Sixteenth-century English separatists and Puritan conformists held a great deal in common but one simple distinction set them apart. Separatists recognised no other authority but Scripture: not logic, philosophy or reason; not tradition; not any human writing. Puritan conformists allowed a place for those authorities, though subordinate to Scripture. That distinction shaped printed debate over church government and worship. Separatists worked within an ‘all-or-nothing mentality’; in response, conformists were forced to adopt a ‘bare-minimum mentality’, which was quite different from how they argued in the opposite direction against the bishops of the Church of England.