asked him to define the fundamentalist label he’d been plastered with. Billy objected, “I don’t call myself a fundamentalist,” he said. There was an aura of bigotry and narrowness associated with the term—which he certainly hoped was not true of himself.

“I’d prefer to call myself a ‘constructionist,’” Billy said, explaining he was seeking to rebuild the church. Read more about Theology Thursday - Is Evangelical Theology Changing? (Part 1)

Theology Thursday - Emperor Constantine on "Vain" & "Unimportant Matters"

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions. We hope these short readings are a stimulus for personal reflection, a challenge to theological complacency, and an impetus for apologetic zeal “to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints,” (Jude 3).

The Emperor Constantine being grieved at the Disturbance of the Churches, sends Hosius the Spaniard to Alexandria, exhorting the Bishop and Arius to Reconciliation and Unity.

WHEN the emperor was made acquainted with these disorders, he was very deeply grieved; and regarding the matter as a personal misfortune, immediately exerted himself to extinguish the conflagration which had been kindled, and sent a letter to Alexander and Arius by a trustworthy person named Hosius, who was bishop of Cordova, in Spain.

The emperor greatly loved this man and held him in the highest estimation. It will not be out of place to introduce here a portion of this letter, the whole of which is given in the life of Constantine by Eusebius.

Victor Constantine Maximum Augustus to Alexander and Arius

I am informed that your present controversy originated thus: Read more about Theology Thursday - Emperor Constantine on "Vain" & "Unimportant Matters"

Theology Thursday - Maddened Robbers & Accursed Wretches

"Council of Nicea"

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions. We hope these short readings are a stimulus for personal reflection, a challenge to theological complacency, and an impetus for apologetic zeal “to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3).

Arius Explains More (ca. 324 A.D.)

God Himself then, in His own nature, is ineffable by all men. Equal or like Himself He alone has none, or one in glory. And Ingenerate we call Him, because of Him who is generate by nature. We praise Him as without beginning because of Him who has a beginning. And adore Him as everlasting, because of Him who in time has come to be.

The Unbegun made the Son a beginning of things originated; and advanced Him as a Son to Himself by adoption. He has nothing proper to God in proper subsistence. For He is not equal, no, nor one in essence with Him. Wise is God, for He is the teacher of Wisdom. There is full proof that God is invisible to all beings; both to things which are through the Son, and to the Son He is invisible. Read more about Theology Thursday - Maddened Robbers & Accursed Wretches

Theology Thursday - Arius, Apostasy and Heretical Vomit

Athanasius says, "Beware of heretical vomit!"

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions. We hope these short readings are a stimulus for personal reflection, a challenge to theological complacency, and an impetus for apologetic zeal “to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3).

Bishop Alexander Warns the Flock

(From the Epistle of Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, c. A.D. 318)

Many heresies have arisen before these, which exceeding all bounds in daring, have lapsed into complete infatuation: but these persons, by attempting in all their discourses to subvert the Divinity of THE WORD, as having made a nearer approach to Antichrist, have comparatively lessened the odium of former ones. Wherefore they have been publicly repudiated by the Church, and anathematized. We are indeed grieved on account of the perdition of these persons, and especially so because, after having been previously instructed in the doctrines of the Church, they have now apostatized from them. Read more about Theology Thursday - Arius, Apostasy and Heretical Vomit

Theology Thursday - Trouble in Alexandria

Athanasius is not amused

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions. We hope these short readings are a stimulus for personal reflection, a challenge to theological complacency, and an impetus for apologetic zeal “to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3).

The following are excerpts from a 5th century church history by Socrates Scholasticus about the beginning of the Arian Controversy.

The Arian Controversy Begins

After Peter, bishop of Alexandria, had suffered martyrdom under Diocletian, Achillas was installed in the episcopal office, whom Alexander succeeded, during the period of peace above referred to. He, in the fearless exercise of his functions for the instruction and government of the Church, attempted one day in the presence of the presbytery and the rest of his clergy, to explain, with perhaps too philosophical minuteness, that great theological mystery—the UNITY of the Holy Trinity. Read more about Theology Thursday - Trouble in Alexandria

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