Posted tagged ‘2008 Puritan Reading Challenge’

Oh the Heart-Pulling Glory in Jesus Christ!

May 18, 2008

The first of hopefully several excerpts from the PRC paperback of the month, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ by John Bunyan (emphasis mine):

“Oh! the heart-attracting glory that is in Jesus Christ, when he is discovered, to draw those to him that are given to him of the Father; therefore those that come of old, rendered this as the cause of their coming to him: ‘And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father’ (John 1:14).  And the reason why others come not, but perish in their sins, is for want of a sight of his glory.  ‘If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them’ (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

There is therefore heart-pulling glory in Jesus Christ which, when discovered, draws the man to him; therefore, by ‘shall come to me’, Christ may mean, when his glory is discovered, then they must come, then they shall come to me.

[ . . .] Indeed, the carnal man says, at least in his heart, ‘There is no form or comeliness in Christ; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him’ (Isaiah 53:2); but he lies.  This he speaks, as having never seen him.  But they that stand in his house, and look upon him through the glass of his Word, by the help of his Holy Spirit, they will tell you other things.  ‘But we all,’ say they, ‘with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory’ (2 Cor. 3:18).  They see glory in his person, glory in his undertakings, glory in the merit of his blood, and glory in the perfection of his righteousness; yes, heart-affecting, heart-sweetening, and heart-changing glory!”

 – John Bunyan, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2004), 73-75.

If the Scriptures explain our sinful state as “falling short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and that the gospel is the “glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4), then surely our gospel proclamation must not be on the worthiness of man but the excellencies and glory of Jesus Christ.  If hearts are going to be pulled, affected, sweetened or changed, it will not be by making much of the sinner but by making much of Jesus Christ.  He who is altogether lovely loves the unlovable, and such love is glorious indeed.  May we preach thus and so exult in the God-man who is the radiance of God’s glory (Heb. 1:3). 

Piper on Bunyan’s Life of Suffering and Service

May 8, 2008

One of the greatest blessings of the writing and preaching ministry of John Piper is his commitment to remembering and learning from great men and women in church history. His messages, articles, and books on these saints of old have profoundly affected many today, and we would be well-served to avail ourselves to such pacesetters in the race of faith.

In 1999, John Piper addressed the life of John Bunyan, focusing specifically on his suffering and service. His message can be read or download (MP3) for your benefit. Piper concludes the biographical portion of his message, stating,

So, in sum, we can include in Bunyan’s sufferings the early, almost simultaneous, death of his mother and sister; the immediate remarriage of his father; the military draft in the midst of his teenage grief; the discovery that his first child was blind; the spiritual depression and darkness for the early years of his marriage; the death of his first wife leaving him with four small children; a twelve year imprisonment cutting him off from his family and church; the constant stress and uncertainty of imminent persecution, including one more imprisonment; and the final sickness and death far from those he loved most. And this summary doesn’t include any of the normal pressures and pains of ministry and marriage and parenting and controversy and criticism and sickness along the way.

In the second half of his message, Piper makes five observations from the suffering service of John Bunyan. Here they are:

1. Bunyan’s suffering confirmed him in his calling as a writer, especially for the afflicted church.

2. Bunyan’s suffering deepened his love for his flock and gave his pastoral labor the fragrance of eternity.

3. Bunyan’s suffering opened his understanding to the truth that the Christian life is hard and that following Jesus means having the wind in your face.

4. Bunyan’s suffering strengthened his assurance that God is sovereign over all the afflictions of his people and will bring them safely home.

5. Bunyan’s suffering deepened in him a confidence in the Bible as the Word of God and a passion for Bible memory and Biblical exposition as the key to perseverance.

After reading and listening to the life of such a man as John Bunyan, I cannot help but think of how little I have lived and suffered for the sake of Christ. We need to read about Bunyan in the morning, Brainerd at noon, and Baxter in the evening to keep us sober in the day of spiritual inebriation. May God help us to live for Him that is invisible as we progress to our heavenly home.

Blue Collar Theology 26: The Works of John Bunyan (PDF)

May 5, 2008

We live in a day and age where we have access to the works of the most eminent saints of church history. One such saint is John Bunyan, and his complete works have been compiled here for your benefit. Each link directs you to a PDF document which can be downloaded to your computer. All of these files have been made available via Bunyan Ministries under the direction of Dr. Barry Horner. You can also find these links in other formats at the John Bunyan online page developed by Mount Zion Chapel Library. I find it most appropriate that Bunyan’s Works be included in the Blue Collar Theology series as this “tinker of Bedford” who was rather poorly educated left quite a legacy. Check it out!

Volume 1

Memoir of John Bunyan
Grace Abounding to Chief of Sinners
Relation of Bunyan’s Imprisonment
Continuation of Bunyan’s Life
Bunyan’s Dying Sayings
Bunyan’s Prison Meditations
The Jerusalem Sinner Saved
The Greatness of the Soul
The Work of Christ as an Advocate
Christ a Complete Savior
Come and Welcome to Christ
Justification by Imputed Righteousness
Saved by Grace
The Strait Gate
Light for Those who Sit in Darkness
Treatise on the Fear of God
Doctrine of Law and Grace
Israel’s Hope Encouraged
A Discourse Touching Prayer
The Saint’s Privilege and Profit
The Acceptable Sacrifice
Paul’s Departure and Crown
The Desire of the Righteous Granted

Volume 2

Saint’s Knowledge of Christ’s Love
Of Antichrist and His Ruin
The Resurrection of the Dead
Some Gospel Truths Opened
Vindication of Gospel Truths Opened
Discourse on Pharisee and Publican
Defence of Doctrine of Justification
Reprobation Asserted
Questions About Seventh-Day Sabbath
Of the Trinity and a Christian / Of the Law and a Christian
Scriptural Poems
Exposition of Genesis 1-10
A Holy Life the Beauty of Christianity
Christian Behavior
Caution to Watch Against Sin
Discourse of the Building of God’s House
A Confession of my Faith and Practice
Differences About Water Baptism
Peaceable Principles and True / On the Love of Christ
A Case of Conscience Resolved
John Bunyan’s Catechism
Seasonable Counsel
An Exhortation to Peace and Unity
Bunyan’s Last Sermon

Volume 3

Pilgrim’s Progress – Introduction – Editor
Pilgrim’s Progress – Synopsis – Editor
Pilgrim’s Progress – Part I
Pilgrim’s Progress – Part II
The Holy War
A Map of the Order of Salvation
The Heavenly Footman
The Holy City, or The New Jeusalem
Solomon’s Temple Spiritualized
Discourse of the House of the Forest of Lebanon
The Water of Life
The Barren Fig Tree
The Life and Death of Mr. Badman
A Few Sighs From Hell
One Thing is Needful / Ebal and Gerizim
A Book for Boys and Girls
The Struggler (and Chronological Listing of Bunyan’s Works)

Several of these works have been modernized and included in the Puritan Paperback series published by Banner of Truth (including The Jerusalem Sinner Saved, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, The Acceptable Sacrifice, Prayer, and All Loves Excelling. Also, Soli Deo Gloria has also published several editions as well. For more information about John Bunyan in general and a list of reprinted works, check out the Meet the Puritans entry.

Who Is John Bunyan?

May 4, 2008

[Reformation Heritage Books has graciously provided this biographical and reprint essay on the life and works of John Bunyan. You can find this information and others in the book, Meet the Puritans.]

John Bunyan [1628-1688]

John Owen said of John Bunyan, a powerful preacher and the best-known of all the Puritan writers, that he would gladly exchange all his learning for Bunyan’s power of touching men’s hearts. John Bunyan was born in 1628 at Elstow, near Bedford, to Thomas Bunyan and Margaret Bentley. Thomas Bunyan, a brazier or tinker, was poor but not destitute. Still, for the most part, John Bunyan was not educated well. He became rebellious, frequently indulging in cursing. He later wrote, “It was my delight to be taken captive by the devil at his will: being filled with all unrighteousness; that from a child I had but few equals, both for cursing, swearing, lying, and blaspheming the holy name of God” (Works of Bunyan, ed. George Offor, 1:6). Sporadic periods of convictions of sin helped restrain some of that rebellion, however.

When Bunyan was sixteen years old, his mother and sister died a month apart. His father remarried a month later. Young Bunyan joined Cromwell’s New Model Army, where he continued his rebellious ways. Fighting in the Civil War sobered him considerably, however. On one occasion, his life was wonderfully spared. “When I was a soldier, I with others, was drawn out to go to such a place to besiege it. But when I was just ready to go, one of the company desired to go in my room; to which when I consented, he took my place, and coming to the siege, as he stood sentinel he was shot in the head with a musket bullet and died” (ibid.).

Bunyan was discharged from the army in 1646 or 1647. His military experience was later reflected in his book, The Holy War.

In 1648, Bunyan married a God-fearing woman whose name remains unknown, and whose only dowry was two books: Arthur Dent’s The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven and Lewis Bayly’s The Practice of Piety. When Bunyan read those books, he was convicted of sin. He started attending the parish church, stopped swearing (when rebuked by a dissolute woman of the town), and tried to honor the Sabbath. After some months, Bunyan came into contact with some women whose joyous conversation about the new birth and Christ deeply impressed him. He mourned his joyless existence as he realized that he was lost and outside of Christ. “I cannot now express with what longings and breakings in my soul I cried to Christ to call me,” he wrote. He felt that he had the worst heart in all of England. He confessed to be jealous of animals because they did not have a soul to account for before God.

In 1651, the women introduced Bunyan to John Gifford, their pastor in Bedford. God used Gifford to lead Bunyan to repentance and faith. Bunyan was particularly influenced by a sermon Gifford preached on Song of Solomon 4:1, “Behold thou art fair, my love, behold thou art fair,” as well as by reading Luther’s commentary of Galatians, in which he found his own experience “largely and profoundly handled, as if [Luther’s] book had been written out of my own heart” (cited by Greaves, John Bunyan, p. 18). While walking through a field one day, Christ’s righteousness was revealed to Bunyan’s soul and gained the victory. Bunyan writes of that unforgettable experience:

One day, as I was passing in the field, this sentence fell upon my soul: Thy righteousness is in heaven; and methought withal I saw with the eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ, at God’s right hand; there, I say, as my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was a-doing, God could not say of me, He wants my righteousness, for that was just before Him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed. I was loosed from my afflictions and irons; my temptations also fled away. Now I went home rejoicing for the grace and love of God. I lived for some time very sweetly at peace with God through Christ. Oh! methought, Christ! Christ! There was nothing but Christ that was before my eyes. I saw now not only looking upon this and the other benefits of Christ apart, as of His blood, burial, and resurrection, but considered Him as a whole Christ! It was glorious to me to see His exaltation, and the worth and prevalency of all His benefits, and that because now I could look from myself to Him, and would reckon that all those graces of God that now were green in me, were yet but like those cracked groats and fourpence-halfpennies that rich men carry in their purses, when their gold is in their trunk at home! Oh, I saw that my gold was in my trunk at home! In Christ my Lord and Saviour! Now Christ was all (Grace Abounding, paragraphs 229-32, pp. 129-31).

The year 1654 was a momentous one for Bunyan. He moved to Bedford with his wife and four children under the age of six; his firstborn, Mary, was blind from birth. That same year, he became a member of Gifford’s church, and was soon appointed deacon. His testimony became the talk of the town. Several people were led to conversion in response to it. By the end of the year, he had lost his beloved pastor to death.

In 1655, Bunyan began preaching to various congregations in Bedford. Hundreds came to hear him. He published his first book the following year, Some Gospel Truths Opened, written to protect believers from being misled by Quaker and Ranter teachings about Christ’s person and work. Two years later, Bunyan published A Few Sighs from Hell, an exposition of Luke 16:19-31 about the rich man and Lazarus. The book attacks professional clergy and the wealthy who promote carnality. It was well received, and helped establish Bunyan as a reputable Puritan writer. About that same time, his wife passed away.

In 1659, Bunyan published The Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded, which expounds his view of covenant theology, stressing the promissory nature of the covenant of grace and the dichotomy between law and grace. This helped establish him as a thoroughgoing Calvinist, though it led to false charges of antinomianism by Richard Baxter.

In 1660, while preaching in a farmhouse at Lower Samsell, Bunyan was arrested on the charge of preaching without official rights from the king. When told that he would be freed if he no longer preached, he replied, “If I am freed today, I will preach tomorrow.” He was thrown into prison, where he wrote prolifically and made shoelaces to provide some income for twelve and a half years (1660-1672).

Prior to his arrest, Bunyan had remarried, this time to a godly young woman named Elizabeth. She pleaded repeatedly for his release, but judges such as Sir Matthew Hale and Thomas Twisden rejected her plea. So Bunyan remained in prison with no formal charge and no legal sentence, in defiance of the habeas corpus provisions of the Magna Carta, because he refused to give up preaching the gospel and denounced the Church of England as false (see Bunyan’s A Relation of My Imprisonment, published posthumously in 1765).

In 1661 and from 1668-1672, certain jailers permitted Bunyan to leave prison at times to preach. George Offer notes, “It is said that many of the Baptist congregations in Bedfordshire owe their origins to his midnight preaching” (Works of Bunyan, 1:lix). His prison years were times of difficult trials, however. Bunyan experienced what his Pilgrim’s Progress characters Christian and Faithful would later suffer at the hands of Giant Despair, who thrust pilgrims “into a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking.” Bunyan especially felt the pain of separation from his wife and children, particularly “blind Mary,” describing it as a “pulling of the flesh from my bones.”

Prison years, however, were productive years for Bunyan. In the mid-1660s, Bunyan wrote extensively, with only the Bible and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs at his side. In 1663, he wrote Christian Behaviour, intended as a handbook for Christian living and a response against charges of antinomianism, as well as a last testament, since Bunyan expected to die in prison. He also finished I Will Pray with the Spirit, which expounded 1 Corinthians 14:15, and focused on the Spirit’s inner work in all true prayer. In 1664, he published Profitable Meditations; in 1665, One Thing Needful, The Holy City (his understanding of church history and the end times), and The Resurrection of the Dead. This latter work is a sequel to The Holy City, in which Bunyan expounds the resurrection from Acts 24:14-15 in a traditional way, and then uses his prison torments to illustrate the horrors that await the damned following the final judgment. In 1666, the middle of his prison-time, he wrote Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, in which he declared, “The Almighty God being my help and shield, I am determined yet to suffer, if frail life might continue so long, even till the moss shall grow upon my eyebrows, rather than violate my faith and principles.” During the last part of his imprisonment, he finished A Confession of My Faith, A Reason for My Practice, and A Defence of the Doctrine of Justification, an uncompromising criticism of the rising tide of Pelagianism among the Nonconformists and latitudinarianism among the Anglican establishment.

The Bedford congregation, sensing some relaxation of the law against preaching, appointed Bunyan as pastor on January 21, 1672, but Bunyan was not released until May. He had been the first to suffer under Charles II and was the last to be released. His long years in Bedford’s county prison made him a martyr in the eyes of many.

Bunyan had enjoyed only a few years of freedom when he was again arrested for preaching and put in the town jail. Here he wrote Instruction for the Ignorant (a catechism for the saved and unsaved that emphasizes the need for self-denial), Saved by Grace (an exposition of Ephesians 2:5 that encourages the godly to persevere in the faith notwithstanding persecution), The Strait Gate (an exposition of Luke 13:24 that seeks to awaken sinners to the gospel message), Light for Them That Sit in Darkness (a polemical work against those who oppose atonement by Christ’s satisfaction and justification by His imputed righteousness, especially the Quakers and Latitudinarians), and the first part of his famous Pilgrim’s Progress. That book, which sold more than 100,000 copies in its first decade in print, has since been reprinted in at least 1,500 editions and translated into more than two hundred languages, with Dutch, French, and Welsh editions appearing in Bunyan’s lifetime. Some scholars have asserted that, with the exception of the Bible and perhaps Thomas à Kempis’s The Imitation of Christ, this Bunyan classic has sold more copies than any other book ever written.

John Owen, minister of an Independent congregation at Leadenhall Street, London, successfully appealed for Bunyan to Thomas Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, who used his influence at court to secure Bunyan’s release from prison on June 21, 1677. Bunyan spent his last years ministering to the Nonconformists and writing. In 1678, he published Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, a popular exposition of John 6:37 that movingly proclaims a strong free offer of grace to sinners to fly to Jesus Christ and be saved. This book went through six editions in the last decade of Bunyan’s life. In 1680, he wrote The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, described as “a series of snapshots depicting the commonplace attitudes and practices against which Bunyan regularly preached” (Oxford DNB, 8:707). Two years later, he published The Greatness of the Soul and The Holy War. In 1685, he published the second part of Pilgrim’s Progress, dealing with Christiana’s pilgrimage, A Caution to Stir Up to Watch Against Sin, and Questions About the Nature and the Perpetuity of the Seventh-day Sabbath.

In the last three years of his life, Bunyan wrote ten more books, of which the best-known are The Pharisee and the Publican, The Jerusalem Sinner Saved, The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate, The Water of Life, Solomon’s Temple Spiritualized, and The Acceptable Sacrifice. Most of those books were reproduced in paperback by William Frasher in the 1960s through Reiner Press, in Swengel, Pennsylvania. They are not listed separately in this book because they are included in Bunyan’s Works.

In 1688, Bunyan died suddenly from a fever that he caught while traveling in cold weather. On his deathbed, he said to those who gathered around him, “Weep not for me, but for yourselves. I go to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will, no doubt, through the mediation of his blessed Son, receive me, though a sinner; where I hope we ere long shall meet, to sing the new song, and remain everlastingly happy, world without end” (Works of Bunyan, 1:lxxviii). After telling his friends that his greatest desire was to be with Christ, he raised his hands to heaven, and cried, “Take me, for I come to Thee!” and then died. He was buried in Bunhill Fields, close to Thomas Goodwin and John Owen.

The Works of John Bunyan (BTT; 3 vols., 2,400 pages; 1999).

Bunyan was unusual among the Puritans in that he had little formal education. Nevertheless, he read exhaustively, and the Holy Spirit blessed his studies. He became a prolific writer and wrote more than sixty works in sixty years. Many of those have been overshadowed by Pilgrim’s Progress and The Holy War, but they are still worthy of reading.

Bunyan’s works are a treasure of scriptural, experiential truth. He was a Spirit taught theologian who had the gift of interpreting evangelical truth for the masses. Bunyan was one of the most popular Puritans, no doubt because, while possessing the Word-centeredness and depth of doctrine and experience of other Puritans, he presented truth with warm simplicity. Several publishers have reprinted Bunyan’s individual works. Most recently, SDG has reprinted The Fear of God, in which Bunyan addresses the objects and reasons for fearing God, the various kinds of fear, the character and effects of godly fear, and the privileges and uses of this doctrine. BTT has also reprinted five of Bunyan’s works (The Acceptable Sacrifice, All Loves Excelling, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, The Jerusalem Sinner Saved, and Prayer) in the Puritan Paperback Series. GM has reprinted Groans of a Lost Soul, Solomon’s Temple Spiritualized, and Advice to Sufferers, among others.

For those wishing to own the best of what Bunyan has written, the BTT edition of George Offor’s 1854 compilation is the best option. It offers fifty-five of Bunyan’s works in three volumes. The first volume contains valuable introductions and an eighty-page memoir of Bunyan’s life and times. Volumes 1 and 2 contain his experimental, doctrinal, and practical works, such as Christ a Complete Saviour and The Fear of God. Volume 3 has Bunyan’s allegorical, figurative, and symbolical works, such as The Pilgrim’s Progress, The Holy War, and The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, as well as a compendious index.

Christiana’s Journey; Or, The Pilgrim’s Progress, The Second Part (BP; 150 pages; 1993).

This edition contains the text of Christiana’s Journey and seventy-three beautiful full-page oil paintings by Albert Wessels, which especially engage children.

Bunyan may have been motivated to write the second part of Pilgrim’s Progress in which Christiana and other female characters, as well as children, play prominent roles to depict a more subdued way in which the Holy Spirit often works conversion in typical church members. Hence Christiana and her children do not fall into the Slough of Despond nor have such a dramatic experience at the cross as Christian did. Christian and Christiana traverse much of the same ground, which shows the universality of believers’ spiritual experiences, but the section on Christian is more autobiographical while the section on Christiana is more corporate and normative, showing a more typical morphology of conversion.

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (AP; 243 pages; n.d.).

An indispensable source for Bunyan’s early life and conversion, this autobiographical classic chronicles his life from infancy to his imprisonment in 1660. Text on the remainder of Bunyan’s life is supplied by the editor. It provides an open and candid look into his life struggles, showing that God’s grace abounds to even the chief of sinners. Richard Greaves writes, “Although conventional in structure, Grace Abounding transcends contemporary examples of the genre in its depth of psychological experience, its riveting account of Bunyan’s struggle to keep from succumbing to pervasive, numbing despair, and his agonizing wrestling with biblical texts” (Oxford DNB, 8:705).

Grace Abounding was published six times during Bunyan’s lifetime, and has been reprinted scores of times over the centuries. This reprint is taken from the eighth edition.

The Holy War (Reiner; 454 pages; 1974).

This allegory, second only to Pilgrim’s Progress, bears the full title of The Holy War, made by King Shaddai upon Diabolus, for the Regaining of the Metropolis of the World; or, the Losing and Taking again of The Town of Mansoul. Reiner’s edition contains the valuable “explanatory, experimental, and practical notes” of George Burder and sixty-eight engravings.

Macauley claims that The Holy War, written after Bunyan’s imprisonment, “would be the best allegory ever written if Pilgrim’s Progress did not exist.” The Holy War is more difficult to read but is also more profound in places than Pilgrim’s Progress partly because it involves several levels of allegory. “Mansoul is not only the soul of each believer and the allegorical personification of Christianity but the symbol of England itself” (Oxford DNB, 8:707). The Holy War contains valuable counsel on how to fight the good fight of faith. It will richly reward the meditative reader.

The Pilgrim’s Progress (Reiner, 1974; BTT, 1983; BP, 1999).

This is a moving, allegorical account of spiritual warfare experienced by a wayfaring pilgrim traveling from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City, in which Bunyan allegorizes his own religious experience as a guide for others. “Christian is both pilgrim and warrior, and the message of The Pilgrim’s Progress is not only a call to embrace and persist in the Christian life, but also a summons to battle the forces of evil” (Oxford DNB, 8:705).

Bunyan’s insights into mankind’s desperate plight and God’s redeeming grace make this a legendary classic. Regeneration, faith, repentance, justification, mortification, sanctification, and perseverance are poignantly painted for us in biblical, doctrinal, experiential, and practical detail.

Among the more than two dozen reprints of Bunyan’s classic since 1960, three are worthy of mention. First, an excellent edition of both parts of Pilgrim’s Progress containing the invaluable explanatory notes of Thomas Scott, original marginal notes, and textual support, has been reprinted by Reiner (1974), and is the most helpful edition. It includes a helpful 50-page memoir of Bunyan by Josiah Condor.

Second, Banner of Truth Trust published a deluxe edition in 1983, which includes original marginal notes and references from Scripture, both parts of Pilgrim’s Progress, and a series of sketches by William Strang.

Third, Bunyan Press has issued a handsome, coffee-table volume containing the complete text of Pilgrim’s Progress along with a beautiful collection of more than seventy oil paintings by Albert Wessels. This edition is excellent for helping children grasp the classic story. A number of retellings of Bunyan’s famous story have been printed for children by other publishers.

Congrats to Will Bausch! – April Giveaway Winner

May 3, 2008

Drum roll please . . . .

Da da da!

Will Bausch is the winner of the April giveaway, which includes the following four books:

1. Gospel Revelation: Finding Worth in Knowing Christ by Jeremiah Burroughs
2. A Treatise on Earthly-Mindedness by Jeremiah Burroughs
3. The Excellency of a Gracious Spirit by Jeremiah Burroughs
4. Meet the Puritans by Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson

I want to say again a special thank you to Reformation Heritage Books for sponsoring the month of April and donating these excellent books to the cause of the Puritan Reading Challenge!

If you want to get in on all the book love, be sure to read the Puritan Paperback for each month and comment on the open thread that I will post on the end of the month. From the comments shared, I will then randomly select (computer generated) a number to determine the winner. John Bunyan is up next, and you won’t want to miss his excellent exposition on John 6:37!

Will’s thoughts are well worth repeating, so allow me to share them with you again. Reflecting on Burrough’s The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Will writes:

“God would not have us set our hearts upon riches, because they are nothing, and yet God is pleased to set his heart upon us, and we are nothing: that is God’s grace, free grace, and therefore it does not much matter what I suffer, for I am as nothing.”

What can I say about this book, except that it “connected the dots” between the gospel, the affections of my heart, complaining, and discontentment. It has been a pleasure to think about this subject, especially in light of the gospel. I pray that I would soon learn the “ABCs”, as Burroughs would put it, before feeling that I can move on to something greater. There is nothing greater for me than being satisfied in Christ for all that he with all that I am not.

This book also put encouraging words into my mouth, and scripture into my brain, that was used in counseling a brother who is going through a point where God is taking a lot of things away. It was a great pleasure, and medicine for my soul, to awkwardly explain to him what Burroughs explains so eloquently: Christ is all sufficent, and he will lovingly remove all barriers to us realizing this. When he doesn’t remove these barriers, we should begin to worry. Often this refinement hurts, but the contentment in our all-sufficent Lord and Saviour to be found on the other side of the pain is well worth it.


Interview with Phil Simpson (and me) on Calling for Truth

May 2, 2008

Calling for Truth has uploaded the audio for Wednesday’s interview, capping off April’s Puritan Paperback, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs.  You can listen to the show online or download it (MP3) as well (right click, save as).  I especially enjoyed hearing the commentary by Phil Simpson who joined me for this discussion on Burroughs.  Thanks Phil for supporting the Puritan Reading Challenge!

Tomorrow, I will announce the winner of the April’s giveaway of books.

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment: Your Thoughts (Open Thread)

April 30, 2008

Another month in the books, another Puritan Paperback mined in the challenge that is the 2008 PRC.  So how was it?  That is, what did you think of The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs?  How has your life been impacted?  Challenged?  How will anything you read be useful to you in your life or ministry?  Please take a moment to share your thoughts.  From those who respond in this open thread will be one of you who will be the winner of the April Giveaway!

Don’t forget to listen and call in today at 1:00 p.m. EST as we will have special guest Phil Simpson with us.

The thread is open: please take a moment to share with others your observations, experiences, benefits, or uses this book as been for you over the past month.

Calling for Truth with Special Guest Phil Simpson

April 29, 2008

I am excited to share with you that Phil Simpson, who is currently writing a biography on Jeremiah Burroughs, will be joining to talk about The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment tomorrow (Wednesday, April 30) at 1:00 p.m. EST on Calling for Truth with Paul Dean and Kevin Boling. It will be a live call-in radio broadcast for an hour (1:00-2:00 p.m. EST), and you can listen two ways:

1. If you live in SC or parts of NC, GA, or TN, you can listen in at Talk 660.
2. If you are like me and live elsewhere, you can listen online by going here.

The toll-free number to call in is 1.888.660.9535.

We would love to hear from you! If you have time, and would like to participate in the discussion, let us hear your thoughts by calling in. I don’t know if there is a more needed topic today in our hyper-consumeristic culture than contentment. I am really looking forward to our conversation about Burroughs, contentment, and how we can pursue contentment in the world in which we live.

How Jeremiah Burroughs Learned Contentment

April 27, 2008

[Phil Simpson, whom I have mentioned in an earlier post, has graciously agreed to guest blog here at P&P with an article on Jeremiah Burroughs’ life, and more specifically, how he learned contentment. Phil is currently writing a biography on Burroughs which hopes to be published within the year. You can find more information at his website, The Jeremiah Burroughs Homepage.]

Imagine you are listening to a sermon on Christ’s faithfulness in the darkest trials. The sermon is being preached by a young, married preacher who recently had a child. You will likely listen and benefit from the sermon. But imagine that same sermon being given by a man whose wife and only daughter were killed two years ago in an automobile accident, and whose only son has just been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Which of the two sermons is most likely to make you sit on the edge of your seat? As you can imagine, a man’s life experiences can certainly add force and weight to his message. This is the case with Jeremiah Burroughs, whose teaching on contentment is given weight by a series of trials experienced during his lifetime.

Jeremiah Burroughs was born in East Anglia, England, in 1599. After completing his MA at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1625, he was forced to leave the University because he refused to conform to unbiblical rituals, ceremonies, and superstitions which the Church of England had begun to enforce at that time. However, this did not prevent him from entering the ministry, and after serving two years as curate at All Saints Church, Stisted, he was appointed lecturer at Bury St. Edmunds in 1627. As a lecturer, he was free from the restrictions placed on the vicars of the church. He served in the same town as Edmund Calamy, and shared a town lectureship with him. His future seemed bright. His heart’s desire was to serve the Lord and his kingdom in as great a capacity as the Lord would allow.

However, his first job ended in disappointment. In 1630, he reported that “I have been nearly three and a half years with them with little success.” He further commented that the people had a “strange disposition”. To make matters worse, the congregation seemed determined to get rid of Burroughs because he spoke out against the sin of one of the town’s local officials. When a change in pay left him without any certainty of income, he was forced to take a job offered to him in Tivetshall, Norfolk. This was somewhat disappointing to him, since it was a small country church, and he felt there might be less opportunity to do good than at the larger town of Bury.

Nevertheless, in 1631 he became the vicar of Tivetshall, and served there for several years. He was even able to engage in rotating lectureships with William Bridge and William Greenhill. However, when William Laud was appointed Archbishop, all ministers in England were required to read, from their pulpits, The King’s Book of Sports, an official declaration of recreational activities in which king’s subjects were to participate on Sundays. Such “sports” included “leaping, vaulting… May-games, Whitsun-ales, and Morris-dances, and the setting up of May-poles”. Burroughs and other Puritan ministers felt this violated their convictions of the sanctity of the Sabbath. Laud then appointed bishop Matthew Wren to visit the churches in Norfolk and report any nonconformists to him. Wren was especially zealous, and also enforced his own recently-published “visitation articles” which contained 139 articles with 897 questions to be asked of ministers at these visitations! These included:

-Does he receive the sacrament kneeling himself, and administer to none but such as kneel?

-Does he wear the surplice while he is reading prayers and administering the sacrament?

-Does he in Rogation-days use the perambulation around the parish?

-Has your minister read the book of sports in his church or chapel?

-Does he use conceived (rather than written) prayers before or after the sermon?

-Are the graves dug east and west, and the bodies buried with their heads at the west?

-Do they kneel at confession, stand up at the creed, and bow at the glorious name of Jesus?


Puritan Reading Challenge Book Giveaway (April)

April 23, 2008

I trust that many of you are mining all the gold that is found in Burroughs this month! You will certainly want to catch up reading and be ready to share your thoughts on the open thread at the end of the month because RHB will be giving away an excellent bundle of books with a retail value of over $100! Here they are with a little description:

1. Gospel Revelation: Finding Worth in Knowing Christ by Jeremiah Burroughs
Description: When Christ asked Peter, “Who do men say that I am?” He understood that opinions are as varied as the men who hold them. But the only trustworthy knowledge of God comes from God Himself. Only God’s revelation of Himself is infallible; only that revelation can be trusted to save a sin-sick soul. In the last of the “gospel” series, Jeremiah Burroughs gives us God’s revelation regarding Himself and regarding His Son, Jesus Christ. And then he gives precious insight into the worth of the human soul, created by God to joyously serve and glorify Him. Sin debases a man, but a right relationship to God elevates him to the position of worth and dignity God gave him at first. True Christians can revel in this revelation. Retail: $26.00.

2. A Treatise on Earthly-Mindedness by Jeremiah Burroughs
Description: In this important work, Burroughs shows from Scripture the great sin of thinking as the world thinks rather than thinking God’s thoughts after Him. Then, realizing that right conduct is the result of right thinking, Burroughs gives us another gem in the second treatise offered here, A Heavenly Conversation, or Walking with God, which is a discussion on what it means to be heavenly minded, with an accent on living godly in Christ Jesus. Several chapters deal with how to foster heavenly conversation and a heavenly walk. Of this book, Mark Dever notes,”We give ourselves with abandon to our pleasures as if we would die tomorrow. But we build houses and we accumulate things as if we would live forever. You ought to consider this more. The Puritans were great at meditating on this life with the next one in view. I encourage you to read Jeremiah Burroughs’ A Treatise on Earthly-Mindedness . It is a wonderful meditation on exactly what this kind of worldly mindedness means, and what is looks like in our lives.” Retail: $19.00.

3. The Excellency of a Gracious Spirit by Jeremiah Burroughs
Description: This title was the first of his writing published. It is based on Numbers 14:24: “Caleb was of another spirit; he followed God fully.” The first part of this book deals with what that “other spirit” is — a gracious spirit, synonymous with a regenerate heart. Those with this gracious spirit are true Christians and desire to follow the Lord fully. The second part of this book explains what it means to serve God thoroughly from a spirit activated and motivated by His grace. I have personally been blessed immensely with this book and find it challenging and convicting. Retail: $24.00.

4. Meet the Puritans by Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson
Description: The most comprehensive guide to the Puritans in print. This work provides great biographical information on each of the Puritans along with a annotated description of all their works and reprints. Not only does it cover the English Puritans, but it also provides resources on the Scottish and Dutch Reformed traditions. The book also has a great reference index, including a lengthy bibliography and glossary of terminology. Shepherd’s Scrapbook named it the 2006 Book of the Year, and for good reason! Retail: $35.00.

Again, let me say a special thanks to Reformation Heritage Books who have been so supportive of this project. They have been incredibly helpful and generous, and I encourage you to consider checking out their bookstore if you plan on purchasing online as they have some of the lowest prices on great reformed and Puritan literature anywhere.

I will be posting the open thread in one week, and I look forward to reading your responses and interaction with Burroughs’ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.

The Jeremiah Burroughs Home Page

April 7, 2008

If you are reading Jeremiah Burroughs or have enjoyed Burroughs in the past, you need to check out The Jeremiah Burroughs Home Page.  This is an excellent website run by Phil Simpson who is currently writing a biography on Burroughs.

Here are some of the stuff you might want to check out in particular:

* Complete Works of Jeremiah Burroughs
* Links on Jeremiah Burroughs
* Books by Jeremiah Burroughs (some downloadable in PDF)
* Excerpts from Jeremiah Burroughs
* Audio Resources
* Sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs
* What Others Have Said

These are some great resources for those of you reading Burroughs this month in the PRC.  I am looking forward to a great April gleaning from Mr. Burroughs together!

Who Is Jeremiah Burroughs?

April 5, 2008

[Reformation Heritage Books has graciously provided this biographical and reprint essay on the life and works of John Flavel. You can find this information and others in the book, Meet the Puritans.]

Jeremiah Burroughs (c. 1600-1646)

Jeremiah Burroughs (or Burroughes) was baptized in 1601 and admitted as a pensioner at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1617. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1621 and a Master of Arts degree in 1624. His tutor was Thomas Hooker.

Burroughs’s ministry falls into four periods, all of which reveal him as a zealous and faithful pastor. First, from about 1627 until 1631, he was assistant to Edmund Calamy at Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. Both men became members of the Westminster Assembly. Both men strongly opposed King James’s Book of Sports. Both refused to read the king’s proclamation in church that dancing, archery, vaulting, and other games were lawful recreations on the Lord’s Day.

Second, from 1631 to 1636, Burroughs was rector of Tivetshall, Norfolk, a church that still stands today. Despite the best efforts of his patron, Burroughs was suspended in 1636 and deprived in 1637 for refusing to obey the injunctions of Bishop Matthew Wren, especially regarding the reading of the Book of Sports, and the requirements to bow at the name of Jesus and to read prayers rather than speak them extemporaneously.

Third, from 1638 to 1640, Burroughs lived in the Netherlands, where he was teacher of a congregation of English Independents at Rotterdam, formerly ministered by William Ames. William Bridge was the pastor and Sidrach Simpson had established a second like-minded church in the city. Thus, three future dissenting brethren were brought together, all of whom would serve as propagandists for congregationalism later in the 1640s.

In the final period from 1640 to his death in 1646, Burroughs achieved great recognition as a popular preacher and a leading Puritan in London. He returned to England during the Commonwealth period and became pastor of two of the largest congregations in London: Stepney and St. Giles, Cripplegate. At Stepney, he preached early in the morning and became known as “the morning star of Stepney.” He was invited to preach before the House of Commons and the House of Lords several times. Thomas Brooks called him “a prince of preachers.”

As a member of the Westminster Assembly, Burroughs sided with the Independents, but he remained moderate in tone, acting in accord with the motto on his study door: Opinionum varietas et opinantium unitas non sunt hasustata (“variety of opinion and unity of opinion are not incompatible”). Richard Baxter said, “If all the Episcopalians had been like Archbishop Ussher, all the Presbyterians like Stephen Marshall, and all the Independents like Jeremiah Burroughs, the breaches of the church would soon have been healed.”

In 1644, Burroughs and several colleagues presented to Parliament their Apologetical Narration, which defended Independency. It attempted to steer a middle course between Presbyterianism, which they regarded as too authoritarian, and Brownism, which they regarded as too democratic. This led to division between the Presbyterians and Independents. Burroughs served on the committee of accommodation, which tried to reconcile the differences, but on March 9, 1646, he declared on behalf of the Independents that presbyteries were “coercive institutions.” Burroughs said he would rather suffer or emigrate than submit to presbyteries. Ultimately, the division between Presbyterians and Independents helped promote the cause of prelacy after the death of Oliver Cromwell.

Burroughs pursued peace to the end. He died in 1646, two weeks after a fall from his horse. The last subject on which he preached became his Irenicum to the Lovers of Truth and Peace, an attempt to heal divisions between believers. Many of his friends believed that church troubles hastened his death. Burroughs was a prolific writer, highly esteemed by Puritan leaders of his day, some of whom published his writings after his death. Nearly all of his books are compilations of sermons.

The Evil of Evils, or The Exceeding Sinfulness of Sin (SDG; 345 pages; 1999).

This book, first printed in 1654, consists of sixty-seven short chapters that expose sin and urge believers to choose affliction over sin. Burroughs organizes his material around seven major thoughts: (1) there is more evil in the least sin than in the greatest affliction; (2) sin and God are contrary to each other; (3) sin is directly against our good; (4) sin opposes all that is good; (5) sin is the evil of all other evils; (6) sin has infinite dimension and character; and (7) sin makes us comfortable with the devil. Evil of Evils is invaluable for sensitizing our consciences to the “exceeding sinfulness of sin” (cf. Rom. 7:13).

The Excellency of a Gracious Spirit (SDG; 260 pages; 1995).

Based on Numbers 14:24 (“Caleb was of another spirit; he followed God fully”), this book is divided into two parts: (1) what this gracious spirit is, and (2) what it means to follow God fully. Burroughs says we must strive to live in the fear of the Lord to depart from evil and draw closer to Him. Living out of godly fear is the sum and substance of a gracious spirit.

An Exposition of the Prophecy of Hosea (SDG; 699 pages; 1990).

This mammoth exposition of Hosea is one of Burroughs’s finest works. This edition is a facsimile reprint of the 1863 James Sherman edition. Burroughs died before finishing the work, but two of his closest friends, Thomas Hall and Edward Reynolds, finished the commentary. Spurgeon called this work “masterly,” noting that it is “a vast treasure-house of experimental exposition.” No work on Hosea has since superseded this commentary.

Gospel Conversation (SDG; 310 pages; 1995).

This masterful treatise deals with the right living of believers. It includes seven sermons on Philippians 1:27 (“Let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ”), three on John 18:36 (“My kingdom is not of this world”), and a sermon on Exodus 14:13, titled “The Saints’ Duty in Times of Extremity.”

Burroughs moves the reader to mourn his alienated state and yearn for the spring of holiness, union, and communion with Christ. He stresses there can be no works of sanctification before union with Christ. But once in Christ, the Christian must give evidence of that union by fervently pursuing the pious life to which God calls him. Good works are dangerous if they are made the foundation of justification, but are necessary and useful in sanctification. The conversation and conduct of believers must be on a higher plane than that of unbelievers.

Gospel Fear: Developing a Tender Heart that Trembles at the Word of God (SDG; 147 pages; 2001).

The concept of reverence has nearly been forgotten in our day, even by many who regard themselves as Christians. We are irreverent because we are ignorant of God and His holiness. As Burroughs writes, “The reason men worship God in a slight way is because they do not see God in His glory.” These sermons (on Isaiah 66:2, “he that trembleth at my word” and on 2 Kings 22:19, “because thine heart was tender”) are a corrective to prevailing ignorance. The entire volume shows our need for reverence and awe towards God and His Word.

Gospel Reconciliation (SDG; 379 pages; 1997).

There is no more important issue for any one than how to be right with God. In this treatise of eighty-one chapters on 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20 (“God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself”), Burroughs answers questions about reconciliation. Christ’s atoning work is the only way for fallen sinners to be reconciled with God, for a finite creature can never satisfy the justice of an infinite God. Burroughs explains the consequences of our reconciliation in Christ, showing that this reconciliation is a deep mystery, that it is free, sure, full, honorable, firm, and eternal, but also a difficult work, for we are only saved by divine accomplishment, not by human achievement.

Gospel Remission (SDG; 310 pages; 1995).

Subtitled True Blessedness Consists in Pardon of Sin, this first-time reprint consists of a series of sermons on Psalm 32:1, which Burroughs preached after finishing his masterpiece on sin, The Evil of Evils. As a tender pastor, Burroughs knew that after hearing about the deadly nature of sin, his congregation would need to hear about the remission of sins offered in the gospel. Burroughs covers five areas of forgiveness: (1) the many gospel mysteries in remission; (2) the glorious effects proceeding from remission; (3) the great mistakes made about remission; (4) the true signs and symptoms of remission; and (5) the ways and means to obtain remission. Burroughs stresses the dishonor done to God by not resting on the mercy of His remission.

Gospel Worship (SDG; 400 pages; 1990).

Subtitled The Right Manner of Sanctifying the Name of God in General, this treatise on Leviticus 10:1-3 is a call to propriety and sobriety in the worship of God. It deals with the believer’s sanctification through “three great ordinances”: (1) hearing the Word, (2) receiving the Lord’s Supper, and (3) prayer. In a day that promotes man-made forms of worship, Gospel Worship is a call to biblical worship of the Triune God through the means that He has instituted. Burroughs shows how important worship is to God and teaches us how to “give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name” (Ps. 29:2). He makes plain that we do not need new forms of worship to be relevant, but to renew old forms of worship.

Hope (SDG; 150 pages; 2005).

This treatise on 1 John 3:3, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself,” first establishes that every believer is a hopeful person; second, explains that where true hope resides, it will purge the heart; and third, provides ten ways in which believers can purify themselves by hope. Burroughs also shows the origin, object, and ground of hope. The book concludes with an exhortation to put away sin. This is a timely, succinct masterpiece for our impure world, lost in sin and full of despair.

Appendixed to Hope is a 63-page sermon by Burroughs on the misery of those who have hope only in this life, based on Psalm 17:14b, “From men of the world, which have their portion in this life.”

Irenicum to the Lovers of Truth and Peace (SDG; 440 pages; 1998).

Subtitled, Heart-divisions opened in the causes and evils of them, with cautions that we may not be hurt by them, and endeavors to heal them, this volume contains the last sermons Burroughs preached before his death. Burroughs pleads for unity among his brethren, addresses the issues that seriously divided believers in his day, and offers practical ways to promote unity. He explains when one should plead his conscience, provides rules to know in what areas we are to bear with our brethren, and shows that “every difference in religion is not a differing religion.” He discusses the role of pride, self-love, envy, anger, rigidity, rashness, willfulness, inconsistency, jealousy, contentiousness, covetousness, and gossip in division. He concludes that the answer for division does not lie in blanket tolerance of all religions nor in a compromising attitude towards sin, but in a biblical striving for peace. Given the divisiveness of Christians in all generations, this treatise is extremely applicable.

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (BTT; 228 pages; 2000).

In this book on contentment (Philippians 4:1, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”), Burroughs presents two major themes: (1) peace among believers of various persuasions, and (2) peace and contentment in the hearts of believers during “sad and sinking times.”

Burroughs expounds what Christian contentment is (chap. 1), unveils its mystery (chaps. 2-4), shows how Christ teaches it (chaps. 5-6), and describes ten of its fruits (chap. 7). He then addresses the evils and aggravations of discontentment (chaps. 8-11). He concludes by showing how to attain contentment (chaps. 12-13). This classic provides numerous practical remedies for the spiritual disease of discontent.

The Saints’ Happiness (SDG; 264 pages; 1988).

This book offers a detailed exposition of the Beatitudes in forty-one sermons. Though Burroughs does not match Thomas Watson in popular appeal or Robert Harris in exegetical skill on the Beatitudes, his work is a significant contribution for proper understanding of these important marks of spiritual life.

The Saints’ Treasury (SDG; 175 pages; 1994).

This is a compilation of five sermons on the holiness of God, Christ as all in all, faith’s enjoyment of heavenly things, the natural man’s bondage to the law and the believer’s liberty by the Gospel, and preparation for judgment.

A Treatise of Earthly-Mindedness (SDG; 220 pages; 1998).

A timely reprint for our earthly-minded age, this book contains two treatises: a serious warning against the evils of being earthly minded; an explanation on how to “get our hearts free from earthly-mindedness”; and a discussion on what it means to be heavenly-minded, with an accent on living godly in Christ Jesus. Several chapters deal with how to foster heavenly conversation and a heavenly walk.

Congrats to D.L. Kane! – March Giveaway Winner

April 3, 2008

D.L. Kane, who happens have been (and continues to be) a big supporter of the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge, is the winner of the March giveaway, which includes four books by Thomas Watson:

1. A Body of Divinity
2. The Beatitudes
3. The Lord’s Prayer
4. All Things for Good

What I have not mentioned, however, is that RHB is also throwing in a free copy of Meet the Puritans to go with the bundle of books!  Thank you, Banner of Truth, for sponsoring the month of March and donating these excellent books to the cause of the Puritan Reading Challenge! Also, thanks to RHB for the copy of Meet the Puritans!

If you want to get in on all the book love, be sure to read the Puritan Paperback for each month and comment on the open thread that I will post on the end of the month. From the comments shared, I will then randomly select (computer generated) a number to determine the winner. Jeremiah Burroughs is up next, and you won’t want to miss his great treatise on contentment!

Audio from Today’s CFT Show (RE: The Godly Man’s Picture)

April 2, 2008

Calling for Truth has uploaded the audio for today’s interview, capping off March’s Puritan Paperback, The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson.  You can listen to the show online or download it (MP3) as well (right click, save as).

Tomorrow, I will announce the winner of the March giveaway of books.  Oh, and we are throwing one more book in there as well.  🙂

Let’s Talk Watson and Godliness Tomorrow at 1 EST

April 1, 2008

So we didn’t get to talk much about Watson and The Godly Man’s Picture this month, but we do have an hour tomorrow to catch up.  I would love to hear from you guys!

Tomorrow (Wednesday, April. 2) at 1:00 p.m. EST, I will again be on Calling for Truth with Paul Dean and Kevin Boling to discuss Watson and godliness–a topic certainly worth our time and attention. It will be a live call-in radio broadcast for an hour (1:00-2:00 p.m. EST), and you can listen two ways:

1. If you live in SC or parts of NC, GA, or TN, you can listen in at Talk 660.
2. If you are like me and live elsewhere, you can listen online by going here.

The toll-free number to call in is 1.888.660.9535.

Here’s an idea: find one thing in particular that you enjoyed the most, convicted you the most, or impacted your thinking and call in to share that with us.  Once the audio is available online, I will post the MP3 here on P&P.  I look forward to catching up with you tomorrow afternoon!

Pursuing Christ Together,

Timmy Brister