Friday, February 28, 2014

Compassionate Jesus

The gents at Mortification of Spin are joined by Christopher Bogosh, author of Compassionate Jesus. This is an unusually serious episode for Carl & Todd as they explore life and death issues in modern medicine from a Biblical worldview. Check it out and take a look at the book here.

Book Description

In an age of scientific advancement and specialization, many Christians turn to medical professionals to direct them in stewardship of their bodies. While in many ways the advancements of medical science are a blessing, they are also largely driven by a secular mindset that, though it appears compassionate and to proclaim hope, is actually often subversive of genuine compassion and our hope in Christ. In Compassionate Jesus, Christopher Bogosh calls Christians to examine the pervasive prolong life at all costs mentality against biblical principles of care and compassion that are rooted in Christ. This is a call to enter into medical situations trusting in God s sovereign care and the power of prayer. It is hoped that this book will begin a long-needed discussion among Christians about how we relate to modern medicine, encouraging us to allow the gospel to inform the way we engage the healthcare system.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

God In The Whirlwind by David Wells An Interview

God In The Whirlwind is a diversion for author David Wells. This isn't his normal focus. Still, he's spot on when he states in the interview below that many of us are practical atheists when we're caught up in the whirlwind of life. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Watch the interview below & I think you'll see that many of us need a wake up call in this area of our lives. Thanks Crossway Books for the interview.

David F. Wells (PhD, University of Manchester) is the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as academic dean at Gordon-Conwell's Charlotte campus, Wells has been a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, a distinguished lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, and the recipient of a major grant from the Pew Charitable Trust. The author of numerous articles and books, he has written extensively on postmodernism, open theism, and the history of Christianity in America.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"By Faith, Not By Sight" is Back in Print

Richard Gaffin's By Faith, Not By Sight is back in print. Hooray!

 Proponents of the "New Perspective" on Paul generally reject or minimize the concept of an ordo salutis ("order of salvation") in his writings. Building on the biblical-theological groundwork of the Reformed tradition, Richard B. Gaffin Jr. explores Paul's understanding of how individuals receive salvation.

Even Peter acknowledged that Paul wrote some things that are hard to understand, yet the central elements of Paul's teaching are clearly explained by Gaffin as he unfolds Paul's focus on Christ's death and resurrection and the essence of his ordo salutis.

To hear an interview with the author click here. Links to some of the other books Gaffin mentions in his interview are below.  Don't miss out on this opportunity to pick up a great work that's been out of print for some time.

A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones offers a groundbreaking treatment of the Puritans’ teaching on most major Reformed doctrines, particularly those doctrines in which the Puritans made significant contributions. Since the late 1950s, nearly 150 Puritan authors and 700 Puritan titles have been reprinted and catalogued by Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson in their 2006 collection of mini-biographies and book reviews, titled, Meet the Puritans. However, no work until now has gathered together the threads of their teaching into a unified tapestry of systematic theology.

A Puritan Theology, by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones, attempts to do that. The book addresses Puritan teachings on all six loci of theology, covering fifty areas of doctrine. The book explores Puritan teachings on biblical interpretation, God, predestination, providence, angels, sin, the covenants, the gospel, Christ, preparation for conversion, regeneration, coming to Christ, justification, adoption, church government, the Sabbath, preaching, baptism, heaven, hell, and many other topics. It ends with eight chapters that explore Puritan “theology in practice.” Some chapters highlight the work of a specific theologian such as William Perkins, William Ames, John Owen, Stephen Charnock, or Thomas Goodwin on a specific topic. Other chapters survey various authors on a particular subject. The goal of A Puritan Theology is to increase knowledge in the mind and godliness in the soul. It was written for theologians, historians, pastors, and educated laymen who seek to learn more about Puritan theology. 

Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray
Murray explores the biblical passages dealing with the necessity, nature, perfection, and extent of the atonement, and goes on to identify the distinct steps in the Bible's presentation of how the redemption accomplished by Christ is applied progressively to the life of the redeemed.

Resurrection and Redemption: A Study in Paul's Soteriology by Richard B. Gaffin, Jr.
A study of the structure of Paul's theology of Jesus' resurrection as that doctrine forms the center of Paul's total theology.

Friday, February 21, 2014

"The Early Text of the New Testament" edited by Michael Kruger - A Book Discussion

This work is a bit pricey, ok, it is pricey, but it may be worth the investment. A great discussion with the editor can be found here at Reformed Forum. The Early Text of the New Testament delves deeply into many questions of the New Testament texts and is not for the faint of heart. A serious academic work it is and has been penned in scholarly form. But if you're a pastor, seminary student or the serious lay person, this may be right up your alley.

The Early Text of the New Testament aims to examine and assess from our earliest extant sources the most primitive state of the New Testament text now known. What sort of changes did scribes make to the text? What is the quality of the text now at our disposal? What can we learn about the nature of textual transmission in the earliest centuries? In addition to exploring the textual and scribal culture of early Christianity, this volume explores the textual evidence for all the sections of the New Testament. It also examines the evidence from the earliest translations of New Testament writings and the citations or allusions to New Testament texts in other early Christian writers. 

 More from the editor on this fascinating subject can be found at his blog, Canon Fodder.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pick Three of Genesis Commentaries

Its always tough to pick a commentary. And, there are different types which offer a different focus, academic, devotional, etc. Nevertheless, commentaries are often vital to sermon or Sunday school prep, personal or family study and let's face it, whether you need it right now or not, they're just plain good to have around for reference. Thus, let's start looking at a few commentaries every week and of course we welcome your suggestions. So, here we go...

Genesis by Derek Kidner
Genesis--the Bible's account of human origins and the harbinger of human destiny--is a book teeming with critical problems. Who wrote it? When? Does the account of creation square with modern science? What about Adam and Eve? Derek Kidner not only provides a running exegetical commentary, but lucidly handles the tough issues that Genesis raises. His clear prose and theological insight will expand readers' understanding of God's character and of human nature and destiny.

World Biblical Commentary Volume 1 & Volume 2 by Gordon Wenham
Pastors and scholars alike will herald the appearance of this second volume of Gordon Wenham’s analysis of Genesis as a landmark event in the critical study of the Pentateuch. Dr. Wenham devoted fourteen years of his considerable scholarship and exegetical skills to write this exceptional work.

New American Commentary Volume 1 & Volume 2 by Kenneth Matthews
The New American Commentary is for the minister or Bible student who wants to understand and expound the Scriptures. Notable features include: * commentary based on THE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION; * the NIV text printed in the body of the commentary; * sound scholarly methodology that reflects capable research in the original languages; * interpretation that emphasizes the theological unity of each book and of Scripture as a whole; * readable and applicable exposition.

 Dig in, do your research and get a commentary. As always, comments here and on Facebook are welcome. Please join us in our journey as we search out the best in Reformed theology.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Study: Biblical Theology by Geerhardus Vos

If you're not following along and studying with the Vos Group you should be. Camden Bucey and Lane Tipton walk the listener through Vos' Biblical Theology a few pages at a time. So far, its been nothing but top-notch.

From the website

Roughly each month, Lane and Camden will work through the pages of Vos’ Biblical Theology. While Vos’ book is foundational, it’s tough for the “uninitiated” to access. This will be a great opportunity for study groups to listen to our discussions and work things out together. We hope everyone who participates will learn more about Reformed biblical theology. Pick up a copy of Biblical Theology and get on the BT wagon!

Purchase a copy of Biblical Theology here or preferably at  the Reformed Forum website. Join us as we follow along this insightful and important study.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What Makes a Good Commentary?

Don Carson explains what a good commentary is and how to use it. You might be surprised.

 Good all-round commentaries help readers think their way through the text—which requires adequate handling of words, sentences, flow of thought, genre, theological presuppositions, knowledge of historical setting, and, ideally, a commentary writer who is humble and of a contrite spirit and who trembles at God's Word. But most commentaries do not do all these things (and other things—e.g., interaction with some other commentaries) equally well. That is one of the reasons one is usually wise to consult at least two or three commentaries with different emphases.

Read the interview here and start thinking about what commentaries are lacking in your library. You can find Carson's book, New Testament Commentary Survey here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Looking for a book on ......

Looking for a book on justification? You can find an excellent book here. There are many titles to choose from but these few are among the best. Got a recommendation? Leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Two Book Reviews to Check Out

There are two exceptional book reviews worth checking out this week. First, there is The Final Days of Jesus by Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor, with Alexander Stewart. Reviewed by Tom Schreiner.  This will be an excellent read for all of us. From the review we read about the authors and get introduced to the book

Andreas K√∂stenberger, an outstanding biblical scholar from Southeastern Seminary; Justin Taylor, the well-known blogger and publisher at Crossway Books; and Alexander Stewart, a research assistant for K√∂stenberger; have teamed up to write a book on the last days of Jesus—that is, the final week of his life. The authors primarily march through the week day by day, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, though they also include a brief epilogue that includes other resurrection appearances, the Great Commission, and Christ’s ascension.

About the reviewer

Thomas Schreiner is the James Buchanan Harrison professor of New Testament interpretation and associate dean for Scripture and interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Read the entire review at the Gospel Coalition.

Editorial Reviews

“This is a book about the most important person who ever lived during the most crucial week of his life. If you want to get to know the person and teachings of Jesus in the context of an engaging story with practical commentary, this book is for you. It is biblical, personal, and transformational.”
Darrin Patrick, Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri; author, For the City and Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission

“An enlightening and edifying look at the most important week in history. Both those who want to know more about the history and those who long to behold the wonder will find much to love about this great work. One gets the sense that we should proceed through these pages on our knees.”
J. D. Greear, Lead Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina; author, Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved

“You may be wondering what can be done to make Christ’s last week come alive in ways it hasn’t before. It would help to understand the historical background and cultural script a little better, but you don’t want a big book. It would help, too, if your authors were trustworthy, knowledgeable evangelical scholars who could write clearly for laypeople. Look no further—this is the book for you!”
Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

Secondly, also reviewed at the Gospel Coalition, The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros. Reviewed by Bethany Jenkins. 

From Jenkins' review we are told

“If you are reading this book in a state of reasonable security and peace without fear of being enslaved, imprisoned, beaten, raped, or robbed,” Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros write in The Locust Effect, “it is either the case that you are in a place of isolation far away from human beings, or you are the beneficiary of a system that is protecting you from the violent impulses of human beings that are around you.” 

...Haugen and Boutros say that we often miss this “terror beneath the surface” because it’s intentionally hidden. Violence has behind it “an intelligent, willful perpetrator who is working hard—frequently very hard—to hide it. Indeed, the actual act of violence is almost never seen by outsiders.” It’s not just the perpetrators, however, who conceal it; it’s the victims, too. Since their experiences are uniquely traumatic, they often feel ashamed, humiliated, violated, and degraded. “Paradoxically,” the co-authors lament, “the perpetrator and the victim end up sharing a powerful, reflexive inclination: They both want to hide it.” 

I don't want to steal the thunder of the authors or the reviewer however, Jenkins concludes her review with... To me, though, it’s more than a book. It’s an awakening, a call, a responsibility. It’s one of those things that you can’t just read; you have to do something. Because now you know.   

Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Discussion: Extravagant Grace

Reformed Forum has an excellent interview with Babara Duguid on her book, Extravagant Grace. Click over and give it a listen. I think highly of this book, 4.5 out of 5, and heartily recommend it.

Book recommendations:

"People often ask me how it is that my faith has become so 'gospel centered' and I always respond, 'I had a group of friends who kept teaching me about Jesus, even though I didn't want to hear it.' Barbara Duguid is the primary friend to whom I owe greatest thanks for her loving persistence with me. Barbara is qualified to bring you a message of extravagant mercy because she has drunk deeply of it herself. She knows that, along with John Newton, she is a great sinner who has a great Savior and it is this message of God's mercy to undeserving sinners that will encourage you to live in the light of the sweetest news ever heard: 'He died for a wretch like me!' Buy this book, buy one for a friend, and live in the freedom that only the good news of the gospel can bring."
—Elyse Fitzpatrick, Author of Idols of the Heart ---

"I know Barb Duguid up close, as a friend who with her family swooped in to be God's hands and heart to our family in a time of need. Her wise counsel was always backed up by a rich experiential knowledge of God's amazing grace—and unrelenting compassion. Weaving together the delightful insights of John Newton with her own experience—and that of many people she's counseled over the years—Barb tells the story of God's unrelenting compassion toward sinners like us with profound wisdom. How amazing is grace? Like Newton, she has learned well the answer to that question from the greatest story-teller of all."
—Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

"Stay away from this book. If you buy it, don t read it. Barb Duguid makes idolatry too nauseating, grace too promiscuous, the Trinity too omnipotent, Christian experience too diverse, sanctification too scary, and sovereignty too comforting. On the other hand, it could be a holy temptation... yielding may be no sin."
—Dale Ralph Davis, Pastor, Woodland Presbyterian Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

"In this fine book, Barbara Duguid combines her love of church history, her enthusiasm for John Newton, her insights honed as a pastor's wife and, above all, her love for Christ and his church. Here the reader will find sharp insights into the psychology of sin and sound practical advice on how the Bible speaks to the mundane rebellions of everyday human existence. The heart is indeed restless above all things; Barbara Duguid ably directs us to where we can find rest: in Christ alone."
—Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, WTS PA; Pastor, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC) Ambler, Pa.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jesus on Every Page by David Murray

Take some time and listen to Camden and the boys at Christ the Center as they spend time with David Murray discussing his recent book, Jesus on Every Page. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to all but especially to those who, like me, were taught all the wrong things about the Old Testament. Jesus On Every Page does much to help us understand what Scripture, or should I say, who Scripture is all about. Have a listen and spend some time in this book, it'll do you much good.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Book Review: Note To Self , The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn

Note To Self , The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn is a refreshingly easy to read and digest little work that is long overdue. Written in short, easy to absorb chapters, this one is a winner and should be on everyone's devotional shelf, after it is read, of course. Author Joe Thorn has written this work in a self-talk style that suggests to the reader that we should all be talking to ourselves in a corrective and positive manner.

Consisting of 48 chapters under three major headings, Note To Self covers a wide range of topics wherein we should be telling, or rather preaching, to ourselves Biblical truth. Ranging from love to risk taking to worship and work, we learn or re-learn Biblical maxims that should be at the core of our thinking. We often fail when we fall back into sinful modes of thought that drag us away from holiness and happiness. But Thorn neatly shows us how to preach to ourselves daily in each of these familiar areas of life. Thorn defines this private preaching as, "Preaching to ourselves is the personal act of applying the law and the gospel to our own lives with the aim of experiencing the transforming grace of God leading to ongoing faith, repentance, and greater godliness." So, we should find that, "...preaching to ourselves puts us into a cycle of law and gospel where we move from our guilt and need to God's grace and provision and then back to the law as joyful and free obedience." The result? "Here the broken find hope and courage, for in Christ we have power and victory to obey, and we will, in the end, be raised in his likeness."

He concludes his introduction this way, "To preach to yourself is to challenge yourself, push yourself, and point yourself to the truth. It is not so much uncovering new truth as much as it is reminding yourself of the truth you tend to forget." So, let me challenge you to obtain, read and preach to yourself in the manner described within the pages of this work for your greater joy in Christ. This little tome is well worth your time and effort to further your spiritual growth and well-being. Don't pass this one up.