Acton Line podcast
Acton Institute Powerblog

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 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. Prior to joining Acton, Eric was director of community management at the Illinois Policy Institute, one of the nation's premier state-based think tanks. He was also the founder and CEO of Curious Task Strategies, a public affairs consulting firm. Eric is the leader of the Chicago chapter of America’s Future Foundation, an organization dedicated to developing the next generation of classical liberal leaders in Chicago. Along with Joe Kaiser, Eric hosts Sources with Knowledge, which airs Sundays at 3pm on News/Talk 560 The Answer in Chicago and is available on numerous podcast feeds. He previously hosted The Eric Kohn Program on 1530-AM WJJG, and has guest-hosted the nationally syndicated The Guy Benson Show, Illinois Watchdog Radio on Cities 92.9FM in Bloomington-Normal, and Chicago’s Morning Answer on News/Talk 560 The Answer. He has appeared as a commentator on Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont, Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg, The Michael Koolidge Show, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, and numerous news broadcasts in the Chicagoland area. Eric’s writings have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Belleville News-Democrat and other publications. Eric grew up in Belleville, Ill., and is a graduate of Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.