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The Puritan Hope: A Study in Revival and the Interpretation of Prophecy Paperback – June 1, 1971

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'The author reaches new heights, presenting a winsome portrait of the Puritan divines, focusing upon their extraordinary vitality and the understanding of history which undergirded it.' --James M. Boice

'I think it is a fine piece of work and the chapter dealing with the imminence of the advent (N.T. sense of imminence) in relation to other data of an exegetical and historical nature is masterful.' --John Murray --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

From 1956, Iain H. Murray was for three years assistant to Dr Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel and there, with the late Jack Cullum, founded the Banner of Truth Trust in 1957. He left Westminster in 1961 for a nine-year pastorate at Grove Chapel, Camberwell. With the world-wide expansion of the Trust, Iain Murray became engaged full-time in its ministry from 1969 until 1981 when he responded to a call from St Giles Presbyterian Church, Sydney, Australia. Now based again in the UK, he and Jean live in Edinburgh. He has written many titles published by the Trust, in whose work he remains active. He is still writing. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth (June 1, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085151247X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851512471
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,134,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Murray's thoughtful book challenges evangelicals to re-examine their thinking about the return of Christ. He carefully develops the basis for the sense of conviction and purpose that motivated Carey, Wilberforce and many others to do great works for Christ. Arguing that the "fullness of the Gentiles" must precede the conversion of Israel as prophecied in Romans 11, and that both of these events have not yet occurred, and that they portend far greater influence and triumph for the Church on the Earth, Murray lovingly challenges those who are of a "sit at home and wait for the rapture" mentality. He explains how and why the Puritans came to their eschatological beliefs; how these were perverted, primarily in modern times, by men like Edward Irving and J.N. Darby; why we've stopped thinking critically about these theories; and how we must recapture the confident expectation of Christ's triumphant end-time revival of Gentiles, then all Israel, before his return in glory. Excellent and thought-provoking.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book as part of an extensive research project in eschatology, and it had a definite and important impact on my thinking, not just in "end times" events, but in understanding the Puritan theological heritage of modern Christianity and it implications for today. Released in the early 70's when dispensationalism was at it's height, this book resurrects the old Puritan view and gives it a new hearing.

This book is not a text on eschatology in the proper sense of the word. Murray does not delineate various views and weigh them against different kinds of evidence. Instead what he does is demonstrate that the theology of the Reformation, and especially the Puritans was a victorious-minded postmillennialism which looked forward to Christ's conquest of the nations, and the conversion of the Jews. He then demonstrates convincingly that many good fruits sprang from this hope especially world missions, and many cancers appeared when it was progressively replaced with a dispensational hope of Christ's 'imminent' return. For those from a strong dispensational perspective this may be too much to digest in one session, although the work is not abraisive, however for the rest of us who have been affected by dispensational thought indirectly the ideas in this book are a powerful antidote.

This book would be an excellent tool in any study of Church History, World Missions, or Eschatology.
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Format: Paperback
From a historical survey, Murray details the relationship of Puritan postmillennialism to their motivation for world missions. Missionaries went boldly into various parts of the earth knowing that Christ has already won the victory over Satan's kingdom at the cross and had promised the victory of the church in history. "All authority has been given unto me in heaven and on earth, go therefore and teach...make disciples of all nations...I am with you even unto the end of the age." "I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."
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In an age were all we hear is the end is near, the end is near it is great to hear a voice, or voices from the past that say yea it maybe but lets keep on shining the Light of Christ instead of getting into a bunker and hiding from a broken world, an excellent book!!
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Format: Paperback
Excellent book. You didn't know William Carey, the founder of Protestant missions, was a postmillennialist, along with most of the other 1st-generation Protestant missionaries? You do now! (So was Adoniram Judson.) Expecting from Scripture that the good news of Jesus will prevail worldwide before He comes back is for one thing a sound, truthful hope, and for another thing it transformed what evangelicals do and it has changed lives all over the world. True, and good. God is a history-loving winner.

Besides the biography/history, Murray gives a chapter to expounding Romans 11 as promising God's worldwide blessing during history, and a chapter--which had a tremendous impact on me the first time I read it--on why, no matter how good things get before Jesus comes back, His return is still something we greatly desire. Resurrection bodies, new heaven and earth wherein righteousness dwells--yes! I was considering eschatology when I read it; I didn't become a postmil while reading it, but it helped get me ready to see the light. (For several dozen other postmillennial prooftexts, search my article "Postmillennialism helps prayer.")

He MAY have written too little about the Moravians, who were active in missionary work before Carey. His style is sound enough, but not outstanding; easy enough to read, but not great fun for most people. So four stars; but I warmly recommend it. (Around 300 pages.)
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The way one interprets the Bible is the way one will view the world. Murray writes a compelling story about the Puritans, who read and understood the Bible in a literal sense. That is, they understood that the New Covenant included the worldwide spread of the gospel throughout the entire earth (Hebrews 8:8-12). The spreading of the gospel therefore would occur through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Thus the world was the domain, which belonged to the Kingdom of Christ. In accordance with a literal interpretation of Romans 11, the Jewish people would therefore be included in this evangelization, and will eventually believe in Jesus Christ as their savior.

This theological influence of the Puritans permeated the great missionary societies of the 18th and 19th centuries. That is, the Puritans believed in the success of their missionary efforts, which would cover the earth with the knowledge of the Lord. Thus their theology did not view the world as a place, which would become more dangerous and evil through time, but more Christlike, since the outpouring of the Spirit would lead sinners to Christ. Again, this outpouring of the Spirit would one day eventually include the nation of Israel, since the Jews would be included in the New Covenant when the fullness of the Gentiles was completed. Thus they understood Romans 11 in the most literal sense. At this time, the second advent of Christ would occur, and usher in the timeless eternal state. In a footnote at the end of the book, Murray refers to this view as Post-Millennialism, which word actually only occurs once in his book.
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