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The Devoted Life: An Invitation to the Puritan Classics Paperback – November 22, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"This is a grand achievement. Kapic and Gleason have managed to present an impressive collection of essays that explore some of the more important Puritan texts. The Devoted Life: An Invitation to the Puritan Classics expands on traditional conceptions and points out that Puritanism is a very difficult movement to define, especially with all the theological, ecclesiological and political diversity which attend that complex world, and yet the editors and their contributors also remind us that there was something that linked the idea across three centuries and several continents. I very much appreciate their approach to portray Puritanism as a kind of spirituality and general outlook on the Christian life. I commend the editors and the contributors for a job well done. As I always say to my students, good scholarship is not complete until it has been effectively communicated. Kapic, Gleason and their colleagues have succeeded superbly in capturing the complex dynamic of current scholarship while ensuring that it has been clearly communicated. This book will be welcomed and enjoyed in colleges, universities and seminaries alike. As Augustine might say, 'tolle lege' [take up and read]." (Frank A. James III, D.Phil., Ph.D., President and Professor of Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary/Orlando)

"Despite the Puritans' profound contributions to the doctrine and disciplines of the Christian life, we have few reliable introductions to their works. These insightful, accessible and critically appreciative essays enlarge our hearts and nurture us in living coram deo." (Stephen R. Spencer, Professor of Theology, Wheaton College)

"Just what we need--a user-friendly guide to the spiritual classics of seventeenth-century Puritanism which will bring long-forgotten works back to life and encourage a new generation to move on to the meat of evangelical spirituality. From the familiar John Bunyan to the virtually unknown John Howe, this collection takes in a range of writers who bear witness to the enormous riches of our Protestant heritage which continue to shape and sustain the modern church. This anthology will open people's eyes to behold wonders of which few have ever dreamed, and it is sure to become a standard reference work wherever the English Reformation heritage is held in honor." (Gerald Bray, Anglican Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University)

"It is an excellent idea to celebrate the theology of the Puritan movement by introducing its representative figures--from William Ames to Thomas Watson, from John Bunyan to Richard Sibbes-- through their classic writings. A first-rate team of evangelical scholars does the honors. Here is doctrinal exactness, faithfulness to Scripture and pastoral insight. Here also is learning and wit, allegory and poetry. Take up and read!" (Paul Helm, Regent College, Vancouver)

From the Publisher

Features & Benefits

* Written by notable scholars who introduce both the puritan figure and a key writing

* Contains a selection of twenty important, influential puritan writers

* Provides short yet substantial essays on a key work by each writer

* Written with the non-specialist in mind


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; PRINT-ON-DEMAND edition (November 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830827943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830827947
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kelly M. Kapic is professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Kelly is married to Tabitha, who has worked extensively in the non-profit world, including the areas of international relief and rehabilitation. Kelly and Tabitha have two children, Jonathan and Margot.

Under the supervision of Colin Gunton, Kapic earned a Ph.D. in systematic and historical theology at King's College, University of London (United Kingdom), an M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and a BA in philosophy and history from Wheaton College. Kapic has written and edited numerous books, including A Little Book for New Theologians (IVP Academic, 2012), Ashgate Research Companion to John Owen's Theology (Ashgate, 2012), God so Loved He Gave (Zondervan 2010), Communion with God (Baker Academic, 2007), Overcoming Sin and Temptation: Three Classic Works by John Owen (Crossway, 2006); The Devoted Life: An Invitation to the Puritan Classics (IVP Academic, 2004), etc.

Kapic has also published articles in various journals, such as the International Journal of Systematic Theology, Conversations in Religion and Theology, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Quarterly and Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care. Two samples of Kapic's work in contemporary theology are: "The Son's Assumption of a Human Nature: A Call for Clarity," IJST and "Trajectories of a Trinitarian Eschatology," in Trinitarian Soundings in Systematic Theology, edited by Paul Louis Metzger, cm. New York: T & T Clark International, 2005. He serves on the Board of Editorial Consultants for the Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care, as well as a contributing editor for Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The editors of The Devoted Life have put together a masterful introduction to some of the most important literature ever penned in the English language. It is not so much an introduction to the lives of the Puritans as it is an introduction to some of their key writings. However, readers will be delighted to know that the first chapter goes along way to answer the question: Who were the Puritans? (pp.15-37) and the last chapter on Puritan and Spiritual Renewal is worth the price of he book. The Puritans were chiefly responsible for shaping social and religious thought in the post-Reformation era. They are greatly misunderstood and often falsely caricatured. This introduction will be a great encouragement to the believer who wants to get beyond the typical fluff of modern writing and dig in to Christian literature that lives and breathes. The authors will take the reader on a grand tour of writings like Pilgrim's Progress and Paradise Lost and Puritan writers like Matthew Henry, Richard Baxter, and Jonathan Edwards will come alive. This book will be a welcome addition to anyone interested in Puritan studies, especially their writings. If one is looking for an accessible introduction to the lives of the Puritans, this reviewer would recommend, Leland Ryken's Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were (Zondervan, 1986).
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This book is a great place to start if you want to know more about the Puritans. Each piece has a very clear and concise introduction to the specific Puritan author they are featuring. Each selection (of the Puritan authors) is appropriate, informative, and in my opinion transformative. Kapic and Gleason make the Puritan fathers quite approachable, giving you a taste and encouraging you to then go and get the rest of a meal. Kapic and Gleason's introductions are extraordinarily well written setting up each piece perfectly.
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Format: Paperback
The Puritans excellent work in defining theology continues to master the modern way and instruct a doubting generation, and was and will continue to be the foundation of Reformed theological thinking and believing, long outliving the life-span of today's popular literature.

After a brief overview of their impact on societal England and neighboring countries like France and Holland etc, the esteemed contributors bring us to a healthy and respectful understanding of these great works, in their historical and post-biblical context, as their unique individual contributions inspire us afresh.

THE ART OF PROPHESYNG by William Perkins:

Paul R Schaeffer introduces this volume with the timeless classic on preaching and hermeneutics as the cornerstone of Puritan theology. Denying the modern rendition of prophecy as being a new word from God, he describes Perkins' definition thereof:

'Prophesying was the Elizabethan term for penetrating preaching' (p 39) which had fallen on hard times due to antagonism from the hierarchy of the Church of England, and the royal house of England. Nevertheless, God uses preaching, Perkins claimed, as the means 'instrumental in gathering the church' and 'driving away the wolves from the folds of the Lord.' Not only so, but 'prophesying...a solemn public utterance, relates to the worship of God and the salvation of our neighbors'. As such weighty importance attended this primary means of grace, Perkins believed that of all the gifts given to the church by the Spirit, 'prophesying stood as the most excellent'.
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