Some books that helped my thinking, integrating past with new insight.
Godly Kingship by Jacqueline Rose. Rose studies the range of Erastian views persisting through the Restoration, much originating from Henrician law. Interesting are opinions co-extensive to the nation– be it ‘crown-in-parliament’ or the Henrician use of lay “elders” (e.g., Cromwell) to enforce royal prerogative. Sacerdotal Supremacy is likewise examined. An excellent book on CoE-Erastianism. Purchase.
Constitutional Royalism by David Smith. Smith examines the ideological commitments of moderate royalists during the Long Parliament thru the Civil War, outlining a loyalist Whiggery. The last two chapters cover the Restoration and the re-ascendancy of Whig influence before William & Mary. Smith’s political analysis is detailed, but a wide grasp of royal Whiggism is provided. Purchase
Expansion of England by John R. Seeley. Seeley’s lectures ponder the English Empire’s future, advocating the keeping of a “Greater Britain” by common culture and race rather than mere Imperial power. Obviously, American Federalism weighs greatly in Seeley’s thought, providing a model not only for a Civil but, equally probable, an Ecclesiastical Commonwealth centered around London. Purchase
Builders of Empire by Jessica Harland-Jacobs. Jacobs examines the rise of Masonry in conjunction with the making of the second Empire, giving much insight into the gradual shaping of Masonry into a Protestant loyal order and its positive contribution to the Anglican interest. The book avoids speculative pitfalls typical of the genre yet is a sober, historical treatment of an otherwise difficult subject. Purchase
The Free Church of England by John Fenwick. The Rt. Rev. Fenwick provides a historical account of the Free Church (FCE)— its “methodistic” origins and later retrieval of Anglican heritage through Reformed Episcopals. Given Canterbury’s recognition of FCE orders, Fenwick’s book has contemporary interest for those wanting a relation to England without strange mediation of Africa or ECUSA . Purchase
Divided We Stand by David Bess. An important introduction to the continuing Anglican movement, Bess provides a contemporary history of churches that left ECUSA between 1963 to 1999. However, Bess’s narrative begs caution where the FCC is described as the ‘low-church Phalanx’. Yet, the book remains the most comprehensive treatment of continuing Anglicanism since the mainline ordination of women. Purchase
Catholic Evangelical Papers by William Muhlenberg. Among Protestant unity schemes, Muhlenberg’s ranks the most ingenious and practical. The Papers urge liturgical brevity, variety, and flexibility. These ideas find their way into the 1928 BCP revision, proving the evangelical and Protestant ecumenical basis of the American book. Download
Foundation for Revival by Scott Kisker. Kisker stresses the “Anglo-” foundations of Methodism, examining Horneck’s making of religious societies prior to Wesley. Kisker credits Pietism to early Puritanism, exported to Amsterdam & the Halle, and then back again to England. The discipline and goals of the societies are explained prior to their absorption into Wesley’s ‘new methodism’ . Purchase
The Christian Monitors by Brent Sirota. An excellent resource on the Williamite clergy and their free societies. The Episcopal bench from 1680 to 1715 was responsible for introducing a program of pastoral reform that would give birth to great voluntary bodies like SPCK and Wesleyan Methodism. Incidentally, it’s from this milieu Americans would revise their Prayer Book, so Sirota is vital. Purchase
The Early Methodist Class Meeting by David Watson. Watson studies the structure and organization of the early class meetings. Originally intended for the collection of love-offerings, the class meeting quickly evolved into the basis of Methodist organization. Watson details the lay-mechanics of Methodism as it expected to purify the Church through a network of covenanted groups. Purchase
John Wesley in America by Geordan Hammond. The young-Wesley was deeply influenced by non-juroring Anglicanism, experimenting with primitive Usages while in Georgia. Hammond describes the intercourse between Wesley and English Jacobites– from Wesley’s work with SPG to the writing of his Sunday Services, downplaying Aldersgate in favor of Savannah. Purchase.
Predestination, Policy and Polemic by Peter White. White debunks Prynne’s claim that a Calvinist consensus existed in the Church of England prior to Charles I, reviewing early-Calvinist nuances and England’s wish to avoid confessional hardening. This book clarifies the CoE’s actual soteriology in relation to Dort and late-Reformed politics– a must read for self-professed Anglo-calvinists. Purchase.
Atonement and Justification by Alan Clifford. Clifford claims the soteriological debates following the Restoration distorted an earlier Calvinism which approved limited election alongside universal atonement. This orthodoxy can be found prior to Owen’s systematization, accurately continued by Richard Baxter. Clifford suggests moderates like Baxter represented the true confessional norm in England, perhaps close to Amyrauldism. Purchase.
The Elect Methodists by David C. Jones. This book ought to be treated as a compendium to Fenwick’s text. Jones analyzes the rise of Calvinistic Methodism, comparing its relative success in Wales and England. Jones admits the short-comings of Whitefield’s celebrity while highlighting the less known labors of Selena Huntingdon and Howell Harris. Ultimate absorption of English Calvinists into Independency concludes the book while Harris’ retirement in Trevecca is a fascinating note. Purchase
Wesley and the Anglicans by Ryan Danker. A fine summary of relationships between Wesley’s Preachers vs. settled Evangelical parish ministers. Danker contends the predestinarian controversy was second to the question of itinerancy. Interesting is Danker’s review of proposals to reconcile the methodist people to the established church. The drama of Wesley’s resistance to priesthood intrusion while keeping his needed lay-assistants is skillfully retold. Purchase.
Crown and a Cross by Andrew Goodhead. A landmark study showing development of Methodist Societal Rules by comparing Woodwardian to the later evangelical-forms. Goodhead proves the Fetter Lane Society was less Moravian than usually believed, i.e., limiting membership to Anglicans. Wesley broke older Rules when he admitted all denominational Christians, although finding other ways to direct them toward Establishment. Purchase.
Responsible Grace by Randy Maddox. A truly useful resource for students curious about John Wesley’s maturation of theological thought. Maddox shows Wesley’s commonality by the Eastern church with topics like Perfection, Arminianism, and Gospel Sacraments. Maddox emphasizes Wesley’s non-juroring youth as framework for later thinking. Unmentioned is Wesley’s impact on Primitivism in the American 2nd Great Awakening. Purchase
Alexander Campbell and Joseph Smith by RoseAnn Benson. Surprisingly a good book & primer on American Restorationism. Benson compares these two intellects who converged on certain sentiments yet held wildly different hermeneutics. Benson spends time on their rivalry, but misses Campbell’s colleague, Barton Stone, who was perhaps closer to early Mormonism yet himself a strict cessasionist. Purchase
Samuel Hopkins and the New Divinity by Joseph Conforti. A fine study on New England theology, especially among that section of New Light evangelists who adopted Hopkin’s system. Hopkin harmonized Benevolence to Calvinism, introducing a semi-Arminianism, and propelling Edwardsianism toward American revivalism & social reform. Important for knowing American circumstance & the Congregationalist role in it. Purchase.
Heaven on Earth by Martin Spence. Spence dispels false constructions placed upon historical premillennialism from the side of dispensationalism or romantic futurism. Historical premillennialists’ gave precedence to to a physicality & presence that contemporary premils neglect, lending credence not only to political action but ideas tethered to earthly, communal salvation. Spence happily rescues primitive eschatology apart from an otherwise modern ethos of withdraw & surrender. Purchase
More on the way. Other titles may be downloaded or viewed here.