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Title: The reformed doctrine of the will of God in the theology and pastoral practice of Thomas Boston
Author: Mackenzie, Jonathan P.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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The focus of this thesis is the Reformed doctrine of the will of God and its pastoral application in the theology of Thomas Boston (1676-1732). The objective of this thesis is to establish Boston’s doctrine of the will of God and how he applies that doctrine pastorally. We shall argue that to understand Boston and his theology it is necessary to be aware of his use of the doctrine of the will of God, particularly in relation to God’s providence. The way in which Boston worked the theme out in his practical theology and in his pastoral care marks him out as significant. We shall begin with a brief introduction to the life and thought of Thomas Boston, before concentrating on his Memoirs, in which it becomes clear that his doctrine of the will of God is used to understand his own life and those of his parishioners. The context to Boston’s doctrine of the will of God is the wider Reformed tradition. We shall briefly consider the contribution of the Fathers, John Calvin (1509-64), and the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF), which was adopted as the Principal Subordinate Standard of the Church of Scotland in 1647, of which Boston was a Minister. We shall also consider the influence upon Boston of John Flavel’s The Mystery of Providence (1676-77). We shall then examine Boston’s doctrine of the will of God. This will encompass such themes as God’s being and attributes; the decrees of God; the problem of evil; election and reprobation; and free will. The pastoral and practical applications of this theological perspective will then be examined, demonstrating how significant a theme the will of God was for Boston as he ministered to his congregation in his preaching, pastoral care, and writings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: God