Guide The Reformers and Puritans as spiritual mentors: Hope is kindled (The Christian Mentor Book 2)

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At the latter part of his life, however, Teellinck became somewhat mystical, emphasizing feelings more than faith. This chapter is packed with quotes from the Reformers and the Puritans, and their like-minded successors. Here Beeke demonstrates to his readers what Puritan Reformed spirituality really is.

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Joel R. Beeke, trans. Edwards rightly stands at the fountainhead of a great theological tradition. In response, the reader turns to shallower streams and dies instead of theological thirst. The great riches of Edwards await those who will swim against the current.

seeking to behold and proclaim the glory of Jesus Christ in His Word and His World

Those who persevere find not only the majesty of his thought on such great doctrines as the will and sin. No doubt we sometimes feel this way. This book on the man from Yale by Brian Najapfour will help remedy the problem of prayerlessness. For that reason alone I am grateful for this enjoyable read on the prayer life of Jonathan Edwards. David P. Adriaan C.

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Brian G. I commend this book, and more importantly Bunyan himself, as a conversation partner for all evangelicals who desire a Word-centered, Spirit-led, gospel-driven spirituality. Nathan A. Those who are seeking serious godliness in our own times will find a good deal to help them in this book. Donald S. To purchase this book, click here. Najapfour holds a Th. He is currently pursuing a Ph. He is co-editor along with Joel R. He is married to Sarah J. Personal Holiness The first lesson I learned from the Puritans was the importance and urgency!

The Ugliness of Sin Not only did the Puritans help me understand the importance of personal holiness, but also of the ugliness of sin. Jonathan Edwards Puritan Puritan piety. A proud Calvinist looks down on those who are not Calvinists. He thinks that he is superior to them.

The Reformers and Puritans as Spiritual Mentors: Hope Is Kindled

And when he refutes their unscriptural doctrines, he does so very sarcastically. Save yourself and us! Luke Likewise, when he defends his faith, he does so with harshness and disrespect. Not only did the Reformers fail to break with the rigid clericalism of their past including the error of infant baptism , but church attendance in Protestant territories was compulsory.

Thus, believers and unbelievers were forced to gather together under the same church membership:. It is one of the incredible paradoxes of history that the Reformers, who so boldly and effectively recaptured the Gospel of grace from its medieval distortion and restored the central message of justification by faith, should have retained the mass church of the mixed multitude, the territorial church of the Constantinian compromise, in which real faith was not a requirement for membership H.

Bender, These Are My People , p. Unfortunately, much of the ecclesiology within our historic Reformed denominations is fraught with practices and cherished traditions which run counter to the New Testament. We must value the spiritual contributions of different men and different periods of time within church history, but never idolize them. We must be willing to look at both the good as well as the faults of our spiritual and theological heroes. We must seek to guard ourselves from the error of a party-spirit as well as from making a virtual pope out of Calvin or Luther — something which, by the way, the apostle Paul explicitly told us not to do 1 Corinthians ; ; Making man the measure or standard of righteousness, instead of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We fail to see the progression of church history and end up chained to the past — not recognizing that each period of history has its own unique contribution and blessing including ours in the twenty-first century. We end up viewing history from a romanticized perspective, rather than from reality, which includes both great achievements as well as great down-falls. If even the Bible records the failures and sins of the greatest saints e.

Perhaps one of the major reasons why God allowed the failures of various biblical characters to be recorded, is so that we would not idolize such persons nor form theological parties around them. For those willing to look at the faults of our Reformation and Puritan heroes — not for the purpose of discrediting them, but for the purpose of seeing a true picture — I recommend the following: Thomas N.

Eerdmans, Consider the grace and blessings which God has lavished upon you: He could have chosen to create you into a mouse or even a cockroach but, instead, chose to make you into a member of the human race; He could have chosen to plant you in the most remote and harshest place on this planet but, instead, chose to plant you in the free and prosperous land of America; He could have left you in sin and darkness but, instead, chose to redeem you and adopt you as His child through Christ Jesus; And He could have left you in your Arminian confusion but, instead, chose to graciously reveal the Doctrines of Grace to you.

Therefore, do you have any excuse for pride or arrogance toward others — particularly toward our Arminian brethren? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? John ,17; Romans ,10; 1 Corinthians ,13; Ephesians ,32; Philippians ; Colossians ; 1 Peter ; 1 John ; Seek to cultivate and improve such spiritual characteristics as patience, kindness, and non-retaliation.

Select Works of Joel R. Beeke (26 vols.)

This, likewise, should be the goal of the Calvinist or any believer for that matter. The only way to reverse the common assumption that Calvinists are haughty and proud, is to simply not behave in this way. In all probability, sensible conversation will sometimes drift into controversy, and here many a good man runs upon a snag. The sensible minister will be particularly gentle in argument. He, above all men, should not make the mistake of fancying that there is force in temper, and power in speaking angrily.

A heathen who stood in a crowd in Calcutta, listening to a missionary disputing with a Brahmin, said he knew which was right though he did not understand the language — he knew that he was in the wrong who lost his temper first.

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For the most part, that is a very accurate way of judging. Try to avoid debating with people. State your opinion and let them state theirs. If you see that a stick is crooked, and you want people to see how crooked it is, lay a straight rod down beside it; that will be quite enough. But if you are drawn into controversy, use very hard arguments and very soft words. Frequently you cannot convince a man by tugging at his reason, but you can persuade him by winning his affections Lectures to My Students [Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Reprint, ] Vol.

Christian love, however, does not exclude a proper and humble boldness. Acts ,31; Philippians There are some issues or controversies not worth getting involved in — at least not to the point of disrupting the unity and peace of the church. If you end up majoring on things not truly essential, you will either ignore those that are important and worthy of your efforts — or — people will tend to not take you seriously on vital matters because of your propensity to make a big deal over insignificant issues.

Many of these same people want the Ten Commandments to be the moral basis for our country, yet cannot even name them! Quite frankly, if the Devil can divert you to endlessly chase unedifying or non-essential issues, he has won the day. Thus, they spend much of their time concentrating on insignificant duties. The truth is, God can use the lowliest or most uneducated saint to teach us His truth — including our Arminian brethren. Instead of speaking in vague generalities about spiritual or theological matters, they are able to precisely and exegetically support their opinions because they are daily studying the contents of Scripture.

To his own students, Spurgeon wisely advised:. There is one book which you all have, and that is your Bible; and a minister with his Bible is like David with his sling and stone, fully equipped for the fray. No man may say that he has no well to draw from while the Scriptures are within reach. In the Bible we have a perfect library, and he who studies it thoroughly will be a better scholar than if he had devoured the Alexandrian Library entire.

To understand the Bible should be our ambition; we should be familiar with it, as familiar as the housewife with her needle, the merchant with his ledger, the mariner with his ship. We ought to know its general run, the contents of each book, the details of its histories, its doctrines, its precepts, and everything about it. The wise believer, therefore, should not waste his money or time on the sensational and shallow. Knowledge brings accountability.

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The more knowledge that one has of the Word of God, the more accountable they are to live in obedience to it and to manifest the fruits which spring from that knowledge. Thus, there is no excuse for an unproductive and lazy Calvinist. Practice disciple-making.

Think of the many experienced and older Christian men who never impart their wisdom and knowledge to younger men. In my opinion, this is a waste of the rich spiritual and intellectual resources which God has given to each one of us, as well as disservice to the body of Christ. For more on mentoring and disciple-making, see Paul D. Hubmaier, Balthasar d Pipkin H. Wayne Yoder John Howard. Mabry, Eddie Louis.

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