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Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.
New & Notable Book Reviews
January 14, 2013
I love book reviews. Since I cannot possibly read all of the interesting books out there, I publish occasional round-ups of reviews I have found at other blogs. Or even if I am able to review the book, it’s always good to get a second opinion. Here are a few of the notable links I’ve collected recently:
First off, here are two reviews of one of my favourite books of 2012, The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler:
Douglas Wilson writes: “Mohler starts by saying that he wants to do something different, and I think he succeeds in this. He states in the first lines that he wants to “change the way you think about leadership.” Mohler is clearly conversant with the current literature on leadership, and what he says overlaps with the best of what’s out there, but he clearly has the whole thing pointed in a different direction. But however good this book is, and it is, it still needs to be applied.”
And here is Mitch Chase’s take: “A common denominator appears early in the book and underlies the overall tone and argument: stewardship. Mohler wants leaders to steward their position well because they will answer to God. Leadership is a temporary stewardship and is exercised in light of the final judgment.” (Learn more and shop at Amazon.)
The Church by Mark Dever. Reviewed by Nathan Finn. “The Church is a helpful introduction to Baptist ecclesiology. Perhaps because of its genesis as a lengthy chapter in a systematic theology textbook, Dever provides a good balance between description and prescription. The book’s structure (introduction, exegesis, history, practice) lends itself to wide usage in the seminary classroom, among pastors and church staff, and in ministerial internship programs. Non-Baptist evangelicals will likely reject many of Dever’s conclusions, though many who appreciate the importance of ecclesiology will still resonate with much of the book.” (Learn more and shop at Amazon or Westminster Books.)
A Puritan Theology by Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones. Reviewed by David Steele. “A Puritan Theology is a labor of love that should be cherished by the church for years to come. It should be read for helpful theological insight. It should be read devotionally. The contents are bound to equip, encourage, and rebuke. For me personally, the Puritans have been a deep source of encouragement, especially concerning the nature of God, the promises of God, the sovereignty of God, the lordship of Christ, sanctification, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Of course, no one surpasses the courage demonstrated by the Puritans as they sought to faithfully live the Christian life in the power of the Spirit.” (Learn more and shop at Amazon or Westminster Books.)
Finally, Jeremy Walker started the new year with reviews of a couple of classic works—works that probably haven’t been reviewed for many years.
First, The Gospel Ministry by Thomas Foxcroft. “The book is full of that earnest, earthy pastoral theology that is so much bypassed in our day. It is written by a man who intends to know, love and serve Christ’s people with a Christlike spirit and through a Christ-soaked ministry. There are high points of insight and fervour throughout the work (look out for a couple of nuggets in coming days), and a thoroughly evangelical tone permeates the whole. The author determines to put Christ at the centre of his work by putting him at the centre of his life. Christ is not only the topic of the minister, but the source of all his power. The congregation is enjoined to earnest prayer for those who seek so to serve them.” (Learn more and shop at Ligonier Ministries.)
And second, Lectures to My Students by C.H. Spurgeon. “Most of the time, each element is essentially self-contained, although some topics do break over two or more chapters (the main exception is the third section, of which more below). Each chapter is fairly brief, and marked by typically Spurgeonic arrangements of the material, with thoughtful and engaging headings guiding us progressively through the matter at hand. The style is homely, full of quotations broadly drawn from various authors, marked by humour and practical insight. These ‘lectures’ very quickly turn into sermons - you can almost feel the momentum building in some of them - and so illustrate the very craft they are intended to illuminate. Each is generally marked by holy wit and sanctified common sense.” (Learn more and shop at Amazon or Westminster Books.)