Preaching for a Verdict: A Book Review

If you preach regularly, you should read this book. Here are four reasons why.

“The call to exhort,” wrote Smith, “is the call to speak to the will of the hearer, not just to inform the mind of the hearer. It is pleading, persuading, and strongly urging the hearer to respond in obedience to the Word of God. It moves beyond suggested application into a definitive call to respond”... Continue Reading

Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ in the Westminster Standards: Book Review

The rush of books, articles, reviews, and even a hymnal that has flowed from the pen (or, more likely, keyboard) of Dr. Alan D. Strange has been a most appreciated and welcomed gift to the church.

Strange’s stated aim is to advance the argument that “while the Assembly may never have explicitly affirmed active obedience in what it finally adopted, nonetheless, the Westminster documents, taken as a whole, tend to affirm it” (2). He seeks to accomplish this by carefully considering both the original intent of the framers of the Westminster... Continue Reading

How on Earth Did Jesus Become God?

The challenge, argues Hurtado, is not simply explaining how Jesus was seen as divine by early Christians, but rather the challenge is explaining the manner in which he was seen as divine.

All the chapters in the volume are helpful, but the first two are the most foundational. In chapter one, Hurtado gives us the lay of the land by surveying the variety of other approaches to Jesus devotion within early Christianity, offering a brief critical review of each of them, so that his own approach can... Continue Reading

Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics

The human race is only now realizing what demons flew out of that particular Pandora’s box.

The long loneliness is seen in the woman who never had children in order to please a selfish husband, who then divorced her for a younger woman. It is there in the face of a sincere, but nerdy young man who can’t find a decent girl to marry or the faithful young woman who is... Continue Reading

Why Small-Town Ministry Matters: A Review of “A Big Gospel in Small Places”

Yes, ministry in forgotten communities still matters.

A Big Gospel in Small Places is filled with a combination of quotes from the likes of Puritans and contemporary thought and statistics on ministry. There are many pastors in small places who need to be reminded that preaching a Bible-saturated, gospel-centered sermon to forty-five people matters. This book is oozing with that kind of... Continue Reading

How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics

Today’s identity crisis is part of a larger undoing.

I do not intend to provide a critical review of Eberstadt’s book, something which would take much more time and effort, and something which has already been done (such as this review by Carl Trueman). Instead, I wanted to offer a summary of the book’s main lines of argument and offer it as a very... Continue Reading

Emblems of the Infinite King by J. Ryan Lister

Make no mistake – this is a serious book. And serious books have life-changing implications.

Emblems of the Infinite King strikes a biblical balance that celebrates orthodoxy but also warms the heart with imaginative prose and a compelling story. Each chapter describes a particular key that explains a doctrinal reality that ultimately leads to the throne of God. Dr. Lister presents each branch of systematic theology in the framework of the... Continue Reading

Our Master in Heaven

Your heavenly Master is looking down upon you, and he never forgets.

The Apostle tells us in 2 Corinthians chapter 5, ‘Knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men.’ There were two great motives urging the Apostle, driving him on, in all his travelling and preaching: ‘The love of Christ constraineth me’, and ‘knowing the terror of the Lord.’ Those two motives should always govern us... Continue Reading

Behold, the Lamb of God: Theology Proper and the Inseparability of Penal-Substitutionary Atonement from Forensic Justification and Imputation

Many factors contributed to the Protestant Reformation, but one of the most significant was the debate over the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

“In church history people have disagreed as to what justification is, and the purpose of this chapter is not to restate all the data for the Reformation’s view of justification as the biblical view. Numerous books have argued this case, along with other chapters in this book. Instead, I assume that the Reformation’s view of... Continue Reading

Beyond Authority and Submission: A Review

Miller is to be commended for continuing to press for clearer, more biblical, thinking and action.

Miller does deserve a great deal of credit for calling out certain gross errors within evangelical complementarian circles. In this area she has done sterling service to the church. Chief among these are the ESS doctrine with respect to the Trinity, and the various instances of abuse and neglect masking as forms of patriarchy. There... Continue Reading