A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life

A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life
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Beeke, Joel R.; Jones, Mark


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Publisher's Description

A Puritan Theology offers a groundbreaking treatment of the Puritans’ teaching on most major Reformed doctrines, particularly those doctrines in which the Puritans made significant contributions. Since the late 1950s, nearly 150 Puritan authors and 700 Puritan titles have been reprinted and catalogued by Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson in their 2006 collection of mini-biographies and book reviews, titled, Meet the Puritans. However, no work until now has gathered together the threads of their teaching into a unified tapestry of systematic theology.

A Puritan Theology addresses Puritan teachings on all six loci of theology, covering fifty 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.

About the Authors

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.

Book Details

1,055 Pages
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
Publication Date: October 2012
ISBN 13: 9781601781666

“The Puritans are undoubtedly one of the most significant sources for theology that is both doctrinal and practical in equal measure. This massive volume by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones provides the reader with a comprehensive introduction to Puritan thought. It is a notable work of historical–theological synthesis and a book to which I will be returning again and again, both for scholarly reference and personal devotion. Simply an amazing achievement.”
– Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary

“An obvious labor of love, A Puritan Theology is at the same time an impressively competent and balanced study in historical theology. it should go a long way toward dispelling misconceptions present among those who, whether approvingly or dismissively, think they know what the Puritans said. In reading I have been impressed anew with the deep and cordial lines of continuity there are between Calvin, the mainstream of seventeenth–century reformed orthodoxy, of which this study shows the Puritans were an integral part, and the best of the redemptive–historical insights of more recent reformed biblical theology. A broad audience from scholars to interested laypersons will read this lucid and winsomely written ‘Doctrine for life’ (its subtitle) with great profit. I commend it most highly.”
– Richard B. Gaffin Jr, Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary

“This is a remarkable book, invaluable for our study of the Puritans, but more than that, invaluable in making us Puritans ourselves, using the Bible and its theology the way our Father designed it for the transformation of our hearts and lives. Very clearly and very succinctly it arranges the great Puritan themes in contexts and sequences we can recognize. It brings us up to date on the relevant scholarship on the most controversial of the themes and guides us carefully in evaluating that scholarship. I found this book especially helpful in showing us how to think in a Christ–centered way — something we talk much about but don’t usually know what we are saying.”
– D. Clair Davis, Professor of Church History, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary

“[These] one thousand pages and more than half a million words...constitute the largest and most comprehensive exposition to date on the theology of the english Puritans. It is a remarkable achievement...There are too many outstanding features of this volume to list them adequately. The sheer range of theology covered — each locus in the theological encyclopedia is touched on — is breathtaking; the focus of attention on some of the most significant thinkers, preachers, and writers (who were men who, to a remarkable degree, combined all three) is profoundly impressive. These pages are not replete with complexities and obscurities. Nor are they light reading...But if you share the concern of the Puritans to think biblically in order to live to the glory of God, these pages will prove to be a goldmine.”
– Sinclair Ferguson, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

“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

“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

“Experiential theology begins with this — Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. It is personalized thus — He loved me and gave Himself for me. It can’t be studied in cold blood because of the grace that has delivered us from ignorance, shame, and hell. Who is the God who has done this? What am I that He should have done this for me? Theology answers these questions. Wrong answers will lead to wrong living. No body of men is more helpful in teaching the profoundest and yet the most accessible theology than the Puritans. They were lucid and passionate in explaining and applying what was true. This book will lead to deeper knowledge; it will also lead to greater love for Him who is the object of all true theology, the living God.”
– Geoff Thomas, Pastor of Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales

“Joel Beeke and Mark Jones are to be congratulated on the publication of this volume. They have collaborated to produce a book missing from Puritan studies: a systematization of loci and topics in Puritan theology. This collection of studies represents both a labor of spiritual love and a love of spiritual labor. It shows an extensive grasp of the relevant literature and will soon become the first stop for any serious inquiry into Puritan views on theological subjects. More than that, it will become a devotional tool in its own right, since Puritan theology was as much about enflaming the soul as about informing the mind. May it be used of God to enable us to love Him with heart, mind, soul, and strength, even as we love our Puritan forebears as ourselves!”
– Iain D. Campbell, Minister of the Free Church of Scotland, Point, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

“All serious–minded Christians will be thankful for the labor of love performed by Drs. Beeke and Jones in compiling A Puritan Theology. The book will be an excellent reference resource for all who study or teach theology or want to grasp what the Puritans thought or what contribution they made to a particular loci of theology. But since it is so well written, it also will be edifying for anyone who simply reads through it seriatim.”
– Joseph A. Pipa Jr, President and Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Greenville Presbyterian Seminary

“In A Puritan Theology Joel Beeke and Mark Jones help us to taste in one serving some of the best from the Puritan theological buffet on the Christian life. Many of us who have feasted sumptuously from these choice servants of God have stood helplessly as we have seen their prodigious production, wondering how we can have a feel of the entire culinary. Here is an answer to our prayers! The size of this book should not make you hesitate to join the feast. Rather, may it only whet your appetite to delve deeper into the kind of meal that has turned many spiritual infants into mature manhood in Christ.”
– Conrad Mbewe, Pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia

“At last! A book that addresses not simply a single Puritan writer or a single doctrine but that presents the breadth of Puritan theology, and does so not for professional theologians alone but for every believer who wants to know the blessing of this ‘doctrine for life’ in his own life. the authors do this not by giving their own summary of Puritan thought, but presenting a great variety of Puritan thinkers and letting them speak for themselves, going to the primary sources and quoting them at length. this thousand page volume represents a lifetime of research and reflection by authors who share the Puritan faith. it is a truly magnum opus that will soon become a standard textbook for its subject.”
– Robert B. Strimple, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, Westminster Seminary California

“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

“In this volume the tremendous renaissance in Puritan studies that has been going since the 1960s finds its magnum opus, a truly fabulous resource for all who are interested in and love the Puritans. While nearly as exhaustive as one could wish for, it is also replete with chapters that detail the thought of individual Puritans. Without a doubt, this will be an indispensable guidebook to Puritan thought and practice for years to come.”
– Michael A.G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

“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 (Continuing)

“For their exegetical insight, theological precision, and heart–warming devotion, the Puritans remain a gold mine. There are great modern editions of many Puritan classics, anthologies collecting their quotes on various subjects, and myriad studies of the movement. So it's a little surprising that a Puritan systematic theology like this one has never been written. I'm just glad that it has been, and by two scholar–pastors whose familiarity with the primary and secondary sources is unsurpassed. I couldn't put it down and will return to it again and again. It is an ambitious undertaking, but the authors' pain is our gain. This will be an enduring reference work as well as devotional resource.”
– Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“Leading Puritan studies scholars, Joel Beeke and Mark Jones, join forces to offer a comprehensive and impressive treatment of Puritan teaching on most major loci or topics of theology, ranging from prolegomena to eschatology. this book is a unique achievement, for it supersedes all previous books on Puritan theology through its breadth of scope and its richness of both historical detail and theological insight. this book will interest a wide audience ranging from theologians to historians, from pastors to educated laymen who seek to learn about how the Puritans sought to renew theology in conjunction with the practice of piety. At the same time it shows the modern reader that in Puritan theology rational activity was not at the expense of a pious attentiveness to holy Scripture but embedded in a deep religious and spiritual receptivity that we rarely find in modern theology. indeed, Puritan theology is a doctrine for Life!”
– Willem J. Van Asselt, Professor of Historical Theology, The Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven, Belgium

“This is, undoubtedly, the magnum opus of Joel Beeke and Mark Jones — their greatest contribution to the study of our Calvinist forefathers, the Puritans. With this massive corpus, the authors make an enormous contribution to our understanding of Puritan theology by compiling this war chest of their teaching. this work is scholarly, well–researched, precise, and comprehensive in scope, yet accessible in style. this one–volume theology allows us to sit at the feet of these luminous figures and be taught by their Scripture–steeped, God–saturated writings.”
– Steven J. Lawson, Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, Senior Pastor, Mobile, AL