Theology and Piety in the Reformed Federal Thought of William Perkins and John Preston

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This study identifies the loci motifs in the federal thought of two eminent Puritans, William Perkins and John Preston, and thereby presents Puritan loci federalism as a biblically sanctioned alternative to the historical method. It reinterprets the diversity within Reformed Federal thought based on a methodological distinction of loci/history rather than a dogmatic division of grace/ethics.


"There is a tendency in recent scholarship concerning Reformed and Puritan theology in the the 16th and 17th centuries to emphasize distinctions between various branches such as those represtented by Zurich or Geneva. One of the strengths of Timothy Song's study is his emphasis on what the theologies of William Perkins and of John Preston have in common. Although their methodologies may differ, they share a common Reformed dogmatic position. It is especially helpful to see Preston's thought as in continuity with that of Perkins. Dr. Song's work is to be commended for all serious students of Puritan theology." - William S. Barker

"Dr. Song's study of the critical theological issues of the relationship between grace and law within the context of the earlier federal theology is particularly fascinating. He brings to his exposition an impressive sensitivity not only to historical developments in the Puritan period, but also to the theological and spiritual issues with which that extraordinary era wrestled. His contribution will be of widespread interest to both historians of doctrine and students of theology." - Sinclair B. Fergusan

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction - Interpretations of Puritan Federalism: Two Traditions Theory; Single Tradition Theory; Diversity Within Unity Theory; Evaluation; Loci Approach
2. Loci Federalism of William Perkins: System and History in Federalism; Two Biblical Patterns of Federalism; William Perkins and English Federalism; Covenant and Ordo Salutis; Decree and Covenant; Unity of Law and Grace Ramism and Covenant
3. System and Piety in William Perkins: Piety and System; Covenant and Casuistry; Conscience and Decree; Conscience and Covenant; Loci Federalism and Casuistry; Covenant and Sacraments; Immanence of Ex Opere Operato; Transcendence of Ex Opere Operantis; Operato-in-Operantis; Covenant and Assurance; Transcendence of Faith; Immanence of Assurance; Covenant and Law; Transcendence of Grace; Immanence of Law; Covenant and Preparation; Transcendence of Effectual Call; Immanence of General Call
4. Federal Thought of John Preston - A Flowering of Perkinsian Synthesis: System and History; Perkins and Preston' Covenant as Outward Means of Decree' Covenant and Ordo Salutis; Predestination and Preparation; Double Decree; Gospel and Decree; Generality of Gospel Call; Bilateral Covenant; Grace and Law; Summary of Preston's Federal Thought
5. Conclusion, Bibliography

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