Subscribe now

All articles in category Historical

July 2016
Articles > Historical

Christianity in Cornwall

County of ‘saints’, Celtic crosses, ‘holy wells’ and oratories. There is reason to believe that Cornwall received the gospel in the first century AD. The Cornish language became virtually extinct when Coverdale’s Bible and Cranmer’s Prayer Book in English replaced the Latin liturgy and mass. In 1661 and 1662, the Church of England in Cornwall was severely weakened when 50 devout Puritan ministers were ejected from their ministries, but the Independents and Baptists were strengthened by them. When King James II put five bishops in the Tower of London for refusing to have his indulgence to Roman Catholics and Nonconformists declared in their dioceses, the...

Read more
June 2016
Articles > Historical

Victorian Christianity’s flight from faith (4)

Continued from Victorian Christianity’s flight from faith (3) The first two articles in this series explored the erosion of evangelical theology during the nineteenth century. The first weakening influence came through literature. Romantic poets and novelists drip-fed their dislike of eternal punishment and substitutionary atonement into people’s sensibilities. Then came philosophy, with its dismissal of the supernatural. Geology led to a revised view of the age of the earth and chronology of creation. Finally, in 1859 and 1860, Darwin’s theories and so-called High Criticism of the Bible inflicted decisive blows; the age of Victorian doubt was in full spate. God’s fatherhood All this led to...

Read more
May 2016
Articles > Historical

Foxe at 500

‘Foxe’ is not a name familiar to many Christians. It is the first word in the title of what is today a widely un-read book, Foxe’s book of Martyrs. In fact, John Foxe was a real person, and two good reasons for thinking about him are that he was a Christian and that he was born exactly 500 years ago (probably!). For most of the twentieth century John Foxe was disregarded. He belonged firstly to the Puritan type of Christianity, which was so out of vogue; and secondly was widely read in Victorian times, and anything Victorian was certainly out of vogue. However, times change...

Read more
May 2016
Articles > Historical

Why were our Reformers burned?

May 2016 is 200 years since the birth of J. C. Ryle, a staunch Anglican evangelical, whose writings have been greatly used by God. This extract is taken from a much longer lecture given in 1867, on the courageous stand of the Protestant martyrs under Queen Mary I (1553-58). Why were our Reformers burned? (see p.29) …Great indeed would be your mistake if you supposed that they suffered for the vague charge of refusing submission to the pope, or desiring to maintain the independence of the Church of England. Nothing of the kind! The principal reason why they were burned was because they refused one...

Read more
May 2016
Articles > Historical

Victorian Christianity’s flight from faith (3)

Continued from Victorian Christianity’s flight from faith (2) The first two articles in this series surveyed the attack on evangelical faith during the first two-thirds or so of the nineteenth century, through novels, poetry, science and philosophy. ). These assaults arose largely from sentiment and an a priori presupposition that miracles and other divine interventions do not or cannot occur. They came from outside theological circles and began before Charles Darwin’s writings. This article now considers the effects of Darwin’s theory of evolution and of the so-called ‘Higher Criticism’ of the Bible, on religious faith in the Victorian era. Evolution Ideas of biological evolution did...

Read more
April 2016
Articles > Historical

Victorian Christianity’s flight from faith (2)

Last month’s article surveyed the variety of attacks on evangelical faith during the second half of the nineteenth century. This article focuses on how literature, science and philosophy combined to undermine people’s confidence in traditional Christian belief (authors cited are referenced below). The spirit of the age was, to a significant degree, strengthened and spread through literature, not least by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), whose writings encouraged readers to be guided by feeling and sentiment rather than logic and external proof. Walker (p.54ff.) suggests that Coleridge’s writings were possibly the single most powerful influence on religious thought in the first quarter of the...

Read more
March 2016
Articles > Historical

A golden chain of providences

For 80 long years, Courtenay Harris has carried the secret burden of a family tragedy which has shaped his entire life. It is a story he has found hard to share and yet one that magnifies the wonder of God’s providences in his life. The story begins in late June 1934. A broken-hearted young Jewish woman is knocking at the door of an orphanage. Frieda Badrian carries in her arms her two-month-old baby, named Kurt. The family is in growing danger and the child’s anxious parents are about to take an action that will change their baby’s life forever. A neatly uniformed Sister opens the...

Read more
March 2016
Articles > Historical

King Edward VI

Edward VI, Henry VIII’s only son, was crowned king at the age of 9, but died at the age of 15. He was a gifted young man and convinced evangelical, who, despite his short life, has impacted our national life down to modern times. On 27 January 1547, Henry VIII knew he was near death. Refusing to see any other cleric, he summoned Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the early hours of the next day, Cranmer urged him to place all his hope in the mercy of God through Christ, and to give him a sign that he had done so. Unable to...

Read more
Page 10 of 81« First...89101112...203040...Last »