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Lecture 5, The Theology of the Puritans:

The word Puritan is often misused today. As Dr. Reeves notes, it is often used to derogatorily. H.L. Mencken called Puritanism “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.” This abusive description is nothing new, as it was originally used during the reign of Elizabeth. Within the non-specific Protestantism she espoused, people generally considered the fanatics to be the anti-Protestant papist on one side and the precisionist Puritan on the other. At the other end of the spectrum, some today view Puritanism unrealistically as the only ideal expression of Christianity. This lesson paints a faithful picture of Puritanism, especially in relation to its convictions.