Reformation Heritage Books
Suffering and Sovereignty: John Flavel and the Puritans on Afflictive Providence
John Flavel wrote extensively on the subject of human suffering and how it relates to divine sovereignty. He himself experienced great suffering through the deaths of three wives and a son and continual persecution from state officials. Because many of his writings deal directly with the theme of suffering and because of his own experience with it, Flavel is a significant resource for understanding a Puritan theology of human suffering and divine sovereignty.
In this book, Brian H. Cosby examines Flavel’s teachings on suffering and how that theology translated into practical application for suffering believers. Serious consideration is given to issues related to the origin and nature of suffering, how it relates to divine sovereignty, God’s purpose for it, how people were encouraged to respond to it, and the benefits of comfort and consolation such understandings produce in believers. Cosby ably gathers these elements together so as to present a Puritan theology of suffering drawn from Flavel’s writings.