Search Blog:

« CVBBS: The CVBBS Blog

REVIEW OF J. B. LIGHTFOOT'S COMMENTARIES ON 2ND CORINTHIANS AND 1ST PETER

06/01/2017

REVIEW OF J. B. LIGHTFOOT’S COMMENTARY ON THE EPISTLES OF 2ND CORINTHIANS AND 1ST PETER; edited by Ben Witherington and Todd Still; IVP; 2016

IVP is to be praised for bringing out the last of three volumes of unpublished works by the 19th century New Testament scholar, J(ames) B (arber) Lightfoot. In 2014 (Gospel of John), 2015 (The Acts of the Apostles) and recently in 2016 (Epistles of 2nd Corinthians and 1st Peter) publications made the Lightfoot corpus complete. Thanks to the labors and contacts of Ben Witherington (Asbury Seminary) and Todd Still (Baylor University), the three volume Lightfoot legacy volumes are brought to press.

In the 19th century, the scholarly triumvirate of J. B. Lightfoot, F. J. A. Hort and B. F. Westcott ruled British New Testament scholarship. They have been credited as keeping the full corrosive nature of German critical scholarship from overwhelming the English churches.
Their erudition and scholarship both in the biblical languages and the early Christian Mediterranean world was unmatched.

Both the volume on John’s gospel and the volume on the Acts of the Apostles were largely notes that were easily expanded into full blown commentaries. The notes for this volume were less developed and had to be supplemented by the addition of reviews, sermons, essays and such. Some reviewers have criticized the padding of the volume with things not strictly commentary. But Lightfoot was such a fount of biblical and early church information that this reviewer does not mind that we do not have all of Lightfoot on 2nd Corinthians and 1st Peter. I am thankful we have him at all. And while the additions that are not strictly commentary are not of equal weight, they are nonetheless ‘Lightfoot’ and can be edifying for those with ears to hear!

STEVE MARTIN
Pastor in Atlanta for 31 years
National Coordinator for the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students; IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

Posted: 05:15:17 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


REVIEW OF THE DISRUPTION OF EVANGELICALISM

REVIEW OF
GEOFFREY TRELOAR’S THE DISRUPTION OF EVANGELICALISM: (THE AGE OF TORREY, MOTT, McPHERSON AND HAMMOND); [THE HISTORY OF EVANGELICALISM SERIES]; IVP; 2016

In the fourth of the five volume series chronicling the history of worldwide evangelicalism, Australian church historian Geoffrey Treloar gives us a new perspective on the break-up of evangelicalism in the early 20th century. He breaks down his history this way:

Fin de sičcle (1900-1914)
Evangelicals at War (1914-1918)
Evangelicalism at the Crossroads (1919-circa 1940)

Most historians lay down a pattern of evangelical dominance in late 19th century America only to be followed by a great polarity and split between “fundamentalists” and “modernists”. Treloar tries to show it was not that simple—a simple either/or. Rather there was (in Professor Treloar’s taxonomy) a broad center with various kinds of liberals and conservatives. In downplaying the liberal/conservative split as not the only explanation, Treloar brings in a broad spectrum of evangelicals not normally touted as important to the period.

Aimee Semple McPherson and T. C. Hammond come to mind as two examples of characters not usually included as examples of evangelicals but usually as eccentrics (Pentecostal McPherson) or doctrinal outlyers (Calvinist Hammond). One reviewer described Hammond
as ‘little-known’ but in both Ireland and Australia, he was a powerhouse for theological and spiritual reformation. In 1994, Banner of Truth published Warren Nelson’s T. C. HAMMOND(His Legacy in Ireland and Australia). Perhaps because the stage is usually filled with American and British authors we overlook those men and women who lived and ministered
in the broader English speaking world.

‘Sister Aimee’ as she was known has also been the
subject of three recent (1993, 1994 and 2009) biographies. Her spiritual and ecclesiastical
wanderings are well chronicled but usually not considered essential to understand the evangelical movement. Treloar makes sure we see her as part of the growing mosaic that evangelicalism had become. In entrepreneur driven America, people were free to invent
their own religion (Jeheovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Shakers, et al.) and ordain themselves as God’s anointed spokesman for today.

Treloar’s illumination of evangelical attitudes toward and participation in the ‘Great War’, the ‘War to End All Wars’, aka World War I, shows how people thought, lived, theologized and died during this period. Evangelicals in England, France, Germany, Canada and the USA all weighed in and went to war. He also shows how evangelicals did not give up on holiness and over-emphasize politics but sought to live lives worthy of the Master that would be salt and light in their generation.

Treloar’s work is certainly not the last word, nor does it pretend to be, on early 20th century evangelicalism, but it does open up new vistas that can be explored by other historians, following us his leads.

STEVE MARTIN
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
National Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students, IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

Posted: 05:12:38 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


REVIEW OF HUGH MARTIN'S, THE SHADOW OF CALVARY

Review of Hugh Martin, THE SHADOW OF CALVARY (with a Forward by Carl Trueman); Banner of Truth; 2016

The Banner of Truth is to be warmly thanked for putting back into print this 19th century classic! Hugh Martin was a pastor and theologian who could preach the Scriptures with power and clarity. The Banner has published THE ATONEMENT, his commentary on JONAH, and CHRIST FOR LIFE. This book succeeds where most accounts of our Savior’s life in the gospels never go, and when they do, seldom succeed. He not only explains the doctrines but the ethos and experience of Christ in the gospels. Alfred Edersheim could give the reader a sense of the sights and smells of 1st century Jerusalem in his magnum opus, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS THE MESSIAH. Hugh Martin does something related in giving us a sense of the drama and experience of the gospel narratives of Christ’s last days.

CONTENTS:

GETHSEMANE
1. The Incidents
2. The Agony of Sorrow
3. The Agony of Prayer
4. Failing Fellow Watchers
5. A Prayer Chamber for Disciples

THE ARREST
6. Secret Prayer Answered Openly
7. The Prisoner Judging All Parties
8. The Captive Carrying Captivity Captive

THE TRIAL
9. The Character of the Judge
10. ‘Given You in the Same Hour”
11. ‘Destroy This Temple’
12. ‘Nevertheless….Hereafter’
13. Condemned! ‘There is Therefore…’

A pastor could milk this material for much good for his soul and that of the souls of his congregation. A laymen will find it a rich vein to read and meditate upon. All will find themselves not only informed but moved, convicted and encouraged. What a Savior!

Posted: 01:26:27 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


REVIEW OF 'VOICES FROM THE PAST?

REVIEW OF VOICES FROM THE PAST [Puritan Devotional Readings]; (Vol.2); Banner of Truth; 2016; Edited by Richard Rushing


In 2009, editor Richard Rushing put the Christian world in his debt by publishing VOICES FROM THE PAST, Vol. 1. In it 365 Puritan devotionals were captured for the Christian public who reads. Vol. 2 continues this publishing of generous daily

Portions of Puritan reflections on the Word of God, the doctrines of God, and the Christian life. Here we find judicious quotes by John Owen, John Bunyan, Richard
Sibbes, Stephen Charnoch, Thomas Brooks, Thomas Watson and William Gurnall.

Like the first volumes, Rushing chooses the best of the Puritans, whether they were well known or hardly known. In his Forward he notes that sitting back and reading the quotations, he notes the times when he was going through hard times and various afflictions—as well as happier times. Like Spurgeon’s MORNING AND EVENING, the quotes that are chosen have meat on the bones but not so much that the reader loses sight of the main point.

This would be a good Family Worship tool if used with wisdom and illumination of the Holy Spirit. Not all 7 year olds can listen to Puritan prose night after night. But
serious Christians from high school on up should profit greatly from them. The two volume set would make a good shower gift, marriage gift or college graduation gift or Pastor Appreciation Day gift.

Steve Martin
Retired pastor of 31 years
National Coordinator of the Association of Reformed
Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students; IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas
Blog--THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

Posted: 01:24:00 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


REVIEW OF PAYER PATHWAY

05/26/2017


REVIEW OF KATHI LAMBRIDES WESTLUND’S BOOK
PRAYER PATHWAY (Journeying in a Life of Prayer)
(P & R Publishing, 2016; 250+ pp.]

Four years ago, Kathi Westlund’s book was published as GATHERED TOGETHER.
It didn’t really take off and sell well. Now republished under the title PRAYER
PATHWAY we are getting more at the heart of the book’s content in the title. It is a
real help to prayer—more prayer, better prayer, biblical prayer, heart-felt prayer.
Let’s look at how she structures this how-to-pray-better book.

PART 1—PREPARATIONS
Introduction
The Guide: A Brief Overview
The Map: A Suggested Itinerary
The Path of Redemption

PART 2—PRAYERS
P: PRAISE
R: REPENT
A: ASK
Y: YIELD
E: EXPRESS THANKS
R: REJOICE
S: SHALOM

PART 3—RESOURCES
Prayer Themes: A Month of Daily Prayers
Prayer Planning: Making a Prayer Notebook

Each section is brimming with many Scriptures to encourage that form of prayer
under evaluation and apt quotations from mature believers from previous generations.

Thank you P & R for believing in this book and republishing it with a better focus in the title. We gave our Reformed Baptist pastors wives a copy at this year’s General
Assembly and they seemed to treasure it. I know my wife has used it profitably!

Steve Martin
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students, IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas

Posted: 05:34:08 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


REVIEW OF IAIN DUGUID'S EXPOSITION OF SONG OF SONGS

REVIEW OF IAIN DUGUID’S SONG OF SONGS (REFORMED EXPOSITORY SERIES)
[P & R Publishing; 2016; 181 pps.]

What are we going to do with the SONG OF SONGS (or Song of Solomon as many
know it)? Is it an allegory of martial love, erotic poetry, an allegory of Yahweh
and His beloved Israel, or of Christ and His Bride, the Church? Depends upon who
you listen to or read. One sensationalistic pastor of the recent past was justly
criticized for his treatment which others labeled, THE RAPE OF THE SONG OF SOLOMON, so lurid and erotic was his exposition and application.

Old Testament scholar, pastor, husband and father Iain Duguid helps us by doing
his homework in the ancient Near East and its customs and also how poetry works.
God’s goal in this book is not to shock the prudish nor titillate the immature but to
teach the saints about God and about themselves in relation to God. God created
marriage and sex and all the plumbing. Intimate expressions of love are appropriate
in covenanted marriage. They are not for recreation and manipulation. Dale Ralph
Davis was certainly right in his endorsement that if someone asked him how to
prepare for Christian marriage “I will be tempted to say, ‘Study the Song of Songs
and read Iain Duguid’s commentary.”


Steve Martin
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students, IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas



Posted: 05:33:15 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


REVIEW OF DEREK THOMAS' EXPOSITION OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH

REVIEW OF DEREK THOMAS’ EZRA & NEHEMIAH (Reformed Expository Series)
[P & R Publishing, 2016; 442 pp.]

I can still remember back to my earliest days in ministry and hearing a godly Bible
expositor open up the book of Nehemiah. My head was swimming with walls and
conspiracies, Saballat and Tobias, swords and trowels, etc. Nehemiah was obviously
a great leader and God’s crowned his faithfulness and at times fierceness with
a real measure of success. A wall was built in record time and Jerusalem was
preserved. But since those early days, my studies and the books I have read have
shown me “the rest of the story” to borrow from radio personality Paul Harvey. [This
volume is a case in point. I consider it one of the two or three best commentaries on
Nehemiah along with Derek Kidner’s volume in the Tyndale Old Testament
Commentary Series and J. I. Packer’s stand alone A PASSION FOR FAITHFULNESS
(Wisdom From the Book of Nehemiah).]

Pastor and systematic theologian Derek Thomas contributes the 23rd volume is this
most valuable series. I say the series is valuable for two reasons: (1) it consistently
teaches the text from a covenantal and Reformed viewpoint; and (2) it shows how
a pastor today, seeking to preach through this Bible book himself, might responsibly
handle the text in teachable segments.

Like the best Reformed expositors of the Old Testament (Dale Ralph Davis, Iain
Duguid, Philip Ryken and Alec Motyer come to mind), Professor Thomas has done his homework, has read all the right things but delivers them in a pastoral fashion. These
are two books of the Bible for the people of God—not just the scholars of God! I read
Derek Thomas for my devotions as well as for pastoral preaching preparation.

I urge pastors and Bible teachers to buy this volume and indeed, buy the whole series.
Church librarians, put these volumes in your church library. Seminary librarians, put
these volumes in your seminary library. Homiletics professors, require your students
to work through a couple of these volumes in the series to show them how to preach
through a book of the Bible responsibly.

Steve Martin
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students, IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas

Posted: 05:32:18 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


REVIEW OF JOHN BUNYAN'S THE GRACE OF FEARING GOD

REVIEW OF JOEL BEEKE & PAUL SMALLEY’S
JOHN BUNYAN AND THE GRACE OF FEARING GOD
(P & R Publishing, 2016; 146 pp.)

Joel Beeke is known to many in the Reformed Christian world for his many books
that he has written, co-written, and edited. He is also seminary president, professor of systematic theology and pastor of a local Reformed church. This volume he has co-written with his teaching assistant and Reformed Baptist pastor Paul Smalley. It is a review of John Bunyan’s THE GRACE OF FEARING GOD.

Fearing God was a common subject in his day, when the giant Redwoods of theologians, the Puritans (J. I. Packer’s label) were making their mark on post-Reformation England. Surely theologian Sinclair Ferguson is right in saying in his
endorsement of the book that “few things are more feared in contemporary Christianity than…the fear of God”. Beeke and Smalley show us how Bunyan
thought and lived and taught his people according to this truth.

Forward by Steven Lawson
Chpt. 1—John Bunyan’s Pilgrimage to Peace
Chpt. 2—Preacher and Prisoner for Christ
Chpt. 3—The Dread and Terrible Majesty
Chpt. 4—Sinful and Preparatory Fears Toward God
Chpt. 5—The Grace of Fear
Chpt. 6—Perfecting Holiness in the Fear of God
Chpt. 7—Trembling at the Word
Chpt. 8—Persevering by the Power of Godly Fear

We live in a day of entertainment and comfort. Fun and games and pleasure and ease mark our weekdays and too many of our Sundays. God is but a palliative or pain relievers for too many professing Christians. I have had church goers tell me that “they don’t do negative”. Others have said “you take God too seriously”. Still others have said: “You take the holiness of God too seriously”. Today’s preachers are expected to make people “feel good” and leave church “happy”. Modern preachers are tempted to become pop psychologists in the pulpit, massaging sinners ego and leaving off the hard truths of Scripture. But preachers who know their God as “holy, holy, holy” and have seen something of his glory and yet by grace have lived to tell about it, will not fear the faces of men. Such was George Whitefield’s answer as to how he could face sometimes howling mobs and still preach Christ. May God be gracious and at least give us pastors and preachers who know and live by the fear of God Almighty!

Steve Martin
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students, IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas


Posted: 05:31:09 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


REVIEW OF "SEVERE COMPASSION"

REVIEW OF GREGORY COOK’S SEVERE COMPASSION
(The Gospel According to Nahum; The Gospel According to the O.T. Series)
[P & R Publishing, 2016; 238 pp.]

The 18th volume in the highly acclaimed THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE OLD TESTAMENT series, this series is a boon to pastors, teachers and all who would
communicate the gospel using the Old Testament as the point of departure. The
author, Gregory Cook, is currently a pastor in West Virginia and this is a rework
of his Ph.D. dissertation at Westminster Seminary Philadelphia.

General Editor, Iain Duguid, begins his Series Forward with Augustine’s famous
Dictum: ‘the New Testament is in the Old concealed; the Old Testament is in the
New revealed.’ All evangelicals profess to agree with this basic building block of
biblical interpretation; rare are the pastors and scholars who ever follow this truth.

The author of this volume, Dr. Cook, does not miss this foundational truth. He takes
the reader by the hand and slowly and lovingly unveils God’s message to ancient
Nineveh, ancient Israel and to believers today. Old Testament Lecturer Elizabeth
Groves in her forward laments how seldom we slowly, slowly, slowly really listen
to the text and think about the text, and hear God’s message in the text. Dr. Cook
takes 238 pages of text to carefully let us hear the message of Nahum which is
contained in only a handful of pages in our English Bibles. But Pastor Cook lets us
feel the world of the ancients and see clearly their predicaments and then see how
God deals with ancient Nineveh and Israel and then works it out for modern
Christians. The value of the book is enhanced by chapter ending questions which
helps the reader to squeeze a little bit more out of the text at hand.

Pastors, teachers and serious students of Nahum would be seriously diminished
in their knowledge and understanding of the biblical book without this volume.
Highly recommended.

Steve Martin
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students, IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas

Posted: 05:29:58 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


REVIEW OF THE GOD WE WORSHIP

REVIEW OF THE GOD WE WORSHIP
(Adoring the One Who Pursues, Redeems and Changes His People)
[Edited by Jonathan Master; P & R Publishing; 2016; 174 pp.]

Most years the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (ACE) hosts the Princeton Regional Conference on Reformed Theology. The messages are given by top-notch pastor-scholars who know how to inform the head and enflame the heart. These ten transcribed messages begin at the beginning—THE GOD WE WORSHIP. Every
bit of reality revolves around the kind of Being Who God is.

This vibrant collection gives us a sure and safe foundation from which to build our Christian faith and our very lives. Having served as a local pastor for 31 years and for a decade in ministry to students. I have seen
the importance of a good theological foundation as critical for Christian growth to maturity. Just as children
who are not fed and nurtured well struggle through life, so young Christians may struggle for a lifetime when
they are not properly grounded in the faith early on. This book is a primer to get Christians started and then
showing the reader the Christians they endorse and the charlatans they expose.

Like a baseball manager bringing out his line-up at the beginning of the game, let me show you who is going
to be the ‘players’ in this most important book:
1. GOD’S GLORY REVEALED by Bryan Chapell
2. CALLED BY GOD TO WORSHIP by Charles Drew
3. SOUGHT BY CHRIST TO WORSHIP by Richard Phillips
4. GUIDED BY GOD’S SECRET PROVIDENCE by Joseph ‘Skip’ Ryan
5. REDEEMED BY GOD’S SOVEREIGN MERCY by Philip Ryken
6. SANCTIFYING GRACE by Michael Horton
7. OUR HOLY REDEEMER by Richard Phillips
8. THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS by Michael Haykin
9. KNOW THE TRUTH by Al Mohler
10. I AM THE TRUTH by Don Carson

I commend this to all serious Christians—serious about knowing more of the God they profess to know, serious about honoring Him in their lifetime; serious about speaking the truth about Him to whosoever will listen, and serious about enjoying Him forever!

STEVE MARTIN
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students; IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas

Posted: 05:28:47 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


BANNER OF TRUTH GEMS NOT TO MISS

12/20/2016

We live in a day where there is a wealth of old books being reprinted and new books without number. Not all these books merit a first read, let alone a second read.
The Banner of Truth is unsurpassed in published books that are worth reading once and then saving for a lifetime of reading and passing on to one's family or church. Here are four "keepers" just in time for Christmas!


Douglas Taylor, I SHALL NOT DIE BUT LIVE (Facing
Death with Gospel Hope)
For fourteen years, Douglas Taylor was the Assistant Editor of the Banner of Truth magazine, headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. So many good volumes passed under his watchful editorial eye! He was not only an editor of great Puritan volumes, he enjoyed and savored the Puritans too. I SHALL NOT DIE is a book about his preparing for his own passing, given a death sentence by an acute terminal illness. This book is composed with many of the posts he prepared to help himself and others face death unafraid. It breathes a heavenly air.
Get one for yourself, your church library and for any terminally ill Christian you know.


H. J. Horn, THE PURITANS (Day by Day)--Puritan
quotations for each day of the year.
Any pastor, church secretary, or knowledgeable Christian would want to have and use this book because it contains gems and jewels for each and every day. Put them in the church bulletin, punctuates your letters or emails with them, meditate upon them and commit them to memory--they are that good.


Hugh Martin, THE SHADOW OF CALVARY (Gethsemane,
The Arrest, The Trial)
Westminster church historian and pastor Carl Trueman writes the forward to this treasure from Scotland, first published in 1875. Hugh Martin was himself one of the treasures that graced the pastorate of the Free Church of Scotland. Martin was a pastor and a theologian and a sweetly exercised Christian. He has the exegetical ability, the spirituality, the knowledge of church history and the warm theology that makes these familiar passages come alive and sink into the heart. In his forward, Professor and pastor Trueman writes that all pastors preach about the final week of our Lord's life but few do it as correctly and warmly and engagingly as Hugh Martin. See a Master in Israel at work!

Richard Rushing, ed; VOICES FROM THE PAST (Puritan
Devotional Readings); Volume 2
Volume One of Rushing's work has been a boon and its praise sung in all the churches. Volume 2 looks to be more of the same. While some devotional reading is about as substantial as Cotton Candy and just as substantial, these devotional volumes on the Puritans have good substance in a portable size. Great for family devotions if the participants are a bit older--say high school and above. Thank you Richard Rushing and Banner of Truth for promos tin the Puritans and keeping their legacy alive. We are the richer!

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

Posted: 02:28:25 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


GIFTS THAT LAST A LIFETIME...AND CAN BE BOUGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

12/15/2016

Books are gifts that last a lifetime and can bless over and over again. As Pastor Ernie Reisinger once said, the alphabet has 26 good soldiers for Christ who never quit or react in a cowardly way. They always stay put and tell the story. Good Christian books are arrangements of the alphabet in words to bless the reader over and over again. Let me introduce you to some great books you can get and give at this Christmas seasons that will bless the reader with a first read and subsequent reads.

BOOKS FOR CHRISTIAN LAYMEN ON YOUR LIST:

Mike Horton, CORE CHRISTIANITY; Zondervan
One reviewer likens this book to John Stott's 1960's best seller, BASIC CHRISTIANITY. I think it is better than Stott's early book because it covers more and is simpler to read. You can give this to a non-reader or a non-Christian and it would do them good. Having read these winsome explanations of the basics of Christianity, a person cannot say they did not know or did not understand the gospel and its implications.

Sinclair Ferguson, A HEART FOR GOD; Banner of Truth
One of his best books and one that repays yearly reading! That is not an exaggeration. Dr. Ferguson, like
Dr. Packer, writes for the church and the thinking Christian, not the academy or the university. He cares about the spread of Christ's glory and not his academic reputation. A HEART FOR GOD takes the reader on a joy filled and awe-filled journey through some of the perfections (better term than ;attributes') of God. He begins with why we should know God better and better if we are a real Christian. Every chapter is outstanding!

Ryan McGraw, THE DAY OF WORSHIP (Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath); Reformation Heritage Books)
Confessional Christians, particularly Presbyterians and Baptists, hold that the 4th Commandment on the Christian Sabbath (and the Lord's Day) are still binding on believers today. McGraw shows us why that is so and the tremendous impact it makes on your life if you really life that way. It has glowing blurbs by two earlier authors on the Lord's Day, Joey Pipa (THE LORD'S DAY) and Walter Chantry (CALL THE SABBATH A DELIGHT).

Earl Blackburn, 50 WORLD-CHANGING EVENTS IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY; Christian Focus Publications
Christians discover to their amazement that they enjoy reading church history if it is not too dense and compacted and makes application today. Pastor Earl Blackburn has put us in his debt by putting together 50 events of Christ's churches that also had an impact on the surrounding world. It begins with the Fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 to the Romans down to the Rise of Social Media! You will be surprised at how much the past influences the present. Try it--you will like it!

BOOKS FOR CHRISTIAN PASTORS AND ELDERS:

Charles Ross, THE INNER SANCTUARY; Banner of Truth
A classic from the 19th century comes back into print! Pastor know how difficult to preach through John's gospel because when you come to chapters 13-17 (our Lord's teaching in the Upper Room before his arrest, trail, death and resurrection) there is so much to think on and teach that most get bogged down. Charles Ross helps the reader not miss the riches of our Lord's teaching the night before His passion. Section headings include:
I. THE FOOT-WASHING AND THE TRAITOR REVEALED

II. THE DISCOURSE AFTER THE TRAITOR LEFT THE
ROOM

III. THE STATE, DUTIES AND PROSPECTS OF THE
DISCIPLES IN THE WORLD

IV. THE INTERCESSORY PRAYER
There is so much goos stuff here that I can't cram it into a brief blurb. This is a precious and encouraging book.

Sinclair Ferguson, DEVOTED TO GOD (Blueprints for Sanctification); Banner of Truth
Dr. Ferguson puts us further in his debt by writing perhaps his best book--how Christians grow in grace and thus become 'sanctified'. DEVOTED TO GOD covers ten key passages in the New Testament that show how God wants us to grow in grace. His expositions of these key passages show the overall depth and balance of biblical teaching on sanctification. This should not be missed by pastors or elders or teachers!

Fred Sanders, THE TRIUNE GOD (New Studies in Dogmatics); Zondervan
For a few years now, the Bible's doctrine of the Tri-unity of God has been a hot topic as friends and foes o this cardinal doctrine have traded broadsides in blogs and books. Dr. Sanders, an expert on the doctrine of the Trinity [see his earlier, more entry level book, THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD (How the Trinity Changes Everything from Crossway)]. Dr. Sanders shows us how to study how the Bible unfolds the doctrine of the Trinity and teaches it as we seek to explain it to others. This book should be mastered by every pastor and elder and teacher!

T. J. Crawford., THE MYSTERIES OF CHRISTIANITY (Revealed Truth Expounded and Defended); Banner of Truth
This is a defense of classical Christianity showing that the revealed basis of Christianity is both historical (revealed in time and in Scripture) and supernatural.h
In eleven essays he covers 11 areas that are revealed
in Scripture as true but not always open to empirical verification. This is both a refresher course on basic Christian doctrine but a sturdy defense of how to teach it to others!

BOOKS FOR SENIOR SAINTS:

James Packer, WEAKNESS IS THE WAY (Life With Christ
As Our Strength) ; Crossway-
Learn how to finish well while losing your strength which is natural with advancing age but learning to lean on Christ and His strength.

James Packer, PURSUING OUR COURSE WITH JOY (Guidance From God For Engaging With Our Aging);
Crossway
What are believers to do as they age, their powers wane, and they ponder the path ahead? Well known evangelical and Reformed theologian and pastor to pastors tells us how to keep on keeping on while walking with Christ. A gem to savor and reread again and again.



May the Lord bless your Christmas with a greater sense of Christ's glory and a heightened sense of love and zeal for Him.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin

Visit my website with over 1800 other devotionals on Scripture and Christianity:

WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

Posted: 03:29:00 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::


GRADUATION IS COMING--GIVE THEM BOOKS

03/24/2016

May has become the big month for graduations in our culture. Back in the day, when I was in school, it was June. But times change and so I am giving you a head's up on great graduation gifts. I almost always give books as gifts because the biblical truth contained in good books changes lives. I know, for books changed me!

I was converted by the grace of God in 1969 during the middle of my junior year in college. I was ushered into a new world of which I knew so little. Pronouncing biblical names was hard enough but understanding the Word of God became paramount. I could find no evangelical, Bible believing, Bible teaching churches in my small Midwestern college town. What to do?

There was a vibrant parachurch ministry at another nearby college town and I traveled their each week for teaching, fellowship and evangelism. But as important as it was to rehearse the biblical truths of salvation, Bible truth that enabled me to grow became necessary.

Just across the street from my downtown apartment was a little hole in the wall Christian bookstore. And I would go there most weeks and cherry pick the best books I could find to help me. Now my limited maturity and the limited number of good evangelical books in 1969-1970 limited my choices. But I found enough books written for young Christians of all ages that I was very much helped to grow. As a brand new babe in Christ I did not need to try to digest Louis Berkhof, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, or John Calvin. That would come later. They showed me the meat of the Word.

But on the milk and pablum level, I found things that nourished me and pointed me to other authors. Books from Gospel Light, David C. Cook, IVP, and Zondervan became staples. Some books had "bones" that I learned did not jive with Scripture and I learned to spit out the bones while savoring the meat. Some books sadly were mostly bones and I found little meat in them. Some books on a first read seemed great but further reflection and study showed me they were mostly bones and I left them alone.

The books I have chosen today for graduates, high school or college or grad school, are picked because they are full of truth and connect with people 18-28. Here they are...

GENERAL BOOKS ON CHRISTIANITY:

Jerry Bridges, THE GOSPEL FOR REAL LIFE; NavPress
(The best explanation of what Christ accomplished
on the cross for laymen of any age. I would make it
mandatory if I could that every gospel minister and
parachurch worker master this book and preach it to
their people!)

Jerry Bridges, THE BOOKENDS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE;
Crossway (The best explanation of how the believer
is to apply the bookends of the Christian life to daily
life--that is, the imputed righteousness of Christ for
one's standing before God and the power of the Holy
Spirit to change my life day in and day out. Very
practical!)

Kevin DeYoung, THE HOLE IN OUR HOLINESS; Crossway
Shows the rising generation the importance of a
neglected but vital truth--"no holiness, no heaven".


BOOKS FOR YOUNG WOMEN:

Mary Kassian, GIRLS GONE WISE (in a world gone wild);
Crossway--for years around Spring Break time,
commercials have hawked a lewd product on TV and
the Internet--videos of GIRLS GONE WILD sporting
drunk and ungodly girls doing ungodly things on
Spring Break around America. High school and
college students know about the phenomena. Mary
Kassian, professor at THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST
THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, writes to show the way to
biblical godliness and holiness. A great gift for girls
leaving home and going off into the world!

Michelle Graham, WANTING TO BE HER (Body Secrets
Victoria Did Not Tell You); IVP--InterVarsity staff
worker Michelle Graham writes to help women with
their self-perception of how they look and why it
matters too much in our culture. She even has a
special chapter for young African-American women
who grow up in a culture where white is beautiful
and black is second best. Young women receiving
this book have loved it and thanked me for giving it
to them.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, LIES WOMEN BELIEVE (and the
truths that sets them free); Moody Press--popular
author and conference speaker shows how 21st
century women are being lied to in our culture and
she helps them recognize the lies and counter-act
them. Mothers and daughters could read this
together. And there is a book for teen girls, LIES
YOUNG WOMEN BELIEVE (and the truths that set
them free); Moody Press.

Courtney Reissig; THE ACCIDENTAL FEMINIST (Restor-
ing Our Delight in God's Good Design); Crossway
A young Christian woman recounts her learning that
while she did not set out to become a feminist,
nevertheless just breathing the corrosive air of this
culture brought her to embrace several feminist
tenets. Upon seeing them and examining her life
more closely through the lens of Scripture, she left
feminism behind.

Elizabeth Prentiss, STEPPING HEAVENWARD; Calvary
Press--classic 19th century study of a young
woman's growth in mature Christian womanhood
and the lessons learned along the way. I know some
pastors who have given a copy of this treasure to
every woman and teenage girl in their congregation.

BOOKS FOR YOUNG MEN:

Wayne Mack, A FIGHT TO THE DEATH (Taking Aim at Sin
Within); P & R--a classic study of the Bible and
Reformed theology's teaching on putting off
(mortification) and putting on (vivification) sin. A
must for Christians wanting to grow in grace.

Jerry Bridges, THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS; NavPress
The best study of the Reformed doctrine of
sanctification in print. A classic!

Stuart Piggin and John Roxborough, THE ST. ANDREWS
SEVEN; Banner of Truth--seven young graduates of
the University of St. Andrews in Scotland who
dedicated their lives to missions and serving Christ
around the world.

Mark Chanski, MANLY DOMINION; Calvary Press
A great book to challenge men to be men of God,
not boys of God or girls of God but men of God.
What does it mean to be a man and to be a man of
God. Read it and find out. Single men will find this
most valuable too!

J. C. Ryle, THOUGHTS FOR YOUNG MEN; Banner of Truth
or audiobook. Classic study challenging young men
to live their lives for Christ in whatever He calls them
to do. But whatever they are, they are to live for
Christ!

May your graduates find grace as they graduate to live for Christ the rest of their lives.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM for hundreds of other articles on contemporary Christianity, church history and books!


Posted: 11:13:00 AM :: permalink :: discuss ::


A TRIBUTE TO JERRY BRIDGES WHO ENTERED INTO GLORY YESTERDAY, MARCH 6, 2016

03/07/2016

It was 1976 and it was a rough year for me. I had become a Christian seven years before and was now married and laboring as a parachurch ministry leader doing evangelism and discipleship. I was overly tired,
sleep deprived and overworked. A good night sleep and a walk did not "fix" me. A dark depression settled over me and it was all I could do to get out of bed each morning and put one foot in front of another. I jettisoned everything I could of my ministry labors without losing my job. I was in the deep end of the pool just barely treading water. My friends were puzzled by what seemed to be unusual and "un-victorious" behavior. My dear wife was also wondering what in the world was happening to me. I did not know either.

The doctrine of the Christian life I had been taught began with the glowing words: "Every day can be an exciting day for the Christian who knows the reality of the Spirit-filled life and who lives moment by moment under His gracious control." This "exciting" life meant one was to turn over control of one's life to Jesus and let Him live the Christian life through you. Jesus would not sin, would He? Jesus, would not fail to believe and trust God, would He? The "secret" of the Christian life was Jesus living through the yielded, quieted believer.

If one failed to live this "abundant life", it was because there was either an unconfessed sin or an unyielded area of one's life. So a person scraped their inner psyche looking for that unyielded area, that unconfessed sin that was keeping Jesus from having full control. And true Christians would never have a bad day!

But I was not only have a bad day, I was having a bad month and a bad year! The highlight of each day was going to bed early--only to have deep, restful sleep elude me. I was barely functioning. And my learned doctrine of the Christian life was only making it worse!
Christians who knew the secret never had a bad day.
Christians should never struggle. Christians should never be depressed. As I met with the Lord each morning, I called out to Him to help me, teach me, mold me and change me. Not much seemed to be happening!

But as I daily walked with Christ and read my Bible, I began to see new things in the Scriptures I had not seen before. Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane cried out in desperation to His Father. He was not humming "Victory in Jesus". He was in agony! I could not imagine our Lord not knowing how to live the Christian life! There was a crack of light in my dark room--maybe struggle and depression and failure were God's instruments in His process of sanctifying me. Maybe they were not abnormal but the normal Christian life?!

Then in reading through Romans with the help of Donald Grey Barnhouse's EXPOSITION OF ROMANS,
I saw that my view of the Christian life was very small, cramped and man-centered. I also saw in Romans 6-8 that struggle was a part of the Christian life. I memorized Romans 6:1-14 and sought to meditate upon it each day. Slowly, gradually, almost imperceptibly,
the dark clouds of depression began to clear, sometimes with two sunny days followed by a cloudiness, then 3-4 sunny days followed by an brief darkness and then finally most sunny days with cloudy days interspersed.

What's more, I saw the sovereignty of God in salvation, in election, atonement, keeping and eventual glory. I had come to understand Romans! The doctrines I managed to cobble together gave me stability and strength and persevering grace. Then in 1978, Navigator leader Jerry Bridges published his first book, THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS. What a gem! In down to earth language he explained what I later learned was the Reformation understanding of salvation and sanctification. What was a patchwork quilt of doctrines in my little theology became a more full-orbed theology of the Christian life. My heart sung as I read this book, absorbed its teaching, noticed the men and books mentioned in the footnotes, and embarked on a life of study, worship, and the pursuit of holiness. It was through Jerry Bridges footnotes that I came to know Charles Hodge (the subject of my Master's thesis), John Owen (the subject of my seminary devotional reading),
Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield (also the subject of my seminary devotional reading).

As a pastor, I had Jerry preach and teach four times in my church. The churchmen loved him and deeply appreciated his teaching. It was truth for life and I shall always be in his debt!

Below is a listing of Jerry Bridges' major books and why you should read and study each twice, once for joy and the second time for mastering.

1978--THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS--the best short explanation of the Bible's and the Reformation's understanding of how Christians are to pursue holiness.

1983--THE PRACTICE OF GODLINESS--how Christians are to put on new habits of godliness even as they put to death old habits of sins. God has done many things to and for the Christian. This book explains what the Christian is to discipline himself to do. The bookend to THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS.

1985--TRUE FELLOWSHIP (lated published as THE CRISIS OF CARING, and then published as TRUE COMMUNITY in 2012). A great book to show believers how they are to live with one another in the family of God.

1988--TRUSTING GOD (Even When Life Hurts)--the 1st book in English in the 20th century on the biblical doctrine of God's sovereign, holy, infinitely wise and loving providence. A real sanity saver!--it should be mastered by all believers and preached on by all pastors!

1991--TRANSFORMING GRACE--Jerry stunned many of his readers by showing them that we are not only saved by grace but grow and are changed by grace too!

1994--THE DISCIPLINE OF GRACE--People were puzzled at how one should put together God's transforming grace and human responsibility in one coherent doctrine of sanctification. This book shows us how to put our effort and discipline together with God's in-working grace.

1999--THE JOY OF FEARING GOD--one of the most neglected doctrine of the Bible was brought front and center to help believers view and treat God as they should. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then many professing Christians are not very wise!

2002--THE GOSPEL FOR REAL LIFE--masterfully captures what Christ did for His people in the atonement. If I could I would make this book's mastery a mandatory responsibility for each American Christian, and certainly each pastor!

2003--THE CHASE--a shortened version of THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS for students.

2006--IS GOD REALLY IN CONTROL?--a shorted version of TRUSTING GOD for students.

2007--RESPECTABLE SINS--a bombshell on the playground of respectable, nice Christians.

2007--THE GREAT EXCHANGE--a blockbuster of a help to Christian laymen and pastors who have not fully grasped both halves of justification--"my sins exchanged for His righteousness". Please read and master this master book!

2008--HOLINESS DAY BY DAY--a daily devotional drawn from his previous works on holiness.

2009--THE BOOKENDS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE--the two bookends which keep our Christian lives from going into the ditch of despair or the ditch of self righteousness are (1) the righteousness of Christ imputed to the believer; (2) the power of the Holy Spirit to change and keep changing the believer. The book is short by packed with practical dynamite!

2012--WHO AM I ?--learning that your identify is in Christ!

2014--GOD TOOK ME BY THE HAND--Jerry's life story with twists and turns of providence that constantly called on Jerry to trust God. A sweet read.

FORTHCOMING IN 2016--THE BLESSING OF HUMILITY (Walk Within Your Calling)--this is my estimate of Jerry to a T. There is no reason to believe it won't be a gem like all the others!

I honor Jerry Bridges, his ministry and his memory, as I owe him a debt of gratitude that can only be repaid by pursuing holiness in the power of the Spirit and trusting God for all His providential dealing with my life.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM for many more reviews, articles and downloads of interest to growing believers.

Posted: 11:51:04 AM :: permalink :: discuss ::


MY END OF THE YEAR BOOK BLOG

12/23/2015

A COURSE OF READING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE

(A Baker’s Dozen of Books to Digest, in Order, Each Year for Three Years)

READINGS FOR THE FIRST YEAR:

1. R. C. Sproul, THE HOLINESS OF GOD; Tyndale

2. Kevin DeYoung, TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD; Crossway

3. Arthur Pink, THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD; Banner of Truth edition

4. James Packer, 18 WORDS (The Most Important Words You Will Ever Know); Christian Focus

5. Jerry Bridges, THE GOSPEL FOR REAL LIFE; NavPress

6. James Packer, KNOWING GOD; IVP

7. Jerry Bridges, THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS;NavPress

8. Jerry Bridges, TRUSTING GOD; NavPress

9. James Packer, KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT; Baker

10. Fred Sanders, THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD (How The Trinity Changes Everything); Crossway
Michael Reeves, DELIGHTING IN THE TRINITY; IVP (2 count as 1)

11. James White, THE POTTER’S FREEDOM; Calvary Press

12. Iain Murray, THE FORGOTTEN SPURGEON; Banner of Truth
(2 books count as 1)
Iain Murray, SPURGEON VS. HYPER-CALVINISM; Banner of Truth

13. Iain Murray, MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (The First Forty Years, 1899-1939); Banner of Truth

READINGS FOR THE SECOND YEAR:

1. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, AUTHORITY (of Christ, the Bible, the Holy Spirit); Banner of Truth

John MacArthur, ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL; Crossway (2 count as 1)

2. Horatius Bonar , WORDS TO WINNERS OF SOULS:
P & R
Charles Spurgeon, THE SOUL-WINNER; Whitaker House (2 count as 1)

3. Tom Wells, A VISION FOR MISSIONS; Banner of Truth (2 count as 1)

Mark Dever, THE GOSPEL AND PERSONAL EVANGELISM; Crossway

4. James Packer & Mark Dever, IN MY PLACE CONDEMNED HE STOOD; Crossway

5. Thomas Watson, THE DOCTRINE OF REPENTANCE; Banner of Truth
(3 books count as 1)
Sinclair Ferguson, THE GRACE OF REPENTANCE; Crossway
Tom Wells, FAITH: THE GIFT OF GOD; Banner of Truth

6. James Packer, “FUNDAMENTALISM” AND THE WORD OF GOD; Eerdmans

7. S. M. Houghton, SKETCHES FROM CHURCH HISTORY; Banner of Truth

8. Kris Lundgaard, THE ENEMY WITHIN; P & R
(2 books count as 1)
Kris Lundgaard, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS; P & R

9. Iain Murray, THE OLD EVANGELICALISM; Banner of Truth

10. John Bunyan, THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS; various editions

11. Sinclair Ferguson, DISCOVERING THE WILL OF GOD; Banner of Truth
Kevin DeYoung, JUST DO SOMETHING (A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will); Crossway
Bruce Waltke, FINDING THE WILL OF GOD: Eerdmans
(3 count as 1)

12. Iain Murray, EVANGELICALISM DIVIDED (A Record of Critical Change in the Years 1950-2000); Banner of Truth

13. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, SPIRITUAL DEPRESSION (Its Causes and Cures); Eerdmans



READINGS FOR THE THIRD YEAR:

1. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, REVIVAL; Crossway

2. Iain Murray, PENTECOST--TODAY?; Banner of Truth/Founders Press

3. Iain Murray, REVIVALS AND REVIVALISM (The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism, 1758-1858); Banner of Truth

4. Octavius Winslow, PERSONAL DECLENSION AND REVIVAL OF RELIGION IN THE SOUL; Banner of Truth
Sinclair Ferguson, DESERTED BY GOD?; Banner of Truth

5. Noel Weeks, THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE; Banner of Truth

6. Thomas Brooks, PRECIOUS REMEDIES AGAINST SATAN’S DEVICES;Banner of Truth

7. Jerry Bridges, THE GREAT EXCHANGE; NavPress (2 books count as 1)

Jerry Bridges, THE BOOKENDS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE; Crossway

8. R. C. Sproul, FAITH ALONE (The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification);Baker

R. C. Sproul, GETTING THE GOSPEL RIGHT; Baker (2 books count as 1)

9. Don Whitney, SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE; NavPress

Don Whitney, SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES WITHIN THE CHURCH; Moody Press (2 books count as 1)

10. John Hannah, OUR LEGACY (The History of Christian Doctrine); NavPress

11. Mark Dever, THE CHURCH (The Gospel Made Visible); Broadman & Holman Academic

12. Carl Trueman, THE CREEDAL IMPERATIVE; Crossway

13. Edward Donnelly, THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF HEAVEN & HELL;Banner of Truth

Bruce Milne, THE DOCTRINE OF HEAVEN AND HELL (The Bible Speaks Today); IVP

(2 books count as 1)

It has been a great privilege and honor to write book blogs and answer questions the past ten years. I hope you have taken advantage of the book counsel given out over this period.

Reading is being there by proxy! Readers are leaders! The best way to supplement your Lord's Day input from your church and pastor is to read the best books you can. In doing so may our Lord prosper your soul.

Your one-time book servant,

Pastor Steve Martin
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM for hundreds more book related devotionals, downloads and articles.

Posted: 11:57:00 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::