Reformed Churchmen

We are Protestant, Calvinistic and Reformed Prayer Book Churchmen and Churchwomen. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; in 2012, we also remembered the 450th anniversary of Mr. (Bp., Salisbury) John Jewel's sober, scholarly, Protestant, and Reformed defense An Apology of the Church of England. In 2013, we remember the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. Our book of the month for Aug 2014 is Mr. Underhile's "The Church's Favorite Flower: A Patristic Study of the Doctrines of Grace," a handy little volume at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Churchs-Favorite-Flower-Patristic-ebook/dp/B00KUCITIS/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403315865&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=andy+underhile. We've added Mr. Underhile's anti-Marcionite and Reformed "Comfort in Chaos: A Study in Nahum" as the book of the month for September 2014 at: http://www.amazon.com/Comfort-Chaos-Study-Preserves-People-ebook/dp/B00KQX8JBI/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407621661&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=andy+underhile+nahum. Our book for October 2014 is Francis Turretin's 3-volume "Institutes of Elenctic Theology" at: http://www.amazon.com/Institutes-Elenctic-Theology-vol-set/dp/0875524567/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412273572&sr=8-1&keywords=turretin+elenctic

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kay Hagan Won't Answer Why She Ducked the Debate


Deus Misereatur: All Saints Day

Deus Misereatur: All Saints Day: All Saints Day Hebrews 11 I know it’s coming and it’s just around the corner. For some it will be exciting, all of that dressing up...

Brother Kenny Copeland (TBN) Takes Control of Ebola

Clarification: The Pope is Hurting the Church


Dr. Simon Vibert (Wycliffe, Oxford): Marriage in Church of England

H/t to Dr. Lee Gatiss at Church Society. We recommend that bloggers link to the Church Society.


Lee Gatiss has been listening to Simon Vibert’s talk on Marriage in the Church of England, from the recent Junior Anglican Evangelical Conference. Speaking on his own 25th wedding anniversary, Dr. Vibert, Vice-Princpal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, outlines the history and doctrine of marriage, looking at the Anglican formularies and some recent controversies. Dr Lee Gatiss is the Director of Church Society and editor of Confident and Equipped: Facing Today’s Challenges in the Church of England.


See more at: http://churchsociety.org/blog/entry/word_on_a_wednesday_marriage#When:06:00:00Z


22 October 1880 A.D. Rev. William Swan Plumer Passes—“Old School” Presbyterians in North and South


22 October 1880 A.D.  Rev. William Swan Plumer Passes—“Old School” Presbyterians in North and South

Archivist. “October 22: William Swan Plumer.”  This Day in Presbyterian History.  22 Oct 2014.  http://www.thisday.pcahistory.org/2014/10/october-22-2/.  Accessed 22 Oct 2014.

October 22: William Swan Plumer


An Old School Presbyterian Ministers in both North and South

William Swan Plumer was not a name which I had recognized until someone gave me a commentary written by him.  It was filled with the rich meat of the Word of God, and I wanted to know more of his spiritual gifts.


Born in July 26,  1802 in Darlington, Pennsylvania, William Plumer was of the Scottish heritage.  When he turned nineteen years of age, he walked to Lewisburg, Virginia to begin spiritual training at the Academy of the Rev. John McElhenney, known as the Apostle of Western Virginia, where he learned the first fruits of Christian education.  Moving on to Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, he continued his studies under Dr. Baxter.  Finally, he entered Princeton Theological Seminary in 1825.  Two years later, he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Orange and began two congregations  in Virginia and North Carolina.  Ordained in 1827, he began a long series of pastorates in Petersburg, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia from 1830 – 1846.  It is interesting to me that he left the south to be at Franklyn Street Presbyterian in Baltimore, Maryland for twelve years.  Then for another eight years, he was at Central Presbyterian in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, while teaching at Western Theological Seminary as well.  He finished up his teaching call while a professor of theology at Columbia Theological Seminary.  He went to his heavenly home on October 22, 1880.

He was the preeminent pastor and teacher of the church.  He evidently had a voice which stopped people in their tracks to pause and listen. He was a soul-winner par excellence as soul after soul met the Redeemer and were converted. He was a pastor’s pastor as well, and met the needs of his congregations with pathos and sympathy, when that was needed.

As a church pastor, William S. Plumer also watched the movements away from the faith once delivered unto the saints. At the 1837 General Assembly, he powerfully made the distinction between the Old School Presbyterians and the New School Presbyterians clear and plain.  There was a call to come out and be separate from the entangling alliances which the New School Presbyterians had with the Congregationalists.  Thus when the Assembly voted to stop their compromising union, Rev. Plumer had a large part in preserving the Calvinistic convictions of the General Assembly, to say nothing of the biblical basis of Presbyterianism.

Words to live by:  It is often a case where the people in the pew only recognize the emoluments of a person if he has a string of degrees behind his name and is recognized in the leading organizations of the church.  Then a man by the name of William Plumer comes along and we hear and see the Spirit of God residing in a  pastor and teacher, and our minds are overcome with what God can do through a mere man. The only qualification which God recognizes in His servants, for loving and obedient service to Him, is faithfulness.  Let us be faithful to the Word of God in the places where He has put us.

22 October 2014 A.D. General Seminary, NYC—Profs Accept Provisional Jobs


22 October 2014 A.D.  General Seminary, NYC—Profs Accept Provisional Jobs

No author.  “General Seminary faculty returning to work, devoted to reconciliation.”  Episcopal News Service.   21 Oct 2014. http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2014/10/21/general-seminary-faculty-to-return-to-work-devoted-to-reconciliation/.  Accessed 22 Oct 2014.

[Episcopal News Service] In a letter to Bishop Mark Sisk, chair of the board of trustees for the General Theological Seminary, the eight striking faculty members have accepted the board’s invitation to accept “provisional reinstatement” and to enter a process of reconciliation. A conflict between eight of the 11-member faculty and the Very Rev. Kurt Dunkle, who became GTS dean and president in July 2013, was made public late in September when e-mails and letters from the departing professors to students were circulated and the professors announced a work stoppage.

The full text of the Oct. 20 letter to Sisk follows.



Dear Bishop Sisk,

Thank you for your invitation to come together to find a way forward.

We receive this invitation in the good faith in which it is offered. Thank you also for acknowledging that healing is not an easy thing to accomplish; we are appreciative of both the alacrity with which you seek to facilitate our return to work and the attention you are giving to a long-­term process of reconciliation for the entire Seminary community.

We accept your offer of reinstatement to our positions, and the salaries and benefits outlined in our contracts in effect prior to September 25, 2014. We look forward to being able to do this as soon as possible. Like any member of the Seminary’s faculty we agree to abide by the terms of the Seminary Constitution, Bylaws and policies. Given some of the confusion that has arisen about these texts in recent weeks, we will need you to provide us with copies of them: this would help us as we seek together to work within them. We are pleased to see that during the “cooling off period” all of the parties’ respective legal arguments and positions will be reserved.

We also commit with energy to the holy work of reconciliation which we understand to be very important for the health of the entire institution and all of its constituent members: faculty, board, administration, staff and students alike. You mentioned in a telephone conversation the possibility of using a Mennonite group to facilitate this process. We heartily accept this proposal, since we have great respect for their expertise in this area.

If, God forbid, at the end of the academic year we find that the collective process of reconciliation has not worked well, we ask that there be some understanding that appropriate severance will be made available to enable us and our families to make a transition. Lest we be misunderstood here, let us state clearly that we will devote ourselves fully to the difficult work of reconciliation this  year.

As you know, one of our principal concerns has been to ensure that the seminary workplace be one of mutual respect and collegiality. As we move forward and return to our work, we ask that  you consider the appointment of an ombudsperson agreeable to all sides who would act during this “cooling off period” as an interlocutor and safe person to whom complaints could be referred if need be. This will help all of us to feel less on edge and safer, and so will be an indispensible means of helping the process of reconciliation to work well.

As an important sign of our movement forward together, any public acknowledgement of these agreements should be issued together.

Thank you for this very positive step forward for the sake of our Seminary, our students, and staff and God’s church.

Yours sincerely,
Professors  Davis,  DeChamplain,  Good,  Hurd,  Irving,  Kadel,  Lamborn, Malloy.

22 October 1944 A.D. 70 Years Ago J. I. Packer Sobers Up, Gets Real, Does Business, Wisens Up & Closes with Christ—As the Elect Do


22 October 1944 A.D.  70 Years Ago J. I. Packer Sobers Up, Gets Real, Does Business, Wisens Up & Closes with Christ—As the Elect Do

James’ church where he was reared, St. Catherine’s, Gloucester (the pictures didn't survive posting).



On Sunday, October 22, 1944—seventy years ago today—it is doubtful that anyone noticed a soft-spoken, lanky, and decidedly bookish first-year university student leaving his dormitory room at Corpus Christi College and heading across Oxford for an evening Christian Union service at a local Anglican church.

18-year-old Jim Packer had arrived at Oxford University less than three weeks prior, a single suitcase in hand, traveling east by train from Gloucester using a free ticket available to family members of Great Western Railway employees.

He later described himself at this stage of life as ”immature,” “shy,” “introverted,” “awkward,” “intellectual,” and an “oddball.” He was an “outsider” who was “bad at relationships” and “emotionally locked up.” He was also a “churned-up young man, painfully aware of himself, battling his daily way, as adolescents to, through manifold urges and surges of discontent and frustration.”

Packer came from a lower middle-class background and a nominal Anglican family that went to St Catharine’s Church in Gloucester but never talked about the things of God or even prayed at meals. As a teenager Packer had read a couple of the new books coming out by C. S. Lewis (fellow and tutor in English literature at Oxford’s Magdalen College), including The Screwtape Letters (1942) and the three BBC talks turned pamphlets that would later become Mere Christianity (1942-44). During chess matches with a high school classmate—the son of a Unitarian minister—he had defended Christianity.

Packer thought of himself as a Christian. But the events of that evening would convince him otherwise.

On this cool autumn evening, he made his way west across Oxford, past Pembroke College, and into St Aldate’s Church, where the Christian Union occasionally held services. The lights in the building were dimmed so that the light emanating from the building would be no brighter than moonlight—a recent relaxation of England’s “blackout” regulations to avoid air-raid attacks in World War II.


He entered the doors of the church a dead man walking and was to leave later that night as a resurrected man, knowing himself to belong to Christ.

The following narrative is adapted from Leland Ryken’s forthcoming biography, J. I. Packer: An Evangelical Life (Crossway, 2015), which Mike Reeves calls “now the definitive, most up-to-date biography of J. I. Packer.”



A schoolboy friendship with Eric Taylor was an important part of Jim Packer’s final year at Crypt School in Gloucester, England. While Packer spent his third year in “sixth form,” Taylor made the transition to the University of Bristol. During his first year at Bristol, Taylor became a Christian. He wrote letters to Packer about his new-found faith. Packer did not fully understand the letters, especially the one that contained an exposition of the final verses of Romans 3 on justification by faith. Jim was puzzled by references to “saving faith.” During the following summer vacation of 1944, Taylor and Packer had a series of conversations about the Christian faith. The discussions left Packer feeling that something was lacking, but he was mystified as to what it was.

Eric Taylor did not bring Packer to faith, but he did the next-best thing by encouraging Jim to make contact with the Christian student group at Oxford called the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (OICCU, an Inter-Varsity organization).


Front quad of Corpus Christi College at Oxford.

Christian student groups at Oxford and Cambridge Universities were highly active in the middle of the twentieth century. The Christian Union at Oxford followed a practice of arranging a social event in the respective colleges for new students at the beginning of each academic year. These were informational meetings designed to attract the participation of students in the meetings of the Christian Union of the university as a whole. Nearly everything at Oxford University is traditional, and the opening recruitment meeting of the term


Jim Packer (top center), with members of OICCU in Trinity Term 1948 at St Ebbe’s Rectory. Elizabeth Lloyd-Jones (now Lady Catherwood) is sitting in front of Packer.

happened specifically on the Thursday evening before the start of the academic year.

Ralph Hulme, the Corpus Christi OICCU representative, initiated contact with Packer and invited him to the introductory Thursday meeting. Packer accepted the invitation, having already determined that he would attend. The first meeting was eminently forgettable, as evidenced by the fact that the only thing Packer remembers about the event was that it failed to spark his interest!

 

Despite the low wartime enrollments at the University, OICCU president David Mullins (a medical student) was determined to maintain the evangelistic thrust of the Christian Union. The weekly agenda was ambitious. On the University level, there was a Bible exposition every Saturday evening and an evangelistic sermon every Sunday evening (known as “Sunday evening sermon”). Individual colleges then sponsored their own weekly Bible studies and prayer meetings. These options were presented to Packer at the informational meeting. The first week he decided to attend the Saturday evening Bible exposition but not the Sunday evening evangelistic service. He did, however, attend the evangelistic service the next Sunday, October 22, 1944.


The sanctuary of St Aldate’s church in Oxford, c. 1940s.

The service at which Packer was converted occurred at St. Aldate’s church, an Anglican church in the center of the city. It was one of the larger Oxford churches and was noted for its student ministry. We might note in passing that St. Aldate’s is a “stone’s throw” from Pembroke College, where fellow Crypt School alumnus George Whitefield (1714-70) attended college and was converted.

The service began at 8:15 PM. The preacher was an elderly Anglican parson named Rev. Earl Langston, from the resort town of Weymouth. The first half of the forty-minute sermon consisted of biblical exposition that left Packer bored. But the second half was a personal narrative of how Langston had been converted at a boys’ camp. The key component of that conversion had been a challenge posed to the youthful Langston by a camp leader as to whether or not he was a Christian. Langston had been jolted by this question to conclude that he was not actually saved. That, in turn, led to his coming to personal faith in Christ as Savior.

This autobiographical narrative was riveting to Packer, who had entered Oxford believing himself to be a Christian. Packer suddenly saw his own story in Langston’s narrative and realized that he was not a Christian. It was a traumatic realization. It was accompanied by an imagined picture that Alister McGrath reconstructs as follows:

He found a picture arising from within his mind. The picture was that of someone looking from outside through a window into a room where some people were having a party. Inside the room, people were enjoying themselves by playing games. The person outside could understand the games that they were playing. He knew the rules of the games. But he was outside; they were inside. He needed to come in.

Packer was particularly convicted by the latter awareness: “I need to come in.” So by the Spirit’s prompting he came in. The sermon ended as evangelistic services in the Oxford milieu (and more universally) did—with the preacher emphasizing the need to commit oneself to Christ and the singing of the hymn “Just As I Am.”

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Packer states simply, “I had given my life to Christ.” He also recounts, “When I went out of the church I knew I was a Christian.”

Packer went back to his room at Corpus Christi and wrote his parents to tell them what had happened.

More than half a century later, Packer could attest regarding his conversion that “I remember the experience as if it were yesterday.”



Thank God for his saving grace. Seventy years later, Packer continues to instruct the church on the beauty and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who saves us just as we are but begins to transform us into what we will someday be, all to the praise of the glory of his grace.

22 October 2014 A.D. Roderick “Rory” Ogilvy Bremmer: Quotations on Islam from Notable Non-Muslims


22 October 2014 A.D.  Roderick “Rory” Ogilvy Bremmer: Quotations on Islam from Notable Non-Muslims

For 88 more quotes from other leaders regarding Islamo-Fascists, see:  http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2014/08/25-august-2014-ad-quotations-on-islam_25.html


We bring one of 89 quotes:  this is from Roderick “Rory” Ogilvy Bremmer.


Rory Bremner



Roderick "Rory" Keith Ogilvy Bremner, FKC (born April 6, 1961) is a Scottish impressionist, playwright and award-winning comedian, noted for his work in political satire and impressions of prominent British politicians. 


“When [I'm] writing a sketch about Islam, I'm writing a line and I think, 'If this goes down badly, I'm writing my own death warrant there.' Because there are people who will say, 'Not only do I not think that's funny but I'm going to kill you' – and that's chilling... If you're a Danish cartoonist and you work in a Western tradition, people don't take that too seriously. Suddenly you're confronted by a group of people who are fundamentalist and extreme and they say, 'We're going to kill you because of what you have said or drawn.' Where does satire go from there, because we like to be brave but not foolish.[97]

Nick Collins.  “Rory Bremmer `afraid’ to joke about Islam.”  Telegraph.  15 Jun 2010.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/7828813/Rory-Bremner-afraid-to-joke-about-Islam.html.  Accessed 22 Oct 2014.

AND NOW,  for illustrative quotes on Islam from a world class scholar, Imam Barack Hussein Obama, see: 


20 Quotes By Barack Obama About Islam and Mohammed

#1 “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam”

#2 “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

future-must-not-belong-to-those-who-slander-prophet-islam-mohammad-barack-hussein-obama-muslim


#3 “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

#4 “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

#5 “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.

#6 “Islam has always been part of America”

#7 “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities

#8 “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

#9 “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

#10 “I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam.”

#11 “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

#12 “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”

#13 “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

#14 “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

#15 “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality

#16 “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”

#17 “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

#18 “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

#19 “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

#20 “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”


AND NOW, for more scholarly quotes from Imam Obama, see the URL.




 


 


OR, beside Imam Obama’s insights above, a few Quranic verses that have insired many Islamo-fascists.

Qur'an 3:32—Say: Obey Allah and the Apostle; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers.

Qur'an 48:29—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of (their) prostration (during prayers). This is their description in the Taurat (Torah). But their description in the Injeel (Gospel) is like a (sown) seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, it then becomes thick, and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allah has promised those among them who believe (i.e. all those who follow Islamic Monotheism, the religion of Prophet Muhammad SAW till the Day of Resurrection) and do righteous good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward (i.e. Paradise).

Qur'an 4:24—Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus hath Allah ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property—desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.

Qur'an 5:33—The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.

Qur'an 9:5—Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Qur'an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day [notice it says "fight those who do not believe," not "fight people who are attacking you"], nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book [the people of the book are Jews and Christians], until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Qur'an 9:73—O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.

Qur'an 9:111—Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.

Qur'an 47:35—Be not weary and fainthearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost: for Allah is with you, and will never put you in loss for your (good) deeds. 


Qur'an 2:106—Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?


From the 1662 Book of Common Prayer,  the Collect for Good Friday:

O MERCIFUL God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.