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Are Good Works Necessary for Salvation?

While historic Reformed Christianity has tenaciously held to Justification by faith alone, its consistent answer to the above question regarding the whole of our salvation has been: Yes.  The concept is inherent in numerous parts of the Westminster standards.

The new webpage below contains many resources on this subject (the most that is anywhere available, it is believed) that will be helpful to further understanding the Bible’s teaching that good works are necessary to salvation.

The Introduction on the webpage is rather full and walks through the numerous Biblical and historical issues surrounding the question and introduces one to the many distinctions that Reformed Orthodoxy from the 1600’s made about it.  The Introduction also distinguishes how the Biblical and orthodox teaching differs from modern heresies such as the Federal Vision, Norman Sherphardism and the New Perspective on Paul.

Numerous quotes have been translated for the first time from Latin from numerous of the older reformed theologians.  You will likely learn a lot.  May it be a blessing to you, and may we be zealous for good works (Titus 2:14).

The Necessity of Good Works

What Hour was Christ Crucified on?

Two well known Christians have recently left Christianity, in part citing as a reason contradictions in the Bible. If Christianity is a farce, or is true, it is better to find out now rather than later.
 
One of the most notable and difficult seeming discrepancies in the New Testament is that Mk. 15:25 says that Christ was crucified at the third hour. Jn. 19:14 says that Jesus’ trial was not yet over at the sixth hour.
 
Is this a contradiction or can it be harmonized?  Find out:
 

A Book of Comfort for Difficult Times

The 1500’s Spanish reformer, Juan Perez, wrote a lengthy tract seeking to confirm and comfort protestants in the heart-breaking circumstances of living under the fear of the Spanish Inquisition.

This work has been newly translated into English by Charles F. Johnson and will be especially encouraging to anyone going through difficult times.  May this old book bring us hope for this life and the next.

“For there is no Jesus Christ without a cross,
nor a true and blessed cross without Jesus Christ.”

.

Perez, Juan – The Epistle of Consolation to Those Imprisoned by the Inquisition 1560  130 pp.  Translated from Spanish by Charles Johnson, with a biographical preface about Perez.

Perez (c.1500-1567) was a Spanish reformer who spent time in Geneva and also translated the New Testament and Psalms into Spanish.

Wedding Rings

Many of the early puritans refused to wear wedding rings as Romanism in their day had caused wedding rings to bear a commonly superstitious meaning.  To wear them was to affirm that meaning, and was hence scandalous.  Some persons today teach that it is wrong to wear wedding rings.

However, as wedding rings in many cultures do not bear that superstitious meaning today, nor is it even known that they ever did bear that meaning, to prohibit wedding rings on this account is to revive the knowledge of idolatry, which is contrary to the purpose of Scriptural teaching.

Learn more about this subject and what Scripture and the Westminster documents have to say about it, here:

Wedding Rings

Whole New Testament Commentaries in Latin

We are humbled and thankful to God to be able to present to you a webpage of most of the major whole New Testament Commentaries (or the majority thereof, 75+) in Latin throughout Church history which have been preserved and are on the net.
 
The titles have been translated into English.
 
These include commentaries from the Early Church, Medieval Church, the Reformed Church (20+), the Lutheran Church, critical commentaries, etc.
 
“Search the scriptures…  they are they which testify of Me.” (Jn. 5:39) 
 
Please share this with those who will have an interest in this treasure which Christ has gifted to us (Eph. 4:11-13).
 

What Day was Christ Crucified On?

On what day of the week was Christ crucified?

The answer greatly affects how one understands the events of Christ’s whole Last Week (which events form a significant share of the Gospels).

The options are Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.  Wednesday is a bit fringe, but surprisingly popular.  The Thursday view has risen greatly in popularity in the last several decades amongst evangelical scholars.

This webpage provides in-depth resources defending the majority view of Church History, that Christ ate the Passover on Thursday, the 14th of Nisan, and was crucified on Friday the 15th of Nisan.

Christ was Crucified on Friday, the 15th of Nisan

Whole Old Testament Commentaries in Latin & Trelcatius

Here are the most significant whole Old Testament commentaries from Church history in Latin.  The works are subdivided into Early Church, Medieval Church, Reformed, Lutheran, etc.:

Whole Old Testament Commentaries

And, as a bonus, here is a brief section on Prolegomena from one of the reformed orthodox writers, Lucas Trelcatius, Jr., which is otherwise unavailable on the net:

Trelcatius, Jr., Lucas – ‘Of the Principles of Sacred Divinity’  1610  5 pp from A Brief Institution of the Common Places of Sacred Divinity, pp. 1-11.

Trelcatius, Jr. (1573-1607) was a professor of theology at the University of Leiden, Netherlands and one of the key participants in a number of debates with Jacob Arminius.

Prolegomena

What is theology? Can we meaningfully speak of God? What method ought one to go about in learning or setting forth all of theology? How do faith and reason relate?

These are the sorts of questions that Prolegomena (before-speaking) asks and answers. On every front modern theology (and much of evangelical Christian theology) is answering these questions wrong.

Go back to the old paths. You will find them on this webpage of reformed resources from Church history on prolegomena.

For those that have an interest in Latin, some of the most extensive, reformed, treatments of prolegomena are in Latin from the 1600’s. The links will take you straight to the section in the work.

May you be built up in the true faith of our Lord, and may He get the glory.

Prolegomena to Theology


On Marital Relations During Menstruation

Is it morally lawful to make love to one’s wife while she is menstruating?  The Bible says quite a bit about the topic, and as it is a practical question, it is worth considering.

The answer of reformed history has been mixed.  If an answer will be found, it will be by searching the Scriptures.  We give both sides of the argument in a newly written article on the topic.

The article fully examines the relevant Scriptures and delves into the details of Natural Law.  The article concludes that the Scriptural prohibitions to this act were ceremonial in nature (not moral), and that Natural Law does not absolutely prohibit making love during menstruation.

Whatever your thoughts are on the subject, you will likely learn a thing or two (or much more) from the article.  It is at the bottom of our page on eating and drinking blood (as the two issues are related):

On Eating & Drinking Blood, & Marital Relations During Menstruation

On Eating Blood

According to Scripture, may Christians eat or drink blood and animals that died by strangling?

The nearly universal answer of the Reformed Church from the era of the Reformation and puritans was ‘Yes’. Find out the plethora of Biblical reasons why.

This question delves deep into the related issues of natural and ceremonial law, Church power and ordinances, and conscience.  You will learn a lot from the Introduction and the mass of historic reformed resources on the subject.

On Eating and Drinking Blood

Postmillennialism & the Imminent Return of Christ

A major share of the Reformation and puritan era held to post-millennialism, that only after the majority of the nations convert to Christianity (in the Millennium, Ps. 22:26-31; Isa. 2:2-5; Rev. 20:4; etc.) will Christ come again.

It is sometimes posed as an objection to this that Christ may come back at any time; therefore post-millennialism is not true. Yet most of Church history has recognized from Scripture that there are prophecies which must occur before Christ comes again; hence Christ cannot come at any time.

This article demonstrates from the Scriptures that the Lord’s standing at the door and coming quickly is consistent with a robust postmillennialism.

Fentiman, Travis – Postmillennialism and the Imminent Return of Christ  2018  22 pp.

When does the Lord’s Day Begin?

As Scripture teaches that the Sabbath was enjoined upon all people at Creation (Gen. 2:2-4), as the moral, Fourth Commandment commands it (Ex. 20:8-11) and as the New Testament upholds keeping the weekly Sabbath on the first day of the week (Jn. 20:19; Acts 20:7-11; 1 Cor. 16:2; Heb. 4:9; etc.), so the question of when the Sabbath begins should be of concern to every person.

In the most comprehensive treatment to-date on the subject, Rev. Fentiman in this academic article demonstrates from Scripture that the Sabbath has always been from dawn-to-dawn since Creation throughout the Bible, without exception.

Fentiman, Travis –  The Biblical Sabbath is from Dawn to Dawn  2018  97 pp.

To give a brief summary of the Biblical evidence:

The word ‘morning’ in the Creation account in Gen. 1 is more accurately translated as ‘dawn’, the phrase signifying that each day of Creation ended with dawn, with the next day beginning therefrom. The Old Testament speaks of days starting from the morning or dawn in over 30 verses. The Israelites kept the Sabbath morning to morning in Ex. 16 and the rest of Old Testament history is consistent with this reckoning.

The New Testament throughout its pages likewise reckons days to start in the morning.  The Temple in the New Testament counted the hours of the day from 6 A.M.  The disciples’ buying of spices in the evening after the death of Jesus is shown to be inconsistent with an evening-to-evening reckoning of the Sabbath.  The Resurrection accounts of Christ rising from the dead at dawn assume continuity with the Old Testament reckoning.  Christ celebrates the Lord’s Day in Jn. 20:19 with the disciples in the evening of the 1st day of the week, which the apostles continued to practice in Acts 20:7-11.

The corruption of the Sabbath by Jewish traditionalism in keeping the Sabbath from evening to evening likely started in the inter-Testamental era and was preserved in their Talmuds. A very full survey of the inter-Testamental and extra-Biblical literature is surveyed on the issue, as well as reformed history.

Assure your mind and heart on this Scriptural subject and make the Sabbath a delight! (Isa. 58:13-14)

On Quenching the Spirit

“Quench not the Spirit.”
1 Thess. 5:19

Jeremiah Dyke (d. 1620), an English puritan, preached one of the best and most convicting, sobering and experimental sermons this webmaster has ever come across.  The message is vital and deeply applicable to every person.

Take the time to genuinely try your heart upon this rock of Scripture, be humbled and follow the motions of the Holy Spirit to cling to your Savior.

Dyke, Jeremiah – ‘Of Quenching and Not Quenching of the Spirit’  d. 1620  60 pp.  a sermon on 1 Thess. 5:19

The History of Scottish Worship

It was said of the Scottish reformers: “The ministers that were took not their pattern from any Kirk [Church] in the world… but, laying God’s Word before them, made reformation according thereunto…” (John Row, 1637)

It is no exaggeration to say that the worship of God from the Scottish Reformation is the most important in Church history, it being the most closely aligned according to Scripture.

Here is a treasure of resources on the history of Scottish worship that will provide a plethora of information on every aspect of it, in every era.

The History of Scottish Worship

The Benediction

In Biblical worship, why does the minister close the worship service with an inspired Benediction, standing with up-lifted hands facing God’s people?

Here is a page of Biblical and historic, reformed resources on the Benediction, a Biblical practice not so easy to find resources on.

The Benediction

Some have said that the Benediction is not a prayer..  While acknowledging the special features of the Benediction, this article demonstrates from Scripture and Westminster that the Benediction is a special prayer:

Fentiman, Travis – The Benediction is a Special Prayer per Scripture and Westminster

Should we Tithe to the Lord?

Should Christians give at least 10% of their income to the Lord by giving to his Church?

While the reformers and puritans largely argued that the Levitical statute of tithing 10% was not directly binding upon Christians (contra the Anglican bishops who argued hard for it), yet their answer was still, from principles of natural law and general equity that Christians for the most part ought to give at least 10% of their income to the Lord.

God twice owns Christians: being our Creator and our Redeemer.  May the Introduction on the page and the collection of resources from historic, reformed figures shed much light from Scripture on a knotty question for you, and may we be cheerful givers!

Tithes & Offerings

Bible Dictionaries & Church History Encyclopedias

Have a question about something in the Bible or in Church history?  The resources on this page will answer your question and provide a nearly, comprehensive system of theology and Biblical knowledge. 

They just don’t make encyclopedias like they used to..  The large and multi-volume dictionaries and encyclopedias at the end of the 1800’s and early-1900’s are some of the most scholarly and in-depth that have ever been printed, especially in the field of history, and cover topics too specific, detailed and lengthy for modern abridgments.

More and more contemporary works of scholarship are also becoming available on the internet through online loan..  We hope this page of resources will of great help to you:

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias: Biblical, Theological, Church History & Religious