William Strong (ca. 1611–1654) was an influential leader at the Westminster Assembly and was greatly admired by his contemporaries. However, in modern time, even those most indebted to the Westminster tradition are unfamiliar with this stalwart of the seventeenth century.
In this book, Thomas Parr opens by introducing us to the significance of the life and ministry of Strong and then launches into a survey and summary of Strong’s teaching on the covenant of works. Along the way, this book shows that the condemnation from a covenant of works serves as a dark backdrop to display the glory of the covenant of grace.
Table of Contents:
Prologue: The Life of William Strong
1. The Curse of the First Covenant, Death
2. People in Adam Prefer the First Covenant
3. Sin Is Irritated by the Law
4. The Law’s Rigor and Coercion
5. All Those in Christ Are Transferred from the First Covenant
6. Transference by Union with Christ
7. The Law as a Covenant Abolished to All in Christ
8. To All in Christ, the First Covenant Serves the Second
Conclusion: Experimental Covenant Theology Bibliography
Thomas Parr (ThM, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary) is a Reformed Baptist pastor serving in Anacortes Washington since 2006. He is also a contributing editor to the Lexham Context Commentary and author of the volume on the Gospel of Mark in that series.
“Up until the Restoration, William Strong's grave was in Westminster Abbey. But with the return of Charles II, his body was disinterred and unceremoniously dumped into the obscurity of a mass grave. This small fact well illustrates the way that Strong, once influential enough to be buried in the capital's leading church, has disappeared beneath the soil of history. This work by Tom Parr helps recover not only Strong's memory, but also his thinking on covenant theology in his magnum opus. This is not only a fresh study, but one that proves to be vital for understanding the way that the covenant is threaded through the entire warp and woof of Puritan thinking.” — Michael A. G. Haykin, chair and professor of church history, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“A proven path to becoming a solid theologian is to study one. Thomas Parr knows this and here he presents the Puritan William Strong as a theological mentor for us all. With Parr as our guide, we can follow Strong in his edifying treatment of the much-neglected topics of the covenant of works, union with Christ, and the covenant of grace. This is an edifying study and serious Christians will find it time well spent. Tolle lege!” — Chad Van Dixhoorn, professor of church history and director of the Craig Center for the Study of the Westminster Standards at Westminster Theological Seminary
“In Backdrop for a Glorious Gospel, Tom Parr gives us covenant theology at its best. Using William Strong’s exposition of the covenant of works as his guide, Parr demonstrates how covenant theology can be preached and applied to the hearts and lives of God’s people. It is my prayer and hope that this work will be part of a growing realization within the Church that sound covenantal doctrine ought to affect the lives of God’s people and the mission of His Church.” — Stephen Myers, associate professor of historical theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary