New Testament Puritanism

New Testament Puritanism

The Puritans are often maligned as “legalistic” or even “gloomy and morose” by those who, it would seem, have little familiarity with their writings, or with the depth of their pastoral sensitivity and devotion to God. B. B. Warfield was a professor at Princeton Seminary during the great controversy between biblical Christianity and theological liberalism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a beloved professor and friend of J. Gresham Machen, who would, along with others in the mainline Presbyterian church, leave that denomination to form the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Warfield says that the spirit of Puritanism was its single-minded desire and passion for the pursuit of holiness, which necessarily entails a radical separation from sin, effected only by the grace of God, through the powerful working of the Holy Spirit.

Warfield’s sermon, “New Testament Puritanism,” sets forth a necessary corrective to the misguided and misinformed caricatures that have always been prevalent in regard to the teaching of the Puritans. In this sermon, preached to seminary students at “Old Princeton,” he demonstrates that the essence of Puritanism was a desire to be biblical in both faith and life. In fact, that is the title under which the collection of sermons in which “New Testament Puritanism” appears as published by The Banner of Truth. I wholeheartedly commend this sermon to you. It would make an excellent sermon for families to read together on a quiet Lord’s Day afternoon.


For a contemporary version in the same vein, see Geoff Thomas’ sermon by the same title here.

For a wonderful DVD documentary on the history and theology of the Puritans, I recommend watching “Puritan: All of Life to the Glory of God,” which may be found here. (I also have a copy of the DVD that you are more than welcome to borrow!)


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