Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Holy Bible ought to be the Christian’s most treasured book. Such is the case for all of the administrators of this blog. However, we each also have a (lesser) passion for other books as well. God has gifted many of His people with deep knowledge of Scripture, as well as the capability of communicating that knowledge clearly to others in written form.

There are many types of books that are useful for the Christian to grow in their knowledge of God’s Word as well as how to follow Him better. These include commentaries, which take you verse by verse through a given book of the Bible. The point is to work with the text and bring out its main point so that the reader may understand what the author originally intended, as well as application. These can be especially helpful for those who do not know Hebrew/Greek.

There are also plain old theology books, such as systematic theologies or topical studies. These are books where the author will dig deep into one particular topic. This is helpful because we may not have time to focus on one particular subject or access to all of the literature on one topic. This is especially true if more and more is being published on the topic rapidly. This way a trusted authority on the subject can update the layman on recent discussion on the issue, and guide them into all of the Scriptural passages concerning the matter, as well as all of the arguments on either side.

There are also Christian biographies, such as those of famous missionaries, church fathers, or the Puritans. These can be a great encouragement to us by seeing how God works through weak, ordinary men and women such as ourselves. We can see what God will do with just a mustard seed worth of faith, and know that this same God can do even more mighty works through us as we yield to His Spirit.

Reference material is also a great help for studying the Bible. Bible Dictionaries, which dig into the meaning of Hebrew and Greek words used in the Scripture, are especially helpful. So also are grammars and historical studies.

Finally, there are devotionals. These give a passage from God’s Word to be read one a day over a span of time (such as one month or a year), giving a quick explanation and application. These are meant to give the believer something to meditate on throughout the day. These are helpful because of the encouragement they bring, the constant reminder to keep the Bible in focus, and only require a few minutes a day.

This portion of the blog will display our love for books. We will give both positive and negative reviews of books new and old. We will also at times simply list recommendations for books on a particular topic – an “annotated bibliography” if you will.

Enjoy!

Died Jesus die for the world

16 Arguments for Limited Atonement: A Summary of John Owen’s Thoughts

I recently posted about the Top 10 Best Books on the Atonement. There I mentioned my favorite book outside the Bible, The Death of Death by John Owen. This is Owen’s treatise on Limited Atonement. The entirety of the third section (book) is devoted to 16 arguments in support of Limited Atonement. Now each one may not be sufficient by itself (although some are) to prove the doctrine, but by the end we see that the overarching theme traced throughout the whole Bible is undeniable. Below is my summary of them. As the title implies, I’ll try to keep with Owen’s thought and Bible references, although I may at times fall for the temptation to add my own take and flare. All page numbers are from the 1983 reprint by Banner of Truth. Again, there is a free PDF version on CCEL

Continue reading 16 Arguments for Limited Atonement: A Summary of John Owen’s Thoughts

Theology Must Reads: Top 10 Books on the Atonement

These are in no particular order!


Top 10 book the death of death by John Owen
The Death of Death
by John Owen. The PDF can be found here

Apart from the Bible, this is my favorite book of all time. John Owen, the greatest of all Puritans, had already defended Limited Atonement in his first work, A Display of Arminianism. Here is an absolutely thorough treatment of the subject that to this day has not been sufficiently answered by the opposing side. Continue reading Theology Must Reads: Top 10 Books on the Atonement

The Call to the Ministry: Some Help From Michael Bennett

Since very early on in my Christian walk I’ve been serving in various ways at various churches, studying the Bible and theology like crazy, and trying to find a seminary that fits both my budget and lifestyle. This is because I hope one day to go into a pastoral ministry role full time. Why do I want to do that? Certainly not because it’s fun or pays well. No, I want to be a pastor because I feel that God is calling me to full time ministry. Continue reading The Call to the Ministry: Some Help From Michael Bennett

Does faith lead to works? How do faith and repentance relate to one another?

Accusations, Assurance, and James 2: A Critique of Zane Hodges’ “The Gospel Under Siege”, pt. 1

This is the first of what I hope to be a thorough review and critique of major contributions to the Easy-Believism literature. The first book I am reviewing is The Gospel Under Siege by Zane Hodges.1

I admit I enjoy his writing style because of its clarity and common sense way of explaining things. However, it is at the expense of the plain reading of the text. Within you will find such statements as death not meaning eternal hell, distinguishing between having eternal life and having eternal life in you, and that Jesus’ preaching of repentance was meant for the Jews of that period only. It seems that Hodges will do anything to a passage to make it say what he wants. To cover this up, he often shames his readers away from the Lordship interpretation by statements like (again paraphrasing), “The author could not have put it any plainer,” or “To ignore this is to ignore all common sense.” These statements are empty, however, if not backed up with clear, faithful exegesis.

In this post we shall cover the first three chapters. Continue reading Accusations, Assurance, and James 2: A Critique of Zane Hodges’ “The Gospel Under Siege”, pt. 1

Is Romans 1:26-27 Talking About Homosexuality? A Response to Matthew Vines

“For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” (Romans 1:26-27)

The above words of the Apostle Paul are one of the Bible’s key insights on how God views homosexuality and gay marriage. In fact, this passage gives the most detail and is the longest of all the passages condemning this practice. Paul’s words could not be more clear: naturally sex is between a man and a woman, and homosexuality opposes that. Further, homosexual practices in every shape and size are degrading and indecent.

However, in our culture today, many so-called Christians are openly practicing homosexuality or are in same-sex relationships without any regret. Many are outright saying the Bible is outdated, and modern research attempts to prove Paul’s (God’s) view of homosexuality wrong. Matthew Vines is a man who takes it a step further. He does not reject inspiration or biblical authority, but rather, seeks to show that we have been misreading the Bible on this issue the whole time. Among other things, he is famous for his recent book, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships (New York: Convergent, 2014) where he hashes out his position. Continue reading Is Romans 1:26-27 Talking About Homosexuality? A Response to Matthew Vines