Category Archives: Old World Presbyterianism

How Scotland May Feel the South’s Pain (or not)


Turns out that getting out of a united and centralized nation may have been easier if you fought your way out (or, count the ways I was wrong): The SNP has no idea what it is doing, or the risks it is running. Worse, nor does it seem to care. During a debate in the… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, High Church Presbyterianism, Novus Ordo Seclorum, Reformed Protestantism | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Responses

Independence Day in Calvinist “Rome”

great church debrecen

After a stimulating conference in Hungary on international Calvinism, yesterday conferees concluded their visit by taking a tour of Debrecen, the stronghold of the Hungarian Reformed Church, and the place where on April 14 (which was yesterday), 1849, the Hungarians declared independence at the city’s Great (not pretty good) Church. Here’s one account of what… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, Novus Ordo Seclorum | Tagged , , , | 8 Responses

A Pastor on the Verge


In my few interactions with David Robertson, I have noticed that he does not suffer fools patiently. He also seems to have a patronizing attitude toward Christianity in the United States. Nothing wrong with either of these outlooks, but I do wonder if he sometimes hears himself. For instance, he has been a defender of… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, Novus Ordo Seclorum | Tagged , , | 193 Responses

When Dutch Calvinism was 2k — even Republican


Bruce Fronen explains why Reformed Protestants oppose absolute monarchy both in the state and the church: Calvinism generally is identified with the Swiss city state of Geneva. But that city existed, politically, as a kind of hothouse flower, protected for years by the presence of Calvin himself (though that did not prevent significant problems) and,… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, Neo-Calvinism | Tagged , , , , , | 162 Responses

The European Roots of American Christianity

basillica st giovanni rome

As I walked around Rome this morning I could well understand the appeal of Roman Catholicism to Christians in the U.S. who desire a faith more profound than James Dobson’s or even Tim Keller’s. (TKNY’s historical vibe does not seem to be any older than 1990s New York, despite the comparisons of him to C.… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, Are the CTCers Paying Attention?, Roman Catholicism | Tagged , , , | 184 Responses

Whose Calvinism, Which Presbyterianism

independence poverty

I continue to be fascinated by the idea of Scottish independence. In Prospect Magazine this morning I read this account of Scottish Calvinism in David Marquand’s case for a federalist solution to the United Kingdom’s discomfort: . . . the Scottish government is — implicitly at least — social-democratic. It seeks independence to protect Scottish… Read More→

Also posted in New World Presbyterianism | Tagged , , , , | 29 Responses

Celtic Coincidence?


Last night I attended a wonderful concert of Scottish folk music, performed by Julie Fowlis and her accompanying band of fiddle, guitar, and bouzouki. Ms. Fowlis plays the whistles as well as she sings. It was a glorious testimony to the creativity and endurance of the folk who live, work, and play in Scotland’s Western… Read More→

Posted in Old World Presbyterianism | Tagged , , , , | 13 Responses

A Reformed Protestant by Any Other Name Has to Be Shorter

From my trip to Geneva last summer for the festivities to celebrate John Calvin’s 500th birthday I still recall the indignation of a professor from the University of Zurich during his plenary presentation. He complained about Calvinism as the designation for Protestants who come from the Swiss Reformation. Obviously, he has a point since the… Read More→

Posted in Old World Presbyterianism | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Responses

If Reformed Needs To Be Distinguished from Puritan, Why Not Presbyterian?

Some historians of seventeenth-century British Protestantism are dismissive of attempts to distinguish between Puritans and Presbyterians. Part of the problem, of course, involves definitions and categories. When it comes to politics, differences between Presbyterians and Puritans do not become clear until the 1650s with the regime of Oliver Cromwell since Puritans in Parliament joined forces… Read More→

Also posted in New World Presbyterianism | Tagged , , , , | 9 Responses

Muslims and Protestants Together?

Among the many juicy bits of history packed into Philip Benedict’s Christ’s Churches Purely Reformed comes the item about the Ottoman insurgence into the Holy Roman Empire. Turns out the influx of Muslims into formerly Roman Catholic territories was a boon to the Reformed faith, especially in Hungary which gave us the Magyar Reformed Church.… Read More→

Posted in Old World Presbyterianism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment