In The American Puritans, Dustin Benge and Nate Pickowicz tell the story of the first hundred years of Reformed Protestantism in New England through the lives of nine key figures: William Bradford, John Winthrop, John Cotton, Thomas Hooker, Thomas Shepard, Anne Bradstreet, John Eliot, Samuel Willard, and Cotton Mather.
Here is sympathetic yet informed history, a book that corrects many myths and half-truths told about the American Puritans while inspiring a current generation of Christians to let their light shine before men.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Who Are the American Puritans?
1. William Bradford
2. John Winthrop
3. John Cotton
4. Thomas Hooker
5. Thomas Shepard
6. Anne Bradstreet
7. John Eliot
8. Samuel Willard
9. Cotton Mather
About the Authors
DUSTIN W. BENGE (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is provost of Union School of Theology, Wales, visiting professor of Munster Bible College, Cork, Ireland and a Senior Fellow of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. In addition, Dustin is the author of several books, writes regularly for Reformanda Ministries and Tabletalk, and serves as editor of Expositor magazine. Dustin and his wife Molli live in Porthcawl, Wales.
NATE PICKOWICZ is the pastor of Harvest Bible Church in Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire. He is the author of Reviving New England and Why We’re Protestant. Additionally, he writes for TableTalk magazine and Reformanda Ministries, and serves as the editor of The American Puritans series. He and his wife, Jessica, and two children, Jack and Elizabeth.
“In the history of Christianity there have been particular times when God uses a particular group of people at a particular place for a particularly great work. Puritan New England is a vibrant example of such a time, people, and place. Between Cape Anne and Cape Cod, huddled close to the coast, lived a concentration of highly educated, thoughtful, and pious people intent on living as Christ would have them live. History ever after cannot be understood without an eye on their influence. The American Puritans is an excellent introduction to these vibrant Christians.” — Rick Kennedy, professor of history, Point Loma Nazarene University and author of The First American Evangelical: A Short Life of Cotton Mather
“There has been a gap in the vital industry of reprinting the superbly relevant studies written by Puritan theologians and preachers. A survey of the leading American Puritans has been deeply needed. They have lived in the shadow of the extraordinary Jonathan Edwards. There are many others, and they are important to us in the United Kingdom because they lived before the American Revolutionary War, and so they are our Puritans as William Shakespeare is also America’s playwright. In the eighteenth century, English Puritanism had been wiped out, destroyed by Unitarianism and yet revived by George Whitefield and the leaders of the Great Awakening. But Puritanism continued across the Atlantic in New England and in the English colonies. To freshly introduce Christians on both sides of the ocean to their spiritual fathers is an enormous achievement. May we grow as familiar with them as we have become with the English Puritans. May God bless their testimony today to revive the witness in the Old Country, which is wilting in the weakness of historic Christianity, which is under constant attack and denigration even in the professing church itself.” — Geoff Thomas, visiting professor of historical theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“I am personally excited to see this excellent work, The American Puritans, written by two gifted authors and historians, Dustin Benge and Nate Pickowicz, appear in print. These men have made an important contribution to our understanding of the spiritual leaders who laid the theological and moral foundation for the early American colonies. Four centuries later, we continue to stand on the sturdy shoulders of these giants who first brought the Puritan way of life to American soil. This is a book containing nine concise biographies that I urge you to read. I believe it will both encourage and challenge you in your faith as you study these Puritans of the past.” — Steven J. Lawson, president, OnePassion Ministries and professor, The Master’s Seminary
“The tale of nine American Puritans, each with distinctive personalities and backgrounds, is vividly portrayed with attention to fascinating details and is written with candor and care. There can be no doubt that their influence on the British colonies shaped the future direction of the United States. The tales sail through rough seas—the Salem ‘witch trials’ and the potentially legalist approach to assurance, to name but two. Dustin Benge and Nate Pickowicz, however, always have the measure of things, and this delightful book is fun to read and instructive to subsequently ponder over—a book to be enjoyed and savored. As they currently say in the land from which these Puritans came, this book is ‘a cracking good read.’” — Derek W. H. Thomas, senior minister of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina, and chancellor’s professor, Reformed Theological Seminary
“With clarity, wisdom, and infectious enthusiasm, Dustin Benge and Nate Pickowicz introduce us to nine inspiring heralds of Christ. The Puritans are a hoard of treasure for all who want spiritual riches, and this book throws open some bulging but hidden caskets. Read and be enriched!” — Michael Reeves, president, Union School of Theology
“In the quadricentennial of the Pilgrims’ arrival in Plymouth (1620–2020), The American Puritans is a timely reminder of the heroic courage and abiding faith of New England’s spiritual founders. What makes this collection special is that it includes not only the lives of the leading governors, ministers, and Indian missionaries but also a biographical essay on New England’s ‘Tenth Muse,’ Anne Bradstreet, who gave poetic expression to her lived faith as a daughter of Zion, mother, and grandmother. The American Puritans is a deeply moving book about the legacy of the Protestant Reformation, American Puritanism, and the quest of sincere believers who risked everything to worship God in the ‘howling wilderness’ of North America. Anyone interested in the men and women who made it possible should read this wonderful book.” — Reiner Smolinski, general editor, Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana (1693–1728)