Christian Reconstructionism Critiqued


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Christian Reconstructionism Critiqued

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1. "More Rutherford & the Covenants, Less Rushdoony & 'Reconstruction'" a quote from a letter to the editor of the "Christian Statesman" magazine and "Christian Reconstruction a Covenanter's Kindergarten" by Reg Barrow (a former Reconstructionist).

 

2. All SUPER SALES Expire September 13, 2010

 

3. Select SUPER SALE resources critiquing Christian Reconstruction and other related titles (many free and first time email sale listings):

 

Issue 1. BIBLICAL CIVIL (PRESBYTERIAN) ESTABLISHMENTS: A FOUNDATION FOR NATIONAL REFORMATION UNDER CHRIST'S KINGSHIP (AND FOR NATIONAL OBEDIENCE TO THE FIRST AND FIFTH COMMANDMENTS)

 

Issue 2. OLIVER CROMWELL: PROTOTYPE FOR RECONSTRUCTION or "JUDAS of the COVENANT"?

 

Issue 3. REFORMATION ESCHATOLOGY (HISTORICISM) VERSUS THE JESUIT INSPIRED PRETERIST SYSTEM!

 

Issue 4 . MORE ANTINOMIANISM IN RECONSTRUCNIST THOUGHT (IN OPPOSITION TO THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT)

 

Issue 5. QUESTIONS RECONSTRUCTIONISTS DON'T ASK AND ANSWERS THEY DON'T KNOW EXIST (FROM ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WESTMINSTER DIVINES)

 

Issue 6. THE SECOND COMMANDMENT (AND THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE OF WORSHIP) IS IGNORED, BROKEN, OR WORSE, PUBLICLY ATTACKED BY VARIOUS RECONSTRUCTIONISTS

 

Issue 7. BIBLICAL CLOSE COMMUNION UTTERLY ANNIHILATES THE PAEDOCOMMUNION HERESY

 

Issue 8. MANY RECONSTRUCTIONISTS IGNORE OR OPPOSE THE DIVINE RIGHT OF PRESBYTERIANISM (AND THUS SIN AGAINST GOD BY BREAKING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT)

 

Issue 9. THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT (REGARDING SABBATH KEEPING) IS IGNORED, BROKEN, OR WORSE, PUBLICLY ATTACKED BY VARIOUS RECONSTRUCTIONISTS

 

Issue 10. HOW THE UNITED STATES EXHIBITS ITS HATRED FOR KING JESUS IN THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION (AND THUS BREAKS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT)

 

Issue 11. COVENANTING (A PART OF KEEPING THE THIRD COMMANDMENT): A CROWNING ORDINANCE OF REAL REFORMATION (ALL BUT FORGOTTEN BY THE RECONSTRUCTIONISTS)!

 

Issue 12. BIBLICAL SEPARATION FROM ERROR RARELY PRACTICED AMONG THE "COALITION BUILDING" RECONSTRUCTIONISTS

 

Issue 13. THE SUBJECT OF PERSONAL PIETY NEGLECTED (AND EVEN SCOFFED AT) AMONG SOME RECONSTRUCTIONISTS (for fear of becoming "morbid introspectionists')

 

Issue 14. UNGODLY TOLERATIONISM (BREAKING THE FIRST COMMANDMENT) COMMON AMONG RECONSTRUCTIONISTS

 

Issue 15. MORE FREE RESOURCES

 

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"And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me" (Isa. 49:23).

 

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MORE RUTHERFORD & the COVENANTS, LESS RUSHDOONY & "RECONSTRUCTION"

 

In explaining what the Christian principles of civil government should mean today, in America, the NRA must point to models of the past. I realize that many NRA members don't have a Reformed Presbyterian background, but I do think that the NRA's model really has to be the Second Reformation in Scotland, when the Covenants were truly owned and malignants rejected. I think it is much more helpful to point to the great leaders of the past, like Rutherford or MacMillan, who were able to express themselves in vivid, simple, trenchant language, than to talk about modern obfuscationists like Rushdoony who dress up the grand old ideas with complex, faddy, fancy terms. (In this connection, the NRA's republication of Messiah the Prince is very encouraging.) When explaining what the NRA's ideas mean for the 21st century, let's hear less about Rushdoony and words like "reconstructionism," and more about Rutherford and the Covenants! Thanks for your attention.

 

Bob Emery, Albany, NY (excerpted from a letter to the editor printed in The Christian Statesman, Vol. 143, No. 1, January-Feb., 2000). SWRB's Messiah the Prince is resource #1 below and all that we carry by Samuel Rutherford (one of the Westminster Divines) is at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/R.htm.

 

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CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION A COVENANTERS' KINDERGARTEN

 

 

"Christian Reconstruction is, at best, a Covenanters' kindergarten; at worst, it is a hotbed of heresy and idolatry."

 

Reg Barrow (a former Reconstructionist turned Covenanter),

President, Still Waters Revival Books (See resources 2, 2a, 5c, 6a, 6d, 6f, 6g and 7c below)

 

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Many FREE resources and FIRST TIME email sale listings below!

 

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Email Super Sale!

 

All previous EMAIL SUPER SALES (http://www.swrb.com/puritan-books.htm ) expire September 13, 2010, when we will review our sales figures and decide whether to renew or cancel the EMAIL SUPER SALES. Please don't wait, if you need some of the resources we carry, as you may miss the greatly reduced prices -- if the SUPER SALES end completely.

 

All other promotional offers (i.e. double FREE TAPES and/or single FREE TAPES) also expire May 24, 2010! This is easy to remember, as everything expires May 24, 2010!

 

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SELECT SUPER SALE

RESOURCES (Critiquing Christian Reconstruction and Addressing Related Issues) ON SALE (to September 13, 2010)

Hundreds more can be seen on our web page at:

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If your order reaches us on or before midnight September 13, 2010,

you may apply the discounted prices on any of the resources listed below.

 

Summaries by Reg Barrow and others.

 

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BIBLICAL CIVIL (PRESBYTERIAN) ESTABLISHMENTS:

A FOUNDATION FOR NATIONAL REFORMATION UNDER CHRIST'S KINGSHIP (AND FOR NATIONAL OBEDIENCE TO THE FIRST AND FIFTH COMMANDMENTS)

 

Resource 1. SYMINGTON, WILLIAM

Messiah the Prince or, the Mediatorial Dominion of Jesus Christ (1884)

 

This is the standard work on the kingdom of God in English! There is nothing else like it; it is one-of-a kind! It covers the necessity, reality, and qualifications of Christ's dominion over not only the church, but all nations too. This book will also help to demonstrate how Christian Reconstructionists limit Christ's Kingship by denying the establishment principle, which is so clearly taught throughout Scripture (Isa. 49:23) and was upheld by virtually all the Reformers and Reformed churches. Anything less is to rob Christ of His magnificent, majestic, mediatorial glory -- for He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. "While books on the priestly work of the Redeemer, and especially on the Atonement, are numerous," notes the introduction to the American edition, "no formal and exhaustive discussion of the kingly office of the Messiah... and its application to various classes of moral agents is elsewhere to be found... It is cause for satisfaction that the only treatise, as yet, upon this subject, is a work of signal ability, lucid in arrangement, reverent in spirit, and with hardly an exception, sound and judicious in its conclusion. Its very merits are probably, in part, the reason why no other work on the same subject has appeared, and until it is supplanted by a better work -- an event not likely soon to occur -- it will have a value peculiar to itself."

 

Chapters include "The Necessity of the Mediatorial Dominion," "The Universality of the Mediatorial Dominion," "The Mediatorial Dominion Over the Church," and "Over the Nations," plus much more.

 

In short, this is a unique book devoted to the absolute Kingship and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ -- over all heaven and earth! And He will continue His present reign from heaven until every enemy of His is conquered, "For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet" (1 Cor. 15:25). 360 pages.

 

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RELATED RESOURCE

(First time email sale listing!)

 

Resource 1a. BROWN, C.J.

Christ's Kingship Over the Nations Maintained and Defended in the Establishment Principle, or, The Principle of the National Recognition of Religion

 

Maintains the universal supremacy of Christ as King of the nations, as well as King of the saints, with the consequent duty of nations as such, and civil rulers in their official capacity, to honor and serve Him by recognizing His truth and promoting His cause. Demonstrates that this position was "the unanimous testimony of the Reformers" and proves this truth from both the OT and the NT. Answers common objections, which are often arguments from abuse, while refuting the opposing error of Voluntaryism showing its sectarian nature (and most Reconstructionist are Voluntaryists to one degree or another). A marvelous little book that is much needed in our day! As the author notes, "Let us keep to the King's highway trod by the martyrs and Reformers, and in the name of our God display our banners that Christ is the Prince of the kings of the earth, and that the nation and the kingdom that will not serve Him and His Cause shall perish, yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted."

 

(Rare bound photocopy) $9.95-70%=$2.99 (US funds)

(Hardcover photocopy) $15.00 (US funds)

 

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Resource 1b. WAGNER, MICHAEL G.

A Presbyterian Political Manifesto: Presbyterianism and Civil Government (1995)

 

Using citations from great Presbyterians of the past such as Rutherfurd, Gillespie and Knox, and the thoughts of modern day Reformers and Reconstructionists, Wagner demonstrates how the impossibility of neutrality in civil matters leads inescapably to established religion. He then builds the Biblical case for establishmentarianism and deals with some of the hard questions regarding religious liberty and toleration (in such a state). He also shows how the Westminster Confession of Faith should be the doctrinal basis for the state, as well as the church (as it is a faithful summary of biblical teaching). Contains a great bibliography. This is the best short introduction dealing with this subject. Wagner has completed his Doctorate in political science at a major Canadian University.

 

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Resource 1c. BROWN (of Haddington), JOHN

The Absurdity and Perfidy of All Authoritative Toleration of Gross Heresy, Blasphemy, Idolatry, Popery, in Britain (1797, 1803 edition)

 

The sub-title reads: "In two letters to a friend in which the doctrine of the Westminster Confession of Faith relative to Toleration of a False Religion, and the power of the civil magistrate about sacred matters; and the nature, origin, ends and obligation of the National Covenant and Solemn League are candidly represented and defended."

 

Here Brown deals with three major Reformation attainments (anti-tolerationism, establishmentarianism and the obligations of lawful covenants as they biblically bind posterity) that Satan has always been especially concerned to overthrow -- in every major demonic move to open the floodgates of lawlessness, anarchy and misrule. Fletcher, in the preface to the 1797 edition, relates this truth as it comes to bear on various religious professors, stating,

 

Papists were enemies to our covenants because they were a standard lifted up against their system of abominable idolatries. Episcopalians were enemies to them, because they were a standard lifted up against their anti-scriptural church-officers and inventions of men in the worship of God. Some Presbyterians are enemies to them in our day through ignorance of their nature and ends; and others through fear of being too strictly bound to their duty (Cited in Johnston, Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, p. 486).

 

It is also interesting to note the long list of backsliders and heretics that often oppose one or more of these points.

 

The ancient Donatists, a sect of Arian separatists, who appeared about the beginning of the 4th Century, seem to have been among the first who held out these opinions to the Christian world. Feeling the weight of the arm of power for their schismatical practices, by way of reprisal, they stript the magistrate of all power in religion;--maintaining that he had no more power about religious matters than any private person, and refusing him the right of suppressing the propagators of doctrines different from those professed by the Church, or the observers of a different form of worship. From them the German Anabaptists adopted the same views. Then the Socinians (i.e. an early form of Scripture-denying liberals--RB) and remonstrant Arminians, whenever the magistrate ceased to patronize their cause. The English Independents during the time of the Long Parliament were the zealous supporters of the same opinions. In their rage for liberty of conscience, they formed the strongest opposition in the Westminster Assembly which the Presbyterians had to encounter. Through their influence that venerable body was much embarrassed (hindered-- RB) in their proceeding; and by their means (in collusion with that "Judas of the Covenant," Cromwell--RB), certain passages of the Confession of Faith never obtained the ratification of the English Parliament. The English Dissenters of the present age are generally in the same views, especially the Socinians, the Arians, and the Quakers, who have most to dread from the Laws of the Land against their blasphemies. And who knows not that the high reputation of Mr. Locke as a Philosopher... has given these opinions such an air of respectability, that many youth in the Universities have been thereby inclined to embrace them? (Preface, pp. vi-vii).

 

In our day the tree of toleration (and the anti-Scriptural principles which logically grow out of it) has spread its branches in ways that could have never been envisioned by those that took the first steps away from biblical and covenanted uniformity. What Brown is fighting against here is an error so foundational that when left unchecked it permeates all of society, cutting out the foundational roots that are necessary for all national Reformations -- and "if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Ps. 11:3).

 

Furthermore, as the preface notes "liberty of conscience and of opinion" are "the great idols of the day." Here Brown takes out his covenantal hammer and smashes these idols with an inconoclastic zeal worthy of our earlier Reformed forefathers.

 

This book is especially useful in answering the persistent fear and questions that always arise when these old Reformed views are discussed: that is, the questions dealing with religious persecution. Brown spends much time in clearing the Westminster Divines of such false charges, while also setting these controversial Reformed teachings on a thoroughly biblical foundation.

 

Interestingly, in the section defending the continuing obligation of the National and Solemn League and Covenant, we also note that the Westminster Assembly considered the Solemn League and Covenant an "everlasting covenant." Brown cites the following as proof,

 

That the body of the English nation also swore the Solemn League and Covenant, is manifest. The Westminster Assembly and English Parliament, affirm, 'The honourable house of Parliament, the Assembly of Divines, the renowned city of London, and multitudes of other persons of all ranks and quality in this nation, and the whole body of Scotland, have all sworn it, rejoicing at the oath so graciously seconded from heaven. God will, doubtless, stand by all those, who with singleness of heart shall now enter into an everlasting covenant with the Lord' (p. 161, emphasis added).

 

The footnote tells us that the section Brown was quoting was taken from "Exhortation to take the Covenant, February, 1644."

 

If you have the moral courage to compare the original Reformed faith with that which is often promoted under its name today (and in many ways the old Reformed faith bears little resemblance to the "new light" Reformers, Reconstructionists and other innovators of our day), then this is an ideal book to obtain and study. 213 pages.

 

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OLIVER CROMWELL:

PROTOTYPE FOR RECONSTRUCTION

or "JUDAS of the COVENANT"?

 

Resource 2. BARROW, REG

John Knox, Oliver Cromwell, God's Law and the Reformation of Civil Government

 

Many consider Knox one of the greatest Reformers ever and God used him to win the nation of Scotland to Christ. Knox laid the foundations for the Covenanters that followed, and they in turn gave us the clearest foretaste of the millennium glory to come in the magnificent Solemn League and Covenant.

 

Speaking of these Reformation attainments McFeeters notes

 

The fathers are worthy of all praise for this unprecedented effort to build the national government upon the true foundation of God's will, and administer it by men in Covenant with Jesus Christ, the King of kings. This was the first attempt to erect a Christian government, in which the fear of God should pervade every department and characterize every official" (Sketches of the Covenanters, p. 155-156).

 

This book deals with some of Knox's most controversial political writings, demonstrating that he was what Barrow calls a "historic" theonomist (like Rutherford and Gillespie after him). It also offers some fine tuning for "modern" theonomists, which aims at leading them into the "footsteps of the flock" and closer to the classic or historic Presbyterian/Covenanter view of law (and away from some of the anabaptist/libertarian tendencies that sometimes arise among modern theonomists).

 

Numerous resources, recently published, dealing with civil disobedience and opposition to tyranny are also listed. The first appendix in this book contains Barrow's letter to Christian Renewal expressing his strong disagreement with an unfavorable and inaccurate review of Michael Wagner's Presbyterian Political Manifesto. In it he shows how the Reformers and their confessions of faith supported the civil establishment of the one true Christian religion, while at the same time publicly excluding Papist's, pagans and other heretics from places of civil rule (in countries blessed with the light of the gospel).

 

The second appendix contains a series of letters dedicated to proving why Barrow calls Cromwell the "Judas of the Covenant." It demonstrates Cromwell's reckless abandon in violating his sacred vows to the Lord in the Solemn League and Covenant, while also showing why Cromwell's wicked, antichristian views concerning toleration and liberty of conscience led people away from Scriptural standards and helped open the floodgates to modern atheistic pluralism. In short, Cromwell was the prototype of our contemporary pragmatic politician, adept at equivocation and setting his own glory and government above all other concerns, including the glory and government of God. In this vein Barrow contends that Cromwell, unaffectionately dubbed the "late usurper" by the covenanted Presbyterians of the mid seventeenth-century, was used of the devil to accomplish things in the civil and ecclesiastical realm that he (i.e. satan) could never have accomplished with the more obviously antichristian religions of that day (which were not pluralistic theologically, such Romanism, Episcopalianism, etc.). For Cromwell laid his axe of ungodly toleration and pretended liberty of conscience to the root of the tree of covenanted Reformation in a much more subtle manner than the previous "midwives to antichrist," and thus his sectarianism better served the devious designs of the devil during those days. This section also exposes Cromwell as a Erastian tyrant, a liar, and a dictator, who (with the help of his sectarian army) executed the covenanted Presbyterian minister Christopher Love (Cromwell's soldiers even threatened to shoot Thomas Manton for preaching at Love's funeral), sent many other Presbyterian ministers to jail (including Thomas Watson), disbanded the Scottish general assembly (at gunpoint), and eventually began negotiations with Papists (with the intent of granting them a measure of "liberty" to more freely practice their superstitions and soul murder). This is not the view of Cromwell that you will hear from modern historians and theologians who have abandoned the context of covenanted Reformation (how could it be?), for as Rushdoony has correctly pointed out, "Men cannot give a meaning to history that they themselves lack, nor can they honor a past which indicts them for their present failures" (A Biblical Philosophy of History, p. 135).

 

(Bound photocopy) $15.95-70%=$4.88 (US funds)

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RELATED RESOURCE

 

Resource 2a. Oliver Cromwell by Reg Barrow

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Crom.htm

 

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REFORMATION ESCHATOLOGY (HISTORICISM) VERSUS

THE JESUIT INSPIRED PRETERIST SYSTEM!

 

Resource 3. ELLIOTT, E.B.

Horae Apocalypticae; or, A Commentary on the Apocalypse, Critical and Historical; Including Also An Examination of the Chief Prophecies of Daniel (1862)

(On the dating of Revelation, Preterism and the "Man of Sin" see: volume 1, pp. 32-48; volume 1, pp. 533-599; volume 3, pp. 152-159; volume 3, pp. 239-260; volume 4, pp. 564-595)

 

The title continues: "Illustrated by an Apocalyptic Chart, and Engravings from Medals and Other Extant Monuments of Antiquity. With Appendices: Containing, Besides Other matters, A Sketch of the History of Apocalyptic Interpretation, Critical Reviews of the Chief Apocalyptic Counter-Schemes, and Indices." This four volume set is respected by many as a scholarly work on eschatology. It will be especially valuable in our day as it absolutely destroys the Jesuit inspired preterist system by conclusively proving a late date for the writing of the book of Revelation. Elliott also demonstrates the impossibility of the futurist system, which, like preterism, was also concocted (as a system) by the Jesuits to counteract the classic Reformation eschatology called historicism. That this is no small issue is clear, as Kevin Reed exhibits (in his book review titled "The Ecclesiology of John Foxe: A book review by Kevin Reed of John Foxe and the Elizabethan Church by V. Norskov Olsen [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973]") by citing Olsen when he writes,

 

The Counter Reformation is generally considered to have three aspects: the Jesuits, the Inquisition, and the Council of Trent. In view of the significance of the Protestant apocalyptic interpretation of history which prophetically pinpointed step by step the events covering the whole Christian era from the beginning to the end, it seems justifiable to suggest a fourth aspect, namely the praeteristic and futuristic interpretations launched by Catholic expositors as a counterattack (p. 47).

 

All the major Reformers and all the major Reformation creeds and confessions adopted the historicist position -- and it is this position that Elliott so skillfully defends. Included in Horae Apocalypticae you will also find a very useful historical survey of who held which positions concerning eschatology, much history on the Roman empire (and its interaction with Christianity), how the Reformation, Islam, etc. were prophesied in the Apocalypse, a world chronology according to the Hebrew Scriptures (which would make the Earth 6127 years old), patristic views of prophecy, the beast and his mark (666) revealed, and much more. The Papacy is also shown to be the apocalyptic antichrist, which was a standard position among the Reformers. Elliott also deals with Moses Stuart's Preterism.

 

"Furthermore, in 1878, Charles Hadley Spurgeon wrote the classic reference work Commenting on Commentaries. The 'prince of preachers' surveyed over 1,400 commentaries on the books of the Bible providing bible students and pastors with a valuable guide for selecting books for their libraries. His comments are often as entertaining as they arehelpful. Each book of the bible forms a chapter in this work.. Spurgeon provides pithy analysis and offers his recommendation of the best commentary and those to avoid. When he reaches the book of Revelation his clear recommendation is E.B. Elliott's Horae Apocalypticae. He succinctly states that it was "the standard work". It would surprise most Baptists today to realize that this most eminent Baptist preacher was himself an Historicist or Continuist as he called it then. Elliott's work was the standard work in 1878 because the Historicist interpretation was still the standard in Protestantism and this work had gone through 4 editions and had established itself as the standard within the Historicist school. Elliot had died three years earlier in 1875" (from: http://www.historicist.com/).

 

Biographical Information (from http://www.historicist.com/horae.htm)

 

"Edward Bishop Elliott (1793-1875), scholarly prophetic expositor, received his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating in 1816. After traveling in Italy and Greece he was given the vicarage of Tuxford, Nottingham, in 1824, and later was made prebendary of Heytesbury, Wiltshire. In 1849 he became incumbent of St. Mark's Church, Brighton. A member of the Evangelical school, he was an earnest promoter of missionary enterprise and an ardent advocate of premillenialism. Elliott was thoroughly equipped as a scholar and was deeply interested in prophecy, spending a lifetime in investigation and seeking to understand God's mind thereon. His Horae Apocalypticae (Hours with the Apocalypse) [literally 'time with the Apocalypse'] is doubtless the most elaborate word ever produced on the Apocalypse... Begun in 1837, its 2500 pages of often involved and overloaded text are buttressed by some 10,000 invaluable references to ancient and modern works bearing on the topics under discussion.... Perhaps its most unique feature is the concluding sketch of the rise and spread of the Jesuit counter systems of interpretation that had made such inroads upon Protestantism. Holding unswervingly to the Historical School of interpretation, Elliott gives the most complete exposure of these counter interpretations to be found." (The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Leroy Froom vol. III, pp. 716-718)

 

Sadly, one major warning needs to be given about this book. However valuable the contents are as a defense of historicism (and the late date of the book of Revelation), the author adopted the premillennial heresy (meaning a destructive heresy and not necessarily a damnable heresy; see George Gillespie's Truth and Heresy, free at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/TruthHer.htm, for more on the distinction between destructive and damnable heresies) and thus marred an otherwise useful work when he promotes these views. 2611 pages, with a 29 page index.

 

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RELATED RESOURCES

 

Resource 3a. Apocalyptic Interpretation

Explains, in summary form, the six main theories of Apocalyptic interpretation, while also citing the originators of each system. Shows how the Preterist system was developed by a Jesuit as part of Rome's plan to overthrow the Reformation.

FREE AT: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/ApocInt.htm

 

Resource 3b. Is Popery the Antichrist? or The Tendency of Prophecy to Describe Things According to the Reality, Rather that the Appearance or Profession by Patrick Fairbairn

Classic Protestant Historicism demonstrating why both futurism and preterism are hermeneutically flawed.

FREE AT: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/PoperyAnti.htm

 

Resource 3c. More FREE anti-Preterist writings at: http://covenanter.org/Postmil/postmilhome.htm and http://www.historicism.net/

 

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MORE ANTINOMIANISM IN RECONSTRUCNIST THOUGHT

(IN OPPOSITION TO THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT)

 

Resource 4. BARROW, REG

Pornography, the Anabaptists, and Doug Wilson's Civil Antinomianism

 

Pointed but irenic, Barrow decisively refutes the view of Doug Wilson (cf. "Cyberporn: A Case Study" [Credenda/Agenda, vol. 7, no. 5, p. 11]), many modern Theonomists and the civil libertarians, that the production and distribution of pornography is not a crime (and thus not subject to negative penal sanctions by the civil magistrate). Barrow demonstrates that Wilson's view of civil government (which logically results in such a monstrous conclusion) is actually a overly strict view of the regulative principle. This "hyper-regulativism" (denying lawful inferences, or what Samuel Rutherford calls "logical consequence") is then wrongly applied to the civil magistrate, rather than to worship (when rightly interpreted). He also points out the link between Wilson's view and the principles of the Anabaptists, Libertines and other antiestablishmentarian forces.

 

With an impressive array of historical citations (primarily John Calvin, George Gillespie, Samuel Rutherford, and the Westminster Confession of Faith), and a cogent analysis and application of relevant Scripture passages, Barrow shows clearly that Wilson's view of civil government "gives birth to illegitimate offspring in the case of pornography, contradicting as it does common sense (the light of nature), our reformed fathers in the faith, and the express commands and approved examples of Scripture.

 

In short, it is anything but the 'classical Protestant' position, and anything but biblical." Expressing his belief that many hold to this erroneous notion of the magistrate out of ignorance, he concludes his essay with a heartfelt call to his modern Theonomic brethren (and others) to study the reformation source documents now available (and adopt the biblically faithful and historic view of God's law held by the best men of the Reformation). He also provides a brief list of questions that readily manifest the socially destructive outworkings of Wilson's teaching.

 

This is a much-needed treatment of a topic neglected for far too long. Barrow's valuable contribution is an excellent introduction to the historical view of God's law held by the Westminster divines and is sure to prime the reader for much productive study of the view of civil government "once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). This is appendix "B" excerpted from Saul in the Cave of Adullam: A Testimony Against the Fashionable Sub-Calvinism of Doug Wilson (Editor of Credenda/Agenda Magazine; and, For Classical Protestantism and the Attainments of the Second Reformation ( http://www.swrb.com/catalog/b.htm ). This and some of the other summaries in this sale were written by Larry Birger.

 

(Bound photocopy) $9.95-80%=$1.99 (US funds)

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FREE AT: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/porn.htm

 

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FREE RELATED RESOURCE

 

(DEMONSTRATING RECONSTRUCTIONIST OPPOSITION

TO THE FIRST, SECOND and FOURTH COMMANDMENTS)

 

Resource 4a. The Antinomian Streak in the Reconstructionist Movement by Kevin Reed (Kevin Reed writes, "I believe reconstructionists have adopted a selective use of the law. In other words, many theonomists exalt popular second-table issues, doing injustice to first-table matters which contain man's preeminent duties toward God. The purpose of this article, then, is to note several areas where theonomists seem to be neglecting the law. To the extent that these criticisms are valid, I appeal to these brethren to give heed to the whole counsel of God's Word, and repent where there have been sins of omission." Reed also notes, "Many critics of the reconstructionists, especially dispensationalists, are themselves blatant antinomians. For this reason, they fail to perceive the most glaring weakness within the movement. Further, the Presbyterian critics of theonomy are usually among the most unconfessional men within the denomination. Hence, these Presbyterian detractors are not fond of discussing issues related to confessional integrity. But the time has come to raise these uncomfortable issues, for the sake of the church and the sake of the movement. The reconstructionist movement includes many trends which are both antinomian and unconfessional. We call upon the leaders of the movement to address these issues: How do you integrate the first commandment into your reconstructionist appeals to heretics? How does purity of worship fit within your agenda of reform? How should the fourth commandment be upheld in the contemporary situation? We will be listening for answers to these questions.") FREE AT: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/AntinomR.htm

 

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QUESTIONS RECONSTRUCTIONISTS DON'T ASK AND ANSWERS THEY DON'T KNOW EXIST (FROM ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WESTMINSTER DIVINES)

 

Resource 5. RUTHERFORD, SAMUEL

A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience (1649 edition)

 

Rutherford's Free Disputation, though scarce (with maybe only a few copies of the actual book left in existence), is still one of his most important works. Though Rutherford is affectionately remembered in our day for his Letters, or for laying the foundations of constitutional government (against the divine right of kings) in his unsurpassed Lex Rex, his Free Disputation should not be overlooked -- for it contains the same searing insights as Lex, Rex. In fact, this book should probably be known as Rutherford's "politically incorrect" companion volume to Lex, Rex. A sort of sequel aimed at driving pluralists and antinomians insane.

 

Written against "the Belgick Arminians, Socinians, and other Authors contending for lawlesse liberty, or licentious Tolerations of Sects and Heresies," Rutherford explains the undiluted Biblical solution to moral relativism, especially as it is expressed in ecclesiastical and civil pluralism! (Corporate pluralism being a violation of the first commandment and an affront to the holy God of Scripture). He also deals with conscience, toleration, penology (punishment), and the judicial laws, as related to both the civil and ecclesiastical realms. Excellent sections are also included which address questions related to determining the fundamentals of religion, how covenants bind us, the perpetual obligation of social covenants (with direct application to the Solemn League and Covenant and the covenant-breaking of Cromwell and his sectarian supporters), whether the punishing of seducing teachers be persecution of conscience, and much more.

 

Walker adds these comments and context regarding Rutherford's Free Disputation,

 

The principle of toleration was beginning to be broached in England, and in a modified shape to find acceptance there. Samuel Rutherford was alarmed, or rather, I should say, he was horrified, for he neither feared the face of man or argument. He rushed to the rescue of the good old view... It is not so easy to find a theoretical ground for toleration; and Rutherford has many plausible things to say against it. With the most perfect confidence, he argues that it is alike against Scripture and common sense that you should have two religions side by side. It is outrageous ecclesiastically, it is sinful civilly. He does not, however, take what I call the essentially persecuting ground. He does not hold that the magistrate is to punish religion as religion. Nay, he strongly maintains that the civil magistrate never aims at the conscience. The magistrate, he urges, does not send anyone, whether a heretic (who is a soul murderer--RB) or a murderer, to the scaffold with the idea of producing conversion or other spiritual result, but to strengthen the foundations of civil order. But if he gives so much power to the king, he is no lover of despotism withal: the king himself must be under law. To vindicate this great doctrine is the object of another book, the celebrated Lex, Rex; of which it has been said by one competent to judge, that it first clearly developed the constitutionalism which all men now accept" (Theology and Theologians..., pp. 11-12).

 

In our day Francis Schaeffer, and numerous others, have critiqued many of the problems found in modern society, but most have spent little time developing explicitly Biblical solutions -- especially regarding the theoretical foundations that Rutherford addresses here. Rutherford's Free Disputation provides a detailed blueprint for laying the foundations for Reformation (in all areas of life) that must be laid before any lasting, God-honoring solutions will be found. Furthermore, Rutherford and his writings were the enemies of all governments not covenanted with Christ. This book will give you a very clear picture as to why "the beast" (civil and ecclesiastical) has reserved his special hatred for such teaching. As Samuel Wylie noted,

 

[t]he dispute, then, will not turn upon the point whether religion should be civilly established... but it is concerning what religion ought to be civilly established and protected, -- whether the religion of Jesus alone should be countenanced by civil authority, or every blasphemous, heretical, and idolatrous abomination which the subtle malignity of the old serpent and a heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, can frame and devise, should be put on an equal footing therewith (Two Sons of Oil: or, The Faithful Witness For Magistracy and Ministry Upon a Scriptural Basis, softcover).

 

Can our generation swallow Rutherford's hard, anti-pluralistic, Covenanter medicine, poured forth from the bottle of the first commandment, without choking on their carnal dreams of a free and righteous society divorced from God (and His absolute claims upon everyone and everything)? Not without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit -- that is for sure!

 

In summary, this book answers all the hardest questions theonomists (and their wisest and best opponents) have been asking for the last 20-30 years (and these answers are much more in depth than any we have seen in the last couple of millennia [less about a century to account for the apostles]). As the reader will discover, Rutherford was a wealthy man when it came to wisdom (and much advanced theologically), and those who take the time to gaze into the King's treasure house, as exhibited in this book, will find that they are greatly rewarded. Furthermore, because of its uncompromising stand upon the Word of God, this book is sure to be unpopular among a wicked and adulterous generation. However, on the other hand, it is sure to be popular among the covenanted servants of King Jesus!

 

This is one of the best books for advanced study of the Christian faith. We have now obtained an easy-to-read, amazingly clear copy of this very rare, old treasure. Great price too, considering that a copy of the 1649 edition, containing this quality of print, could cost upwards of $1000 on the rare book market -- though it is unlikely you would ever see a copy for sale! Over 450 pages.

 

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FREE RELATED RESOURCE

 

Resource 5a. Calvin, Close Communion and the Coming Reformation (a book review of Alexander and Rufus... by John Anderson [1862]) by Reg Barrow (Shows how Calvin practiced close communion and how the biblical view of this ordinance is intended to purify the individual, church and state. Refutes the Popish and paedocommunion heresies (regarding this sacrament), as well as all views of open communion. Also argues that Arminians, anti-paedobaptists, anti-regulativists, and all those who openly violate the law of God [and are unrepentant] should be barred from the Lord's table -- as a corrective measure ordained of God for their recovery. This is Reformation History Notes number two.) FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/CalvinCC.htm

 

Resource 5b. Toleration and Covenanting by John Brown (of Haddington)

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Tol&Cov.htm

 

Resource 5c. Oliver Cromwell by Reg Barrow

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Crom.htm

 

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THE SECOND COMMANDMENT (AND THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE OF WORSHIP) IS IGNORED, BROKEN, OR WORSE, PUBLICLY ATTACKED BY VARIOUS RECONSTRUCTIONISTS

 

Resource 6. MCNAUGHER, JOHN, ed.

The Psalms in Worship

 

Dr. David Freeman (who was John Murray's pastor in Philadelphia) said that the Psalms in Worship was the most comprehensive treatment of this subject to be found anywhere. This volume (of almost 600 pages) consists of material presented at two conventions in 1905, promoting the claims of the Psalms in worship. Two articles covering each of 27 related topics comprise this volume, making a total of 54 separate papers (all thoroughly indexed and including a new appendix added by the publisher). Articles included range from argumentative discussions of a doctrinal and critical kind (defending exclusive Psalmody, the regulative principle of worship, etc.), to broader discussions along historical, literary, and practical lines. This is a one of a kind publication and nothing else like it is available today.

 

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FREE RELATED RESOURCES

 

Resource 6a. STEVE SCHLISSEL Versus REFORMATION WORSHIP

A SHORT NOTE ON THE MODERN ATTACK ON REFORMATION FOUNDATIONS; OR, THE STRANGE FIRE OF OUR CONTEMPORARY SUB-CALVINIST NADABS AND ABIHUS REBUKED by Reg Barrow

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/steve-schlissel.htm

 

Resource 6b. An irenic letter written to a PCA elder, regarding Steve Schlissel's recent attacks on historic Reformed (biblical) worship, which is a nice introduction to the Brief Critique listed directly below, is FREE at: http://www.cashflows.org/rpw.htm

 

Resource 6c. A Brief Critique of Steven M. Schlissel's Articles Against the Regulative Principle of Worship

by Brian M. Schwertley

FREE at: http://www.iserv.net/~graceopc/pub/schwertley/schlissel.html

 

Resource 6d. A Warning Against the False and Dangerous Views of James Jordan Concerning Worship: A Book Review of Kevin Reed's Canterbury Tales by Reg Barrow

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/BlastJJ.htm

 

Resource 6e. The Canterbury Tales by Kevin Reed

(Refutes James Jordan [who developed his aberrant views of worship and church government as a Reconstructionist] and others who reject the regulative principle of worship.)

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Canterbu.htm

 

Resource 6f. Worship: The Regulative Principle of Worship in History by Reg Barrow

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/CRTPWors.htm

 

Resource 6g. Psalm Singing in Scripture & History by Reg Barrow

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/CRTPsSing.htm

 

Resource 6h. A Brief Examination of Exclusive Psalmody by Brian M. Schwertley

(Arguments against exclusive psalmody by scholars and pastors such as Vern Poythress, Greg Bahnsen, R. A. Moray, and Stephen Pribble, etc. are systematically and soundly refuted using Scripture and logic. The refutation of all the typical modern arguments against exclusive psalmody alone make this a booklet that all Reformed or Presbyterian church members should read.)

FREE at: http://reformed.com/pub/psalms.htm

(Forthcoming in printed form from SWRB, contact us if you want a hard copy edition.)

 

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The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath instituted in his word... also the disapproving, detesting, opposing, all false worship; and, according to each one's place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry. (Westminster Larger Catechism, partial answer to Question 108, 1648).

 

The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counselling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted of God himself; tolerating a false religion... all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever... all neglect, contempt, hindering,

and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed. (Westminster Larger Catechism, partial answer to Q. 109, 1648).

 

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Resource 6i. EIRE, CARLOS M.N.

War Against the Idols: The Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin

 

Eire shows that as the Reformation progressed the primary focus of the Reformers became upholding God's sovereign prerogative in worship -- what today is called the regulative principle of worship. Eire's War Against the Idols demonstrates the extent of the Reformers clear condemnation of Arminianism in worship (i.e. will-worship [Col. 2:23]) in rejecting all elements of worship that did not have Scriptural warrant. In fact, Calvin was so intent on highlighting this point, concerning the centrality of worship (and the application of Sola Scriptura as exhibited in the regulative principle of worship), that he placed worship ahead of salvation in his list of the two most important elements of Biblical Christianity (cf. War Against the Idols, p. 198, citing from Calvin's On the Necessity of Reforming the Church).

 

A large portion of this book centers on Calvin, but its major thrust is to reveal the single most burning issue confronting the Reformers: purity of worship! Furthermore, this book's teaching regarding the Reformers (and their view of the Scriptural law of worship) is as applicable today as it was in the days of the first Reformation -- for it brings to light the time-tested Biblical principles which guard against the errors, excesses, and idolatries of the Roman harlot (Roman Catholicism), Eastern Orthodoxy, some of the Reconstructionists and all the other liturgical innovators on one hand and the modern "evangelicals" (including the sub-Reformed movement headed up by the likes of Steve Schlissel, John Frame, Doug Wilson et al. [who deny the regulative principle in theory, practice or both]), Anabaptists and Charismatics on the other. This is, without a doubt, one of the best Reformation history books available -- stirring, scholarly, relevant and edifying!

 

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Resource 6j. BUSHELL, MICHAEL

The Songs of Zion: A Contemporary Case for Exclusive Psalmody (third edition, 1999)

 

Contains one of the best explanations of the Scriptural law of worship (also known as the regulative principle of worship) in print today. For this and a number of other reasons this is one of the most significant books published this century concerning worship! Furthermore, it demonstrates and defends (from Scripture, history and the creeds) the Reformation practice of exclusive Psalmody. It dovetails splendidly with Eire's celebrated War Against the Idols, setting forth foundational principles that lay at the very heart of Reformation thought, theology and practice. For as Bushell points out, "Purity of worship and uniformity of worship go hand in hand because they are both founded upon the assumption that the Scriptures contain clear, sufficient and authoritative directions as to the proper way of worshiping God. The diversity of worship practice that we see in our churches arises ultimately from a denial of this assumption, and it constitutes, therefore, a denial of a central aspect of the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. There is much more at stake, then, in this whole discussion than the mere observance or non-observance of a few external rites" (2nd edition, 1993, p. 3). If you are a Calvinist and have not read this book, you are missing a real treat!

 

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BIBLICAL CLOSE COMMUNION UTTERLY ANNIHILATES THE PAEDOCOMMUNION HERESY

 

Resource 7. MCKNIGHT, W.J.

Concerning Close Communion

 

A strong little book (of 52 pages) that should be considered by all those seeking the purity and peace of the church. Holds to the old covenanted Presbyterian position. Justifies the maintaining of the separate existence of a denomination that will faithfully testify against sin, and the excluding from the Lord's table those that do not so testify. Gives numerous examples of backsliding in regard to specific truths of Scripture. Proclaims that "the Word of God teaches unequivocally that the Commandments are equally binding." This includes the first commandment as it relates to Christ's Kingship over the nations (and dissent from immoral civil governments which will not recognize and obey Christ as King and law giver); and the second commandment concerning purity of worship (as against "all devising, counselling, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God Himself," such as the use of songs other than the Psalms and the Popish use of musical instruments in public worship). Maintains that violation of these commandments are grounds for barring a person from the Lord's table. Shows how close communion is nothing more than the old Presbyterian view, in keeping with the Westminster Confession of Faith and John Calvin when he stated "We are only contending about the true and lawful constitution of the church, required in the communion not only of the sacraments (which are the signs of profession) but also especially of doctrine" (John Calvin, Institutes 2.12). Also includes an excellent discussion of essentials and non-essentials, as they relate to the Lord's supper and salvation. The best short book on the Lord's supper that we have seen.

 

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Resource 7a. ANDERSON, JOHN

Alexander and Rufus; or a Series of Dialogues on Church Communion, in Two Parts. Part 1: Vindication of Scriptural Church Communion in Opposition to Latitudinarian Schemes. Part 2: Defence of the Communion Maintained in the Secession Church (1862)

 

The close communion doctrine of the Reformation continues to be much misunderstood and maligned in our day. The false ecumenists (and theological egalitarians and pluralists) of our day continue to batter away at this foundation of the Reformation doctrine of the church -- while even many of those that profess to be the heirs of the Reformation are found to be ignorant regarding this point. Any doctrine of communion which does not take into account the biblical command to "be of one mind" (cf. Rom. 15:6, 2 Cor. 13:11, Phil. 1:27, Phil. 2:2, 1 Pet. 3:8) at a corporate, visible level is skewed from the beginning. In short, latitudinarian schemes of open communion (which only include the so-called "essentials" of the faith) are schismatic (i.e. if we do not confuse "schism" with "separation").

 

Schismatic schemes promoting open communion (of which paedocommunion is presently at the head), attempt to "dumb down" (to a greater or lesser degree) the requirements for partaking at the Lord's table. Loose and latitudinarian schemes of communion lead to churches that stand for little -- or nothing -- over time; while a Scripturally regulated close communion tends to the exact opposite end. Anderson makes this very point in his preface to this book, "corruption is the native consequence of latitudinarian schemes, (while) scriptural order in sacramental communion tends to make the visible church a heaven on earth to the faithful, terrible as an army with banners to her enemies, and to her King and Head for a name, for a praise and for glory."

 

If you love the purity and peace of Christ's church and agree with the words of John Calvin, when he wrote, "We are only contending about the true and lawful constitution of the church, required in the communion not only of the sacraments (which are the signs of profession) but also especially of doctrine" (Institutes, 4.2.12), then you will find a meaty meal in Alexander and Rufus -- for the author not only deals with the larger questions related to church communion, but also weaves into the fabric of this book many specific threads relating to practical applications and doctrinal controversies. Moreover, notwithstanding a couple of peculiar doctrinal foibles originating from the Seceder camp, in opposition to the Covenanters (especially regarding civil government and some points of the law), a plethora of subjects relative to the Reformed view of communion, church union, testimony-bearing, etc., are all dealt with here -- and these points are given the kind of attention (along with Scriptural and historical accuracy) that will be greatly appreciated among those familiar with the precise views of the "old dissenters" of Scottish origin.

 

In short, Alexander and Rufus gives us an excellent defense of biblically regulated close communion, which Anderson shows to be God's ordained method of promoting truth, unity and Reformation.

Anderson also does an excellent job concerning: Calvin's plan for promoting a union among the churches (p. 151ff.); the place of confessions and confessional subscription (pp. 85, 179); covenanting (pp. 358-384); separation (pp. 92, 132); worship (pp. 10-13, 87, 107, 142, 155, 161-164, 456ff., etc.); the marks of the church (p. 132ff.); uniformity (pp. 7, 103, 168, 205); the Westminster Assembly (p. 169ff); the Dutch views (p. 158f.); distinctions between essentials and non-essentials (p. 168); the so-called "glorious revolution" of 1688 (p. 263); the French Reformed churches (p. 156); the covenanted Reformation (p. 253); discipline (p. 103); attainments (pp. 11, 93, 137, 162ff., 206, etc.); the government of the church (p. 123); the so-called "Apostle's creed" (pp. 100-104); the Belgic Confession (pp. 135-138); councils in the ancient church (p. 104); the Donatists (p. 112); the forsaking of sin, false doctrine, and false teachers (pp. 92, 132); occasional hearing (p. 83); Owen against open communion (p. 207); sectarianism (p. 92); and much, much more.

 

On the topic of church and sacramental communion you are unlikely to find many other books with as much solid information. Indexed, 518 pages.

 

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FREE RELATED RESOURCE

 

Resource 7b. Calvin, Close Communion and the Coming Reformation (a book review of Alexander and Rufus... by John Anderson [1862]) by Reg Barrow (Shows how Calvin practiced close communion and how the biblical view of this ordinance is intended to purify the individual, church and state. Refutes the Popish and paedocommunion heresies (regarding this sacrament), as well as all views of open communion. Also argues that Arminians, anti-paedobaptists, anti-regulativists, and all those who openly violate the law of God [and are unrepentant] should be barred from the Lord's table -- as a corrective measure ordained of God for their recovery. This is Reformation History Notes number two.) FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/CalvinCC.htm

 

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RELATED RESOURCES (Cassettes)

 

Dr. FRANCIS NIGEL LEE against PAEDOCOMMUNION

Resource 7c. Communion and the Church (Cassette) $3.98 (US funds)

Resource 7d. Paedocommunion (2 Cassettes) $7.96 (US funds)

 

Resource 7e. PRICE, GREG

What is Close Communion? (2 cassettes, 1998)

Explains and defends the Apostolic teaching and practice concerning the Lord's Supper (based on and found in Scripture). Demonstrates how this was also classic Reformation practice, written into the best Reformed confessions, covenants and Acts of General Assemblies. Moreover, Calvin and many other individual leaders of Reformation are shown to have upheld this position. Price also shows how close communion exhibits Christian love and is one of the great means of grace to bring visible unity to the Church of Jesus Christ. This is classic Reformed teaching that is misunderstood, much maligned and even forgotten in our day. It is also rarely preached, so here you have a rare audio treat in which you may taste of the old Covenanted and Reformed ways from a contemporary preacher. These are two sermons from the series "The Apostolic/Reformation Way to Worldwide (Biblical) Church Unity."

(2 Cassettes) $7.96 (US funds) [Only $US3.96 until May 24, 2010]

(2 Videos) $27.86 (US funds) [Only $US13.98 until May 24, 2010]

 

Resource 7f. PRICE, GREG

What Are Terms of Communion? (1998)

Price shows how truth is more foundational than love and that biblical love is always built on truth -- or else it is not the love which God commands (John 14:15-24). This sermon is based on 1 Cor. 1:10, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." It covers the three-fold purpose for terms of communion, the biblical testimony for terms of communion and an appeal for terms of communion. We see here that all churches have terms of communion (whether explicit or implicit) and that these terms of communion justify each denominations' (or congregations') separate existence from other denominations or congregations. However, it is also pointed out that the present state of the visible church is in direct opposition to many of God commands for visible unity (based on truth). This is a grievous situation which stirs God to wrath and gives us an example of God's judgement upon the church. This sermon seeks to remove this cause of God's wrath by pressing the need for faithful obedience in regard to biblical unity (which will only be accomplished as the churches agree together on Scriptural terms of communion, Amos 3:3). Examples from Apostolic teaching and from the practice of the best Reformed churches of the past are used to emphasize the critical nature of this teaching. Interestingly, Price also shows (from Christ's high priestly prayer in John 17) that until the church comes to a visible unity (based on common, faithful terms of communion) the massive evangelism of Jews (Romans 11) and Gentiles (Ezek. 47) predicted in Scripture will not take place. This makes understanding and practising these truths of extreme importance -- while exposing much of the unbiblical evangelism that takes place today. If you love the purity and peace of Christ's church and/or long to see the masses of unevangelized humanity come to Christ, this is exactly the teaching that will help you to do your own part in bringing about this glorious end. This is the first sermon in the three tape series "The Apostolic/Reformation Way to Worldwide (Biblical) Church Unity."

(2 Cassettes) $7.96 (US funds) [Only $US3.96 until May 24, 2010]

(2 Videos) $27.86 (US funds) [Only $US13.98 until May 24, 2010]

 

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MANY RECONSTRUCTIONISTS IGNORE OR OPPOSE THE DIVINE RIGHT OF PRESBYTERIANISM (AND THUS SIN AGAINST GOD BY BREAKING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT)

 

Resource 8. WITHEROW, THOMAS

The Apostolic Church, Which Is It?

 

Shows, based on six Scriptural and Apostolic principles, which system of governing the church [Independent, Prelatical or Presbyterian] is pleasing to God. Concludes that Presbyterianism is set forth in Scripture as of divine right. See Rutherfurd's Due Right of Presbyteries or his Divine Right of Church Government ( http://www.swrb.com/catalog/R.htm ) for more advanced treatment of this subject. Easy reading, engaging, and a good textbook for Bible study classes. 91 pages.

 

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RELATED RESOURCES

 

Against the Independents (i.e. Schismatics)

 

Resource 8a. BAILLIE, ROBERT

Anabaptism, The True Fountain of Independency, Antinomy, Brownisme, Familisme, and the Most of the Other Errors, Which for the Time Do Trouble the Church of England, Unsealed (1647)

 

The title continues: "Also the Questions of Paedobaptisme and Dipping Handled from Scripture. In a Second Part of the Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time." Shows the origin, progress and changing character of the Anabaptist's heresies (Independency, mysticism, etc.) -- many which still afflict the body of Christ in our day (even in so-called "Reformed" circles). A fine defense of the biblical view of baptism is also given, including many answers to Anabaptist (Baptist) objections on this point. A staggering array of "testimonies" (i.e. quotations) are marshalled by Baillie -- both in refuting and setting forth the pernicious Anabaptist teachings. Baillie was one of the Scottish Commissioners sent to the Westminster Assembly. His international perspective and insight (concerning the ecclesiastical and civil battles for the Protestant cause of his day) makes for an interesting backdrop to this title -- not often encountered among most authors dealing with these topics. 220 pages.

 

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Against the Independents (i.e. Schismatics)

 

Resource 8b. WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY

The Reasons Presented by the Dissenting Brethren Against Certain Propositions Concerning Presbyterial Government. And the Proofs of them Voted by the Assembly of Divines, sitting by authority of Parliament, at Westminster. Together With the Answer of the Assembly of Divines to those Reasons of Dissent (1648)

 

It is interesting to note, as Hetherington points out in his History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines (p. 220), that,

 

(i)n their answer, the Assembly Divines seem almost to have been ashamed to analyze and expose the weak sophistry of the Dissenting Brethren's argument... but by availing themselves of the concessions made by the Independents in the course of their own illustrations, they completely overthrow the whole Congregational theory.

 

Regarding the book itself Hetherington writes,

 

These reasons of Dissent, and the Answers by the Assembly, occupied the attention of that venerable body during the conclusion of the year 1644, and the early part of the year 1645; and when fully completed, both the reasons and the answers were submitted to the consideration of the Parliament for a considerable time, and when the discussions of the Assembly had terminated, an order was issued by the House of Lords, on the 24th of January 1648 (or 1647, according to their style), that these reasons and answers should be printed from the papers in the hands of Adoniram Byfield, one of the Assembly's scribes, after having been inspected by Messrs Goodwin and Whittaker, to secure their genuineness and authenticity; and they were published in the same year... In the year 1652, the same publication received a new title-page, and was called The Grand Debate concerning Presbytery and Independency, by the Assembly of Divines convened at Westminster by authority of Parliament (History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, pp. 221-222).

 

In short, this is a definitive answer to the best the Independents had to offer. This photocopy is taken from what had previously been Samuel Miller's personal copy of this title. 314 pages.

 

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First time email sale listing! Against Episcopacy

 

Resource 8b. JAMESON, WILLIAM

Cyprianus Isotimus (1705)

This book clearly demonstrates that not Episcopacy, but its contrary, Presbytery, was believed by Cyprian and his contemporaries to be of divine right. Written in English, this rare work contains much valuable information defending the divine right of Presbyterianism from both Scripture and history.

(Rare bound photocopy) $149.95-90%=$14.99 (US funds)

(Hardcover photocopy OUT OF PRINT) $29.00 (US funds)

 

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First time email sale listing! Against Episcopacy

 

Resource 8c. JAMESON, WILLIAM

Nazianzeni Querela Et Votum Justum: The Fundamentals of the Hierarchy examin'd and disprov'd (1697)

Walker includes this among the "principal works" and best defences of Presbyterian church government, against Episcopalian attacks. Speaking of this book, among other foremost Presbyterian works of this period, he notes that they were all "learned and able books, all of them debating the point both on grounds of Scripture and ecclesiastical antiquity." Furthermore, he continues, writing, "Those of Jamieson claim a special notice. Their author was blind; so far as appears, he was born blind. Yet he was a thorough scholar (no excuse here for those of us who can see--RB), and in particular was well acquainted both with the Latin and Greek Fathers. His works are... as a whole... among the best of their class, and contain an effective defence of Presbyterian Church government." Johnston calls Jameson "one of the acutest and most learned defenders of the Presbyterian system" (Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, p. 383). This is one of the most devastating scholarly replies to the antichristian hierarchy of Episcopalianism (and Romanism too!) ever produced. Thoroughly scriptural, it also contains a treasure chest of quotations from the early church fathers (right up through to the recent [1600's] Reformers of Jameson's day); though Jameson readily proclaims, "Let the Sword of God (They're Jerome's words in primum Haggaei) cut off every thing that men, without the Authority of Testimony of the Scriptures, have devised and pretend as if they had it by Apostolic Tradition. Let all such things be broken in Pieces called Nehustan, and, finally, sacrificed to Truth and Peace." Exceedingly rare, 240 pages.

(Rare bound photocopy) $199.95-93%=$13.99 (US funds)

(Hardcover photocopy OUT OF PRINT) $29.00 (US funds)

 

Resource 8d. Against Romanism (http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/catholic-reformation1.htm)

 

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THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT (REGARDING SABBATH KEEPING) IS IGNORED, BROKEN, OR WORSE, PUBLICLY ATTACKED BY VARIOUS RECONSTRUCTIONISTS

 

Resource 9. GILFILLAN, JAMES

The Sabbath Viewed in the Light of Reason, Revelation, and History, with Sketches of Its Literature (1882)

 

A massive and thorough book which covers so much ground that it is almost impossible to do justice to it in a short book summary. We will simply say that if you are interested in any aspect of the Sabbath question you will almost certainly find much help here. Major heads include: "Sketches of Sabbatic Controversies and Literature;" "Proofs, From Reason and Experience, of the Excellence and Divine Origin of the Sabbath;" "Testimony of Revelation to a Sacred and Perpetual Sabbath;" "Evidence from History for a Weekly Day of Rest and Worship;" "The Sabbath Defended Against Opposing Arguments, Theories, and Schemes;" "The Claims of the Sabbath Practically Enforced." Includes a general index and an index of texts. 635 pages.

 

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RELATED RESOURCE

 

Resource 9a. PRICE, GREG

Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy

5 Cassettes, $19.90 (US funds) [$9.90 until September 13, 2010]

 

Individual titles below:

 

Remember the Sabbath Day: Why Keep the Sabbath? (1/5)

$3.98 (US funds) [$1.98 until September 13, 2010]

 

Remember the Sabbath Day: Is Sabbath Keeping for the Jews Alone? (2/5)

$3.98 (US funds) [$1.98 until September 13, 2010]

 

Remember the Sabbath Day: Sabbath Keeping & Building the Kingdom of God, (3/5)

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Remember the Sabbath Day: There is Left a Rest For the People of God (4/5)

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Remember the Sabbath Day: Lordship, Sabbath Keeping, Holy Days & Christmass (5/5)

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Resource 9c. PRICE, GREG

Christmass Condemned By Christ (1998)

 

Price shows how the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ condemns all man-invented holy days. Scripture and history are brought to bear most specifically on the celebration of Christ-mass, demonstrating why it is a sin to celebrate this day. It is also noted that Scripture never commands the celebration of this day and that there is no evidence that Christ and the Apostles ever celebrated this day -- in fact, this sycretism of paganism and "Babylonian" Christianity was not first celebrated until 354 A.D. (when December 25 was chosen, in accord with the Pagan feast of Saturnalia, as the day of "celebration"). Price also clearly shows that to call yourself Reformed while you hold on to this Roman Catholic/Pagan monument of idolatry makes for a serious contradiction in your testimony -- as the best Reformed churches have always disciplined those (in accord with Scriptural teaching) who broke the second and fourth commandments by keeping antichristian festival days like Christ-mass, Easter, etc.. Citations from Luther, Calvin and the company of Geneva Pastors, the Church of Scotland's First Book of Discipline, the 1620 Dutch Synod, the Civil Government of Holland (1625), the U.S. Colonies and the Westminster Assembly all speak with one voice against this Romish corruption. Common objections against the classic Reformed position are also answered. "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jer. 10:2). For more information see Christmas: A Biblical Critique by Kevin Reed and M. Schneider free at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Xmas_ch0.htm.

 

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HOW THE UNITED STATES EXHIBITS ITS HATRED FOR KING JESUS IN THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION (AND THUS BREAKS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT)

 

Resource 10. WILLSON, JAMES R.

Prince Messiah's Claims to Dominion Over All Governments: and the Disregard of His Authority by the United States in the Federal Constitution (1832)

 

The reality of Christ's kingship explored and vindicated from Scripture, with application to the United States constitution. The author's conclusions have far-reaching consequences and should be looked at seriously by all Christians, whether they reside in the United States or not (for the biblical principles enumerated here also apply to other nations). We, today, are seeing the desolation of kingdoms worldwide (through wars, famines, disease, unjust taxation, immorality, etc.) by the wrath of the Lamb, much of which can be attributed to national ignorance of this doctrine. "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath be kindled but a little" (Psalm 2:12). This book will go a long way to exposing the fact, as Willson writes, that "ungodly men have occupied, and do now occupy, many of the official stations, in the government," and that "Tyrants are yet on their thrones, and unholy republics refuse to acknowledge Him (Christ--RB) as Lord of all." 48 pages.

 

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RELATED RESOURCES

 

Resource 10a. Andrew Sandlin Versus Reg Barrow

Debate on the US Constitution

 

The following debate on the US Constitution, between Andrew Sandlin [editor of the Chalcedon Report] and Reg Barrow [President of Still Waters Revival Books], took place on the Knox Ring email discussion group in January of 1997.

 

FREE AT: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/USCon.htm

 

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Resource 10b. WILLSON, JAMES M.

Civil Government: An Exposition of Romans 13:1-7 (1853)

 

Does the Bible give any qualifications for Christians to judge whether or not a given civil magistrate is a lawful or unlawful "power" in the eyes of God? Does the very existence of a civil "power" (say Hitler's Nazi state, for example) make them a legitimate government according to Romans 13? Or, can a civil government obtain its "power" from "the beast" (as the book of Revelation teaches) -- as some "churches" do? Should civil "authorities" be judged according to the secret or revealed will of God? This is a fine piece of exegetical work, well nigh irrefutable, arguing that God has given clear revelation regarding the lawfulness and unlawfulness of any given civil magistrate. Willson's Scriptural conclusion will surprise many, anger not a few, and, we believe, be found honoring to God. Though the book is easy reading, these are deep waters with implications that are among the most far reaching. It is a very controversial publication based on the idea that "unholy republics refuse to acknowledge Him (Christ) as Lord of all." This failure to covenant with Christ, as nations, exposes the fact that these national governments are the enemies of Christ (as with the individual or church who will not covenant with Christ). They are thus in violation of the first commandment and therefore treasonous usurpers who will not have the one true king to rule over them. Their laws and actions bare this out, as they refuse to rule by the law of God, but rather, as dupes of Satan, rule by their own autonomous standards. And, though it is their duty to be a terror to evil and promote the good, they, in the main, do the opposite. They protect and support murders (e.g. abortionists), continence and permit perversity (e.g. homosexuality, pornography, etc.) and take no action to establish the Reformed faith (but rather extend constitution rights to all manner of cults, sectarian Independents, satanists, Muslims, Roman Catholics, etc.) -- to name but a few of the more obvious areas of government rebellion against King Jesus. 162 pages.

 

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COVENANTING (A PART OF KEEPING THE THIRD COMMANDMENT):

A CROWNING ORDINANCE OF REAL REFORMATION (ALL BUT FORGOTTEN BY THE RECONSTRUCTIONISTS)!

 

Resource 11. BARROW, REG

A Contemporary Covenanting Debate; Or, Covenanting Redivivus

 

Joe Bell (an Independent, Baptist, and professing Reconstructionist) kicked Reg Barrow off his email discussion group because the subjects of Divine Right Presbyterianism and the Covenanted Reformation were too hot for him to handle. This is Barrow's final answer to Bell (which Bell censored from his list). No one, including Bell, has yet to attempt an answer. Barrow answers many specific questions (that most Reconstructionists seem to want to keep well out of sight from those that presently support them or their ministries) regarding the permanence of covenant obligation, national Reformation, historical testimony, and many other doctrines which were prevalent during the period of the second Reformation. A wealth of Reformation source documents are cited throughout and this spirited debate should help to generate interest in many of those biblical attainments which were won during those glorious days in which major nations openly covenanted themselves (as moral persons) to Christ.

 

(Bound photocopy) $9.95-60%=$3.98 (US funds)

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FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/CovDebRB.htm

 

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RELATED RESOURCE

 

Resource 11b. CUNNINGHAM, JOHN

The Ordinance of Covenanting (1843)

 

This book (of over 400 pages) is considered by many as the classic work on covenanting. Here Cunningham exhaustively deals with the manner, duty and nature of covenanting (including personal and social covenanting), the obligation covenanting confers, how covenanting is provided for in the everlasting covenant, how it is adapted to the moral constitution of man and how it is according to the purposes of God. If you are interested in the ordinance of covenanting this is the most extensive treatment you will find in one book. It is a gold mine of Scriptural references and should be read at least once by everyone who calls upon the name of Christ. A rare and valuable classic!

 

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Resource 11c. PRICE, GREG

Terms of Communion: Covenants and Covenanting

 

Explains and defends the fourth term of communion, which is "That public, social covenanting is an ordinance of God, obligatory on churches and nations under the New Testament; that the National Covenant and the Solemn League are an exemplification of this divine institution; and that these Deeds are of continued obligation upon the moral person; and in consistency with this, that the Renovation of these Covenants at Auchensaugh, Scotland, 1712 was agreeable to the word of God." Also includes much Reformation history (from Reformations found in Scripture and those that have taken place since the closing of the canon)! This is the best taped information you will find on covenanting anywhere!

 

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Resource 11d. BARROW, GREG

The Covenanted Reformation Defended (1998)

 

Unsurpassed on points related to the Lord's supper, separation and covenanting as set forth by the best Reformers and best Reformed churches. This book (in answer to the neopresbyterianism of Richard Bacon) is particularily strong on matters related to the original intent of the Westminster divines! It includes great citations from Calvin and the Westminster Assembly. Deals with many foundational aspects of the Covenanted Reformation (which gave us the Westminster Standards and the Solemn League and Covenant) from numerous original source documents (from the Westminster Assembly's advice to the English Parliament on the Lord's Supper to the official records of Calvin's Covenanting in Geneva).

 

Comprehensive and compelling, this is a shocking (and sometimes advanced) look at what really took place during both the first and second Reformations -- with extensive quotations from the writings of the major Reformers (not just quotes from what others have written about them). It conclusively and irrefutably demonstrates that those churches which today call themselves Presbyterian (and even many which claim a more general Reformed heritage) have seriously departed from the Scriptural standards, principles and worship of these previous Spirit-led Reformations.

 

The Covenanted Reformation Defended is written in an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand format and is an unsurpassed work that should not be missed by anyone interested in real Reformation in our day. This is without a doubt the best book to read if you want to understand what it means to be a Covenanter and to walk in the blood-stained footsteps of the witnessing church (Christ's Covenanted and Reformed flock) (Song 1:8)! 318 pages, 8.5" X 11".

 

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This book is also offered FREE in etext on SWRB's web page at:

http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/CovRefGB.htm

 

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Resource 11e. Of Exegesis and Eccentricity (A Book Review of James Jordan's The Law of the Covenant) by Kevin Reed

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/exegesis.htm

 

Resource 11f. Paleopresbyterianism Versus Neopresbyterianism by Michael Wagner

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Paleo.htm

 

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BIBLICAL SEPARATION FROM ERROR RARELY PRACTICED AMONG THE "COALITION BUILDING" RECONSTRUCTIONISTS

 

Resource 12. DOUGLAS, JAMES

Strictures on Occasional Hearing (1820, second edition)

 

An inquiry into Song 1:7, "Why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?" This book sets out to demonstrates the proposition that one should not hear the public preaching of those he can not take communion with (i.e. it proposes a ban on occasionally hearing those with whom you can not maintain organic fellowship with). The implications contained in this truth are immense; especially when one has adopted the Biblical doctrine of close communion and is set upon upholding the covenanted reformation. The duty to separation and to true visible unity are all encompassed here. A review of this book, written in 1818, notes that the "treatise may be viewed as a complete repository of all that has yet been said on the subject." It is filled with Scriptural, as well as historical testimony, and is a welcome tonic to the weak and compromising books of our day that so often sacrifice the truth on the altar of some other man made expediency (such as unity for political or ecclesiastical advantage). For as the introduction notes, "It is the revealed will of God, and not saintship, which is the only rule of a visible profession." That Christians exist in other denominations is not denied, but that they are faithful to the covenanted reformation (already historically obtained) is. The arguments set forth here are reminiscent of those found in Rutherford's Due Right of Presbyteries. If you are struggling with questions related to separation, the unity of the visible church, close communion, etc. this book may be exactly what you've been looking for. A massive appendix also lays out the historical testimony concerning this matter. 144 pages.

 

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RELATED RESOURCE (Cassettes)

 

Resource 12a. PRICE, GREG

What is Occasional Hearing? (3 sermons, 1998)

 

Occasional hearing is the sinful practice, denounced in Scripture and by the best Reformers, of attending upon the public ministries of unfaithful ministers. As Price points out, without faithfulness in this area, the visible church will be filled with disunity, confusion and eventually apostasy. David Steele echoes this much needed warning, writing

,

Finally, that we may trace the streams to their fountain, of which the "flock of slaughter" are tempted to drink when "fouled by the feet of shepherds" unfaithful to the Chief Shepherd, we believe that the (fons et origo omnium nostrorum malorum) -- the fountain and origin of all our sinful departures from the Covenanted Work of Reformation -- will be found in the practice of what is well, too well, marked in our history, and commonly called "Occasional Hearing." Can any person give a reason why he should not hear constantly where he can hear occasionally? Or can any one, at the same time, testify against a church for unfaithfulness, and wait upon its ministry, without evident inconsistency and neutralizing his testimony? Will he succeed in recovering backsliders by following them in their backsliding course? We distinguish here between such as are advancing and those who are retrograding, as our witnessing fathers always did, and towards which parties our deportment ought to be different. To those advancing we extend a helping hand, but from those declining we are commanded to "turn away" (1 Tim. 3:1-5). If I may hear a minister in his pulpit in another fellowship, why may I not in my own pulpit? Then exchange of pulpits necessarily follows, invitation to a seat in church courts, and then open communion! -- and all sanctioned and sanctified by the euphonious phrase, "Christian courtesy"! But how will Christ look upon such motley multitudes? Can they bury his blood-sealed truth and conceal their hypocrisy under "good words and fair speeches" from "His eyes, like unto a flame of fire?" Impossible. But we ought to "have the mind of Christ." (l Cor. 2:16). To us the logical connection of the consecutive steps above merely noted is quite obvious. The inevitable tendency of occasional hearing and its ultimate issue is open communion, -- the overthrow of all creeds, confessions and testimonies; all Subordinate Standards and final apostasy. (A Short Vindication of Our Covenanted Reformation, pp. 49-50, 1879, emphases added)

 

It is unlikely that you will hear these Apostolic/Reformed truths preached in many other places (if at all). If you are serious about keeping the Apostolic command, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17), this series is must listening! These are three sermons from the series "The Apostolic/Reformation Way to Worldwide (Biblical) Church Unity."

 

(3 Cassettes) $11.94 (US funds) [Only $US5.95 until September 13, 2010]

(3 Videos) $29.99 (US funds) [Only $US19.95 until September 13, 2010]

 

FREE RELATED RESOURCES

 

Resource 12b. A Brief Defence of Dissociation in The Present Circumstances (1996) by the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church

Explains why Christians should separate themselves from those groups which deny biblical truth and its implications.

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/BriefDef.htm

 

Resource 12c. International Covenanted Reformation or Schism? (A Reply to Doug Wilson) by Reg Barrow

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/SchismCA.htm

 

Resource 12d. Saul in the Cave of Adullam: A Testimony Against the Fashionable Sub-Calvinism of Doug Wilson (Editor of Credenda/Agenda Magazine); and, for Classical Protestantism and the Attainments of the Second Reformation by Reg Barrow

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Saul.htm

 

Resource 12e. Up From Reconstruction; or, A Short History of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton (1996) by Michael Wagner

Wagner, PhD (in political science), traces the theological journey of the PRC of Edmonton -- from a Reconstructionist congregation to its present adoption of the covenanted attainments of the second Reformation. He notes where and why Reconstruction has been helpful to the PRC and also shows where and why it has been a hindrance to further Reformation. The paradigms which Wagner deals with (in his characteristically irenic style) should be familiar to most Reformed Christians -- making this book an exceedingly helpful introduction to some much larger and more complex areas of thought. The major differences between the testimony of the Reformers (of the 16th and 17th centuries) and the testimony of the modern Reconstructionists is laid out and contrasted in an easy to understand format . Having been a Reconstructionist, Wagner has insights others dealing with Reconstructionism (from the outside) have completely missed. Furthermore, many modern Reconstructionist critiques are miserably flawed and full of heresy and poor scholarship themselves -- thus they lack credibility among those who seek a fair assessment of Christian Reconstruction. This can not be said of this book and we hope that it will encourage Reconstructionists and non-Reconstructionist alike to return to the old paths of the Apostles and our Presbyterian and Reformed forefathers. Books like this (and his previous works) place Wagner among a growing body of young authors, all well studied in theology and history, who are now calling for a third Reformation.

FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/UpFromRe.htm

 

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THE SUBJECT OF PERSONAL PIETY NEGLECTED

(AND EVEN SCOFFED AT) AMONG SOME RECONSTRUCTIONISTS

(for fear of becoming "morbid introspectionists")

 

Resource 13. BAYLY, LEWIS

The Practice of Piety (c. 1611, 1842)

 

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries this work was the most universally read English book on devotion next to Pilgrim's Progress. Bunyan himself ascribes the commencement of his spiritual life in some measure to the perusal of this practical handbook on piety... First published in the early 1600's... by 1792, (it was in) its seventy-first English edition... (It has) appeared in most European languages, including Dutch (1620), French (1625), German (1692), and Polish (1647). New England Puritans even translated it into the Indian language used in Massachusetts (1665)... Bayly's puritan convictions brought him into frequent conflict... in 1621 he was imprisoned for some months for his aversion to the infamous Book of Sports, and for other minor charges... Bayly's Practice of Piety is replete with practical, Puritan guidelines on the pursuit of holy living. The author commences his work with 'a plain description of God [in] his essence, person, and attributes.' He treats the doctrines of God as a basis for piety and divine grace as a ground for every grace which we sinners need. The remainder of the volume deals with the reasons for, and the conditions and objectives of piety... In short, this is a book (of 368 pages--RB) about how to live well and how to die well... Read The Practice of Piety slowly, meditatively, prayerfully, and, I would recommend annually. Ask yourself repeatedly, 'Am I putting this wise spiritual director's scriptural advice into practice? Am I pursuing holiness -- that holiness without which no man shall please God or be received into the eternal glories of a holy heaven?' (Joel Beeke).

 

Here is a sample of Bayly's writing,

 

But God was more displeased with Cain for despairing of his mercy, than for murdering his brother; and with Judas for hanging himself, than for betraying his master: in that they would make the sins of mortal men greater than the infinite mercy of the eternal God; or as if they could be more sinful, than God was merciful: whereas the least drop of Christ's blood is of more merit to procure God's mercy for thy salvation, than all the sins that thou hast committed can be of force to provoke his wrath to thy damnation (The Practice of Piety, pp. 294-295).

 

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Resource 13a. BROWN (of Wamphray), JOHN

Christ: the Way the Truth and the Life (1839 edition)

"John Brown of Wamphray (1610-1679) has been rightly called the most important Scottish theologian of his day. He was especially gifted at merging profound doctrinal truth with warm Christ-centered zeal and godly piety. Samuel Rutherford wrote of him, 'I always [had]... a great love to dear Mr. John Brown because I thought I saw Christ in him more than in his brethren.' Brown's blending of doctrinal truth and Christ-centered piety is most clearly displayed in his Christ: the Way the Truth and the Life. This is biblical, Reformed, Puritan spirituality at its best. Would you learn the art of continually fleeing to Christ by faith for your justification and sanctification? Read and reread this precious volume, filled with experimental truth about how to go to Christ continually for every spiritual need. Use it as a devotional gem, and pray for the Holy Spirit to grant you a growing, daily 'making use' of Christ by faith" (Joel Beeke). This book was written during Brown's time of banishment in Holland. Among its 29 chapters we find Brown dealing with justification, but especially focusing on sanctification. Chapters are given to "crucifying the old man," "How to make use of Christ, as Truth, for comfort, when truth is oppressed and bornedown," "for steadfastness," "for encouragement," and much more. A classic on practical godliness if there ever was one.

(Bound photocopy) $49.95-80%=$9.99 (US funds)

(Hardcover photocopy OUT OF PRINT) $19.00 (US funds)

 

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UNGODLY TOLERATIONISM

(BREAKING THE FIRST COMMANDMENT)

COMMON AMONG RECONSTRUCTIONISTS

 

Resource 14. EDWARDS, THOMAS

The Casting Down of the Last and Strongest Hold of Satan; Or, A Treatise Against Toleration and Pretended Liberty of Conscience (1647)

 

The title continues: "Wherein by Scripture, sound Reason, Fathers, Schoolmen, Casuists, Protestant Divines of all Nations, Confessions of Faith of the Reformed Churches, Ecclesiastical Histories, and constant practice of the most pious and wisest Emperors, Princes, States, the best Writers of Politicks, the experience of all Ages; yea, by divers Principles, Testimonies and Proceedings of Sectaries themselves, as Donatists, Anabaptists, Brownists, Independents, the unlawfulness and mischief in Christian Commonwealths and Kingdoms both of a Universal Toleration of all Religions and Consciences, and of a limited and bounded (toleration--RB) of some Sects only, are clearly proved and demonstrated, with all the material Grounds and Reasons brought for such Tolerations fully answered."

 

This title (representing the English Presbyterian position) is very much akin to the Scottish view found in Samuel Rutherford's classic A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience. It is also comparable to the position of the Covenanted Scottish General Assembly as seen in this sample quote,

 

(W)e are also very sensible of the great and imminent dangers into which this common cause of religion is now brought by the growing and spreading of most dangerous errors in England to the obstructing and hindering of the begun Reformation, as namely (beside many others) Socinianism, Arminianism, Anabaptism, Antinomianism, Brownism, Erastianism, Independency, and that which is called (by abuse of the word) Liberty of Conscience, being indeed Liberty of Error, Scandal, Schism, Heresy, dishonouring God, opposing the Truth, hindering Reformation; and seducing others" (Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1638-1649 Inclusive, p. 333).

 

In short, this work of Edwards' is "a treatise against the Magistrates toleration and permission of a promiscuous use and profession of all religions, sects and heresies, and a partial limited toleration of some few sects, or of any one sect, way of worship, church government different from the true religion established and settled." This book was published by the authority of the English Parliament of Edwards' day. 224 pages.

 

ADDITIONAL DISCOUNTED SALE PRICE UP TO AND INCLUDING September 13, 2010

 

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Resource 14a. EDWARDS, THOMAS

The First and Second Part of Gangraena: or a Catalogue and Discovery of many of the Errors, Heresies, Blasphemies and pernicious Practices of the Sectaries (i.e. Independents like Thomas Goodwin-RB) of this time, vented and acted in England in these last four years (1646)

The title continues: "Also a particular Narration of divers Stories, Remarkable Passages, Letters; an Extract of many Letters, all concerning the present Sects; together with some Observations upon, and Corollaries from all the fore-named Premises." The second part even notes that it contains a "copy of a hymn sung by some Sectaries instead of David's Psalms;" and includes replies to some pamphlets (by Saltmarsh, Bacon, etc.) against the first part of Edward's work. In short, this book is written to stay "the plague of Sectarianism," which Edwards writes, "rages more and more, putting forth the symptoms presaging death and destruction on both Church and State, if not timely prevented." The summary for the Third Part of Gangraena is listed below. 319 pages.

(Bound photocopy) $99.95-85%=$14.99 (US funds)

(Hardcover photocopy OUT OF PRINT) $24.00 (US funds)

 

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Resource 14b. EDWARDS, THOMAS

Reasons Against the Independent Government of Particular Congregations: As Also Against the Toleration of Such Churches To Be Erected in this Kingdom -- Together With an Answer to Such Reasons as are Commonly Alleged for Such a Toleration (1641)

Edwards was "a famous Presbyterian writer, and a violent opposer of the Independents. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge where he took his degree of B.A. 1605, and of M.A. 1609. Having received ordination he became a lecturer, first at Hertford, and afterwards in London. Died in Holland 1647, whither he had fled to avoid the resentment of the (Oh so tolerant--RB) Independents," writes Darling (Cyclopedia Bibliographica, p. 1026). An important work defending that which is necessary for the well-being of the visible church -- against the heresy of the Independents (especially schismatics such as Goodwin and Nye who attended and hindered the work of Westminster Assembly). 73 pages. For a fuller treatment of this same subject see the author's Antapologia; or, a Full Answer to the Apologetical Narration of Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Nye, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Burroughs, Mr. Bridge, members of the Assembly of Divines; Wherein are Handled Many of the Controversies of These Times.

(Bound photocopy) $49.95-80%=$9.99 (US funds)

(Hardcover photocopy OUT OF PRINT) $19.00 (US funds)

 

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Resource 14c. EDWARDS, THOMAS

The Third Part of Gangraena: or a new and higher Discovery of the Errors, Heresies, Blasphemies and insolent Proceedings of the Sectaries of these times; with some Animadversions by way of Confutation upon many of the Errors and Heresies named (1646)

More against the sectarian Independents; with some special attention given to Thomas Goodwin's attempted refutation of Edwards' Antapologia (which was a devastating refutation of the Independent's positions found in the Apologetical Narration of Goodwin, Nye, Simpson, Burroughs, Bridge; all who were members of the Westminster Assembly), Jeremiah Burroughs and other prominent detractors from the ranks of the schismatic covenant breakers hindering the work of the Westminster Assembly. Darling calls these works "very scare" and notes that Edwards wrote "in a spirit of fierce and bitter invective" (Cyclopedia Bibliographica, p. 1026). Edwards had already replied to this charge in his day in this very book, which includes a lengthy "justification of the manner and way of writing these books called Gangraena, wherein not only the lawfulness, but the necessity of writing after this manner (i.e. naming names and "rebuking them sharply," Titus 1:13 -- RB) is proved by Scripture, Fathers, the most eminent Reformed Divines (including Calvin, Luther, Beza, Bullinger and others--RB), Casuists, the practice and custom of all ages" -- including the practice of the Independents themselves. It is startling to note the great inroads that the errors of independency, answered in this book, have made throughout modern "evangelicalism" -- even among those who call themselves Reformed: making this book extremely pertinent for our day. This work is conveniently indexed by using both the names of the Independents refuted and also their particular heresies and errors. 328 pages.

(Bound photocopy) $99.95-85%=$14.99 (US funds)

(Hardcover photocopy OUT OF PRINT) $24.00 (US funds)

 

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Resource 15. MORE FREE RESOURCES

Christian Reconstruction Critiqued

http://www.swrb.com/newslett/FREEBOOK/Recon.htm

 

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FREE TAPE OFFER: For every ten dollars (Canadian) you purchase from SWRB before Dec. 6, 2000, you may choose one FREE TAPE (valued at $4.00 each or less, even if these tapes are in or make up sets). There is no limit on the number of free tapes you may obtain. For example, if your order is for $US50 you may choose 5 FREE TAPES, if your order is for $US500 you may choose 50 FREE TAPES, and so on (with no limit)! One FREE TAPE for every $US10 you spend. This is a great time to stock up on some of our larger sets ( http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/inquisition-sets.htm ) and more expensive Bibles ( http://www.swrb.com/bibles/bibles.htm ) and really pile up the FREE TAPES and other savings!

 

These FREE TAPES are in addition to the savings you get due to the exchange rate on the weak Canadian dollar (for those outside of Canada) listed below. With all these savings combined it is unlikely you will find CLASSIC REFORMATION RESOURCES at better prices than this.

 

The bulk of our tapes are listed at: http://www.swrb.com/music/cassets.htm or under "BOOKS & SERMONS on CASSETTE" (p. 12) and "PRICE, GREG" (p. 63 or http://www.swrb.com/catalog/P.htm) in our recently released 96 page catalogue.

 

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Expires September 13, 2010

 

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Please forward this email (or portions thereof) to your friends and email discussion groups if you think that they would like to obtain classic Reformation resources at great discounts by mail (and FREE from our web page). You are also welcome to link any of our web pages to your web page. Thank you!

 

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"This collection of... CDs is a truly astounding accomplishment. There is nothing like this available to the ordinary Christian on the whole face of the earth. Now, for the first time ever, ordinary Christians can have direct and near effortless access to the very cream of Puritan and Reformed, as well as Covenanter, literature... What they used to say of the Puritan John Flavel's preaching, can be said of these CDs: they are 'hissing hot'! (Dr Jonathan D. Moore, Cambridge, Scholar of 16th and 17th century Calvinistic literature.).

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"This collection of… CDs is a truly astounding accomplishment. There is nothing like this available to the ordinary Christian on the whole face of the earth. Now, for the first time ever, ordinary Christians can have direct and near effortless access to the very cream of Puritan and Reformed, as well as Covenanter, literature... What they used to say of the Puritan John Flavel's preaching, can be said of these CDs: they are 'hissing hot'! ... more" (emphases added).

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"Novum Testamentum in Vetre latet, et in Novo, Vetus patet." Augustine
( "The New is in the Old concealed, and in the New, the Old revealed." )

* It is SWRB's opinion that Ages has done an excellent job in making various Reformed works available on CD, so much so that we also distribute a number of their CDs at discounts. Thus, please don't make more out of our publishing this comment than is warranted, as this is a comment we received from one of our customers and it expresses his opinion. As for Ages' work, we rejoice whenever the truth is published, whether through others or through SWRB (as we play only a very small part in the revival of classic Reformation, Puritan and Covenanter thought that is now taking place worldwide through God's marvelous grace). The publication of the best Reformers and Puritans of the past is one of the greatest needs of our time, as this extends the blessings that come through faithful preachers and authors into our day and into the future. Lord willing, the growth in the publishing of faithful works from the past will help stem the tide of the great declension and unfaithfulness which we are now witnessing all around us, even (sadly) among many churches that still call themselves "Presbyterian" and/or "Reformed." So please pray together with us that our Lord will multiple the number of faithful publishers and publications, and that He will give many the heart to stand for the truth no matter the consequences (as He has done for our faithful forefathers, who resisted Satan and sin unto blood and even to martyrdom in many cases). -- RB.


"SWRB's Puritan and Reformation CD libraries are an invaluable source for the study of the history and theology of classic Reformation theology. The collection is remarkable not only for depth of content, but also for the rarity of many of the works. Most seminary libraries will not have even a percentage of the works available on these CD-ROMs. I cannot imagine anyone working in Reformation / historical theology that would not want to use the Puritan and Reformed libraries!"

- Phillip J. Long
Associate Prof. of New Testament
Grace Bible College
Grand Rapids, MI 49509


"I just received your CD collection. One bit of advice: you should instruct your customers to take about 1 week off just to peruse the tables of contents for these CD's, followed by another week off, in order to recover from the state of shock in which they will find themselves.

In all seriousness, this collection is almost impossible to describe. It has to be seen to be believed. As a pastor, my library has just increased dramatically. As a Ph.D. student in Puritan and Post-Reformation studies, I have immediate access to many of the same works for which I would normally need to access through rare book rooms of theological libraries.

Thank you for this labor of love. Thank you for making it accessible, both financially and technologically. May the Lord richly bless you for this service to his people."

- Yours for the faith,
Pastor David Owen Filson
Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church (PCA), Nashville, TN


"You all are doing a wonderful service by making all these materials so readily available. Having them on my hard drive is BETTER than having access to a rare book library with all of them in hand... I have found the CD set invaluable as a tool of scholarship. So once again I commend you brothers for making it available."

- Dr. E. Calvin Beisner
Knox Theological Seminary
Author and Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Social Ethics

(Author of: Psalms of Promise: Celebrating the Majesty and Faithfulness of God, God in Three Persons, Answers: For Atheists, Agnostics, and Other Thoughtful Skeptics--Dialogs About Christian Faith and Life, Man, Economy, and Environment in Biblical Perspective, Where Garden Meets Wilderness: Evangelical Entry Into the Environmental Debate, Evangelical Heathenism? Examining Contemporary Revivalism, as well as other books, scholarly papers, and contributions to various anthologies).


"It's been several weeks now since I received the CDs and have had some time to digest some of them. All I can say is, "WOW!" This is truly a library like no other, and has already paid great dividends not only in my own personal worship and study, but in my teaching as well. I first balked at the price, but after seeing the vastness of the material, I almost feel as though I'm robbing you!

I pray that the Lord will allow you to get these materials into the hands of as many ministers as possible."

- Email from SC, USA


Full SWRB CD comment from Dr. Moore:

This collection of 62 CDs is a truly astounding accomplishment. There is nothing like this available to the ordinary Christian on the whole face of the earth.

Now, for the first time ever, ordinary Christians can have direct and near effortless access to the very cream of Puritan and Reformed, as well as Covenanter, literature.

These books are often in fascinating first editions and many are electronically linked and indexed for the first time. The ordinary Christian may here dig into a simply staggering wealth of literature, from devotional and sermonic material to technical and scholarly works. Even in the days of the Long Reformation itself ordinary Christians didn't get to see this kind of library -- most couldn't read for a start, and even those who could, would never have been able to afford to buy even a hundredth part of the material on these CDs. Truly we are without excuse!

And the significance of this collection goes even beyond that. No longer do we have to wait for modern Reformed publishing houses to predict that a particular Reformation or Puritan book will be sufficiently popular to make it economical to reprint, or to deem it "safe" enough to be let loose on the modern evangelical church. Rather, we are now able to see for ourselves the whole range of the Puritan and Reformed publishing enterprise, including views that are usually suppressed by most modern devotees of "Puritan" piety!

Buy these CDs while you can, and find out for yourself what the First and Second Reformations were really all about! You'll be truly amazed, and, by God's grace, will grow from being an ordinary Christian to being an extraordinary one. What they used to say of the Puritan John Flavel's preaching, can be said of these CDs: they are "hissing hot"!

- Dr Jonathan D. Moore, Cambridge, UK.
(Scholar of 16th and 17th century Calvinistic literature.)


"This side of eternity I'll never be able to repay the favor you have done mankind by bringing these... CDs together.

The first week of reading I grew more as a Christian reading those rich, pure Gospel Commentators than I have in 18 years of Christian life. After reading some of the Puritan CDs I have to get the Reformation set if it kills me. A fire is burning within me. These... CDs are liable to start a revival fire unseen in any generation... the Gospel in its pure form is seen in these... CDs.

Sir, I cant say enough. What a treasure! I'll never be able to repay you this side of heaven, but when we get there I am sure you will see the rich fruits of your labor. God bless you for not being money hungry but wanting to see Christians grow in the Lord... I love you even though we have never met, you have helped me in my Christian walk tremendously with these... CDs.

I am not bragging on the flesh, I am just giving honor where honor is due. The Holy Ghost will take these CDs and light a fire unseen and unheard of. God bless you all at Still Waters."

- Email from the USA


"Thank you so very much for the CDs.

I am amazed at the quality and quantity of the literature...

I cannot imagine any other single thing being done by any man or group of men in the earth today that is of such extensive, present, and enduring value as this CD work is.

God be praised that he uses sickly and weak men to forward his kingdom, that the work may not be mistaken to be wrought by the might of men, but by his Spirit. His strength is perfected in weakness."

- Email from Colorado

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Many more comments on the SWRB's CD sets (by the Banner of Truth magazine, Calvin Beisner [Professor of Historical Theology and Social Ethics at Knox Theological Seminary], Dr. E.P. Elliott [Christian Observer magazine], and many others.) can be found at the end of the page at: http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/calvinism-bookshelf-CDs.htm


 

HOW TO GET 60 FREE SWRB CDs (UNTIL THE END OF THE DAY September 13, 2010,) BY THE BEST CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY PURITANS, REFORMERS, COVENANTERS, CALVINISTS, PRESBYTERIANS, REFORMED BAPTISTS, PROTESTANTS, et al. (CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW)

http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/60_FREE_PURITAN_CDs.htm