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Archive for the ‘Christian book’ Category

Gene Getz. The Measure of a Man: Twenty Attributes of A Godly Man.  Ventura, CA: Regal, August 9th 2004. 256 pp.

3 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

I have seen this title a few times in different setting and I thought I give this a read.  Since I did not know what to expect I must say half way through the book I discovered I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it.

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no-compromise-by-charles-spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon. No Compromise.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, September 5th, 2014. 24 pp.

This is a sermon by Charles Spurgeon that he preached based upon Genesis 24:5-8.  Spurgeon preached this on October 7, 1888 which would have been around the infamous time of the “Downgrade controversy” in which some of the churches in the Baptist Union that Spurgeon was a part of started watering down the Gospel.  I read this book during a time that I needed to be encouraged while taking a stand on an issue that made others heated.  Knowing Spurgeon’s own battle and that he delivered this sermon during the midst of that time really ministered to me.

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A Defense of Calvinism Spurgeon

I love how this book begins with Spurgeon making the point that it is important to be grounded with right doctrines and the right Gospel early on as a Christian.  He even have a great illustration of this: “If a tree has to be taken up two or three times a year, you will not need to build a very large loft in which to store the apples.”  With such an opening my interests for this booklet was perked.

Technically this booklet wasn’t necessarily a point by point proof of the five point of Calvinism, often called “TULIP.”  It is really more of a general defense of God’s sovereignty in salvation.  Of course since Spurgeon is a Calvinist this booklet definitely touches on the points of Calvinism even if it isn’t as systematic as other defense of Calvinism might be.  Spurgeon shares his thought on “free will” in light of his own observation of the depravity in his own heart and also the doctrine of Total Depravity.  The bulk of the book makes observation and arguments from Christian understanding of salvation in general and how it makes sense from a high view of God’s Sovereignty.  Spurgeon also deals with the objection that the doctrine of Sovereign Grace leads to an excuse of living a life of habitual sins.  Edifying read.

Chapel Library has this work for free in various electronic format if you click HERE.

If you really want to purchase this for your Kindle Device through Amazon for a cheap cost, click HERE.

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God’s Way of Peace by Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar. God’s Way of Peace.   Nisyros Publishers, September 20, 2014. 66 pp.

Horatius Bonar’s book is wonderful.  I was hooked even with the preface that talks about how some pursue religion and religious activities because they have to, but inside they have no peace.  Hence the title of this book, which Bonar explains from the Scripture God’s way of peace.

The first two chapters did an excellent job showing that our own efforts and works righteousness to self-justify ourselves with our own merits does not work in achieving peace from God.  It was very well argued.  I thought it was powerful to read Bonar’s point that if we trust in our works for justification, we actually don’t get any closer to assurance.  Rather instead of trusting in our works, Bonar in chapter three argues that we need to trust in God’s attributes, and Bonar states it so beautifully how God’s attributes are amazing and lovely.  For instance, God wishes and predestined sinners to come to salvation but yet does so in a way that beckons onwards towards him.

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Shadow of the Almighty

Elisabeth Elliot. Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot.  New York, NY: HarperOne, October 21st, 2014. 336 pp.

The author Elisabeth Elliot was the wife of the famous missionary and martyr Jim Elliot.  The author’s classic book on her husband, Through Gates of Splendor, was written in the 1950s but what makes this book different than the first one is that this is written many decades later.  This book examines more of Jim Elliot’s own writing from his letters and personal diary.  The letters examined include those written to Jim’s parents, siblings and Elisabeth before they got married.  This book gives an honest portrait of a Christian who desires to serve God and also struggles as well.  I was much encouraged reading this book although at times I felt it was somewhat prolonged in the author’s choice of what details to share to the readers.  But don’t let that distract you as the reader: this book challenged me to think about the sacrifices involved with missions and also convicting to think about how young Jim Elliot and his fellow missionaries were when they went out to try to reach the unreached Huaorani tribe which of course they were eventually killed by when they were contacting them.  Of course, the rest is history—as a result of their deaths, God used it to call more Christians to the missions field with their example and martyrdom.  I plan one day to read Through Gates of Splendor also.

Purchase: Amazon

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Over at the Bible Thumping Wingnut program they just recently interviewed Christian blogger Fred Butler about many things and among them was the topic of Christians “Adult Coloring Books.”  Yeah, Adult coloring books.  “Christian” adult coloring books.

If you go over and look at the Christian Book Expo’s “Christian Bestsellers” list for March 2016 you will find that the top ten include books that aren’t necessarily strong on being biblical.  Sadly I would have expected that.  But how many of the top ten are coloring books?  There’s three among the top ten!

Here’s one picture I doubt we’ll see in Christian adult coloring books:

not going to be in christian coloring book

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Yesterday my blog’s top search was “true son of heaven david marshall.”  That night David Marshall commented on my book review of his book titled True Son of Heaven.  I read that book some time ago and I was critical of its content.  Marshall has said many things in his comments that I am going to slowly digest through.  I’m not perfect and can err in my assessment.  Again this is going to be a process but thus far I still think the gist of my review is correct.  In this post I want to focus only on his opening paragraph of his first comment:

I find your critique of my book petty and off-the-mark. You complain about typos, but your review itself is chock full of grammatical errors. You claim True Son of Heaven “does not even fulfill the expectation of an undergraduate essay.” Yet in fact, I expanded my argument in this book into a doctoral dissertation, which passed review easily. (As, indeed, did the thesis papers in my MA program, critiqued by eminent scholars who know the topics I was writing on well.)

Let me share with you what was in my original review that he was responding to:

The first problem is rather minor but everything else that follows concerns with the content of the book.  This book has bad editing.  The book has three sections but the numbering of the section is off; for instance, part one is labeled as part two, and part two is labeled as part three, etc.    In the first chapter the endnotes are missing.  I think the editors were asleep on the wheel and honestly I think if they did a better job scrutinizing the content of the book, I think the book wouldn’t have been published in the first place because I think it does not even fulfill the expectation of an undergraduate essay.

Again in this post I only want to focus on his first opening paragraph and not have any red-herring.  Lord willing in future posts I want to revisit my review and examine his comments against the review more carefully.  I want to move from the obvious to the more weightier matter over time.

Here’s my response:

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God's Way of Holiness Horatius Bonar

I don’t know how long it will be for free but Chapel Library has made available for free their edition of “God’s Way of Holiness”by Horatius Bonar.  I know there’s so many free electronic books out there these days but I thought I shared this since I’m downloading it myself and moving aside other books I have scheduled to read so as to make room to read this for the sake of my walk and devotional life.

Here’s a link to the Amazon page, be sure to click on Kindle.

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God's Servant Job Douglas Bond

Douglas Bond. God’s Servant Job: A Poem with a Promise.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, October 31st, 2015. 32 pp.

This is a children’s book on the book of Job in the Bible.   The book is really a poem by Douglas Bond for kids on the story of Job and his suffering.  I was surprised at how much the author was able to rhyme while also retaining the structure of the book of Job.  I read this to my children who are all four years old and under and I think they were able to follow along though I think this book might be intended for elementary school age kids.

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In the middle of our series on “Missions, Culture and Being Biblical” I thought it was good to post this review of a book on sharing the Gospel. Conquer Your Fear, Share Your Faith Evangelism Made Easy

This is a good book for readers who need an introduction to biblical evangelism.  Those who are familiar with Ray Comfort’s book “The Way of the Master” will not find anything radically new in this book but it is a book I still recommend to refresh one’s evangelism method if you subscribe to “the Way of the Master.”  This work features different chapters going back and forth between the author Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort.  The law of God is described and explained as to why it is a powerful tool in evangelism.  Both authors’ joy for sharing the Gospel will leap out of the pages and hopefully will stir the reader to witness.  I appreciate the practical tips and pointers throughout the book.  In particular, the book changed one of the tactics of my evangelism where in the past I use to ask people “Have you ever told a lie?” but now I ask people “In your life time, how many lies do you think you have told?” as a practical way of making someone think more about the severity of their sins with lying; I find the authors’ advice to be helpful because it avoid the hurdle that some people have that a few lies are no big deal.  I also appreciated the personal stories that Cameron and Comfort shared in the book and some of them are stories I haven’t heard of before.  I enjoyed hearing Kirk Cameron’s story of how he came to faith—and also how he discovered the Way of the Master and meeting up with Ray.  I also enjoyed the account of both authors having a meal with Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade and them talking about biblical evangelism towards the end of Bright’s life—and how Bright affirmed the authors concern for a clear Gospel presentation that’s biblical.  It is a good book that I would highly recommend both to veteran evangelists and those new to sharing their faith.  I appreciated also that this book is not just about open air preaching and sharing to strangers—the book also discussed about sharing to family.

Get Your Copy on Amazon

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Admont Benedictine Monastery Big photo

Do you struggle with Christian reading?  Reading is an important component in Christian discipleship–and not just for “devotional” flavor but the development of a Christian worldview and being equipped for apologetics, evangelism and Lordship of Christ in all spheres.  In light of this a Christian theology on reading is foundational for the Christian life of the mind and practice.  Here is a series by a Calvinistic Alliance Church on “A Christian Theology on Reading” covering the reading of Canonical and Non-canonical books.  A good Christian theology of reading is the basis to properly motivate Christians to pursue spiritual reading, how to get the most out of their reading and discernment when reading non-canonical books.

The syllablus is available in PDF if you click on the following: Christian theology of Reading Syllabus (Property of TCAC)

Here are the 9 part audio messages in MP3s for this series:

Session 1: Why Read the Bible (Pages 2-4 of Syllabus)

Session 2: Why Read Other Books Part 1 of 2 (Pages 5-6 of Syllabus)

Session 3: Why Read Other Books Part 2 of 2 (Pages 5-10 of Syllabus)

Session 4: Historical Theology Case Study: Strong Christians Read (Pages 11-15 of Syllabus)

Session 5: Selecting Biblical Passages to Read (Pages 16-18 of Syllabus)

Session 6:Discernment in Selecting Books Wisely (Pages 19-21 of Syllabus)

Session 7: Discernment in reading Non-Canonical Books (Pages 22-25 of Syllabus)

Session 8: Twenty Five Recommended Christian books for the Christian (Pages 25)

Session 9: Christian Discipline of Reading (Pages 26-28)

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Two years ago we posted, “Christmas wish list in Presuppositional Christian Apologetics” followed by last year’s “Christmas Gift Book Lists on Christian Worldview and Apologetics Discipleship 2011.”  I still recommend those books as great Christmas gift books for Christians to grow in their discipleship of having a solid worldview and apologetics so what follows here are other books I would add to this list!

Stay tune for the next couple of weeks on this blog as I add book reviews of these books.

1.) Lit!

Hands down the best book I read this year–think of it as a Christian theology of reading–that’s also practical and insightful.  I find that it can be an uphill battle to cultivate Christians to read deeply.  Discipleship of a believer’s in a Christian worldview would be hard to implement if someone’s not reading or do not actively understand how to read, so this book is pretty foundational for everything else that follows.  My review of it can be found here.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

2.) Who Gets to narrate our world?

I like how this book takes “worldview” and understand it as a metanarrative.  I review this book here.

Purchase: Amazon

3.) The Grand Demonstration

Takes the “Ex Lex” approach to the problem of evil, though it does not come out and call it that.  I think this is the Christian solution to the problem of evil in light of the realities of Reformed Theology.  My recommendation and review of it can be found here.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

4.) If there’s a God, Why are There Atheist?

In essence, a biblical theology of unbelief is presented in this work, my review of it can be found here.

Purchase: Amazon

5.) Hollywood Worldview

A good introduction to Christian worldview discernment when it comes to film.  My review found here.

Purchase: Amazon

6.) Meaning at the Movies

This was the best Christian film analysis book I’ve read thus far.  Review can be found here.

Purchase: Amazon

7.) Art and the Bible

A book consisting of two famous essay by Francis Schaeffer on a Christian view of art.

Purchase: Amazon

8.) Presuppositional Apologetics Examines Mormonism

A unique book that applies Presuppositional apologetics to the cult of Mormonism.  My review is available here.

Purchase: Amazon

9.) Life Beyond the Sun

The subtitle explains this well: An Introduction to Worldview & Philosophy Through the Lens of Ecclesiastes.  Review might be delayed as I just got myself this book for “Christmas.”

Purchase: Amazon

10.) Inerrancy and Worldview

Takes the defense of inerrancy at a whole new level of worldview analysis.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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I’ve enjoyed this book, it was a fun and informative read. Filled with practical advice for writers (maybe I think they are great because I’ve read very little on writing). I’ve enjoyed Doug Wilson’s other works so I had high hopes with this book to reveal the working of a great writer. Wilson had seven points in the book, which he then breaks down into seven smaller points in a format that he describes as “Seven Russian Dolls.” If you find that clever as I did, you would enjoy other witty sayings Wilson has throughout the book. Practical and helpful advice can also be gleamed throughout the book. I like his advice for writers to be readers, and to read widely. I’ve also enjoyed his encouragement for writers to have a book to take notes of what one reads, or witty phrases one might have thought of, so as to use it for it later. Another source of encouragement for me came from the robust theology that a Christian writer would enjoy from theology proper: Don’t feel that you would run out of good and better things to share if you do not hold back but give it your all: Our good God is infinite and is able to provide even more abundantly. I was very convicted about learning grammar for that has always been a major problem in all that I write. The reason why it was convicting was because communication is an act of love, and Wilson has a good point that we ought to be as clear as possible. Wilson is a masterful communicator and certainly readers will learn something about the art of writing. Even as I was reading this work, as a preacher a lot of what he says is helpful for speaking as well.  For the Christian apologist, this book might be helpful in being more conscious of making the deep contents of theology and apologetics more clear for those whom we serve.

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The topic of this book is the relationship of thinking and the Christian life. As the beginning of the book admits, there have been other Christian works on the topic of the relationship of the intellect and the faith, with each having it’s different emphasis (such as the cultural aspect, role of faith and science, etc). This work emphasized more of thinking in terms of reading, and is more driven by biblical exposition and not a defense higher institution learning per se. I enjoyed the fact that the author is a preacher of the Bible first, who also began his career orignally in academic ministry. The author John Piper devotes two semi-biographical chapters to explain his own intellectual Christian life, including a discussion about the influence of Jonathan Edward’s Trinitarian approach to the relationship of the intellect and action. This gives the readers an honest picture of where Piper is coming from. The book is not a textbook on logic but comes across as a book giving a summarized Christian theology of the relationship of the mind to the faith and I would even say with enough devotional flavor. Piper covers the relationship of the mind to coming Christ and also in sanctification, and presents a balanced approach of both/and when it comes to the life of the mind and living faith. Piper underscores the need for the faculty of the mind to be used to treasure Christ, and that just thinking about the things of God is not loving God with all our minds if we don’t end us savoring him. To use an analogy in the book, the intellect provides the wood to stir our passion in loving Jesus. This works also refutes relativism and also dealt with the issue of anti-intellectualism and autonomous intellectualism, with the call to submit all reasoning in the service towards Christ and helping others and ourselves love Jesus more. Good work–readers might find it a treat to read Mark Noll’s preface, and the fact that Piper and Noll were both roomates at one time during the college days in Wheaton. Of course, Noll’s view on things are not views I would totally agree with (especially in terms of his stance on evolution).

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Several weeks ago, I reviewed this book by Henry Van Til here.  Apparently, you can read this entire work and download it for free on PDF!  Click here.

The work will have the 1972 cover on it–but the content is the same.

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