By Jeff Ziegler
Published March 1, 1996
While evil is being codified at the highest level of American government, the Evangelical Church is undergoing an enormous and historic paradigm shift.
This realignment, which emphasizes a victorious ecclesiology and a biblically optimistic worldview, is nothing less than a renaissance of Puritanism, and is a precursor to the fuller acceptance of reconstructionism across the parched domain of American Evangelicalism.
The rise of a “generalized” Puritan worldview is of great importance to the reconstructionist agenda, for this sweeping resurgence. This renaissance is rapidly preparing the Church corporate in America as the agent for the most comprehensive societal reformation in this nations history. Indeed “neo-puritanism” is having its greatest effect among those evangelicals involved in the “revival prayer movement” which has “wet the appetite” of many sincere saints who earnestly long for a “golden age” of strapping Christianity.
Of special note, is the mounting momentum which Puritan thought is having among some charismatic churches, which despite their diversity and in some cases anarchy, have many in their number who are intuitively covenantal in church polity, with still others having a subjective appreciation for the “Dominion Mandate.”
Many charismatics too, are now overcoming an inbred prejudice of American anti-intellectualism to building in the objective theological moorings of Puritan thought and Christian Orthodoxy, which will inevitably bring an unflagging, optimistic and comprehensive worldview to their ranks. Given time this will shake the very social foundations of The United States.
However, I must caution, this encouraging movement among many evangelicals should not be viewed with a “Pollyanna” optimism. The existence of many entrenched strongholds of sin and blatant violations of orthodoxy within the Church must be vanquished in order to see genuine reformation. These fixed fortifications of indolence, ignorance and iniquity will not fall easily, for apostasy has been theologically rationalized, codified, and institutionalized by wide spread antinomianism (or contempt for the moral law of God), pietistic monasticism (or subjective, mystical, fatalistic and selfish private religion), and relational sentimentalism; with its inherently relativistic morality, emphasis on emotionalism as being superior to immutable biblical principle and an idolatrous notion of God being a self limiting seeker sensitive deity who is subjugated to the whims of autonomous man. It is also important to note that the existence of such evil, should not cause us to have a “give up the ship mentality.” Our Sovereign Lord has ignited the engines of the Puritan juggernaut throughout history, often; from a human perspective, “just in the nick of time.” Thus we as the Lord’s elect knighted ones, cannot cower in hopelessness nor retreat to the bunkers of fatalism.
While each Puritan renaissance has its particular emphases, characteristics and applications, there are elements which are common to each. The most common element of biblical truth which surfaces in Puritan revivals is a distinctly reformed soteriology or theology of redemption. Historically, reformed soteriology is sometimes accepted wholly and at other times in degree depending on the depth, force and fidelity of the particular Puritan resurgence in question. At the time of this writing an Augustinian-Calvinistic approach to the issues of salvation and sanctification is seeing a grass roots resurgence both among evangelical clergy and layman.
Once again, brave pulpiteers are proclaiming the majesty and supremacy of God over against mans absolute total depravity. This “goodness and severity” principle is provoking the saints to a fresh obedience to the “Law of God.”
Reformed soteriology and its application in reformation preaching is the surest antidote to the antinomian, pietistic, sentimental defeatist theology which has surrendered American society to hellish machinations.
Another element key to any resurgence of Puritanism, is a victorious ecclesiology, or triumphant view of the purpose, function and doctrine of the Church. Such an optimistic view of the Church would see her as victorious in time and history and would emphasize a covenantal approach to Scripture as well as a covenantal model as a basis for relations between the family, church and state.
This covenantal appreciation of Scripture can be described and summarized by the following; “The God who created the universe, reveals himself in history, lays down immutable fixed Biblical laws, brings predictable results, both blessings and sanctions in terms of these laws, and raises the elect to a place of victory in history.”
Some of the practical benefits of such a covenantal and triumphant worldview, will include actions by the Church which have not been in evidence since the days of John Knox.
For example, there will be an increase of cooperative ecclesiastical actions such as functioning pastoral presbyteries, which will enforce “The Crown Rights of Christ” over cities and geographic regions through covenantal imprecatory prayer and public proclamations. Also, practical cooperation between clergymen in covenantal relationships will be in evidence in such areas as church discipline, reformation think tanks, ecclesiastical courts and the sharing of resources to accomplish common goals.
Generally, an increase of Christian activism at the grass roots level will be in evidence though firmly rooted in Reformed Orthodoxy.
Socially, one can expect great reaction and upheaval from both the Church and society as the pluralistic, relationally sentimental, moral relativists within the Church and the secularist social Darwinists within the power structures of society rise in raucous denunciation of any movement which dares to proclaim and enforce the absolutes of God’s Law-Word and the Crown Rights of Christ. But such is the stuff of “Puritan storms,” for revival, reformation, and at times “Cromwellian” revolution are very close cousins indeed.
What has thus far been articulated is certainly short of full-blown reconstructionism. However, it is a transitional phase that does provide a sufficient paradigm shift allowing a platform for continued maturity and enlargement in the areas of Calvinism, Theonomy and Postmillennialism.
In conclusion, I will list a series of common attributes which depicts this time of transition. From this base, let us press forward to harness the “Puritan Storm” and reconstruct our apostate culture along Biblical lines.
Common Themes Now in Ascendancy
a) The Church is the only institution that advances Christ’s Kingdom on earth. No other institution is intimated.
b) Christ has furnished all the means to accomplish His work on earth through His resurrection, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
c) The witness of the early church in triumph over the Roman Empire, the success of Christian missions and today’s Third World awakenings are evidence of a victorious Church.
d) To intimate that the Church will fail in the Great Commission, dishonors the Gospel and the Holy Spirit.
e) The purpose of the Kingdom of God is to prevent the universal spread of idolatry, preserve the testimony of Christ’s Imperial Reign, gather the elect, enforce the covenants and the moral Law of God and finally, it is to triumph overall.
f) All nations will have an identifiable an indigenous witness of the Church.
g) Ethnic Jews will be reingrafted to the Christian Church in a large way.
Forerunner - Home » The Puritan Storm
Your comments are welcome!
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)