Puritan Sets (BoT and others)

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Jonah Luebke

Puritan Board Freshman
I do not mean to sound entitled when asking this question, for we English-speakers are blessed with a plethora of Christian publications. But why have so many Puritan sets off the market? A few that come to mind include:

The Works of John Bunyan (BoT)
The Works of Stephen Charnock (BoT)
A few MLJ Sets
The Works of Richard Baxter (Soli Deo Gloria publications)
The Works of John Flavel (BoT)
The Works of Richard Sibbes (BoT)
The Works of Thomas Brooks (BoT)

Of course, there are others as well. I am just wondering if these and other sets aren't being printed due to cost or some other reasons?

Jonah Luebke
Member of Sycamore Reformed Baptist Church
East Moline, IL
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
A few MLJ Sets
Simple answer:

Do not think me rude, but MLJ isn't a Puritan, rather a student of the Puritans. Some would call him a lower case puritan; I would not.

Secondly, cost. These sets cost a lot of money to produce and keep in print. If more Christians supported our and others' publishing efforts, we would be able to keep these works in print. Also, most Christian publishers are experiencing significant delays in production time due to Covid and the subsequent effects.

My apologies for being short; it is a simple answer, and I am short on time.

I work in the corporate office of Reformation Heritage Books/Soli Deo Gloria, so I have first-hand experience in this industry. If needed, I can provide further answers tomorrow as I have time.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
But why have so many Puritan sets off the market? A few that come to mind include:

The Works of John Bunyan (BoT)
The Works of Stephen Charnock (BoT)
A few MLJ Sets
The Works of Richard Baxter (Soli Deo Gloria publications)
The Works of John Flavel (BoT)
The Works of Richard Sibbes (BoT)
The Works of Thomas Brooks (BoT)
I am surprised to hear that so many of these sets are currently out of print. I am blessed to have had them on my shelves for many years. I regret they are not available to young pastors currently building their libraries.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
Simple answer:

Do not think me rude, but MLJ isn't a Puritan, rather a student of the Puritans. Some would call him a lower case puritan; I would not.

Secondly, cost. These sets cost a lot of money to produce and keep in print. If more Christians supported our and others' publishing efforts, we would be able to keep these works in print. Also, most Christian publishers are experiencing significant delays in production time due to Covid and the subsequent effects.

My apologies for being short; it is a simple answer, and I am short on time.

I work in the corporate office of Reformation Heritage Books/Soli Deo Gloria, so I have first-hand experience in this industry. If needed, I can provide further answers tomorrow as I have time.
Speaking of Puritan sets and RHB, can Robert give us any idea when the Goodwin set will be available for purchase?
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
It was supposed to be here this week. We are looking at next week or so.
This looks to be the same as the Tanski publication of 1996, edited by Nichol. At least, it has the same works in the same volumes. Tell me, did RHB edit it against the 5 volume original, a la the Mark Jones critique of the Nichol set, or was the Nichol set simply reprinted? I would be interested in an edited, corrected version of the original. But I already have the Tanski set.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Publishers are happy when a set finally sells out that they sunk money into and they are not immediately ready to repeat the cycle if that sell out took a considerable amount of time. That means inventory taking up space all that time, etc. Banner in particular I suspect prints a lot, so they likely give it a rest till they can fit a redo in their budget.
 

Jonah Luebke

Puritan Board Freshman
Simple answer:

Do not think me rude, but MLJ isn't a Puritan, rather a student of the Puritans. Some would call him a lower case puritan; I would not.

Secondly, cost. These sets cost a lot of money to produce and keep in print. If more Christians supported our and others' publishing efforts, we would be able to keep these works in print. Also, most Christian publishers are experiencing significant delays in production time due to Covid and the subsequent effects.

My apologies for being short; it is a simple answer, and I am short on time.

I work in the corporate office of Reformation Heritage Books/Soli Deo Gloria, so I have first-hand experience in this industry. If needed, I can provide further answers tomorrow as I have time.
Thank you for the explanation! By the way, I am aware that MLJ is not a Puritan, per se, but I included him on my list because folks tend to appreciate the spirit of Puritanism in his writings, and a number of his sets are out of print.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Thank you for the explanation! By the way, I am aware that MLJ is not a Puritan, per se, but I included him on my list because folks tend to appreciate the spirit of Puritanism in his writings, and a number of his sets are out of print.
Which MLJ sets are out of print? The main sets that people think of would be Romans and Ephesians, both of which are in print as far as I know.

When his works were first being published, there weren't a whole lot of "puritanesque" works on the market and there weren't near the number of contemporary Reformed commentaries that there are now. That is likely another factor.

Now that the MLJ Trust has made his sermons freely available, some may prefer to listen. That could be another factor.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
This looks to be the same as the Tanski publication of 1996, edited by Nichol. At least, it has the same works in the same volumes. Tell me, did RHB edit it against the 5 volume original, a la the Mark Jones critique of the Nichol set, or was the Nichol set simply reprinted? I would be interested in an edited, corrected version of the original. But I already have the Tanski set.
Goodwinreprint.PNG

This is a reprinted set. We do not have the time or human resources to dump into a critical Goodwin set at the moment. Our resources are tied up in Rutherford and other projects.
 

Don Kistler

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's certainly not a lack of desire on the part of publishers to print sets. But the cost is high and the interest is low. When I printed Richard Baxter's "Practical Works" it cost me $14 per volume and that was in the 1990's. Paper has gone up substantially since then. I also published "The Works of William Bridge (5 volumes)", "The Works of John Howe (3 volumes)," "The Works of Thomas Shepard (3 volumes)," "The Works of Edward Reynolds (6 volumes)", and "The Works of Samuel Davies (3 volumes." I started "The Works of Oliver Heywood," which would have been 5 volumes but the 2 I did print sold so poorly I couldn't justify doing the remaining volumes. But folks didn't seem to want a multi-volume set that sits on the shelf staring back at them. What seems to sell is a single volume of less than 250 pages modestly priced. Basically there are few publishers who have the kind of money to invest in a multi-volume set that takes years to recover the expenditure.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Part of the problem is that readers often lack the discipline to work their way through sets of works. Okay, that point is maybe a bit unfair, as not everyone has the time to do so, but I think we should spur one another on to make more of an effort to read through multiple volumes by a single author.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
Another problem is pastors and Christians not understanding the value of a reference library (i.e. having sets of books that you may never read in their entirety). I can't count how many times I have heard someone say, "I can't justify buying this set when I already have so many books that I haven't read." It sounds pious, but I believe it is misguided, especially for ministers of the gospel. Ministers need a deep well to draw from in their reading, study, and preparation. When they add sets like the ones mentioned above to their libraries, that well is made deeper and richer. I have all the sets mentioned in the OP and many more besides. And I haven't read a single one of them in their entirety. And I feel not the least bit of shame in admitting that. I have read from some of them extensively, but from all of them repeatedly and profitably. So, if you're a pastor or just a serious and thoughtful Christian, I would give you this advice, if there is a set of books by some eminent man of God, and you have the funds but are still on the fence about buying it, then I say buy it! and read it to the glory of God!
 
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