Maintaining hope in Christ for the weary soul.
In the face of trials and tribulations, persevering in the faith can be a difficult task. For Puritan pastor-theologian William Gouge, this question was of critical importance for those he shepherded. His theology of assurance during the difficult seasons in life provided direction and help to weary souls.
In Christ Is Yours, Eric Rivera explores Gouge’s theology, revealing a man who cared deeply about the truths of Scripture and the spiritual lives of his community. His theology was focused on the promises of God found in Scripture while staying grounded in the realities of life. This message of perseverance and hope is just as necessary for Christ-followers today as it was then. Written for academics and pastors alike, Rivera brings this important theology to a modern audience.
Though not as well known today as some Puritans, William Gouge was a giant of Reformed practical divinity. Dr. Rivera’s excellent, broad-ranging study sheds much light on both Puritan theology and the Christian life in general, and on assurance of faith in particular. This work succeeds in unveiling how the Puritans combined academic theology with practical piety, so as to glorify God and do their souls good.
—Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Digging deep into the work of a lesser known puritan, Eric Rivera has unearthed a treasure chest of timeless spiritual wisdom. This book shows how one godly pastor sought to shepherd his people by grounding them in faith, comforting them in sorrow, strengthening them against temptation and helping them to pray. It is a rich resource for all who seek to do the same today.
—Colin S. Smith, Senior Pastor, The Orchard Evangelical Free Church (Illinois)
Though almost entirely forgotten today, the Puritan pastor and theologian William Gouge was one of the most influential church leaders in England during the first-half of the seventeenth century. Eric Rivera’s masterful study of Gouge’s practical divinity examines the theological convictions and practical commitments of a skilled pastor as he addressed his parishioners’ most pressing concerns regarding Christian sanctification and the assurance of faith. In our present age where Christian leaders are routinely enticed by celebrity and size, Gouge’s rich pastoral wisdom is both timeless and timely.
—Scott M. Manetsch, Professor of Church History, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key figures, themes, and issues in historical and systematic theology from an evangelical perspective.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
“Gouge affirms that genuine faith when fully enjoyed by the Christian produces spiritual fruit such as peace, security, joy, love for God, and love for others.” (Page 107)
“Gouge’s practical divinity taught an assurance of salvation that placed the primary ground of assurance in the promises of God and the secondary grounds for assurance on the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life.” (Page 5)
“On the opposite side, they were equally concerned that if assurance was found in sanctification, the grace of God displayed at the cross of Christ might be neglected.11 Thus, they sought to navigate a middle ground that emphasized Christ’s finished work on the cross for the believer and a Christian life that bears fruit.” (Page 4)
“Calvin defines faith as ‘a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit,’” (Page 12)
Eric Rivera (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Lead Pastor of The Brook in Chicago. He and his wife, Erikah, are also conference speakers with FamilyLife's "Weekend to Remember" getaways.