The Puritans Pay Off

Part 8 - Theology in Practice
Chapter 59 - Lessons from the Puritans

The Puritans show us how to 
  • focus on Christ - they treasured and extolled Him in all things
  • stay Biblically balanced - maintain the objective salvation events of God with our subjective experience of it, God's sovereignty and our responsibility, avoiding Arminianism and hyper-Calvinism.
  • teach the faith - using catechisms to cultivate biblical knowledge, apply it to life, enhance family worship, and bring people to Christ.
  • pray without ceasing - they emphasized a pastor and preacher's private prayers, to model prayer publicly for all Christians and to enhance the power of sermons.
  • bear up under troubles - "we need affliction to humble us" (966).  Besides, they are temporary, while our reward in heaven is eternal.
  • kill pride - pride crops up over almost anything.  Don't get satisfied with yourself.  Focus on your sins and your humble Savior.
  • rely on the Spirit - both to convert souls and grow in the Lord.

Imitate the piety of the Puritans.  They show us great godliness.

Chapter 60 - A Final Word
The Puritans lived in hard times and were largely unsuccessful in their reforming efforts.  But many elements of their work deserve recovery today.

  • They kept their eye on great Gospel truths
  • They valued learning, were highly trained in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, theology and philosophy, and taught their people.
  • They furthered theological work begun a generation earlier, with more precise distinctions.
  • They knew their Bibles well.
  • They reformed the church with sincere and practical piety.
  • They centered their work on the pulpit and press.

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