My Recommendations: Book of the Week, July 9

No greater subject for our contemplation exists aside from Jesus Christ Himself. We all need to spend significant time meditating on our Savior’s work and His role in our world, our life, and our future. John Owen’s classic, The Glory of Christ: His Office and Grace, will profoundly impact your life. It is not an easy read, because of the richness of its topic and the depths that Owen plumbs. This edition provides definitions for old English terms that have gone out of use to help the reader understand him better. Occasional boxes provide summaries and charts organizing some of the key observations. Consider just a few of the jewels to be gleaned from this superb work on Christ:

  • “The revelation made of Christ in the blessed gospel is far more excellent, more glorious, and more filled with rays of divine wisdom and goodness, that the whole creation and the just comprehension of it, if attainable, can contain or afford.”
  • “he knows not Christ, he knows not the Gospel”
  • “It is in Christ alone that we may have a clear, distinct view of the glory of God and his excellencies.”
  • “all our present glory consists in our preparation for future glory”

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, June 26

Pastoral leadership in corporate worship requires both passion and wisdom. John Newton was just such a pastor. He not only pastored his church through his sermons and letters, he also wrote worship-filled hymns. Beyond Amazing Grace: Timeless Pastoral Wisdom from the Letters, Hymns, and Sermons of John Newton, compiled and edited by J. Todd Murray, breathes the rarified atmosphere of the Word of God through a man of God. Newton’s pastoral example and words will rekindle spiritual fire in the reader’s own heart and life. D. A. Carson wrote of this book, it “deserves to become a classic in confessional evangelical spirituality, on par with Andrew Bonar’s Memoirs of M’Cheyne.”

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, June 19

Seven weeks ago I recommended the Grand Canyon companion to this guide book in the True North Series. This volume takes users on a trek through the landscapes of both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks identifying evidences of the biblical flood in Noah’s time and talking about biblical creation. The four authors (John Hergenrather, Tom Vail, Mike Oard, and Dennis Bokovoy) present a creationist’s viewpoint of earth’s history. They offer travel tips, maps, details on the vast forests, grasslands, geysers, trails, flowers, hiking trails, wildlife and more–all vibrantly portrayed in many full color photos. If you visit Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons, take the opportunity to study the majesty of God’s amazing creation with this volume in hand. Families will find the guide helpful for explaining the wonders of these parks to their children.

Another companion volume in the True North Series is Your Guide to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

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Identifying the Imperatives in Biblical Narratives

Narratives occupy a large portion of the Bible, whether its pages record the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph or the wanderings of Israel in the wilderness, or the events surrounding the judges and kings of Israel, or the stories of Ruth or Esther. And, those are just part of the Old Testament narratives. The Gospels and Acts in the New Testament also contain much narrative. The old saying is that “narratives describe, but don’t prescribe.” Sounds good. But, as with many such sayings, it is over-simplified and actually ignores explicit instruction from the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Preachers and teachers need to learn how to carefully discover the imperatives within narratives.

As a contributor to ParkingSpace23’s blog, I posted a blog on this very topic. Although it merely scratches the surface (believe me, there is far more to tell and to teach about it within both testaments), I hope you will click on the following link Implications or Applications?: Preaching Biblical Narratives, read, and start identifying the imperatives of biblical narratives.

How much seminary training does a missionary need?

A sense of urgency characterizes nearly everyone who believes that God has led them to become missionaries for the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a result, many consider going to the mission field with either minimum training or with no formal training at all. Why go through years of seminary training? “Will it actually prepare me for missionary service?” “If God could use someone like Charles Haddon Spurgeon, William Carey, or John Calvin with no formal theological education, why should I seek such training?” “Isn’t it wasting time and ignoring the urgency for getting to my mission field?” If you’re asking these questions, you are not alone. As an experienced missionary (15 years in Bangladesh), this blog presents my answers to such questions.

As a contributor to ParkingSpace23’s blog, I posted an article with regard to preparation for missions ministries. If you click on the following link How much seminary training does a missionary need?, you will be able to read that blog post. Hopefully, it will either help you to decide on what training you need for missionary service or help you counsel someone who is asking that very pertinent question.

“Song of the Bow”: A Biblical Meditation for Memorial Day

Memorial Day marks the national commemoration of those American warriors who gave their lives for our nation on the field of battle. We take the time to honor their memory, to decorate their graves, and to remember their sacrifice. David provided us with a wonderful song, an elegy, preserving the memory of two such warriors for the nation of Israel: King Saul and his son Jonathan. My meditation on 2 Samuel 1:17-27 was published yesterday on ParkingSpace23’s blog, Click on the following link “Song of the Bow”: A Biblical Meditation for Memorial Day, read, and keep on remembering those who served our nation as soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen. Do not allow their memory to die. Pass their story on to the succeeding generations. Remembering their service and honoring their memory belongs to every day of the year, not just Memorial Day.