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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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In his tract Areopagitica Milton said that, rather than be satisfied with the formulas of Luther or Calvin, the English had to forge a new liberal version of Protestantism: “God is decreeing to begin some new and great period in his Church, even to the reforming of Reformation itself. What does he then but reveal himself to his servants, and as his manner is, first to his Englishmen?”
Simultaneously opposing the religious authoritarianism of both “High” and “Low”, Milton urged toleration and the co-existence of different forms of Protestantism. He persuaded Cromwell to show leniency to sects many saw as heretical: “Woe to us, while, thinking thus to defend the gospel, we are found the persecutors.”
He kept pushing for the full separation of Church and State, but was not anti-religion: Milton wanted a secular state on Christian grounds — only in such a State could a free Christian culture thrive. Imagine a new sort of Christian culture, Milton said, in which there is no priestly power, no uniformity of worship, no “orthodoxy”, just the free pursuit of Christian truth. Christianity must not stand against the spirit of liberty, but embrace it absolutely.
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Previous entry (below): (London) Times: Marian miracles plunge Christians into a ferment
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