“An Honest, Well-Experienced Heart” introduces us to the life and writings of Puritan preacher and author John Flavel (1627–1691). In his brief, introductory biography, Adam Embry discusses Flavel’s background, ministry, and theology of keeping the heart, which, for Flavel, “is the great business of a Christian’s life.” Centuries ago, Flavel wrote, “Above all other studies in the world, study your own hearts.” Embry guides us through forty-two short passages from Flavel’s writings that acquaint us with this dedicated Puritan minister’s piety and help us see the importance of this great business of keeping and managing our hearts.
Seeking, then, both to honor the past and yet not idolize it, we are issuing these books in the series Profiles in Reformed Spirituality. The design is to introduce the spirituality and piety of the Reformed Profiles in Reformed Spirituality tradition by presenting descriptions of the lives of notable Christians with select passages from their works. This combination of biographical sketches and collected portions from primary sources gives a taste of the subjects’ contributions to our spiritual heritage and some direction as to how the reader can find further edification through their works. It is the hope of the publishers that this series will provide riches for those areas where we are poor and light of day where we are stumbling in the deepening twilight.
Adam Embry lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Charlotte, and their three children. He is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been an assistant pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church since 2007.
“John Flavel blended skillfully a robust Reformed theology with a warm-hearted Puritan piety. This made his writings both profound and simple. I pray that Adam Embry’s primer on Flavel’s work will promote a new generation of thoughtful readers intent on loving Christ more.” — Ryan McGraw, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Conway, South Carolina