The Four-Fold Way of Puritan Evangelism in the Church - Dr. Joel Beeke

How would Puritan ministers go about evangelizing?

Joel Beeke explains that there were four distinct characteristics of Puritan evangelism.

First, their evangelism was biblical. They always used biblical texts. They were men of the book. Second, they evangelized doctrinally. They knew how to take biblical truths and use Scripture to convict people of sin.

Third, they evangelized experientially. They taught their congregations how the believer experiences the doctrines of grace and what he should experience if he is a true believer. Fourth, they evangelized symmetrically. They were balanced. They taught the gravity and enormity of sin and the beauty of Christ.

Additionally, Puritan ministers not only taught the Gospel from the pulpit, but they modeled an evangelistic lifestyle in their own lives. A minister was the same in the church as he was at home. There was no disconnect. He prayed for his congregation.

Puritan ministers commonly declared, “Wherever I go, wherever I do, and wherever I visit, I must leave the savor of Christ behind me.”

Titus 2:1 (NKJV) – “[S]peak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.”


Dr. Joel R. Beeke serves as President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, as well as Academic Dean for students from the Heritage Reformed Congregations. He is currently a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a position he has held for 30 years. He is also editor of the Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written, co-authored, or edited eighty books and contributed over two thousand articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. His Ph.D. (1988) from Westminster Theological Seminary is in Reformation and Post-Reformation Theology. He and his wife, Mary, have 3 children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia.


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