Saturday, February 24, 2007

1 Peter: Faith, Obedience, & Patience

While preparing for a sermon this Sunday evening on 1 Peter, I came across the encouraging words from a seventeenth century Puritan named Robert Leighton.

Leigthon (1611-1684), Archbishop of Glasgow, one time principal of The University of Edinburgh, and signer of The Solemn League and Covenant, wrote a famous commentary on 1 Peter which still remains in print.

He summarized the epistle under three headings: faith, obedience, and patience. He states,

The heads of doctrine contained in it are many, but the main that are most insisted on, are these three, faith, obedience, and patience; to establish them in believing, to direct them in doing, and to comfort them in suffering.

We see these emphases in the Apostle's own words in 1 Peter 4:19 (cf. 5:12), "So then, those who suffer according to God will [comforting them in suffering, i.e. patience] should commit themselves to their faithful Creator [establishing them in believing, i.e. faith] and continue to do good [directing them in doing, i.e. obedience]."

To read part of Leighton's exposition of 1 Peter 1 (from where this quote came), click here.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The world according to the Puritans

Some maps that will be of interest to students of the Puritans:


Tudor England -- including counties (note there is a link for a larger version on the same page)

Scotland & the Borders

Tudor London (with link to larger printable version)

Ireland c. 1500
[All the above courtesy of the website, Life in Elizabethan England: A Compendium of Common Knowledge]

And this one of England and Wales during the English Civil War (1644), noting the division of areas of the country under control of the King and Parliament
[Courtesy of this site featuring several maps from Gardiner's Atlas of English History]

New England

Puritan New England
[Courtesy Dr David Newton, Univ. West Georgia]


Europe c. 1560 (early Elizabethan)

Europe 1648 (Jacobean)

Europe 1740 (c. end of Puritanism)
[All the above courtesy of U. of Texas Perry-CastaƱeda Library]

Coming Very Soon: Kapic on Owen's Communion with God

Have you pre-ordered your copy of Kelly Kapic's new book Communion with God: The Divine and the Human in the Theology of John Owen due out 1 March?

Personal friend of John Owen, J. I. Packer says, "This is a landmark book in modern Puritan study, and it is a joy to commend it." Others to recommend the book include Joel Beeke, Sinclair Ferguson, Stephen Holmes, Susan Hardman Moore, and Paul Lim.

Justin Taylor reports that Baker Academic has posted a PDF except of Packer's forward, acknowledgements, the table of contents, and the first chapter.

For my preview of this work, click here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Does this mean the Conventicle will never win the pennant?

Though I hate to veer from the path of dignified scholarship that characterizes most of the Conventicle's posts (eh-hem), I feel I must clear something up immediately. Chris Coleman, our friend from over at the apemantus forum, has noted a faint resemblance between our new banner and the logo of a certain American baseball team whose record ... shall we say ... leaves something to be desired. Is there any connection?

To set the record straight, no. While I concede there may be some resemblance, the truth is I pulled the idea for the banner from the swirling ephemeral vortex of my own creative subconscious. Let it be known that I am a native Texan (a proud one), and in spite of one pleasant visit I made to the windy city, I have never been a fan or even made pretense of being a fan of any Midwestern team, ever. (Don't get me wrong -- I have known some swell Midwesterners.)

So there you go, Chris. Sorry if I've disappointed any suspicions/hopes you may have entertained. I do commend your keen powers of observation.

By the way, below are a few of the other concepts we considered before deciding on the banner above ...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Scholar Dispels Puritan Myths ...

This may strike some as a random post, but I just recently remembered a very interesting article I ran across before my days here with the Conventicle. It's an interview with Yale professor and Jonathan Edwards expert Harry Stout that appeared in Christianity Today back in 2001. I think now's as good a time as any to refer interested readers to the online version.
Who were the real Puritans? And why did "Puritan" become a derogatory label? In what ways have the Puritans shaped what we believe and how we live today? To answer these questions, Christian History editors Kevin Miller and Mark Galli talked with Dr. Harry S. Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Christianity at Yale University. Dr. Stout is the author of The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England (Oxford, 1986) ...
Read the rest of "The Puritans Behind the Myths" here ...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Two book reviews

... in the recent Winter 2006 edition of the Sixteenth Century Journal:

The Christology of John Owen, by Richard Daniels. Reviewed by E. M. Tay.

This book is the published form of Richard Daniels's 1990 doctoral dissertation undertaken at Westminster Theological Seminary, with some revision and additional materials ... It has the principal objective of providing for students of Puritanism and theology "a comprehensive systematic exposition of the Christology of a representative Puritan" (516), and seeks to demonstrate the central importance of Christology in Owen's thought ... "there is one motif so important to John Owen, so often and so broadly cited by him, that this writer would go so far as to call it the focal point of Owen's theology ... the doctrine that in the gospel we behold, by the Christ given Holy Spirit, the glory of God 'in the face of Christ' and are thereby changed into his image" (92). How this is worked out is seen from the structure of the book ...

Puritan Reformed Spirituality, by Joel R. Beeke. Reviewed by Chris Ross.

Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also pastors a church in that city. He has written several books and articles on the Reformed tradition and has translated and edited a number of Dutch Reformed writings. As with many of his other works, Beeke has written this book with pastoral objectives in mind. It shines some new and helpful light on early Reformed spirituality, in spite of its somewhat misleading title and inelegant composition ...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Nota Bene

Some interesting links...

R. Scott Clark tells how to read Voetius free online (in Latin!).

Justin Taylor and Kelly Kapic have a conversation about John Owen.

George Grant offers his reflections on Pilgrim's Progress.

Al Mohler reports on a possible merger between Canterbury and Rome?!

Feeling Friendless?

As I was preparing for the Calvinist piety class I am auditing, I came accross this quote in the second sermon of Richard Sibbes' Bowels Opened: or, a Discovery of the Neare and Deare Love, Union, and Communion Betwixt Christ and the Church (Text available on EEBO). Sibbes says it well.

"What comfort is this to a poor soul that hath no friends in the world, that yet he hath a friend in heaven, that will own him for his Brother, in, and through whom he may go to the throne of grace boldly, and pour out his soul."


Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Word of Thanks

Our very own Joe Chi spoke at the first meeting of the PGCU on Friday night and it was very well prepared and received. Just a quick note to say that I am thankful to God for Joe's ministry and message on that night. He represented the Conventicle in an honorable fashion. Joe used the academic experience (and subsequent work) of Warfield and Vos in a very compelling way, leaving those in attendance with a renewed sense that our study should be an act of worship.

Be encouraged, Joe. The Lord used you!



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