In Pursuit of Purity, Unity, and Liberty: Richard Baxter's Puritan Ecclesiology in Its Seventeenth-Century Context

Overview

Richard Baxter’s ecclesiology is the focus of this study. Arguably one of the best-known Puritans of the seventeenth century, Baxter (1615-1691) lived through the British Civil Wars, the Regicide, the Interregnum, the restoration of monarchy and episcopacy in 1660, subsequent ejection of numerous Puritan pastors, and the Glorious Revolution of 1689. His ecclesiology was formed within these multifarious contexts. Among others, three significant facets of purity, unity, and liberty are examined in detail. The book ...

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Overview

Richard Baxter’s ecclesiology is the focus of this study. Arguably one of the best-known Puritans of the seventeenth century, Baxter (1615-1691) lived through the British Civil Wars, the Regicide, the Interregnum, the restoration of monarchy and episcopacy in 1660, subsequent ejection of numerous Puritan pastors, and the Glorious Revolution of 1689. His ecclesiology was formed within these multifarious contexts. Among others, three significant facets of purity, unity, and liberty are examined in detail. The book re-examines the central role of catechizing and congregational discipline in Baxter’s understanding of the true church, his insistence that the purity and unity of the church are to be pursued concurrently, the self-perceived identity of English Puritans, and the question of the true church in the latter-half of the seventeenth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Since Lim combines respect and admiration for Baxter with critical acumen, some of the nicest sections of the book show Baxter sparring with powerful opponents like John Owen or William Bagshaw. There are several exuisite and keenly felt articulations of Baxter's motivations as well...this is a rewarding and insightful book that manages to situate Baxter in a vivid and convincing way.'
Carrie A. Hintz, Renaissance Quarterly, 2005.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Paul Chang-Ha Lim, Ph.D. (2001) in History of Christianity, University of Cambridge, is Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, MA. His current research project focuses on Karl Barth's Trinitarian theodicy.
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Short Titles
Note on Style
Acknowledgements

1. Historiographical Introduction, Methodology, and Structure

PART I. REFORMING THE NOTAE ECCLESIAE
2. Conversion and Catechizing: Preaching and Reform of the True Church
3. Reforming the Entrance into the Visible Church: Baptism and Confirmation
4. Between Holy Fast and Unholy Feast: Baxter’s Eucharistic Thought in Context

PART II. UNITY, PURITY, AND LIBERTY PURSUED
5. The Pursuit of Purity in Unity: The Worcestershire Association and the Rhetoric of Partial Conformity
6. Sola Scriptura, Socinianism, Antinomianism, and Doctrinal Unity in Primitive Purity
7. In Pursuit of Liberty: The Grotian Religion and the “True” History of Puritanism

8. Conclusion

Bibliography
I. Manuscripts
II. Works by Richard Baxter
III. Other Printed Primary Sources
IV. Secondary Sources: Reference Works
V. Secondary Sources: Monographs
VI. Secondary Sources: Essays and Articles
VII. Unpublished Theses
Index of Names
Index of Terms

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