Saturday, September 23, 2006

'Puritan Chic'?

Many of you have probably read the cover article in this month's Christianity Today, entitled "Young, Restless, Reformed". If not there's an online version here. The subtitle quips, "Calvinism is making a comeback--and shaking up the church."

One section discusses a corollary of this revival of Calvinist interest: "A Passion for Puritans". Apparently some academics are noticing a greater interest in the Puritans, and Collin Hansen, the article's author, speculates this may be a result of the promotion they've been getting from the likes of Banner of Truth, R. C. Sproul, John Piper and Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Dever has a PhD in Puritan history (on Richard Sibbes, if I'm not mistaken -- this is his book) from Cambridge. Here's an excerpt from the article:

Dever and others have turned a young generation onto some old teachers. He organizes his study around a canon of renowned church leaders that includes Augustine, Luther, Calvin, John Owen, John Bunyan, B. B. Warfield, Martin Lloyd-Jones, and Carl Henry. It's mostly Puritans who have fueled this latest resurgence of Calvinism. Leaders like R. C. Sproul and J. I. Packer have for decades told evangelicals they have something to learn from this post-Reformation movement. During the late 1950s, Banner of Truth starting reprinting classic Reformed works, including many from Puritans.

Among the Puritans, Edwards is most popular. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School professor and Edwards scholar Douglas Sweeney said his seminary includes many more Calvinists than 20 years ago. Not unrelated, he said among evangelicals "there is more interest in Edwards today than there has been since the first half of the 19th century."

Garth Rosell, church history professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, has noticed his students' increased interest in Puritan studies, especially Edwards. He suspects young evangelicals gravitate toward the Puritans looking for deeper historic roots and models for high-commitment Christianity.

That's at least what Jordan Thomas, a 28-year-old church planter, told me about the Puritans. "I don't read them to find out what these guys say about Calvinism," Thomas told me in Piper's church. "It's their big-hearted love for Christ. They say things about their devotion to him that I'm just like, 'I wonder if I know the same Jesus these guys love.'"

Our thoughts exactly, Jordan.

(By the way, you can purchase a shirt similar to the one pictured from Pyromaniac Frank Turk's store, here; several other Reformed theologian shirts are available as well. On that note, don't forget you can also purchase mugs and shirts featuring Westminster Assembly members at Chad B. Van Dixhoorn's project site.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Kapic & Taylor: Overcoming Sin and Temptation

Crossway has placed the contents of the forthcoming edited, annotated, and unabridged edition of John Owen's works on sin and temptation online.

HT: Between Two Worlds

Thursday, September 21, 2006

PRRD I: Back in Action

After a very, very long break, posts on Muller's Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics will resume.

To get things rolling, here are my notes on PRRD I.85-87.

Sorry for the delay. Thanks for your patience. Happy Reading!

A Puritan Lover's Guide to Baby (Boy) Names

(Since things over at Pyromaniacs have gotten a little zany lately, I thought I could get away with this.)

Want to show the world your admiration for those lovable early modern English reformers, the Puritans? Why not name your child after one! Friend, forget those lengthy 'baby names' books. All the info you need is right here. It's actually quite simple.

If you want to go the conservative route, there are only five names you need to know:

  1. William (as in Whitaker, Perkins, Ames, Gouge, Twisse, Guthrie, Bridge, Fenner, Spurstowe, Jenkyn, Bradford, Bates)
  2. Richard (as in Greenham, Rogers, Stock, Sibbes, Vines, Busby, Baxter, Gilpin, Steele)
  3. Thomas (as in Gataker, Jackson, Hooker, Young, Coleman, Case, Goodwin, Temple, Cawton, Shepard, Fuller, Warren, Manton, Watson, Lye, Jacomb, Jollie, Doolittle, Boston)
  4. Robert (as in Rollock, Bolton, Harris, Baillie, Leighton, Dingley)
  5. John/Jonathan (as in Calvin, Foxe, Dod, Rainolds, Rogers, White, Ley, Selden, Cotton, Davenport, Trapp, Arrowsmith, Lightfoot, Milton, Maitland, Wallis, Owen, Collinges, Murcot, Flavel, Bunyan, Howe, Willison, Edwards)
And for those with more eccentric tastes, there's Gervase (Babington), Cornelius (Burgess), Simeon (Ashe), Jeremiah (Burroughs, Whitaker), Obadiah (Sedgwick), Tobias (Crisp), Sidrach (Simpson), Isaac (Ambrose), Lazarus (Seaman), Archibald (Johnston), Ezekiel (Culverwell, Hopkins), and the illustrious Increase (Mather).

Coming soon: How to include The Conventicle in your will!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Coming Attractions

For sometime, Ashgate Publishing have advertised a forthcoming book by Carl Trueman entitled John Owen: Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man in the Great Theologians Series, edited by John Webster.

For those of you familiar with Trueman's work on Owen and post-Reformation studies, this news brings glad tidings. Unfortunately, good things must come to those who wait. The release date is scheduled for August 2007. Until then, here is a synopsis of the book:

John Owen is considered one of the sharpest theological minds of the seventeenth century and a significant theologian in his own right, particularly in terms of his contributions to pneumatology, christology, and ecclesiology.

Carl Trueman presents a major study of the key elements of John Owen's writings and his theology. Presenting his theology in its historical context, Trueman explores the significance of Owen's work in ongoing debates on seventeenth century theology, and examines the contexts within which Owen's theology was formulated and the shape of his mind in relation to the intellectual culture of his day - particularly in contemporary philosophy, literature and theology. Examining Owen's theology from pneumatological, political and eschatological perspectives, Trueman highlights the trinitarian structure of his theology and how his theological work informed his understanding of practical Christianity.

With the current resurgence of interest in seventeenth century Reformed theology amongst intellectual historians, and the burgeoning research in systematic theology, this book presents an invaluable study of a leading mind in the Reformation and the historical underpinnings for new systematic theology.

Contents: Preface; John Owen: reformed Catholic, renaissance man; The knowledge of the Trinitarian God; Divine covenants and Catholic Christology; The article by which the Church stands or falls; Conclusion; Index.

But watch your pocket books. This book comes with the hefty price tag of $99.95 for hardback and $34.95 paperback. Start saving!

For more information, click here.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I was perusing the program for the upcoming Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) meeting and was delighted to see that in addition to his forthcoming paper at the Rutherford House, our own Chris Ross will be presenting a paper entitled "Promoting Evangelical Faith through New Media: Lessons from the English Reformation."

Chris, any chance for a preview of your work?


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