How The Nations Rage: A Review

How the Nations Rage by Jonathan Leeman

Recent years have demonstrated that there is much confusion and division within the county in general and among evangelicals in particular in regards to how faith and politics interact. In this book Jonathan Leeman, a noted political theologian, provides biblical clarity to the issues at hand.

Leeman in the eight chapters explores both the division that currently exists in the political sphere and how Christians should live in light of biblical mandates. In the first chapter addresses the current chaos of the political spheres and provides goal for Christian interaction. Chapter two is especially helpful as Leeman dispels the myth that the public square is some neutral zone that faith values are not supposed to be kept separate from. The third chapter explores the impact of the Fall on the political sphere. Chapter four addresses the role of Scripture  and how to apply it to politics. Chapter five addresses the biblical role of government. The sixth and seventh chapter addresses the role of the church and believers as ambassadors for Christ.  The final chapter explores the theme and importance of justice.

Anyone who has paid any attention to how the Church and Christians have interacted with the political processes will see that this is indeed a timely book. Rather than taking our cues from the changing agendas of parties we are to draw our understanding of how we interact with the political realm in light of Scripture. This book points believers to a better way of interacting with politics in light of their faith.

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.

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The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: A Review

The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus by D.A. Carson

This republication of D.A. Carson’s work on John 14-17 is an invaluable resource on a major section of John’s gospel. In this work Carson’s exegetical insight and pastoral heart are on full display. Those who have benefited from Carson’s commentary on John in the Pillar series are sure to benefit from this resource as well.

Carson in this work walks the reader through each of the three chapters drawing out the exegetical insights as well as apt application. I would highly commend this resource for the added understanding Carson provides. I plan on using this resource frequently when I preach through John later this year.

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.

A Reader’s Guide to the Major Writings of Jonathan Edwards: A Review

A Reader’s Guide to the Major Writings of Jonathan Edwards
Nathan A. FinnJeremy M. Kimble

Jonathan Edwards is considered the greatest theologian and philosopher America has produced, his writings have been in print since his life time, yet many can be daunted in where to start reading Edwards and how to read Edwards. This book helps to address both challenges.

This book draws on a wide range of church historians in addressing the major works of Edwards.  Each contributor helps the reader understand the background behind the writings of Edwards which is important for understanding Edwards’s thought. The contributions range from a general overview of how read Edwards by Dane Ortland to more specific overviews such as Nathan Finn’s chapter on Edwards autobiographical spiritual writings, Jeremy Kimble’s chapter on the revival writings, Michael McClenahan on justification, Gerald McDermott on Religious Affections, Rhys Bezzant on the Life of David Brainerd, Joe Rigney on Freedom of the Will, Robert Caldwell of Original Sin, History of the Works of Redemption by Sean Michael Lucas, Edwards’s Affectional Ethics by Paul Helm, and an appendix by a man who has does much to popular the work of Edwards today John Piper. Each of these provides valuable insight on the work of Edwards.

Personally I enjoyed most the chapter on the revival writings of Edwards as it provides great background information in regards to Edwards work as an apologist for the Great Awakening. I also enjoyed the chapter on The Life of David Brainerd a work that has had a profound impact on the history of Christian missions. If you’re looking at reading Edwards I would commend this book, if you’re wondering where you can find his works they are available in many print editions as well as here http://edwards.yale.edu/ .

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.

The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: A Review

The Prayer That Turns The World Upside Down by R. Albert Mohler Jr.

This latest title from Dr. Mohler on the Lord’s prayer is one of his best books to date. The material behind this book grew out of a series of chapel messages that Dr. Mohler delivered when I was a student at SBTS. He later adapted that material into a teaching series for Ligonier Ministries. Now his insight into the Lord’s prayer has been turned into a book that I am certain all readers will profit from.

In th first chapter of this book Dr. Mohler addresses the nature of prayer and how prayer serves as an accurate reflection of what we really believe about God. Mohler makes very clear what prayer is not setting aside subbiblical and unbiblical understandings of prayer. The second chapter addresses Jesus’s preliminary teaching on prayer with a focus on the absolute necessity of prayer in the believer’s life. In the following chapters Mohler addresses each part of the Lord’s prayer showing how each petition should shape our prayer life.

While there are many books on prayer out there many of them depart from Scripture as the basis for understanding prayer. Dr. Mohler’s book is a throughly biblical resource that I highly commend.

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.

How To Be A Perfect Christian: A Review

How to be a Perfect Christian by The Bablyon Bee

Brought to you by the satire website The Babylon Bee this book brings the usual sharp cutting wit that one has come to expect from them. No group or sacred cow in evangelicalism is left unscathed or unlampooned.

In ten chapters through the vehicle of satire this book helps to expose how ridiculous much of evangelicalism. Some might be offended at the satire but if it hurts it shows you probably have a problem. What is reflected in this book is a rejection of a subcultural Christianity that in many respects elevates traditionalism and culture above Christ and His word.

Not only is this book humorous but if read rightly it might wake the reader up to many of the current problems in evangelicalism.

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.

Spiritual Leadership: A Review

Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders

One can look at any bookstore and see there is no shortage of books on leadership being published every year. J. Oswald Sanders classic which was originally published 50 years ago stands out because of the fact that it is throughly rooted in the Bible. The heart and soul of this book is what the Bible has to say about the character of a leader more than anything else. In a day and age where many churches and religious organizations are looking for natural leaders Sanders work serves as a helpful corrective.

In 22 chapters Sanders explores what the Bible has to say about spiritual leadership from every angle. Sanders from the start focuses on Christ’s requirement that leaders be servers. Sanders says “The real spiritual leader is focused on the service he and she can render to God and other people, not on the residuals and perks of high office or holy title. We must aim to put more into life than we take out (p. 14).” Every aspect of the spiritual life is addressed as it relates to fitness as spiritual leader from prayer to time management on to reading. Sanders also looks to the leaders task of raising up leaders who will be spiritual leader which is sorely needed in our day.

If you’re looking for a book that gets to the heart of what it means to be a true Christian leader get this book. It is the most faithful book on leadership I have come across and in every chapter gets to the heart of what it means to be spiritual leader who honors Christ.

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.

Spurgeon Journal: A Review

Spurgeon Journal

Spurgeon Journal

I’ve used Moleskine, Piccadilly, and the ones Ligonier put out. I’d put this journal at the top of the list regarding overall quality of paper and binding.

It has high quality paper. The cover is leather over board and you can feel the difference as opposed to the polyurethane used in other journals, which I’ve noticed has a tendency to crack on the spine. The spine of the journalis similar to the binding of a hardcover book which should contribute to the journals durability. As opposed to other journals this size B&H made a wise decision and did not include an elastic band. In my experience those bands end up looking their elasticity and hang limply making them pointless.

I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a journal or a book to write sermon notes in.

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.

Puritans and Pastoring: Who were they and why study them?

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I have recorded the first episode of my new podcast Puritans and Pastoring. This first episode provides a brief look at who they were and why we should study them. Listen and let me know what topics you would like to hear about in future episodes.

Bearded Gospel Men: A Review

Bearded Gospel Men by Jared Brock and Aaron Alford

Beards have recently become popular, but as authors Jared Brock and Aaron Alford demonstrate in this book there is a long line of long bearded gospel men who can be looked to as examples of faithfulness.

The authors in this book 31 miniature biographies of bearded followers of Christ from a range of Christian traditions throughout the history of Christianity. Each chapter comes with reflection questions to help the reader better appreciate the legacy of the individuals addressed in the book. Each entry is well written and engaging and provides an introduction to historical figures that often go unnoticed in church history. Some might object to the wide range of traditions represented in this book from Catholic to Anabaptist and all points in between but that only helps to ensure that the book will have a wide range of readership.

What pleases me most about this book is that it packages church history in an accessible and interesting format that the average guy would be interested in reading. Young men living in a culture likes ours with so few heroes would do well to read this book and reflect on the legacy of the bearded gospel men who have helped shape the history of Christianity. I would commend this book to any man in my church, even the ones without beards.

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.

 

Review of The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon vol. 2

 

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The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon Volume II: His Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854

Christian George has done a great service to all fans of Spurgeon in bring to light The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon. As Christian George notes in his introduction there is some irony to the publication of this series in that Spurgeon had been reviled by Southern Baptists for his stance against slavery and now Southern Baptists are publishing his lost works.

George in publishing these sermons has begun a task that Susannah Spurgeon has intended to undertake in her day. These sermons are from the very beginning of Spurgeon’s preaching ministry during his time at the church in Waterbeach. In reading these sermons and comparing them to Spurgeon’s later work it is clear that Spurgeon always had a heart for making Christ known through the preaching of the word.

It should be noted that the sermons are not full manuscripts as are found in the New Park Street Pulpit or the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit which were taken down in shorthand and reviewed by Spurgeon before publication. If you want insight into the early preaching ministry of C.H. Spurgeon this is a series deserving of your attention.

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.