Have you ever felt that your grasp of church history is patchy at best? You read of great events in the past, but are uncertain where they fit into the whole canvas of God’s interventions and acts in previous days.
Well, Dr Robert Godfrey, president of Westminster Seminary, California, and professor of church history, comes to our rescue and provides us with timely answers. Here on this current disc we have part 4 of a fascinating series of lectures.
The three previous discs cover the ancient church, the medieval church and the Reformation church, and here Dr Godfrey moves on and deals with the church of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
In the compass of twelve lectures, each lasting a little over 20 minutes, Dr Godfrey gives us highlights of the period following the Reformation, through the Puritan era and on to the great Evangelical Revival.
With deft strokes, he provides us with a glimpse into the lives of such well-known figures as John Wesley, George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, with the background to their lives and influence.
These lectures were originally given at the Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies and therefore necessarily have a strong bias towards American church history. However, the British scene is also adequately detailed, with the Puritan era and the Westminster Assembly receiving excellent coverage.
Not only are we given the facts of events that took place, but also the doctrinal strengths and weaknesses prevalent at the time. So we learn about Puritan worship and eschatology, together with the political persuasions that influenced Christians for better or worse.
Dr Godfrey is a very human lecturer. With a twinkle in his eye and a scarcely concealed humour at times, he brings the situations and controversies of the past to life. And every now and then the preacher in him overcomes the lecturer and we get a strong sense of his passionate involvement both with past and present issues that have perplexed the church.
Although these lectures will be of greatest benefit to any theological student, no Christian can fail to benefit from them.