Friday, December 29, 2006

Thomas Bradwardine, an Englishman, was also medieval theologian and scientist. He was born about the year 1290 and died during an outbreak of the plague (Black Death) in 1349. Bradwardine was one of the great intellects and scholars of his day. He was given the title Doctor Profundus (the Profound Doctor) because of his great ability and knowledge. He was, for a time, chaplain to King Edward III, and for a short time before his death, he was ordained Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bradwardine was an Augustinian in matters of salvation. He is one of the great medieval defenders of what has since come to be called Calvinism, though lived two hundred years before John Calvin was born. The good doctor’s best known work is entitled “De causa Dei contra Pelagium” (i.e. The Cause of God Against the Pelagians). Here is a quote from Bradwardine:
What injustice and cruelty can be charged to God because He chooses to predestinate and create one of His creatures for the service of another creature and both of them for His own service, praise, glory and honor? This is particularly true, since he punishes no man with eternal damnation unless such a man deserves it, that is to say, unless through his own sin he deservedly and justly requires eternal punishment.
This treatise is a very strong defense of the doctrines of predestination and election, written long before the Protestant Reformation, against those in the church at the time, who opposed doctrines of Grace and were teaching a salvation by works theology.

In this treatise the good doctor gives a strong defense of God’s predestining some unto eternal life and others unto reprobation. He also does a fine job defending the doctrine that we call the 5th point of Calvinism, which is the perseverance of the Saints. He argues that is so because the elect individual is predestined and the Holy Spirit preserves him in the faith and good works.

I truly believe that Calvinism is a doctrine found in Scripture and those who would to it and teach it do so from the Word of God. It is a doctrine which was taught and defended in Christ's Church, by godly men, long before John Calvin was born. I am sure Calvin would be alarmed that his name has been attached to this clear teaching of Scripture, because he would know that sinful men would only use his name as another excuse to shrink and hide from the Scriptures at this point.

Coram Deo,

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