Friday, June 1, 2012

I Challenge You

This week I was talking to a friend who was relishing the extra time summer gives us to read. I challenged her to read at least one Puritan this summer.   I challenge you too.

John Piper said of the Puritans: "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."

Puritan literature, says Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson in Meet the Puritans:

  • shapes life by Scripture
  • marries doctrine and practice
  • focuses on Christ
  • shows how to handle trials
  • show us how to live in two worlds
  • show us true spirituality
If you have never read any of the Puritans, Beeke and Pederson suggest starting with one of these five:
  • Thomas Watson's Heaven Taken by Storm
  • John Bunyan's The Fear of God
  • John Flavel's Keeping the Heart
  • Thomas Brooke's Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
  • Richard Sibbes's Glorious Freedom
If you want to read a book about the Puritans, try one of these:
  • Leland Ryken's Worldly Saints: The Puritans As They Really Were
  •  Peter Lewis's The Genius of Puritanism
  • Erroll Hulse's Who are the Puritans? and what do they teach?
  • J.I. Packer's A Quest for Godliness: The Piritan Vision of the Christian Life
If you take me up on this challenge, please let me know.   If you have reservations about the Puritans, let me know that too.   I will do my best to answer them.
Blessings on your summer.

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