The Errors of Antinomianism (According to John Flavel)

According to Puritan theologian John Flavel, here are the key errors of Antinomianism:

  1. That the justification of sinners is an immanent and eternal act of God, not only preceding all acts of sin, but the very existence of the sinner himself, and so perfectly abolishing sin in our persons, that we are as clean from sin as Christ himself; αναμαρτητοι, as some of them have spoken. “
  2. That justification by faith is no more but the manifestation to us of what was really and actually done before; or a being persuaded more or less of Christ’s love to us; and that when persons do believe, that which was hid before doth then only appear to them.”
  3. That men ought not to doubt of their faith, or question whether they believe or no.  Nay, that they ought no more to question their faith than to question Christ.
  4. That believers are not bound to confess their sins, or pray for the pardon of them; because their sins were pardoned before they were committed; and pardoned sin is no sin.
  5. That God sees no sin in believers, whatsoever sins they commit”
  6. That God is not angry with the elect, nor doth he smite them for their sins; and to say that he doth so is an injurious reflection upon the justice of God, who hath received full satisfaction for all their sins from the hand of Christ.”
  7. “That by God’s laying our iniquities upon Christ, he became as completely sinful as we, and we as completely righteous as Christ: That not only the guilt and punishment of sin was laid upon Christ, but simply the very faults that men commit, the transgression itself became the transgression of Christ; iniquity itself, not in any figure, but plainly sin itself was laid on Christ; and that Christ himself was no more righteous than this person is, and this person is not more sinful than Christ was.”
  8.  “That believers need not fear their own sins, nor the sins of others; forasmuch as neither their own, or other sins can do them any hurt, nor must they do any duty for their own good or salvation, or for eternal rewards.”
  9. “They will not allow the new covenant to be properly made with us, but with Christ for us.  And some of them affirm, ‘That this covenant is all of it a promise, having no condition upon our part.’  They acknowledge, indeed, faith, repentance, and obedience, to be conditions, but say they are not conditions on our part, but on Christ’s; and consequently affirm, that he repented, believed, and obeyed for us.”
  10. “They deny sanctification to be the evidence of justification, and deridingly tell us, this is to light a candle to the sun; and the darker our sanctification is, the brighter our justification is.’

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Spurgeon On A Lousy Excuse For Perpetual War

spurgeonSo often, when long-term military engagements overseas are discussed, one form or another of “Well, now that we’re there, we can’t just pick up and leave. There will be bloodshed!”  comes up.

Here are some pertinent thoughts from the great British preacher Charles H. Spurgeon:

“What have we to do in the Soudan? Being there, what is to be done? Might not a withdrawal from it involve a sea of bloodshed greater than that which seems imminent if we remain? Who knows what is best in so perplexing a case? The evil lay in our first interference, and the sooner we quit the place the better if honourable engagements permit. Peace is our duty.”

(quoted by Albert Meredith in The social and political views of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-1892)

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The Apocalypse: A Poem by John Newton Brown

Recently, I have finished transcribing The Apocalypse: A Poem by John Newton Brown.  As usual, it is available on

It was delivered to the literary fraternity of Waterville College (now called Colby College) in Waterville, Maine in 1836.

In the preface, Brown puts it beautifully:

That, under these circumstances, it [his poem] should be favorably received, inspires the pleasing hope 
that Biblical topics will still continue to be regarded by the young men of our country as the staple of 
its highest Literature. May the time never come when that Literature shall be ashamed to bear brightly 
and broadly on its brow the honors of that dear name which is "above every name that is named, not 
only in this world, but also in that which is to come." 

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Out And About (2014/03/06)


  • The Confessing Baptist has a great show interviewing Steve Weaver about the new edition of An Orthodox Catechism by Hercules Collins.

Literature and Language



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Out And About (2014/03/04)


  • Did you know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories was a poet? I didn’t either. Librivox has his book of poetry available as an audio book.



  • Bruce Schneier has some good advice on how to pick secure passwords that aren’t easily cracked. As usual, he brings up a lot of good things to think about. I also finding it interesting that he concludes that “Sites that require 90-day — or whatever — password upgrades do more harm than good”

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21st Century Rules Against Arbitrary Invasion

Apparently not recognizing the irony, John Kerry told Vladimir Putin:

“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.”kerryputin

It sounds like pretty good advice. Now, if only we could get a 21st century U.S. administration that would implement a non-interventionist foreign policy like that! Then Russia could have a good example to follow.

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Out And About (2014/03/02)

World Events

  • Just before masked gunmen broke into an Investigative Journalism center in the Ukraine, quietly archived away 16,000 pages of documents and saved them from destruction! I think has done amazing work at preserving documents (as anyone looking for old book scans will know) and this is another example of how they are actually saving history!
  • Crimea and Punishment over at Slate is an interesting read. “Putin’s imperialist gambit may turn out to be his Waterloo.”
  • Al Jazeera has a Q&A about Ethiopian journalists in prison. Because of their work as journalists, these individuals were deemed to be “participating in a terrorist organization”.



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Unsolved John Newton Brown Mysteries

Here are some questions about John Newton Brown I have not answered yet.  If there’s anyone who can answer them (or knows someone who can), I would greatly appreciate it!

1. What church did John Newton Brown pastor in Buffalo, NY in 1824? (I suspect it was First Baptist Church of Buffalo, but can’t prove it)

2. What church did John Newton Brown pastor in Lexington, VA from 1845-1849?  The only existing church in Lexington that seems to be that old is Manly Memorial Baptist Church (which would have had a different name at that time). I suspect if someone has a copy of the monograph: The history of Manly Memorial Baptist Church : Lexington, Virginia, they may be able to settle this question once and for all :-)

3. Is it true that the Lexington, VA church  was a slaveholding church? (On contemporary of Brown claims so) If so, why did they call an outspoken abolitionist to be their pastor? And what happened once he got there? (the fact that he signed a anti-segregation petition later in his life makes the possibility that he changed his mind about slavery in the 1840s highly unlikely)

4. I know the names of three of John Newton Brown’s adopted children (Emily, Nellie, and Louisa). I have reason to believe there were more. What were their names?

5.  I have no genealogical details about John Newton Brown’s wife (Mary Skinner). Who were her parents and grandparents?

6. Is there an extant photograph, sketch, painting of John Newton Brown? A copy of his signature?

7. What year did John Newton Brown write the article “Objections against election considered”? I can’t find anything which pinpoints this document to a year. I’d also be curious as to the format in which it was first published.

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