PuritanismPredestination.docx - Puritanism and Predestination \u2013 Overview and Context Puritans \u2013 varied group of religious reformers with a common

PuritanismPredestination.docx - Puritanism and...

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Puritanism and Predestination – Overview and ContextPuritans– varied group of religious reformers with a common Calvinist theology and common criticism of the Church of England, English society, and government2 groups of Puritans gradually cut their ties to the Church of England – formed 2 separate denominations1.Congregationalists – Plymouth, Massachusetts in the 1630sConnecticut and Rhode Island in the 1640s2.Presbyterians – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania in the late 17thcenturyPuritan colonists sought to cleanse the culture of corrupt and sinful practicesBelieved the civil government should strictly enforce public morality (prohibit drunkenness, gambling, ostentatious dress, swearing, Sabbath-breaking)Wished to purge churches of every vestige of Roman Catholic ritual, ornate vestments, and ceremonyKept church services simple and austere, with long learned sermons, expounding on Biblical passagesLimited church membership to the “visibly godly”; Congregationalists were even stricter – required public testimony of conversionDoctrine of Predestination– Puritans had no free willGod had a plan for all of humanity; every event led to the ultimate triumph of good over evilJohn Calvin saw humanity as an unfolding cosmic drama; every person had a predestined role to payPuritans had assurance that their lives were meaningful – striving and suffering on earth led to a future of perfect peace and security - a kind of heaven on earthPuritans were active in trying to reshape society to git God’s standards – strove to live godly and disciplined lives* Puritans did not believe that righteous behavior and good actions led to salvation – they believed their ability to master evil inclinations provided evidence that they ranked among the elect saints* Entire confidence in one’s eternal fate was not possible – but that uncertainty made believers redouble their efforts to purifytheir own lives and society as a wholeCalvinismAcknowledgment of the centrality of the immensity of the glory and absolute sovereignty of God

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