Puritans are Worth Reading...
July 7, 2016
What do you enjoy reading? Mysteries....devotionals...Christian biographies?
When people ask me, I tell them, “Just about everything.”
People fascinated with food are known as foodies. They'll try just about anything and like most everything. Well, I'm a bookie—not with bets—but with books. I'll read just about anything and like almost everything.
I love Dickens and Tolstoy, Arthur Conan Doyle, Louis L'Amour, John Grisham, Clive Cussler and Dorothy Sayers. In the Christian world, I'm a fan of William Gurnall, J.C. Ryle, Calvin Miller, Tim Keller, Lee Strobel, and—of course—C.S. Lewis.
These days, I find myself drawn to the Puritans.
They are very much out of favor in our culture. The very word, “puritanical,” has sadly become twisted to mean nothing more than ridiculously prudish and out of touch.
But in reading puritan John Owen, I was jolted by his warning, “Be killing sin—or sin will be killing you.”
Through Richard Baxter, I discovered a hundred reasons for thinking daily about heaven—The Saints' Everlasting Rest.
Many Christians know John Bunyan for his Pilgrim's Progress, believed to be the second most printed book of all time, beside the Bible. Yet in his work, A Few Sighs from Hell, Bunyan 's portrayal of the horror of hell leaves you panting for a swallow of water, and gasping for a breath of cool air.
It’s true the Puritans didn’t get every single point right. Who has? Yet they lived boldly, thought deeply and wrote richly.
Summer is here. Time to enjoy some good reading. What better time to discover the Puritans? Sure their language and writing style can be a challenge at first. But the view with any satisfying hike or climb usually comes with a challenge.
Given the wealth of their legacy, I say the Puritans are worth reading. Now more than ever.