Crowned with Immortal Glory: Eschatalogical Hope in the Spirituality of William Perkins
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SubjectPerkins, William, 1558-1602
Future life--Reformed Church--History of doctrines
Eschatology--History of doctrines
The doctrine of glorification is a biblical teaching that has been neglected within the Protestant church and, therefore, underdeveloped in our day. For whatever reason that may be, glorification is a doctrine that will affect every aspect of one’s overarching theology, especially the doctrine of soteriology. What one ultimately believes about the future will significantly impact their present. This study shows that this neglect or lack of development has not always been the case within the church, especially within Reformed Protestantism. Looking at one of the most influential second-generation reformers and theologians of the English Reformation, William Perkins (1558-1602), it becomes evident that embedded within the Reformed Scholastic tradition lays a robust development and understanding of the doctrine of glorification. Perkins formulated and wrote a great deal on the final state of the believer in Christ, what his rewards are in Christ, and, ultimately, his complete and final transformation and conformity into His image.What rewards have been promised and given to the believer in Christ? What will he be like? What will he look like? What will his status be in glory? I demonstrate from Perkins’s complete and collected works that the future state of man in Christ is one of the main themes driving his thoughts, doctrinal developments, and teachings. Throughout his works, whether brief statements or whether he goes into great detail, what a man is in Christ, what he receives in Christ, and what he will ultimately be in Christ is constantly addressed with renowned biblical and theological precision. Within the theology of Perkins, from his doctrine of predestination to creation, his covenant theology, union with Christ, and his soteriology, he continually points his audience to their ultimate end in eschatological glory. At the conclusion of this study, I have not only shown, systematically, Perkins’s grand development and treatment of glorification, but also uncovered, historically, the influence this doctrine had in the formation of one of the most prominent and popular theologians of the English Reformation. Lastly, while showing how this doctrine of future glory impacted Perkins’s overall theology, I will have demonstrated how it impacted his spirituality. That is, how he lived his Christian life presently. These areas of spirituality include his polemics, personal holiness, and present hope in life and death.