What is the definitive work in Church history arguing and delineating classic presbyterianism?
Samuel Rutherford’s The Due Right of Presbyteries. Rutherford answers every detailed point of ecclesiology (things about the Church) that you ever thought of, and many, many more.
The problem, though, is that this is one of the most dis-organized books there is. So, we have made an outline, table of contents and subject index to it in contemporary format, with links to corresponding page numbers, so that you can easily find where he treats of interesting subjects.
For those more skilled in historical theology, see if you can find the two dozen points where modern presbyterianism departs from classically defined, historic, presbyterianism from the Church of Scotland during the Westminster era.
“Samuel Rutherford’s The Due Right of Presbyteries: Table of Contents and Subject Index” 1644 22 pp. ed. Travis Fentiman
Is Christ’s Kingdom as the Mediator the Church only, or does it include all things?
George Gillespie, the Westminster divine and Scottish covenanter has the most in-depth writings on the majority puritan view that Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is the Church only.
Gillespie’s material, the most in-depth on the topic, has often not been read due to its inaccessibility. The Reformed Presbyterians, as a family of denominations, officially take the opposite viewpoint. Often their view is put forward as a self-evidently correct interpretation of the relevant texts.
This collection of Gillespie’s writings in contemporary format, with explanatory notes, will shed a lot more light on the issues and the details of the relevant Scriptural texts.
As a bonus, these writings of Gillespie are also the classic delineation of the Establishment Principle, the Biblical relation between Church and State.
May this document be a rich and helpful resource to you in further searching out the things of God and Biblical doctrine.
George Gillespie – ‘All of Gillespie’s Writings on Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is the Church Only’ 110 pp. ed. Travis Fentiman
If you have ever been tempted by Charismatic theology, read the Introduction on this page in order to be solidified in Biblical teaching on the subject.
The concise Introduction demonstrates from Scripture the reformed teaching on the topic that Biblical prophecy is always 100% right (contrary to most of what goes for prophecy today) and that many clear passages of Scripture teach that it has ceased with the generation of the apostles.
If you have any doubt in your mind, read the clear, cogent and full Scriptural arguments. May the Lord bless you in these things.
Prophecy: Infallible & Ceased
Do the offices of apostles, prophets and evangelists that are mentioned in Eph. 4:11 continue today, or did they cease with the generation of the apostles? Most of historic, reformed Christianity has taught that these offices ceased in the first century, though ministers and lay-persons are to continue in evangelism today. Find out why:
The Offices of Apostles, Prophets & Evangelists
We have also collected a number of resources on speaking in tongues. Read the short Intro on the page which demonstrates that tongues in Scripture were real human languages which were understood by the speaker, unlike nearly all of what goes for tongue-speaking today.
Speaking in Tongues
We hope that these resources are a blessing to you, and help you understand God’s Word better and in more detail.
We have compiled a large collection of recommended reading lists, bibliographies and other reference materials which will be helpful to both beginner and scholar alike.
For one studying an issue, the first thing to do is to find the best available literature that is already available on the topic. These resources will help you to easily do that, and we will be using them to further build our site.
We have also compiled a large collection of recommendatory lists of Bible commentaries. See what popular figures and solid resources recommend.
Should dance, drama, plays, videos and man-made religious imagery be in worship?
As we are only to worship God in the way that He prescribes and as God has specifically regulated visual imagery in worship from the beginning, these things are an affront against the sole prerogative of the visual, dramatic signs that Christ has instituted in worship: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Here is the most Biblically detailed argument available defending the historic, reformed practice against man-made religious imagery in God’s worship. Please enjoy.
Visual Imagery, Drama & Dance in Worship
Some of the most precious writings in Church history are the works of the reformers of the English Reformation. Many of these men gave their lives for their testimony.
The Parker Society in the 1800’s published the main writings of the English reformers, which are all in the public domain. Here is the only full set available on the internet that we know of.
The story of the burning of Thomas Cranmer will make your eyes well-up. May we have this great of faith.
Please enjoy, bookmark, and come back repeatedly.
Parker Society Publications
Here is a wealth of resources on Medieval Church history which will answer just about any question you have about it. We have harvested the public domain on the topic for you and have found many of the standard sources on the subject, in addition to contemporary scholarship as well.
In particular, in the midst of the liberal, popular opinion that Islam is a peaceful religion, get the truth here. We highly recommend the works of Bat Ye’or, who has thoroughly and impartially shown at length and in detail what it was like to be a ‘dhimmi’ (non-muslim) under Islam historically and through the modern era, with first-rate scholarship.
Medieval Church History & Renaissance
We have collected the harvest of histories on the early Church from the public domain.
The early Church will always be dear to the one to whom the Lord Jesus is dear to, as these early Christians came right off the heels of Christ’s commissioned apostles themselves. As always though, as some of the most-in-depth sources have been written by liberals and secularists, discernment is needed to separate the wheat from the chaff.
For those who are a bit further along and know some Greek and Latin, but have not yet attempted to jump into the 161 volumes of Greek patristic writings and 221 volumes of Latin patristic writings (which is not easy to do), but desire to make some progress herein, we have some easy directions and tools in our Primary Sources section that will allow you to do just this. It is the only place on the net that we know of which provides such a key to opening these treasures.
We hope that you find this of great value:
Early Church History
We have collected the cream of the crop of Church histories that span the whole of the Christian era for you off of the internet.
Have a question about something in Church history? You will find a larger wealth of information on the topic here than you ever desired.
The beginner will find a number of great recommendations to start with. The advanced material is amazing, though one must read with discernment. Please enjoy the best of Church history in the public domain!
[The subsections on specific periods in Church history, such as the early church, medieval church, etc. are still under construction]
Historical theology is Scriptural theology organized and viewed through the way it has been recognized and developed through the history of the Church.
Why is historical theology dearly precious? Because nearly every aspect of Scriptural teaching has been hammered out in more profound earnestness and depth by the godly giants of the past, and their personal stories, than we can comprehend.
Here is a collection of the major historical theologies on the net:
May you find it a blessing.
We now have rather full collections at ReformedBooksOnline of the three main divisions of theology: Historical, Biblical and Systematic.
What is Infra and Supralapsarianism, and what does one make of it?
In the predestination of God, does He conceive of the clay of mankind (Rom. 9:21) from which he forms vessels to honor and dishonor as sinful (infra) or pure (supra)?
Both views have been respected in reformed history. Here is a comprehensible introduction to them. Unlike many introductions to this subject, this one provides answers. If you have opinions on the topic, get ready to be challenged and to learn.
Please enjoy the largest collection of resources on the net on this topic, and may we be humbled and give glory to our infinitely great God whose ways are past finding out.
Infralapsarianism and Supralapsarianism
Are you able to sing with David that “your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage”? – Ps. 119:54
In order that you may find as rich treasure and grace in singing the Lord’s psalms as David did, we have collected as many psalters online as we could. Previously we had around 60 through Church history. Now the rather complete collection consists of over 115+, there being many new additions in the 1700’s-1900’s time-frame.
There are also new subsections on psalters for chanting, histories of composers and more:
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”
It is often wondered how the first human sin came into the world. How did sin come from Adam’s holy soul? Did he have free-will in the matter, or was he necessitated to do what he did? Could he have done otherwise? What were his motives, and did sinful desires precede his eating of the forbidden fruit?
Your questions are about to be answered to your full satisfaction. See here:
How did the First Human Sin Happen?
Much of Calvinism today conceives of the outworking of predestination as a physical determinism, like pool balls hitting each other. Thus, due to the forces of the created order, the choices people make could not be otherwise.
This paradigm is a departure from the reformed theology of the Reformation and Confessional era, which taught that God’s decree does not fall out simply by necessary causation, but also by free and contingent causes. Sinners, even under the spiritual bondage of sin, have the power of contrary choice in the external, civil and common affairs of daily life.
The Reformation doctrine of a theological and spiritual bondage of the will has been largely turned into a doctrine of natural necessity, thanks to the Enlightenment.
Return to the old paths by learning more about the Biblical teaching on the subject here:
The Reformed Freedom of the Will vs. Determinism
Antinomiansim is rife in the Christian world today. Jesus says, ‘If you love me, keep my commandments.’ (Jn. 14:15) And yet how often do Christians say that trying to keep God’s commandments is legalism?
We seek to keep God’s commandments not to earn our salvation, but in being saved by grace through faith, apart from our works, we seek to obey God by his Spirit in order to glorify Him. As long as we are creatures, God’s Moral Law by Creation morally binds us. Faith does not make the Law void, but rather establishes it. (Rom. 3:31)
John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan called Antinomianims the only heresy. Find out why, and many more things on this page we put together on the topic:
You will learn much from this webpage; it is worth your time.
We have put together a collection of godly stories and books for children and youth, which we hope will be a blessing to you and your kids, especially if you don’t have a lot of money.
Many of the older children’s books that are sold by Christian publishers are free on the net. We have gathered as many of them as we could.
My (Travis Fentiman’s) children enjoyed being read to off of our laptop, and most of these books have formats available for your hand-held devices.
We have sections on Bible stories, theology, books for boys, books for girls, biographies from the Reformation, and be sure to check out the 16 different versions of Pilgrim’s Progress for children that we found. My kids loved them!
Godly Stories & Books for Children & Youth
“Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”
Do you love God and your family?
If you love God, you love more than anything in life communing with Him and worshipping Him, above the distractions of life.
If you love your family, you desire to provide them the best things.
And if you love both God and your family, you will find worshipping God with your family to be of the utmost desire.
Learn more of what the Bible teaches about family worship, how to start doing it, be encouraged in continuing on with it, and find resources for help with it through the resources here:
The Covenant of Redemption is the eternal covenant between the Father and the Son whereby the Son guarantees to purchase and bring God’s chosen people to eternal life and Heaven forever, laying the foundation for the Covenant of Grace as it is offered and entered into by mankind-sinners in time through the preaching of the Gospel.
The Covenant of Redemption often does not receive the attention it deserves, and is sometimes denied.
For your help and growth in grace in Scripture’s exceedingly certain and precious promises, here are numerous resources on this topic (the most on the net):
The Covenant of Redemption
(We previously had some material up on this page previously, but we greatly beefed it up)
What is Experiential Religion?
“A gracious experience arises from operations and influences which are spiritual, from an inward principle which is divine, a communication of God, a participation of the divine nature [2 Pet. 1:4]: Christ living in the heart, the Holy Spirit dwelling there in union with the faculties of the soul as an internal principle, exerting his own proper nature in the exercise of those faculties.”
Thus all of that which we go through in life in its various seasons, circumstances and experiences as we live before the Face of God, becomes sanctified and beneficial to our faith and precious to the saint.
Experiential Religion deeply values the experiential aspect of the Scriptures and the Christian faith.
Here is a field of jewels from Church history on experiential religion, on one page: