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Balancing Head and Heart in Seventeenth Century Puritanism

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This study explores Stephen Charnock's doctrine of the knowledge of God to discover his contributions to the restoration English puritan understanding of a balance of head and heart. This balance is the crucial link to the original reformers and the puritans. Charnock paved a distinctive trail in the midst of diverse paths the restoration puritans were taking, but he also maintained certain characteristics, which were common to the puritan way. Together with others (notably Richard Baxter, John Howe and William Bates) Charnock attempted to maintain a balance of mind and heart, where the use of reason and the Bible were combined with a deep experiential faith. This group of latitude puritans appear to be the most faithful to the original reformers though uniquely suited to their age.

Endorsements  'The time is ripe for a fresh study of the thought of Stephen Charnock. Here the focus is upon his epistemology. I hope that what Dr. Siekawitch has written will be widely read, and I predict that it will engender lively debate.' - Alan P F Sell, Visiting Professor at Acadia University Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada

'Larry Siekawitch's Balancing Head and Heart in Seventeenth Century Puritanism is a great boon to the study of Puritan, experiential piety in general and the neglected premier Puritan author on the knowledge and attributes of God, Stephen Charnock, in particular. Charnock's nuanced balance between the head and the heart in vital Christianity—avoiding cerebralism on the one hand and introspectionism on the other—serves not only as a model of the best Puritans in the seventeenth century but also as a model for us today. By the Spirit's grace, the restoration of this kind of intelligent piety in our contemporary scene would do more for reformation and revival than any man-centered solution for the church's problems.' - Joel Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, Heritage Reformed Congregations

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