World from Our Window has an excellent article quoting a passage from Joel Burke’s book Meet the Puritans on the benefits of reading books from the Puritan movement in the 16th and 17th centuries.
I must admit, I haven’t read a lot of Puritan works aside from John Bunyan (highly recommended), John Owen (highly recommended with a caveat; he is difficult to read) and selected texts from others of that period. I’ve been reading Jonathon Edwards, yet he wasn’t really considered a Puritan. He came along after their time, yet his works do reflect the Puritan mindset, theological leanings and pure devotion to God and His glory. Edwards is widely considered to be the greatest theologian ever born on American soil. I cannot dispute that claim.
Great teachers still teach long after their deaths. The Puritans were outstanding teachers and preachers of God’s word and we can still benefit from their collective wisdom today in this Postmodern world.
I thank God for books. They allow us to build upon the wisdom of generations gone by. I thank God that every new generation that rises up in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t need to re-invent the wheel, theologically and doctrinally. The bible is a huge volume of knowledge and wisdom. Its contents are not easily digested. It would take many lifetimes of intense study to master it. Yet, we don’t need to start with a blank page. The dead speak to us from the grave. Many men in church history have devoted their lives to mine the great truths of this holy volume. Take heed and learn!
Note: If you are interested in purchasing Puritan books check out this section from Monergism Books. Personally, I plan on getting the Puritan Paperback Bundle (bottom of page) at some point in the future.