In 2004 I came across a Vision Forum set that had a few sermons by Joe Morecraft. I was hooked. Too hooked, actually. I then went to sermon audio and found a whole collection of his sermons. His history of the reformation is legendary among Christian schoolers. And many of us will relate to his country, folksy-style preaching.
On the other hand, though, I’ve found some difficulties with his reading of Church History. He wants to read the entire Reformation story around the premise that Presbyterianism = liberty = republicanism in church and state. Conversely, monarchy = Erastianism = episcopacy in church and state. Admittedly, many Presbyterians set the stage for Republican government, and the two seem to mirror each other. However, one must also note the following:
- Holland was just as robust a Reformed witness, but at the time of the Synod of Dordt the Calvinist churches were somewhat tyrannized by a republican government. Holland would later experience a monarchy.
- Samuel Rutherford never rejected monarchy, neither did Knox or Cargill.
- The one man who saved Protestantism in Europe was a monarch, King Gustavus Adolphus. And since religious liberty and political liberty are correlative, we are led to the conclusion that monarchy, particularly in this part of Europe, led to religious liberty.