BAPTISM IN THE EARLY CHURCH by Hendrik Stander and Johannes Louw

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Mayflower

Puritan Board Junior
Myself iam paedobaptist believer, and one of the books that help me was William Wall's history on infant baptism.
But today i saw this next book a historical defence of believers baptism:

BAPTISM IN THE EARLY CHURCH by Hendrik Stander and Johannes Louw
http://65.71.233.194/arbca/baptism_church_book.htm

Iam still wondering which kind of arguments that they wil use from a historical viewpoint, and how they go against foreaxmple that arguments that William Wall used.

Is anyone familiar with this book and the arguments ?
 

Mayflower

Puritan Board Junior
Foreample it says :

" . . This is a helpful book. It demonstrates that believer's baptism did not simply appear after the apostolic era, but continued to be the accepted position for centuries. Infant baptism became part of the ecclesiastical practice gradually, apart from apostolic injunction. For this reason, it must be called into question, and rejected as a suitable practice for Christian churches..

"Infant baptism became part of the ecclesiastical practice gradually, apart from apostolic injunction.....??????????????????????????????
 

smallbeans

Puritan Board Freshman
There is a tradition of this kind of literature - see the mid-century debates between Jeremias and Aland. I have not seen this Louw book, but even if he proves that the first few centuries did not practice infant baptism (or more exactly, that the evidence is lacking), it does not settle the case that we should not baptize infants today. After all, that was the infant church, and here we are 2000 years later - 2000 years of reflection on the scriptures, 2000 years of the Holy Spirit continuing to minister Christ to us. One could very well conclude that Infant Baptism is a legitimate doctrinal development that wasn't practiced widely until Tertullian and still have a respectable position. In summary, I'd just caution against the view that if the early church did it, it is more authentic. In general, we do not look to immaturity, but to maturity for our exemplars.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
The only way he can deny IB in the early church is if he closes his eyes and says he does not see it anywhere. From graves, to ossuaries, to rabbinical literature, to prayer books, etc., infant baptism was widely documented and practiced (something I hated as fact while I was a Baptist). Wall's book is great on those issues.
 

matthew11v25

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by webmaster
The only way he can deny IB in the early church is if he closes his eyes and says he does not see it anywhere. From graves, to ossuaries, to rabbinical literature, to prayer books, etc., infant baptism was widely documented and practiced (something I hated as fact while I was a Baptist). Wall's book is great on those issues.

matthew,

do you have any recommended resources regarding IB and early church?
 

john_Mark

Puritan Board Freshman
Fast and easily done...

Originally posted by webmaster
The only way he can deny IB in the early church is if he closes his eyes and says he does not see it anywhere.

Matthew,

You've just refuted the whole book without even reading it! :lol:

Seriously, I want to check this book out.
 

john_Mark

Puritan Board Freshman
A short review by Michael T. Renihan

Book reviewed by Michael T. Renihan
Professors Hendrikus Stander and Johannes Louw have provided an invaluable resource for students of the Patristic era of Church History. It is also a provocative volume for inquirers bold enough to look beyond their historical presuppositions regarding baptism. A word of warning: objectivity is required or this book will be a frustrating read.
Stander and Louw are both classical scholars in their own right. Each man´s work can be readily examined in the books, monographs, and articles he has published. Each is a world class scholar. Dr. Stander studied at Yale. On those occasions that took him to the libraries at Harvard, he would travel within a quarter mile of where I presently live. He is a kind and gracious man. Dr. Louw, along with Eugene Nida, is an editor of the acclaimed Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains. The careers of Stander and Louw dovetailed at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. They have been associated with that institution for many years.
The denominational allegiance of the authors makes Baptism in the Early Church remarkable. They belong to churches that are paedobaptist and covenantal by confession and heritage. Yet, their desire was (and is) to be objective, honest, and thorough in their quest to understand how the Early Church understood and practiced baptism. In the end, they gently and graciously remove one of the three legs on which the three-legged stool of covenantal paedobaptism sat for many years; the other two being (from this writer´s perspective) theological necessity and eisogetical induction.
In the Twentieth Century, much work was done in the fields of archaeology and history with regard to baptism and the initiatory rites of the Early Church. It is sad that so much has been neglected or dismissed willfully with a few strokes on the keyboard. Everett Ferguson´s volume The Encyclopedia of the Early Church (which contains articles by Prof. Stander) is a repository for many of these recent discoveries.

Con´t here: http://65.71.233.194/arbca/baptism_church_book.htm

[Edited on 4-20-2005 by john_Mark]
 

Theological Books

Puritan Board Freshman
It's a great book (wonderfuly refreshing scholarship) and required reading for students in the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies at Westminster Seminary California. These men clearly show a "direct line" of the practice of infant baptism cannot be found throughout the early patristic literature. This is not to prove/disprove the validity of infant baptism, mind you. It merely reflects no record of such a practice can be found in the extant patristic literature for a period of a few centuries (if memory serves me right). It's been a while since I read it, and my old copy--prior to the printing in which it is now sold--is gone, so I do not have my readily available copy with notes, underlinings, highlights, etc. I do recommend it. I can sell anybody a copy of it for $15.00 (not including s&h). I don't know how much others sell it for. Heck, if everyone wants to buy one, I can send them all out for $15.00 including s&h (media rate). Just PM me with a U2U message.
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
I found a very interesting book on this subject at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Bookshop in London:-

'Baptism: Archaeological, Historical, Biblical' by F.M.Buhler (Joshua Press: ISBN 1-894400-20-8 ). Forword by Michael Haykin.

Buhler is/was an archaeologist by profession and also Pastor of Mulhouse Evangelical Baptist Church, France. He comments on a number of baptistries found in Roman houses, particularly the House of the Christians in Doura-Europos in Syria. This is a 1st Century house, which had been turned into a Christian meeting place in the 3rd Century. It contained a baptistry, which was dismantled transported and moved to the Art Gallery (?!) of Yale University, so some of you guys can check it out.

There are other baptistries found in various parts of the old Roman Empire, but this one is the oldest found so far.

Buhler also comments upon the evidence of iconography. Up until the 12th Century, in representations of His baptism, Christ id depicted with the water up to His, hips, waist or even HIs neck. This can only refer to baptism by immersion. From the 13th Century, Christ is represented with water up to the knees, up to half-calf or even only up to the ankle. JTB is then shown as pouring water on our Lord's head, often by means of a scallop shell.

Grace & Peace,

Martin
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
What I find most incredible is that we are looking for empirical evidence for a spiritual reality.

Suppose no one ever finds empirical evidence. Does it make it less true? Does that mean that the collective understanding of the church is based on a lie? I refuse to believe that the Holy Spirit would lead us to a place like this.

I don't dispute that the Holy Roman church is full of error. I also don't dispute that they are the biggest reason for their error. But I do refuse to believe that the Reformation got the church back on track only to leave a practice that is so diametrically and diabolically opposed to God's Will on the matter.

It is only chronological snobbery that assumes that because there is no writing extant on the subject, that the testimony of the whole church for centuries is to be thrown out. Especially when we're talking about the inclusion of infants in the visible church. We're not practicing paedobaptism because we can prove the early church did. If we rested upon empirical evidence, how can that be God-glorifying and God-pleasing? He is only pleased by what we do in faith. Faith does not rest on empirical findings.

Now if we had faith in some alien rite someone came up with out of the world, we may be among men the most pitiable. But we are having faith that God does in fact promise to our children what we have come to know. We're not claiming faith in Mary or in the Pope. We're claiming a promise that has existed with the Father since the beginning of time.

So, finding empirical evidence about baptism will not solve our differences. We still have to answer why the Reformation divines continued a practice in concert with the testimony of the church, when, if they were casting aside superstition and innovations on the worship of God, they could have rid the church, once for all, of this practice.

The reason they kept it is because the promise is to us and to our children; that upon the members of the visible church, a sign should be placed; that the precious promises of God embraced by faith in Jesus Christ should be of comfort and assurance to God's people.

In Christ,

KC
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by kceaster

Now if we had faith in some alien rite someone came up with out of the world, we may be among men the most pitiable.

No comment.

We still have to answer why the Reformation divines continued a practice in concert with the testimony of the church, when, if they were casting aside superstition and innovations on the worship of God, they could have rid the church, once for all, of this practice.

Kevin, the reason is not hard to find. The idea of religious freedom was unknown at the time of the Reformation. We need only look at the practices of Nebuchadnezzar in Dan 3:1-7, those of various Roman Emperors and those of the Chinese government today to see that rulers like all their people to be singing from the same hymn book- to keep religion firmly under their control. King James I had the saying, 'No bishop, no king.' He felt that if episcopacy were not imposed upon Britain, the monarchy would be in danger.

So to have everyone in the country or city-state baptized in to one particular brand of Christianity was very appealing. We know that Zwingli was very well disposed towards Anabaptism at first, but changed under the duress of the authorities in Zurich who wanted only one religion in their city. Having everyone baptized as infants into the State religion was seen to be the best way to keep control.

If you read English History, you will know that Scotland only agreed to support Parliament against Charles I in the Civil War if Presbyterianism were imposed upon England. The Westminster Assembly was convened to bring that about. For a short period, the Presbyterians did control England, and they were just as prescriptive about religion as Archbishop Laud had been. That is why Milton, a congregationalist, penned the poem with the lines, 'New presbyter is but old priest writ large'. It was only when Cromwell took control that true religious freedom (except for Romanists) was achieved for a short while.

So your question, why did the Reformers keep the Roman practice of Paedobaptism, is simply answered: because they feared unfettered religious freedom.

Grace & Peace,

Martin
 

Larry Hughes

Puritan Board Sophomore
Quote:
Originally posted by kceaster

Now if we had faith in some alien rite someone came up with out of the world, we may be among men the most pitiable.


No comment.

But isn't this a comment?
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Martin....

Originally posted by Martin Marprelate

So your question, why did the Reformers keep the Roman practice of Paedobaptism, is simply answered: because they feared unfettered religious freedom.

Grace & Peace,

Martin

Thanks for proving my point. You didn't say anything about the spiritual implications at all. Rather, you're pointing again to empirical evidence and speculation. Further, you showed me that at the heart of your argument is that paedobaptism is Roman, ergo it must be bad.

If you truly believe that Luther and Calvin upheld paedobaptism out of fear, you need to read them again. Fear is nowhere near their hearts. Moreover, the Westminsterians after having lived through the kind of persecution under the English monarchy weren't writing out of fear, either.

Fear is not of faith. What you're saying is that the Reformation divines were not faithful?

And if your argument about keeping control is true, then the nation of Israel must have always been kept in line, right? I'm pretty sure that if the magisterial reformers had any thought of control, it left their minds very quickly when they also believed in the absolute sovereignty of God and the absolute depravity of man.

You're making it sound like they actually were superstitious. I'm not sure what you're basing this on. They had more of a grasp on doctrine than we do, and you're claiming that they're trying to keep an earthly kingdom together? I'm not sure many would agree with you. I certainly don't.

If your hypothesis were true, then it would play out in the next generations that they would still be trying to keep the state together and they would have passed on to their children that baptism and the peace of the church and society was absolutely founded upon such things.

Rather, we do not see the next generations trying to keep the states together other than is normal, and we do not see them putting forth the argument that baptism keeps people in line.

So, if you're right, paedobaptism during the Reformation was for an express purpose not expressed, and the next generations continued the practice it for a completely different reason. Further, you have just lumped two groups of people into the most hideous of lies and innovations of worship.

In other words,, paedobaptists really do not baptize babies because we are claiming the promises of God in His Covenant of Grace. The reason we baptize babies is because Rome did it and it keeps the state together.

No pun intended, your argument doesn't hold water.

In Christ,

KC
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Martin Marprelate
Originally posted by kceaster

Now if we had faith in some alien rite someone came up with out of the world, we may be among men the most pitiable.

No comment.

We still have to answer why the Reformation divines continued a practice in concert with the testimony of the church, when, if they were casting aside superstition and innovations on the worship of God, they could have rid the church, once for all, of this practice.

Kevin, the reason is not hard to find. The idea of religious freedom was unknown at the time of the Reformation. We need only look at the practices of Nebuchadnezzar in Dan 3:1-7, those of various Roman Emperors and those of the Chinese government today to see that rulers like all their people to be singing from the same hymn book- to keep religion firmly under their control. King James I had the saying, 'No bishop, no king.' He felt that if episcopacy were not imposed upon Britain, the monarchy would be in danger.

So to have everyone in the country or city-state baptized in to one particular brand of Christianity was very appealing. We know that Zwingli was very well disposed towards Anabaptism at first, but changed under the duress of the authorities in Zurich who wanted only one religion in their city. Having everyone baptized as infants into the State religion was seen to be the best way to keep control.

If you read English History, you will know that Scotland only agreed to support Parliament against Charles I in the Civil War if Presbyterianism were imposed upon England. The Westminster Assembly was convened to bring that about. For a short period, the Presbyterians did control England, and they were just as prescriptive about religion as Archbishop Laud had been. That is why Milton, a congregationalist, penned the poem with the lines, 'New presbyter is but old priest writ large'. It was only when Cromwell took control that true religious freedom (except for Romanists) was achieved for a short while.

So your question, why did the Reformers keep the Roman practice of Paedobaptism, is simply answered: because they feared unfettered religious freedom.

Grace & Peace,

Martin

Wrong. You are correct in that religious toleration was rightly deemed immoral and dangerous by all governments and religions (except some radical sects) however, that this is the reason credobaptism was not accepted by the reformers is a huge leap! The reformers wrote extensively and passionately against the fanatics who rejected the historical and scriptural position of the church. They were not compelled to believe paedobaptism by force of arms but by force of reason!

Dr. FN Lee, the Anabaptists and their Stepchildren
Calvin on the anti-paedobaptists: "Together with the Romanists, Calvin too opined that the "tumults and disputes" of Anabaptism "ought to be ascribed to the malice of Satan...by means of his Catabaptists and other portentous miscreants." ...

"It appeared to me, that unless I opposed them to the utmost of my ability -- my silence could not be vindicated from the charge of cowardice and treachery. This was the consideration which induced me to publish my Institutes of the Christian Religion" -- in 1536. "

Zwingli:
"Exclaimed Zwingli: "Their rebaptism is a clear sign that they intend to create a new and different Church. Biblical baptism, however -- just like circumcision -- can be performed once only. Once in the covenant, a man remains there. The New Testament knows only one baptism [Ephesians 4:4-6]. Neither Christ nor the holy Apostles ever repeated it -- or taught that it needed to be repeated."108

Zwingli further pointed out that "the soul is cleansed by the grace of God, and not by any external thing whatever." Consequently, "baptism cannot wash away sin." Furthermore, Zwingli rightly saw that "the children of Christians are not less the children of God than their parents are -- or than the children in Old Testament times were." So, seeing they "belong to God -- who will refuse them baptism?"109

...

The Reformer Bullinger was an eye-witness at that great debate. It took place in the Zurich Council Hall on January 17th 1525. The Anabaptists argued that infants cannot believe. But Zwingli showed that infant baptism had replaced infant circumcision (Genesis 17 cf. Colossians 2:11-13), and that the infants of Christians are themselves 'holy' (First Corinthians 7:14). He published his arguments (five months later) in a book. That bore the very appropriate title: On Baptism, Rebaptism, and Infant Baptism. "
http://www.dr-fnlee.org/anab.html#HEAD28

Indeed, James I of England did know well that prelacy was foundational to the arbitrary and tyrannical power of kings but those convinced of the truth of presbyterianism were willing to die to have Christ's rights over his church restored. Melville, who defiantly called James "God's sillie vassel", was banished for his attempt to reform the church. His successors the covenanters fought against James' sons when they put the church in a similar situtation. 18000 were killed many more exiled or sold into slavery. They, and all the reformers, stood for what they believed and held nothing back.

[Edited on 7-15-2005 by Peter]
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hello Peter,
This probably belongs in the Church History forum. If the Web-Master wants to move it there, it's fine by me.

You wrote:-
Wrong. You are correct in that religious toleration was rightly deemed immoral and dangerous by all governments and religions (except some radical sects) however, that this is the reason credobaptism was not accepted by the reformers is a huge leap! The reformers wrote extensively and passionately against the fanatics who rejected the historical and scriptural position of the church. They were not compelled to believe paedobaptism by force of arms but by force of reason!

Alas! Not so. George Blaurock and Conrad Grebel was arrested in Zurich in 1525 They were sentenced to life imprisonment "Because of their anabaptism and their unbecoming conduct to lie in the tower on a diet of bread and water, and no one was permitted to visit them except the guards." The main charge, that of sedition, was brought by Zwingli. On March 7, 1526, a new law was passed in Zurich making the act of performing adult baptism a crime punishable by death.

You quote F.N.Lee. He is not in my opinion a responsible historian. Zwingli did indeed make the quotes Lee ascribes to him, but earlier he wrote to friends; "Nothing grieves me more than that at presentI have to baptize children, for I know it ought not to be done." And again; ".....If we were to baptize as Christ instituted it then we would not baptize any person until he has reached the years of discretion; for I find it nowhere written that infant baptism is to be practised.........but on account of the possibility of offense I omit preaching this; it is better not to preach it until the world is ready to take it"

That time never came for Zwingli. The City Council warned him off, saying, "It becomes no one, and least of all a preacher, to call ancestral deliverances and ordinances superfluous, foolish or vain.......By doing so the Holy Church, the ancient fathers, the Councils, the popes, the cardinals and bishops will be made to look ridiculous, will be disdained and eliminated." That was enough for Zwingli; he came in to line forthwith. Whether he had a genuine change of heart on the matter, or whether he baulked at opposing the Council, the Lord knows.

Lee quotes Zwingli as saying:-
"Exclaimed Zwingli: "Their rebaptism is a clear sign that they intend to create a new and different Church. Biblical baptism, however -- just like circumcision -- can be performed once only. Once in the covenant, a man remains there. The New Testament knows only one baptism [Ephesians 4:4-6]. Neither Christ nor the holy Apostles ever repeated it -- or taught that it needed to be repeated."108

Acts 19:3-5. 'And [Paul] said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism."........When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.' Where a baptism was not valid, even if honourably and sincerely administered, Paul had no compunction in re-baptizing. Infant baptism is not valid because it is not accompanied by repentance and faith (Acts 2:38, 41; 8:37 ).

You continued:-
Indeed, James I of England did know well that prelacy was foundational to the arbitrary and tyrannical power of kings but those convinced of the truth of presbyterianism were willing to die to have Christ's rights over his church restored. Melville, who defiantly called James "God's sillie vassel", was banished for his attempt to reform the church. His successors the covenanters fought against James' sons when they put the church in a similar situtation. 18000 were killed many more exiled or sold into slavery. They, and all the reformers, stood for what they believed and held nothing back.

That is all very true. I would never deny the sufferings of the Covenantors in the 'Killing Times.' The sad fact is, however, that some of them were prepared to inflict similar sufferings upon those with whom they disagreed.

Grace & Peace,

Martin
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Hello Martin,

You misunderstood the 1st part of my post. I do not dispute the fact prior to the "enlightenment" most governments, to a greater or lesser degree, supressed religions which deviated from the state religion, including some baptists (read Munster and John of Leiden). The part I have a problem with is you attributing this to the reason why the reformers remained paedobaptist which is purely ignorant speculation.

As for the Zwingli quotes, they flatly contradict the ones Lee cites in his book where gives their sources. The probable reason is that they are riped from their context by baptist psuedo-historians(not implying you but ur source), the sort that are infamous for producing their 'trail of blood' geneologies and claiming the waldensens were credobaptists . Remember Zwingli died in battle fighting for what he believed. He was not the spineless coward you make him out to be.

Yes the covenanters were prepared to punish blasphemers, idolators and sectaries a al Deut 13, Zech 13, and commandments 1-3. To persecute the truth is a bad thing. To persecute those who curse, defame, and profane God by their preverted religions and threaten to further disrupt the unity of the church is the duty of the state. http://www.naphtali.com/severity.htm

[Edited on 7-15-2005 by Peter]
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hi Kevin,
You wrote:-
Thanks for proving my point. You didn't say anything about the spiritual implications at all.

Let me hasten to put that right. The spiritual implication of infant baptism is a mixed church which always leads to apostacy. The history of Presbyterian churches is that of liberalism, followed either by exinction or by a faithful remnant leaving and setting up a new church. I wrote elsewhere that the English Presbyterian church was unitarian within two generations of the WCF. The same happened to the church in Geneva. Around 1725, the deist J. J. Rousseau wrote:-
It is asked of the ministers of the church of Geneva if Jesus Christ be God? They dare not answer. It is asked, if he were a mere man. They are embarrassed, and will not say they think so. A philosopher, with a glance of an eye, penetrates their character. He sees them to be Arians, Socinians, deists; he proclaims it, and thinks he does them honour. They are alarmed, terrified; they come together, they discuss, they are in agitation, they know not to which of the saints they should turn, and, after earnest consultations, deliberations, conferences, all vanishes in 'amphigore'; and they neither say, yes or no. Oh! Genevans, these gentlemen, your ministers, in truth are very singular people! They do not know what they believe, or what they do not believe. They do not even know what they would wish to believe. Their only manner of establishing their faith is to attack the faith of others.

Jean Jaques Rousseau
"Letters from the Mountains"

I cannot forbear to mention that the Genevans were delivered from this sad state by the revival in 1816, brought about by the ministry of the Scottish Baptist, Robert Haldane.

The Lord knows that the Baptists have not been free of liberalism and apostacy, but it is a fact that the only evangelical church group in England that can claim an unbroken heritage from the 17th Century is the Particular Baptists.

Grace & Peace,

Martin
 

Theological Books

Puritan Board Freshman
**OFF TOPIC**

Peter,

You are saying the duty of the state is to punish and prosecute heresy (i.e. false religions)? Are you saying (noting you are RPC) you think the church is to be the state, or that the state is to enforce the Christian religion?
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
Peter,
The sources for the two Zwingli letters I quoted are:-

1. 'Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte Herausgegeben vom Verein fur Reformationsgeschichte'. Make of that what you will.

2. An extant letter of Zwingli to his associates, Hans Heger and Ruodi Feissenwasser.

You wrote
Yes the covenanters were prepared to punish blasphemers, idolators and sectaries a la Deut 13, Zech 13, and commandments 1-3. To persecute the truth is a bad thing. To persecute those who curse, defame, and profane God by their perverted religions and threaten to further disrupt the unity of the church is the duty of the state. http://www.naphtali.com/severity.htm

Hmmm. It interesting to know that the spirit of the Salem witch trials is alive and well in your country. And who is to be the infallible judge of who is or isn't, 'A plague, a creator of dissention among all the Jews throughout the world and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes' (Acts 24:5 )? The Pope? PCUSA? ECUSA? Or should we leave the matter to you? Heaven help us all!

Grace & Peace,

Martin
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I have read Zwingli was hanging around anabaptists and put his lot in with these people for a while. If I remember it correctly, he was their leader for a while. He retracted his belief in anabaptism, and left the group to another. At that time the Anabaptists were persecuted for not baptizing their children by law. I didn't get this from Trail of Blood which I believe is hopeful thinking at best. I don't see the trail they claim. I did read about it in David Gay's book Battle for the Church. I loned it to Andrew to check out.

Andrew Myers are you reading it still?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
I have read Zwingli was hanging around anabaptists and put his lot in with these people for a while. If I remember it correctly, he was their leader for a while. He retracted his belief in anabaptism, and left the group to another. At that time the Anabaptists were persecuted for not baptizing their children by law. I didn't get this from Trail of Blood which I believe is hopeful thinking at best. I don't see the trail they claim. I did read about it in David Gay's book Battle for the Church. I loned it to Andrew to check out.

Andrew Myers are you reading it still?

Hi Randy,

I am coming to the end of the book. Thanks for the loan and thanks for your patience. I aim to send it back to you next week. I think you can guess rightly that I disagree with the author greatly. But I appreciate the opportunity to give him a read. Thanks, brother.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Andrew,

Some of the stuff had to be historically acurate. What did you think about the Zwingli thing I mentioned above. Was there any credibility to it?

[Edited on 7-15-2005 by puritancovenanter]
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
Andrew,

Some of the stuff had to be historically acurate. What did you think about the Zwingli thing I mentioned above. Was there any credibility to it?

[Edited on 7-15-2005 by puritancovenanter]

I have seen no credible source that indicates that Zwingli ever adhered to anabaptistic beliefs re: separation of church and state (in the modern pluralistic sense) or adult baptism. They first popped up among his followers around 1523-1525. He did not clamp down on Anabaptists until the January 17, 1525 disputation between him and the Anabaptists in Zurich. The city council ruled in favor of Zwingli and infant baptism. The "break" between Zwingli and the anabaptists became official at that time, but I don't think it is accurate historically to say that Zwingli ever adhered to distinctively anabaptistic beliefs. It is more accurate to say that the anabaptists grew out of Zwingli's Swiss Reformation movement, but not with his blessing.

If I recall correctly, D'Aubigne's History of the Reformation treats this well (an historian whom I greatly respect). I also concur with and recommend our Webmaster's overview on the anabaptists.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Originally posted by Martin Marprelate
Peter,
The sources for the two Zwingli letters I quoted are:-

1. 'Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte Herausgegeben vom Verein fur Reformationsgeschichte'. Make of that what you will.

2. An extant letter of Zwingli to his associates, Hans Heger and Ruodi Feissenwasser.

You wrote
Yes the covenanters were prepared to punish blasphemers, idolators and sectaries a la Deut 13, Zech 13, and commandments 1-3. To persecute the truth is a bad thing. To persecute those who curse, defame, and profane God by their perverted religions and threaten to further disrupt the unity of the church is the duty of the state. http://www.naphtali.com/severity.htm

Hmmm. It interesting to know that the spirit of the Salem witch trials is alive and well in your country. And who is to be the infallible judge of who is or isn't, 'A plague, a creator of dissention among all the Jews throughout the world and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes' (Acts 24:5 )? The Pope? PCUSA? ECUSA? Or should we leave the matter to you? Heaven help us all!

Grace & Peace,

Martin

The Salem witch trials are overrated. There were other factors not religious at all in play. In other words, few Americans have guilty consciences over the Salem trials. Using them won't help your argument.
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Theological Books
**OFF TOPIC**

Peter,

You are saying the duty of the state is to punish and prosecute heresy (i.e. false religions)? Are you saying (noting you are RPC) you think the church is to be the state, or that the state is to enforce the Christian religion?

Hey Mr. Myers,
First, just to clarify, I'm not really RPC, I am an adherent of the RPC, that is, a regularly attending nonmember. Yes it is the duty of the State to prosecute heresy. No the state is not the church, yes the state is to enforce the Christian religion. How is the state to enforce Christianity? Not by internally interfering with the affairs of the church nor by policing the private opinions of individuals but by patronizing and providing for the church and punishing those who obstinately & dangerous promote heresy or schism, which is the historic position of presbyterianism and RPism in particular.

Hmmm. It interesting to know that the spirit of the Salem witch trials is alive and well in your country. And who is to be the infallible judge of who is or isn't, 'A plague, a creator of dissention among all the Jews throughout the world and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes' (Acts 24:5 )? The Pope? PCUSA? ECUSA? Or should we leave the matter to you? Heaven help us all!

Martin,
No one is an infallible judge of who is or isn't "[a prophet or dreamer of dreams that says] Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;" (Deut 13:2) But fortunately infalliblity isnt a requirement for the exercise of coercive power, otherwise we could never have any civil power and never punish murder, rape, theft, etc. after all governments can and do err in determining how to prosecute these crimes, nonetheless they are still are crimes. The judge would not be an ecclesiastical person but civil Ro 13.

Anyway we are off topic and the current digression has been debated ad nauseum on other threads. If you are interested in continuing the discussion I recommend 1st reading and considering the presbyterian view of the magistrate power in religion circa sacra and 2nd doing a search for the topic on this messageboard.

Links: Wholesome Severity Reconciled with Christian Liberty
Antitolerationism v. pretended liberty of conscience homepage @ covenanter.org
The Two Son's of Oil Chp 4
The Divine Right of Church Government, Pt 2 Chp 9 available at naphtali.com
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
The judge would not be an ecclesiastical person but civil Ro 13.

So the final arbiter of what is or isn't heresy is to be a judge who might be an atheist or agnostic. It just gets better and better! Not.

Anyway we are off topic and the current digression has been debated ad nauseum on other threads. If you are interested in continuing the discussion I recommend 1st reading and considering the presbyterian view of the magistrate power in religion circa sacra and 2nd doing a search for the topic on this messageboard.

Links: Wholesome Severity Reconciled with Christian Liberty
Antitolerationism v. pretended liberty of conscience homepage @ covenanter.org
The Two Son's of Oil Chp 4
The Divine Right of Church Government, Pt 2 Chp 9 available at naphtali.com

Not interested enough to read that lot!

Grace & Peace,

Martin
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Martin Marprelate
The judge would not be an ecclesiastical person but civil Ro 13.

So the final arbiter of what is or isn't heresy is to be a judge who might be an atheist or agnostic. It just gets better and better! Not.

NO! Atheists and agnostics and pagans of all other sorts have no right to be a civil magistrates.

Deut. 17:15: "Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother."

Rom. 13:4: "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. "

Samuel Brown Wylie, 2 Sons of Oil
"2. Another part of their character is a profession of Christianity. For a Christian people to appoint a Deist to govern them, to say nothing of its repugnancy to the divine law, is even shameful. It is just like the trees in Jotham's parable, Judges 9:14: "Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou and reign over us," because they could not find a tree of a more generous growth, to govern them. But this is contrary to the express command of God. Deut. 17:15: "Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother." Is it to be expected that the man, who is not a brother in the profession of the religion of Jesus, but an obstinate Infidel, will make his administration bend to the interests of Immanuel, whose existence he denies, whose religion he mocks, and whose kingdom he believes to be fictitious?"
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Peter,

You scare me. I am not a Theonomist. I do believe in a Theocracy though. Yet, I would rather be governed by a wise Turk instead of a stupid Christian as Luther would have.

Romans 13:4 applies even if the governing authority is not regenerate.

[Edited on 7-16-2005 by puritancovenanter]
 
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