Chapter

Baxter, Bates, and Howe

Dewey D. Wallace, Jr.

in Shapers of English Calvinism, 1660–1714

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744831
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897339 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744831.003.0006

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

Baxter, Bates, and Howe

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Natural theology in England has been chiefly associated with Church of England authors. But three moderate Calvinist Presbyterians, Richard Baxter, William Bates, and John Howe, developed versions of natural theology as an antidote to skeptical atheism and versions of the “evidences of Christianity” to prove the truth of the Bible and of Christian revelation to oppose Deism. Baxter's books presented a miscellany of arguments, Bates developed his case in several clear and concise books, and Howe shaped in his The Living Temple a Platonically tinged argument that culminated in the motif of God's “conversableness” with humanity. Though their ideas liberalized Calvinism they remained thoroughly Calvinistic in their emphasis on grace-centered piety and their focus on the atoning death of Christ.

Keywords: Calvinism; Presbyterianism; Richard Baxter; William Bates; John Howe; natural theology; evidences of Christianity

Chapter.  18130 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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