William Perkins: A Conference and A Collection

Published on June 5, 2017 by Daniel Scheiderer

In Cambridge, England last week, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary held a conference honoring the Puritan William Perkins (1558-1604).

  • Sinclair Ferguson, “A Plain Preacher”
  • Joel Beeke, “William Perkins’s Largest Case of Conscience”
  • Geoff Thomas, “The Pursuit of Godliness in the Ministry of William Perkins”
  • Gregg Salazar, “Scripture, Tradition, and Holiness: William Perkins and the Puritan Tradition”
  • Stephen Yuille, “Faith and Love in Perkins’s Defense of the Protestant Religion”

William Perkins, who ministered in Cambridge, was one of the most influential Puritans that lived during the post-Reformation era, and has exerted a profound impact on the Protestant faith following him. Only recently has his place next to Calvin, Sibbes, Goodwin, et. al. been recognized, specifically in the present publication of his works by Reformation Heritage Books. These works, ten large volumes when complete, include exegesis, doctrinal and polemical works, and practical tracts, treatises, etc. Just reading through the titles to be included gives a sense of the breadth and depth of Perkins’ thought and writing, such as “The Combat between Christ and the Devil Displayed,” his expositions, and “Damned Art of Witchcraft,” and initiates an immediate intrigue. Some of his most famous works are the “Golden Chain,” “Art of Prophesying,” and his Ocular Catechism.

The conference was a spectacular introduction to the “Plain Preacher” who had such a profound impact. Videos from each of the sessions are available here: WILLIAM PERKINS CONFERENCE. (Note: As of this posting, the fifth session was not available)

Also, Volumes 1-4 (2896 pages) are on sale right now for $130, or $70 (35%) off. You can purchase the books at Reformation Heritage Books here.

Finally, this is all part of a new project to promote awareness of a truly undervalued theologian and preacher in the Protestant tradition. Keep up with The Perkins Project at their website here.

Perkins is a man every pastor and theologian ought to be intimately familiar with, and the production of his works and initiation of the conference go a long way toward satisfying that need. Do not miss out on these resources.

~Daniel Scheiderer

Also, check out our interview with Yuille and Beeke about the first volume of the Works here: Part 1 and Part 2.