Martin Luther says:

October 31, 2007


Happy Reformation Day!!

    The beers are on me!


Reformation MP3s

October 29, 2007

Definitely worth a look is this short series of lectures by Carl Trueman on the Reformation. Trueman is entertaining and really gets to the principles. Enjoy.

Lecture 1 – “The Road to Reformation”

Lecture 2 – “The Theology of the Cross”

Lecture 3 – “Freedom from Babylon, Freedom for Christ”


Reformation Day

October 29, 2007

So, 31 October approaches, the day when Martin Luther may or may not have nailed his 95 theses to a wooden door in Wittenberg. In some traditions this is a day that is celebrated, but here in England it doesn’t get much attention in many churches, mine included, so I will celebrate it in my own quiet way. Actually, celebrate would not be the best word. Remember and give thanks, yes. Celebrate in any triumphalistic sense, no.

The words of Richard Baxter, whatever one might think of his theology, are sobering:

I can well remember the time when I was earnest for the reformation of matters of ceremony; and, if I should be cold in such substantial matter as this, how disorderly and disproportionable would my zeal appear! Alas! can we think that the reformation is wrought, when we cast out a few ceremonies, and changed some vestures, and gestures, and forms! Oh no, sirs! it is the converting and saving of souls that is our business. That is the chiefest part of reformation, that doth most good, and tendeth most to the salvation of the people. (The Reformed Pastor)

Let’s remember our Reformation heritage. But let’s remember too the millions in this country who walk in darkness, and remember the churches that have fallen back into error and the prevalence of false teaching.

Semper reformanda.



Hot off the press – a new book from Alister McGrath. Yes, another one. He has attempted a study of the Reformation and Protestantism up to the 21st century. The dangerous idea in question is that any man or woman should be able to read the Bible for themselves and come to their own conclusions. This is a racy and readable account of the seemingly uncontrollable forces unleashed at the Reformation which have led to the diversity of expressions of Protestant belief today. Heavily discounted at


October 26, 2007

This morning, as I sit here pounding away at my laptop, I feel that I have gotten closer to James Ussher, that I have somehow entered into his experience, and felt what he felt. Yes, my central heating has broken down.

Westminster Conference, 2007

October 25, 2007

For those of you not on the mailing list, the details of this year’s Westminster Conference have been sent out. It’s on Tuesday/Wednesday 11th-12th December at Friend’s House, 173 Euston Rd, London, opposite Euston Station. The cost is £35 (£20 for full-time students). The programme is:

Tuesday 11th December

The Clapham Sect and the Abolition of Slavery – Roger Fay

Charles Wesley and his Hymns – Graham Harrison

Preaching – “ex opere operato” – Robert Strivens

Wednesday 12th December

Turretin and the place of Systematic Theology – Maurice Roberts

Stephen Charnock and the Knowledge of God in Christ – Jeremy Walker

The Preaching of John Newton – John Harris

Further information and booking forms available from John Harris, 8 Back Knowl Rd, Mirfield, W. Yorks, WF14 9SA

Burn Out

October 22, 2007

Sometimes I feel tired. Like right now. Easy to whinge. But then I look at some of the Puritans and their committment to do the work entrusted to them, and I’m humbled. I was struck recently by some words of John Preston (1587-1628):

Spend your fat and sweetnesse for God and man; weare out, not rust out; flame out, not smoke out; burne out, bee not blowne out. (Foure Treatises, 1632)

Master of Emmanuel College, he was also Trinity Lecturer, preacher at Lincoln’s Inn (not a pub!), and a court preacher. Rushing constantly between Cambridge and London, he contended for the Reformed faith against the rise of the Laudian party, and died aged 40.

Here there was no talk of work-life balance.