Thursday, May 30, 2013

T. David Gordon on Praise Teams and Biblical Worship...

Are praise bands biblical?  What constitutes biblical worship when it comes to congregational singing and music?  T. David Gordon weighs in on these questions with insight and command of Scripture in an article titled The Problem With Praise Teams at Second Nature Journal.  A few snippets...
There has been a good deal of discussion recently about the Praise Team/Praise Band phenomenon, a phenomenon that has become a liturgical commonplace. Most of that discussion has centered around the practical issues of the expense, the placement of the instruments (front, side, back?), the adjusting of the volume, etc. Many of us regard that cost/benefit analysis of the matter to fall heavily on the “cost” side, and do not regard the practice as being worthy of the effort, expense, and other logistical headaches involved. If a student or former student were planting a church today, and if he asked me whether he should have a Praise Team/Praise Band, I would advise against it on practical grounds. Recently, however, someone asked me if I regarded the practice as biblical or unbiblical, and this provoked me to think about the matter differently. When one asks whether the practice fulfills the biblical duty, the question is framed quite differently, and I now have a provisional opinion on the question of whether the practice is biblical....
... For example, if Justin Bieber showed up and sang several songs for the congregation, would this fulfill what the Scriptures require the congregation to do? Do the Scriptures merely require some musical act of any sort, or do they require a particular musical act? If the entire congregation stood up and hummed “Amazing Grace,” would this satisfy what the Scriptures teach? I suggest that the Scriptures teach three audible things about the singing of praise in the Christian assemblies: that the singing be congregational, that it be together (not necessarily unison, but together), and that it be vigorous (loud or robust)...
... So when I talk about what “the Scriptures teach” about the singing of praise in the Christian assemblies, I do not narrowly mean “what the Gospels teach,” or “what the book of Acts teaches,” or “what the Pauline letters teach,” but what the whole of Scripture teaches about singing God’s praise in Christian assemblies. It is entirely possible that some would disagree with me here, and say that we can settle the matter only by the Acts of the apostles, or only by the canonical Gospels, or only by the epistles, or only by the canonical psalms, etc. I would entertain such an argument reasonably and, I trust, charitably, but I do not embrace such a view. My understanding of tota Scriptura is that we are to account for what the entirety of Scripture teaches on a given matter. When I say that “the Scriptures” teach that congregational praise is congregational, together, and vigorous, I derive those three traits from the whole of Scripture.
Read the entire article Here!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thomas Cranmer's Last Letter...

English reformer Thomas Cranmer was burned at the stake on March 21, 1556 under Queen Mary after an imprisonment that began in September 1553. It was at that time that Cranmer had said farewell to Peter Martyr Vermigli who,  in response to Cranmer's invitation in 1547, had come to England seeking refuge and was appointed to the position of Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford and canon of Christ Church. The following is the last known letter of Cranmer. He wrote it to Vermigli only a few months before his death. It was during these last months that Cranmer experienced his greatest trial of faith. The isolation of prison and the repeated efforts by Rome to persuade him to recant his reformed faith were exacting a toll on this old warrior. Yet this letter, almost prophetically, offers possible insight into Cranmer's understanding of his own growing weakness as well as the remaining resevoir of trust in his God and Saviour who, despite Cranmer's failings in the months ahead, ultimately and faithfully brought him through to the end:
After much health in Christ our Saviour. As letters are then only necessary, when the messenger is either not sufficiently discreet, or is unacquainted with the circumstances we wish to communicate, or not thought worthy to be entrusted with secrets; and since by the goodness of God the bearer of this has fallen in my way, a man, as you know, of signal discretion, most faithful in all matters entrusted to him, exceedingly attached to us both, and possessing an entire acquaintance with the circumstances of our country, from whose mouth you may learn all that has taken place here; I have not thought it needful to write to you more at length, especially as letters are wont to occasion so much danger and mischief. Yet I have not deemed it right to pass over this one thing, which I have learned by experience, namely, that God never shines forth more brightly, and pours out the beams of his mercy and consolation, or of strength and firmness of spirit, more clearly or impressively upon the minds of his people, than when they are under the most extreme pain and distress, both of mind and body, that he may then more especially shew himself to be the God of his people, when he seems to have altogether forsaken them; then raising them up when they think he is bringing them down, and laying them low; then glorifying them, when he is thought to be confounding them; then quickening them, when he is thought to be destroying them. So that we may say with Paul, " When I am weak, then am I strong; and if I must needs glory, I will glory in my infirmities, in prisons, in revilings, in distresses, in persecutions, in sufferings for Christ." I pray God to grant that I may endure to the end! Nothing is at this time more distressing to me, than that no answer has as yet been given to M. A, to whose subtilties, and juggling tricks, and ravings, a reply would not have been wanting long since, had not books and liberty been wanting to myself. I have written to no one but you, nor do I wish any one to know that I have written to you: wherefore salute no one in my name.
[This letter was printed for the first time by the Parker Society. It was discovered at Zurich by the Rev. Stewart A. Pears, in 1843]

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pentecost - Law meets Gospel

"Now, as this was given in commandment to the Jews in the old Law, so did our Saviour Christ as it were confirm the same in the time of the Gospel, ordaining after a sort a new Pentecost for his disciples; namely, [Acts 2:1–11.] when he sent down the Holy Ghost visibly in form of cloven tongues like fire, and gave them power to speak in such sort, that every one might hear them, and also understand them, in his own language. Which miracle, that it might be had in perpetual remembrance, the Church hath thought good to solemnize and keep holy this day, commonly called Whitsunday. And here is to be noted, that, as the Law was given to the Jews in the mount Sinai the fiftieth day after Easter, so was the preaching of the Gospel through the mighty power of the Holy Ghost given to the Apostles in the mount Sion the fiftieth day after Easter."

Romans 7 and the Normal Christian Life

Romans 7 and the Normal Christian Life

Kim Riddlebarger

The poor, struggling sinner who is erroneously told that the struggle with sin he or she is currently experiencing is a sign of defeat and that the person is not yet a Christian, or else has chosen not to take advantage of the victory offered to all those in Christ, should instead see the struggle with sin as proof that sanctification is actually taking place.

In the evangelical world in which I was raised, it was the minister's job to ensure that everyone in his congregation was "living in victory." What this meant was that those who were truly committed to Jesus Christ and had made him Lord over every area of their lives would not be content to remain "carnal Christians." If you were truly committed to Jesus, you would strive with everything in you to move into the "victorious life" described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8. In that passage, the Apostle Paul supposedly speaks of victorious Christians as people who had made the determination to walk according to the Spirit and to no longer walk after the flesh (Rom. 8:1, kjv). Those hearty souls who managed to completely dedicate themselves to Christ could attain that lofty goal spoken of by Paul as "more than a conqueror" (cf. Rom. 8:37). To demonstrate that we were striving to attain victory, there were the familiar behavioral taboos. And you certainly did not want to be "left behind," forced to endure the seven-year tribulation and risk coming face to face with the minions of the Antichrist.

While this version of the Christian life is widely accepted throughout much of American Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, it is apparently now on the decline. This understanding of the victorious Christian life can only be sustained by an unfortunate misreading of Paul's description of the Christian life as it unfolds in Romans chapters 6-8. This conception of the Christian life is framed by a combination of decisional regeneration, dispensational eschatology, and Keswick, Wesleyan, or mystical versions of the Christian life, all of which involve a "higher life" or "victorious" Christian life, centering in a conscious experience of victory over indwelling sin. In this scheme, Paul supposedly speaks of death to sin in Romans 6, and then describes his unregenerate (pre-conversion) condition in Romans 7, which is, in turn, followed by the critical passage in Romans 8:1, which, according to a textual variant that is not found in the better-supported Western and Alexandrian manuscripts, includes the exhortation to "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

But is Paul defending this understanding of the Christian life in Romans 6-8? The critical hinge upon which this faulty understanding of the Christian life turns is Paul's discussion of an intense struggle with sin depicted in Romans 7:14-25. In this passage, Paul speaks of a personal struggle that is so deep and intense that the person in view there describes himself as someone who is "sold under sin" (v. 14). He does not understand his own actions (v. 15). He wants to do what is right but ends up sinning anyway (vv. 15-16, 18). He speaks of sin almost as a force, living within him controlling his actions (vv. 16-17). When he does the evil he does not want to do, he feels like his members (his body and its passions) are waging war on his mind, which knows what is right even though he lacks the power to do it (vv. 22-23). So intense is this struggle with sin that the author speaks of himself as a "wretched man" in desperate need of deliverance by Jesus Christ.

Surely, such a person cannot be a Christian-or at least that is what I was told. And yet, I knew that deep down inside, Romans 7:14-25 is describing me. Whoever Paul was describing in these verses-I was told that this was either Paul's own experience as a Jew before he was converted, or else this was a description of those Jews under the condemnation of law-he was just like me! While there is always a great danger in interpreting God's Word through the lens of personal experience, it seemed that the more I tried to live in victory mode and leave my carnal desires behind, the more I felt like that person Paul was describing in Romans 7.

I had accepted Jesus as my personal Savior from my earliest recollection, so I knew that I was a Christian. The solution that was held out to those struggling saints like me (although I never admitted to anyone that I was struggling like this because my fellow Christians might think that I was still a "carnal Christian") was to rededicate my life to Christ, or to ask God to give me more grace so that the desired victory might soon come. It never did. Then there was the counsel which held out that instead of trying with everything in me to be holy, I should stop trying and just "let go and let God."

It was a great relief to learn that many Christians actually understood Paul to be describing his present experience as a Christian in Romans 7, even the experience of being an apostle! I recall this being raised during a Bible study, only to have it shot down as a complete impossibility, since, if true, it would mean that someone could become a Christian and yet live as a "carnal Christian." If Paul was describing a Christian's experience, there would be no incentive to seek the kind of victory it was believed that Paul was describing in Romans 8. This, it was stated, would justify someone remaining in defeat, if that was Paul's condition. And while you could not lose your salvation, if you did not follow Paul's example and move from the defeat depicted in Romans 7 into the victory of Romans 8, then you would lose out on your rewards in heaven and miss out on the victory promised to you by the apostle. It was left up to me to decide which I wanted: defeat or victory. I wanted to be more than a conqueror. But I felt like Paul's wretched man!

Relief came when I learned that the view that Paul was speaking of his present experience as a Christian was held not only by a number of Christians (including all the reformers), but this was the view expressed in the Reformed confessions, which I was only then beginning to embrace. In Romans 7:14-25, Paul is speaking of a Christian's struggle with sin; this is not a picture of defeat but a description of the struggle with sin that every Christian must go through and is a necessary part of sanctification. In other words, Paul wasn't talking about the goal (to end the struggle), but Paul is speaking about the process by which God does bring us to victory over sin (our sanctification).

Despite all of the renewed debate in Reformed and evangelical circles over this passage since the publication of Kmmels's famous essay on Romans 7 (Rmer 7 und die Bekehrung des Paulus, 1929) and despite the publication of several recent evangelical commentaries (for example, the outstanding commentary by Doug Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, NICNT, 1996), which argue that in Romans 7:14-25 Paul is not speaking autobiographically but of a hypothetical Jew before conversion, I remain convinced that Paul is describing his present experience of the struggle with sin. Furthermore, I do not believe that this section of Romans is depicting a deficient condition experienced by those Christians who choose not to be victorious (the so-called carnal Christian). No, I believe that this is a description of the normal Christian life. The reasons for this interpretation of Romans 7:14-25 are spelled out in great detail elsewhere (e.g., Cranfield, "Romans," ICC; J. I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit), and we can but summarize them here.

First, in Romans 7:14-25, Paul speaks in the present tense, which stands in sharp contrast to the use of the past tense in the previous section (Rom. 7:7-13). This makes the natural sense of the passage a description of Paul's current experience at the time of the writing of this epistle.

Second, in Galatians 5:17, Paul speaks of a similar struggle in which he is clearly describing the experience of all Christians, including his own: "For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do." Thus, Romans 7:14-25 and Galatians 5:17 are parallel passages. If Galatians 5:17 is a description of a war within every Christian, why can that not be true of Romans 7:14-25?

Third, an unconverted person could not delight in the law of God, such as Paul depicts here, nor desire to do what is right. This is a description of those affections for and delight in the things of God that only a Christian actually experiences. Furthermore, no non-Christian ever experiences the kind of godly sorrow described here. They may feel guilty, but they do not experience the despair of sinning against the revealed will of God, which they love inwardly.

Fourth, the argument that a Christian, such as Paul, would never speak of himself as a slave to sin, since he has already testified to the fact that Christ has set him free, is mitigated by the fact that Paul is aware of this freedom ("with mind my I serve the law of God"), and yet, because of indwelling sin, still feels as though sin has a death grip upon him. In other words, the final outcome of the war is a foregone conclusion-Christ wins and so will all those in union with him. But there are a number of battles with indwelling sin still to be fought, and this is what Paul is describing (the struggle, not the final outcome).

Fifth, that Paul is not speaking of his struggle before his conversion becomes clear when we consider how Paul felt about himself before he encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. Consider Paul's testimony in Philippians 3:3-10:
For we are the real circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh-though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness, under the law blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.How could Paul see himself as blameless before his conversion (Phil. 3), if, in Romans 7:14-25, he's describing his intense struggle with sin before his conversion?

Therefore, in Romans 7:14-25, the Apostle Paul is describing the normal Christian life. This is a struggle that every Christian will experience. The poor, struggling sinner who is erroneously told that the struggle with sin he or she is currently experiencing is a sign of defeat and that the person is not yet a Christian, or else has chosen not to take advantage of the victory offered to all those in Christ, should instead see the struggle with sin as proof that sanctification is actually taking place. The New Testament knows of only one victorious life-the life of Jesus Christ. All of those who are truly in Christ's will go through the refiner's fire so that when Jesus returns, he will receive a spotless and radiant bride. Far, then, from a description of Paul's journey from a defeated Jew to a victorious Christian, in this passage, Paul is describing what every Christian will experience-a desire to do what is right and a continual struggle with indwelling sin. While final victory is assured, it will finally come when we are glorified: freed not only from sin's guilt and tyranny, but its very presence.

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2006 edition of Modern Reformation and is reprinted with permission. For more information about Modern Reformation, visit or call (800) 890-7556. All rights reserved.

God loves sinners in Christ alone...

From Calvin's 4th sermon on Ephesians. Ch. 1:7-10.
I have shown already that we cannot be loved by God, but by means of his only Son. For if the angels of heaven are not worthy to be taken for God’s children except through a head and mediator, what all become of us who do not cease daily to provoke God’s wrath by our iniquities [Isa. 59:2]. In fact, we fight against him! God, then, must of necessity look upon us in the person of his only Son, or else he is bound to hate and abhor us. In short, our sins set such a distance between God and us, that we cannot approach him without immediately feeling his majesty against us, armed, as it were, to destroy us all...
He confirms the thing in better fashion still by saying that the same was done in Jesus Christ. If we had been elected in ourselves it might be said that God had found in us some secret virtue unknown to men. But seeing that he has elected us outside of ourselves, that is to say, loved us outside of ourselves, what shall we reply to that? If I do a man good, it is because I love him. And if the cause of my love is sought, it will be because we are alike in character, or else for some other good reason. But we must not imagine anything similar to this in God. And also it is expressly told us here, for St. Paul says that we have been elected in Jesus Christ. Did God, then, have an eye to us when he vouchsafed to love us? No! No! for then he would have utterly abhorred us. It is true that in regarding our miseries he had pity and compassion on us to relieve us, but that was because he had already loved us in our Lord Jesus Christ. God, then, must have had before him his pattern and mirror in which to see us, that is to say, he must have first looked on our Lord Jesus Christ before he could choose us and call us...
Therefore we have to observe, first of all, that we can obtain no grace at God’s hand, nor be received by him, till our sins are wiped out and the remembrance of them completely erased. The reason for this is (as I said before) that God must hate sin where-ever he sees it. So then, as long as he considers us as sinners, he must needs abhor us, for there is nothing in us or in our own nature but all manner of evil and confusion. We are, then, enemies to him, and he is contrary to us, till we come to this remedy that St. Paul shows us here, which is, to have our sins forgiven. We see by this that no man can be loved by God because of any worthiness that is in himself. For wherein lies the love that God bears us I have told you already that he must be willing to cast his eye upon our Lord Jesus Christ and not look at us at all.
Me: Calvin states that apart from viewing and accepting us in the person of his Son, God is bound to hate and abhor us due to our innate sinfulness and rebellious nature. Apart from Christ we are rightfully abhorred by God because we, in and of ourselves, are opposed to his righteousness and rule. It is the lack of grasping even an inkling of both the majestic holiness of God and the enormity of our moral corruption that so confounds us in this matter. Even now as his children, adopted of the Father and sealed by his Spirit, there is no inherent quality originating within us that commends us to him. He accepts and loves us solely because in mercy he identifies us in his Beloved Son. God, who chose us in him before the foundation of the world, established irrevocably that he would know and love us only in and through the person and finished work of Jesus Christ. For it is Jesus alone who bore the penalty of our sins thus wiping our slate clean. And it is Jesus who alone is well-pleasing to the Father. To be identified in him is to be loved of God.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Self-abhorrence and the Christian

Do you confess that because of your sinfulness you abhor and humble yourself before God, that you repent of your sin, and that you trust for salvation not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone? (#3 of 5 from the public profession of faith - OPC)

Agreeing, the prospective member voices his assent.

Charles Hodge weighs in on the teaching supporting this sometime controversial question and answer:
"In the New Testament the sacred writers evince the same deep sense of their own sinfulness, and strong conviction of the sinfulness of the race to which they belong. Paul speaks of himself as the chief of sinners. He complains that he was carnal, sold under sin. He groans under the burden of an evil nature, saying, O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? From the days of the Apostles to the present time, there has been no diversity as to this point in the experience of Christians. There is no disposition ever evinced by them to palliate or excuse their sinfulness before God. They uniformly and everywhere, and just in proportion to their holiness, humble themselves under a sense of their guilt and pollution, and abhor themselves repenting in dust and ashes. This is not an irrational, nor is it an exaggerated experience. It is the natural effect of the apprehension of the truth; of even a partial discernment of the holiness of God, of the spirituality of the law, and of the want of conformity to that divine standard. There is always connected with this experience of sin, the conviction that our sense of its evil and its power over us, and consequently of our guilt and pollution, is altogether inadequate. It is always a part of the believer's burden, that he feels less than his reason and conscience enlightened by the Scriptures, teach him he ought to feel of his moral corruption and degradation."
Charles Hodge's Systematic Theology: Vol. II - Chapter VIII - Sin, Section 13. Original Sin, Second Argument from the Entire Sinfulness of Men, 5. Argument From the Experience of God's People.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Possessing Christ by faith...

Martin Luther wrote:
"In this Christian brotherhood no man possesses more than another. St. Peter and St. Paul have no more than Mary Magdalene or you or I. To sum up: Taking them all together, they are brothers, and there is no difference between the persons. Mary, the Mother of the Lord, and John the Baptist, and the thief on the cross, they all possess the selfsame good which you and I possess, and all who are baptised and do the Father’s Will. And what have all the saints? They have comfort and help promised them through Christ in every kind of need, against sin, death, and the devil. And I have the same, and you, and all believers have.
"But this also is true, that you and I do not believe it so firmly as John the Baptist and St. Paul; and yet it is the one and only treasure. It is the same as when two men hold a glass of wine, one with a trembling, the other with a steady hand. Or when two men hold a bag of money, one in a weak, the other in a strong hand. Whether the hand be strong, or weak, as God wills, it neither adds to the contents of the bag, nor takes away. In the same way there is no other difference here between the Apostles and me, than that they hold the treasure firmer. Nevertheless, I should and must know that I possess the same treasure as all holy Prophets, Apostles, and all saints have possessed."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Law and Gospel - Theodore Beza

The Word of God
by Dr. Theodore Beza
That which we call The Word of God: Its two parts — the Law and the Gospel: On this subject we call the “Word of God” (for we know well that the Eternal Son of God is also so named) the canonical books of the Old and New Testament; for they proceed from the mouth of God Himself.
We divide this Word into two principal parts or kinds: the one is called the “Law”, the other the “Gospel”. For, all the rest can be gathered under the one or the other of these two headings.
What we call Law (when it is distinguished from Gospel and is taken for one of the two parts of the Word) is a doctrine whose seed is written by nature in our hearts. However, so that we may have a more exact knowledge, it was written by God on two Tables and is briefly comprehended in ten commandments. In these He sets out for us the obedience and perfect righteousness which we owe to His majesty and our neighbors. This on contrasting terms: either perpetual life, if we perfectly keep the Law without omitting a single point, or eternal death, if we do not completely fulfill the contents of each commandment (Deut. 30:15-20; James 2:10).
What we call the Gospel (“Good News”) is a doctrine which is not at all in us by nature, but which is revealed from Heaven (Matt 16:17; John 1:13), and totally surpasses natural knowledge. By it God testifies to us that it is His purpose to save us freely by His only Son (Rom. 3:20-22), provided that, by faith, we embrace Him as our only wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Cor 1:30). By it, I say, the Lord testifies to us all these things, and even does it in such a manner that at the same time he renews our persons in a powerful way so that we may embrace the benefits which are offered to us (1 Cor 2:4).
The similarities and the differences between the Law and the Gospel:  We must pay great attention to these things. For, with good reason, we can say that ignorance of this distinction between Law and Gospel is one of the principle sources of the abuses which corrupted and still corrupt Christianity.
The majority of men, blinded by the just judgment of God, have indeed never seriously considered what curse the Law subjects us to, nor why it has been ordained by God. And, as for the Gospel, they have nearly always thought that it was nothing other than a second Law, more perfect than the first. From this has come the erroneous distinction between precept and advice; there has followed, little by little, the total ruin of the benefit of Jesus Christ.
Now, we must besides consider these things. The Law and the Gospel have in common that they are both from the one true God, always consistent with Himself (Heb. 1:1-2). We must not therefore think that the Gospel abolishes the essence of the Law. On the contrary, the Law establishes the essence of the Gospel (Rom 10:2-4); this is what we shall explain a little further on. For both set before us the same God and the essence of the same righteousness (Rom 3:31), which resides in perfect love to God and our neighbor. But there is a great difference in these points which we shall touch on, and especially concerning the means of obtaining this righteousness.

You can read the rest of Beza's essay Here.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Papal paper trail...

The following are various extracts from the Church of Rome Canon Law that Thomas Cranmer (Archbishop, the Church of England 1533-1553) collected possibly as early as 1530.  How does the modern Papacy reconcile itself to these rather colorful decrees and doctrines of Rome from an earlier age?

As far as I know, these have never been repudiated by the Vatican.  It's obvious by the time Trent rolled around that the road to the denial of the gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ alone had already been well traveled by Rome.  Question:  if these "infallible proclamations" are no longer operative, i.e. they are fallible, then how don't these edicts undermine Rome's apostolic succession in that they undermine the doctrine of papal infallibility?  And since the true ground of the church (in Rome's view) is the succession of the infallible seat of Peter, how doesn't this undermine the claim that Rome is the one true church?

A Collection of Extracts from the Canon Law, 
showing the extravagant pretensions of the Church of Rome[a].  
The Remains of Thomas Cranmer, collected and arranged by H. Jenkyns.
He that knowledgeth not himself to be under the bishop of Rome, and that the bishop of Rome is ordained by God to have primacy over all the world, is an heretic, and cannot be saved, nor is not of the flock of Christ.
 All the decrees of the bishop of Rome ought to be kept perpetually of every man, without any repugnance, as God's word spoken by the mouth of Peter; and whosoever doth not receive them, neither availeth them the catholic faith, nor the four evangelists, but they blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and shall have no forgiveness.
All kings, bishops, and noblemen, that believe or suffer the bishop of Rome's decrees in any thing to be violate, be accursed, and for ever culpable before God, as transgressors of the catholic faith.
The bishop of Rome hath authority to judge all men, and specially to discern the articles of the faith, and that without any council, and may assoil them that the council hath damned; but no man hath authority to judge him, nor to meddle with any thing that he hath judged, neither emperor, king, people, nor the clergy: and it is not lawful for any man to dispute of his power.
The bishop of Rome may excommunicate emperors and princes, depose them from their states, and assoil their subjects from their oath and obedience to them, and so constrain them to rebellion.
The bishop of Rome may be judged of none but of God only; for although he neither regard his own salvation, nor no man's else, but draw down with himself innumerable people by heaps unto hell; yet may no mortal man in this world presume to reprehend him : forsomuch as he is called God, he may be judged of no man; for God may be judged of no man.
The bishop of Rome may open and shut heaven unto men.
He that maketh a lye to the bishop of Rome committeth sacrilege. 
The bishop of Rome is judge in temporal things, and hath two swords, spiritual and temporal.
The bishop of Rome may give authority to arrest men, and imprison them in manacles and fetters.
All manner of causes, whatsoever they be, spiritual or temporal, ought to be determined and judged by the clergy. 
And the bishop of Rome may compel by an oath, all rulers and other people, to observe, and cause to be observed, whatsoever the see of Rome shall ordain concerning heresy, and the fautors thereof; and who will not obey, he may deprive them of their dignities.
We obtain remission of sin, by observing of certain feasts, and certain pilgrimages in the jubilee and other prescribed times, by virtue of the bishop of Rome's pardons. 
He is no man-slayer that slayeth a man which is excommunicate.
A penitent person can have no remission of his sin, but by supplication of the priests

Another point of view from an English reformer, John Jewell's Reply Unto M. Harding:
"To be Peter's lawful successor, it is not sufficient to leap into Peter's stall. Lawful succession standeth not only in possession of place, but also, and much rather, in doctrine and diligence. Yet the bishops of Rome, as if there were nothing else required, evermore put us in mind and tell us many gay tales of their succession." [pg. 201]
"... This is [Rome's] holy succession - Though faith fall, yet succession must hold; for unto succession God hath bound the Holy Ghost." [pg. 347]
"... if the pope and his Roman clergy, by his own friends confession, be fallen from God's grace, and departed from Christ to antichrist, what a miserable claim is it for them to hold only to bare succession! It is not sufficient to claim succession of place: it behooveth us rather to have regard to the succession of doctrine. St. Benard saith: What availeth it, if they be chosen in order, and live out of order." [pg. 349]
"... The faith of Christ... goeth not always by succession. The bishops of Rome have been Arians, Nestorians..." [pg.610]
"And for that cause they say, We are Peter's successors: even as the Pharisees sometime said, We be the children of Abraham. But John said unto them, Put not your affiance in such succession. For God is able even of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." [pg. 439]

Two interesting footnotes from different portions of Jenkyns' text:
a [Burnet inserts these extracts under the year 1544, connecting them with an act then passed for the examination of canon laws. They are placed here on the authority of the following passage from Strype : "One of the first things wherein the archbishop shewed his good service to the church, was done in the parliament in the latter end of this year, 1533. When the supremacy came under debate, mid the usurped power of the bishop of Rome was propounded, then "the old collections of the new archbishop did him good service; for the chief, and in a manner the whole burden of this weighty cause was laid upon his shoulders." Strype, Cranmer, p. 32. These "old collections" are probably those which are still preserved at Lambeth under the title of Archbishop Cranmer's Collection of Laws. They were formed, perhaps, while he resided at Cambridge, and consist of a large number of passages, extracted at length from the canon law, and followed by that short summary of some of its most remarkable doctrines which is here printed. They were doubtless of great use in the discussions alluded to by Strype; but that was not the only nor the first occasion, in which they supplied the archbishop with arguments. He must have already availed himself of them, when in stating to the king his unwillingness to accept the see of Canterbury, he "disclosed therewithal the intolerable usurpation of the pope of Rome." See his Examination before Brokes. And he frequently recurs to them in his subsequent writings, particularly in the Ansner to the Devonshire Rebels, l.,49, and in his long Letter to queen Mary, in September, 1555.]

c [There is much ingenuity in the manner in which Innocent III. pressed this text into his service. According to him, as God made two great lights, the sun and the moon, so he made two great powers, the papal and the royal; " sed ilia quae pra-est diebus, id est, spiritualibus, " majorest; quaevero eamalibus, minori : ut quanta est inter so/em et/u- " nam, tanta mter pontifices et reges differentia cognoscatur." The precise difference, as calculated by the commentator, may be stated in the words of Jewel : "And how much the emperor is less, the gloss declareth by mathematical computation, saying, that the earth is seven times greater than the moon, and the sun eight times greater than the earth: so followeth it, that the pope's dignity is six and fifty times greater than the dignity of the emperor." Jewell, Sermon at Paul's Cross, and Reply to Harding's Answer, p. 29, and 215.]