January 25, 2013

Book Review: Puritan Portraits

I confess, I was never curious about the Puritans until recently. Quotes posted on blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, piqued my interest. Friends' recommendations sealed the deal. Still, I was certain where to start. When I saw J.I. Packer's book, Puritan Portraits: J.I. Packer on selected Classic Pastors and Pastoral Classics, I immediately put it on my wishlist. I was thrilled when Christian Focus Publications offered me a copy of the e-book in exchange for my honest review.

Reading Puritan Portraits was a win-win for me, because I wasn't that familiar with Packer, either (though several of his books have been lingering in my "To Read" stack). I found the book to be a wonderful introduction to both Packer and the Puritans he admires.

Puritan Portraits is a series of introductions Packer wrote for books by various Puritan authors. These are no ordinary introductions; Packer not only encourages the reader to meditate upon the material, he exhorts them to put what they read into practice. From the introduction to Stephen Charnock:

Trusting, loving and following Jesus necessitates keeping the cross in view at all times. Our living Lord calls for what we may call cruciform discipleship, clear-headed, open-eyed, and whole-hearted. 'May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world' (Gal. 6:14). The cross must shape our faith and thereby reshape our entire lives. (661)

The Puritans felt that reading should encourage our spiritual growth. I believe Packer's work in this book does just that. After reading Puritan Portraits, I have resolved to read more from the Puritans and more from Packer as well.

You can read the other reviews at the Puritan Portraits Blog Tour.

1 comment:

Shaun Tabatt said...


Thanks so much for being part of the blog tour.

Shaun Tabatt
Christian Focus Publications