Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Covenant of Grace in Puritan Thought

For many years, the magnum opus of Dr. John Von Rohr -- former dean of the Pacific School of Religion and Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology and History of Christianity, president of the American Society of Church History, and an ordained Congregationalist minister, has been out of print and hard to find. Now, however, The Covenant of Grace in Puritan Thought (1986, Scholars Press) is available again as a reprint from Wipf & Stock (2010).

A comprehensive account of the major theological themes in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century Puritanism of England and New England as seen through the concept "covenant of grace." The covenant of grace, von Rohr argues, enabled Puritanism to affirm both a continuation of Calvinistic predestinationism and an emergent voluntaristic pietism, pastorally both the absolute and conditional promises of God. An extensive array of primary source material is used in substantiating the author's thesis.

Dr. Von Rohr died on January 31, 2005 (providentially, my brother died on this very date), just two weeks after his wife also passed away, after they had been married for 65 years. Besides his family, this work is perhaps his greatest legacy. I am thankful that it is available once again.

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