Book Review: From Famine to Fullness: The Gospel According to Ruth

From Famine to Fullness: The Gospel According to RuthFrom Famine to Fullness: The Gospel According to Ruth by Dean R. Ulrich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book looks at major redemptive themes in the book of Ruth. The layout follows the book of Ruth and in that respect is a little more like a commentary. He does address many details in the book, but doesn’t get deeply entangled in them. He focuses on aspects of Gospel truth in the book and connects major themes with other biblical books. It is a helpful study.

View all my reviews

Book Review: A Theology of Luke and Acts: God’s Promised Program, Realized for All Nations

A Theology of Luke and Acts: God's Promised Program, Realized for All NationsA Theology of Luke and Acts: God’s Promised Program, Realized for All Nations by Darrell L. Bock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bock takes the Lukan books together and traces major themes throughout the two books. The continuity shows Luke and Acts to truly be a two volume work. The book has brief sections at the beginning providing concise commentary and then most of the book is arranged topically, bringing together references from both books that contribute to the topic at hand. It is a helpful book for studying either Luke or Acts separately, or both books together.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship

Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as WorshipExpository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship by John Piper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a fantastic treatment of the task of preaching. Piper aims to bring together the rigors of exposition with the beauty of Christ’s Gospel from Genesis to Revelation. He gives careful attention to various texts throughout the Bible to show how every good promised to believers in Scripture is bought by Christ’s work on the cross, so the preaching of Christ from all Scripture is not some tacked on mask or afterthought. This book is helpful on a number of levels and will help you think about the aim of preaching and how that aim is accomplished through faithful exposition.

View all my reviews

Book Review: The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance–Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters

The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still MattersThe Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters by Sinclair B. Ferguson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had heard of the Marrow Controversy, though knew little about it before reading this book. Ferguson acknowledges that an eighteenth century controversy that arose among Scottish Presbyterians in an obscure village in rural Scotland hardly seems to arrest our attention today. He is right about that and he is also right about the fact this controversy should get our attention. He deals with some of the historical issues and persons involved, which was interesting and informative. However, he focus on the issues at stake in the controversy since the issues of legalism, antinomianism, and assurance of salvation are such issues as are common to all men.

Ferguson’s insights into the root of both legalism and antinomianism are keen. Both at root are a separating of Jesus Christ in the fullness of his person from the benefits received by faith in him. The point may seem subtle, but the issues are enormous. Failure to grasp them leads us into one or the other of the two errors mentioned, which ultimately obscure the person of Christ and, at best, hinder the Gospel of God’s free grace. We are often flippant in our thinking of both legalism and antinomianism, and consequently fail to grasp core issues and fail to see how they negatively affect the ministry of the word.

This book needs to be read carefully and thought through. Some of the history may fail to grip and there are also some issues of intramural Presbyterianism and covenant theology debates that weren’t unexpected. I think every Christian should read this book, though I know they won’t. I don’t say this often, but I believe every pastor, preacher, and teacher must read this book and grapple with the issues raised. If you are ministering the Word, then you have already dealt with these issues to some degree. Ferguson will help clarify and get to the root of the issues. I would also recommend reading The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur and God is the Gospel by John Piper. Those two books deal more explicitly with the Gospel issues of separating Christ from his benefits.

View all my reviews

Review: The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ

The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of ChristThe Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It sounds correct to speak of being Gospel centered. I wonder how well we understand what it actually means to be a Gospel centered church. The author makes a case for what it looks like to be Gospel centered in practice as well as profession. Every church has a culture, whether it is deliberately shaped or more organic. Having the Gospel correct in our doctrinal statement does not mean our church body is Gospel centered in practice. Ortlund brings out that Gospel centeredness can happen, but it doesn’t happen by a plan or program. A church must adorn the Gospel preached with a community of disciples who live out the Gospel in their lives.

View all my reviews

Next Page »