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Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

I’m especially excited to present our annual Christmas Recommended Books on Presuppositional apologetics and Van Til’s apologetics.  That is because this is our blog’s thirteenth year in which we post our recommendations of books as Christmas gifts on the subject of Presuppositional apologetics or the Christian worldview!

Below are links to the recommendations from previous years, and if you are new to the whole thing with Presuppositional apologetics and want something introductory I highly recommend the first two books we recommend this year along with the listing from 2014 which we highlighted in bold:

This year list’s of recommended books on Presuppositional apologetics is listed below.  Each work will have a link to my fuller review and also links to where one can purchase the book.

Here’s this year’s recommendations:

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Thankfulness Free Grace Broadcaster

Various Authors. Thankfulness.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, November 8th 2016. 48 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon

Want to read something devotionally on the topic of being thankful and thanksgiving to the Lord?  This resource from Chapel Library might be for you.  Feature in this pamphlet are essays of various historic Protestant preachers and pastors on thanksgiving to God.  These authors are all tested saints from centuries ago but the truth found in its pages is timeless.  There’s various compiled writings from William Cooper, Richard Sibbes, Thomas Mantion, Charles Spurgeon and others.  This is my third Free Grace Broadcaster I read.  The earlier one I read was on Messianic Prophecies and Fatherhood.  Like the first one this particular booklet too was a spiritual delight!

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The Faithful Apologist Rethinking the Role of Persuasion in Apologetics

K. Scott Oliphint. The Faithful Apologist: Rethinking the Role of Persuasion in Apologetics. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, February 22nd 2022. 224 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

Want to read a biblical book on persuasion in the context of evangelism and apologetics?  This book is worth considering.  It is written by a professor of apologetics, K. Scott Oliphint.  Oliphint teaches at Westminster Theological Seminary and is also a Presuppositional Apologist.  I know some people have told me they think Presuppositionalists have no interests with persuading people but only to refute unbelievers; this book suggests otherwise.  I’m glad that a book on persuasion was written by someone who is a Presuppositionalist!

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Immanuel Kant by Shao Kai Tseng

Shao Kai Tseng. Immanuel Kant.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, November 16th 2020. 232 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

Have you heard of the philosopher Immanuel Kant?  Kant as a philosopher is hard to understand and yet Kant was such a watershed individual in philosophy.  Through his writings philosophy went from the trend of large speculation on the “big ideas” of God, freedom, morality, religion, etc., to the overall trend today of being interpretative and analytic, and dare I say “less ambitious” in its scope and aims.  Given Kant’s importance and the difficulties of interpreting him this book has been immensely helpful.  The author Shao Kai Tseng has done a superb job writing this book.  He’s given us a rigorous introduction to Kant from a Reformed standpoint.  A professor of philosophy, the author is also a Reformed Christian with an impressive academic background in philosophy and theology: His Master of Divinity is from Regent College, his ThM from Princeton Theological Seminary and his MSt and DPhil from Oxford. I appreciate that his writing is from a biblical worldview.

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Now for something fun!  I’m reviewing something I haven’t done before on this blog: a Christian apologetics hoodie!

Presup shark hoodie

 

My blog cover a lot on Presuppositional Apologetics.  I love it enough that I got something related to Presuppositional Apologetics besides books.  Since it is getting colder with the fall what an appropriate time to have a hoodie and also something with the theme of Presuppositional Apologetics.   

The above is a picture of the hoodie I ordered that is on this online Christian shirt shop called “The Powerful Christian.”  You can go to the store directory by clicking here.  (Its not a picture of me lol).  The shop have merchandise related to Presuppositional Apologetics and also Reformed theology.

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Remaining Faithful in Ministry

John F. MacArthur. Remaining Faithful in Ministry: 9 Essential Convictions for Every Pastor.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, March 31, 2019.  80 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Are you a pastor that wants to read something to encourage you or are you someone that want to get a book for your pastor to encourage him to persevere in the work of faithful ministry?  If sot his book is for you.  I had this work for some time now but somehow didn’t get to it until now; and providentially this is timely for it fed my soul spiritually and encouraged me to engage in a heart check and also led me to pray and look to Christ and continue to trust in the Gospel.  This is by pastor and teacher John MacArthur who looks at the Apostle Paul with how he persevere in ministry.  Looking at 2 Corinthians 4 MacArthur observes nine principles that are “essential Convictions for Every Pastor” (what the subtitle is for this book).

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A weekend non-fiction fun read as a break from heavy theological reading: Because Pastors need a break also!

The Hell of Good Intentions

Stephen M. Walt. The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy.  New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 16th 2018. 400 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Want to read a book on the concerns for American foreign policies the last few decades that gives an analysis of the institutions and dynamics of the foreign policy establishment?  This book might be for you!  The author is Stephen Martin Walt who is a Professor of International relations at the Kennedy School at Harvard.  In our age of partisan politics this book isn’t just a slam against “Neocons” that one would expect from a professor who teach at Harvard; it is also a critique of Democrats and Republicans.  As the book reveals often the Democrats and Republicans who are involved in foreign policies have a lot more in common in assumptions and views than the general public think.  And yet it is those assumptions and views where at times even if it is good intentions can become a detriment to US long term interests and also cause international upheaval.  Given how dangerous our foreign policy in America can be I think this book is worth reading by not only those interested in politics and international relations but also the general readers to understand what is going on.

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This is a guest post while I’m away overseas. This is by Kent. He blogs here.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Pastors also need to undergo overseas missions! So here we are, a Batman comic book review from another superhero fan! And talking about missions, the Batman (extended) family has two, so let’s dive in from the top of the tallest Wayne skyscraper down to the streets of Gotham.

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family worship

J.H. Merle d’Aubigne. Family Worship. Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, June 20, 2014. 24 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon

Want something short to read while also being helpful concerning family Bible studies and family worship? I recommend this booklet fom Chapel Library!  This is written by J. H. Merle d’Aubigne.  Sadly I did not who he was until I got this from Chapel Library.  J. H. Merle d’Aubigne was a Swiss pastor and historian of the Reformation who lived from 1794-1872 and from what I can tell online he is most famous for his History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century.  For someone that could write serious history the author was also gifted to write practically and simply making this a highly recommended resource!

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A weekend nonfiction book review.  Because even Pastors need a break from heavy theological readings.

The Secret Life of Groceries

Benjamin Lorr. The Secret Life of Groceries. New York, NY: Avery, September 8th 2020. 328 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Groceries is something we in the West can take for granted; but people from other part of the world visiting the West have throughout decades been astounded with the modern marvel of groceries.  Yet have we thought about how groceries work in a way that we appreciate and also understand concerns with our groceries?  I am by no mean someone interested in groceries, markets and food industries but I found this book so fascinating and can’t stop consuming what the author was telling us!

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A weekend nonfiction book review.  Because even Pastors need a break from heavy theological readings.

japan 1941

Eri Hotta. The Return of Marco Polo’s World.  New York, NY: Vintage, October 29, 2013. 320 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

How did Japanese government leadership come to make the decision to attack the United States in Pearl Harbor?  If you are interested this book is for you.  The author Eri Hotta is a capable scholar whose life and education in various continents and region around the world is a plus with her approach in this book.  Ever since I read The Battle for Okinawa by Hiromichi Yahara a few years ago and I realize I want to read more books on the Japanese perspective of World War Two, not that I’m sympathetic with the Japanese who perpetuated evil all throughout Asia during that time (some of which effected people in my family history) but I think it is important to understand one’s enemies (past and present).  I also think there are lessons we can learn about human nature and the human condition even from others mistakes including those that are not from our side.  This book delivers and I thought the author’s insight with Japanese culture was very helpful to understand the seemingly contradictory statements of Japanese politicians, generals and admirals.

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Fatherhood

Various Authors. Fatherhood.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, June 20, 2014. 48 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon

What does the Bible have to say about fatherhood and also what are the insights of various historic Protestant preachers and pastors have from the Bible on fatherhood?  This booklet is a great resource for that.  It was originally an issue from the Free Grace Broadcaster from 2014 but the truth found in its pages is timeless.  There’s various compiled writings from John Calvin, A.W Pink, Richard Baxter, William Gurnall and Thomas Watson.  This is my second Free Grace Broadcaster I read.  The earlier one I read was on Messianic Prophecies.  Like the first one this particular booklet too was a spiritual delight!

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For this week’s “Wee-kids” Wednesdays here’s a review of a Christian children’s book.

I Belong Heidelberg Catechism Question and Answer One for Children

Joyce Holstege.  I Belong: Heidelberg Catechism Question and Answer One for Children.  Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, October 4th, 2022. 46 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Reformed Free Publishing Association

Purchase: Amazon

Are you looking for a children’s picture book that goes over biblical truths for children to learn about God, Jesus and the Bible especially from a biblical perspective?  If so this book is for you.  It is a devotional explanation of the Heidelberg Catechism Question and Answer 1 which raises the question “What is Thy Only comfort in Life and Death?”  It is meant for ages four to eight to be read by the parents or older children.  I appreciate that the publishers Reformed Free Publishing Association printed a resource for families such as this title.  I enjoyed this so much I do wish the author, illustrator and publisher would consider publishing other books like this one on other Heidelberg Catechism Question and Answers.

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Quick note before I get to my book reviews: WordPress notified me that I’ve been blogging on here for 16 years!

Two book reviews below: I found the first one to minister more to the heart than the second; but the second was helpful with making readers consider many other issues related to single parents.

help im a single mom

Carol Trahan.  Help! I’m a Single Mom.  Wapwallopen, PA: Shepherd Press, March 15, 2011. 60 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

While researching to teach a session on single parents I picked up this biblical counseling booklet to read and I found it very helpful.  The author is a biblical counselor and teacher for women’s conference.  She’s also a single mother and her story in the beginning of the booklet was sad and moving and would lead readers to appreciate her insight with her loss and tragedy.  As a pastor I thought this booklet went more for the heart rather than being practical about actions per se but this is very good and I as a pastor have several copies on hand ready to give out.  These biblical counseling booklets from Shepherds Press are such precious gold and their insights are very helpful and its wonderful that so much can be jammed packed in a small booklet of under sixty pages.

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What have you been reading lately?

Saul conversion

George Whitefield. Saul’s Conversion. Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, June 11, 2020. 24 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon

Can God use the persecution of Christians for the good of bringing nonbelievers to Christ?  Christians would know the right answer is yes yet many would not to be persecuted if they don’t have to be.  In this booklet famous preacher and evangelist George Whitefield wrote us something encouraging and edifying with a look at Saul and how God changed this man that persecuted the church to become an Apostle and incredible Gospel preacher name Paul.  While George Whitefield delivered us his words hundreds of years ago (he lived from 1714 to 1770) I think what he has to say is relevant for 21st Century believers as the world gets more secular and persecutions of Christians is on the rise worldwide.

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