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Confessional Faithlessness

By admin | October 27, 2008

History is full of examples of confessional faithlessness. I have coined this phrase to refer to men who give verbal consent to a Confession, or who promise to teach in accordance with a confession, and then fail to do so. One might argue that this has been incredibly common, and also incredibly deadly, in the history of the church. I think of the brave battle Dr. Al Mohler fought when he sought to hold professors to their signed commitments. I recently ran across an interesting example of this faithless practice in the life of an infamous theologian, James Arminius. read on:

His attitude toward confessional standards was open to question, for a theologian of his caliber must have realized that there was a substantial rift between his views and the system of teaching as well as the express utterances of the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession. Nevertheless, he paraded under the flag of allegiance and under the vows of conformity from the time of his ordination to his death. He repeatedly promised not to teach anything from the pulpit or the university chair which might be out of keeping with the standards. Obviously, if he had done just that, it is unlikely that he would have been the center of such storms and the rallying point of a whole group of uneasy spirits, whose heterodoxy was often more pronounced than his own. (Praamsma 28) From the article “Arminianism” by Roger Nicole, Encyclopedia of Christianity, (1964) vol. 1, p. 411. see also Praamsma, Louis, “The Background of the Arminian Controversy (1586 – 1618),” Crisis in the Reformed Churches, ed. Peter Y. DeJong (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Reformed Fellowship, Inc., 1968).

Topics: Baptist History, Calvinism, Confessions, Doctrines of Grace, Reformed Theology, Scripture | Comments Off

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