Haste and Parker are both professors at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. And in this book, they have provided some treasures from their studies in the Puritans to resource and strengthen those in pastoral ministry.

They explore twelve themes, using different Puritan figures as the locus for each chapter. Some are well known like Jonathan Edwards and John Owen while others less so, such as William Gouge.

It is a short book, with concise and zippy chapters. Their appreciation for the Puritans is obvious and while there is some critical engagement, their aim is to resuscitate the image of those alleged fun sponges of yore. In fact, these were men who were serious about God and desperate to know and make known his joy in every facet of life.

There are many helpful insights and while it might prove a nice quick refreshment for the seasoned pastor, this might be best to put into the hands first of someone who is considering ministry and to hear the counsel of our forebears.

Ciarán R Kelleher, Broughty Ferry Presbyterian Church