You are probably all very happy that things have gone quiet on this blog recently. Unfortunately I am busy at work at the moment and my law studies have restarted. This means I'll have less time to read, and blog, than God has graciously given me over the last few months.
However, I thought I'd let you know that I have decided after some deliberations to give the Puritans a second chance. I read a handful of books several years ago but could not understand what all the fuss was about. So I am joining the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge, and going to try and get through 12 short Puritan books in 2008. Perhaps I'll give up half way through, but we'll see.
In preparation my commute has been to the sound of JI Packer's seriously English introductory lectures from 1988. Interestingly he relates how he had been trying to get a publisher to publish Richard Baxter's Christian Directory, which was one of just two books written by Puritans which was not occasional or based on sermons, and was actually designed to stand the test of time. The Banner of Truth apparently did not judge it sound enough! However it seems that he finally did manage to get someone to publish it in 1997.
On a more serious note, Packer makes a convincing case for understanding the Puritan movement as a revivalistic movement, which sheds a different light on things.
Meanwhile I'm also finding Lutheranism a strange and exciting new world of theology. The English-speaking evangelicalism that I know has always looked to the Reformed when it has got serious about theology. This seems clearest in that when people identify themselves as 'Reformed' in England they usually mean 'not Arminian', when of course the Arminians were 'Reformed' as well. Reading Lutheran theology I feel God confronting me, and interacting with me, in a way I have not felt since reading Calvin for the first time. Still I am not sure that I can agree with most of what distinguishes Lutheran from Reformed when it actually comes down to brass tacks. Nevertheless I can see the prophetic power that it must have had in the sixteenth century and still has now.
All very exciting but lots to do. Got to go.