Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review: Piety

Piety: The Heartbeat of Reformed Theology. Joel R. Beeke. 2015. P&R Publishing. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I liked reading Joel Beeke's short work, Piety. I did. I agree that "piety" is often misunderstood and under appreciated. I think clarity on what it is and isn't is a good thing.

What is piety? How did the reformers define piety? What priority did they give piety? How much of a connection did reformers see between theology (right thinking) and pious living (right living)? Which religious movements have cherished piety and been known for it? (Hint: Puritans aren't the only ones.) I like that the booklet examines what it is and how it has been defined through history and piety itself has shaped history or at least the history of the church.
Let us examine the importance of piety in Reformed theology, specifically in the work of Calvin, William Ames, and Gisbertus Voetius. We then will look at various definitions of Pietism, and conclude by offering some practical ways in which we may cultivate true piety in our daily lives. 
So what are the means that cultivate piety?

  • piety cultivated by the preached word 
  • piety cultivated by the sacraments
  • piety cultivated by the communion of saints
  • piety cultivated by the exercise of church discipline
  • piety cultivated by reading and searching the Scriptures
  • piety cultivated by meditation on the Scriptures
  • piety cultivated by praying and working
  • piety cultivated by journaling
  • piety cultivated by reading spiritually edifying literature

Piety may be a short work, but, it doesn't lack depth and substance. Readers can find some practical tips on how to live the Christian life from Reformers and Puritans. Tips on reading the Bible, on how to better listen to sermons, on how to pray, etc.

I'd definitely recommend this one!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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