have read books by Puritan authors and are familiar with Puritan
theology may, nevertheless, be unaware of how intensely eschatological
(and even apocalyptic) their outlook was.
The Puritan hope is certainly helpful in exploring this
theme, but for a more detailed picture, incorporating recent
research, readers should turn to The Puritan Millennium.
Gribben begins his study with the Protestant exiles in Geneva,
whose teaching on the last things focussed especially on suffering
under, and triumph over, Antichrist (whom they identified as
later, the Geneva Bibles marginal notes, together with
the writings of such men as William Perkins, added the expectation
of a future widespread conversion of the Jews. The particularly
radical eschatology of Thomas Goodwin is also outlined by Gribben.
the most valuable and fascinating parts of the book are those
that discuss how the various eschatological outlooks influenced
the debates on church government at the Westminster Assembly
(e.g. the chapter on George Gillespie).
writers came perilously close to setting dates for
future eschatological events. Offenders included
Bunyan, Goodwin and some of the Particular Baptists.
partly because they saw a need to discern Gods hand and
purpose in the unfolding events of history. Their confidence
sometimes resulted in obscure or mistaken predictions, but nevertheless
compares favourably with present-day vagueness and nervousness
in handling apocalyptic Scriptures.
book is more a literary history than a historical theology,
it will be valuable to anyone wishing to explore eschatology
from either an historical or a theological viewpoint.
Vogan, Evangelical Times, June 2001