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Alexander and Rufus; or a Series of Dialogues on Church Communion, in Two Parts... by John Anderson

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Resource Details

Full Title:
Alexander and Rufus; or a Series of Dialogues on Church Communion, in Two Parts. Part 1: Vindication of Scriptural Church Communion in Opposition to Latitudinarian Schemes. Part 2: Defence of the Communion Maintained in the Secession Church (1862)
Author:
John Anderson
Media:
Digital Download (Adobe PDF)
Searchable:
Yes
PDF Index:
Embedded, Appended
Pages:
528
File Size:
36MB
Publisher:
Still Waters Revival Books

Resource Description

Alexander and Rufus; or a Series of Dialogues on Church Communion, in Two Parts. Part 1: Vindication of Scriptural Church Communion in Opposition to Latitudinarian Schemes. Part 2: Defence of the Communion Maintained in the Secession Church (1862)

The close communion doctrine of the Reformation continues to be much misunderstood and maligned in our day. The false ecumenists (and theological egalitarians and pluralists) of our day continue to batter away at this foundation of the Reformation doctrine of the church -- while even many of those that profess to be the heirs of the Reformation are found to be ignorant regarding this point.

Any doctrine of communion which does not take into account the biblical command to "be of one mind" (cf. Rom. 15:6, 2 Cor. 13:11, Phil. 1:27, Phil. 2:2, 1 Pet. 3:8) at a corporate, visible level is skewed from the beginning.

In short, latitudinarian schemes of open communion (which only include the so-called "essentials" of the faith) are schismatic (i.e. if we do not confuse "schism" with "separation"). Schismatic schemes promoting open communion (of which paedocommunion is presently at the head), attempt to "dumb down" (to a greater or lesser degree) the requirements for partaking at the Lord's table.

Loose and latitudinarian schemes of communion lead to churches that stand for little -- or nothing -- over time; while a Scripturally regulated close communion tends to the exact opposite end. Anderson makes this very point in his preface to this book, "corruption is the native consequence of latitudinarian schemes, (while) scriptural order in sacramental communion tends to make the visible church a heaven on earth to the faithful, terrible as an army with banners to her enemies, and to her King and Head for a name, for a praise and for glory."

If you love the purity and peace of Christ's church and agree with the words of John Calvin, when he wrote, "We are only contending about the true and lawful constitution of the church, required in the communion not only of the sacraments (which are the signs of profession) but also especially of doctrine" (Institutes, 4.2.12), then you will find a meaty meal in Alexander and Rufus -- for the author not only deals with the larger questions related to church communion, but also weaves into the fabric of this book many specific threads relating to practical applications and doctrinal controversies.

Moreover, notwithstanding a couple of peculiar doctrinal foibles originating from the Seceder camp, in opposition to the Covenanters (especially regarding civil government and some points of the law), a plethora of subjects relative to the Reformed view of communion, church union, testimony-bearing, etc., are all dealt with here -- and these points are given the kind of attention (along with Scriptural and historical accuracy) that will be greatly appreciated among those familiar with the precise views of the "old dissenters" of Scottish origin.

In short, Alexander and Rufus gives us an excellent defense of biblically regulated close communion, which Anderson shows to be God's ordained method of promoting truth, unity and Reformation. Anderson also does an excellent job concerning:

  • Calvin's plan for promoting a union among the churches (p. 151ff.)
  • the place of confessions and confessional subscription (pp. 85, 179)
  • covenanting (pp. 358-384)
  • separation (pp. 92, 132)
  • worship (pp. 10-13, 87, 107, 142, 155, 161-164, 456ff., etc.)
  • the marks of the church (p. 132ff.)
  • uniformity (pp. 7, 103, 168, 205)
  • the Westminster Assembly (p. 169ff)
  • the Dutch views (p. 158f.)
  • distinctions between essentials and non-essentials (p. 168)
  • the so-called "glorious revolution" of 1688 (p. 263)
  • the French Reformed churches (p. 156)
  • the covenanted Reformation (p. 253)
  • discipline (p. 103)
  • attainments (pp. 11, 93, 137, 162ff., 206, etc.)
  • the government of the church (p. 123)
  • the so-called "Apostle's creed" (pp. 100-104)
  • the Belgic Confession (pp. 135-138);
  • councils in the ancient church (p. 104)
  • the Donatists (p. 112)
  • the forsaking of sin, false doctrine, and false teachers (pp. 92, 132)
  • occasional hearing (p. 83)
  • Owen against open communion (p. 207)
  • sectarianism (p. 92)

...and much, much more.

On the topic of church and sacramental communion you are unlikely to find many other books with as much solid information. Recommended for advanced study.

Indexed, 528 pages.


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