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The English Puritans

By Dr. J.I. Packer

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This course is an introduction to the English Puritans that includes an examination of historical context, theological contributions, cultural and community impact, and literary output of several prominent Puritan thinkers. Both informative and engaging, this course invites you to set aside the typical Puritan stereotypes and embrace the lives and legacies of some of the greatest minds and preachers in Church history.

Customer Reviews

Fantastic resource

I just read Leland Ryken's biography of Packer (great book) and he pointed me to this series. Glad to have the ability to hear this wonderful course. Very fine. Highly recomended!

Packer is a very smart fellow

This is a good collection on the English Puritans (doesn't really address the Americans). It really goes into the theology of the Puritans with much less emphasis on the history. At least one (Faith and Assurance 1) has relatively poor audio quality.

Good, but not what I hoped for

I did not register for the course or read the assigned material.

This course examines the English Puritans. (It never addresses American Puritans.) It is taught by J. I. Packer, one of the most prominent Reformed evangelicals of the past half-century. Dr. Packer is Anglican, the tradition out of which the Puritans came.

This course is more of an apologia than a critical analysis of Puritanism. Dr. Packer rarely cites conflicting scholarship on the subject except that he spends nearly two hours of the 13 hour course explaining why infralapsarianism (his position) is better than supralapsarianism (the position taken by most Puritans). One example of this apologia is that there is scant reference to the part that Puritans played in the beheading of Charles I.

Dr. Packer’s approach is to take a theological issue of importance to the Puritans and then to discuss that issue. Often, once he gets started, he focuses for a long time on that issue without any reference to what any Puritans said. He seems to discuss his opinion of the Puritan issue rather than to focus on what the Puritans said about it.

Again, the course focuses on theological issues of importance to the Puritans. One consequence of this is that little attention is devoted to the history of the Puritans.

One important take-away for me is the realization that the English Puritans were very pastoral. I guess I thought of them as theological firebrands and I had never realized how important personal ministry was to them.