Anthony Carter, “On Being Black and Reformed”

I cannot recommend this book enough. It has been a very enjoyable read. It has one of the best explanations of Reformed theology I have ever read and the author also shows an amazing depth of understanding of the sovereignty of God. I have learned a lot in reading this book just about the beauty of Reformed theology not to mention how that plays itself out in the African-American community. It is a must read. Go buy it now and read it.

This book was very convicting. Excellent read.

You can find it here.

Here is a couple excerpts:

‎”We must not come to the Bible as skeptics, demanding that it satisfy our independent judgement. Rather we must submit to the Bible as our examiner, which reveals our inadequacies of understanding. If we do otherwise, we make the Bible submit to our authority and reason, as if it receives its authority and validation from us. This must not be.” — Anthony Carter, “On Being Black and Reformed” pg. 8-9

‎”The kingdom of God comprises a diversity of people with a common heritage. This heritage is not primarily black, white, red, yellow, or brown, but is a heritage rooted in redemptive history. And the history of redemption is not black history, white history, or African or European history. It is God’s history. Therefore any understanding of God’s activity in history must begin and end with the fact though the individuals are diverse and varied, the God who sovereignly reigns over history is one and the same. Yesterday, today and forever.” — Anthony Carter, “On Being Black and Reformed” pg. 63

Atheism and Evil

“For Charles Darwin and all who make evolution and natural selection central to their view of life, realism constantly tends to collapse into pessimism, whatever their individual protestations of joy and hope in life. And the reason is simple. Not only is natural selection utterly blind to evil and suffering, but it favors the “selfish gene” and the survivalistic ethic of “might makes right” that is the evil heart of oppression and abuse of power. No account of twentieth-century evil can ignore its close kinship to the dark side of Nietzsche’s will to power.” — Os Guinness, “Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil” pg. 130

You can find the book here.

Richard Baxter On the Primary Foundation of the Ministry

“See that the work of saving grace be thoroughly wrought in your own souls. Take heed to yourselves, lest you be void of that saving grace of God which you offer to others, and be strangers to the effectual working of that gospel which you preach; and lest, while you proclaim to the world the necessity of a Savior, your own hearts should neglect him and you should miss of an interest in him and his saving benefits.“– Richard Baxter, “The Reformed Pastor” pg. 53

Buy the book here

Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative

Got this new book by Carl Trueman of Westminster Seminary Philadelphia as a throw-in to get my recent purchase from WTS over the magical $40 mark to get shipping for a buck. Really glad I did. Excellent little book that only took me two hours to read. Including the intro and forward it is about 125 pages.

Now I of course disagree with Dr. Trueman on some of his thoughts on free-market capitalism and gun-control and universal healthcare. Though I agree wholeheartedly with the negative side that he notes on this and believe that only through a Christian worldview can it be kept in check. Even more to the point Biblical Law looks a lot more like a “nanny-state” than most conservatives would like to think and or believe.

On another front his description of politics in America is spot-on (to use a British colloquialism). He does a good job I think in describing the many contradictions on the Left and the Right when it comes to ideology. He takes a not-so-veiled shot at Fox News and its commentators that are featured at 5:00pm and 8:00pm. His criticism of Fox comes from two angles. First its founder Rupert Murdoch hardly espouses the policies that the news network’s idealogical mouthpieces preach. Secondly is the irony of the “family values” network’s use of highly attractive and scantily clad anchor babes (to use a Limbaugh phrase) as well as the need for Fox News to belittle the intelligence of its watchers by reducing every issue to a Manichean “liberal = evil” and “conservative = good”. For those of you wondering he does take full aim at MSNBC and Olberman/Maddow as well.

Overall an excellent book and well worth the money and effort.

You can find the work here at WTS Books.

John Owen on Vol. 5

‎”We are justified by faith alone, but we are not justified by that faith which can be alone. Alone, respects its influence into our justification, not its nature and existence. And we absolutely deny that we can be justified by that faith which can be alone. That is without a principle of spiritual life and universal obedience operative in all the works of it as duty doth require.” — John Owen, Works Vol. 5 pg 73

Carl Trueman on Redemptive-Historical Preaching

From Luther on the Marks of a Good Preacher

I thought of this a few weeks ago when visiting at another church.  At the time when the sermon was meant to be preached, the pastor gave a fine lecture on the Bible a good, redemptive historical exposition of an Old Testament passage.  The congregation waited politely for the abracadabra-hey-presto! moment when, like a bunny from a magician’s top hat, Jesus is pulled as if by magic from the chosen  Old Testament passage.  And, hey presto, there he was, right on cue, where he’d never been seen before! — though there were no gasps of amazement, as the congregation had, I presumed, seen the trick performed a thousand times before with other texts.  The old `I bet you never saw Jesus there before’ gets a bit predictable and tiresome when its the only application, I guess. This was truly a lecture and no sermon.