Subscribe via RSS Feed

The Holy Spirit’s Amazing Work of Art

The separate messages in this quote are astounding. Some of the radical concepts of truth and liberty that were later birthed in Colonial America and became the foundation of Constitutional Democracy owe their conception to the pen of this man. For example,

“The Lord hath more truth yet to break forth out of his holy Word.” John Robinson did not believe that theologians of his day had fully exhausted the mine of God’s written truth. Rather, he was thoroughly convinced that they had only broken through the top-soil of what would ultimately prove to be an inexhaustible source of Divine gold. If only Christians today had that same vision!

“The reformed churches … are come to a full stop in religion and will go at present, no further than the instruments of their first reformation.” They “stick fast where they were left by that great man of God”. Though Robinson did not regard himself as belonging to either the Lutheran or the Calvinist camp, he none-the-less experienced true grief that they had become “closed-door” denominations. This is especially significant because it was so unlike the attitude of their founders.

Martin Luther and John Calvin were both willing to accept the fact of “more truth” breaking out of God’s Word. That had been the very enticement that forced them to press into God and the truth of Scripture. In both cases, their efforts had been rewarded by the sudden burst of new, holy revelation. Yet their followers, according to John Robinson, “stick fast where they were left by those great men of God”. Why did Robinson use the expression “first Reformation”? Did he believe that God wanted to lead them into greater revelation of Scripture than their founders experienced? Did God intend that the Reformation be progressive, on-going, with a second, and perhaps a third stage of revelation?

“Whatever part of His will our good God has imparted and revealed unto Calvin, the Lutherans will rather die than embrace it.” The religious trap which Luther and Calvin had both zealously fought to escape, that is, the “polarization, isolation, and stagnation”, of their traditional backgrounds, their own Lutheran and Calvinist disciples not only had fallen into but were frantically defending. Robinson saw this as a “misery much to be lamented”. That quickly, the church had returned to the bondage of a new-style, Protestant tradition.

Though Luther and Calvin “were burning and shining lights in their times, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of God”. Luther knew that he had not explored the “heights and depths” of God; Calvin also knew it. The ultimates of revelation, like a distant star, still shone beyond both of these men, beckoning them on. Oddly, their followers never grasped that truth. And sadly, it is still that way. Denominational Christianity, for the most part, is polarized around itself, isolated from revelation knowledge God has imparted to its’ neighbors, and inbreeding with its own kind. Consequently, each is fighting alone against the death-angel of stagnation. This is always the inescapable result of any Christian group which rejects “more truth” from God and relies instead on the meager supply it already has.

Were Luther and Calvin “now living, they would be as willing to embrace further light, as that which they first received”. Is that an unfounded statement for John Robinson to make of these men? Not at all. That was the very quality that made them what they were in the beginning. They were willing to embrace further light when the opportunity came. And if they had done it the first time and it worked, they would do it again. That simple fact is what made them Martin Luther and John Calvin.

Pin It
Page 5 of 6« First...23456

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Spring 2008

About the Author: Charles Carrin, D.D., has served the body of Christ for over 65 years. Educated at University of Georgia and Columbia Theological Seminary, he denied, in belief and practice, the contemporary ministry of the Holy Spirit until a personal crisis opened his eyes to what he had been missing. He is the author of Spirit-Empowered Theology (Chosen, 2017), The Edge Of Glory: Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit (Creation House, 2002), Sunrise of David Sunset of Saul: A Message to the Church in the End-time (1985, 2014), On Whose Authority?: The Removal of Unwanted Scriptures (Burkhart Books, 2014), a revival novel with Dorothy Easley: Island in the Sun (Xulon, 2010), and a contributor to Word Spirit Power: What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer (Chosen, 2012) with R.T. Kendall and Jack Taylor. Today his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. Read his biography at

  • Connect with

    Subscribe via Twitter Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    Invitation: Stories about transformation

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    Studies in Acts

    Daniel A. Brown, PhD, planted The Coastlands, a church near Santa Cruz, California, serving as Senior Pastor for 22 years. Daniel has authored four books and numerous articles, but h...

    Will I Still Be Me After Death?