Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Review: No Uncertain Sound

I guess it was in 2008 or so that I had been looking on the internet for something to listen to. Any good Reformed sermon or lecture would do. At the time at I had an annoyingly long drive to work and detested the waste of time. I would find a sermon and burn it to a CD (that's as high tech as I could get then). At some point I came across the Reformed Forum podcast. I remember thinking this is what I've been looking for - some well educated, well spoken guys recording their theological conversations. Eureka! I was hooked. Since that time I have had the privilege to watch Reformed Forum grow into a multi-faceted, multi-platform ministry to aid the discipleship of Reformed Christians worldwide.

Their latest foray is a small tome entitled, No Uncertain Sound. It is a small collection of essays that "...set forth the salient features  of our Reformed identity" (pg. 3). Each chapter, authored by a podcast regular, is concise, well written, easy to understand, and well edifying.

Chapter Highlights

In chapter one, Camden M. Bucey, president of Reformed Forum, gives the reader the origins and impetus for Reformed Forum. It is now well beyond its humble beginnings.

Lane G. Tipton authors chapter two and begins the theological background necessary for comprehension of their Reformed identity. In "Jesus in the Old Testament," Tipton considers the Christocentric and Christotelic understanding of Christ in the Scriptures. Don't let those theological terms scare you off.
At stake in the debate is whether the church receives the Christ who is revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments by the supernatural agency of the Holy Spirit, or whether we are to receive the imaginative construal of the religious experience of ancient Hebrews or Second Temple Jews (pg. 22).
Camden M. Bucey explains the necessity of Biblical and Systematic theology to work in harmony, rather than independently,  in chapter three.
Systematic and biblical theology are not antagonistic. Both rely upon exegetical theology, and they mutually contextualize, regulate, and inform each other. Systematic theology should never be engaged apart from biblical theology, and vice versa (pg. 30).
Jeffrey C. Waddington takes the next chapter where he "...unpacks[s] the meaning and significance of union with Christ..." (pg.32).

"Communion with God in worship is of the very essence of the covenant and goal of man's eschatology" (pg. 52)  writes Glen J. Cary in chapter six with a view of Covenantal worship.

In chapter seven James J. Cassidy explains the relationship that believers have in this world vs. the next.
Heaven is your home. Heaven is your city. And heaven is where you have your citizenship (pg. 73).
Jeff Waddington returns to author chapter eight on Reformed Covenantal Apologetics. Waddington clearly lays out the basics and elements of a Reformed Covenantal Apologetics method.

Other Observations

It is difficult to take issue with this work; either in content or format. It is well footnoted and has a listing of related podcasts at the end of each chapter. The work concludes with a recommended reading list and Scripture index.

I heartily recommend No Uncertain Sound. It would be an outstanding work to add to any church library and one to hand out to members and visitors. Get it now. The first printing is almost gone.

The author has provided a complimentary copy of this book. The views expressed are my own.

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