Anne Bradstreet

Product Details Here’s a great book on the American Puritan poet, Anne Bradstreet, (that’s also the title of the book) by Heidi Nichols.  It is easy to read, not overly long, and it includes some samples of Bradstreet’s work.  Here are a few words from Bradstreet that are worth reading (these are found in the book).

“He that walks among briars and thorns will be very careful where he sets his foot.  And he that passes through the wilderness of this world, had need ponder all his steps.”

“God hath suitable comforts and supports for his children according to their several conditions if he will make his face to shine upon them: he makes them lie down in green pastures, and leads them besides the still waters; if they stick in deep mire and clay, and all his waves and billows go over their heads, he then leads them to the Rock which is higher than they.”

“Fire hath its force abated by water, not by wind; and anger must be allayed by cold words, and not by blustering threats.”

“Many can speak well, but few can do well.  We are better scholars in theory than the practice part, but he is a true Christian who is proficient in both.”

“A ship that bears much seal, and little or no ballast, is easily overset; and that man, whose head has great abilities and his heart little or no grace, is in danger of foundering.”

If you’re interested in this period of American history, or if you’re interested in learning more about this Puritan writer, I recommend this Nichols’ book, Anne Bradstreet.

rev shane lems

Two Good Reads

A few weeks back I finished this historical biography on Anne Bradstreet (1612-1642) by Faith Cook: Anne Bradstreet Pilgrim and Poet (Carlisle: EP Books, 2010).  This is a great introduction to an amazing Puritan woman’s life, times, and writings.  Anne came to America with some of the first Puritan refugees in the 1630s and faced the tough shores of the American East coast.  Her life was filled with death – many of her children, siblings, and friends died at young ages.  Her poems often reflected this unavoidable reality along with the truth of life after death:

All men must die and so must I
This cannot be revoked
For Adam’s sake this word God spake
When he so high provoked
Yet live I shall, this life’s but small
In place of highest bliss
Where I shall have all I can crave
No life is like to this.

I enjoyed this book; I’ve not read many books about this time period in America’s Puritan history, so it was fascinating.  I recommend it for anyone who enjoys historical biography along with excellent poems of Christian piety.  Faith Cook is a superb author and biographer.  This book will not disappoint.  It would be a good one for a women’s book club at your church.

Another EP book I want to recommend is Every Word Counts by Tom Barnes (Carlisle: EP Books, 2010).  This new book was written in response to the ongoing discussions and debates about the nature of Scripture, including inerrancy, authority, and infallibility.  He starts by very briefly mentioning the Beale/Enns debate, along with other authors like A. T. B. McGowan, John Webster, and Timothy Ward, just to name a few.

This book is helpful because Barnes simply goes through scripture highlighting what it says about itself.  When we talk about if, how, and why scripture is inerrant/infallible, we have to do so in scripture’s own terms.  Of course, this is a key truth to the whole debate.  Barnes talks about Jesus’ use of the OT, the “true” aspect of scripture, inspiration, how scripture is a treasure, and how the church should respond to scripture.  It was pretty straight forward and clear.  In fact, I think it is much more helpful than Beale’s The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008) because it is easier to read, more level-headed, less polemic, and didn’t overstate premises as much as Erosion.

In summary, Every Word Counts is a great book to read and study if you want a good scriptural summary on the Bible.  I’ll hand this one out to Christians who do have questions about scripture – it will answer quite a few of those questions and give the reader an appreciation for and love of the Bible along the way.

Note: Thanks to EP books for sending me these review copies.

shane lems

sunnyside wa