Book Review: The Lord’s Supper

The Lord's SupperThe Lord’s Supper by John F. MacArthur Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book combines four sermons MacArthur preached on the Lord’s Supper from Matthew 26:17-30 and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. These are not sermon transcripts, but more extensive outlines. There is some overlap between the sermons. Overall, it’s a helpful study. He didn’t get into some issues surrounding the supper, and he probably addressed some we don’t hear frequently. I differ with some of his interpretive conclusions and also in some of the underlying theological assumptions. It is certainly worth having if you are studying those passages, or the Lord’s Supper more generally.

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Book Review: The Lord’s Supper as the Sign and Meal of the New Covenant

The Lord's Supper as the Sign and Meal of the New CovenantThe Lord’s Supper as the Sign and Meal of the New Covenant by Guy Prentiss Waters
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This short book devotes a lot of space to covenant theology. It’s a typical Presbyterian treatment—covenant as the controlling theme of all scripture, two-covenant theology, etc. the actual treatment of the Lord’s Supper was decent, but basic.

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Book Review: Church Planting is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That do Extraordinary Things

Church Planting Is for Wimps (Redesign): How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things (9marks)Church Planting Is for Wimps (Redesign): How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things by Mike McKinley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every pastor or preacher needs to read this book. Of those, especially the young preacher/pastor should read it. The older, experienced preacher/pastor should read it. The middle aged pastor/preacher should read it. Church members should read it to.

McKinley gives a view through his own eyes of the work of church revitalization. I don’t know the stats, probably most churches in this country are in a state of decline. Some recognize it and are happy to change things, just as long as the church continues doing everything the way it’s always been done and adding nothing new. Some don’t recognize it and will committedly go down with the ship. Others recognize but don’t know what to do or how to do it. As a young preacher who will eventually become a pastor, you will get one of those churches. This book will be a help to you.

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Book Review: Ploductivity: A Practical Theology of Tools & Wealth

Ploductivity: A Practical Theology of Tools & WealthPloductivity: A Practical Theology of Tools & Wealth by Douglas Wilson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pretty good book overall. I have long been a devotee of plodding, and still, Wilson, gave me many things to think about. You can think of this book as a more biblical treatment of “How To Do What You Want To Do” by Hauck, though that is a good book in its own right. I may have been inclined to cough up more stars if it weren’t for the explicit postmillennialism. Everything Wilson writes, and I do mean everything, is laced with postmillennialism as a hidden transcript. Sometimes it stitches his patchwork together with external seams. Had Spurgeon known Wilson’s writing the way he knew Bunyan’s, he might have remarked of Wilson, “Prick him and he bleeds postmill.” All that said, he does a good job with work, tools, technology, and wealth. It’s worth reading.

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Book Review: Subversive Meals: An Analysis of the Lord’s Supper under Roman Domination During the First Century

Subversive Meals: An Analysis of the Lord's Supper under Roman Domination during the First CenturySubversive Meals: An Analysis of the Lord’s Supper under Roman Domination during the First Century by R. Alan Streett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book presents an informative and interesting study of the Graeco-Roman background of the first century churches’ communal meals, including the Lord’s Supper. It would have been good to have had some treatment of the Jewish background and influence on the early ekklesiai, and especially that of the synagogues. This approach to the New Testament suffers from a similar problem some have with Old Testament interpretation and the precise role of ANE mythopoeia. We certainly cannot ignore the Graeco-Roman milieu of the first century churches, but neither should we politicize the New Testament as though it were written entirely to subvert the Roman Empire. Egalitarian theology, two-age theology, and continuationism are a few problem theologies for the biblical interpretation in the book. With all that said, the Roman banquets and the extent of their influence on early churches hasn’t received enough attention.

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