The Puritans were committed to the functional authority of the Scripture. For them it was the comprehensive manual for dealing with all problems of the heart.
The Puritans developed a sophisticated and sensitive system of diagnosis for personal problems, distinguishing a variety of physical, spiritual, tempermental and demonic causes.
The Puritans developed a remarkable balance in their treatment because they were not invested in any one ‘personality theory’ other than biblical teaching about the heart.
The Puritans were realistic about difficulties of the Christian life, especially conflicts with remaining, indwelling sin.
The Puritans looked not just at behavior but at underlying root motives and desires. Man is a worshipper; all problems grow out of ‘sinful imagination’ or idol manufacturing.
The Puritans considered the essential spiritual remedy to be belief in the gospel, used in both repentance and the development of proper self-understanding.
Reading the Puritans is not always easy. But thanks to Banner of Truth Trust there are number of Puritan materials offered in revised editions. Many of them are abridged. Most, if not all of them, are translated into more contemporary English. Check out Puritan Paperbacks. These are rich resources for spiritual formation.
What effect can worship have on the worshipper? In this video Worship Leader Bob Kauflin and counseler David Powlison discuss the therapeutic aspect of worship.
While this video comes from the perspective of the worship leader, and the awesome opportunity and responsibility the worship leader has, I think this discussion will provide everyone an enhanced perspective about the dynamic that entering into genuine worship offers.
[NOTE: This is the First of Two Parts of this discussion]