why this love of the puritans?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. nodak

    nodak
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    Something I'm finding confusing:

    Books, forums, conversations, and indeed whole churches you encounter on the web or travelling make so much of trying to imitate the puritans.

    You hear or read stuff like: don't complain the services are too long. Puritans had 4 hour services.

    Or you read: we need, like the puritans, to purify our town and take it back for God.

    That sort of thing.

    The real irony is that it is coming from Baptists.

    Baptists were on the puritan hit list. They flogged and hung people for being Baptists.

    So why imitate them?
     
  2. thomas15

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    You ask a good question, one that I would like to know the answer to. Those who claim the Puritan title are in my opinion, really Puritan-lite, a 21st century North American Puritan lifestyle that really doesn't resemble anything found in the history books. The Puritans were headed in the direction of setting up a theocratic kingdom and that is what the covenant a-mills think their church has achieved so putritan sounds nice to them. From what I can tell it's mainly a long dress short hair Presbyterian thing but some reformed Baptists are latching onto it as well.
     
  3. markwaltermd

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    Good question. The persecution of Baptists was not universal amongst the Puritans, but it was there. The way I see it, Baptists represented further "reformation" of the church, especially with regard to the issue of baptism. Here are a couple interesting online articles...

    http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/ecclesiology/baptism.htm

    http://www.brucegourley.com/baptists/persecutionoutline.htm

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/3833


    Perhaps the modern appeal of the Puritans lies in the fact that they fully employed their roles as the sheperds of their congregations and wrote not for commercial success or recognition, but rather for the guidance of their members. In an era before modern Psychology and Psychiatry, they were also the counselors to their flocks, and many possessed great insight into human motives. Their works are terrific -- generally better -- alternatives to the modern fare of Christian literature and self-help books. Certain Puritan authors (e.g., Owen, Watson, Baxter) are particularly edifying and instructive, much more so than I find most modern authors to be (except for perhaps Pink).
     
  4. Yeshua1

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    reformed baptists and presbys revere and quote them, other baptists "not so much"

    NOT saying that they were not good authors, not profitable to read and learn from, its just NOT big reading outside the reformed circles!
     
    #4 Yeshua1, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2012
  5. agedman

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    I am not a big "puritan" fan, either.

    I do admire their scholarship and industry. However, they spent a great amount of energy on extrinsic rather than intrinsic motivating factors.

    It is my opinion, the Pilgrims were on the better ground (so to speak) until the puritans came along and over ran the settlement.

    What the puritans did offer in personal and communal authority was a 16th and 17th century form of Pharisee-ism. It has been scoffed and rebuked, but every once in a while, still emulated by certain cult oriented churches.

    There intolerance was not just toward the Baptists, but any "cavalier" faith, thinking, and practice that the round-heads didn't approve. Intolerance is not a sign of accepting sin, but of the inability to trust the Holy Spirit to keep us as strangers even in the midst of hostility.
     
  6. abcgrad94

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    This has been my experience as well. All the seriously "reformed" folks I know practically worship the Puritans along with Calvin, Galt, and a couple more I can't remember.

    I've heard the Puritan excuse for not celebrating Christmas to taking 30-minute naps on Sunday (because it was a day of rest for the Puritans) and all kinds of nonsense in-between. Who cares. Just because some Puritan did something doesn't make it right or mean I have to do it now, hundreds of years later.

    So a Puritan said or did this or that. Big deal. I follow Christ, not the Puritans.

    Yeah, I probably sound snarky here, because this has been a major annoyance for us for the last couple of years with non-members who attend our church.
     
  7. Ed B

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    I am reading a book called The Puritan Hope right now, and what I am coming away with at a little less than half way through is that just like us, their theology and practice was influenced by the times, the culture and their experiences alongside their biblical scholarship. I doubt they would have recognized it just as I don't think we always recognize how the form and function of our worship, theology, polity and eschatology are influenced by our culture, times, technology, etc.

    I choose to learn from the areas where they seem to have excelled and where they seem to have profound insight. I do the same with the ancestors in my family. I try to learn from and incorporate the best parts of my father, grandfather, uncles, mother and grandmothers and I try to cast aside the bad parts as best I can. Some Puritan writers offer us a lot if we want to learn from them
     
  8. Martin Marprelate

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    I think some brothers here are confusing Puritans with Presbyterians.
    Puritanism was not a denomination but a movement. The Puritans were seeking a purer, simpler form of worship than was available under the Elizabethan Settlement. Some of them remained Episcopalians, others became Presbyterians, and some, like John Owen, the greatest of them all, became Congregationalists. Out of the Congregationalists came the Baptists.

    To my mind, the early Particular Baptists like Spilsbury, Kiffin, Keach were themselves Puritans, but they pushed the Reformation of the Church to its logical conclusion by getting rid of the last vestige of Romanist ecclesiology, infant 'baptism.'

    It was the Presbyterians who wanted to have an universal Church settlement and would have denied freedom to others, but it is important to remember what a novel idea freedom of religion was in the 16th and 17th Centuries. People for hundreds of years had been born into the Church of Rome, 'christened' into it, lived in it and died in it. The thought of people actually choosing their faith seemed dangerous to the unity of the nation.

    [If you go on the Puritan Board, you will find some Presbyterians who believe in 'restorationalism' and would, if they ever get the chance, force all parents to baptize their babies. Scary!]

    I would encourage brothers to read the Puritans. To read Thomas Watson, John Flavell, or indeed Benjamin Keach and John Bunyan. I think it's great that some of the early Particular Baptist writers are being re-published, and I think it will be found that they are of the same spirit as the Paedobaptists and should all be classed as Puritans together.

    Steve
     
  9. markwaltermd

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    I agree. I have only been edified by the Puritan authors that I have read. I consider myself to be in the Reformed Baptist category, though I don't agree with the Puritan-worship and the general intolerance seen amongst the neo-Reformists who inhabit places like Puritan Board. I have attempted to interact with them, but I was axed from their forum for posting a work by Scofield, in addition to some Puritan authors. For those who haven't read of the Puritans, I would strongly suggest Watson, Flavel, Owens, or Baxter to start.
     
  10. SolaSaint

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    If it wasn't for the Puritans, I wonder what the Christian faith would look like today in the USA? Weren't they the ones who stood up for Christian truths in Europe during a time when it was hard to be a Protestant? Maybe we need some Puritan's today in America. I'm not saying we need to be legalistic in anyway but standing up for truth in a secular world is needed IMO.

    I don't why there is so much disdain for Puritans or those who refer to their writings. I also see a disdain for Calvinism in the SBC today. Again not sure why, if you go back and read Baptist theology in the 19th and early 20th century you will see a strong adherance to the Doctrines of Grace.
     
  11. Deacon

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    Old hairy men in beards - who wouldn't love them?
     
  12. Thousand Hills

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    I usually go check the PB a couple times a week, I've never read any of these threads. I typed in 'restorationalism' in the search engine and only one thread came up from 2005. Of course alot of what is discussed there is over my head, so maybe they are using another term I don't understand or these discussions are not made public? Anyways, even though I don't agree 100% with the rank and file there, I have gleaned alot of useful information. Just my $0.02.
     
  13. Thousand Hills

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    Barbers? :tongue3:
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    Where did you read this??? Some puritans were baptists....Have you read any puritans???
     
  15. Iconoclast

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    Yes...this is more on track.....they attempted to obey God.
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    Okay...then what are you saying?have you read any puritans intentionally?

    What have you read by a puritan that you do not agree with?
     
  17. Iconoclast

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    What do you mean by this???
    [QUOTEHowever, they spent a great amount of energy on extrinsic rather than intrinsic motivating factors][/QUOTE]


    Do you have examples of this?
     
  18. Iconoclast

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbs:
     
  19. Iconoclast

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    I went to a small seminar on the puritans. One of the things pointed out was most people have never read them....they just accept the caricature of them as fact. Was there some error among them...yes...but many who are critical never have actually read any of them:wavey:
     
  20. Yeshua1

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    Would say thatwhile I would tend to agree with them in regards to say the doctrines of grace as they espoused them, would NOT be a big believer in the 'strictness" of how they tended to apply those graces into daily lives!

    I see them as being a tad to "rigid/forcing" others to convert to just their way of viewing things!

    More a problem with application of the theology than in the theology itself!
     

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