Archive for the ‘ Books ’ Category

God, Marriage, and Family :: Galatians

I am working through some new books right now.  The spring semester is over and my summer classes won’t kick up until late June.  So, to take advantage of a couple of weeks break in my class reading I am taking in these books:

God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation
by Andreas Kostenberger and David W. Jones

Galatians – Reformed Expository Commentary
by Phillip Graham Ryken

God, Marriage, and Family is a must read.  Kostenberger and Jones handle the subjects with great scholarly care, yet they temper their writings with a gentle pastoral hand.  Very easy to read and a great encouragement for the Christian of what marriage and family ought to be based upon the Scriptures.

Phillip Ryken’s commentary is a great commentary for the book of Galatians.  It flows in the vein of expositional commentaries and makes a great compliment for the person working through this book in their devotional time.  Easy to read, yet in depth and very helpful.  Ligonier Ministries rated this commentary in the #1 spot in their best commentaries blog series.  I highly recommend.


Birthday Books

Today Tarah and I were able to go to the Christian Book Nook in Louisville and spend some time together.  For my birthday she bought me the ESV Bible Atlas…

and she also got me $25 gift certificate to the Book Nook.  Here are the books that I threw down on.  As always, if you want a good website to buy from just click the pic and follow the link.

The Doctrine of the Word of God by John Frame

All Things For Good by Thomas Watson

Your Mind Matters by John Stott

A Praying Life by Paul Miller

Evangelism And The Sovereignty Of God

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God is a book that was first penned by J.I. Packer in 1961.  The edition I read is an IVP Classics with a foreword by Mark Dever.  This short book is very readable for the topic that is covered.  When you start talking about the Sovereignty of God one might think that this is brain food for theologians and scholars of the highest degree.  Packer doesn’t travel this road and makes his subject at hand very readable.  The IVP Classics version comes in at 135 pages long.

I received this book as an attendee of the 2010 Together for the Gospel conference and as soon as I got it I wanted to read it to see what Packer had to say.  If anyone has been around evangelical circles for any amount of time one will usually hear this argument against the doctrines of grace, “If God is sovereign in man’s salvation, then this negates the need for evangelism.  If God already knows who is saved then why do I need to evangelize?”  Packer seeks to dispel this faulty argument with this book by arguing that the sovereignty of God doesn’t negate evangelism, on the contrary, the sovereignty of God in salvation is the backbone of evangelism.

Packer gives the purpose of his book as thus, “It is a piece of biblical and theological reasoning, designed to clarify the relationship between three realities: God’s sovereignty, man’s responsibility and the Christian’s evangelistic duty.  The last of these is its proper subject: divine sovereignty and human responsibility are discussed only so far as they bear on evangelism.  The aim of the discourse is to dispel the suspicion…that faith in the absolute sovereignty of God inders a full recognition and acceptance of evangelistic responsibility, and to show that on the contrary, only this faith can give Christians the strength that they need to fulfill their evangelistic task.”

The book is split into four chapters: Chapter 1 – Divine Sovereignty; Chapter 2 – Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility; Chapter 3 – Evangelism; Chapter 4 – Divine Sovereignty and Evangelism.

Packer spends little time on the contents of Chapter 1.  He states that we are all believers in the sovereignty of God because of the way we pray.  He also states that we are all believers in the sovereignty of God in salvation because of the way we give thanks to God for our conversion, and because we pray for the conversion of others.  If there could be one negative to the whole book it might be this; this is all the argument that Packer gives for Divine Sovereignty.  But this isn’t unexpected as can be seen in his purpose statement.  If you want a more thorough treatment of divine sovereignty I would recommend A. W. Pink’s book The Sovereignty of God.

In terms of volume Chapter 3 is the meat and potatoes of the book.  Packer gives a great argument for the necessity and oughtness of evangelism by giving a thorough examination of four questions: What is evangelism? What is the evangelistic message? What is the motive for evangelizing? By what means and methods should evangelism be practiced?

For me Chapter 4 was what I was looking for Packer to answer.  At the beginning of the chapter he sums up what he has written so far and then gets to two propositions.  Packer says the biblical answer to how Divine Sovereignty and Evangelism work together may be stated in two propositions:  1.) The sovereignty of God in grace does not affect anything that we have said about the nature and duty of evangelism.  2.) The sovereignty of God in grace gives us our only hope of success in evangelism.  It is here Packer takes all that he has uncovered and shown from scripture and weaves them together.  I found this chapter to be the most helpful of all.

I recommend adding this book to your family library.  You can follow the link above to find a good price on the book.  Buy the book, you won’t be disappointed.

The Truth Of The Cross

The Truth of the Cross is a 167 page book written by R.C. Sproul.  The book is divided up into ten chapters with the first nine chapters dealing with the atonement and the tenth chapter being written in a question/answer model.

This is a great book if you are looking for a high octane dose of theology that is orthodox in teaching and very easy to understand.  This is classic Sproul arguing eloquently for the biblical doctrine of the atonement.  If you have read his work The Holiness of God you have tasted some of what he touches on in this work.

Sproul starts in Chapter 1 by looking at our need for an atonement and builds upon this thesis with the subsequent chapters of the book.  Sproul states, “If we are defective  in understanding the character of God or understanding the nature of sin, it is inevitable that we will come to the conclusion that an atonement was not necessary.”  Chapter 2 (The Just God) and Chapter 3 (Debtors, Enemies, and Criminals) works this theology out further.  The necessity of an atonement is needed because God is holy and man is unholy.  “Thus,” Sproul writes, “the necessity for the atonement of Christ finds it genesis, . . . in the character of God.  Because He is holy and righteous, He cannot excuse sin.  Rather He must pass judgement on it.  The judge of all the earth must do right.  Therefore, He must punish sinners–or provide a way to atone for their sin.”

From there Sproul goes on to explain why Christ became our penal substitute.  And how, as our substitute, he took the full measure of God’s wrath that was duly ours (Chapter 5 – The Saving Substitute).  He then explains how this happened in Chapter 6 (Made Like His Brethren).  We can only be made righteous and have fellowship with God through the atoning work of the God who became man.  It is the God-man, Jesus Christ, who mediates us to God and placates his wrath.

The chapters mentioned above were some of my favorite chapters, but again the whole book is a very worthy read.  I highly recommend the book to you.

Jonathan Edwards and A Family Hymnal

Here is something new that is doing to help promote your books you have made.  Check out the two I have put together.  One is on Jonathan Edwards (some sermons and an essay), another is a book of hymns that I made for our family worship time.  Coming soon I will have a catechism book that can be used during family worship time as well.  I will let you know in the future when that one is drawing to completion.

In the mean time click through and check out the two books below


I was the recent recipient of a gift certificate to Westminster Theological Seminary’s on line store.  In my opinion, they are one of the best online stores for prices, and speed of delivery (if your order is over $35 you get $1 UPS ground shipping).  So, after much thought, here is how I spent the dough:

Finally Alive by John Piper

An Absolute Sort of Certainty:
The Holy Spirit and the Apologetics of Jonathan Edwards
by Stephen J. Nichols

Baptism and Fullness by John Stott

Baptism: Three Views edited by David F. Wright

I Want Your Hymnal Input

Hey gang.  I would like your input in regards to the name of the family hymnal I created a while back.  I have on the poll the two names I am kicking around.  If you like one of them vote for one, and then give your reasoning in the comments section on this blog post.

I also put in a spot for ‘something else’.  So if you have a better idea for a name, vote for this option and, again, give me your answer in the comment section of this blog.

Thank you!