Archive for the ‘Google books’ Category

In continuing with our week long series on how Google Books is a great resource for the Christian apologist, tonight I want to pick up where we last left off last night on Veritas Domain concerning the subject of Old Testament Higher Criticism.

Many times critics of the Bible package the Documentary Hypothesis as if it’s a new thing, that Christians have not been able to handle.  Certainly, JEDP is a mantra among professors in state run public universities, and assumed to be unanswered by Christians.

Those who are aware of their historical theology knows that this is not the case, that there were men who addressed this issue and refuted it such as those from Old Princeton.  Rather than reinvent the wheels, we must know what those have gone before us has contributed in their response so as to allow us to be inform of the historical arguments given.  In the 21st century, Old Princeton speaks from the grave, thanks to Google books.

1.) “The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch”- by William Henry Green, professor of the Old Testament in Princeton Theological Seminary.  This 1895 work runs under two hundred pages, and was one of the early responses, first published in 1895.

2.) “The Unity of the book of Genesis”— by William Henry Green, professor of the Old Testament in Princeton Theological Seminary.  Similar to “The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch”, this work was published in 1895, but is more specific since it addresses Higher Criticism concerning the book of Genesis.  The work is almost six hundred pages!

3.) “Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?”— By Robert Dick Wilson, professor of the Old Testament in Princeton Theological Seminary.  Wilson later went on to be one of the founding faculty of The Westminster Seminary under Machen.  This 1922 short work considers the question that became it’s title, and was written primarily for the General reading audience.

4.) “Studies in the Book of Daniel”— By Robert Dick Wilson, professor of the Old Testament in Princeton Theological Seminary.  Written in 1917, this work is four hundred pages long, and some might be surprised at how detailed responses were already published back then!


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In the beginning of our week long series on the usefulness of Google Books to the Christian apologist, two of the points I gave of it’s usefulness were the following:

  1. It allows instant access for verification of other people’s references.
  2. It allows instant access of the resource you are providing documentation of, to those whom you are presenting your case to.

Case in point is how an apologists preliminary critique of the popular Documentary Hypothesis (JEDP) can begin by demonstrating that Welllhausen’s popularization of this theory was not just simply a practice of “objective” science but a spiritual problem that contributed in the motivation of Wellhausen to adopt this hypothesis.

The work that popularized the Documentary Hypothesis was the “Prolegomena to the history of Israel: with a reprint of the article Israel”, published in 1885.

Now the English translation is available for full view on Google Books.

I think Wellhausen’s statement in the preface is chilling, to know that the Law convicted of his sin, and in attempting to get rid of his guilty conscience he decide to attack the law:

It may not be out of place here to refer to personal experience. In my early student days I was attracted by the stories of Saul and David, Ahab and Elijah; the discourses of Amos and Isaiah laid strong hold on me, and I read myself well into the prophetic and historical books of the Old Testament. Thanks to such aids as were accessible to me, I even considered that I understood them tolerably, but at the same time was troubled with a bad conscience, as if I were beginning with the roof instead of the foundation ; for I had no thorough acquaintance with the Law, of which I was accustomed to be told that it was the basis and postulate of the whole literature. At last I took courage and made my way through Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and even through Knobel’s Commentary to these books. But it was in vain that I looked for the light which was to be shed from this source on the historical and prophetical books. On the contrary, my enjoyment of the latter was marred by the Law; it did not bring them any nearer me, but intruded itself uneasily, like a ghost that makes a noise indeed, but is not visible and really effects nothing. Even where there were points of contact between it and them, differences also made themselves felt, and I found it impossible to give a candid decision in favour of the priority of the Law. Dimly I began to perceive that throughout there was between them all the difference that separates two wholly distinct worlds. Yet, so far from attaining clear conceptions, I only fell into deeper confusion, which was worse confounded by the explanations of Ewald in the second volume of his History of Israel. At last, in the course of a casual visit in Gottingen in the summer of 1867, I learned through Ritschl that Karl Heinrich Graf placed the Law later than the Prophets, and, almost without knowing his reasons for the hypothesis, I was prepared to accept it; I readily acknowledged to myself the possibility of understanding Hebrew antiquity without the book of the Torah.

(SOURCE: Page 3Page 4)

It’s amazing to see the Law’s work of conviction.  He should have read Galatians 3, on how the law should point him to the need of a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

19(AF)Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been (AG)ordained through angels (AH)by the agency of a mediator, until (AI)the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

20Now (AJ)a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.

21Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? (AK)May it never be! For (AL)if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.

22But the Scripture has (AM)shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, (AN)being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.

24Therefore the Law has become our (AO)tutor to lead us to Christ, so that (AP)we may be justified by faith.

25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a (AQ)tutor.

26For you are all (AR)sons of God through faith in (AS)Christ Jesus.

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In this week’s series on Google Book’s resource for the Christian apologist, I thought it would be appropriate ter’so balance out the apologetics with also the pastoral ministry, since most of the grass level engagement of apologetics occur among those who are in some capacity as Pastors.

Richard Baxter’s “Reformed Pastor” is available online on Google Books for viewing here.  This book can also be downloaded as a PDF file.

Here is my review of the book:

First published in 1656, Richard Baxter’s “The Reformed Pastor” remains a classic even today. The reasons why it is still read is because the truths that Baxter communicates is still relevant today. I will highlight some of these points here.
The book has much to say about the pastor’s duties. Due to the nature of the book, Baxter also addresses regularly the laziness of the minister. I enjoyed how the book tells us the duties of the pastor (and what’s required of that duty) and also cover the motives for fulfilling those duties. This was helpful, as the reason why we do ministry is also just as important as what we do in ministry.
The book is very conscious of the Christian’s duty of sharing the gospel. As an extension of this, Baxter believes the pastor’s duty to share the gospel is even greater: “Every Christian is obliged to do all he can for the salvation of others; but every minister is doubly obliged, because he is separated to the gospel of Christ, and is to give up himself wholly to that work” (196). In fact, the purpose of evangelism serves as a constant motive for Baxter to do the full work of a pastor.
As a result of this evangelistic outlook, Baxter is adamant that a pastor’s responsibility goes beyond just “preaching.” In fact, if Pastors were not obedient to the duty of evangelistic visitations of one’s congregation, Baxter found it unacceptable of one who “tell them of such a glory, and scarcely speak a word to them personally, to them to it…” (207). Throughout the book, Baxter has observed of how private meeting and conversation with one’s congregation has proven to be more fruitful than public preaching alone. This observation is still a true description of the ministry today. The contemporary application is obvious: Pastors are to visit members of the church today, for the purpose of effectively sharing God’s Word and the gospel in private meetings.
In considering the motivation for the work of doing the ministry in terms of sharing the gospel to the lost, Baxter soberly warns us, “Oh what a dreadful thing is it to answer for the neglect of such a charge! And what sin more heinous than that betraying of souls? Doth no that threatening make you tremble…” (199). There is an urgency in Baxter’s writing of the need to do the work of sharing the gospel for the salvation of sinners from the fate of Hell. I found it moving when Baxter wrote, “One would think that the very sight of your miserable neighbours would be motive sufficient to draw out your most compassionate endeavours for their relief” (202-203).
The objections and answer format towards the end of the book was great. It allowed for an organized and easy to follow format for readers to track with the author—something that seems to be typically hard for many puritans writers to accomplish, given their love of having sub-points to the various main-points format in their writing. This portion of the book was refreshing, as much of the objections given against biblical pastoral ministry today was also given back in Baxter’s time.
Furthermore, the book overall was quite helpful in the application of what was taught. These practical principles are useful today and the wise pastor will put them into practice. As a side note, I was delighted to find the book discussing about the importance of exercise, especially in an era before our contemporary fad with health and fitness. Baxter was quite balance, seeing exercise as good for the health. Moreover, there is a spiritual dimension that he pointed out, of how exercising is a form of mortification of sin by practicing Godly discipline.

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Continuing with our week-long posting on great resources on Google Books for the Christian apologist, tonight’s full view resource is “The Christian View of God and the World”.

Before Gordon Clark’s “A Christian View of Man and Thing”, a young Gordon Clark read James Orr’s “The Christian View of God and the World” in his father’s library.

As a result of this influence, decades later, an older Gordon Clark would deliver his lectures at Wheaton that would form the book “A Christian View of Man and Thing”

Now you can enjoy James Orr’s work also as well by clicking here

For Presuppositionalists, this is wonderful to see an influential work that laid the foundation for Presuppositionalism.

For those who are more bent towards historical theology, what’s great is that Google Books have other editions of this book online, just check out the right side after you click on the link

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John Gresham Machen’s famous work, “The Origin of Paul’s Religion” is available online on Google Books!  You can even download a full view of the book on PDF.

Machen was a great man of God, who was in his lifetime a great Presbyterian churchman, professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary of the “Good Old Days”, supporter of missions and founder of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and  Westminster Theological Seminary.

On top of all of that, he was a great Christian apologist.  And if it wasn’t for Machen convincing Cornelius Van Til to join the faculty of Westminster Seminary, Van Til would have been just a rural pastor and not known for his development of Presuppositional apologetics.

To be able to read Machen’s 1921 classic is indeed a treat.

You can view it by clicking here


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In continuing the stream that began here last night at Veritas Domain concerning free resources on Google Books that is available for full view, we have our first resource mentioned.

The second edition of Kenneth Boa’s and Robert Bowman’s book ‘Faith Has It’s Reasons: Integrative Approaches to Defending the Christian Faith” is available for full viewing on Google Books

To go there right now, click HERE

Full link: http://books.google.com/books?id=ZmeuGcfgZQAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_navlinks_s#v=onepage&q=&f=false

It’s a great resource– coming in at 658 pages.  I wish there was some kind of Presuppositional Apologetics resource available online like this.  Imagine that!

In case Google book ends it current project, this work is also available on Kenneth Boa’s website

0 – Introduction – Front Matter
1 – Defining Apologetics
2 – A Brief History of Apologetics
3 – Issues and Methods
4 – Classical – Apologists
5 – Classical – Classical Apologetics
6 – Classical – Rationality of the Christian Worldview
7 – Classical – Limits of Reason
8 – Evidentialists – Apologists
9 – Evidentialist Apologetics
10 – Evidentialist – Presenting Evidence
11 – Evidentialist – Interpretation of Fact
12 – Reformed – Apologists
13 – Reformed – Reformed Apologists
14 – Reformed – Taking Every Thought Captive
15 – Reformed – Authority of Revelation
16 – Fideism – Apologists
17 – Fideism – Fideist Apologists
18 – Fideism – Calling People
19 – Fideism – Subjectivity of Faith
20 – Integrative – Apologists
21 – Integrative – Contending for the Faith
22 – Integrative – Reasons for Hope
23 – Integrative – Speaking the Truth in Love



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For those of you who are not aware, Google Books is an excellent resource, and with the various books Google has loaded online that are in public domain, this is a great tool for the Christian apologist.

There has been a lot of discussion lately concerning the legality of what Google is doing.  To catch up to speed with what’s going on, PC World writes,

Google Books is a wonderful idea that is having a hard time meeting legal requirements. That’s the upshot of the latest round in the battle between the world’s search leader and the people who actually create the content Google exploits for huge profits.

It should surprise no one that Google ran into legal challenges after it decided to suck all the world’s books and magazines into its search engine.

It will be interesting how the legal development plays out.

Lord willing, for the next week Veritas Domain will feature some of the books that are entirely free for download online! If you know of any other works you found that’s great for the Christian apologist on Google books, do share with us here!

I have just recently appreciated it’s significance for the Christian apologists.  For instance,

  1. Christians can download on PDF some of the books on public domain.  It makes it convenient to have it on your hard drive.
  2. It can be a great place to glimpse through the books that are on limited preview–seeing the table of content, specific chapters, etc– and gives more information thus whether a particular work is worth acquiring for one’s research.
  3. Some good books happen to be out of print books.
  4. It is a great source for hard to find books.
  5. Older Christian classics can be downloaded.
  6. Philosophical classics are available.
  7. Cult materials are available for documentation (think of groups that change beliefs or have false prophecies!).
  8. Great for researching cultural and theological trends found in print over time.
  9. It allows instant access for verification of other people’s references.
  10. It allows instant access of the resource you are providing documentation of, to those whom you are presenting your case to.

What do you think?

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