Presbyterianism’s Continuing Battle for the Faith

The aspects of the revival of Presbyterianism during the Reformation period had emphases in theology and church government. In theology, Presbyterianism returned to its Biblical roots in its emphasis on salvation by grace alone and its rejection of human merit as the guarantor of acceptance with God. In church government,…

400th Anniversary of the Synod of Dort

Due to the false teaching of Jacobus Ariminius (1560–1609), who was a semipelagian denying the doctrine of original sin and man’s total inability, the reformed churches in the united Netherlands were greatly troubled by his followers, who heavily criticized the teachings of the Protestant Reformers, including John Calvin. These troublers…

Presbyterianism’s Revival

For about one thousand years, the vestiges of the system of church government that the apostles of Christ established languished beneath the oppression that the papal religion cultivated in the world. The power of the Roman Catholic clergy, the bishops especially, increasingly drew its authority from the papacy. The reign of…

Presbyterianism’s Struggle with Apostasy (Part 2)

Historical developments that started while the Apostles were alive began to accelerate with their deaths. The structure of church government on which the apostles agreed, that is, a Presbyterian system in which the people elected elders to conduct the business of the congregations and to stress the interdependency of the…

Presbyterianism’s Biblical Foundation

Debates over the method of church government have absorbed much energy and time. Particularly, those who favor a congregational or independent model of church government have insisted throughout the decades that the New Testament presents no other model, and that if it does, the peculiarities of the apostolic age rendered…

A History of “Missions” to the Aztecs

The Aztecs were several tribes in the North of Mexico that settled near the Lake of the Texcoco and dwelt there until their conquest in 1521. Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, the Aztecs, or more appropriately the “Mexicas”, were the dominant civilization, politically, militarily, and culturally. The concept…

Luther’s Legacy

When Playmobil produced a Martin Luther figurine to commemorate the Reformation, the German manufacturer could not keep this new toy on the shelves. Dressed in sixteenth century academic robes, replete with cap, scroll and quill, and holding a copy of his New Testament in German, the figurine had a first…

Luther’s Third Major Debate

The Place: Worms, Germany The Date: April 18, 1521 Luther’s Opponent: Dr. John Eck, Archbishop of Trier (not to be confused with the Dr. Eck of Ingolstadt, who debated Luther at Leipzig). The Main Issue: The pope sent a letter to German officials issuing a bull of excommunication against Martin…

Luther’s Second Major Debate

The Place: Leipzig, Germany The Date: June 24 – July 16, 1519 Luther’s Opponent: Dr. John Eck of Ingolstadt, a scholastic Roman Catholic prelate The Main Issue: The supremacy of the pope over the Catholic Church Dr. Eck’s Contention: “There is in the church of God a primacy that comes…

The Reformation Luther

Martin Luther has been called, along with the Apostle Paul and Augustine, one of the three greatest theologians of the Christian church. Luther, however, never meant to be a great theologian. He certainly never meant to shake the foundations of Europe as he did. Martin Luther was originally concerned only…

Savonarola: Preacher of Righteousness Part 2

In 1489 and 1490 he [Girolamo Savonarola] began the years of his establishment in Florence. People thronged to hear him. His name was on the city’s lips. About 1491 he was made prior of his convent and proceeded to require of its inmates a stricter life, effecting a wholesome internal…