The prevailing consensus among historians is that natural theology within Protestantism was born in the eighteenth century as a byproduct of the Enlightenment and had a sharply diminished if not nonexistent role within Puritanism. Based on an exhaustive study of the writings of some sixty English and American Puritans spanning from the late sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century, this book demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Puritan theologians not only embraced natural theology on a theoretical level but employed it in a surprising variety of pastoral, apologetic, and evangelical contexts, including their missionary activities to the Indians of New England. Some Puritans even asserted that people who had never heard about Christianity could be saved through the knowledge afforded them by natural theology. This conclusion reshapes our understanding of the history of apologetics and sheds fresh light on the origins of the Enlightenment itself. Puritanism and Natural Theology also examines the crises of doubt experienced by several prominent Puritan theologians, advances our understanding of the oft-debated issue of the role of reason within Puritanism, and sets the Puritans' enthusiasm for natural science within the broader context of their beliefs about natural theology. ""Wallace Marshall has provided readers with a thoroughly researched and comprehensive account of Puritan natural theology in England and North America. His closely reasoned, lucid discussion shows that Puritans went beyond the Bible in thinking about the sources of religious knowledge and made extensive use of reason in their expositions of Christian theology. His analysis also reveals that they employed the precepts of natural theology to combat the ravages of doubt in their day-to-day lives."" --Jon H. Roberts, Tomorrow Foundation Professor of History, Boston University ""Wallace Marshall's timely study provides a much-needed corrective to the prevailing view that the Puritans were opposed to the use of natural theology. If it did nothing more than correct the record on that point, it would be valuable. But Marshall goes beyond mere critique; he offers a sensitive, historically informed picture of the many uses of natural theology among the Puritans, not only theoretical and polemical, but also personal and pastoral. This work could spark a renaissance in the appreciation of the full scope of evidentialism in Puritan thought. I hope it does."" --Tim McGrew, Chairman, Department of Philosophy, Western Michigan University Wallace Marshall received his MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary and his PhD from Boston College, where he studied the historical interaction between science, religion and philosophy in the modern West.