Durham’s Top Five Theological Opponets

The list below contains what Durham regarded as the top 5 major theological errors if we judge by volume of references in his writing/strength of his language when mentioned (not in descending order):

1) Socinianism

They were “the enemies of Christ’s satisfaction,” “blasphemers” and “wretched.” Indeed so far had they sunk into error that they “are not worthy to be disputed with, nor accounted Christians; but rather to be joined with, and reckoned among, Heathens, or the followers of Mahomet…”

2) Arminians

Arminians were the “enemies of grace” who made conversion dependent not of the sovereignty of God but “on man’s fee will.” Durham felt it was easy to demonstrate “how dangerous and damnable this error is.” Arminians indeed deserved to be listed among “’the most gross heretics of old and of late.” Durham’s opposition to Arminianism arose in part from his belief that Arminian tenets “overthrow the design of grace in the salvation of sinners.”

3) Popery

To cite just two examples:

“… that blasphemous conceit and fancy of the Papists, who account their abominable Mass a propitiatory sacrifice … which … is most horrid blasphemy…”

“… nothing doth more natively breed anxiety and spiritual torment than the principles contained in the Popish Doctrine…”

4) Antinomianism

In some respects an opposite error to Popery, “…the Antinomians … make all sanctification to be justification … the Papists make all justification to be sanctification; therefore we would learn to distinguish these two, yet not so as to separate them.”  They get particluar criticism each time Durham broaches their view of justification.

5) Sects

Particulary “that foolery of Quakers.”  They didn’t hold back in their polemics in these days!


7 Responses to “Durham’s Top Five Theological Opponets”

  1. Top Five Opponents of Reformed Orthodoxy « Heidelblog Says:

    […] 9, 2009 in Historical Theology | Tags: james durham, reformed orthodoxy According to James Durham in the 17th […]

  2. thomasgoodwin Says:

    Nice quotes. Source?

  3. Donald John MacLean Says:

    Ah, I was being lazy in this post and stole a few quotes out of the thesis. To preserve something of the integrity of the thesis I pulled the references – I think I read on a blog somewhere that was the thing to do 😉 I’ll pop them in an email.

  4. thomasgoodwin Says:


  5. Matthew Says:

    Hi take it you have seen this Donald?


  6. Donald John MacLean Says:

    Hi Matthew

    Thanks for this – I actually hadn’t seen it. Trust all is well with you.


  7. Jeff Says:

    Enjoying the blog! Could I trouble you for the references for the quotes in this post as well? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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