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God’s Ambassadors: The Westminster Assembly and the Reformation of the English Pulpit, 1643-1653 by Chad VanDixhoorn

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Description

RHB.-2017.  d.w.   240pp

The Westminster Assembly is widely known for its doctrinal standards and debates on church polity. But how often is the assembly noted for its extraordinary intervention in the pulpit ministry of the Church of England? In God’s Ambassadors, Chad Van Dixhoorn recounts the Puritan quest for a reformation in preachers and preaching and how the Westminster Assembly fit into that movement. He examines the assembly’s reform efforts, tracing debates and exploring key documents about preaching in a way that both highlights disagreements within the assembly’s ranks and showcases their collective plan for the church going forward. Moreover, Van Dixhoorn reveals the rationale behind the assembly’s writings and reforms, both in terms of biblical exegesis and practical theology. Unlike any other book, God’s Ambassadors draws attention to the lengths to which the Westminster Assembly would go in promoting godly preachers and improved preaching.

 

Table of Contents:

Preface and Acknowledgements

Abbreviations

Note on Sources

Part I: Blind Guides and Scandalous Ministers

1. The Call to Reform

2. The Road to Reform

3. The Challenge of Reform

Part II: A Reforming Assembly

4. Purifying Pulpits

5. The Pastor’s Office

6. Ordaining Preachers

7. Directions for Preaching

Part III: In Theory

8. On Preachers: Godly, Trained, and Ordained

9. On Preaching: The Word of God as the Ordinary Means of Grace

10. On Preaching: Audible and Visible Words

11. On Preaching: Christ-Centered Sermons

12. On Preaching: Christ-Centered Exegesis

13. On Study and Style: “The Spirit’s Working”

Conclusions

Epilogue

Appendix A: Duties of a Minister [extract from Doc 19]

Appendix B: Directory for Ordination

Appendix C: Directory for Preaching

Bibliographies

1. Manuscript

2. Pre-1700 Printed Sources

3. Post-1700 Printed Sources and Edition

 

Author

Chad Van Dixhoorn is Chancellor’s Professor of Historical Theology and Associate Professor of Church History at Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington D.C.

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