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Archive for the ‘Calvinism’ Category

Someone asked a question about thoughts of Biblical Theology versus Systematic Theology. I don’t see the two should be against one another but rather both are important, though sometimes some see one is more important than the other in such a way that one is neglected or looked down upon.

Before going further, what is systematic theology and Biblical Theology?

Systematic Theology (I shall use the acronym ST) as defined by popular Systematic Theologian Wayne Grudem is Theology that “focuses on the collection and summary of all biblical passages on a subject, and attempts to summarize the teachings of Scripture in brief, understandable, and carefully formulated statements” (Source).

Biblical Theology (I shall use the acronym BT) as defined by Biblical Theologian Geerhardus Vos “is that branch of Exegetical Theology which deals with the process of the self-revelation of God deposited in the Bible” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948), 13).

Biblical Theology is not a term to say right theology that is from the Bible (hopefully one’s Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology is based upon truths from the Bible). Rather Biblical is focus on the process and progress of how God revealed Himself and other truths while Systematic Theology often focus on the finished and completed revelation of God in the Bible and tries to organize these truths logically.

Here’s my thought:

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Note: For fans of Spurgeon have you checked out my Review: Charles Spurgeon Framed Art Print?

Spiritual Peace

Charles H. Spurgeon. Spiritual Peace.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, May 13th 2016. 23 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

This was another booklet by Charles Spurgeon that I picked out to go through with our church youth (pre-teens and teens) concerning the topic of having peace that I thought was a relevant topic as our kids and many like them are going through a time of not being physically attending school, isolated at home and at times going though things in 2020-2021 with the Covid situation.  This booklet was published by Chapel Library.  Spurgeon is among my favorite past preachers to read and while I have appreciated other booklets and sermons from him, this specific work wasn’t bad but it didn’t stand out as much as some of the other works I enjoyed from Spurgeon.  Still Spurgeon still presents biblical truths and it is edifying for believers and evangelistic towards non-Christians.

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Note: For fans of Spurgeon have you checked out my Review: Charles Spurgeon Framed Art Print?

 

 

Charles H. Spurgeon. The Gospel in a Single Verse.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, May 12, 2020. 23 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

I was looking for something that is a short read for our church youth (pre-teens and teens) that preaches the Gospel that is short and readable in one sitting that also introduce them to the heritage of sound Bible teachers from Church history and I thought this booklet published by Chapel Library might fit the bill.  I wasn’t disappointed with The Gospel in a Single Verse.  Spurgeon is among my favorite past preachers to read.

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John Charles Ryle. Thoughts for Young Men.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, August 17, 2015. 44 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

What is a book a young person can read to grow spiritually and maturity?  This is a classic by John Charles Ryle that is a timeless classic.  I think given our time this is also edifying for people in their 20s to also read.  John Charles Ryle who is best known by his pen name J.C. Ryle wrote this filled with godly and biblical exhortations that isn’t just applicable to his time period.  In fact in reading this the second time and also in conjunction with the youths in our church (pre-teens and teens) I felt it is more relevant and edifying than when I first read it ten years ago in my 20s.

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Erroll Hulse. Postmodernism.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, April 19, 2017. 27 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

What the general attack against Christianity like in today’s culture and society?  There is quite the postmodern feel with much of the rejection and animosity to Christianity today.  This short booklet describe this threat and also calls believers to be faithful to the truth of the Biblical faith.  This is written by Erroll Hulse who is a Reformed Baptist pastor in England who have authored many books and articles including Reformation Today magazine although this is the first time I have heard of him and read any of his writing.

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Note: For fans of Spurgeon have you checked out my Review: Charles Spurgeon Framed Art Print?

I am writing this book primarily as an encouragement to those in my church who are on Winter Break with School, so they can take advantage of their winter break to read things about God and Christ from the famous English Preacher Charles Spurgeon!

 

Charles H. Spurgeon. The First Fruit of the Spirit.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, August 25th 2017. 20 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

Want to read a short but deep and biblical work on God’s perspective of the Christian virtue of love?  I highly recommend this booklet that is written by Charles Spurgeon, one of my favorite preacher from the past that I like to read.  Spurgeon died in 1892 and I’m amazed at how well over hundred years later Spurgeon’s writings which are adapted from his sermons, still speaks to us in a manner that is still relevant and fresh.  In this particular work Spurgeon looks at Galatians 5:22 which tells us the fruit of the Spirit includes love.  Yet what is and is not love?  Spurgeon masterfully uses the passages in the surrounding context to teach us what love is and is not.

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Arthur Pink. The Prodigal son. Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, April 27th, 2020. 31 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

Do you know of the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the Bible?  It is one of my favorite parable told by Jesus; in fact it is the most detailed parable of Jesus that is recorded in the four Gospels.  This parable illustrates the amazing love of God for sinner who repent and turn to God and Christ.  I was blessed reading this booklet by Arthur Pink and his exposition of this famous story.

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Note: For fans of Spurgeon have you checked out my Review: Charles Spurgeon Framed Art Print?

 

Charles H. Spurgeon. Little Sins.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, June 4, 2017. 20 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

Is there the danger of some sins in your life that are flying under the radar undetected by you since you don’t think the sin is that serious?  This booklet might be for you for your own sanctification and edifying read.  It is by Charles Spurgeon, one of my favorite dead preacher from the past that I like to read and in this particular title his words of exhortation and encouragement is still powerfully felt in my own life.  This was originally a sermon on Genesis 19:20 that Spurgeon preached on April 17th, 1859.  Though it is over 161 years after the sermon was delivered when I read this I find what he has to say is still applicable for Christians today!

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With so much going on in 2020 I thought it be good this afternoon I post a second post with something more devotional with focusing and loving Jesus.

Horatius Bonar. The Unwritten Wonders of the Grace of Christ.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, January 7th 2016. 21 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

Are you in deep admiration of Jesus?  This booklet by Horatius Bonar is meant to warm our hearts to be at awe and worship of Jesus.  This pamphlet looks at John 21:25 which the beginning of the booklet quotes from the King James Version: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”  Bonar wants the readers to know that the works in Scripture we have are just “specimens” of what Christ has done; now Bonar avoid being speculative and saying things that are unbiblical since I know one can go off the deep end talking about things beyond Scripture; but Bonar’s point is that we should not miss the duty to marvel at Christ more knowing that there’s so much more He has done and accomplished during His earthly ministry.  To the end that the author wants one to love Jesus more and admire Him, I think this short work is worth its gold and packs its punch.

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Peter Sammons. Reprobation: from Augustine to the Synod of Dort: The Historical Development of the Reformed Doctrine of Reprobation.  Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, January 20, 2020. 154 pp.

3 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Do you know what the doctrine of reprobation is?  This doctrine is often misunderstood and/or not always articulated well; furthermore at times people might not understand how the church have understood and worked through this issue in church history.  Concerning the historical theology of the doctrine of reprobation author Peter Sammons makes a contribution with his survey of this doctrine from the early church age through the Middle Ages and into the Reformation era.

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Note: For fans of Spurgeon have you checked out my Review: Charles Spurgeon Framed Art Print?

 

Charles H. Spurgeon. Effective Prayer.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, June 24th 2015. 20 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

How can you pray more biblically and powerfully?  This booklet is Spurgeon’s sermon on Job 23:3-4 on the topic of praying effectively.  Since 2016 I started reading a number of sermons by the famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon and have desired to read more of his writings so here I am in 2020 still being edified by the content of his preaching.

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John Piper. Coronavirus and Christ.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, April 28th 2020.  112 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: PDF and other format at Desiring God

Purchase: Amazon

According to the Bible what are the possible things God is doing with the Coronavirus?  In this book by pastor and theologian John Piper the author looks at the issue from a Gospel driven perspective.  Piper is nuanced in the beginning to say that no doubt readers will know more about what will happen with the virus situation than the book is able to capture at the moment he wrote this book; instead Piper is going to focus on God’s work in crisis and also look at the issue of death and suffering from an eternal perspective.  I am grateful that Piper wrote this book.

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A late post today since after my lectures last night I just couldn’t type up a post!  Ever have one of those days?

Charles H. Spurgeon. Free Will a Slave.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, December 3rd 2018. 18 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

In 2016 I read quite a number of works by the famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon and since then I have desired to read more of his work though sadly I haven’t been able to read any of his works until now in 2020.  This booklet is Spurgeon’s defense of Calvinism by responding to John 5:40 which some Arminians in his day thought it was “one of the great guns of the Arminians” which I’m quoting from Spurgeon in the opening sentences in his booklet.  What Spurgeon aim to show in this booklet is how John 5:40 is actually a support for Calvinism instead.

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John Calvin. A Little Book on the Christian Life.  Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, March 2nd 2017. 126 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

Are you looking for a practical devotional that’s biblically sound and theologically driven?  This work titled A Little Book on the Christian Life might something worth considering.  My wife and I read this as our evening devotional and we found this an excellent work.  It is an extraction from the second edition of John Calvin’s classic work The Institute of the Christian religion that was originally a chapter titled “On the life of a Christian man” in the book but later throughout Protestant history it has been adapted as a stand-alone book on the Christian life.

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This is from my daily Greek exercise of sight reading many months ago, courtesy of Vincent S Artale Jr.

Our text is from the Greek translation of 1 Timothy 1:14.  Here is my translation:

“SENTENCE 14 ὑπερεπλεόνασεν δὲ ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν μετὰ πίστεως καὶ
And the grace of our Lord overflowed with faith and

ἀγάπης τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ”
love which is of Jesus in Christ

Here are some observations:

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