Historical Highlights 1600AD-1700AD

1600:

Confessional “box” becomes common in Roman churches

1605:

Christmas trees are first mentioned (Strasburg)

1607:

John Smith founds first English colony at Jamestown, Virginia

1609:

Anglican preacher turned Separatist, John Smyth baptizes the first “Baptists,” they were influenced by the Anabaptist movement

1611:

Publication of the King James Bible (Authorized Version), prepared by 54 scholars working for four years, a work of “literary beauty and scholarship”

1612:

Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate surfaces again (Augustine vs. Pelagius from 5th century), two central issues: has the Fall impaired man’s ability to know and choose God (yes!); and whether salvation can be lost because of post-conversion sin (no!); first baptist church is founded in England, they call themselves “General Baptists” and are Arminian

1618:

The Synod of Dort, A Dutch Reformed synod convenes to deal with Arminian controversy, the “Five Points of Calvinism” are approved in the Canons of Dort

1620:

The Mayflower lands at Plymouth Rock, the Plymouth colony is founded by Puritan Separatists (Reformed) called “Pilgrims” (William Bradford)

1628:

The first Dutch Reformed church is organized in New Amsterdam (New York)

1630:

John Winthrop founds Puritan settlement at Boston (Massachusetts Bay Company)

1633:

A group of London Separatists (Henry Jacob) begin to practice believers’ baptism by immersion, they are otherwise Reformed in doctrine and call themselves “Particular Baptists”

1634:

The Catholic colony of Maryland is founded

1635:

Congregationalism develops, no church structure higher than autonomous local congregation—the “priesthood of all believers” is its theological mooring

1640:

Presbyterianism develops, church governed by elected lay elders (presbyters), roots go back to Calvin’s Geneva and Reformed church in Scotland (really they go back to the Scriptures!), first Presbyterian churches in America are organized; the Bay Psalm Book is printed, the first book printed in America, it is a rhymed and metered version of the psalms for use in Puritan worship

1644:

London Confession, Calvinist doctrinal statement of the Particular Baptists, a century later it forms the basis for the Philadelphia Confession

1645:

The Westminster Assembly produces the Directory of Public Worship (Presbyterian replacement for Book of Common Prayer), the Westminster Confession, and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms

1653:

The doctrine of irresistible grace declared heretical by Pope Innocent X

1654:

James Ussher (Annals of the World) establishes the date of Creation as 4004BC

1662:

Halfway Covenant develops, it becomes an unfortunate Congregational membership standard where the church may baptize the child of a baptized but unregenerate person

1674:

Isaac Watts (When I Survey the Wondrous Cross and many, many, others) and John Milton (Paradise Lost—Puritan writer and poet) dies

1675:

Pietism takes root, emphasized conversion, individual spiritual responsibility, practical holiness, and an “emotional” relationship with God

1678:

John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progess, only the Bible has a greater circulation

1685:

George Frederic Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach born, musical giants who illustrate the central place of Biblical subjects in Western music

1692:

Salem witchcraft trials held in Massachusetts, 300 people accused, 20 executed

1695:

Deism develops, God is personally distant, no special revelation
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