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The origins and rise of independency (Audio)


Presented by The Christian Institute

Dr. Matthew Bingham


Early Baptists and independents


Independent churches are commonplace today and yet this was not always so. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the idea of an autonomous congregation disconnected from state support and state control was highly controversial and relatively rare. Despite being a new and, to many, scandalous idea, independency developed and thrived during this period, producing congregational and Baptist expressions that endure into the present. In this opening lecture, Matthew Bingham will help untangle how dissent developed among early modern English Puritans and will explore the significance of this important theological development then and now.

Series: Independency and freedom




Ephesians 4:1-16 — English Standard Version

Unity in the Body of Christ

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”

(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.


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