This month Crossway Books is publishing another edition of Quest for Godliness, by J. I. Packer. Packer, along with others like Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Ian Murray with Banner of Truth, has elevated the Puritans beyond the scorn of freshmen literature courses to the hands and hearts of gospel-preachers.
Packer begins his book by answering the question, Why we need the Puritans:
The answer, in one word, is maturity. Maturity is a compound of wisdom, goodwill, resilience, and creativity. The Puritans exemplified maturity; we don’t. We are spiritual dwarfs. A much-traveled leader, a native American (be it said), has declared that he finds North American Protestantism, man-centered, manipulative, success-oriented, self-indulgent, and sentimental, as it blatantly is, to be 3,000 miles wide and half an inch deep.
The Puritans, however, argues Packer, were Redwoods:
Tags: J. I. Packer, The Puritans
As Redwoods attract the eye, because they overtop other trees, so the mature holiness and seasoned fortitude of the great Puritans shine before us as a kind of beacon light, overtopping the stature of the majority of Christians in most eras, and certainly so in this age of crushing urban collectivism, when Western Christians sometimes feel and often look like ants on an anthill and puppets on a string