“The Christian View of Man”

A quick word before I hit the hay tonight. I just finished Machen’s The Christian View of Man and outside of his waffling on 6/24 Creation he provides many great words defending and confirming the place of the Law of God in the lives of believers and unbelievers . In his chapter on the “Majesty of the Law of God” (#16) he lays out a number of arguments supporting the Law as being the only rule for all mankind, Christians and non-Christians alike. For example he says this on page 192:

What then is the remedy for the threatened disruption of society and for the rapidly progressing decay of liberty? There is only one remedy. It is the rediscovery of the Law of God.

I highly recommend picking this book up and reading it. It is a printing of several radio addresses Machen gave for laymen over local Philadelphia radio back in the mid-1930’s. There are many eerie predictions that Machen makes about the future of mankind (especially concerning the Atomic Bomb) that will really keep you fascinated. It is 245 pages and is a quick read.

Book Review: Doug Kelly’s Systematic Theology

I recently completed Doug Kelly’s first volume of his Systematic Theology (other volumes have not been printed yet) and would like to offer a couple of words on why you need to have this (yes another) Systematic in your library.

1) Doug Kelly offers an erudite and exhaustive discussion of the Doctrine of God that spans the entire history of the Church. The wide variety and positive use of Church scholars, including Patristic, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic authors (while still maintaining and defending Confessional Reformed Doctrine) is unparalleled as far as I can tell.

2) Building off the above not near enough can be said about the plethora of both Ante and Post-Nicene Fathers quoted to support and critique the author’s thesis on any given topic.  If anything this volume will serve as a deep mine for those seeking quotations by the Church Fathers on topics concerning the Doctrine of Scripture and the Trinity (including the hotly debated filioque).

3) In the style of Old Princeton Dr. Kelly does not seek to teach us anything “new” but only to confirm what it is we as a Church have confessed since the last Apostle laid down his pen. It was quite refreshing to see how united the Church is on the Trinity and how quite novel and heterodox recent teaching has been on the central Doctrine that makes us Christians and not another humanistic religion.

Tolle Lege!!!

Required Reading

I just began to read this book recently after needing some time away from my studies. I have become in the past year or so more hardened against the German scholastic nature of my seminary and have tired of Pannenberg, Schleiermacher, and Barth so it was nice to sit down and read a cogent introduction into the hows and whys of the current Modalist (Sabellianist if you would like) movement within modern trinitarian formulations and apologetics. Even while critiquing the Kantian school Letham is not fearful of taking on the major weakness of the anti-intellectual passions of the recent Evangelical witness; that being its negligence of the most central Doctrine of Christian faith. Robert Letham‘s work checks in at over 500 pages but if the first 25 are any indication this should be a very exciting and informative read.

Two Book Recommendations

I am currently reading two wonderful books as a distraction to the Greek class I am taking this summer (by the way Greek is 100 times easier for me than Hebrew). Here they are:

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination
by Loraine Boettner

This book is an excellent resource for pastors looking for help in teaching the “laity” about the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, just like the title implies :). It is in an easy to understand format with more than enough Scripture references to keep you busy for hours. Boettner’s prose is light and gives even the most basic reader no troubles. He even includes chapters on the most common critiques of Predestination by Arminians and others to enable your congregations the ability to fight off attacks from their neighbors.

Power Religion:
The Selling Out of the Evangelical Church?
ed. by Michael Horton
w/ essays by Charles Colson, J.I. Packer, R.C. Sproul, Alister McGrath, and others.
A work that gives a detailed and disciplined polemic against the so-called “power gospel” that is currently infesting the “Evangelical” world. Although the book was written way back in the mid-90’s it is
eerily current and equally full of keen insights and bothersome revelations about the future of the American Church.