Who were the Puritans, and why are they important? What can we learn from them today? The Puritan movement began in England during the sixteenth century and continued all the way into the early eighteenth century. Although the Church of England was formed as a result of the Reformation, the Puritans believed it needed much more reform. Puritan Heroes is a beautifully illustrated book that gives the reader an idea of what the Puritan movement was about and offers a glimpse into the lives of more than twenty of its most well-known leaders (among them William Perkins, Richard Sibbes, Thomas Goodwin, Anne Bradstreet, and Jonathan Edwards). The book concludes with ten important lessons readers can learn from the Puritans and study questions to help them retain these fascinating stories and assist them in applying the lessons to their lives. It also features a bibliography to encourage further study in greater depth, as well as a glossary and timeline to help readers understand historical context. Written for children and young people, it will prove a suitable introduction to the Puritans for adults as well.
1. Who Were the Puritans?
2. Richard Greenham: Puritan Pioneer
3. William Perkins: Father of Puritanism
4. William Ames: Calvinist and Congregationalist
5. Richard Sibbes: Warm Heart
6. John Cotton: New England Leader
7. Thomas Hooker: Connecticut Founder
8. Jeremiah Burroughs: Gem of Contentment
9. Thomas Goodwin: Swallowed by God’s Love
10. John Eliot: Apostle to the Indians
11. Thomas Shepard: God’s Story
12. Thomas Brooks: Soul Servant
13. Anne Bradstreet: Pilgrim Poet
14. Richard Baxter: God’s Pen
15. John Owen: God’s Navigator
16. Christopher Love: Presbyterian Martyr
17. John Bunyan: Traveler and Prisoner
18. John Flavel: Providence’s Servant
19. John Howe: Living Temple
20. Joseph Alleine: God’s Arrow
21. Matthew Henry: Bible Commentator
22. Jonathan Edwards: In the Hands of a Loving God
Appendix A: Glossary
Appendix B: Timeline
Appendix C: Study Questions
Glenda Faye Mathes is a graduate of the University of Iowa and an author of several nonfiction books, including Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss, A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God, and Discovering Delight: 31 Meditations on Loving God’s Law, as well as the Matthew in the Middle fiction series for middle grade readers. She and her husband, David, have no greater joy than seeing their children and grandchildren walking in the Lord. She lives near Pella, Iowa, and blogs at glendafayemathes.com.
Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also serves as a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, and as editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books.
“A masterful summary of the pick of the Puritans, introducing a new generation to a gospel-centered, life-embracing, family-oriented people, and—yes—people who enjoyed life instead of the dour, sour, and twisted folk that a hundred years of prejudicial narratives have made them out to be. I wish it every success in dispelling the myths that plague these godly men and women.”
—Derek W. H. Thomas, senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina
“How refreshing it is to step into the past. We need perspective and we need heroes. This book provides both. Richly illustrated, these brief but substantive biographies point us to faithful and fruitful servants. They remind us of our calling to be disciples. They encourage us to press on through trials and suffering. They remind us to be joyful and grateful for all that God has done. Above all, they remind us to keep our eyes fixed on the one Hero, our faithful Lord and Savior.”
—Stephen J. Nichols, president, Reformation Bible College, and chief academic officer, Ligonier Ministries