Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Meet the Puritans

Justin Taylor notes a new blog: Meet the Puritans, one of whose contributors, Mark Jones, argues in "But who were the 'Puritans'?" that the term has more to do with a time and place than with Calvinism:
.... Puritanism was far too diverse to be of any strict theological use. Certainly the majority was Reformed or Calvinistic, but when Richard Baxter, who defies classification, John Goodwin, an Arminian, John Milton, a possible Arian, John Bunyan, a Baptist, and John Eaton, an Antinomian, are included, there is good reason to be cautious when using the term to describe a theological tradition. ....

Many scholars argue that “Puritans” are those who attempted to reform the Church of England along godly lines. Some were Presbyterians; others were Congregationalists. Some were Reformed; others were Arminian....

...Baxter was very much a moderate Puritan though he was theologically innovative; other moderate Puritan divines were often deeply committed to conserving strict Reformed orthodoxy. Cromwell and Milton had much stronger radical sympathies. When people say that they “love the Puritans”, one always has to ask “which Puritans”? ....
Meet the Puritans promises to be an interesting site.

Meet the Puritans

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