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A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life [Paperback]

By J. I. Packer (Author)
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Item Number 46235  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   368
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.11" Width: 6.05" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.08 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 1994
ISBN  0891078193  
EAN  9780891078197  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Surveys the teachings and beliefs of the Puritans, and calls today's Christians to follow their example of spiritual maturity.

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More About J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks ( Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide.

Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks ( Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide.

Ligon Duncan (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the chancellor & CEO and the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served as the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for seventeen years. He is a cofounder of Together for the Gospel, a senior fellow of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and was the president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from 2004-2012. Duncan has edited, written, or contributed to numerous books. Ligon and his wife, Anne, have two children and live in Jackson, Mississippi.

C. J. Mahaney is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He has written, edited and contributed to numerous books, including Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology; Don't Waste Your Sports; and Sex, Romance and the Glory of God. C. J. and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of three married daughters and one son, and the happy grandparents to twelve grandchildren.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the ninth president of Southern Seminary and as the Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology. Considered a leader among American evangelicals by Time and Christianity Today magazines, Dr. Mohler hosts a daily radio program for the Salem Radio Network and also writes a popular daily commentary on moral, cultural, and theological issues. Both can be accessed at

J. I. Packer currently resides in Vancouver, BC.

J. I. Packer has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Knowing the Bible
  2. Shorter Writings of J. I. Packer
  3. Theology of Lordship

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
On the Quest  Dec 27, 2006
This volume consists of a collection of papers, many of which were delivered during at the annual Puritan and Reformed Studies Conference in Westminster Chapel, London during the 1950's and 1960's. Following a three chapter introduction, Packer groups these papers under five headings as we see the Puritans in relation to the Bible, the gospel, spirituality, practical Christian living, and the ministry. Puritanism is seen as a renewal movement designed to honor the God of the Scriptures. Packer views the Puritans through the eyes of its leaders, especially Richard Baxter, John Owens, and Jonathan Edwards, the latter being included even though he lived and ministered after the era of the Puritans. Packer refers to Edwards as a Puritan "born out of due time."

We are presented with both the strengths as well as the failings of the Puritans as Richard Baxter is described as the father of modern liberalism in the Church of England and Jonathan Edwards' revival is seen to be a short-lived flash which quickly cooled following his generation. It is John Owen who comes across as the hero of the book and the Calvin of the Puritan movement (Pg 191). Packer defends Owen's cumbersome and tortuous style of writing as being "a Latinized spoken style" after the tradition of Cicero. We are continually urged to ignore the burden of his writing style because it is worth the extra effort.

The practical emphasis of this book is a call for revivalism in the church today. Puritanism was exactly such a call and Packer suggests that the church is in need of this call again in this day and age. I found especially noteworthy the section dealing with assurance. The Puritan view of assurance is not merely a matter of believing the gospel and its promise of eternal life. Rather, they viewed assurance as being only for the one who has been walking faithfully with the Lord for a very long time and even then, it was pictured as a "crown that few wear."
Challenging as always.  Dec 4, 2006
The book is a collection of essays on the Puritan's quest for godliness. He covers various aspect of Puritan life and ministry. Some of the essays appear in different collections. The book is challenging and informative as is typical of Packer's books. He quotes the Puritan writers extensively (e. g. Baxter), but he throws in other theologians such as Spurgeon and Augustine as well. The last chapters that focus on the last of the puritans, Jonathan Edwards, is extremely interesting. Packer brings in theology, history and exhortation into his writings. If you don't understand the strength of "Reformed Theology," this book will definitely help.

The book is very good, but for me it started out slow because I read some of the essays before. But the more I read, the more I realize what he is trying to do and I am deeply impressed. Packer is giving us a peek into the puritan world view so that we may purify our worship today.

an excellent tribute to the puritans  Jul 7, 2006
J.I. Packer's insight into the life of the Puritans and his passion for God-centred theology of the Puritans has produced this excellent book... This book will inspire anybody who chooses to live a God-centred life and the life of a single-minded passion for God's truth.
Makes me want to learn more  Mar 12, 2006
Packer's purpose for compiling his years of learning and writing about the Puritians was to introduce modern readers to their spirituality and encourage us to read their writings for ourselves. Well, I am convinced, and I look forward to delving into this neglected selection of Christian writings.

Packer does a great job of spanning the years the Puritans were influential as well as covering the similarities and diversity of their thoughts on things from church life, theology, to family and gender issues.

The only reason I did not give this book five stars is that I reserve that honor for books that keep me riveted. While I could easily put this book down it gave me a lot of food for thought, and challenged me to examine myself for inconsistencies of thought and behavior. This is a must read.
A Quest Fulfilled  Feb 19, 2006
J. I. Packer is the perfect author for a near-perfect book on the Puritans. "A Quest for Godliness" shreds the lies that besmerk the Puritans. In it you'll find the truth about the Puritans from their own words in their own historical context.

As the subtitle suggests, "The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life" highlights their teaching on sanctification: how to grow in grace as a believer in Christ. Packer neatly packs and unpacks their spirtual theology in ways that reach believers of all types and education.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," "Biblical Psychology," "Martin Luther's Pastoral Counseling," and "Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."

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