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John Knox, Oliver Cromwell, God's Law and the Reformation of Civil Government by Reg Barrow

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Resource Details

Full Title:
John Knox, Oliver Cromwell, God's Law and the Reformation of Civil Government
Author:
Reg Barrow
Media:
Digital Download (Adobe PDF)
Searchable:
Yes
PDF Index:
Embedded, Appended
Pages:
54
File Size:
2.42 MB
Publisher:
Still Waters Revival Books

Resource Description

Many consider John Knox one of the greatest Reformers ever and God used him to win the nation of Scotland to Christ.

Knox laid the foundations for the Covenanters that followed, and they in turn gave us the clearest foretaste of the millennium glory to come in the magnificent Solemn League and Covenant. Speaking of these Reformation attainments McFeeters notes, "The fathers are worthy of all praise for this unprecedented effort to build the national government upon the true foundation of God's will, and administer it by men in Covenant with Jesus Christ, the King of kings.

This was the first attempt to erect a Christian government, in which the fear of God should pervade every department and characterize every official (Sketches of the Covenanters, pp. 155-156)."

This book deals with some of John Knox's most controversial political writings. It also offers some fine tuning for modern theonomists, which aims at leading them into the "footsteps of the flock" and closer to the classic or historic Presbyterian/Covenanter view of law (and away from some of the Anabaptist/Libertarian tendencies that often arise among modern theonomists).

Numerous resources, recently published, dealing with civil disobedience and opposition to tyranny are also listed. The first appendix in this book contains Barrow's letter to Christian Renewal expressing his strong disagreement with an unfavorable and inaccurate review of Dr. Michael Wagner's Presbyterian Political Manifesto. In it he shows how the Reformers and their confessions of faith supported the civil establishment of the one true Christian religion, while at the same time publicly excluding Papist's, pagans and other heretics from places of civil rule (in countries blessed with the light of the gospel).

The second appendix contains a series of letters dedicated to proving why Barrow calls Oliver Cromwell the "Judas of the Covenant." It exposes Cromwell's reckless abandon in violating his sacred vows to the Lord in the Solemn League and Covenant, while also showing why Cromwell's wicked, antichristian views concerning toleration and so-called "liberty of conscience" led people away from Scriptural standards and helped open the floodgates to modern atheistic pluralism.

In short, Oliver Cromwell was the prototype of our contemporary pragmatic politician, adept at equivocation and setting his own glory and government above all other concerns, including the glory and government of God. In this vein Barrow contends that Cromwell, unaffectionately dubbed the "late usurper" by the covenanted Presbyterians of the mid seventeenth-century, was used of the devil to accomplish things in the civil and ecclesiastical realm that he (i.e. Satan) could never have accomplished with the more obviously antichristian religions of that day (which were not pluralistic theologically, such Romanism, Episcopalianism, etc.).

For Cromwell laid his axe of ungodly toleration and pretended liberty of conscience to the root of the tree of covenanted Reformation in a much more subtle manner than the previous "midwives to antichrist," and thus his sectarianism better served the devious designs of the devil during those days. This section also exposes Cromwell as an Erastian tyrant, a liar, and a dictator, who (with the help of his sectarian army) executed the covenanted Presbyterian minister Christopher Love (Oliver Cromwell's soldiers even threatened to shoot Thomas Manton for preaching at Christopher Love's funeral), sent many other Presbyterian ministers to jail (including Thomas Watson), disbanded the Scottish general assembly (at gunpoint), and eventually began negotiations with Papists (with the intent of granting them a measure of "liberty" to more freely practice their superstitions and soul murder).

This is not the view of Cromwell that you will hear from most modern historians and theologians who have abandoned the context of covenanted Reformation (how could it be?), for as R.J. Rushdoony has correctly pointed out, "Men cannot give a meaning to history that they themselves lack, nor can they honor a past which indicts them for their present failures" (R.J. Rushdoony, A Biblical Philosophy of History, p. 135).


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