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Eamon DuffyMark Dever's sensitive and surefooted exposition of Sibbe's theological position is fresh. Some historians of Puritanism have suggested that English "affectionate divinity" in the age of Sibbes abandoned the pure stream of Calvin's thought for the incipient moralism of Beza, and that between Calvin and the English Calvinists there had opened up a disastrous theological rift. Rejecting any such notion as a key to Sibbe's writing, Dever portrays Sibbes as "one of the last great Reformed preachers of England to believe in theory and know in practice an officially undivided covenant community."
He brings to his exposition of Sibbes's subtle and highly personal practical divinity a wide and deep acquaintance with sixteenth and seventeeth-century Reformed theology, but also that rarer thing, a sensibility which is warmly sympathetic to the nuances of Sibbes's writing while remaining sharply and critically alert. The result is a marvelously lucid and persuasive account of a key moment in the evolution of early modern protestant thought, in a period which Sibbes himself described as "the best tymes of the gospel." Read it.