Item description for Mystery of Providence (Puritan Paperbacks) by John Flavel...
Overview First published in 1678, this little work well illustrates and explains the purpose of God for his people.
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Studio: Banner of Truth
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.1" Width: 4.7" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 1991
Publisher BANNER OF TRUTH #535
Series Puritan Paperbacks
ISBN 085151104X ISBN13 9780851511047
Availability 0 units.
More About John Flavel
Flavel was an English Puritan who became a non-conformist after the 'Great Ejection' of 1662. It was 10 years before he was licenced to preach again, and then only in his own home. His writings, when collected in the 19th century, filled 6 volumes. Flavel's writings are known for their practical nature. He was instrumental in promoting the 'Happy Union' of Presbyterians and Congregationalists.
Reviews - What do customers think about Mystery of Providence (Puritan Paperbacks)?
Yearly reading Jan 3, 2007
I wish I had read this in high school or college but then again, God's providence was at work with the timing such that I could really appreciate this book. Have you been discouraged? You might not even know it but surely there are times when you feel like your prayers won't be answered. This is a book about meeting God and getting to know Him. They seem to be written as a series of sermons on this one topic. This is not complicated writing but it isn't modern. Compared to some contemporary writing on the same topic, this book is profound and hit me over and over with THE WORD OF GOD: not just one or two per chapter but over and over and over again. Isn't that what we need? The refreshing fountain of life. It also encourages you to journal, as a testimony to yourself and to future generations of God's goodness. I thought of all the people I know who have suffered and yet have shared a wonderful testimony about "the peace that passes understanding." I'm certainly glad that they shared that testimony. Isn't it good to know that you have testimonies to share too if you but look and meditate? This was loaned to me by an older woman in the faith whom I greatly respect (a comfort to her when her daughter had cancer) and I promptly bought multiple copies. (She also loaned me Elisabeth Elliot's tape series on suffering, which is also good.) I think this should be required reading. What a help to the charge to "be transformed by the renewing of your minds." I cannot speak highly enough about this book. I plan to reread it every year or so to be reminded of the mighty hand of Providence: a great comfort in these last days.
A Puritan Perspective on Providence Dec 7, 2000
This "Puritan Paperback" by John Flavel presents the Puritan perspective on the Providence of God in practical terms. The book is really a lengthy meditation and application of Psalm 52:7. which says "I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me." From this text, Flavel derives his "doctrine" (falling in line with typical Puritan sermon-structure): "It is the duty of the saints, especially in times of straits, to reflect upon the performances of Providence for them in all the states and through all the stages of their lives."
This theme is then unfolded in in a three-part treatise, covering 1. The Evidence of Providence, in which Flavel seeks to prove and demonstrate the reality of God's Providential care over the lives of believers by looking at such things as birth, upbringing, conversion, employment, family affairs, preservation from evil, and sanctification; 2. Meditation on the Providence of God, where the author shows that it is our duty to meditate on Providence, directs in how to do this, and then covers ten advantage to gained from this practice; and 3. Application of the Doctrine of Providence, in which the practical implications of the doctrine are considered and the problems and questions arising in peoples minds are answered.
I personally found the first half of the book to be a little more laborious than the latter half. From about chapter eight onwards, the book was full of good and clear instruction. Flavel differs from many other Puritan authors I have read. He is not as witty and colorful as Thomas Brooks, as practical as Thomas Manton, as astute as Stephen Charnock, or as experiential as John Owen - but he has merits to commend him. He lived a difficult life in which he knew first hand how to rely on God's sovereignty in his life, and his work cultivates a greater awareness of God's mercy, trust in God's wisdom, and resignation to God's will in one's life. I would recommend it.
Is God actually involved in our everyday lives? Nov 30, 1999
John Flavel lived in England during the second half of the 17th Century. That may seem to disqualify him from speaking to people on the verge of entering the 21st Century - but in actuality I found his little book extremely practical and inspirational. Flavel looks at what he believes to be the Scriptural teaching that God is indeed involved in our everyday lives. This "Providence" of God, His dealing in our lives, is explored from every angle imaginable by the time the book is over. The discussion is not merely theoretical. Flavel lived in difficult political and disease-ridden times. Three times he married only to bury his spouse because of sickness-induced death. He himself was hunted like a criminal, often chased into the woods and forced to seek shelter from the hands of strangers. And yet, Flavel held onto his faith in a loving God, and explains to us how we can see that loving God in the events of every day - even if those events seem harsh and difficult. R.C. Sproul is a modern author who has discussed God's providence in his book entitled, The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work For Good? Sproul examines God's Providence with modern questions in mind and does a good job answering those questions. But Flavel speaks more to the heart of hurting people than Sproul does. The two books complement each other - but if I had to choose just one, I'd take the one written in the crucible of a difficult life of the 17th Century. I'd choose Flavel's.