An Updated Christmas Shopping List: Commentaries, Theologies, Reference, Oh My!

Last year I posted here some recommendations for commentaries and other book sets people might want to buy for that pastor or seminary student in their life. It was in no particular order and it wasn’t exhaustive.

Two things happened again this year: people started sending me notes asking about this or that book as a gift and I also received my shipment of books from the Evangelical Publishing Association. I’m a judge in the Bible and Reference section for their annual Gold Medallion Awards (and I have been for about 15 years). Questions and these new additions to commentary series stimulated me to create some additions to last years sampling.… Continue reading

Learning from The Forgotten Spurgeon

the-forgotten-spurgeonOf the books I had the opportunity to read this year, Iain Murray’s The Forgotten Spurgeon stands out among them. Every time I read a book by Murray, I am greatly edified, and this time was no exception. At this point, it was the book I gained the most from reading in 2016. So, in this post I’d like to share some of the primary lessons I learned from it.

Originally published in 1966, The Forgotten Spurgeon looks to the controlling center of life and doctrine of Charles Haddon Spurgeon; the great Calvinistic, Baptist, Evangelical preacher of 19th C.… Continue reading

A Paying Customer’s Review of the ESV Reader’s Set

esv1I recently splurged. I shelled out the $300 dollars for Crossways new deluxe six volume leather-bound reader’s edition of the ESV. I actually pre-ordered it and while I was waiting for it, I read numerous rave reviews of it that really whet my appetite. And somewhere along the way it occurred to me that none of those reviews came from anyone who plunked down their own hard earned money for the set, and I thought it might be worthwhile to add something that is missing from the conversation, a paying customer’s review of the ESV Reader’s Edition Set.

Now before we get started, we need to say a little something about the “paying” part of paying customer. … Continue reading

I Hate

cbdEvery morning I start the day the same way, I take my dog, Buster, for a walk, and on the way in, I pick up the previous day’s mail. Most days I carry a ton of junk mail right to the garbage can. I find it puzzling that so many businesses/ministries/non-profits/politicians invest in mailings that in most homes go directly in the round file, but I don’t really care much about it. At worst junk mail is mostly innocuous, if somewhat annoying. But there is one thing that shows up with great regularity that I find truly offensive.  It is a catalogue, it is a catalogue that promotes sin, it is a catalogue that attacks the very foundation of the Christian life, and it is a catalogue, that as a shepherd of God’s people, quite frankly makes my blood boil.… Continue reading

They Come From France

coneheadsThey come from France. That was the explanation that the conehead family would offer (in the classic SNL sketch and the much less classic movie) when someone noticed that they were clearly aliens from outer space. The response they typically got was a puzzled shrug, that seemed to say “you seem like you are from outer space, but I guess you could be French.” Along with their consuming of “mass quantities,” their deflection “we come from France,” and its reception formed the satirical underpinnings of the sketch.

In this strangest of political seasons, we, as American Christians, couldGospel-and-Citizen-cover-for-web use an alien perspective. … Continue reading