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

, 1990


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A Quest for Godliness explores the depth and breadth of Puritan spiritual life. Drawing on a lifetime of study, Packer surveys the lives and teachings of great Puritan leaders such as John Owen, Richard Baxter, and Jonathan Edwards. He examines the Puritan view of the Bible, spiritual gifts, the Sabbath, worship, social action, and the family. The Puritans’ faith, Packer argues, stands in marked contrast with the superficiality of modern western Christianity.

In a time of failing vision and decaying values, this powerful portrait of the Puritans is a beacon of hope that calls us to radical commitment and action, both desperately needed today. Beautifully written, A Quest for Godliness is a moving and challenging exploration of Puritan life and thought. Here is J. I. Packer at his very best.

Dr. Packer masterfully uncovers the hidden treasures of Puritan life and thought. With crystalline clarity he reveals the depth and breadth of Puritan spiritual life, contrasting it with the superficiality and deadness of modern Western Christianity.

  • Chapter 1: Introduction

The Puritans in Profile

  • Chapter 2: Why We Need the Puritans
  • Chapter 3: Puritanism as a Movement of Revival
  • Chapter 4: The Practical Writings of the English Puritans

The Puritans and the Bible

  • Chapter 5: John Owen on Communication from God
  • Chapter 6: The Puritans as Interpreters of Scripture
  • Chapter 7: The Puritan Conscience

The Puritans and the Gospel

  • Chapter 8: ‘Saved by His Precious Blood’: An Introduction to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
  • Chapter 9: The Doctrine of Justification in Development and Decline Among the Puritans
  • Chapter 10: The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel

The Puritans and the Holy Spirit

  • Chapter 11: The Witness of the Spirit in Puritan Thought
  • Chapter 12: The Spirituality of John Owen
  • Chapter 13: John Owen on Spiritual Gifts

The Puritan Christian Life

  • Chapter 14: The Puritans and the Lord’s Dayr
  • Chapter 15: The Puritan Approach to Worship
  • Chapter 16: Marriage and Family in Puritan Thought

The Puritans in Ministry

  • Chapter 17: Puritan Preaching
  • Chapter 18: Puritan Evangelism
  • Chapter 19: Jonathan Edwards and Revival
  • Chapter 20: Afterword
I hope these chapters will excite you, for in them I share discoveries that for forty years have been exciting me. The essays are not just history and historical theology; they are themselves, in aim at least, spirituality, as much as anything else I have written; they focus on ways in which, as I see it, the Puritans are giants compared with us, giants whose help we need if ever we are to grow. Learning from the heroes of the Christian past is in any case an important dimension of that edifying fellowship for which the proper name is the communion of saints. The great Puritans, though dead, still speak to us through their writings, and say things to us that we badly need to hear at this present time. I shall try to set some of these before you, in the chapters that follow.

-J. I. Packer

  • Title: A Quest for Godliness
  • Author: J. I. Packer
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Print Publication Date: 1990
  • Logos Release Date: 2001
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Puritans › New England; Puritans › England; Christian life › History--17th century; Christian life › History--16th century
  • Resource ID: LLS:40.40.30
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2021-02-01T20:27:07Z

In the Logos edition, this digital edition of A Quest for Godliness is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

J. I. Packer

J.I. Packer (1926–2020), or James Innell Packer, is considered one of the most influential evangelicals in North America. Packer committed his life to Christian service after hearing lectures from C. S. Lewis while studying at Oxford. In the 1950s, Packer was ordained a deacon and priest in the Church of England. Before moving to Canada, he lectured at several schools, including Tyndale Hall in Bristol, Latimer House in Oxford, and Oak Hill Theological College in London.

Packer was also a professor of theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and served as the honorary president of the Latimer Trust. Packer has written and edited several books: he was the editor of the English Standard Version Bible, the New Bible Dictionary, and the New Dictionary of Theology, and his books include Illustrated Manner and Customs of the Bible and A Quest for Godliness.


20 ratings

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  1. Bill & Gail OBrallahan
  2. Scott Cameron
  3. Jacob Lim

    Jacob Lim


    A clear description of the Puritans.

  4. Thomas Wetselaar
  5. Jim Julian

    Jim Julian


    This is a neat book in giving you a picture of the Puritan influence on Christianity today.

  6. Ashish Mare

    Ashish Mare


  7. Joey Spinks

    Joey Spinks


  8. Mark Batten

    Mark Batten


  9. Jeff Brown

    Jeff Brown


    Great work on the Puritans...

  10. CHL





Digital list price: $13.99
Save $3.00 (21%)