Sunday, September 19, 2010

Boice on the Doctrines of Grace

"These doctrines were not invented by Calvin, nor were they characteristic of his thought alone during the Reformation period. These are biblical truths taught by Jesus and confirmed by Paul, Peter and all the other Old and New Testament writers. Augustine defended these doctrines against the denials of Pelagius. Luther believed them. So did Zwingli. That is, they believed what Calvin believed and later systematized in his influential Institutes of the Christian Religion. The Puritans were Calvinists; it was through them and their teaching that both England and Scotland experienced the greatest and most pervasive national revivals the the world has ever seen. In that number were the heirs of John Knox: Thomas Cartwright, Richard Sibbes, Richard Baxter, Matthew Henry, John Owen, and others. In America others were influenced by men such as Johnathan Edwards, Cotton Mather and, later, George Whitefield.

In more recent times the modern missionary movement received nearly all its initial impetus and direction from those in the Calvinistic tradition. The list includes William Carey, John Ryland, Henry Martyn, Robert Moffat, David Livingstone, John G. Paton, John R. Mott and others. For all these the doctrines of grace were not an appendage to Christian thought but were, rather, central, firing and forming their preaching and missionary efforts."
-James Montgomery Boice in Foundations of the Christian Faith