Editor’s Introduction -- By: Jonathan Armstrong
RAR 5:3 (Summer 1996) p. 9
Our material for the previous issue, on the theme of “Puritanism,” became so vast that, as previously noted in Volume Five, Number Two, we decided to expand this theme to a second full issue; thus this volume is “Puritanism, II.” With the present ongoing recovery of Puritan literature, sermons, and practical works it becomes increasingly necessary that we know the subjects and thoughts of the Puritans. This theme is genuinely worthy of this double issue. I hope that you agree as you read the articles in this present issue.
Rarely, as I travel across North America and beyond, do I not meet a new reader of the Puritans. And rarely do I not encounter misunderstanding and confusion about the Puritans. Many have bought Puritan volumes with little understanding of the men and of their era. And many have read here and there without knowing what volumes to buy first, why, and how. These two issues will assist the reader, we hope, in all of these areas.
When a friend suggested to me several years ago that we publish an issue on “Puritanism” I realized even then the overwhelming nature of the material that could be contained in such a volume. I also realized the potential for giving to the church a contemporary resource that would introduce these important Christians to a whole new generation. My hope and prayer is that with these two issues of the Reformation & Revival Journal you, the reader, will find this a rich treasure of material that will prompt you to take up and read these wonderful exponents of God’s grace and glory. You will be better for your effort, and perhaps the church in our time will experience another great English reformation and revival, as in the days of the Puritans.
RAR 5:3 (Summer 1996) p. 10
... the suggestion that we need the Puritans—may prompt some lifting of eyebrows. The belief that the Puritans, even if they were in fact responsible citizens, were comic and pathetic in equal degree, being naive and superstitious, primitive and gullible, superserious, overscrupulous, majoring in minors, and unable or unwilling to relax, dies hard. What could these zealots give us that we need? it is asked.
The answer, in one word, is maturity. Maturity is a compound of wisdom, goodwill, resilience, and creativity. The Puritans exemplified maturity; we don’t.
J. I. Packer
... the real and larger Puritan revolution was bloodless, spiritual and verbal.
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