Week 1: Introduction

Denominations in the American Religious Experience (W. Robert Godfrey)


What are the essential ingredients of a true church?

(R.C. Sproul & Derek Thomas)


Are Denominations Biblical? (Core Christianity)

Are denominations biblical?

No, but the church is…. The denominations themselves are not the church. But here’s the thing: you clearly have in the New Testament an emphasis on churches being connected to each other. I know there are different forms of church government that people believe are taught in Scripture, or some people think that there is no form of church government at all and it doesn’t make any difference. But clearly, there is a sense that all of the local churches are connected with each other. Churches should not just be Lone Ranger’s out there, just as we are individually, no churches is an island. Churches should be connected to each other, as part of the one body of Christ. Denominations help serve that. I know we often think of denominations as dividing the church, splitting it up into vanilla, strawberry, cherry, and so forth, different flavors. That is true, but it’s better than having no grouping of churches at all, that are connected to each other. So, I really think that denominations are not the ideal. What would be the ideal is that all of the particular churches, spread throughout the world, were united simply under one organizational institutional banner that of Jesus Christ.       — Michael Horton

Do denominations divide more than they unite? (Michael Horton)

Churches should be connected to each other just as the one body of Christ. Denominations help serve that. I know we often think of denominations as dividing the church, splitting it up into vanilla, strawberry, cherry and so forth, different flavors. That is true, but it’s better than having no grouping of churches at all that are connected to each other. I really think that denominations are not the ideal. What would be the ideal is that all the particular churches spread throughout the world were united simply under one organizational institutional banner, that of Jesus Christ. 


How to rejoice in churches different from yours (William Boekestein)

Anyone who has ever grieved over church divisions, and the role that individuals play in creating and fostering them, has probably asked the question, “How should I view other believers who serve the Lord differently than I do?” Is it possible—is it biblical—to thank God for churches in which we could not comfortably worship? How can we appreciate churches whose members view our Christianity with suspicion? Are believers from other traditions our competition or our companions?


We are not the first people to ask these questions.

Week 2: Roman Catholicism


The Inventions of Rome: Part 1 and Part 2 (W. Robert Godfrey)



Roman Catholicism Today (Leonardo De Chirico)



The Lure of Rome (W. Robert Godfrey)

Office Hours talks to Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, President of Westminster Seminary California and Professor of Church History, about why evangelicals and other Protestants become Roman Catholic and how we should respond.


Roman Catholicism (R.C. Sproul)

The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the one, true church established by Jesus Christ. The Reformers of the sixteenth century rejected this claim, pointing to numerous conflicts between Scripture and Roman Catholic doctrine and practice. What are the differences that divide Roman Catholics and Protestants? Are they important? In this series, Dr. R.C. Sproul carefully and respectfully looks at the doctrines that are at the heart of the Catholic-Protestant divide.


Popes & Councils (W. Robert Godfrey)

As the Middle Ages progressed, certain issues remained unresolved. Second to none in terms of its importance to the medieval church was the question of the pope’s authority. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the papal office faced unique challenges from secular authorities, from rival popes, and from clergy who sought to consolidate the church’s power within ecumenical councils. As different popes succumbed to and overcame these challenges, the papacy found itself sometimes losing ground, sometimes gaining ground, and always adapting to new realities within the church and society.

The Catholic Reformation (W. Robert Godfrey)

Many who desired to reform the Roman Catholic Church eventually split off from it. However, energetic reforms also emerged within the Catholic Church, addressing moral and spiritual problems without forming a separate ecclesiastical body. While the Catholic reformers shared many of the same concerns as the Protestant reformers, their vision of ecclesiastical renewal ultimately took the Catholic Church in a very different direction than that taken by the Protestant churches.


Roman Catholicism (W. Robert Godfrey)

Roman Catholics reacted to the mounting pressures of the nineteenth century by reasserting papal authority. In this lesson, Dr. Godfrey shows how the declarations of the First Vatican Council create a dilemma for today’s Roman Catholic scholar.


Rome in the 20th Century (W. Robert Godfrey)

The Roman Catholic Church underwent many changes throughout the latter half of the twentieth century. In this lesson, Dr. Godfrey seeks to answer the question of whether these changes were substantive or merely cosmetic.


The Papacy (W. Robert Godfrey)

Office Hours talks with W. Robert Godfrey, President and Professor of Church History, about the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church’s claim of an unbroken succession of Popes from the ancient church until the present day.


Protestants and the Pope (W. Robert Godfrey)


Week 3: Eastern Orthodoxy

The Lure of Eastern Orthodoxy (Michael Horton)

Office Hours talks with Dr. Michael Horton about what Eastern Orthodoxy is, why some evangelical and Reformed Christians are tempted to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, and how we should respond.

Eastern Orthodoxy and Confessional Lutheranism (Will Weedon)

This interacts with Eastern Orthodoxy from a Lutheran perspective which, though different in important ways from our Baptist convictions, is still an informative discussion.

Are Evangelicalism and Eastern Orthodoxy Compatible? (Michael Horton)

A cursory comparison of the indices of any primary or secondary work on Eastern Orthodoxy and evangelicalism exposes an interesting contrast—in the Eastern Orthodox index, one will find such entries as chrismation, deification, energies of God, recapitulation, theosis, and the like, but notable absences will include original sin, grace, justification, sanctification, substitutionary atonement, and related terms that are familiar to confessional Protestants.


A Call for Orthodox Churches to Preach the Gospel (Adriel Sanchez)

I have had several close friends convert to Orthodoxy over the years, and they’re always excited to talk about their transition. “Come and see,” said one friend, smiling. “The iconography, the vestments, the beauty!” It’s not just the visual engagement. There is also an ancient stimulation of the other senses—the smells, the chanting, all of it so different from what evangelicals are used to. But I’ve never had a friend who converted to Orthodoxy say, “Come and hear the preaching!” Why is that?

Drifting East (Michael Brown)

Why are people leaving Reformed churches for Eastern Orthodox churches? While there have always been some who have left Protestant churches to be received (chrismated) into Eastern Orthodoxy (EO), significant cultural differences have generally prevented it from being a significant draw to Protestant “searchers.” With the advent of a distinctly American flavor of EO found in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and the Orthodox Church in America, and the influence of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York, many are being drawn to EO who evidently had a limited familiarity and access before.

Beware the Convert (Perry C. Robinson)

Of late, the popular Hank Hanegraaff has left his religious home, apparently somewhere in popular evangelicalism, for the Orthodox Church. This struck me as odd. I worked for Hanegraaff’s organization, Christian Research Institute (CRI), in the early 1990s, so my perspective is informed by firsthand experience. Second, I am Orthodox and a former Calvinist. I have a good grasp of Reformation theology and understand what classical Protestants mean when they talk about sola fide, sola scriptura, and so on. Given all of the above, Hanegraaff’s shift to the Orthodox Church, while not unprecedented, seemed strange and likely fraught with difficulty. In what follows, I will sketch some prudential “do’s and don’ts” for converts, but particularly high-profile converts, and I will try to bring to light the demarcating lines between Orthodoxy and the Reformation traditions that Hanegraaff appears to have missed or is unclear about.

The Forgotten Reformer Cyril Lucaris (John Stovall)

The medieval historian Steven Runciman once quipped, “Of all the roads that a historian may tread none passes through more difficult country than that of a religious historian.” If he’s correct, then the controversial terrain of Greek reformer, writer, and eventual patriarch Cyril Lucaris (1570–1638) is a most treacherous bog for us to enter. Yet enter we must, for the life and times of Lucaris deliver all the intrigue of a le Carré novel and the passion of a Kennedy speech—moreover, this saint’s life offers a salutary reminder of the costs of the gospel and the travails of Christ’s bride.

Salvation as Theosis: The Teaching of Eastern Orthodoxy (Donald Fairbairn)

Probably the central idea of Eastern Orthodox theology is the concept of theosis, and Orthodox writers use this Greek word to refer both to humanity’s initial vocation (the task which God gave to Adam and Eve at creation) and to salvation.

Theron’s Story: Why I Left Evangelicalism for Eastern Orthodoxy (with Trevin Wax)

Why do we see a growing number of evangelicals in the West converting to Eastern Orthodoxy (Francis Schaeffer’s son, for example)? Why do we see a mirror image overseas in predominantly Eastern Orthodox countries, where more and more convert to evangelical Christianity? Today I am interviewing a former Southern Baptist who has converted to Orthodoxy.

John’s Story: Why I Left Eastern Orthodoxy for Evangelicalism (with Trevin Wax)

“Religiosity does not mean salvation,” he replies. “People can be sincere and still be sincerely wrong. The Orthodox Church feeds on tradition, not on Scripture. If Orthodox believers would read Scripture without it being interpreted for them by the Church, they would discover the truth,” he adds.



Week 4: Lutheranism


The Life and Theology of Martin Luther: Day 1 (Carl Trueman)


The Life and Theology of Martin Luther: Day 2 (Carl Trueman)



The Life and Theology of Martin Luther: Day 3 (Carl Trueman)


The Life and Theology of Martin Luther: Day 4 (Carl Trueman)


Martin Luther and His Theology of the Cross (Carl Trueman)

In this episode, Office Hours talks to Rev. Dr. Carl Trueman about Martin Luther’s theology of the cross and its implications for today. 

Lutheran Spirituality Series (Gene Edward Veith)

Gene Edward Veith talks about important themes and aspects of Lutheran Spirituality on the program, Issues Etc.  


What I Wish My Non-Lutheran Family Understood About (Bryan Wolfmueller)

Lutheran Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller talks about what Lutherans wish their non-Lutheran family members understood about Lutheranism.


Introduction to the Reformation (Robert Godfrey)

As the year 1500 arrived, Europe was in the midst of profound changes. The conditions, attitudes, and institutions that had characterized the Middle Ages were gradually giving way to new movements and developments. The discovery of unknown lands across the Atlantic accompanied an explosion of exploration and trade. The emergence of powerful monarchies in Germany, France, and Spain introduced complex new dynamics to European politics. In the aftermath of the Renaissance, interest in learning and the study of ancient texts ran high, and the recent invention of Gutenberg’s printing press facilitated the spread of ideas at an unprecedented rate. Amid this prevailing climate of change, a consensus was forming among many Europeans that certain beliefs and practices of the church were in dire need of reform.


Martin Luther’s Early Life (Robert Godfrey)

Extraordinary events often begin with seemingly ordinary people. A promising son of a typical middle-class family at the turn of the sixteenth century, Martin Luther had no other ambition than to know God’s Word. As Martin applied himself to that pursuit, God was equipping and preparing this young monk for an astonishing future. In this message, Dr. Godfrey explores the circumstances leading up to the events of 1517 that forever shaped the trajectories of Martin Luther’s life and of the Christian church.


Martin Luther & the German Reformation (Robert Godfrey)

It is often through trial and adversity that God shapes His people the most. After publishing what he thought to be an unremarkable critique of corruption in the sale of indulgences, Martin Luther found himself at the forefront of a controversy that he neither expected nor desired. In the years that followed, Luther repeatedly returned to Scripture for guidance and instruction, and his exposition of God’s Word soon put him at odds with both the political and religious elites of his day.


Martin Luther & the Growing Protestant Movement (Robert Godfrey)

In response to Martin Luther’s tireless ministry, more Christians came to recognize the need to reform the church, and reform movements began to spring up throughout Europe. As Luther continued to serve as a primary preacher and spokesman of the Reformation, he faced the question of how to interact with those whose visions of reform differed from his own. When the early Protestant leaders weighed the possibility of uniting their efforts, they grappled with challenges that still confront Christians today.


Martin Luther & the Anabaptists (Robert Godfrey)

Western Christianity changed forever during Martin Luther’s lifetime. Profoundly gifted and profoundly flawed, Luther had an enduring desire to proclaim “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” As a result of Luther’s untiring efforts, Christian leaders across Europe sought to bring all of life into accordance with God’s Word, often achieving very different results. Of the many expressions of Christianity that emerged during this time, the Anabaptists puzzled and distressed Catholics and Protestants alike. In this message, Dr. Godfrey discusses the enduring legacies of both Martin Luther and the Anabaptist movement.


From the German Reformation to Geneva (Robert Godfrey)

Perhaps there is no greater testimony to the enduring nature of Luther’s reforms than the fact that the Reformation continued to gather strength after his death. As Lutheranism took firm root in Germany, other areas in Europe also became centers of vigorous reform. Not least of these was the Swiss city of Geneva, where the Reformed branch of Protestantism took shape under the persistent labors of William Farel and John Calvin.


Luther and the Reformation Series (R.C. Sproul)

Centuries after his death, Martin Luther is celebrated as an intellectual giant, a brave opponent of corruption, a shaper of culture, indeed, as one of the most significant figures in Western history. Many people, however, are unaware of the events of Luther’s life that led him to make a courageous stand for the gospel in the sixteenth century. In this series, R.C. Sproul provides a thorough introduction to the life and thought of Martin Luther. With an eye to the lessons we can learn today, R.C. Sproul traces the major events of Luther’s life and explores the gospel recovered by Luther and the other Protestant Reformers.


Week 5: The Reformed Tradition

What is Reformed Theology? (R.C. Sproul)


Liberal, Catholic, Dispensational, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Reformed… with so many different theologies out there, where do you start? Beginning this series about Reformed Theology, Dr. Sproul examines distinctive aspects of Reformed Theology which set it apart from the many theologies that have developed before and after the Protestant Reformation.


The rest of this series (What is Reformed Theology?) is available for free here.

Covenant Theology 101 (Guy Waters)

From the German Reformation to Geneva (W. Robert Godfrey)

Perhaps there is no greater testimony to the enduring nature of Luther’s reforms than the fact that the Reformation continued to gather strength after his death. As Lutheranism took firm root in Germany, other areas in Europe also became centers of vigorous reform. Not least of these was the Swiss city of Geneva, where the Reformed branch of Protestantism took shape under the persistent labors of William Farel and John Calvin.


John Calvin & Geneva (W. Robert Godfrey)

God excels at overturning human expectations. When John Calvin left Geneva in 1538, he assumed that he would not be back. Content to study and minister in relative obscurity in Strasbourg, Calvin was unwittingly being equipped to return to Geneva and carry on the task of Reformation that he and William Farel had begun there. During the years ahead, John Calvin would leave a permanent mark upon both this city and the Reformed branch of Christianity.


The Theology of John Calvin (W. Robert Godfrey)

It is common to think of John Calvin primarily in terms of his intellectual accomplishments, perhaps regarding him as little more than a brain working in Geneva. However, a closer look at Calvin’s theology reveals that his scholarly activity was driven by a deeply pastoral desire to strengthen believers in their faith. In this message, Dr. Godfrey explores some of the focal points of Calvin’s theology, taking note of how Calvin differed from his Roman Catholic contemporaries and why these differences matter.


The Scottish Reformation (W. Robert Godfrey)

As the teachings of the Protestant Reformation spread throughout Europe, Protestant movements appeared in many different countries. In some areas, the political authorities quickly established Protestantism as the official religion. In nations like France and Spain, the Reformation was eventually suppressed by relentless persecution. However, persecution was not always able to extinguish the Protestant cause. In the case of Scotland, the Reformation took root in spite of government opposition, largely through the diligent and persistent ministry of John Knox.


The Dutch Reformation (W. Robert Godfrey)

The success or failure of the Reformation in a particular region often depended on whether the ruler of the region supported or opposed it. However, the Dutch Reformation was an exception to this tendency. Though bitterly opposed by the Habsburg monarchs, Protestantism attracted a large following in the Low Countries. As religious and political tension led to upheaval and war, the courage and persistence of the Dutch people prepared the way for a free Dutch Republic and the rise of the Dutch Reformed Church.


The Synod of Dort (W. Robert Godfrey)

When times of trial and persecution come to an end, the absence of external tension may create opportunities for internal strife and division. With the threat of Spanish invasion no longer uniting the Dutch people, controversy surrounding the teachings of the late Jacobus Arminius began to polarize the Reformed churches in the Netherlands. At the resulting Synod of Dort, church leaders responded to this crisis by officially adopting the doctrinal positions that have become one of the distinguishing marks of Reformed Christianity.


Puritan Piety (W. Robert Godfrey)

Inward apathy toward the Lord masked by outward obedience is a real and constant threat in any church. Keenly aware of this danger, the Puritans zealously proclaimed the importance of heart-felt affection for the Lord. They sought to nourish genuine faith and piety especially through passionate preaching, Bible studies, and conscientious Sabbath observance. Though frequently portrayed as joyless legalists, we will see in this lesson that in reality, Puritans were more frequently characterized by their pursuit of joyful, sincere devotion to the Lord.


Puritan Politics (W. Robert Godfrey)

During the mid-seventeenth century, England was embroiled in a civil war between the king’s forces and those of parliament. The aftermath of this conflict saw political change and much theological reflection. It was during this time period that the Westminster Assembly met to reform doctrine, church government, and worship. In this lecture, you will study this tumultuous time period, focusing on the connection between the Puritans and politics. You will also come to a better understanding of the climate within which the Westminster Assembly took place.


Puritan Worship and Eschatology (W. Robert Godfrey)

Many Reformed churches today trace their roots back to the Puritans, and have even adopted as their standards the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. However, there are two areas where most of those churches differ from their Puritan predecessors: worship and eschatology. In this lecture, Dr. Godfrey explains why the Puritans worshipped the way did, and how they understood the book of Revelation.


Puritan Views of Assurance and Conversion (W. Robert Godfrey)

Assurance of one’s salvation is an important part of Protestant faith, and one of the many marks that sharply distinguishes it from Roman Catholicism. In the seventeenth century, however, many within Puritan circles struggled with this issue. In this lecture, Dr. Godfrey will explain this struggle. He will also spend considerable time discussing the Puritan understanding of conversion, and will show that the very idea of conversion has changed dramatically over the past few centuries.


The Puritans in New England (W. Robert Godfrey)

When the Puritans came to the New World, they had no intention of establishing a new religion. What they did want to do, however, was bring their old world religious ideal into reality. Despite the inherent difficulties in their new environment, the Puritans found some measure of early success. But as time passed, internal challenges added to the external. In this lecture, Dr. Godfrey will summarize the religious foundations of the American colonies, looking especially at the Puritans’ desire to maintain a pure church.


Dort at 400 (Credo Magazine)

Is the sinner saved by grace alone? Just how sovereign is God’s grace? Few questions have generated such fierce debate in the history of Christianity. Four hundred years ago, a group of Arminians remonstrated against the Reformed understanding of God’s grace. In response, Reformed theologians and pastors all over the world met at the Synod of Dort to defend what we now call the Five Points of Calvinism or the Doctrine of Grace. But how many evangelicals today—even Reformed evangelicals—have ever read the Canons of Dort? In this issue of Credo Magazine, not only are these canons celebrated but the contributors demonstrate just how indispensable these canons are for the church today.

Week 6: Anabaptism

The Essence of Anabaptism

Why I am an Anabaptist

An Anabaptist View of Salvation

Gelassenheit: Humble Yieldedness

A Conversation with Dr. James Renihan about the Anabaptists

A conversation with Dr. James Renihan about the Anabaptists. Who were they and why do we need know about them? How should we view them? Did Anabaptist writings have any influence on the early English Baptists? What are the two types of English Baptists? Who were they? How did they differ? Did either of them have Anabaptist contacts?

Are Southern Baptists Cousins to the Anabaptists? (Jeff Robinson)

Southern Baptists did not arise out of the Anabaptist movement of 16th century Switzerland.  The tributary that fed what is today a theologically diverse stream known as the Southern Baptist Convention first flowed out of the Puritan separatist movement of Elizabethan England.

The Beliefs and Practices of the Amish (Alvin Schmidt)


Martin Luther & the Anabaptists (W. Robert Godfrey)

Western Christianity changed forever during Martin Luther’s lifetime. Profoundly gifted and profoundly flawed, Luther had an enduring desire to proclaim “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” As a result of Luther’s untiring efforts, Christian leaders across Europe sought to bring all of life into accordance with God’s Word, often achieving very different results. Of the many expressions of Christianity that emerged during this time, the Anabaptists puzzled and distressed Catholics and Protestants alike. In this message, Dr. Godfrey discusses the enduring legacies of both Martin Luther and the Anabaptist movement.


The First Reformation Confession (Stephen Nichols)

The earliest confession from the Reformation was written not by the followers of Luther or Calvin but by another group called the Radical Reformers. It’s called the Schleitheim Confession, and it was written in Switzerland on February 24, 1527.


The Radical Reformation (Michael Horton and White Horse Inn)

The Wall Street Journal reports a Pew study showing that 53 percent of U.S. Protestants couldn’t identify Martin Luther as the one who started the Reformation. Oddly, Jews, atheists and Mormons were more familiar with Luther than Protestants. In fact, fewer than three in ten white evangelicals correctly identified Protestantism as the faith that believes in the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Three in ten. Many today who claim the Reformation as their heritage are more likely heirs of the radical Anabaptists. It might sound crazy, but here is my thesis. The reformation isn’t over because it hasn’t begun in America, but Protestantism is definitely over and the radicals won.

Week 7: Anglicanism (Episcopalians)

The English Reformation (Michael Reeves)


Tyndale and the Early Reformers (Michael Reeves)

In our first lesson, we studied the emergence of the English Reformation primarily from a theological perspective. It is also vital to grasp the political connections to the Reformation in England especially related to the role that kings and queens played during this time. In this message, then, Dr. Reeves opens up the fascinating yet troubling story of King Henry VIII, who reigned from 1509–1547. We find him departing from Rome for selfish reasons and essentially pursuing Catholicism without a pope. Anyone who got in the way of this pursuit, whether Catholic or Protestant, could easily lose his life. Still, in God’s providence, Henry unintentionally ended up furthering the cause of true reform.

Edward VI and Mary I (Michael Reeves)

From the unintentional promotion of reform under Henry VIII, we move on to consider the reigns of Edward VI, the only son of Henry, and Mary I, his oldest daughter. By the time of Henry’s death (1547), the education of Edward and Elizabeth, his daughter to Anne Boleyn, was left to the reform-minded Katherine Parr, Henry’s last wife. Their training occurred under the finest Protestant tutors, and the two pupils grew up as convinced evangelicals. Catholic Mary was an adult by this point (age 30) and was considered to be an illegitimate child from an annulled marriage. The misery this brought to her life would later stir a fiery response. For now, with the young Edward (age 9) on the throne, England was poised for an intentional Reformation.


Elizabeth and the Rise of the Puritans (Michael Reeves)

“This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” With these words from Psalm 118:23, princess Elizabeth apparently greeted the news that Queen Mary had died (1558). The politically cunning Elizabeth came to the throne with energy and zeal to restore Protestantism. After all, her mother was Anne Boleyn, the one for whom Henry split with Rome to marry. Of course, the Roman Catholic Church never recognized this marriage and considered Elizabeth an illegitimate queen. She had to be a Protestant monarch yet emerged as such not reluctantly but out of personal and deeply held convictions. Her reforms were truly Protestant while simultaneously cautious and measured. Against such a program arose the “always reforming” mindset of Puritanism.

Anglicanism: A Reformed Catholic Tradition (Gerald Bray)

What is Anglicanism?

There are many associations that come to mind. Whether it is the buildings, the unique history, the prayers, or church government, often we emphasize one aspect against others. Is the Anglican church a Protestant church with distinctive characteristics, or a Catholic Church no longer in communion with Rome?


In Anglicanism: A Reformed Catholic Tradition, Gerald Bray argues that some theological trajectories are more faithful than others to the nature and history of the Church of England. Readers looking to understand the diversity, nature, and future of Anglicanism will be helped by Bray’s historical examination.


Reformation Fire in England: The Thirty-Nine Articles (Gerald Bray)

The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion were first composed (as Forty-two Articles) in 1553, and after two revisions reached their final form in 1571. They are the chief expression of Anglican doctrine, though not all Anglican churches grant them formal recognition and some, like the American Episcopal Church, have adopted them in a slightly modified form.

The Anglican Way (Gerald Bray)

The English Reformation produced the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion as its foundational documents. Both represent the more Reformed (as opposed to Lutheran) phase of the English reformation, though they are closer to patristic and medieval traditions than most Reformed documents are.


Anglican Theology (Gerald Bray)

While the theology of the Anglican Church today has been affected by various movements such as Anglo-Catholicism and theological liberalism, Anglican theology is historically rooted in the Protestant documents that were developed in the period of the English Reformation, most importantly the Thirty-nine Articles, the Homilies, and the Book of Common Prayer.

The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

9 Things You Should Really Know About Anglicanism (Michael P. Jensen)

Justification by faith alone is at the heart of Anglican soteriology. In its liturgy, its view of the sacraments, in its founding documents, and in the mind of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the Church of England holds that works do not save and cannot save a person. Only the blood of Jesus Christ is effective to save.

9 Things You Should Know About Anglicanism (Joe Carter)

Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising the Church of England and churches which are historically tied to it or have similar beliefs, worship practices and church structures. With a membership estimated at around 80 million members worldwide, the Anglican faith (including both those within the Anglican Communion and Anglicans outside of it) is the third largest Christian communion in the world, after the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

The Gospel in the Prayer Book (J.I. Packer)

The Gospel in the Prayer Book, by J.I. Packer, seeks to show briefly and simply the basic Gospel structure of Prayer Book services. This was how Archbishop Cranmer intended them to be, and that structure has remained through subsequent revisions until today.

Week 8: Baptists


Baptist Theology (Anthony L. Chute)

Baptists believe in the Bible as the ultimate authority, a regenerate and baptized church, the autonomy of the local church, and religious liberty for all.

Origins of the Particular Baptists (Gordon L. Belyea)

This paper will seek to establish the identity and origins of the Particular Baptists and delineate their characteristic beliefs, especially where these differed from other believers of their time. I will seek to show that the Particular Baptists find their roots in English Puritan Noncomformity, almost completely to the exclusion of any Anabaptist influence. Theirs were churches whose origins lay in the magisterial Reformation; differences between them and their Puritan contemporaries are primarily a function of their understanding and application of the Scriptures in not so much a different manner, as in one more consistent and complete.

On Catholic Baptists: The London Baptist Confession of Faith (Geoff Chang)

Are creeds still useful today? For many churches, the statement of faith is like a piece of outdated furniture gathering dust in the corner. The language is archaic. The terms are confusing. Nobody remembers how it got there. And yet, for sentimental reasons, no one wants to get rid of it either. In our pragmatic age, it’s not always clear how useful these creeds are. After all, the cry of our day is unity. In the West, Christians are finding themselves more divided than ever over all kinds of issues.


Do we really need to emphasize our distinct beliefs to separate ourselves further from other Christians? Not only that, but we face a world full of urgent problems. Shouldn’t the church instead be concerned about evangelism? Global missions? Social justice? For many church leaders today, the rallying cry has become not a creed but a cause.


Why I Am a Baptist (R. Albert Mohler)

Every great movement probably begins in an argument of some sort, and the Baptists emerged in the context of an argument that was intense, significant, and sometimes deadly. Luther had started it. The Calvinists believed he had not taken it far enough. The English Puritans likewise became convinced that the moderately reforming Church of England was not taking the argument far enough. The Separatists (who would include Congregationalists and Presbyterians) believed that the Puritans who remained in the Church of England were not taking it far enough. The Baptists then separated from the Separatists because they were not taking it far enough. Since then, Baptists have not stopped arguing. They often argue among themselves, but more urgently, they argue for the necessity of conversion, for the believers’ church, for the baptism of believers alone, and for liberty of conscience.

1689 London Baptist Confession


Baptist Confessions


Week 11: Seventh-Day Adventist

Seventh Day Adventism (Ken Samples)


Seventh-day Adventism (Tal Davis and the North American Mission Board)

Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) affirm the Christian doctrine of the inspiration and authority of the Bible. They also affirm the trinitarian nature of the Godhead: the fatherhood of God, deity of Jesus Christ, and the Person and deity of the Holy Spirit. They teach that man was created in the image of God, but is in a fallen state of sin and in need of redemption. They affirm that Jesus was virgin-born; lived a sinless life; was crucified, dead, and buried; and rose again bodily from the grave.


These SDA beliefs are in basic agreement with historic, biblical Christianity. Thus, the SDA is not a cult by definition . However, the SDA can be correctly regarded as a Christian sect because it has a number of distinctive doctrines not in accord with the mainstream of historic Christian faith. This article highlights those doctrines and provides biblical responses.


Evaluating Seventh-day Adventism (Nathan Busenitz)

Some evangelicals believe Seventh-day Adventism ought to be openly embraced as simply another denomination. I disagree.  Historically, evangelicals and fundamentalists regarded the Seventh-day Adventist movement as a cult. And in spite of the ecumenical spirit that has pervaded evangelicalism over the last few decades, there are still major deficiencies within official SDA theology that ought to give evangelical Christians serious pause.


10 Questions about Adventism (Nathan Busenitz)

Seventh-day Adventists insist that the Bible is their only creed.  But that claim is difficult to reconcile with their simultaneous commitment to Ellen White’s prophecies as being both inspired and authoritative. After all, she is regarded as a prophet like Samuel or Jeremiah.  That is why, in practice, some Seventh-day Adventists place White’s prophecies over the Bible because they use her as an authoritative lens through which to interpret the Bible.


The False Teachers: Ellen G. White

In many respects Ellen G. White appeared to hold to the historic Christian faith. She believed in Christ’s imminent bodily return, she held to the inspiration and authority of the Bible, and she taught that we are saved by Christ’s righteousness rather than our own. But amid that truth were some dangerous false teachings.