REVIEW OF THE GLORY OF GRACE

Posted by Ben Knerr on

REVIEW OF LEWIS ALLEN & TIM CHESTER’S THE GLORY OF GRACE

(An Introduction to the Puritans in Their Own Words)
Banner of Truth Trust; 167 pp.

Out of obscurity and scorn the Puritans have become much better known and represented in the past 35 years. Men like J. I. Packer, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Piper, John MacArthur, R. C. Sproul, Ligon Duncan and Mark Dever have promoted their lives, their theology, and their works as well as having begun to scrape off the mud from their legacies that their opponents heaped upon them. Victors write the histories of wars and theological victors write the church histories too often that negatively impacts how the losers are read. (E.g. For much of his life the early church father Athanasius was exiled for his tenacious holding to the deity of Christ against the heretic Arius because Arius had more friends in high places.
Subsequent biblical and systematic study proved Athanasius right and Arius tragically wrong.)

Now two pastors have given us a 11 course meal of Puritan delights. How can I say that? Well the book has 11 chapters where 11 different Puritans are allowed to speak for themselves and their precious take on theology and Christianity is brought into the open.

As J. I. Packer and others have said, Puritans are strong where contemporary Christianity is weak. They are full-orbed while too many of us ride hobby horses. Their religion covers all of life, not just my subjective experience of the Christian life. They were thorough where we are shallow. They aim for the head and the heart while we frequently miss both. Look at the list below and see good things to come:

1. Richard Sibbes on ASSURANCE
2. Thomas Goodwin on THE HOLY SPIIRT
3. Samuel Rutherford on COVENANT CONFIDENCE
4. William Bridge on SUFFERING
5. Jeremiah Burroughs on CONTENTMENT
6. Anne Bradstreet on LOSS
7. John Owen on COMMUNION WITH GOD
8. Richard Baxter on EVERYDAY DISCIPLESHIP
9. John Bunyan on FAITH
10. John Flavel on PROVIDENCE
11. Thomas Boston on THE BIBLE

Treat yourself to the beginning of a banquet that could go on the rest of your life. If you become a reader of the Puritans, you may well come to know their God and Savior as they did and you will be much the richer.

If you are new to reading theology or biblical studies or just want to know what all the fuss is about the Puritans, then this is the book for you.

Steve Martin
Dean of Students
IRBS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN TEXAS