Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Jonathan_Edwards.jpg

An American theologian who was a driving force behind the First Great Awakening in the 1740s and whose writings display deep sympathy with Calvinist convictions. After graduating from Yale in 1726, he became a pastor in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1750, when he was dismissed for his strict views on the Lord’s Supper. Subsequently, he moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, as a missionary to the Native Americans, during which time he wrote some of his most mature works. Edwards eventually became president at the newly founded College of New Jersey (Princeton) but died soon after assuming the post. His 1741 sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was one of the opening shots of the First Great Awakening, and although its fame has distorted Edwards’s overall theology, the sinner’s enmity with God and the centrality of God’s justice reflect important themes in his work. These ideas came to fuller expression in Freedom of the Will and Original Sin, in which Edwards articulated traditional Reformed teaching on the seriousness of sin and the freeing regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Edwards’ impact has extended beyond theology to fields such as psychology and philosophy. For example, his Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, which explores the significance of emotions, experience and holy living as marks of “true religion,” significantly influenced William James’s Varieties of Religious Experience. In addition, Edwards continues to wield influence in philosophical circles for his particular expressions of theological determinism (in Freedom of the Will), idealism (especially in his earlier writings) and occasionalism (in Original Sin).

(From PDRT)

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

https://i0.wp.com/ichef.bbci.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/images/paintings/hmcc/large/lne_hmcc_cnv00044_large.jpg

English pastor, author and hymn writer, often called the father of English hymnody. Raised within the Puritan tradition, Watts became minister of an independent church in London. As a young pastor, he became ill and remained in poor health for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, he was a prolific writer on a variety of philosophical and theological topics, and best remembered for his composition of hundreds of hymns, often using extrabiblical poetry. Watts’s work wielded widespread influence on worship within the Reformed tradition and evangelicalism, especially in the practice of singing hymns together with psalms in corporate worship.

(From PDRT)

John Bunyan (1628-1688)

https://i1.wp.com/www.tracts.ukgo.com/images/john_bunyan_engraved_holl.jpg

An English Puritan preacher and writer during the Restoration of the English monarchy and the Anglican church. During an imprisonment for preaching without a license, Bunyan wrote his best-known work, Pilgrim’s Progress, a Christian allegory that served as an accessible and popular introduction to a Puritan approach to the Christian life. In addition to Pilgrim’s Progress, he published over sixty books, including a spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. The popularity of the works of this Baptist preacher, both in Great Britain and the American colonies, was instrumental in the spread of Calvinist and Puritan theology.

(from Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition)

Synod of Dort (1618-1619)

A national synod of the Dutch Reformed Church convened in Dordrecht (Dort), Holland, to settle disputes arising over followers of Jacobus Arminius. Together with many international delegates, the synod affirmed the use of the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession and crafted five articles, the Canons of Dort, distinguishing doctrines on sin and God’s sovereignty in salvation from the views of the Remonstrants.

(from Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition)

William Ames (1576-1633)

https://i0.wp.com/media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/21/163521-004-46B1466C.jpg

A leading English Puritan theologian instrumental in the denunciation of the Remonstrant beliefs at the Synod of Dort. A student of William Perkins at Cambridge, Ames applied the logic and philosophy of Peter Ramus to theology, viewing its primary task as classification and its goal as uncovering the mind of God. In 1610 he left Cambridge and made his way to the Netherlands where he began teaching at the University of Franeker in 1622, and his influence extended beyond Europe to North America. His best-known works are The Marrow of Theology and Conscience with the Power and Cases Thereof.

(from Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition)

Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/James_Arminius_2.jpg/200px-James_Arminius_2.jpg

He is most remembered for his views that differed from the traditional Augustinian and Calvinist doctrines as expressed in the Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism. Arminius was educated at Marburg (1575), Leiden (1576-1581), Basel (1582-1583) and Geneva (1582, 1584-1586), and studied under Calvin’s successor, Theodore Beza. He served as a pastor in Amsterdam from 1588 to 1603 and as a professor of theology at the University of Leiden from 1603 to the end of his life. Arminius came to oppose unconditional election and supralapsarianism, arguing instead that God’s election was conditional on his foreknowledge of who would choose faith in Christ. He also taught that Christ accomplished a universal atonement, although only those who believe in Christ are saved. He maintained that the Holy Spirit provides prevenient grace enabling humans to believe in Christ, but that people can fall away from salvation because of their free will. After his death, his followers, the Remonstrants proposed five articles challenging Calvinism, resulting in the Canons of Dort, which later have been associated with TULIP. Those who subscribed to Arminius’s views became known as Arminians, though the theology of contemporary Arminianism differs in some ways from his original teachings.

(from Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition)

William Perkins (1558-1602)

https://worksofperkins.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/perkins.jpg?w=394&h=451

Often regarded as one of the fathers of Puritanism. Perkins was recognized during his life for his pastoral ministry and scholarship. Born in Warwickshire, England, he studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he later became a fellow and tutor while beginning his preaching ministry to prisoners. He was quickly appointed rector of St. Andrew’s Church, where he remained the rest of his life. Perkins wrote several biblical commentaries and many influential works on preaching, predestination and ethics, which influenced some of the leading Puritans of the seventeenth century, including William Ames, Thomas Goodwin and James Ussher.

(from Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition)