"Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were" by Leland Ryken

Monday, March 2nd 1992
Mar/Apr 1992

Away with the caricatured scapegoating of the Puritans! Ryken’s work draws from the Puritans’ own writings to dispel the popular myths surrounding them. J. I. Packer in his foreword to the book sums it up nicely: “[T]he typical Puritans were not wild men, fierce and freaky, religious fanatics and social extremists, but sober, conscientious, and cultured citizens, persons of principle, determined and disciplined, excelling in the domestic virtues,…..At last the record has been put straight.”

Ryken recovers a far more accurate understanding of the Puritans by knocking over one misconception after another. His selections from their writings are organized into categories so as to reveal Puritan thinking in all areas of life. This organization makes it all the easier for Ryken to conclude as the Puritans would want him to: with application of their wisdom to present life. Not that the Puritans were free from error; Ryken also lists their weaknesses and excesses.

Worldly Saints is not a difficult read at all. An historical outline assists the reader in understanding the temper of the times, photos and prints are scattered throughout the work, and indices of both topics and persons are included. In addition, an extensive bibliography follows the text notes, and each chapter is concluded with a summary and list of recommended works. This is an excellent introduction to our brothers and sisters who most certainly glorified God through their involvement in Creation.

Monday, March 2nd 1992

“Modern Reformation has championed confessional Reformation theology in an anti-confessional and anti-theological age.”

Picture of J. Ligon Duncan, IIIJ. Ligon Duncan, IIISenior Minister, First Presbyterian Church
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