A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life offers a groundbreaking treatment of the Puritans’ teaching on most major Reformed doctrines, particularly those doctrines in which the Puritans made significant contributions. It addresses Puritan teachings on all six loci of theology, covering 50 areas of doctrine. The book explores Puritan teachings on biblical interpretation, God, predestination, providence, angels, sin, the covenants, the Gospel, Christ, preparation for conversion, regeneration, coming to Christ, justification, adoption, church government, the Sabbath, preaching, baptism, heaven, hell, and many other topics. It ends with eight chapters that explore Puritan “theology in practice.” Some chapters highlight the work of a specific theologian such as William Perkins, William Ames, John Owen, Stephen Charnock, or Thomas Goodwin on a specific topic. Other chapters survey various authors on a particular subject.
The goal of A Puritan Theology is to increase knowledge in the mind and godliness in the soul. It was written for theologians, historians, pastors, and educated laymen who seek to learn more about Puritan theology.
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“Puritanism must be understood as a movement that sought further reformation of the Church of England in conformity with the Word of God.” (Page 3)
“That Christ received the Spirit is an ontological necessity of His true humanity” (Page 344)
“The doctrine of the covenant played a major role in Puritan theology. In the area of biblical hermeneutics, the Puritans affirmed two historical covenants between God and man, namely the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. There are, of course, other covenants in Scripture, but these two covenants provided the basic framework for understanding how God relates to humanity, with the covenant of works having reference to man in the state of original innocency and the covenant of grace having reference to man in the state of sin.” (Page 28)
“A major principle of interpretation used by the Puritans was the idea, firmly rooted in Scripture, that all of God’s Word points to Christ.” (Page 31)
“Thus, knowledge of God, according to John Owen, is partly natural and partly supernatural;7 it is innate and acquired.” (Page 13)
For more than half a century primary research on Puritan theologians and their teaching has been in full swing. Here now is a massive compendium of the findings, digested into sixty lively chapters. The authors’ expository skill will keep readers on their toes, and the Puritans’ own concern for godly living, which runs through everything, will send readers to their knees. This is a landmark book in every way.
—J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College
A systematic theology, covering the main loci of doctrine, from a Puritan perspective, with insightful comment and analysis from two respected Puritan scholars of our time—what more needs to be said by way of commendation? A necessary text for seminarians and all serious students of theology.
—Derek W. H. Thomas, professor of systematic and historical theology, Reformed Theological Seminary
No expression of the Christian faith has excelled that of the great Puritans and those who followed in their steps. This excellent volume by Dr. Beeke and Dr. Jones presents to the reader a rich feast both in academic theology and practical divinity. It deserves to be read, studied, and re-read by all who are hungry to know God better and to know how to glorify him more.
—Maurice Roberts, emeritus minister in Inverness, Free Church of Scotland
Joel Beeke’s and Mark Jones’s work marks a major milestone in the study of Puritan and early modern Reformed theology, setting forth in modern scholarly essays an examination of a full body of seventeenth-century divinity. The work evidences a significant understanding of the primary texts and an excellent grasp of the secondary literature, both providing a sound introduction to Puritan theology and setting aside the myths of a rigid, rationalistic, monolithic system of thought divorced from Christian life. Perhaps the most consistent and unifying theme in the book is the profound connection between faith and practice that, for the Puritans and other early modern Reformed, grounded the exposition of all doctrine. A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life will provide a starting point for further study of Puritan thought for years to come.
—Richard A. Muller, P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary
What did the Puritans believe about God’s providence and the perseverance of the saints? What were their views on conscience and Christ’s intercession for us? In A Puritan Theology compiled by Dr. Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones, we have the answers to these and many other questions. In this unique one volume work we have a robust systematic theology drawn from the teachings of the most beloved Puritans—an outstanding achievement indeed! This resource is a must read for every pastor, seminarian, and serious student of the Reformed Faith. It will be a volume that I turn to again and again.
—Rob Ventura, pastor, Grace Community Baptist Church, North Providence, Rhode Island, co-author of A Portrait of Paul
Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a leading expert on Puritanism, a popular conference speaker, and the author of numerous books.
Mark Jones is the minister of Faith Presbyterian Church, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is also research associate in the Faculty of Theology at University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.