Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Marcus Loane, Makers of Puritan History, Banner of Truth, 2009

This hardback was previously published in 1960 with the title, Makers of Religious Freedom, and contains biographical accounts of four prominent Christian leaders from the seventeenth century. Two are from Scotland (Alexander Henderson and Samuel Rutherford) and two are from England (John Bunyan and Richard Baxter). The present title is one that was given to the American edition of the 1960 book.

Each of the four names is well-known today for various reasons. Three of them (apart from Henderson) have many books still in print. In addition, each of them was an outstanding preacher, and accounts of their lives are of value to contemporary preachers.

While the current title is not inaccurate (they did make history in Puritan times), it hides a prominent theme of Loane’s book, which is the contribution each of them made in the fight for religious freedom. Today we are facing threats to our religious freedom and while our circumstances are different from what they faced, we can learn from their dedication to Christ’s cause and their willingness to suffer for their convictions. Much of the freedom of subsequent generations can be traced to the readiness of these men, and many others, to do what was necessary in order to secure religious freedom in our country.

As with all of Loane’s books (and he wrote several), this one is easy to read. It will serve as a good introduction to the lives of the four men on whom he focuses, and will remind us of the cost that was paid by others to provide us with our freedoms.

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