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:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

16 December 1714 A.D. Dr. Lee Gatiss on Whitefield’s 300th Birthday

16 December 1714 A.D. Dr. Lee Gatiss on Whitefield’s 300th Birthday

Gatiss, Lee. “Happy 300th Birthday George Whitefield.” Reformation21.  16 Dec 2014.  Accessed 16 Dec 2014.


George Whitefield, the great Anglican Evangelical evangelist of the 18th century, was born on 16th December 1714 (Old Style -- which means we can celebrate again in 11 days time too). So buy a cake, get 300 candles and a box of matches, and sing a happy song for the old guy!


I've spent the last year writing and talking about Whitefield in various places, from Cape Town to Carlisle, from Athens to America. So I thought this would be a good time to share some of those things here, to aid your celebrations.


First up, read the man himself: The Sermons of George Whitefield in a new, two-volume set with annotations and a historical-theological introduction:


Last week, the 2014 St Antholin's Lecture was on Whitefield, Toplady, Simeon, and Wesley's Arminian Campaigns. It was called "Strangely Warmed", or perhaps an alternative title might be "Celebrity pastors in Calvinist cover-ups." The audio has just been made available here


A whole issue of the excellent Credo magazine was on Whitefield


There was also a great conference at THE Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (which I may have blogged about already on Ref21...), the material from which is available online. E.g. 


Andrew Fuller Conference 2014: Session 2 - "George Whitefield: The Anglican Evangelist" by Lee Gatiss from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.


THE Southern Baptist Theological Journal also did an issue on him


Obviously, we can't get a Ref21 post go by without mentioning the celebrity historian Dr Carl Trueman, who also got in on the act by lecturing on Whitefield here. Carl, George, and myself all went to school in Gloucester. Though I was at the comprehensive school.


And if, as well as Whitefield's sermons, above, you want to read something (or get something for Christmas) on the great man (Whitefield, not Trueman...), you could do a lot worse than the brand new blockbuster by Thomas Kidd.


So, happy birthday George. Thanks for being a great confessional Anglican, and thinking the 39 Articles were cool. Thanks for being into covenant theology before that became a naughty thing to talk about in the UK. Thanks for repenting of being too rash and hasty in your attitude towards certain American presbyterians, and repenting of your "too apostolical" way of speaking and judging people when you were in your 20s. Thanks for showing that one really can believe in predestination and limited atonement at the same time as being a barnstormer of an evangelist. And thanks for winning many people for Christ.


Now, "let the name of Whitefield perish, but Christ be glorified."
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