Evangelical Dissent in the early eighteenth century had to address a variety of intellectual challenges. How reliable was the Bible? Was traditional Christian teaching about God, humanity, sin and salvation true? What was the role of reason in the Christian faith? Philip Doddridge (1702-51) pastored a sizeable evangelical congregation in Northampton, England, and ran a training academy for Dissenters which prepared men for pastoral ministry. Philip Doddridge and the Shaping of Evangelical Dissent examines his theology and philosophy in the context of these and other issues of his day and explores the leadership that he provided in evangelical Dissent in the first half of the eighteenth century. Offering a fresh look at Doddridge’s thought, the book provides a criticial examination of the accepted view that Doddridge was influenced in his thinking primarily by Richard Baxter and John Locke. Exploring the influence of other streams of thought, from John Owen and other Puritan writers to Samuel Clarke and Isaac Watts, as well as interaction with contemporaries in Dissent, the book shows Doddridge to be a leader in, and shaper of, an evangelical Dissent which was essentially Calvinistic in its theology, adapted to the contours and culture of its times.
’Philip Doddridge was the most representative figure of orthodox Dissent in eighteenth-century England. Welcoming the Evangelical Revival, he trained a large number of ministers at his academy in Northampton to transmit the gospel message of the Independent denomination on a firm intellectual foundation. In this book Robert Strivens has written a clear and persuasive analysis of the mind of Doddridge that shows why he was so influential in his century.’ David Bebbington, University of Stirling, UK
Introduction; Baxterianism and moderate Calvinism; Subscription, scripture and Trinitarianism; The influence of John Locke; Natural theology, natural law and reason; Preaching Evangelicalism; Christian spirituality; Doddridge and his circle; Conclusion
The study of evangelicalism is a well-developed discipline with a strong international readership. A major movement within global Christianity, it continues to attract considerable scholarly and ‘popular’ interest on both sides of the Atlantic and further afield. The Routledge Studies in Evangelicalism series publishes monographs and collaborative volumes of significant original research in any aspect of evangelical history or historical theology from the eighteenth century to the present, and is global in its scope. This series will appeal both to the flourishing community of scholars of religious history and to informed practitioners within the evangelical constituency.