For many years now I have been leading a project I call “Reading Classics Together.” Through this program we have read and discussed all kinds of excellent classic works of the Christian faith. But now, for just a while, I want to try something a little bit different. Hear me out and see if you are interested in joining in.
Last year Reformation Heritage Books released A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life. This massive work by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones surveys the major doctrines of the Christian faith to find what the Puritans believed. It is a very good book and one that has been a blessing to me. The book looks and sounds intimidating, but is actually surprisingly easy to read, to understand, and to digest. It is exactly the kind of book many of us want to read, but lack the motive or opportunity. I want to help with that.
The final eight chapters are my favorites. They turn from systematic theology to theology in practice. Here Beeke and Jones show how the Puritans put all of this theology into practice in their lives, their homes, their churches. I read these eight chapters before I read anything else and want to invite you to do the same. They are a great warm-up to the rest of the book but they also stand well on their own.
So here is what I am proposing. Why don't we read the final eight chapters of A Puritan Theology together. I think you will enjoy them and benefit from them just as much as I did. And just to sweeten the deal a little bit, Joel Beeke is going to join with me in preparing a once-weekly post exploring some of the themes. We will allow him to guide us through the book.
The question I want to ask before each of these chapters is this: What would the Puritans want us to know about life and doctrine? I want to hear how they might guide us, how they might encourage and critique us. And these chapters do that very thing. They focus on the Puritans' pilgrim mentality as a means of understanding the Christian life; they focus on godly living in the home, on daily prayer and meditation, on conscience and zeal. Each of these is an area where we would do well to listen to those who have gone before us.
Buy the Book!
There is just one problem: the book is huge and, therefore, expensive. To help put it within reach, Reformation Heritage Books has agreed to lower the price for a few weeks. (You are free to take advantage of the lower prices whether or not you plan to join in the reading program.)
Read the Book
Once you have the book, start reading it! We will begin with chapter 52. Please read that chapter prior to Thursday, September 19. On the 19th visit this site and Dr. Beeke and I will have some thoughts on that chapter. Then we'll just continue to read and discuss it at the pace of one chapter per week, sharing an article each Thursday morning.
Leave a comment and let me know if you're joining in!