Favorite Puritan Paperbacks

Tim Brister —  December 5, 2012 — 15 Comments

Several of you may recall the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge where I challenged folks to read with me one Puritan Paperback a month. Within a short period of time, it took a life of its own, with over 25,000 people across the world getting on board. In my regular reading schedule, I hardly ever go without a Puritan paperback in my hand. Most recently, I have been reading The Heart of Christ by Thomas Goodwin.

Recently, Westminster Bookstore asked Mark Dever, Sinclair Ferguson, and Carl Trueman about their five favorite Puritan paperbacks. I was intrigued by their lists, and thought I’d pass them on to you with a list of my own.

Mark Dever

1.  The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
2.  The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
3. The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
4. All Loves Excelling by John Bunyan
5. The Love of Christ by Richard Sibbes

Sinclair Ferguson

1.  The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
2.  The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
3. Letters of Samuel Rutherford
4. The Christian’s Great Interest by William Guthrie
5. Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks

Carl Trueman

1.  The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
2. The Art of Prophesying by William Perkins
3. A Puritan Golden Treasury by I.D.E. Thomas
4. The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas Watson
5. The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter

My List

1.  The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
2.  The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
3.  The Glory of Christ by John Owen
4. The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
5. The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson

Do you have any favorite Puritan paperbacks?
Do share (and why if you don’t mind either).

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  • Matt Svoboda

    Looks like I need to read the “Mystery of Providence.”

    • I would encourage you to read everything you can get by John Flavel. He’s one of the easiest of the Puritans to read, and he is super pastoral and gospel-saturated. I bought his works (6 vol) in seminary and hope to work through them all in due time.

  • “All Things for Good” by Thomas Watson is, to this day, one of the best books I have ever read. Sweet exposition on every page.

    • That is a great book, and a great comfort to employ when struggling with pain, suffering, loss, and grief.

  • David Lovi

    I love “The Jerusalem Sinner Saved” by Bunyan. I read that one on the beach on my honeymoon. Great stuff!

    • That’s impressive David! I was not reading any Puritan paperbacks on my honeymoon.

  • John T

    Come and Welcome Jesus by Bunyan and Mortification by Owen

  • My favorite by far is “The Great Gain of Godliness” by Thomas Watson. Convicted the mess out of me.

  • Like a lot of other people, my favorite is “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.” I return to it again and again, and it comforts me each time. I need the reminder that God’s hand is in all things, even in “sad and sinking times.”

    I also think I need to be reading “The Mystery of Providence.”

  • Here is the books that I have read and love all of them. Not in the order of favorite but in the order which I had read first. I only have four of the Puritan Paperbacks and would love to get more.

    Communion with God by John Owen
    The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
    The Acceptable Sacrifice by John Bunyan
    The Glory of Christ by John Owen

    They all are great books to read. I would be looking forward to read more from them.

    Hungry to eat His Word,
    ‘Guerite ~ BoldLion

  • noah

    The first puritan paperback I read remains my favorite — Prayer by John Bunyan. A couple of sermons/essays bound together that have been very helpful for me.

    I don’t think they are classified as Puritan Paperbacks, but the three paperback volumes of William Gurnal’s Christian in Complete Armor are outstanding.

    Currently working my way very slowly through A Godly Man’s Picture by Watson. Loving it.

  • AE

    1. Owen on Communion with God
    2. Brooks’ Precious Remedies
    3. Burroughs on Contentment

  • My favorite is True Bounds of Christian Freedom. Its articulation of the doctrine of the covenants and the law and practical Christ-centered applications make it invaluable. The first chapter is worth its weight in gold.

  • This may not count, but my favorite Puritan work is The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification by Walter Marshall.

  • The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter

    Every minister should read this to prepare for the seriousness of the calling.