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Erastian Hebraists and Hebraist Erastians

Eric Nelson writes of the close identity between Erastians and Hebraists among 17th-cent. English Protestants:

The troika of Hebraism, Erastianism, and toleration, forged so powerfully in the Dutch Remonstrant controversy, would resurface almost identically in the ecclesiological debates surrounding the English Revolution. When the Westminster Assembly of Divines convened in July of 1643 (in defiance of Charles I) to debate the proper form of the Church of England, the three most prominent Erastian spokesmen were all eminent Hebraists – Thomas Coleman (nicknamed “Rabbi Coleman”), John Lightfoot, and John Selden. Indeed, in the English context, one can say without much exaggeration that to be a Hebraist was to be an Erastian, and vice versa. (The Hebrew Republic (Harvard University Press 2010), 111)

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.