Saturday, March 5, 2016

Review of Primitivism, Radicalism, and the Lamb's War

For those interested in early Quakerism versus creedal Christianity, this scholarly volume on "The Baptist-Quaker Conflict in 17th Century England" will bring historical light to the subject. The book is by T.L. Underwood, published in the Oxford Studies in Historical Theology by Oxford University Press.

The study shows the striking contrast between Calvinistic Baptists and the the early Friends Movement on issues such as the Light, the Holy Spirit, the nature and purpose of Scripture, etc.

Also, the book shows how the Quaker emphasis on God's love for everyone, and everyone being capable of ethical choice
is totally contrary
to the horrific views of Reformed/Calvinism
(that billions of us including Quakers are predestined to Hell).

A few quotes:

"The most telling arguments that Friends used...were based on their concept of the nature of God, who because of love and mercy was unwilling that people should live and die in sin."

"Here the Quakers reacted strongly against the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. How could a God of love condemn the major portion of humankind to destruction?"

In response to the Friends' universalistic views--that God loves everyone,
the Calvinist John "Tombes reportedly concluded, 'When I mean to Go to Hell, I will go among the Quakers.'"

Much of the book's historical background and analysis is taken up with the Quaker's view of the Light and the Holy Spirit versus the Calvinists' contrary theology with a focus on a fundamentalistic interpretation of the Bible.

"Friends strongly disagreed. The Bible, they argued, had been inspired by the Spirit...surely therefore , the Spirit, not the Bible, ought to be the rule of Christians."

The Calvinist John Tombes met and contended against George Fox. And he wrote an anti-Quaker tract called "The Old Light Exalted Above the Pretended New Light," against "the Quaker, Arminian, and other Assertors of Universal Grace."

I am very thankful for the witness of George Fox and other Friends for the "ocean of light" and against the horrific religion of the Reformed.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

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