The Quest for Full Assurance

The Legacy of Calvin and His Successors

Author
Category
Look Inside Price $17.00 $13.50

382 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

General Theology, Salvation, Assurance

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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