Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life : A Review

Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life by Jason Meyer

Martyn Lloyd-Jones was one of if not the greatest preacher of the 20th century. In this volume from the On The Christian Life series Jason Meyer provides not only an overview of Lloyd-Jones teaching on the basics of the Christian life but also a wonderful introduction to the works and thought of Lloyd-Jones. This volume addresses an area in which the physician turned pastor was at his strongest.

The first section of the book provides and introduction into the life and work of Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The second section draws heavily from the  teaching series Great Doctrines of the Bible which can be found in print form or in the original recordings. In this section Meyer demonstrates the foundational role these doctrines played in the Christian life. The third section provides an overview on Lloyd-Jones’s teaching on areas such as the Bible, prayer life, home and family, as well spiritual depression among others. The final section provides an overview of his ongoing legacy.

This is one of the best contributions to the series I have read thus far. It provides a rich synthesis and exploration of Lloyd-Jones’s teachings on some of the key aspects of the Christian life, allowing his ministry to continue as readers are impacted by his deep understanding of the Christian life. I would highly recommend this book.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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Running from Mercy: A Review

Running from Mercy by Anthony Carter

Jonah is one of the books of the Bible that often grabs our attention, probably because whether we like it or not we see much of ourselves in Jonah. Anthony Carter in this work provides the reader both a Christ-centered understanding of the book of Jonah and a better understanding of ourselves in relation to God.

In seven chapters Carter explores the grace of God in the life of the runaway prophet Jonah. As Carter makes clear the God of the Bible is not the small god who is powerless over his creation, instead he is all knowing, all powerful, and all present. We see the futility of attempting to escape God as Jonah had attempted to do. Toward the end of this book readers are again reminded of the character of God, that he is overflowing with grace and mercy.

This book will help readers to have a greater appreciation for God’s relentless grace.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Jesus’s Sermon On The Mount and His Confrontation With The World : A Review

Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World by D.A. Carson

Previously published as two separate books, Carson’s work on Matthew 5-10 has been republished in one volume. This section of Matthew is one of the most important sections of the gospel as it educates believers on how they are to live as disciples. In this work Carson helps a new generation of readers understand and apply Christ’s teaching to today.

In the first part of this book Carson expounds upon Christ’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and while Carson’s work was originally published in 1978 it has stood the test of time. The second part of this book focuses in on the ministry of Jesus and the challenge that it confronts the world with.

This is one of the best expositions of The Sermon on the Mount that I have come across and would highly commend it to any pastor or Bible teacher.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Made for His Pleasure : A Review

Made for His Pleasure by Alistair Begg

In what has become a spiritual classic since it’s first publication in 1996 Alistair Begg addresses some key issues in regards to the Christian life and how we are to live as those seeking to please God.

In ten short chapters Begg addresses issues and concerns that all believers will have to face, and he does so with wit and biblical wisdom. Begg addresses the importance of spiritual discipline, prayer, sacrificial living, marriage, vocation, suffering, holiness, the pitfalls of intellectualism and cynicism, humility and evangelism. I personally found his chapter on suffering most helpful. In that chapter Begg draws from Scripture illustrating the truths taught from both his experience and others. Begg notes, “Evangelical Christianity lacks a well thought-out, Bible-based, clearly articulated theology of suffering. If we had such a philosophy and acted on it, that would please God greatly  and would be much to our spiritual and emotional benefit (p. 103).” And in that chapter does provide the reader with such an understanding.

Whether you are a new believer or have been following after Christ for decades you’ll find much profitable wisdom in this book. I would encourage pastors and ministry leaders to do everything they can to get this book into the hands of new believers, helping them read through it and using it as an aid in discipleship.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible ( A Review)

NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible

The NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible originally published as the NIV Zondervan Study Bible is a rich theological resource. While my preferred translation is the ESV, this study Bible is a resource I intend to make a staple in my research library. It draws on the expertise of leading theologians and biblical scholars to provide a rich resource with the best of evangelical scholarship.

This Bible in addition to 20,000 study notes has 28 articles on key topics or biblical theology from sin, to sonship, to Shalom one will find an article written by a contributor who was written widely on the subject at hand. In fact those who are familiar with the NSBT series published by IVP will find themselves among familiar authors in this study Bible.

While some might not be a fan of the NIV or its translation philosophy no one can deny the value of this study Bible. Every aspect of this Bible is geared toward giving its user a great understanding of the Scripture. If you’re a Bible teacher of any type you will definitely benefit greatly from this resource.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Basics for Believers: The Core of Christian Faith and Life by D.A. Carson ( A Review)

Basics for Believers by D.A. Carson

Originally published in 1996 Basics for Believers by D.A. Carson is a concise and helpful overview of the Christian life based upon Carson’s exposition of Philippians. For those who have a prior printing of this title the only thing different is the cover. As is expected one finds exegesis and thoughtful application combined to provide a resource that is is both convicting and constructive.

In five chapters not only does Carson walk readers through Philippians he also walks readers through the core realities of the Christian life. Carson points readers to the centrality of the gospel, the cross, Christlikeness, and an overall commit to pursuing holiness and Christ to the Christian life.

New believers and even more mature believers would benefit greatly from Carson’s work either as introduction or as a reminder. As has been my experience with Carson this is a book worth reading and rereading.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Always in God’s Hands (A Review)

Always in God’s Hands: Day by Day in the Company of Jonathan Edwards by Owen Strachan

A new year is just around the corner and this latest title provides a devotional resource that will introduce readers to Edwards’s God-exalting writings on a day by day basis. Owen Strachan ,who coauthored The Essential Jonathan Edwards and teaches at MBTS,  has given readers daily excerpts from the works of Edwards as well as Strachan’s reflections upon the various excerpts.

Strachan’s work in this devotion helps give an introduction to Edwards thought as well as providing contemporary reflection. This devotional will be a helpful resource in the new year, not just in introducing readers to the writings of Edwards, but also in thinking big thoughts about a big God.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Rewire Your Heart by David Bowden (A Review

Rewire Your Heart: Replace Your Desire for Sin with Desire For God by David Bowden

David Bowden in his latest title provides a helpful resource for readers in the lifelong battle against indwelling sin. This book is firmly in the tradition of such classics as John Owen’s Mortification of Sin giving readers an understanding of how to fight sin that is rooted in the truth of Scripture.

In 14 chapters Bowden helps readers see the true nature of the battle of sin and the vital importance of addressing the heart issues behind our struggles with sin. He provides a biblical understanding of sin which is necessary motivation in battling sin. Bowden corrects many poor strategies in battling sin such as the avoidance ethics that focuses more on the avoidance of sin than the active pursuit of drawing near to God. Bowden clearly shows that battle against sin is in reality a battle for delight in God.

There’s not a reader that won’t benefit from this book. Throughout this book Bowden draws from some of the best classics in the Christian tradition on the issue of sin and in doing so provides an accessible and understandable battle plan. This is a battle all Christian will face until the their dying breath and this book will provide fresh motivation, instruction, and encouragement in this battle.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

A. W. Tozer: Three Spiritual Classics in One Volume: The Knowledge of the Holy, The Pursuit of God, and God’s Pursuit of Man: A Review

A. W. Tozer: Three Spiritual Classics in One Volume: The Knowledge of the Holy, The Pursuit of God, and God’s Pursuit of Man

A.W. Tozer was one of the great preachers of the mid-twentieth century. His sermons and his writings, including the three in this present volume, exhibit a man immersed in the life of God. Tozer wasn’t an academically trained pastor or theologian but he was a pastor-theologian with a profound understanding of the things of God.

This volume brings together three of Tozer’s greatest and most influential works. The first classic found in this edition is Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy. This work is in my opinion one of the best works on theology proper, it’s profoundly biblical and rooted in classic Christian orthodoxy. In  a time where many theologians were attempting to redefine the divine Tozer points readers to the biblical understanding of the triune God. Readers will be in awe of the perfections of God if they read this work. The second classic is Tozer’s treatment on the Christian life The Pursuit of God. In ten shorts chapters Tozer distills the biblical truths surrounding our lifelong pursuit of God as believers. In these chapters Tozer speaks to realities that were and are distant realities in American evangelicalism. The third classic is God’s Pursuit of Man which focuses in upon the realities of the Spirit in the Christian life.

Contemporary evangelicalism is greatly lacking in men like Tozer who was so immersed in the things of God. This volume with his three most significant books is a helpful corrective to much of the shallow theology and anemic spirituality found in many pulpits and pews. Read Tozer and you will see the heart of one who has penetrated the veil in his pursuit of God.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

The Forgotten Church : A Review

The Forgotten Church by Glenn Daman

Rural ministry hasn’t been an area of ministry that had garnered a lot of attention either in the publishing world or at the denominational level. Glenn Daman’s title The Forgotten Church seeks to make sure that rural churches are not forgotten and rural ministry is not ignored. It’s all the better that this book is a written by a rural ministry practitioner instead of someone detached from the realities of rural ministry.

In the portions of this book Daman illustrates how historically there has been a tendency to neglect rural ministry showing that the current conditions are nothing new. He continues in the book to dispel myths that have arisen clouding people’s understanding of rural areas, this section is particularly important as there is a major disconnect between urban and rural culture in America right now. He shifts to providing an understanding of issues that shape rural culture such as race and poverty. The closing chapters of the book help the reader develop a theological understanding of rural ministry, the impact rural churches have, and  a guide to partnering between church both rural and urban.

My ministry experience has been in rural areas and because of that I have a great appreciation for the fact that Daman wrote this book and that Moody published it as most preparation for ministry seems geared toward suburban/urban ministries rather than rural areas. I would commend this book to my fellow rural ministers but I would also recommend it to urban pastors so that they could gain a greater appreciation for rural ministry and even a desire to partner with rural churches.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.