Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556

By Carl R. Trueman | Go to book overview

8
John Bradford

BRADFORD'S WRITINGS

BRADFORD'S extant works consist of a large number of devotional prayers and doxologies, a collection of letters, and polemical treatises on election, the mass, and the errors of Rome. He wrote most of these while he was in prison. With the exception of the letters, these writings are not dated and so it is impossible to place them in any meaningful chronological sequence. As a result of this, and of the fragmentary nature of the works themselves, a work-by-work analysis of his writings is pointless. Instead, in order to reconstruct his theology, we must work from the known to the unknown. Thus, we must first deal with those tracts which have specific relevance to his doctrine of salvation, and then, in the light of what we discover there, proceed to gather from his other writings those other fragments of pertinent theological reflection. This eclectic process is, in many ways, a frustrating exercise which demands that many of the conclusions drawn must be tentative. However, the nature of the sources means that it is the best we can do.


ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION

The Polemical Context

Bradford's major writings on salvation were composed in the heat of theological controversy over the nature of election and predestination. During his imprisonment, Bradford came into contact with a group of Protestant separatists who were also being held in the King's Bench prison. This group had acquired the name 'free will men' during the reign of Edward VI, although the primary reason for their persecution appears to have been

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Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Note on Texts xi
  • Abbreviations xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - The Historical and Intellectual Context 7
  • 1 - Five Roads to Martyrdom 9
  • 2 - The Intellectual Context 1 31
  • 3 - The Intellectual Context 2 54
  • Part Two - The Reformers Under Henry VIII 81
  • 4 - William Tyndale 83
  • 5 - John Frith 121
  • 6 - Robert Barnes 156
  • Conclusion to Part Two 198
  • Part Three - The Reformers Under Edward VI and Mary 203
  • 7 - John Hooper 205
  • 8 - John Bradford 243
  • Conclusion to Part Three 289
  • Bibliography 294
  • Index 303
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