Thursday, August 7, 2008

British History During the Puritan Era

The Puritans are often painted as a particularly pious people, generaly described as overly harsh and legalistic. As with any movement, that was certainly the case with some who claimed the title, but the Puritan movement encompased so much more than a law abiding philosophy.

Most people are not aware that the term "Puritan" technically applies to an era that only lasted about 100 years in Britian. The term was applied much like the way we would use "Evangelical" today - it has both religous and political conotations (except the 'conotations' were more of a life and death issue in England).

If you want to hear a good, concise history of the Puritan movement, I recommend two excellent lectures by J.I. Packer, who is also the author of the classic work Knowing God.

You can listen to his lectures on Puritan History by searching "History and Theology of the Puritans" in the iTunes store.(Click on the Red box to get the lectures in their proper order)
If you download the lecture titled "The Puritan Identity 02" and start at the 15 minute mark, you will get about 30 minutes worth of puritan/English history (even though he says it will only take him 3 minutes). I thought it was well done and interesting. The lecture goes into the next file, so you will need to download it as well (titled "Puritan Theological Concerns 01").

I think this link will take you directly to the files in itunes (it will automatically open itunes):

Packer has also written an entire book on the Puritans, called A Quest for Godliness, which he draws upon for the content of these lectures.

1 comment:

John and Pam said...

Sounds interesting.....