During the Puritan era in London, Baptists and Calvinists alike often found themselves expelled from the corporate gatherings of the sanctioned churches. Those who were called to the ministry would occasionally start their own churches, but for the lay people the problem was severe. How could they receive biblical teaching, gospel preaching, and fellowship when the churches they attended did not teach a real gospel?
Many leaders responded by holding informal gatherings around London. These meetings were relatively small, usually at 7 am, and almost always in public places. They lasted for an hour, with the time split between prayer and preaching. Over time, the Cripplegate—one of the most notable gates in London—became the main but unofficial location for what came to be known as “morning exercises.”
The Cripplegate had a consistent leadership, but it also would feature guest appearances from notable men. John Milton, John Foxe, Oliver Cromwell, John Bunyan, Richard Baxter, William Cooper, Stephen Charnock, John Owen, Thomas Manton, Thomas Vincent, Thomas Watson, and Matthew Poole all at some point led the morning exercises at the Cripplegate.
These gatherings ebbed and flowed through the years, and the Cripplegate meetings were at their pinnacle under the reign of Charles II, from 1660-1685. But with changing kings and the introduction of relative religious freedom in England, the morning exercises eventually became unnecessary, as the gospel began to return to the churches. Eventually, the Cripplegate’s morning exercises were returned to the confines of local churches.
Centuries later, students from the pastors college led by Spurgeon resurrected the morning exercises. They took to gathering at the Cripplegate before class to not only imitate the morning exercises of the puritans, but also as a place to discuss and debate contemporary issues in theology. In that sense, it was sort of like a 19th-century blog. For them it became not only a place of prayer and preaching, but a gathering place for like-minded students to have edifying conversations about theology and ministry.
The Cripplegate was destroyed by German bombing in WWII. Today there is a church nearby, St. Giles-without-Cripplegate, with the graves and busts of some of those who taught at the original morning exercises.
This blog is a small attempt to continue the tradition that these men started by giving a place for like-minded Christians and pastors to share their thoughts about ministry, theology, and issues that affect the church today, in a way that will bring encouragement and clarity to those who read it.
Hip and Thigh
My name is Fred Butler. I’m a graduate of Arkansas State University and The Master’s Seminary. I currently live in the LA area and work at Grace to You, the radio ministry of John MacArthur, where I have the honor of coordinating and directing the volunteer ministries. My wife and I have five kids and we are all actively involved at Grace Community Church.
I began this blog in 2005 to have an outlet for my opinions both theological and secular. I don’t have any particular emphasis with my blog except for promoting a high view of God, the authority of Scripture, and a biblically grounded worldview.
Please keep in mind that even though I work for Grace to You and attend Grace Church, and I am pretty much in theological agreement with my co-labors, my blog does not necessarily reflect their opinions or convictions. In other words, don’t blame them if you get offended by something you find here. I am the responsible party. I am in no fashion an authoritative representative who speaks for either organization.
In case you are wondering, “hip and thigh” comes from Judges 15:8. It is an expression explaining how Samson, under the power of the Holy Spirit, killed a thousand men with a donkey jawbone. It is one of my favorite KJV expressions (next to “he stinketh, Lord” John 11:39), and it has absolutely nothing to do with joint pain medication.
Six Days Blog
The purpose of this blog will firstly be to uphold scripture as a reliable foundation of truth, and secondly to present and defend the Young Earth Creationist position (YEC). In the course of blogging I hope to have real, in-depth discussions and respectful debates on these subjects. As a Christian I recognize there are many different views and opinions on the creation v.s. evolution topic, and I hope we can explore and discuss these various beliefs and views on a broad number of related topics. My request is that anyone who wishes to participate in discussions show proper respect, even in the midst of a heated or divisive argument.
His Eternal Word
I want to welcome you to my blog “His Eternal Word”. By way of introduction, my name is Michael or Mikey for short. I’m a husband to my wife of 46 years, a father of 2 grown sons, a grandfather of 2 adorable grand-daughters’, a retired Legalman Chief (LNC), U. S. Navy with over 20 years of Honorable service to my Country, and more importantly, a servant of Jesus Christ.
My life verse is found in Proverbs 3:5-7, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil”. That my beloved, is great counsel from God’s Eternal Word.
I enjoy writing about “God’s Eternal Word”, which scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17), which brings me to the purpose of creating this blog.
It’s for presenting God’s “Eternal Truth” through devotionals, Bible studies and old hymns, which speak so succinctly about God our Creator, His flawless Word, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity. The Scriptures, God’s breathed Word, clearly tell us in John 10:35 that they cannot be broken and Psalm 119:89 emphasizes that fact, “Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven.”
In the 17th chapter of the Book of Acts, the Apostle Paul is called an “idle babbler” by the listening crowd as he shares the Gospel message. Sometimes I’ve felt the same while attempting to tell people about Jesus Christ, about the profoundness of His resurrection and who He is. So, I did a play on words. As a sinner, I am both a “babbler” and an “idolator”. That’s how I got the name.