The Westminster Assembly is celebrated for its doctrinal standards and debates on church polity. But how often is the assembly noted for its extraordinary intervention in the pulpit ministry of the Church of England? In God's Ambassadors, Chad Van Dixhoorn recounts the Puritan quest for a reformation in preachers and preaching and how the Westminster Assembly fit into that movement. He examines the assembly's reform efforts, tracing debates and exploring key documents about preaching in a way that both highlights disagreements within the assembly's ranks and showcases their collective plan for the church going forward.
Moreover, Van Dixhoorn reveals the rationale behind the assembly's writings and reforms, both in terms of biblical exegesis and practical theology. Unlike any other book, God's Ambassadors draws attention to the lengths to which the Westminster Assembly would go in promoting godly preachers and improved preaching.
Table of Contents:
Preface and Acknowledgements
Note on Sources
Part I: Blind Guides and Scandalous Ministers
1. The Call to Reform
2. The Road to Reform
3. "Democratick Annarchie"
Part II: A Reforming Assembly
4. Purifying Pulpits: Assembly Examinations
5. The Pastor's Office: Assembly Debates
6. Ordaining Preachers: The Directory for Ordination
7. Directions for Preaching: The Directory for Public Worship
Part III: In Theory
8. On Preachers: Godly, Trained, and Ordained
9. On Preaching: The Word of God as the Ordinary Means of Grace
10. On Preaching: Audible and Visible Words
11. On Preaching: Christ-Centered Sermons
12. On Preaching: Christ-Centered Exegesis
13. On Study and Style: "The Spirit's Working"
Appendix A: The Duties of a Minister
Appendix B: The Directory for Ordination
Appendix C: The Subdirectory for Preaching