My Recommendations: Book of the Week, May 22

What do Charles Spurgeon, George Müller, and Hudson Taylor have in common? Let’s count the ways: (1) All were fervent evangelical Christians? (2) All served Christ with all that they had. (3) All left behind a tremendous legacy of faithfulness and godliness. (4) All were based in England. (5) All were contemporaries. (6) All knew each other and encouraged one another and gained energy for ministry from one another. (7) All are the subjects of John Piper’s seventh book in his series entitled The Swans Are Not Silent. A Camaraderie of Confidence (Crossway, 2016) should be high on your reading list for 2017. Our team of local church elders is reading through this book and discussing it as part of our elders’ meetings. The volume would make a tremendous gift to your pastor or to one or more of your elders. Or, you could do what I did with the first book in this series (Legacy of Sovereign Joy)–I gave it to our two sons and to our two sons-in-law, because of the impact it had on my own ministry. This series of Christian biographies comprises one of John Piper’s greatest gifts to all of us.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, May 15

Christ Alone: The Uniqueness of the Gospel and Its Impact on the World (Xulon Press, 2017) collects seventeen essays together in one volume. The authors (more than 20 of them–many who sat in my classes at The Master’s Seminary) serve as faculty in The Master’s Academy International in South Africa, Italy, India, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico, Singapore, China, Albania, Croatia, the Philippines, Honduras, Germany, Switzerland, and Russia, as well as for Russian speaking and Spanish speaking ministries in the United States. Mark Tatlock, the volume’s general editor, describes the volume’s aim: it “addresses aberrations within the teaching of major world religions and within the contemporary evangelical church as to the person and work of Christ” (p. xii). The essays present case studies of Christological and soteriological threats resulting from a non-biblical worldview that impact the respective regions where the authors serve. Any Christian falling within the following groups ought to read this volume and rededicate their lives to the ministry of the gospel: missionaries (both serving and potentially going to serve), church pastors, church elders, missions committee members, students in Bible colleges and seminaries, and lay people desiring to pray and to give more wisely to missions.

This comprises the second volume in the series Global Implications of Biblical Doctrine.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, May 8

Instead of a book this week, I am recommending a DVD of one of the best documentaries I have ever seen on the historicity of the early chapters of the Book of Genesis: “Is Genesis History?” Del Tackett (who directs The Truth Project ministry) was on one of our first rafting trips into the Grand Canyon. Seeing the evidence and knowing the biblical teachings solidified his conviction that Genesis truly is history–authentic and accurate history. He narrates this film, which was shown in theaters across the United States back in February and March. This DVD belongs in every family’s library of films for educating parents and children alike. The cinematography is superb and the line up of experts in a variety of fields will impress you. Also available: Is Genesis History? [Blu-ray]

Click on picture for link to standard DVD.

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, May 1

For the past ten years I have had the great privilege and joy to take rafting trips through the Grand Canyon teaching from Genesis 1-11 about Creation and the Flood. Tom Vail, the founder of Canyon Ministries and a co-author of this book, has been one of my mentors in the canyon and has become a very dear friend. Your Guide to the Grand Canyon (Master Books, 2008) was the first of the True North Series providing a biblical view of some of our nation’s most stunning national parks. The authors of this volume include Tom Vail, Mike Oard, John Hergenrather, and Dennis Bokovoy. Full color photos, charts, and illustrations fill the volume. The spiral binding prevents the volume from falling apart–it is intended as a handbook guide to the Grand Canyon with regard to its history, geology, wildlife, and views. Fold-out panorama photographs help the user to quickly identify the key sites from many of the popular viewing points along the rim. Best of all, the book presents a biblical viewpoint offering an alternative to the dominantly evolutionary view taught by park rangers and park signs. Take this guide book with you and your family on your next visit (hopefully just one of many) to the Grand Canyon. If you are interested in the South Rim tours or river rafting trips offered by Canyon Ministries, visit their website by clicking on their name.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, April 24

What Happened in the Garden: The Reality and the Ramifications of the Creation and Fall of Man, edited by Abner Chou (Kregel Academic, 2016) offers a collection of essays by Dr. John MacArthur and the faculty of The Master’s University. Its three parts consist of “Reality of Genesis 2-3,” “Theological Ramifications of the Creation and Fall,” and “Worldview Ramifications of the Creation and Fall.” The contributors represent a variety of academic disciplines including theology, science, ethics, history, sociology, and biblical counseling. You may have had someone ask you, “What difference does it make what we believe about creation and fall?” This volume supplies lots of material on the biblical answers to such a question. Every pastor should read this volume. The topic is too significant and too applicable in today’s world to ignore. Too many pastors and teachers ignore the early chapters of Genesis, taking an agnostic attitude. This does immense harm to the cause of Christ and to the inspiration and integrity of the written Word of God.

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Hebrew Whiteboard

Structural or logical line diagramming serves as one of the chief means by which the exegete can identify verse structure in the Hebrew Bible. Since this method unlocks so much of the biblical text, I have begun a series of study helps in order to enable others to learn the method and to gain a better understanding of how it aids the process of exegesis. With this methodology the student of the Hebrew Bible will be able to examine the text with a view to its

  • psalm superscription and subscription,
  • poetic lines (by means of Masoretic accentuation),
  • grammatical relationships,
  • literary/poetic devices,
  • micro- and macrostructures,
  • resulting interpretive implications, and
  • preaching propositions.
 Below are links to the materials currently available:

Each new addition to an individual psalm will be announced by means of Hebrew Whiteboard Updates and each new psalm will be added to the list on Hebrew Whiteboard.

For my most highly recommended commentaries and studies on the Psalter, check out the following (listed in order of personal preference):

Commentaries

 

Psalms Studies

 

Imprecatory Psalms