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Church History Book Reviews - Who are the Puritans?

Tolle Lege - Take and Read Book Reviews

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

A survey of the Puritan Era, and the teachings of the Puritans in readable form.

Church History Book Reviews – Who are the Puritans?
Reviewed by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Who are the Puritans and What do They Teach?
by Erroll Hulse
Evangelical Press, Darlington, England: 2000.
220 Pages, Paperback.

The caricatures of Puritanism still exit today. Most people believe the Puritans to be somber and boring people who wore drab clothes and prayed all day. The caricature does them injustice. They were some of the most vibrant and joyful people the world has ever known. But Satan has a way to throwing a wet rag in a holy flame, or information about those holy flames. Hulse’s book removes that wet rag and fans the flame for the beginner who desires to understand who these people were and what excellent expositors of the Word of God they had become.

Hulse’s book take son a popular format, though I really do not like the font they used for some of the side quotes – it is a bit difficult to read. Otherwise, the book is laid out quite nicely, and is very attractive and easy to follow.

Hulse walks us through 2 main sections of the book: section one concerns a brief history of many of the great puritans. He describes who they were, where they ministered, how long they lived, and other basic biographical information. However, he adds their accomplishments and their importance which makes the 1-2 page biographies an excellent source for anyone to pull from. The second part of the book concerns itself with what the puritans taught – justification, election, assurance, etc. It is a brief overview of the main doctrines which distinguish them as superb Bible scholars and pastors.

There are some personal interjections through the book, most of which were helpful to the reader. There was one section which dealt with a two paragraph description and exhortation to stay away from Hypercalvinism (which every good Christian should be exhorted to do.). However, Hulse’s comments there need some rework and rewriting. His definitions of Hypercalvinism are erroneous. He either needed to be more specific there and explain what he means by his definitions, or simply leave an unnecessary section out of the book. Other than that section, I found his comments beneficial.

After reading this book myself, I handed it off to my wife. She had not read much history on the Puritans, but enjoyed this book tremendously. Many of the biographical quips helped her to see their importance and their dedication to Christ.

Anyone looking for an introduction to the Puritans and what they teach has found the perfect book. Teens to adults will enjoy its simplicity and insight. I recommend this highly.

Some Quotes:
Postmodernism is fiercely antinomian.

If we take the lives of the Puritans of Elizabeth’s reign as being the first generation, the second generation can be regarded as those who followed in the first half of the seventeenth century but who did not live up to the time of the Great Ejection of 1662. The principle event of this period was the Westminster Assembly (1643-47). The third generation can be taken as those who lived through the Ejection and beyond. It was in the latter period that most of the “writing” Puritans (i.e. those who works have been previously published) lived.

In the face of the Philosophical and religious trends of today the Puritans are certainly relevant.

The strength of the Puritans is that there is never any doubt about the validity of the Scriptures.

Whatever I write on the revival of Puritan literature today will be out of date very soon because the printing presses are constantly at work with new translations and newly edited and revised Puritan works. Readers who desire to read the puritans should write and request catalogs from the major publishers of Puritan books.

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