Book Review: The Kingdom of God: A Baptist Expression of Covenant & Biblical Theology

The Kingdom of God: A Baptist Expression of Covenant & Biblical TheologyThe Kingdom of God: A Baptist Expression of Covenant & Biblical Theology by Jeffrey D. Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book sets out the view of 1689 federalism and does a good job distinguishing between different covenant theology views. Johnson provides a good explanation, then, of the difference between a full covenant theology, like that of Presbyterians, and the covenant theology of Reformed Baptists. So this book provides a good basis of why I am neither Presbyterian nor Reformed Baptist, though this is not all that could be said on that. The issues are core fundamental hermeneutic issues. 1689 Federalism is distinct from covenant theology but still holds to a dichotomous view of the Abrahamic covenant and partially conflates the covenants, coming near the covenant theology view of monocovenant and polyadministration. Of course, this hermeneutic yields the typical conventions of amillennialism, i.e., supersessionism, already/not yet kingdom, already/not yet binding of Satan, etc.

I was surprised, but delighted, that Johnson pointed out errors with the covenantal nomism of New Perspective and Federal Vision. There is a lot of good in this book and it is a good treatment of the biblical theology of covenants and kingdom. I appreciated the author’s tone and approach. I didn’t detect the condescension and dismissive that can often accompany these discussions. Johnson was fair in presenting his views and this is the type of writing that can be helpful, even where you disagree.

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Book Review: The Golden Ratio: The Divine Beauty of Mathematics

The Golden RatioThe Golden Ratio by Gary B. Meisner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is an interesting look at math history with intersections in art, architecture, engineering, natural science, biology, chemistry, astrophysics, etc. Meisner looks at the natural occurrence of phi as well as the human use of the irrational number in history.

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Book Review: Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom

Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to FreedomSteal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book focuses on Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson. Spurgeon was the well known pastor in London and Johnson was an African-American born into slavery in Virginia and lived as a slave for 28 years until finding freedom at the end of the Civil War. Johnson was saved when Jesus found him on the plantation. He went on to become a preacher and pastor. He longed to go to Africa as a missionary and ended up studying at Spurgeon’s Pastors College before he went to Cameroon.

The book focuses on these two men leading up to their eventual meeting and the friendship between them thereafter. Johnson was a friend and counselor whose experience as a slave helped Spurgeon in facing his own bondage of physical sickness and paralyzing depression. It’s a side of Spurgeon you probably knew existed, but it’s not typically the focus of any treatment of his life.

I found the book fascinating and appreciated the authors’ work in producing it. It is a work of narrative non-fiction. The authors took the various pieces of history of these two men and put them together in a narrative rather than an academic listing of names, places, and dates. Such an approach requires creativity to connect the dots at times. Every small detail may not be exactly right, but the work produced is readable and informative.

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Book Review: How Can I Develop A Christian Conscience?

How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience? (Crucial Questions)How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience? by R.C. Sproul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a brief, but helpful book on the conscience. Sproul wrote in a practical, engaging, and accessible style. This is not a deep-dive textual study, but more of a practical discussion of the concepts involved with the conscience. It is a good introduction to the subject.

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Book Review: Poetics

PoeticsPoetics by Aristotle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Classic work on plot and structure.

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