Why We Need the Puritans

Here are J.I. Packer’s reasons on why you ought to read the Puritans.

1.) There are lessons for us in the integration of their daily lives. As their Christianity was all-embracing, so their living was all of a piece. There was for them no disjunction between sacred and secular; all creation, so far as they were concerned, was sacred, and all activities, of whatever kind, must be sanctified, that is, done to the glory of God.

2.) There are lessons for us in the quality of their spiritual experience. In the Puritans’ communion with God, as Jesus Christ was central, so Holy Scripture was supreme.

3.) There are lessons for us in their passion for effective action. They had no time for idleness of the lazy or passive person who leaves it to others to change the world.

4.) There are lessons for us in their program for family stability. It is hardly too much to say that the Puritans created the Christian family in the English-speaking world.

5.) There are lessons to be learned from their sense of human worth. Through believing in a great God, they gained a vivid awareness of the greatness of moral issues, of eternity, and of the human soul.

6.) There are lessons to be learned from the Puritans’ ideal of church renewal. The essence of this kind of renewal (what they called “reformation”) was enrichment of understanding of God’s truth, arousal of affections Godward, increase of ardour in one’s devotions, and more love, joy, and firmness of Christian purpose in one’s calling and personal life.

From pages 23-27 of Packer’s “A Quest for Godliness.”


4 thoughts on “Why We Need the Puritans

  1. Excellent exerpt Dale!

    I first discovered this book several years ago and was blown away by the Christ-centered, God-exalting approach to living by the Puritans.

    Their lives were saturated with God and they permeated the Scriptures in their practical life. This book should be required reading for the Christian who seriously desires holiness.

    1. The puritans and the folks who are like-minded (i.e., Ryle) are such a blessing to me. I’m so thankful for their renewed popularity.
      Thanks for your blog!!! It’s a gem I’ve just discovered.

      1. You’re welcome Dale.

        My hope with the Ryle blog is to expose Christians to the otherwise unknown writings of the Christ-Centered Pastor John Charles Ryle. He was so overshadowed in England during the time of Spurgeon and died under the radar in 1900 without much fan fare.

        More and more folks are getting a taste of Ryle via the blog from his pithy, insightful quotes, which is leading them to take the plunge in reading his writings.

  2. I first heard of him via his book, “Holiness” and one of his biographies on some of the saints in Christian history. Then, through various ministries, I read his pamphlets on on a variety of subjects. I’m hoping to get the devotional commentaries that he wrote as they seem to have a great wealth of insight from God’s Word.

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