I turned thirty… something today. It has been a relaxing, thoroughly enjoyable birthday. I am surrounded by my loving family and am rich beyond measure with all of God’s blessings.
Speaking of blessings, I took the day off of work and simply kicked back, read my bible and played a little football on the kids’ XBox. In the evening we ate supper at my favorite Mexican restaurant with all of our relatives. However, I must admit, the most exciting part of the evening came when I sat down at the dining room table to open presents!
Yes, I know, how carnal of me, right? Wait a minute! Don’t be so quick to judge! I received two of life’s greatest necessities; clothes and books! Books specifically designed to aid in my study of scripture. Here’s what I got:
The Epistle To The Romans By Douglas Moo. This commentary on Paul’s letter to the Romans came highly recommended among many teachers and laymen of the reformed faith. I’ve only had time to drool over the first few pages, but my impression so far is that this book presents a very thorough, insightful exegesis of the epistle. This will be a tremendous aid to my study preparation for the bible study I plan to start within the next month, focused squarely on the wonderful, foundational doctrines of the book of Romans.
The Macarthur Topical Bible. John Macarthur that is. This is an invaluable resource for the memory impaired such as myself. Ever have trouble finding verses related to propitiation? Or the location of the story of David’s sin with Bathsheba? Just look up David and under the subtopic ‘Committed adultery with Bathsheba’ there is the scripture reference and full text right in front of you. Put aside your anxieties and fruitless, time-wasting page turning. Simply open up this book and look everything up by subject. With over 20,000 bible topics and sub-topics there probably is no scriptural matter you can’t locate quickly and easily with this tool. It appears more organized and systematic than the Nave’s Topical bible, which I also own. Does anyone want it? (I’m talking to you Czechknight) It’s still a very good resource and is in pretty good shape.
Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. A thorough reference work cataloging and expositing every theological concept imaginable. It includes detailed sketches of history’s most important and influential theologians as well as covering all major movements and schisms in church history. I tell you, it’s beautiful, just beautiful. I’m already smarter from just glancing over it earlier.
Example: I now know what supralapsarianism means! (say that 5 times fast. Actually, I’m still learning how to say it at all!) I have heard the term brought up in several of my readings over the past couple of years, but did not have a clue of what it referred to. Much to my surprise I have actually discussed supralapsarianism in my post on explaining the fall of man from a Calvinist perspective. It is simply the doctrine of God declaring both election and reprobation before the fall.
Well, maybe I know more than I thought! But now I don’t know if I ascribe to supralapsarianism or its similar but different close cousin infralapsarianism. I smell a future post brewing! To the word and the testimony!
With these new study tools in hand I am now equipped to become a competent armchair theologian of the highest caliber! Now, I just need to pray through my well documented weakness of straying from my topic of focus to an entirely different subject before I’m finished fully exploring all the nuances of it. Help me Holy Spirit!
What? Who? Me? A topical Bible? Sure!
Oh, yeah…..HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Your birthday is March 7th? Mine is March 6th. Those are some great presents. I am using the Romans commentary by Moo in my Romans study. Really awesome! If you have never read anything by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, pick something up by him sometime. You will be blown away. happy Birthday (like…only 6 mos late!!)
Thank you T-Bone!
A day apart, huh? We really are joined at the hip, aren’t we. How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?
I would love to read some Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Where should I begin?
Well, I am a little older than 30-something. Just barely, now at 41. But I always say you are only as old as you think you are, so that makes me about 20! MLJ has a lot of great books, most of which are expository sermons on books of the Bible. He also has a geat little book on the Cross. Maybe start with that one, and then pick one of his single volume books of sermons. The Sermon on the Mount is great, as is his book on John 17. Actually, they are all great. I am plowing my way through his 14 volume set (yes, 14!) on Romans. This is awesome. Any excuse to get a book…