Pocket Puritans

I’m a big guy who drinks big cups of coffee and collects and reads heavy, shelf-warping books of theology. But I still prefer tiny books—ultra-thin, ultra-short, compact thinline ESV Bibles (like the one pictured), and those old Bible and Tract Society books from a century past that fit nicely in the palm. So I couldn’t help but express a bit of excitement over the new Puritan Paperback series from the Banner of Truth, a line of tiny books with a big wallop that will make the Puritans less intimidating and more readable for a new generation of readers.

As you can see, these are not your grandpa’s Banner books. Punchy, contemporary, relevant titles and sharp cover designs connect the timeless wisdom of Edwards, Baxter, and others to contemporary questions and in a format that looks more like a fresh CCEF counseling booklet than thou divines of olde. Current titles include, Heaven: A World of Love (Jonathan Edwards), Impure Lust (John Flavel), Anger Management (Richard Baxter), and Living Faith (Samuel Ward). Provocative topics and perfectly formatted for personal devotions.

And it was the author I was most unfamiliar (Ward on faith and unbelief) that I have most benefited!

The content of each Pocket Puritan has been carefully selected and distilled into a concentrated form of the original. These little volumes are packed with enough humbling punch to expose sin and bring a big guy down to his knees, and packed with enough grace for a tall guy to get even higher in the heavens. Small books, sharp look, concise content, and pointed message. Three big cheers for Banner’s new Pocket Puritans!

4 thoughts on “Pocket Puritans

  1. Great photos Tony.

    I have mixed feelings about the Puritan Paperbacks. But I agree, they do make the Puritans accessible.

    I’m waiting for a publisher to clothe these Divines in the leather they deserve! Is it not biblical for the godly to wander about in sheepskins and goatskins?

    “Divine favour has freed me from most human passions, but one insatiable lust remains which hitherto I have been neither able nor willing to master. I cannot get enough books. Perhaps I already have more than I need; but it is with books as it is with other things: success in acquisition spurs the desire to find still more. Books indeed have a special charm. Gold, silver, gems, purple raiment, a house of marble, a well-tilled field, paintings, a steed with splendid trappings – things such as these give but a silent and superficial pleasure. Books delight us through and through; they talk with us, then give us good counsel, then enter into a living and intimate companionship with us. What is more, not only does a book win the reader’s affection for itself, but it mentions the names of other books so that one stirs the desire for another.”

    ~~Francesco Petrarch~~

  2. Great quote. And I’m with you on the covers, Tom. I love those old 48mo leather volumes that fit in the palm. I have a Spiritual Affections by Edwards published the Tract Society in 1812. Beautiful leather and gold gilded volume–worthy of the contents!


  3. It’s a lovely intoxication isn’t it? Few things compare with sitting in one’s library surrounded by good books.

    Sitting on my desk right now is a rare leather bound (calf-skin) edition of Spurgeon’s *Home Worship and the Use of the Bible in the Home* (Octavo). I won’t tell you how much I paid for it. It just might make you cry.

    Sheer delight!


  4. Well, it won’t be the same as carrying around Banner’s 2 vol. of Edwards’ Works, but I suppose I could get used to a pocketful of greatness.

    Thanks for the tip.

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