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Meet the Puritans: With a Guide to Modern Reprints Hardcover – February 1, 2007
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The resurgent appetite for Puritan literature has produced long book lists and heavy bookshelves. Intimidated students and busy pastors ask, Where do I start? Regular readers of the Puritans ask, Where do I go from here? The obvious answer to both questions now is, Meet the Puritans. I am confident that God will mightily use this mind-enriching, heart-warming, and soul-satisfying publication to arouse new interest in the Puritans, to stimulate demand for their books, and so to multiply among us the Christ-centered lives they so passionately promoted. --Dr. David Murray
As furnaces burn with ancient coal and not with the leaves that fall from today s trees, so my heart is kindled with the fiery substance I find in the old Scripture-steeped sermons of Puritan pastors. A warm thanks to the authors of Meet the Puritans for all the labor to make them known. --DR. JOHN PIPER, Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Puritans English, Scottish, American, and Dutch are being read again! In an era of superficial discipleship and erratic, impotent, ailing, and dying churches, this is indeed a hopeful sign. And this wide-ranging handbook of backup information about the writers themselves, their special strengths, and modern reprints of their books, is another hopeful sign. Meet the Puritans is a fascinating compendium, scholarly yet popular and accessible, that Puritan-lovers will value very highly and justly so. --DR. JAMES I. PACKER, author of Knowing God and A Quest for Godliness
About the Author
Joel R. Beeke (Ph.D. Westminster Theological Seminary) is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of The Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, and author of numerous books.
Randall J. Pederson (M.T.S. Calvin Theological Seminary) is a member of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the author of several publications relating to Puritanism.
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I think this is probably intended for the person who has read at least a little of the well-known Puritans (start with Overcoming Sin and Temptation if you haven't) and intends to branch out to the other, less well known authors. It is absolutely worth the effort, and you'll be rewarded with far more serious and well considered theology than 9 of 10 "spiritual" works of today. By all means, buy this, and read the Puritans. The Church today needs their thinking, and the thoughts and actions of those who read them.
This book is basically a summary of the work of many of the Puritans. The chapters run from 2 to 10 pages on each Puritan. It starts with a brief biography and then progresses to a description of their writings, sermons, and books. The book is loaded with good devotional material that will help stimulate your heart and mind from sermon preparation and Bible study. This book has become a highly treasured volume in my personal library.
If you have a high regard for Scripture and for the preaching of that Scripture, this book will certainly give you some motivation in that area. This is especially true when you begin to read some of the sermon titles associated with their study of Scripture. It is also a book that will put you on the trail of more books by the Puritans who spent much focus on gearing men toward prayer, holiness, worship, and the power of Scripture.
Just as a few examples that you will find are:
Thomas Brooks preached 58 sermons from Hebrews 12:14 and they are introduced in his book, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity.” He also wrote a book “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices.” In this book he describes twelve of Satan’s devices and their remedies. He then focuses on eight devices that Satan keeps believers from using the means of grace. He writes of ten helps against the devices: walk by the rule of the Word of God, don’t grieve the Spirit, strive for heavenly wisdom, resist Satan’s first motions, labor to be filled with the Spirit, remain humble, pursue watchfulness, retain communion with God, fight Satan by drawing strength from the Lord Jesus, and be much in prayer.
Thomas Watson has become one of my favorites among the Puritans. He wrote “The Mischief of Sin” which is a written about the danger of sin. It is divided into four parts: (1) The Mischief of Sin; (2) An Alarm to Sinners; (3) The Desperateness of Sinners; and (4) Hell’s Furnace Heated Hotter. This book has some of the most incredible word pictures that you will ever read.
Benjamin Keach is described in this book also. From “Exposition of the Parables” it is noted that 147 messages are gathered from the parables which Keach preached. In “The Travels of True Godliness” he introduces the reader to over two dozen enemies of godliness. Some of them are apostasy, hypocrisy, legalism, antinominianism, worldliness, and the devil.
In the opening section, Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson give the following reasons that one will profit from reading the Puritans.
They shape life by Scripture.
They focus on Christ.
They make Scripture guide the life by addressing the mind, confronting the conscience, and engaging the heart.
They show how to handle trials. Some of the titles they mention in this point: Thomas Brooks “A Mute Christian Under the Rod”; Richard Sibbes “A Bruised Reed” and Jeremiah Burroughs “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.”
They show how to live in two worlds.
They show the power of a true spiritual life.
You will be blessed by this book!
Meet the Puritans is a resource designed to guide people through the reprints of Puritan writings that have been produced since 1956. The book provides "a brief biography of each Puritan author whose works have been reprinted since 1956 and a short review of those books. We hope this will help purchasers of Puritan books, interest other readers in the Puritans, and guide those already immersed in Puritan literature to further depths of study." It is more a reference book than one you would be likely to read from cover-to-cover, though if you wanted to, you certainly could.
The format of the book is simple. After a Preface explaining how to profit from reading the Puritans, a brief word about where to begin and a brief history of English Puritanism, there comes a long list of authors. Each author has his own chapter containing a short biography and a list of his books that have been reprinted. There is a review of each book along with publishing information and the number of pages. And that is the heart of the book and continues for some 800 pages. Five appendices deal with collections of Puritan writings, Scottish divines, Dutch further Reformation divines, secondary sources on the Puritans and a final word on Puritanism courtesy of J.I. Packer. In short, this is a one-stop-shop for all you could want to know as a beginner to the Puritans. And if you are already a fan of their writing, this book will lead you further and deeper, guiding you to the best books available.
One thing I would like to see in future editions of this book is a more thorough list of the best place to begin in reading the Puritans. The authors do offer a few suggestions, but they are only basic ones. I'd like to see a list of the top ten or twenty books they would recommend. Additionally, it might be nice to have a topical index of sorts, pointing to the best works on a variety of subjects so that a person looking for a Puritan work on worship or sin or other important topics could quickly and easily find the best resources.
Quite simply, if you are interesting in reading the Puritans, this is a guide you won't want to be without! It is endorsed by a who's who of Reformed leaders and authors (the back cover alone has endorsements by Sproul, Piper, MacArthur, Packer and Mohler and there are many more inside!) and deservedly so. Best of all, it promises to be a book that will be updated as time goes on and as these great writings continue to be released.
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This is a collection of biographies of the 17th century Reformed Theologians.Read more