By Paul Chang Lim
Richard Baxter's ecclesiology is the point of interest of this learn. Arguably one of many best-known Puritans of the 17th century, Baxter (1615-1691) lived during the British Civil Wars, the Regicide, the Interregnum, the recovery of monarchy and episcopacy in 1660, next ejection of diverse Puritan pastors, and the fantastic Revolution of 1689. His ecclesiology was once shaped inside of those multifarious contexts. between others, 3 major points of purity, cohesion, and liberty are tested intimately. The publication re-examines the imperative function of catechizing and congregational self-discipline in Baxter's realizing of the genuine church, his insistence that the purity and team spirit of the church are to be pursued at the same time, the self-perceived id of English Puritans, and the query of the genuine church within the latter-half of the 17th century.
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Additional resources for In Pursuit of Purity, Unity, and Liberty: Richard Baxter's Puritan Ecclesiology in Its Seventeenth-Century Context (Studies in the History of Christian Thought)
In terms of periodization, this book starts with Baxter’s ecclesiological formation from the beginning of his public ministry in 1638, focusing on his Civil War experience and Interregnum ministry, and ends with his activities after the Restoration until the end of the reign of Charles II in 1685. This period of nearly half a century will enable us to identify numerous ecclesiastical and polemical contexts which had direct bearing on Baxter’s ecclesiology, and how his ecclesiological position in turn influenced the trajectory of Puritanism during this period.
William Perkins, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 1609), II:756. 36 John Darrell, A Treatise of the Church: written against them of the separation (1617), sigs. ¶2v–¶3r, 35–41, 26, 28–29. “Visible church is,” Darrell asserted, “a confused and mixt company . . many times it is so overspread with wicked, that the righteous can hardly bee discerned . . , 31. 33 that these people of God are but a Part of those that are thus externally called, is too evident in Scripture and experience.
40 Most recent studies on early modern English Protestant ecclesiology have questioned the once stark polarities of “Puritans vs. 41 In addition to the works by Collinson and Lake cited above, others deserve mention, for they provide the historical and ideological groundwork for 37 Collinson has argued that Puritans cannot be properly defined by themselves, since they comprised only “one half of a stressful relationship,” the other half being the anti-Puritans who were content with a more calendrical and less logocentric piety.