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reviews

March 17, 2009

Christ and the FutureCornelius Venema’s The Promise of the Future, published in 2000 by Banner of Truth, has been hailed as the most important major Reformed study in biblical eschatology since Anthony Hoekema’s The Bible and the Future (published in 1972). It is not coincidental, I am sure, that Venema is a former student of Hoekema. The Promise of the Future was expanded from a series of articles serialized in The Outlook magazine. Now Christ and the Future is an abridgement of the original edition. The publisher says, “While [The Promise of the Future] has justly received acclaim from numerous reviewers, its size and weight may discourage the less experienced reader from taking it up and benefiting from its contents. The publishers, therefore, are grateful to Dr.

March 03, 2009

Finding God in The ShackThis review is a few weeks overdue. It was almost a month ago that I reviewed Roger Olson’s Finding God in The Shack and at that time I had hoped to review Randal Rauser’s book of the same title within a week. Life being what it is and how it is, the deadline slipped. Today I am attempting to make amends.

February 24, 2009

One True God Paul WasherIt is a question I am asked a lot: what Bible study curriculum do you recommend? I rarely know what to say. There are so many of them available; time would fail me to collect, examine and review them all. I was interested, then, to see that Paul Washer is releasing a new edition of The One True God, a title first released several years ago. It is published by Granted Ministries Press. No less than Iain Murray declares that it is “the best introductory work known to me. … Young Christians could scarcely spend their time better than working carefully through these pages.”

February 17, 2009

Finally Alive by John PiperAs I read the final page of Finally Alive I realized that I had found a new favorite book by John Piper. Those who have read my reviews of some of his previous titles know that while I greatly enjoy Piper’s ministry and am indebted to him in many ways, I have not always found his books easy to read. Yet I read Finally Alive with relish, enjoying it from the first page to the last. It is an incisive examination of a topic of profound importance. I think it represents Piper at his very best as an author.

February 10, 2009

Tactics by Gregory KouklI have a bit of an aversion to books on apologetics. I don’t know exactly why this is, but it may be that many of them seem to teach methods of defending the faith that either manipulate or bludgeon. Somehow grace and apologetics do not seem to go together as they ought. So it was with perhaps just a bit of reluctance that I began reading Gregory Koukl’s Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions. This is a book that promises to teach a new method, a respectful method, of defending the faith and of attempting to convince others of the truth of Christianity. This is not an apologetics 101 text, as in a book that will compare and contrast various apologetic methods; instead, it is a guide, a book that seeks to lead the reader into a new method of sharing his faith with others.

February 05, 2009

Finding God in The ShackI mark this review as Finding God in The Shack I because this month will see the release of two books by two authors but with only one title between them. Both books look to the overwhelming success of William Young’s The Shack, evaluate it, and seek to answer its critics. As one of those critics, and as one whose review has been read hundreds of thousands of times, I have some interest in the subject matter. This is especially so when both books claim to lay to rest some of the criticisms lodged against it.

February 03, 2009

Get Outta My FaceI have spent the last thirteen years of my life trying to forget my teenage years. It’s not that these years were really so bad and it’s not like I went through a period of utter rebellion as do so many teens (for which I give thanks to God). It’s more that I had little joy in these years and felt that I was mostly just putting in time as I waited to grow up. What I do remember is many times of disobedience and disregard for my parents. I loved them and hated them. I needed them and yet wanted to go about life on my own. Though I may not have told them so in so many words, many times I just wanted them out of my face. I remember those years well—more so than I would like.

January 27, 2009

Fearless PilgrimFaith Cook is beginning to make her mark as a Christian biographer. While she has compiled short biographies of hymn writers and other noteworthy believers, more notably she has completed several lengthy biographies of such subjects as Selina, Countess of Huntingdon; Lady Jane Grey; and William Grimshaw. And now, in her latest book, Fearless Pilgrim, she chronicles the life of John Bunyan.

January 24, 2009

The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan EdwardsIn 2006, Reformation Trust published Steven Lawson’s Foundations of Grace, the first volume in a promising series titled “A Long Line of Godly Men.” Though the original publication schedule called for a new book every year or two, the second volume, Pillars of Grace has been repeatedly pushed back and is now listed as a November 2009 release. However, while we’ve been awaiting that title, we’ve been treated to two volumes in a companion series called “A Long Line of Godly Men Profiles.” The first of these told of The Expository Genius of John Calvin while future releases promise to focus a spotlight on an aspect of the ministries of Martin Luther, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, and other notable pastors and theologians.

January 23, 2009

The Christian LoverMarriage is under attack in our day; there is little doubt about it. We need only look to the divorce rates among professed Christians to see that believers have been far from immune from the spirit of this age. In his new book The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers, Michael Haykin says that “reading expressions of love from the past can be a helpful way of responding to the frangibility of Christian marriage in our day.” And so he offers a collection, a small anthology, of letters from husbands to wives and wives to husbands—letters that share the beauty of the gift that is marriage.

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