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Conference – William Perkins Conference

July 2017 | by David Woollin

‘Imagine studying the Reformation without access to the works of Luther or Calvin. Well, stunningly, when we consider the monumental Puritan period, the works of its ‘father’, William Perkins, have not been published since the early seventeenth century.

Thankfully, our lack of access to one ‘justly esteemed by his contemporaries as a master in theology’, as Charles Spurgeon said, is coming to an end, first, because Perkins’ works are finally being reprinted as part of a massive project (see www.worksofperkins.com), and second, because of the excellent conference just held in the Round Church, Cambridge.

The William Perkins Conference (19-20 May 2017) was hosted by Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (Michigan, USA). The speakers gave attendees a rich feast, which we can now all enjoy online.

Sinclair Ferguson opened the conference on Friday evening, considering Perkins as a plain preacher. Joel Beeke looked at his largest case of conscience. Geoff Thomas showed us the pursuit of godliness in his ministry. Stephen Yuille demonstrated faith and love in Perkins’ defence of the Protestant religion.

Finally, Greg Salazar closed the conference on Saturday evening with a session on Scripture, tradition, and holiness, looking more widely at William Perkins and the Puritan tradition. All the conference videos are freely available on YouTube and SermonAudio. As R. Albert Mohler Jr. said, ‘Perkins’ contribution to Puritan theology is inestimable’, so do not miss out!

J. I. Packer once said, ‘On the broad shoulders of William Perkins, epoch-making pioneer, stood the entire school of 17th-century Puritan pastors and divines’. The first four volumes, covering Perkins’ exegetical works, are available from CLC UK, the Protestant Truth Society and ICM in the UK, or Reformation Heritage Books in the USA.

David Woollin