The Quest for Full Assurance

The Legacy of Calvin and His Successors

Author
Category
Look Inside Price $17.00 $15.30

347 in stock

Weight 1.16 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.4 × 1.25 in
isbn

9780851517452

binding

Paperback

Format

Book

Original Pub Date

1999

Banner Pub Date

Apr 1, 1999

topic

Assurance, General Theology, Salvation

page-count

411

ENDORSEMENT

‘A long-needed and outstanding work on the subject of assurance…of permanent importance for preachers and students’. — IAIN H. MURRAY

Book Description

Against the background of the sixteenth century Reformers (with special attention to Calvin), Beeke examines the theological development of personal assurance of faith in English Puritanism and its parallel movement in the Netherlands, the Dutch Second Reformation.

Table of Contents Expand ↓

TABLE OF CONTENTS ix
ABBREVIATIONS xiii
PREFACE – Sinclair Ferguson xv
INTRODUCTION 1
Part One
ASSURANCE PRIOR TO THE WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY
THE EARLY AND MEDIEVAL CHURCH 9
THE REFORMATION FROM LUTHER TO BULLINGER 16
Martin Luther (1483-1546) 19
Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560) 24
Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) 27
Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575) 31
REFORMED DEVELOPMENT IN CALVIN AND BEZA 36
John Calvin (1509-1564) 37
Nature and Definition of Faith 37
Assurance of the Essence of Faith 39
Qualifying Statements 41
Making Sense of Apparent Contradictions 44
Faith and Experience 44
Flesh versus Spirit 46
Germ of Faith versus Consciousness of Faith 51
Trinitarian Framework 55
The Practical Syllogism (syllogismus practicus) 65
Theodore Beza (1519-1605) 72
Comparison with Calvin 73
The Grounds of Assurance 75
THE FATHERS OF ENGLISH PURITANISM AND THE DUTCH SECOND REFORMATION 82
William Perkins (1558-1602) 83
Structuring Principles 83
The Grounds of Assurance 87
Conversion’s Steps 88
Step #1: Humiliation 88
Step #2: Faith in Christ 89
Steps #3-4: Repentance and New Obedience 96
William Teellinck (1579-1629) 98
Assurance by Faith Working Through Love 104
Assurance by the Promises of God 105
Assurance by the Immediate Witness of the Holy Spirit 107
Part Two
ASSURANCE FROM THE WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY TO ALEXANDER COMRIE
ENGLISH PURITANISM AND THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION, CHAPTER 18 111
Puritan Thought on Assurance by the 1640s 113
18.1: Threefold Possibility 119
False Assurance 120
True Assurance 121
Lacking the Consciousness of Assurance 122
18.2: The Foundations of Personal Assurance 123
Divine Promises in Christ 124
Inward Evidences of Saving Grace 130
The Seat of Assurance: Christ’s Internal Presence 130
The Method of Assurance: The Practical and Mystical Syllogisms 131
The Witnessing Testimony of the Spirit 142
18.3: The Cultivation of Assurance 147
The Organic Relation of Faith to Assurance 147
The Time Element in Faith’s Maturation 150
The Means of Attaining Assurance 152
The Duty of Seeking Assurance 154
The Fruit of Assurance 155
18.4: Assurance Lost and Renewed 156
The Causes of an “Unreachable” Assurance 156
Causes in the Believer: Sin and Backsliding 156
Causes in God: Withdrawing and “Tempting” 159
The Revival of Assurance 162
Conclusion 164
JOHN OWEN 165
Two Short Catechisms (1645) 166
The Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance (1654) 167
Polemical Response to John Goodwin 167
Setting the Stage for Elaboration on Assurance 171
Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (1657) 173
Communion with the Father: Love 177
Communion with the Son: Grace 178
Conjugal Relationship 178
Adoption 180
Communion with the Spirit: Comfort 181
Witnessing in the Court of Conscience 182
The Believer’s “Earnest” 185
The Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order (1658) 187
An Exposition upon Psalm CXXX (1668) 189
Personal Crises 189
Enlargement Upon the Westminster Confession 191
The Attainability of Assurance 191
Assurance Normative but not Common 192
How Assurance is Obtained 196
Retaining, Renewing, and Improving Assurance 198
Pneumatologia: A Discourse on the Holy Spirit (1674ff.) 200
The Sealing of the Spirit 201
The Unction of the Spirit 208
The Doctrine of Justification by Faith (1677) 209
An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews (1668-1684) 211
Conclusion: Owen’s Influence and Pneumatological Emphasis 212
ALEXANDER COMRIE 214
Historical and Biographical Context 214
Saving Faith 217
The Habit and Act of Faith 218
Unity and Oneness (eenheid) of Faith 226
Three Faculties of Faith 227
Spiritual Knowledge 228
Spiritual Assent 229
Spiritual Trust 230
Assurance of Faith 231
The Direct and Reflex Acts of Faith 231
Assurance of the Uprightness of Faith and of Adoption 233
Assurance of Faith and Assurance of Sense 234
Conditional and Unconditional Promises 236
Faith and Justification 237
Part Three
COMPARISON OF ENGLISH PURITANISM AND THE DUTCH SECOND REFORMATION ON ASSURANCE
THOMAS GOODWIN: THE MERGING OF ENGLISH-DUTCH THINKING OF ASSURANCE 245
Goodwin and Owen 247
Spiritual Experience and Dutch Influence 247
Faith’s Relation to Assurance 255
Assurance and Knowledge of the Divine Persons 257
Discursive and Intuitive Assurance 259
Goodwin and Comrie 265
CONCLUSION 269
APPENDIX: THE DUTCH SECOND REFORMATION (DE NADERE REFORMATIE) 286
The Term Nadere Reformatie 287
The Essence of the Dutch Second Reformation 293
Assessment in Secondary Sources 303
BIBLIOGRAPHY 311
INDEX OF NAMES AND SUBJECTS 381
INDEX OF BIBLICAL REFERENCES 393

 

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