Discuss Puritan theology. Mention one other theology and explain how the Puritan theology differentiates from it. How does the Puritan theology use the utopian ideas of America as a place to begin anew—as a place to be able to worship and govern freely?Justify its rather rigid doctrine.

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Puritan theology revolves around a few key concepts about salvation. Puritans believed in original sin, meaning that all human beings are sinful from birth. After death, sinners go to hell unless saved by God through Jesus Christ. According to Puritan theology, becoming saved is not a choice; God has already...

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Puritan theology revolves around a few key concepts about salvation. Puritans believed in original sin, meaning that all human beings are sinful from birth. After death, sinners go to hell unless saved by God through Jesus Christ. According to Puritan theology, becoming saved is not a choice; God has already chosen those who will be saved, called “the elect,” and he is completely sovereign. This doctrine is called pre-destination, and it means that whoever God wills to become saved will be saved—there’s nothing humans can do to resist or to earn this salvation. Jesus’s death and resurrection, according to Puritans, was not for all humanity, but only for the elect—the group that God had already chosen for salvation. How do you know if you are part of the elect? You can’t know for sure, according to the Puritans. Signs would include your lifestyle and ability to live free from sin, but ultimately you cannot be certain.

Puritans viewed the existing Church of England as corrupted. Although Puritans engaged in violence against members of the Church of England in Britain, they ultimately were defeated in Europe, driving them to America. Puritans believed they had an opportunity start fresh and to create a model Christian society, where community leaders were religious ministers; they sought to follow the Bible, on an individual and communal level, in every area of life. Rigid doctrines and laws retained the purity of this model society, much like the Biblical laws of Israel preserved them as a people of God.

One theology you could contrast Puritan theology with is Anabaptist theology. Anabaptists also believed that the existing churches in Europe were corrupted. Unlike Puritans, they were committed to non-violence, refusing to partake in religious wars of the time period. Like Puritans, Anabaptists believe that every facet of life should be influenced by your faith. Unlike Puritans, Anabaptists did not pursue any fusion between church and state—rather, they believed that, like the early church, they should not be politically powerful. In their view of salvation, Anabaptists also believe in the sovereignty of God, but they include an emphasis on human freedom and choice. In the Anabaptist view, human beings do have the free will to reject or accept the gift of salvation that is offered to all through Jesus Christ.

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