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The Majority Puritan Viewpoint on Whether Extra-biblical Prophecy Is … (Studies in Christian History & Thought) (Hardcover)
When the seventeenth-century English Puritan-dominated parliament became embroiled in a conflict with Charles I, the members of the Long Parliament sought military assistance from the Scots. The Scots, however, also desired to see a united Reformation of church and society and proposed a covenant to institute a greater religious uniformity in the three kingdoms. The English parliament established the Westminster Assembly to prepare the documents for that uniformity. One of those documents, the Westminster Confession of Faith, addressed the major theological disputes of the day; one of which centered on whether God still revealed His will outside of the Bible. The book concludes that the Westminster divines believed that God still directed people in all of life, though revelation which came immediately from God had ceased now that the church had the completed Scriptures. In the opening chapter of the Confession, the divines of Westminster included a clause which implied that there would no longer be any special immediate revelation from God. Means by which God had once communicated the divine will, such as dreams, visions, and the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, were said to be no longer available. However, many of the authors of the WCF accepted that `prophecy’ continued in their time, and a number of them apparently believed that disclosure of God’s will through dreams, visions, and angelic communication remained possible. How is the `cessationist’ clause of WCF 1:1 to be read in the light of these claims? This book reconciles this paradox in a detailed study of the writings of the authors of the Westminster Confession of Faith.

`Garnet Milne presents us with a much-needed study…. He builds his case by presenting judicious and thorough evidence from a large number of both primary and secondary sources. It is a fascinating and groundbreaking book…and clarifies a remarkable amount of profound, theological detail.’
Joel R. Beeke, from the Foreword

`Connecting the past to the present is always a difficult but necessary task for the responsible Christian theologian. Dr Milne’s work is a good example of how modern questions can be sensitively engaged in a manner which gives due respect to the great formulations of the past without either imposing Procrustean criteria on such historic discussions or simply historicising such to the point of irrelevance.’
Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, USA

`Scholars in puritan studies are increasingly alert to the variety of the movement’s theology and spirituality. Garnet Milne’s carefully-argued conclusions will provide a major resource for the reassessment of the
most critical of puritan doctrines – the sufficiency of Scripture.’
Crawford Gribben, Long Room Hub Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Print Studies, Trinity College, Dublin

Dr Milne’s doctorate in historical theology, from Otago University, forms the basis of this book.