Book Review: The Wrath of Grapes: Drinking and the Church Divided

The Wrath of Grapes: Drinking and the Church DividedThe Wrath of Grapes: Drinking and the Church Divided by Andre S. Bustanoby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bustanoby’s books is a helpful contribution to studying the issue of wine from the Bible. He helps to clear up some of the myths and erroneous conclusions on both sides of this issue, which cloud many discussions of it. He presents a moderationist view and ably defends it as the scriptural view. He spends time on exegetical and lexical work with words used and the meaning of relevant biblical passages. He echoes the condemnation and warning from scripture concerning drunkenness or the abuse of alcohol. He ends with a few practical chapters on alcohol abuse and alcohol abusers. This felt a little beyond the scope of the book, but had some helpful information. That section particularly could use some updating.

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Book Review: Romans

RomansRomans by Douglas J. Moo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought going in this was just an abridged version of Moo’s longer commentary, but was pleasantly surprised that was not the case. There are certainly times where the text commentary reads similarly, but it is usually in a shorter, summary form that can actually be helpful. The Bridging Contexts and Contemporary Significance sections add excellent practical applications that go beyond the longer commentary. If you were to only have one, I would suggest the longer commentary though it is more technical. However, it is worth having both as this volume is an excellent complement to the longer commentary.

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Book Review: The Epistle to the Romans

The Epistle to the RomansThe Epistle to the Romans by Douglas J. Moo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a really good commentary on Romans. Moo gives a good balance of exegetical and theological work. For various passages, he interacts with different views and generally explains why he adopts the view he does. There were different places where I disagreed with Moo, some of those quite minor and some less so, but this is the kind of commentary that is helpful even when you disagree. He gives enough explanation for his view that it is helpful to work through it. This is a must have commentary for studying and preaching Romans.

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Book Review: God Gave Wine: What the Bible Says About Alcohol

God Gave Wine: What the Bible Says About AlcoholGod Gave Wine: What the Bible Says About Alcohol by Kenneth L. Gentry Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gentry presents the moderationist view of alcohol in this book. He primarily restricts himself to the biblical data and interacts a good bit with opposing views. It is interesting where I have seen this debate lead people. If you’re truly engaged in a debate over the issue, you’re likely to talk about personal examples or history, the science of fermentation and pasteurization, the testimony of chemists, cultural practices of preservation in antiquity, a lot of quibbling over words, or even to the headquarters of Welch’s, and I do know at least one man who contacted them for help in settling these debates. I am surprised how quickly we leave the text of Scripture to have this debate out over a number of other issues.

Gentry does a good job of sticking to the Biblical data. He does address some common objections and common scripture passages used in favor of prohibitionism or abstentionism. It is a helpful book to think through the subject from the Bible.

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Book Review: The Joy Project: An Introduction to Calvinism

The Joy Project: An Introduction to Calvinism, with Study GuideThe Joy Project: An Introduction to Calvinism, with Study Guide by Tony Reinke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a decent introduction to the doctrines of grace. It isn’t designed to be an in-depth or exhaustive study. Reinke takes a fresh approach by considering the joy of the doctrinal truths. The resulting book is practical and readable.

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