As always, hard copies can still be ordered from my storefront on Lulu and, as of today, the print price is only $9.50 (Lulu’s cost to print). Not only that, but now you can download the PDF for free.
Mo gifted me with my first iPod on my 30th birthday in 2004. Not only I have moved out of Music Naysayer Neighborhood since then, but more importantly, I have eaten up countless hours of solid food while legging it on my treadmill. A couple years ago I listed a few of my favorite online audio resources and, now with Grace to You making all their audio available for free, it seemed like a good time to update those links.
Faith by Hearing is designed to collect and categorize the ever-growing availability of great Reformed and conservative evangelical audio preaching & teaching that has a high view of God and Scripture.
You can read more about the site here. While I very much recommend subscribing, the on-site categorization is really quite useful. Browse by biblical book, by doctrine, by history, by person/preacher, by topic, or by venue. As long as you have an internet connection, not even a lion in the road can keep you from feasting on this sermon smorgasbord.
A few months ago I blogged through a series of posts on Making Disciples. My ulterior motive was to prepare a booklet from those notes to share with parents of new students coming into our ministry. I wanted parents to get a glimpse of our passion and plan to help them help their students become complete in Christ.
That booklet is now complete. I want to say thank you to Jonathan Sarr and my mom for lending their editing pens and pencils, and thank you to Jesse Martin for transforming the text and diagrams into a fabulous printed page format.
By no means is this booklet the deep-end of the pool on the subject, but hopefully it invites (or pushes) more people into the waters of discipleship. Eventually I hope to make a 6×9, saddle stitch copy available through Lulu, but in the meantime you can download the PDF and print your own copy free of charge.
UPDATE [4:47PM September 3]: After downloading applications and scripts and spending a couple hours of trial and error, you can now download the PDF for booklet printing. Make sure to use the double-side, short-side binding print options.
Today we announced a new seminar at church:
Rightly | Dividing aims to move believers beyond personal Bible reading to Bible study. There are many useful Bible reading plans, and for that matter, much excellent material is available from good Bible teachers. But this seminar hopes to train people how to understand and depend on the Book, not only on teachers of the Book.
I’ll be teaching this seminar on Saturday, October 11.1 It will include over six hours of teaching, covering topics like how to prepare for study, basic principles (hermeneutics) for Bible study, how to find the point of a paragraph, and recommended tools.
Anyone in the area is welcome to attend. If you’re interested, jump over to the Rightly | Dividing website for more details and online registration.
When Phil Johnson taught on Spurgeon at the 07SR he referenced some of Spurgeon’s contentions regarding Calvinism. I thought it would be helpful for some of our youth staff and students to get a better grasp on what Calvinism really is, so I began a brief series entitled “God Saves Sinners” during our Sunday morning meetings (see the end of this post for links to that material). We are more than halfway through and I thought now would be as good a time as any to suggest some additional resources for those interested in studying Calvinism on their own.
- J.I. Packer’s Introduction to The Death of Death in the Death of Christ is one of the best summaries of the Doctrines of Grace I’ve read.
- Charles Spurgeon, “A Defense of Calvinism.” Spurgeon on sovereignty, enough said.
- The Canons of Dort. This is the original document written to refute the false teaching of the Remonstrance.
- Phil did a seminar at this year’s Shepherds’ Conference that he’s turned into a blog series titled, “Why I Am a Calvinist.” This particular post has links to a one message mp3 he preached on “The Story of Calvinism” and a 600+ page Word document on Calvinism that is near the top of his recommended reading list.
- Here is a page that covers TULIP in outline form, with verses, and a few other pertinent quotations.
- This is a position paper from Bethlehem Baptist Church (John Piper), What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism.
The first two of these are in my top 10 list of most influential books. If you’ve been waiting for a good time to start your theological library, wait no longer.
- The Five Points of Calvinism, by Steele, Thomas, and Quinn. I’d recommend the newest version that has an updated typeface and some additional articles in the back. If you are going to buy just one book, this is the standard.
- The Sovereignty of God, by A.W. Pink. You can also read this book online, or print it out for free, though it is worth having on your bookshelves–after you’ve read it, of course.
- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, by Loraine Boettner. Likewise, you can read this online.
If iPod listening is your thing, I wholeheartedly recommend:
- John Piper’s seminar messages on TULIP mp3s. Once you get to the page, scroll down until you see “TULIP.”
And though I haven’t listened to any of these, and though it is only focused on the “L” of TULIP, I’m planning on listening to:
- Steve Lawson on 10 Reasons Why the Bible Teaches Definite Atonement.
My own material is obviously not the first, nor is it the best, nor will it be the final word on Calvinism. Yet it is my attempt to explain it.
God Saves Sinners
2008 Faith Bible Church Reformation Conference
- Total Depravity – God Saves Spiritually Dead Sinners
- Unconditional Election – God Chose Sinners to Save
- Limited Atonement – God Substituted Himself for Sinners
- Irresistible Grace – God Awakens Sinners to Life
- Perseverance of the Saints – God Keeps Saved Sinners Forever
We Are Not Our Own
UPDATED [August 20, 2009]: These are messages I preached at the 2009 Faith Bible Church Reformation Conference. In 2008 they asked me to preach on the five points of Calvinism. These are follow up messages. I titled the series: We Are Not Our Own: The Implications of Calvinism, driven by this quote from Calvin in his Institutes:
We are God’s: let us therefore live for Him and die for Him. We are God’s: let His wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward Him as our only lawful goal. (3.7.1)
The audio for each session is available if you’re interested.
- The Heart of Calvinism – How to Live Like a Whole-Hearted Calvinist
- God May Perhaps Grant Repentance – How to Correct Opponents Like a Calvinist
- For the Sake of the Faith of God’s Elect – How to Tell THE Story Like a Calvinist
- Created to Walk in Good Works – How to Obey Like a Calvinist
- Born Again to a Living Hope – How to Suffer Like a Calvinist
If you have other recommended resources for studying the sovereignty of God in salvation, please share those suggestions in the comments.
A few weeks ago I listed the 25 books that have influenced me the most. In that post I promised a second list, namely my catalog of the 10 books every Christian should own.
Photo thanks to Darren Hester
These are books that, from my perspective, transcend time and culture. They are the kind of resources that should be frequently published and first translated when we take the gospel to a new group. They would help anyone, in any age, in any place to know, defend, and articulate the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Of course, my frame of reference is limited, limited by language (English) and limited by scope (what I’ve actually read). So I reserve the right to update this list as my own library grows. Also feel free to leave your own suggestions/criticisms in the comments. But for all that, remember:
It is not the reading of many books which is necessary to make one wise, but the well-reading of a few, could they be sure to be the best. ~Richard Baxter
So here are the best of the best for my evangelical money.
1. The MacArthur Study Bible
John MacArthur, Editor. If I was stranded on an island and could only have one print resource, this is the one I want. Though I don’t carry or read my MSB on a daily basis, it is an absolutely essential tool. The background on the Canon, the overview of systematic theology, and the topical index are brief but outstanding assets. It is a one-stop shop for book overviews and outlines, not to mention the many helpful interpretive notes.
2. The Sovereignty of God
Arthur W. Pink. Though it is #2 on this list, it is #1 on my personal impact list. No man will be humbled appropriately without understanding of, and submission to, God’s sovereignty. Neither will man’s capacity to worship God be elevated sufficiently without acknowledgment and admiration of His supremacy and authority over all things. [Make sure to get the unabridged version that includes Chapter 5].
3. The Master Plan of Evangelism
Robert Coleman. If making disciples is the Great Commission–and it is–then those of us who are His followers ought also to follow His example in spreading the news of the Kingdom. The Master Plan of Evangelism is an oldie but a goodie (with hundreds of thousands in print) and explains the process of disciple-making unlike any other, with both simplicity and substance.
4. The Gospel According to Jesus
John MacArthur. If we are commissioned to teach the nations to observe everything that Jesus commanded then we ought to know (and obey ourselves) what Jesus commanded. This is the classic treatment on following Christ as Savior and Lord and the firestorm of the Lordship salvation debate.
5. Living by the Book
Howard Hendricks. If the Bible is the Book we are responsible to know, this book is the best resource for those who study in English. Hendricks helps us bridge the historical, cultural, geographical, and grammatical gaps as he covers the three basics of Observation, Interpretation, and Application.
6. The Holiness of God
R.C. Sproul. The “fear of the Lord” is largely absent and undoubtedly that stems from our ignorance of the Lord. The Holiness of God is classic Sproul, presenting God’s holiness and pressing for our proper response. Knowing God by J.I. Packer is along the same lines.
7. Desiring God
John Piper. I didn’t “get” this book until I read The End for Which God Created the World by Jonathan Edwards. However, though TEFWGCTW is shorter, it is much heavier. Desiring God is essential Piper, but more than that it is essential explanation that God is glorified not only by His glories being seen, but by their being rejoiced in.
8. Concise Theology
J.I. Packer. This is a pocket resource on systematic theology, quickly covering most subjects in three or four pages while providing key Scripture references. If you’re ready for something less concise, than I’d suggest moving right to Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem.
9. The Cross-Centered Life
C.J. Mahaney. A happy Christian life depends on the definitions and distinctions between justification, sanctification, and glorification. Though other books dig deeper into the individual elements, this is a great primer on living in light of each part of our salvation.
10. Why One Way?
John MacArthur. 10 years ago this would not have made the top 10 list, and that’s not simply because it wasn’t published yet. The ever rising animosity toward authority and truth make this book both timely and vital. It is the most accessible treatment of modernism/postmodernism I’ve read while defending the exclusivity of the gospel and God’s Word in this inclusive age.
There are other classics that make my Honorable Mention list, such as:
- Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
- Anything on Prayer by E.M. Bounds
- A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson, also on prayer
- Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell on apologetics
- Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by Piper & Grudem
Specifically For Men:
- Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle
- Future Men by Doug Wilson
Specifically For Women:
- The Fruit of Her Hands by Nancy Wilson
Remember, these are some of the best and not the only books to own and read. No doubt I’ve missed something, so let me know.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. ~Francis Bacon
May these books, and other good books like them, be digested by believers with diligence.
Reading is making a comeback. Numerous bloggers have commented on the collection and reading of books in the past few weeks and I’ve started to compile an ever growing list of these posts for my own future reference.
Photo thanks to slimninja
One of the reasons behind the recent resurgence of bookish discussion by bloggers was the article by Christianity Today on the top 50 books that have influenced evangelicalism. The list is subjective if not downright suspect, but it received a fair amount of attention nonetheless. I knew this was no small subject when the über-Christian blogmaster Tim Challies weighed in with his perspective.
All of that to say, I’ve come up with a list of the 25 books that have influenced me the most. And though the description of my list may sound like any other prejudiced, postmodern perspective, I can assure you that no sympathetic postmodernite would be interested in the meta of these narratives. So while my library list is nothing special, it might be useful to others who need help.
This list was born Saturday on the back of a Burger King bag while riding in a Volkswagen to Pullman for the WSU/Cal game with Jonathan and Curtis. These are either just personal favorites or those with the most influence on the Void. I’m already planing an additional post with a catalog of the 10 books every Christian should own. I also want to point out that the Bible is the default superscript over the whole list. So with those qualifications in place and in particular order:
- The Sovereignty of God A.W. Pink
- The End for Which God Created the World Jonathan Edwards
- Ashamed of the Gospel John MacArthur
- Brothers, We are Not Professionals John Piper
- The Master Plan of Evangelism Robert Coleman
- Exegetical Fallacies D.A. Carson
- The Death of Death in the Death of Christ John Owen
- The Legacy of Sovereign Joy John Piper
- The Religious Affections Jonathan Edwards
- The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented Curtis Steel and Daniel Thomas
- On The Bondage of the Will Martin Luther
- The Institutes of the Christian Religion John Calvin
- Evangelicalism Divided Ian Murray
- The Reformed Pastor Richard Baxter
- The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager Thomas Hine
- Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics Daniel Wallace
- Faith Works (re-titled: The Gospel According to the Apostles) John MacArthur
- No Place for Truth David Wells
- Why One Way John MacArthur
- The Way of the Modern World Craig Gay
- The Forgotten Spurgeon Ian Murray
- A Call to Spiritual Reformation D.A. Carson
- “Rejoicing and Heaviness” Charles Spurgeon (a sermon, not a book, but a must read)
- Our Sufficiency in Christ John MacArthur
- Diagrammatical Analysis Lee Kantenwein
Honorable mentions go to Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer, God’s Outlaw by Brian Edwards, Future Men by Doug Wilson, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, The Vanishing Conscience by John MacArthur, and Boy, Was I Mad! by Kathryn Hitte.
Dishonorable mentions go to the original Revolve biblezine, Create in Me a Youth Ministry, and all The Prayer of Jabez spin-offs. Other books were generously and purposefully driven from the list and no books in the Left Behind series were harmed in the production of this post.
In spite of the fact that the 06SR is over, I am hoping that many of you will desire to learn more about and from Jonathan Edwards. While curious readers may already have clicked through my Edwards delicious tags, it seemed like an annotated list of Edwards resources available online might help get you started.
Photo thanks to Tony Reinke
- Jonathan Edwards.com | This is the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Edwards Web Site,” and even though it hasn’t been updated in quite a while, this is the best place to go for some of JE’s scientific and personal writings. You can also view most of JE’s major works unabridged, such as Original Sin, The Religious Affections, Freedom of the Will, and of course The Religious Affections. Sometimes the site is down, but it’s worth a quick look.
- JE on Monergism.com | Monergism.com is one of the most helpful Bible/theology collection sites on the web in my opinion, and their page of Edwards materials does not disappoint. This is the best place to start, not only for primary Edwards material, but especially for biographical sketches and articles about his theology.
- JE on the Bible Bulletin Board | This site is by far the best place to go for Edwards’ own writings on the web. It is organized by category and all the documents are in the same format. BBB is the first place I go to check for JE sermons and shorter works.
- The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University | There is not a lot of content available yet at the Center, but if they upload half of what they claim, this will become the place to go period. I did find their biographical timeline the most complete available online.
- JE: The Life of a Master Preacher | This is a (small) online exhibit that includes some pictures and brief biographical information.
- A God Entranced Vision of All Things: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards | This is a free online book available for pdf download from the Desiring God web site. The book includes chapters by various authors (like Piper, J.I. Packer, Mark Dever, Donald Whitney, etc.), originally presented at a conference by the same name held in October of 2003–Edwards’ 300th birthday. This is a terrific introduction to JE and his passion for the glory of God.
- Of course if you’d rather listen than read, most of the God-Entranced Vision of All Things seminars are available as mp3 files. I listened to all of these messages prior to the retreat; many of them three or four times while I was jogging. Piper also has another message on Edwards, The Pastor as Theologian that was from an earlier pastor’s conference.
The above are not the only internet sites with JE material out there, but they are the online resources that I used and would recommend most. The audio and sermon notes for my messages at the 06SR are also available online.
The Religious Affections of Jonathan Edwards
- Session 1 – Shock and Awe – An Introduction to Religious Affections
- Session 2 – Logic on Fire – Jonathan Edwards and The Religious Affections
- Session 3 – Heat and Light – The Nature and Importance of Religious Affections
- Session 4 – No Sure Signs – Inconclusive Signs of Religious Affections
- Session 5 – Known by Fruit – Distinguishing Marks of Religious Affections
- Session 6 – The Body and Blood – The Examination of Religious Affections and the Lord’s Table
Good afternoon blogreaders! I haven’t much time to dilly-dally around writing a blog, but since Mo and I are off to the elders’ retreat tomorrow through Friday, I thought I’d get at least one in before departure.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been to the one28 home page. And if you’ve been to the one28 home page, you’ve probably noticed that the 05SR Session 2 mp3 on Sola Scriptura/William Tyndale is uploaded for your downloading pleasure. Of course, if you were in big church this morning you also heard that sermon live and in person – maybe for the second time.
But whether you’ve been to the one28 page or downloaded the mp3 or heard my message in big church today or not, the suggestion I’m about ready to make is still for you.
You should buy the book, God’s Outlaw, by Brian Edwards, a biography of William Tyndale. While I don’t necessarily love history, I had trouble putting this book down. Sure, there were parts that I had to sludge through, but most of it was simply captivating. Here is an excerpt from the back cover:
God’s Outlaw has every ingredient of a thrilling story – a king, a cardinal, secret agents, a betrayer and a fugitive.
William Tyndale lived in the colourful and cruel days of Henry VIII, when men were burned, racked and maimed for lesser crimes than that of smuggling the Bible into England. When Tyndale set out to provide the first printed New Testament in English he was forced to do so in defiance of the king, the pope and almost every person in authority. Compelled to flee from his homeland, he continued with his work of translating the Scriptures whilst slipping from city to city in Germany, Holland and Belgium in an attempt to avoid the agents who were sent from England to arrest him. His story is one of poverty, danger and ceaseless labor.
This fugitive and outlaw gave the English-speaking people their most priceless heritage: the Scriptures in their mother tongue.
And here’s the thing: it’s all true! Tyndale was a stud. By God’s grace, he was the Reformation in England. He has moved up the ladder in my own mind due to his indefatigable effort in the face of ridiculous odds. Get this book, read it, and imitate Tyndale in his love for and submission to the authority of Scripture.