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Acton Line podcast: Richard Baxter and How to Do Good to Many

Richard Baxter, the English Puritan churchman and theologian, was perhaps one of most prolific English language author in the seventeenth century. His writings were wide ranging from doctrinal theology to devotional classics. And his practical theology was a model of German sociologist Max Weber’s understanding of the protestant work ethic.

Baxter’s worldly aestheticism was focused on service to others across sectarian divides. His book, How to Do Good to Many: The Public Good is the Christian’s Life, offers practical guidance to lay people grounded in Christian faith.

This classic, updated for modern readers by Jordan Ballor, remains a thought provoking and inspirational meditation on Paul’s admonition to, “…do good to all people…” (Gal. 6:10)

Today, Acton’s Dan Hugger talks with Jordan Ballor, senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute, about Baxter’s life and work, and the new updated edition of How to Do Good to Many.

How to Do Good to Many: The Public Good Is the Christian’s Life

How to do Good to Many (1682)

Selections from How to Do Good to Many (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

Maslow, material needs, and the gospel

The Redemption and Restoration of Man in the Thought of Richard Baxter

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

How Groundhog Day changed my life

Eric Kohn

Eric Kohn is director of marketing and communications at the Acton Institute. In that role, he works to bring Acton's vision of a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles to a wider audience.