Book Review: The Glory of a True Church

The Glory of a True ChurchThe Glory of a True Church by Benjamin Keach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good look at Baptist polity in the seventeenth century. Spoiler alert: he does mention dismembering people and loose livers. Probably not what you’re thinking.

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Book Review: The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus

The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with JesusThe Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus by Zack Eswine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty good read. This is a very practical look at pastoral ministry. Some parts resonated more than others.

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Book Review: The Power of His Reign: An Easy Introduction to Amillennialism

The Power of His Reign: An Easy Introduction to AmillennialismThe Power of His Reign: An Easy Introduction to Amillennialism by Jonathan Ammon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I read this book and discussed it on the Just Jerry Live podcast. We went through the book chapter by chapter over 8 episodes. Here is a link to the first episode. You can listen to those episodes if you want a fuller discussion on this book.

Ammon is open from the start about his amill position and how he got there. The book seemed to follow a natural progression from premill to amill, that was probably not unlike what the author experienced. I appreciated that openness and I think he was genuinely wanting to write something helpful.

I wouldn’t call this the best presentation of amill I have read. The book has some weaknesses that prevent it from being a serious or compelling presentation of amillennialism. For instance, he does not touch the Old Testament. If it hadn’t been for a bare mention of the book of Daniel in a light appendix, there would have been zero Old Testament references in the book. Of the New Testament passages he deals with, he didn’t really address other passages that bear on the same topic, and he didn’t address other passages that would seem to counter his views. He did a little bit of namedropping, but he did not really deal with any differing views. He spent a good bit of time on the two-age schema of all time, but he didn’t offer a scriptural definition of what an age is.

Ultimately, my differences with this book come down to the hermeneutical approach to Scripture. Amillennialism holds to a discontinuity view and a dispensational framework that defies any natural, consistent, grammatical-historical reading of all Scripture.

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Book Review: Baptist History

Baptist HistoryBaptist History by John Mockett Cramp
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall a good history. The last few chapters were a little more encyclopedic, with numerous short biographical sketches. Otherwise, it is an easily readable book. I appreciated the fact that Cramp was open about the scarcity of historical records and he wasn’t quick to just assume what filled the gaps. Many today could learn a valuable lesson from his example here.

This isn’t exactly a history of churches as much as it is a history of preachers and leaders. It was interesting to read about about a number of oddities and variances between churches. Among churches in the past can be found such things as naked baptisms, trine baptisms, temporarily abandoning baptizing at all, the laying on of hands after baptism, and times of women preachers and elders. There were quite a bit of differences between churches, but some things were more consistent.

They were unified around Gospel issues such as rejecting baptismal regeneration and infant baptism. They held the Scripture as the all-sufficient and final rule of authority for all matters of faith and practice. These churches were promoters of Bible translations, so the Bible was in the common language of the people and in their hands. They were proponents of educated and trained preachers for the ministry. They held to liberty of conscience in religion and opposed state churches.

If we’re being honest, history isn’t quite as pretty as we might like it to be, or as many men would lead us to believe it is. I guess when you’re facing constant persecution and harassment, you just don’t have as much time to criticize and harangue your brothers, and split and fracture over little narrow point until you’ll hardly fellowship with yourself. I’m thankful for our goodly heritage and do think we should learn from history.

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Book Review: Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (Jeeves, #13)Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fantastic read. Wodehouse delivered great fun again.

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