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All articles in category Historical

Historical

June 1998
Articles > Historical

The Significance of Savonarola

Five hundred years after his death, Savonarola remains an enigma. From his early years he felt intensely the sins of society. His ministry was marked by an extraordinary, almost fanatical, zeal. He preached fearlessly against the ungodliness of a church oiled by money and administered by grasping clerics. He was not afraid to identify…

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Historical

June 1998
Articles > Historical

The Hound of God – Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498)

Domini Canes - the hounds of God - was a Tuscan pun on 'Dominicans', the order to which Girolamo Savonarola belonged. The idea is represented in a fresco painted for the Dominicans by Simone Memmi. Savonarola made it his life's aim to protect the church of Christ from the corruption in the world, as…

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Historical

June 1998
Articles > Historical

John Calvin and the ‘Delusive Pretentions’ of Rome

John Calvin (1509-1564) -or, to give him his French name, Jean Calvin - was the most self-effacing of the Reformers. Yet it was this constitutionally shy man who the Lord saw fit to use to rebut the 'delusive pretensions' of the Roman Church and establish the Reformed faith on a firm foundation in western…

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Historical

May 1998
Articles > Historical

Defenders of the faith – Basil of Caesarea and the deity of the Holy Spirit

While the first book devoted to the subject of baptism was written by the North African theologian, Tertullian, at the end of the second century AD, it was not until the middle of the ninth century that a book on the Lord’s Supper appeared. Similarly, while there were a number of books on the…

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Historical

April 1998
Articles > Historical

Defenders of the faith – Athanasius of Alexandria and the challenge of Arianism

Central to the proclamation of the gospel in the first century A. D. was the confession that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9). As one probes what the term 'Lord' means for the New Testament writers, it is soon clear that there is more here than initially meets the eye. To confess Jesus as Lord…

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Historical

March 1998
Articles > Historical

Isaac Watts

Two hundred and fifty years ago, in November 1748, Isaac Watts was called to his eternal rest. He left behind some 600 hymns, many of them paraphrases of the Psalms and other portions of Scripture, but all written in the language of the new covenant and explicitly bringing the person and work of Christ…

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Historical

March 1998
Articles > Historical

Defenders of the faith: Irenaeus of Lyons and the threat of Gnosticism

Although Irenaeus of Lyons is the most important Greek-speaking theologian of second-century Christianity, materials for his life story are meagre at best. But what we do know of him makes us eager to find out more about this winsome author and pastor. Irenaeus was born in the Roman province of Asia, now on the…

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Historical

March 1998
Articles > Historical

Full circle

Last month we drove in imagination down the M1 passing junction 21. Noting the sign ‘River Swift’ on the motorway embankment, we reminisced as we looked back to the fourteenth century, to see a great man of God whose pioneering work was so influential that he was called the ‘Morning Star of the Reformation’.…

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Historical

February 1998
Articles > Historical

Thomas Bilney – the forgotten Reformer

Just before his death in the flames, Hugh Latimer encouraged his fellow martyr Nicholas Ridley with these justly famous words: ‘Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out.’ Latimer was indeed…

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Historical

February 1998
Articles > Historical

Billy Graham – on faith and the future of Christianity

​Following the publication of Billy Graham's autobiography, American 'televangelist' Robert Schuller interviewed Dr Graham on his 'Hour of Power' television show in May 1997. We reproduce below extracts from a verbatim transcript of that interview, in which Billy Graham answers questions on the subjects of faith and his message for today. We have made…

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Historical

January 1998
Articles > Historical

The sermon of the plough

450 years ago, on 18 January 1548, Hugh Latimer preached a notable sermon. It was a clarion call for action from England's bishops and clergy. Standing in the shelter of 'the Shrouds' at St Paul's in London, he uttered an impassioned plea to the nation's prelates to devote themselves to the true work of…

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Historical

December 1997
Articles > Historical

The conversion of John Cennick

John Cennick is one of the lesser-known figures of the eighteenth-century Awakening. He was born on 12 December 1718, at Reading. His parents were attached to the Anglican Church. His mother instructed him in the faith and ensured he was regular at church. He says she 'would not suffer me to play on the…

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