Thursday, August 16, 2012

Samuel Rutherford: an introduction to his theology #2

A word cloud of the text of Samuel Rutherford: An Introduction to His Theology (see table of contents below). This book can now be purchased from Reformation Heritage Books for $22.

Strangely, for someone who had a significant role in shaping one of the most important theological documents of modern times, Rutherford’s theology has fallen under comparative neglect. It offers, however, a valuable key to understanding the original intentions and context behind the Westminster standards.

Too many of Rutherford’s works are long out of print and were never reprinted after his lifetime; similarly his Latin works have never been translated into English. It would be immensely satisfying to think that this volume might encourage scholars, readers and publishers to invest in realising the goal of reviving these long obscured writings. It is hoped that the varied approaches contained within this collection may help to point to the richness and the rigour of this underestimated theologian and to stimulate further research and interest in Rutherford and his theology.

The General Table of Contents is as follows.

Chronology of Samuel Rutherford’s Life and Times

Revaluing Rutherford’s Theological Contribution
Chapter 1 Introduction: Samuel Rutherford Redivivus
Matthew Vogan
Chapter 2 Samuel Rutherford’s Theology in its Historical Context
San-Deog Kim

Rutherford and Practical Theology
Chapter 3 Samuel Rutherford and the Theology and Practice of Preaching
Matthew Vogan
Chapter 4 The Two shall become One Flesh: Samuel Rutherford’s ‘Affectionate’ Theology of Union with
Christ in the Song of Songs
Guy Richard
Chapter 5 Samuel Rutherford’s Polemic against Antinomianism in Christ Dying, and Drawing Sinners to Himself
Matthew Vogan
First Extract from Rutherford: The Influences of the Life of Grace

Rutherford and Covenant Theology
Chapter 6 Samuel Rutherford’s Contribution to Covenant Theology in Scotland
D. Patrick Ramsey
Chapter 7 Samuel Rutherford and the Preached Covenant
Sherman Isbell
Second Extract from Rutherford:
The Covenant of Life Opened

Rutherford and Ecclesiastical Theology
Chapter 8  Introduction to Samuel Rutherford’s The Due Right of Presbyteries
Sherman Isbell
Chapter 9  Samuel Rutherford on The Eldership of Matthew 18:17 and 1 Corinthians 5:4: The Ministerial Assembly of Elders Holds the Power to Bind and Loose
Richard Bacon
Third Extract from Rutherford:  A Peaceable and Temperate Plea for Paul’s Presbyterie in Scotland

Rutherford and Political Theology
Chapter10 Samuel Rutherford on Civil Government
David McKay
Chapter 11  Samuel Rutherford and Liberty of Conscience
Crawford Gribben
Fourth Extract from Rutherford:  A Brotherly and Free Epistle to the Patrons and Friends of Pretended Liberty of Conscience

Rutherford and the Covenanted Reformation
Chapter 12 A Half Reformation: English Puritanism  according to Samuel Rutherford
Michael Brown
Fifth Extract from Rutherford: Testimony to the Covenanted Work of Reformation, in Britain and Ireland

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Whose Faith Follow

A valuable little blog called Footsteps is establishing an excellent resource to "support young people who respect the Bible and want to understand more about how to live rightly in an unsympathetic environment".

The motto of the blog is 'whose faith follow…' John Owen comments on this part of Hebrews 13:7 that follow means “to imitate” "This remembrance of our guides is prescribed with reference unto the duty of following their faith: “Whose faith follow;” — ‘So mind them and their work, in preaching the word of God, as to follow or imitate them in their faith'". "It is such a following as wherein we are fully conformed unto, and do lively express, that which we are said to follow. So a scholar may be said to follow his master, when, having attained all his arts and sciences, he acts them in the same manner as his master did. So are we to follow the faith of these guides". He qualifies this: "No mere man, not the best of men, is to be our pattern or example absolutely, or in all things. This honor is due unto Christ alone". This is wrapped up in what Paul goes on to say "Considering the end of their conversation Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Is the whole goal and tendency of our life here to point to the unchangeable, never enough admired Altogether Lovely One?

This endeavour will have done valuable work for God in this generation if it encourages this spirit in a rising generation.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

The Temple


Richard Crashaw (1613?–49)

Know you fair, on what you look;
Divinest love lies in this book,
Expecting fire from your eyes,
To kindle this his sacrifice.
When your hands untie these strings,
Think you’have an angel by th’ wings.
One that gladly will be nigh,
To wait upon each morning sigh.
To flutter in the balmy air
Of your well-perfumed prayer.
These white plumes of his he’ll lend you,
Which every day to heaven will send you,
To take acquaintance of the sphere,
And all the smooth-fac’d kindred there.
     And though Herbert’s name do owe
     These devotions, fairest, know
     That while I lay them on the shrine
     Of your white hand, they are mine.

William Cowper said of them "I found in them a strain of piety which I could not but admire"
George Herbert himself said "they are a picture of spiritual conflicts between God and my soul before I could subject my will to Jesus, my Master". He was "desirous (thorow the Mercy of GOD) to please Him, for whom I am, and live, and who giveth mee my Desires and Performances".