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Hartford PuritanismThomas Hooker, Samuel Stone, and Their Terrifying God$
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Baird Tipson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190212520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212520.001.0001

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Learning How to Imagine Conversion

Learning How to Imagine Conversion

Chapter:
(p.267) 9 Learning How to Imagine Conversion
Source:
Hartford Puritanism
Author(s):

Baird Tipson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212520.003.0009

Faithful to the theological tradition he had imbibed at Emmanuel College, Hooker did not describe “conversion” as a once-in-a-lifetime opening of the heart to Jesus. Always suspicious of extraordinarily divine communication, he imagined conversion as the lifelong acquisition of a habitual inclination to obey God’s commandments. William Perkins’s careful theological descriptions provided the basic framework, but Hooker added a distinctive emphasis, almost certainly gained from John Rogers, on “saving preparation.” Hooker’s personal experience of God’s wrath, eerily similar to that of Martin Luther, reinforced his tendency to “save with fear” and made him skeptical of those who experienced God primarily as comforting and nurturing.

Keywords:   Martin Luther, William Perkins, John Rogers, saving preparation, conversion, save with fear

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