Richard Baxter and Conversion
A Study of the Puritan Concept of Becoming a Christian
Puritan religious experience was centered on conversion, the ‘new birth’ of the soul – the essence of Puritanism. This book carefully dissects Baxter’s writings and life so that we see how he constructs a “systematic theology of conversion”. How relevant this is becomes clear as Beougher investigates how Baxter speaks to us today about controversies on justification, church discipline and the sacraments.
Baxter was, in the opinion of many, the greatest of Puritan pastors; during his ministry in Kidderminster he had every person in his town to his house to enquire of their spiritual state. It was central to his care for his flock. In an era where authentic belonging is sought, but rarely found, Baxter can speak to us today just as effectively through this in-depth study.
“We are indebted to Timothy Beougher for providing a rich historical and theological study of Christian conversion through the lens of the great 17th century Puritan pastor and theologian, Richard Baxter. Few in the history of the church cared so much, studied so much, and wrote so much about conversion as Baxter, and Beougher offers here both a well-documented and eminently readable account of Baxter’s deep and nuanced thought. I highly recommend this book, both for the fascinating discussion of theological themes of central importance to the Puritans and to all thoughtful Christians, and for the profound richness to mind and soul that comes through considering afresh the nature and process of true Christian conversion.” — Bruce Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
“Richard Baxter believed that a faithful system of theology, when created by a skillful hand, would not add to the Scriptures, but merely draw out what is already there. Richard Baxter and Conversion reveals that Timothy Beougher is just such a skillful hand with respect to Baxter’s writings. He has drawn out of this classic and controversial Puritan’s writings the theological and practical strengths and weakness that are there, and in the process clarified the historic controversies that have surrounded this great Puritan pastor’s doctrine of conversion.” — Peter Lillback, President, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
About the Author
Timothy K. Beougher is Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. He studied at Kansas State University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Prior to taking up his present position he was assistant professor of evangelism at the Wheaton College Graduate School and associate director of the Institute of Evangelism at the Billy Graham Center.