The history of seventeenth century England was tumultuous. During this period England underwent a civil war, a regicide, an experiment with republican government, a restoration of monarchy and constant upheavals in politics and religion. As the century began, Puritans were poised against Episcopalians, Parliament against the forces of an absolutist monarchy and the question hung in the air—what kind of Christian expression would be the Church of England eventually reflect?
For those who admire the confessional statements of the Westminster Assembly but know little of their origins, this is a wonderful introductory volume. The diversity of the Assembly participants with their immense commonalities is amazing. Also of interest is the enormous energy involved in the debates, the participants' struggles to understand the Bible, and their freedom to vent disagreement at high decibels while maintaining a spirit of unity. The book is well organized and presented in an effective format.
—John D. Hannah, Biblioteca Sacra
C. S. Lewis once accused our age of 'chronological snobbery' for failing to learn from or value the past, but no one will be able to remain snobbish after reading Dr. Barker's splendid vignettes on these great Puritan divines. His studies are insightful, wise and encouraging! Read them, and come away a stronger person.
—James Boice, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia
These well researched biographies add immeasurably to our historical appreciation of the Westminster Assembly. Having field tested the book with Seminary students I can attest to its usefulness...
—David Clyde Jones, Professor of Theology and Ethics, Covenant Seminary, St. Louis
William Barker is Vice-President for academic affairs and professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, of which he is a former moderator.