Puritans

For really solid reading that mixes doctrine and practice with a ready ease, one really cannot do better than the Puritans. Here are a few of my favorites: Thomas Brooks, who has a very refreshing, easy-to-read style that is full of great one-liners and beautiful illustrations of doctrinal truth; John Bunyan, who wrote the best work of Christian fiction ever, The Pilgrim’s Progress; Joseph Caryl, author of the best commentary on Job, a twelve volume compendium of theology on the whole of Scripture, and including massive amounts of practical help as well. Wonderful devotional reading. It is in facsimile, and somewhat difficult to read, but once you get used to it, it is marvelous; Thomas Boston, a wonderful later Puritan who has an outstanding commentary on the Shorter Catechism, as well as one of the very best ever expositions of anthropology, The Human Nature in its Four-Fold State, available separately. John Flavel is excellent as well. If you’re rarin’ for a challenge, the most difficult, and yet one of the most rewarding is Thomas Goodwin. You really have to be awake to read him, but the effort is definitely worth it. John Owen, while some describe him as difficult, is not as difficult as Thomas Goodwin, and yet probably the best of the lot in terms of depth of content. Here are his works, and here is his massive Hebrews commentary. Richard Sibbes is a lot like Thomas Brooks, and is well worth reading (one of the easier to read). George Swinnock is also worth a look. Well, that’s a lifetime of Puritan reading right there. Enjoy!

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