• The Demise of Puritanism Media Resource by

    In this series, we have unfolded the English Reformation politically with kings and queens, and theologically with advancements and setbacks. We have, as well, witnessed the rise of Puritanism with its desire to further reform the Reformation. After seeing Puritanism at its greatest strength, we encountered the beginning of its end with the restoration of Charles II and the persecution that resulted. In this lesson, Dr. Reeves develops further the “iron fist” that strangled Puritanism to death historically. As we bring this final message to a close, we are still left with the crucial question, “Has Puritanism, and the Reformation … View Resource

  • John Owen Media Resource by

    Dr. Reeves testifies to England’s historical inability to produce theologians. He also mentions that perhaps the most famous British theologian ever was Pelagius, though he is hardly someone to emulate. However, one of the best candidates for the greatest theologian is certainly John Owen, who was once dubbed the Calvin of England. The emergence of this champion of Reformed orthodoxy from his anti-Puritan Laudian context at Oxford is surely a testimony to the sovereign grace of God. This lesson opens up the life and theology of Owen, while the next lesson provides a more in-depth look at his doctrinal approach. View Resource

  • Thomas Goodwin Media Resource by

    In this lesson, we will move from the big picture of England under James I and Charles I to studying another individual, Thomas Goodwin (1600–1680). Unfortunately, very few people have even heard of Goodwin, even though at one time he was considered a high-caliber theologian and was once called the greatest pulpit exegete of Paul who ever lived. Dr. Reeves attests that Goodwin should be a household name, but his challenging writings help to explain why he’s not well remembered. Yet, these writings always pay back the reader for the effort spent in reading them. Goodwin had a remarkable theological … View Resource

  • Richard Sibbes Media Resource by

    In this lesson, we will study Richard Sibbes (1577–1635), the Puritan once called the “heavenly doctor” due to his preaching and way of life. Izaak Walton said of Sibbes, “Of this blest man, let this just praise be given: heaven was in him, before he was in heaven.” He clearly enjoyed knowing God, and his relish is still infectious to those who read Sibbes today. He emphasized the idea of becoming like God through knowing and loving Him more. Sibbes himself experienced the transformation of God in his preaching, writing, and life. Sibbes never married, but he possessed a truly … View Resource

  • Henry VIII Media Resource by

    In our first lesson, we studied the emergence of the English Reformation primarily from a theological perspective. It is also vital to grasp the political connections to the Reformation in England especially related to the role that kings and queens played during this time. In this message, then, Dr. Reeves opens up the fascinating yet troubling story of King Henry VIII, who reigned from 1509–1547. We find him departing from Rome for selfish reasons and essentially pursuing Catholicism without a pope. Anyone who got in the way of this pursuit, whether Catholic or Protestant, could easily lose his life. Still, … View Resource

  • Elizabeth and the Rise of the Puritans Media Resource by

    This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” With these words from Psalm 118:23, princess Elizabeth apparently greeted the news that Queen Mary had died (1558). The politically cunning Elizabeth came to the throne with energy and zeal to restore Protestantism. After all, her mother was Anne Boleyn, the one for whom Henry split with Rome to marry. Of course, the Roman Catholic Church never recognized this marriage and considered Elizabeth an illegitimate queen. She had to be a Protestant monarch yet emerged as such not reluctantly but out of personal and deeply held convictions. Her … View Resource

  • James I and Charles I Media Resource by

    Having been introduced to Richards Sibbes, we will now look at the bigger picture of what’s going on in England about halfway through his life, at the end of Elizabeth’s long reign (1558–1603). At this time, to be English was to be Protestant and to be Catholic was to be treacherous. The growing national sentiment was anti-Catholic, with Catholicism and its practices increasingly fading out of England. Indeed, while Elizabeth’s reign made the nation Protestant, it could not guarantee that its subjects were actually evangelical. Also, as we have seen, the last decade of Elizabeth’s reign (1590s) was hard for … View Resource

  • Edward VI and Mary I Media Resource by

    From the unintentional promotion of reform under Henry VIII, we move on to consider the reigns of Edward VI, the only son of Henry, and Mary I, his oldest daughter. By the time of Henry’s death (1547), the education of Edward and Elizabeth, his daughter to Anne Boleyn, was left to the reform-minded Katherine Parr, Henry’s last wife. Their training occurred under the finest Protestant tutors, and the two pupils grew up as convinced evangelicals. Catholic Mary was an adult by this point (age 30) and was considered to be an illegitimate child from an annulled marriage. The misery this … View Resource

  • Tyndale and the Early Reformers Media Resource by

    The Reformation in England is a thrilling story of the recapturing of God’s grace. In this first lesson, Dr. Reeves relates the emergence of the English Reformation in connection to influences outside the country, especially Erasmus and Luther. We then learn of the foundational role played by Thomas Bilney and the White Horse Inn within England. The lesson culminates with a focus on the English Reformer William Tyndale, particularly in connection to his translation of the Bible into English. Such forbidden labors and the product that resulted not only led to his martyrdom but also catalyzed the Reformation cause in … View Resource

  • Cromwell and Charles II Media Resource by

    In this lecture, we will continue from the previous lesson, in which we heard the rumblings of civil war in England between King Charles I (and the Royalists) and the Parliamentarians. The Parliamentarians were largely a Puritan faction, though the war was not simply about religion. Yet, as Oliver Cromwell observed, “Religion wasn’t the thing at first contested for but God brought it to that issue at last.” With military victory and the abolition of the monarchy, the Puritans burst into political and ecclesiastical power. The “glory days” of the ensuing Commonwealth and Protectorate were short-lived, and the eventual cry … View Resource