Church History

This Week in Christian History: A Reformer Is Born, Vatican Encyclical on Birth Control, and Thomas Jefferson

Vatican Issues Anti-Contraception Encyclical – Dec. 31, 1930 ...  Protestant Reformer Ulrich Zwingli is Born – Jan. 1, 1484 ... Thomas Jefferson Writes 'Separation of Church and State' Letter – Jan. 1, 1802. CPost

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A Statement by the Two Laymen & Foreward to Volume 12

(About this series)

A STATEMENT BY THE TWO LAYMEN

Rev. A. C. Dixon, D. D., in the fall of 1909, while pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, organized the Testimony Publishing Company. He also edited the first five volumes of “THE FUNDAMENTALS,” but upon being called to London early in the summer of 1911 to become pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, founded by the late Charles H. Spurgeon, he found it necessary to give up the editorial work on the books.

The next five books were taken in hand by the late Louis Meyer, a Christian Jew, who worked so strenuously in the securing and editing of matter for “THE FUNDAMENTALS” that his health failed. He departed to be with Christ July 11, 1913, in Monrovia, California. His widow and children are now residing in Pasadena, California.

Rev. R. A. Torrey, D. D., Dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, edited Volumes XI and XII, two articles, however, in Volume XI having been approved by Dr. Meyer and passed on to Dr. Torrey when he took up the work.

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Review - Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography

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Quite rightly, in view of the historical and spiritual importance of the Reformation, there have been a spate of books about Martin Luther; this year, and indeed last week, being the five hundredth anniversary of the event that sparked the movement into flame — the nailing of Luther’s 95 theses onto the church door at Wittenberg on October 31st, 1517.

The author of the present book, Herman Selderhuis, has distinguished himself with his work on John Calvin, including a study of Calvin’s Theology of the Psalms and The Calvin Handbook. He has also written a similar biography to this on John Calvin.

The first thing I want to say about this biography of Luther is that it is very well written. Selderhuis has a plain, pithy and subtly tongue-in-cheek style that really makes the material flow. The second thing I would say is that this is not biography lurching into hagiography. The book presents the Reformer as a very flawed but endlessly fascinating individual. Luther was, for example, proud (179) and stubborn (181).

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Using the London Baptist Confession of 1646 in the Local Church

Reformed Baptists are drawn to the London Baptist Confession of 1689 (originally issued in 1677) because it so closely mirrored the popular Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith. But the first two London Baptist confessions of 1644/1646 offer a window into history and a resource for Baptists today that is slightly different in its emphases. The London Baptist Confession of 1646 is Reformed and Baptist in its theology while emphasizing the newness of the New Covenant era that began with Christ. This article explores some of the benefits and challenges of using the London Baptist Confession of 1646 in the local church today.

Appealing Qualities

There are three appealing qualities of this Confession that are worthy of highlighting.

The Confession was originally drawn up and signed by seven churches in London in 1646. This was a “corrected and enlarged” edition of the first confession, published in 1644. The title of the original Confession of 1646 was: “A Confession of Faith of Seven Congregations or Churches of Christ in London, Which are commonly (But Unjustly) Called Anabaptists.” A copy of the original Confession of 1646 is widely available on the internet. An edition printed by Matthew Simmons and John Hancock in Popes-head Alley, London, 1646 is available online from The Angus Library and Archive at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford.

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