You are invited to step into this semester’s Puritan theology class. We explore the theological roots of Protestant spiritual formation by first getting to know Martin Luther and discussing “The Freedom of a Christian.” Afterward, we discover more about John Calvin and read a selection from his Institutes. This helps us to understand the English Puritans in their historical context and builds a framework toward understanding their theology. By reading works authored by them, our appreciation for these saints of the past grows. Exercising some of the means of grace (spiritual disciplines) they used helps guide us in knowing, experiencing and enjoying God’s grace even more.

This particular course is taught in a hybrid format where students complete their assigned readings, discussion threads and lecture video viewing outside the classroom. In our weekly in-person sessions, my students apply their knowledge through a variety of learning activities, some of which will be featured through a series of Good Book Blog posts.

J. I. Packer has said that the Puritans stood on the shoulders of John Calvin. This learning activity required the students to work collaboratively to write a haiku on the person, work or theology of Calvin. Here are their small conference group submissions:


Calvin was reserved
John Calvin had a sick beard
The gospel he shared

The Hotter Sorts of Protestants:

Calvin unassumed
Stubbornness melted by grace:

The Conformists:

John Calvin; private
He was a quiet trumpet
Thoughts, flowers, TULIP

The Professors:

Calvin read scripture
Grace and glory was God’s plan
Not just for one man

Pilgrims in Progress:

God is sovereign Lord
Man is saved by Him alone
The Church is His bride