Subscribe now

The Pastor’s Life: Practical Wisdom from the Puritans

By Matthew D Haste & Shane W Parker
August 2020 | Review by John Ling
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-52710-367-2
  • Pages: 168
  • Price: £7.99
Buy this book »

Book Review

This book highlights ‘some of the many lessons that today’s pastors can learn from the Puritans’ (p.151). As such it is aimed at pastors, but the lessons are really for anyone who is a Christian leader. The opening chapter provides a historical and theological introduction to the Puritan movement ‘that stretched across the Atlantic and spanned over two centuries’ (p.151).

Each subsequent chapter focuses on one, or sometimes two, of the Puritans. A one-page summary mentions the person, his major works, and his mentor. I found this quite helpful. A brief biography introduces the person in focus and then follows their theology or lessons that may be learnt from their writings or lives.

Each chapter emphasises a particular aspect of a pastor’s life, as the title of the book would suggest. So the pastor can learn something about doctrine from John Owen and prayer from Matthew Henry, for example; William Perkins on preaching has been most helpful.

The book is a very simple introduction into the life of some well-known Puritans, although I also encountered some names that I have not heard before, like Lewis Bayly and his life of piety. This was indeed a pleasant discovery.

The benefit of the book however, is in what these men, though dead, still say to us. It is an easy book to read. The chapters are well organised and the lessons that are to be learnt should be sought after and applied.

For anyone struggling to find a way into the Puritans, this book may just be the place to start. Not only that, it might be used as a guide as to which books to go to first.

John R. Ling


Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Why Should I Trust the Bible?

We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
5 Minutes in Church History: An Introduction to the Stories of God’s Faithfulness in the History of the Church
Stephen J Nichols

What a breath of fresh air this book is! Stephen Nichols has given us 40 vignettes from church history that are brief enough to be digested over a bowl of cereal. The book doesn’t aim to be a beginner’s guide…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Misted World of Genesis One
Michael L. Drake

There have been so many books on the creation chapters of Genesis that there have to be compelling reasons to recommend another addition. When I started to read Michael Drake’s book, I must admit that, from my knowledge of the…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle
Alistair Begg

Of the making of books on prayer there seems to be no end. That fact probably reflects the need that almost of all of us feel for more help in this vitally important area of our Christian lives The problem,…