Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mr. Griesel: "Epistle to Diognetus" (2nd century)

Mr. Griesel's note from his blog which has worthwhile posts, but before we give you a clip from his post, we interject the following. Mr. Griesel's good work reminds us of what follows.

One is reminded of old Mr. (Canterbury) Laud who believed little of significance might be offered outside the 53,000 square miles of England (nearly the same in square mileage or nearly equal the size of the home state of North Carolina at about 52,000 square miles). Not ordained in the Church of England, too bad. French Huguenots, too bad. Dutch Calvinists, no thanks, they're not episcopally ordained, poor chaps. Swiss Churchmen, sorry. The fogs of the English Channel were Mr. Laud's southern border; not much good happened south of the Channel in this bigot's mind. Nothing any good up north in Scotland either with those Presbyterians, just the Scottish Episcopalians. His infamous visit to Scotland in 1637 and assertion, "We'll teach you some real theology now" didn't play well up north with the hardy Scotsmen. Anything "Calvinistic" was odious to him. As Mr. MacCulloch, a Tudor-Stuart scholar, reminds us, "Arminianism" was not the term of art for Mr. (Canterbury) Laud, but "Anti-Calvinist" was the term of art. Well, we bring a quote from a Dutch Calvinist from South Africa who does some consistently good work. Mr. Griesel is the name. Fortunately, we are reminded of one of our better men, that is, Mr. (Abp.) James Ussher's peaceable, charitable, appreciative, wise, generous and humble comment that he'd "be as comfortable taking the Lord's Supper in Dutch Calvinist Church in Holland or amongst French Huguenots as he would in his own church." In that spirit of Mr. Ussher, we point to a blog worth consulting regularly. Here's a post today from Mr. Griesel. It's from the "Letter to Diognetus," a 2nd century document.

For Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind either in locality or in speech or in customs. For they dwell not somewhere in cities of their own, neither do they use some different language, nor practise an extraordinary kind of life. Nor again do they possess any invention discovered by any intelligence or study of ingenious men, nor are they masters of any human dogma as some are. But while they dwell in cities of Greeks and barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the native customs in dress and food and the other arrangements of life, yet the constitution of their own citizenship, which they set forth, is marvellous, and confessedly contradicts expectation. They dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners; they bear their share in all things as citizens, and they endure all hardships as strangers. Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and every fatherland is foreign. They marry like all other men and they beget children; but they do not cast away their offspring. They have their meals in common, but not their wives. They find themselves in the flesh, and yet they live not after the flesh. Their existence is on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey the established laws, and they surpass the laws in their own lives. They love all men, and they are persecuted by all. They are ignored, and yet they are condemned. They are put to death, and yet they are endued with life. They are in beggary, and yet they make many rich. They are in want of all things, and yet they abound in all things. They are dishonoured, and yet they are glorified in their dishonour. They are evil spoken of, and yet they are vindicated. They are reviled, and they bless; they are insulted, and they respect. Doing good they are punished as evil-doers; being punished they rejoice, as if they were thereby quickened by life. War is waged against them as aliens by the Jews, and persecution is carried on against them by the Greeks, and yet those that hate them cannot tell the reason of their hostility.

For the rest, see:

No comments: