If it looks like Rome …

If it looks like Rome ….



  1. johntjeffery · March 12, 2014

    Those who came out of the Reformation still clinging to the gravecloths of Romanism, and have failed to keep on “reforming” (semper reformanda) can be expected to “re-Romanize”. Hence their related attraction to Anglo-Romanists like Packer, Stott, Hughes and now N. T. Wright. They may think that they are the legitimate heirs of the Puritans, but I suspect that many of them are “rolling over in their graves” at how their works and names are taken in vain. Many of these paedo-presbyterians expressed great shock when Packer endorsed ECT. Were they sleeping when Lloyd-Jones broke fellowship with Packer and angered Stott in the 1970s? Now the Bishop of Durham is making an end run around ECT, and calling his “flock” back to the Eucharistic table with Rome base on his “fresh” view of Paul on justification. Many do not see the trend or the danger. The siren call of Satan is subtle as ever, and more so as the end draws near!

    • jm · March 12, 2014

      I had no idea MLJ broke fellowship with Packer. Anymore details?

      • johntjeffery · March 12, 2014

        David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John R. W. Stott and J. I. Packer:
        The 1966 Evangelical-Anglican Confrontation and Split

        Iain H. Murray, Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950-2000 (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2000), esp. pp. 79-11, esp. 94-96 and 110-111.

        Iain H. Murray, David Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight of Faith 1939-1981 (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990).

        Iain H. Murray, Lloyd-Jones: Messenger of Grace (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2008).

        Mark Sidwell, “A Call to Separation and Unity: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and “Evangelical Unity””, Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 3 (Fall 1998), pp. 35–62; at http://www.dbts.edu/journals/1998/sidwell.pdf [accessed 17 MAR 2012].

        Geoff Thomas, “Dr Lloyd-Jones and His ‘Minions'”, Banner of Truth (1 JAN 2000), at http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?645 [accessed 17 MAR 2012].

        Martin Downes, “Carl Trueman talks about J. I. Packer” (16 OCT 2009), on Against Heresies at http://against-heresies.blogspot.com/2009/10/carl-trueman-talks-about-j-i-packer.html [accessed 9 JUL 2013]. Video (5:31) included from YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjfOK951qZQ&feature=player_embedded [accessed 9 JUL 2013]. Sample pages from the volume being discussed at Westminster Bookstore at http://www.westminster.coresense.com/pdf_files/9780801033872.pdf [accessed 9 JUL 2013].

        Paul Helm, “‘JI'” (14 NOV 2009), on Helm’s Deep: Philosophical Theology at http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/2009/11/ji.html [accessed 9 JUL 2013].

        Paul Helm, “‘JI’-2” (14 DEC 2009), on Helm’s Deep: Philosophical Theology at
        http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/2009/12/ji-2.html [accessed 9 JUL 2013].

        Those who disagreed with Lloyd-Jones in 1966, or chose to ignore his example and counsel, were left without excuse in the decades following as compromise was piled on to yet worse compromise. The Anglo-Catholics Lloyd-Jones confronted like Packer and Stott are certainly included in this. Those who signed ECT in 1994 shocked some who had so easily forgotten this 1966 confrontation. A “mixed-multitude” ecclesiology lies in this bed with an anti-evangelical ecumenicism. Cursed be that unity upon whose altar truth is sacrificed! Those who wormed their way into fellowship with the Reformed and were embraced by them have gone on to stand the Reformation on its head! That “Great Divide” is, if anything, even greater today, but has been blurred by those who then and now would let Lloyd-Jones’ counsel roll off their backs like water off a duck. They are without excuse and we need to mark them and avoid them. “How can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” (Hosea 4:17) “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

        For what is worth, not to incite a debate, and in spite of my love for Lewis and his works, I must add a caution. This is based on many sad observations over 40 years. When it comes to Anglicans beware. To put it simply, do not expect either consistent evangelical or Reformed thought and practice from Anglicans. This is best exemplified in the cases of P. E. Hughes and his conditional immortality, John R. W. Stott and his ecumenical compromises, and J. I. Packer and his dalliances with the WCC and the RCC. It also applies to Lewis. Anglo-catholicism, regardless of whether referred to as “low” or “high” church involves the “communicant”, and especially the “ordained” in compromise with Bible and Gospel deniers at many levels. When this is not simply tolerated but stoutly defended over many decades, and others react in shock years later when further compromises are exposed, I am left wondering why. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones knew better and acted accordingly in 1966 and 1971.

      • jm · March 12, 2014

        Wow, I didn’t expect such a well written (with sources) response! That you brother.

      • johntjeffery · March 12, 2014

        I may have first become aware of the breach during the 1970s when I attended Bible college, but by the time Ian Murray’s biography of Packer came out, followed a few years later by the ECT scandal, I was well aware. I have returned to the subject several times over the last two decades, since it keeps coming up. One of the highlights for me personally was during a private conversation with Dr. John Gerstner as he related the time after ECT when he was with R. C. Sproul. R. C. was on the phone with J. I. Packer, and was screaming/yelling(?) at him, “Jim, have you lost your mind?” I have often since reflected on the fact that Gerstner and Sproul’s reaction to Packer’s involvement with and endorsement of ECT was naive, especially in the light of the known episodes in the U.K. from 1966-1970.

      • irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · March 12, 2014

        Btw, that’s a pretty wide Anglican loop there John! 😉 I have known some good and profound Anglican pastor-teacher-theolog’s in my day, sadly they were not better known, especially to the American Church! And I have, and have read Philip Edgcumbe Hughes book: The True Image, The Origin And Destiny Of Man In Christ, (Eerdmans and IVP, England, 1989). Of course Hughes was an Anglican Aussie, who had the greater part of his ministry in the US, (died 1990?). I thought the book actually pretty good, though of course he comes close to a kind of Calvinist form of annihilationism. And yes, this has always somewhat been around in 19th to 20th century Anglicans, to degree. Even the “biblicist” EW Bullinger comes close here? Personally, I don’t have a great problem with it, as its does not diminish God’s judgment, for time is not the issue, but the depth of God’s profound decree and justice…His right and logic! And the loss of God’s “True Image” is surely itself an eternal loss to some degree, i.e. the loss of God’s grace. And in the end too, this great doctrine is not just rationalistic, as God finally transcends His own logic at times!

        O God, whose blessed Son was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us the sons of God and heirs of eternal life, grant us, we beseech thee, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure, that, when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom, where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. Amen. (BCP)

      • irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · March 12, 2014

        On a positive note, would that we could get Evangelical Christians, Anglican and otherwise, to read that once Anglican Bishop, Edward Henry Bickersteth’s, (1812 -1906) book: The Trinity, The Classic Study of Biblical Trinitarianism (originally published as The Rock of Ages, or Three Persons One God)… Now reprinted by Kregel. 🙂

      • irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · March 13, 2014

        Btw, let me note and recommend the grand books and writings of the Anglican Peter Toon, (1939 – 2009), who died way too soon! He is sorely missed! He was an Alumi of Kings College, London. Indeed an Anglican Calvinist!

  2. irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · March 12, 2014

    Indeed much of this is not just conservative Presbyterianism verses Anglican Evangelicalism, as we can see back in the 1970’s between people like Francis Schaeffer and some of the Christian Reconstructionists & Theonomy, (Gary DeMar, etc.) And Schaeffer was educated as a Presbyterian. But Schaeffer’s book: A Christian Manifesto, (1981) was not accepted fully with the Reconstructionists! But Schaeffer wrote deeply about the coming pluralistic and pluralism and modernity and its child of postmodernity, in the West, and even in the Churches evangelical, (so-called). Note, as was mentioned the British Open Evangelicalism, of which NT Wright has called himself, as his theology! But, no doubt in my opinion anyway, the better “neo”-Calvinism, of people like John Frame and Vern Poythress, simply must be seen and addressed! They have helped move the Reformed Church, hopefully past a sort of Reformed and narrow sectarianism. But this is still an ongoing problem and work! See Frame’s book: The Escondido Theology, of which even Gary DeMar has written the Foreword, and from which he even quotes, and expands on Schaeffer positively! ( 2011) So, there, is thankfully some change and movement with even people like DeMar to some degree. As he quotes: “Calvinism is not “a mere synonym of Predestination or any other specific doctrine of the Bible. It is more than a doctrine. It is more than a theological concept. It is a life-and-world-view.” Yes, let us have “in-house” debates, but let us not throw the baby-out-with-the-bath-water!

    If we make this thing a Modern Reformed verses everything and anything else! Then what are we to do with Luther, and the best of the Lutherans? No, we must tread very lightly, even in the midst of our Reformed dogmatics and divinity! But surely, “Apostasy” is in the visible Church and House of God today, and even more so in 2014!

    • irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · March 12, 2014

      WE must beware too of making too much of the “persons” and personalities of our teachers and so-called “theologians”! I can remember the book, and a good one too, ‘Back to the Bible’, by Harold Lindsell (1970’s?) Then later,Stanley Grenz’s book: Renewing the Center, Evangelical Theology In a Post-Theological Era, (2000). He quoted in-depth Bernard Ramm, and always quite worth the read, (he was!)

      • irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · March 12, 2014

        Btw, I know old James Innell Packer, he simply has ‘feet-of-clay’ like all of us! I hope HE does not become the issue! And we all know that modern Anglicanism has been quite a mess, and for sometime! Now, NT Wright, old “Tom” (a year older than I), now there is someone worth our profound biblical and theological scrutiny! He has become a real liability to historic and evangelical Anglicanism, but he has quite moved past classic Anglicanism, and is now quite a “neo” or new so-called Christian theolog, in just about every place!

        And too before we move on, let us remember that C.S. Lewis was always a layman, and most certainly an intellectual don! Serious Lewis people should read Alister McGrath’s new bio: C.S. Lewis A Life, Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet, (Tyndale 2013). People like Lewis should humble us “Calvinists”! For heaven will include not a few non-Calvinists in my opinion! 😉

    • johntjeffery · March 17, 2014

      irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert: Perhaps J. C. Ryle should be added to your recommendation of Bickersteth. I share in your admiration of Peter Toon, and your assessment of caution when it comes to the works and influence of N. T. Wright.

      • irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert · March 20, 2014

        @John: Yes, I have many of J.C. Ryle’s books! He was the first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, and always maintained an Evangelical Calvinist like theology! Great Man of God in his time!

  3. ACM · March 16, 2014

    It seems not everyone agrees with Rachel’s assessment. Here’s a response to her blog:


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