The Great Christian Revolution Essay


The Doctrines Of Grace Tie In With The Reformation

Stephen Horn
based on The
Great Christian Revolution
Otto Scot

The Great Christian Revolution is mainly about the Reformation in England, but it talks about the Reformation in some other countries as well. The Reformation in England was a great work of God. God raised up many leaders to do his works. Three of the doctrines of grace that the Reformers fought for were total depravity, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints. These were doctrines that the Protestants held to and the Roman-Catholics did not. These were not the only ones that they fought for. These were things which the Protestants held and died for to reform the church in these ways. These were the important issues in their days, and they are still important in our day too. Disagreeing with these is
Arminianism, which is still alive in our culture today.

The first doctrine to discuss that they got wrong is the doctrine of total depravity. The Roman-Catholics held to this doctrine because they are at nature Arminian. They say that man can save himself, and that leads to that man still has a spark of good in him, or that the body is evil but the mind is good, which are both wrong. This was a doctrine that the Reformers thought was important and some even died for this doctrine. The Roman Catholics also believed that the pope was not sinful, and he was actually the representative of Jesus Christ. They believed he was a perfect man and could say anything he wanted and could do anything that he wanted. The Roman-Catholics were not the only one who had this problem. “‘The King,’ James said, ‘is above law.’ He asserted that Kings were not only God’s ‘lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God himself are called Gods.’”1 Which is a false quotation of the bible because God does not say that. The verse that he is paraphrasing is, Psalm 82:6, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” This passage certainly does not prove the divine right of Kings. If it did, then it means that everyone who is saved is a God too. The Roman-Catholics believed that the pope was in the place of God. They believed that he could save people, or excommunicate someone. When the Church of England rose, the Roman-Catholics fell. The Roman-Catholics believed that you could save yourself by buying things from them because they were greedy and being a priest or a clergy man was a business, not a religion. The Roman-Catholics Priests supposedly were righteous and they fasted and prayed, but really they used the money they got for worldly pleasures. They were righteous on the outside and dirty on the inside like the Scribes and
Pharisees as it says in Matthew 23:25-28:

Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of
the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and
excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the
cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto
you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited
sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within
full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also
outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of
hypocrisy and iniquity.

The Roman-Catholics believed that you could do things to make yourself be saved and you could resist the grace of God.

The Roman-Catholics believed that people could choose to be saved or could choose not to be saved. This doctrine got pushed out by the reformation as in:

During the Dort
synod of 1619 the Remonstrants, or Arminians, were emphatically
rejected. The English clergymen voted, together with the majority, to
uphold Calvin's principles in their entirety, including the
irresistible Grace of God and Man’s inability to determine
God’s judgment.2

Thisis what was ruled by the synods once they had been reformed and they decided that Calvinism was correct and Arminianism was wrong. This was only on the outside as, “Behind the scenes in England,
however, Arminianism found an increasingly warm reception, especially inside the Church of England.”3

“Dissenters from Calvinism came increasingly to be identified
as a group, and they in turn felt obliged to seek out allies in
defense of a common cause.”4

The Dort Synod showed that the clergymen were with Calvinism, but
there were still Arminians behind the scenes which were growing
larger because they were in favor by the church of England. This was
not the only party they were in favor with, they “found tacit
allies among the Humanists...and even among
cs...One of the first English Arminians was Lancelot
Andrewes, Master of Pembroke College, Oxford...and his contemporary
John Overall, Regius Professor of divinity. Andrewes became Bishop of
Winchester, and supported in eminence by his fellow Arminian Richard
Niele, Bishop of Durham...”5
As is seen here that they were embraced by Catholics and Humanists
alike, all in the general cause of fighting Christianity. This
doctrine was pushed out, but was pushed back in. The opposite of
irresistible grace is one of the main doctrines of Arminianism, and
Roman-Catholicism. They believed that you could chose to be saved,
and if you did, then you could chose not to be saved

The Roman-Catholics and Arminians also opposed the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, because it follows that if you can choose to be saved, you can choose not to be saved when you are saved. The Protestants and Calvin did not hold to this because they believe that God saves them, and their salvation is sure. We can say like David in 2 Samuel 22:3, “The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.” The Roman-Catholics can not say this, because they think that they save themselves, and they are their own shields. They believe that they help God to save them, and God helps them to stand fast, but they canfall away unless they are the elect.

These three of the
doctrines of grace that the Reformers fought for were total
depravity, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints. These
were not the only ones that they fought for, they also fought for
other doctrines, like the sufficiency of Scripture. Of these
doctrines the most important one is total depravity, because if you
do not think that you are totally depraved, then it follows that you
have some good in you so that you can decide if you want to be saved,
and if you want to stay saved. Total depravity is the root of the
other two, even though the Reformation fought hard against all of
them, because they were all problems.

John Rushdoony, The Great Christian Revolution,
ed. (California: Ross House Books) p.199



Tyacke, Anti-Calvinists: The Rise of English Arminianism, c. 1590
– 1640
, 1st
ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), p. 87 As quoted in
p. 202

op. cit., p. 202


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