Saturday, July 17, 2010

Review of Who Are the Puritans by Erroll Hulse

Author: Erroll Hulse

Pages: 224 pages

Publisher: Evangelical Press

Price: 10.45

Genre: Church History/Biography

Quick Summary:

The intention of this book is to “introduce modern Christians to the finest theological inheritance ever” (back cover). He not only tells their story he also tells us why we need the Puritans today. This 224 page gem is divided into three sections. In the first section Hulse tells the story of the Puritans. In the second section we are introduced to the lives of key Puritans. The final section is eleven short chapters explaining how the Puritans would benefit us today.

There are also six helpful appendices; some dispelling myth, some trying to place the Puritans in relation to other movements, and some further highlighting their influence.

What I Liked:

The book looks fun. There are pictures throughout, fun little quips in “handwriting”, maps, and well marked off sections. Its style is simple yet conveys the needed information. This may actually be a more helpful introduction than Beeke’s Meet the Puritans and Packer’s A Quest for Godliness, so long as you only want an introduction.

I think the three sections are brilliant. It is helpful in an introduction to the Puritans to remind readers that we need their wisdom today. Hulse excels in the third section—much like Packer—in reminding us we need these guys for the problems we face today.

What I Disliked:

There is so much information to cram into a small space. Because of that it doesn’t read quite as compelling as the story really is. At times it feels more like reading an encyclopedia than a book. Its layout is not conducive to making it a reference work but it sometimes feels like reading a reference. It is helpful as introduction and I think for a first exposure to the Puritans it would stir up enough interest that someone would want to pick up more from the Puritans.

Should You Buy It?

You can usually pick it up for around 5 bucks used or 10 brand new at Amazon, for that reason it may be well worth an add to your library. If you are not familiar at all with the Puritans this is a fun place to start. If you are already convinced of the need to read the Puritans this book may not be helpful for you. If you want a better reference to the Puritans then check out Meet the Puritans. But if you want a helpful introduction this is one of the better ones available.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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