“The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a savior from hell rather than a savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.” – Originally from article Saving Faith: Part 1 Signs of the Times. Cited in the DVD Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism
I believe this quote from Pink is essential in developing a biblical approach to evangelism. It’s all too easy to gain ‘converts’ by scaring the ‘hell’ right out of people by conjuring horrific imagery of an eternal state of suffering and misery. Who in their right mind would choose this fate over one of eternal bliss? Heaven and hell are not the primary issues we are faced with everyday; righteousness and wickedness are. The bottom line is that we don’t choose heaven and hell. We choose between righteousness and unrighteousness. Heaven and hell are simply the eternal consequence of our choices between the two. Continue reading
I love to read. However, I am not a speedy reader. Christian bloggers such as Tim Challies can knock down a hundred or so books a year – and manage to to review them all, but I’m lucky if I read a dozen. Accordingly, I can lump all my reviews for the past year’s reading into a couple of manageable posts. Let me first begin with all the books I have my hooks into but have not yet finished.
Books in Progress
- Lectures to My Students by Charles Haddon Spurgeon – I put this one down last Christmas because of the influx of new books I received and was eager to tear into. Spurgeon gives some timeless wisdom for all prospective preachers and pastors in this wonderful volume. Though I’m not likely to get into full-time ministry, I found his knowledge insightful and useful, even for a simple Christian layman. I definitely will pick this one back up.
- The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen – Maybe the most difficult volume I’ve ever attempted to read. I grew exhausted about halfway through, though I actually did learn much from his treatise on Christ’s Particular Redemption of the elect. I have since read other works by Owen, carried along by a little helpful editing and modernization of the text that I found very readable. Is there a version of Death of Death similar to Justin Taylor’s and Kelly M. Kapic’s wonderful Overcoming Sin and Temptation?
- The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller – Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. He boasts nearly six thousand attendees in the very heart of Vanity Fair. This book is an Apologetic treatise answering seven of the most difficult questions non-believers pose about God and the Christian faith. It then delves into the reasons for faith in the one true God. I’m only a quarter the way through but so far this is one outstanding read.
On to the Reviews: Continue reading
Posted in Book Reviews
- Tagged A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, AW Pink, Charles Spurgeon, Foundations of Grace, Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin, John Owen, Lectures to My Students, Michael Horton, Putting the Amazing Back into Grace, Robert Reymond, Sovereignty of God, Steven Lawson, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, Wayne Grudem
“It is the studied judgment of this writer, and he is by no means alone therein, that doctrinal preaching is the most pressing need of the churches today”. “Doctrinal preaching is designed to enlighten the understanding, to instruct the mind, to inform the judgment. It is that which supplies motives to gratitude and furnishes incentives to good works”. “Doctrinal Christianity is both the ground and the motive of practical Christianity, for it is principle and not emotion or impulse which is the dynamic of the spiritual life”. “There is no doctrine revealed in Scripture for a merely speculative knowledge, but all is to exert a powerful influence upon conduct. God’s design in all that He has revealed to us is to the purifying of our affections and the transforming of our characters”. – AW Pink
“The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great ‘brotherhood.’ It does not seek to drag down the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation and appeals to ‘the best that is within us.’ It aims to make this world such a comfortable and congenial habitat that Christ’s absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed.” –A.W. Pink
As I prepared to post this I was reminded of a similar quote from a recent article by Dr. Michael Horton entitled ‘Christless Christianity: Getting in Christ’s Way’ originally published in the May/June 07 issue of Modern Reformation magazine. Continue reading