A Review of, “God The Trinity” by Malcom B. Yarnell the III.

yarnelltrinity

Today on SnydersSoapbox we will be reviewing a book dealing with the Trinity.  I know that as Christians we desire to understand the Trinity better.  It is a topic that is often speculated on, and many times people just give up.  Don’t feel too bad.  The book and the works of the men cited by the author are all very scholarly.  Some very intelligent men have been contemplating the Trinity for a very long time, and haven’t really come up with any better explanations or understandings than many of us.  They just sound a lot more intelligent when they talk about it 🙂
In the field of Christian books, I am always looking for books that will add value to my library, books that will not be a waste of my time to read.  This was a pretty good book overall.  It was definitely NOT for laymen.  It was a scholastic work.  The author assumes that the reader has read, or is familiar with the works of the other men he has cited in this book.  If you are not familiar with those works you can still read this book and get something out of it.  It is well bibliographed, and indexed.  The author throws in some Greek, not to worry, he explains what it says.  He also uses several big words that you might need to grab a dictionary and look up.  Do not be afraid of heady books.  These things help you learn and grow.  Don’t run from the challenge of education.
As far as the content of the book goes, I appreciated his explanation of the economic Trinity.  This helped me understand how we are in Christ, He is in the Father, and He is in us, as well as the Holy Spirit indwelling us.  It is one thing to know the words, it is another to get a better grasp on the mechanics of how that works.  If you are like me, you are not satisfied until you can see all the steps, or processes of the behind the scenes workings of something.  He also delved into the ontology of the Trinity.  I might not of understood everything he wrote when dealing with this topic, or maybe I did, and just disagreed with him on one of his conclusions.  Even so, If you are patient, and willing to do some work, I think you could learn from this book.
Yarnell also explains some non-Trinitarian heresies, defends the orthodox trinity, deals with some of the concepts of being eternally begotten, and what that looks like.  He explains how Christ accepted worship from people, and he demonstrates how the Bible equates Christ with God the Father.  If you take the time, this will help you with your apologetics when talking with non-Trinitarian heretics.

You can pick up your copy from Christianbook.com, Amazon.com, or Lifeway.com.

ISBN-13: 978-1433680748

Stay Away From Andrew Wommack and His Book, “A Better Way to Pray.”

“A Better Way to Pray” by Andrew Wommack

Right off the bat, we have presuppositional problems.  Here is a quote from the introduction,

“Are you ready for your prayer life to improve? Would you like to learn how to pray more accurately and receive God’s answers more quickly? If so, you’re reading the right book!”  

There is no way our prayers can be any more or less effective, if we are in Christ, the Holy Spirit is interceding for us.  The will of the Father will always be done.  The efficacy of our prayers does not lie within our attitudes or abilities.  In fact it is our inability that should glorify God.  He uses weak little creatures like us to accomplish what He has ordained and decreed.  When we see our prayers being answered it is because we are aligning our wills with His.  When we don’t see the answers we were hoping for, it is because we are sinfully praying from the flesh for what we want over what He wants.  We all know that what He wants is good and is for our good, even if it means our deaths.  Yes, even our deaths can be part of God’s good purposes.  Just because we cannot see the effect of something that happens in the future doesn’t mean that the seemingly bad thing that happened is not God’s will.  We just assume so much about our own importance.  The focus of the Christian faith isn’t us or what we want!  The focus is the glory of God, and what He wills.  After all aren’t we supposed to lose our wills and be conformed to the word and will of Christ?  We cannot pray His will away, or pray Him into doing something we want Him to do from our carnal fallen wills.  

Read what God says in His word.  

“Romans 8:26-39 (NASB) 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
31  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was  raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
WE were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Yet another laughable notion from the introduction,

“But let me ask you this: If the way you are praying isn’t getting good results, why then would you resist change in this area? “  

I wonder what the magic formula must be?

 

His righteousness imputed to us is what makes our entering into prayer acceptable to God.  Without that and the Holy Spirit, we would still need a High Priest.

Finally we get to Chapter 1 to read this gem,

“In 1969, I heard a wrong teaching that Satan was “God’s messenger boy.” It said that the devil can only do what the Lord allows, and therefore, God uses him to work good in our lives. That’s totally wrong, but I didn’t know it at the time. I brought this teaching back to my girlfriend and she bought into it completely.”

First off, satan is a creature.  He was created by God as Lucifer.  He sinned, was cast out of Heaven to Earth, and is now satan.  He can’t do anything without God allowing it.  If you remember from reading Job, he had to ask permission from God to torment Job.  All creatures can only do what God allows.  If God wants to stop you from doing something, He can simply stop you.  God is sovereign.

Then he goes on to show allegedly the terrible outcome of believing in the sovereignty of God, and the fact that satan is a created subject of our Lord.  I don’t know if his story is true or not.  Even if it is, and even if they died because of their prayers, all it proves is that it was their time to die.  Nobody dies without God ordaining it.  Not even a sparrow dies without God ordaining it.  Of course there are martyrs all throughout history who have died horrible deaths.  These deaths have been exclamations of their lives of faith.

I doubt his stories about the boy from school, “coming down with leukemia the next day” are true.  We don’t pray to satan, and satan doesn’t answer our prayers.  Satan has no ability to read our minds and hear prayers from us.  Satan doesn’t control when we die.  God does.  Is satan kills someone it is because God has ordained that fashion of death for them.  If the stories about two young people are true, then God had ordained for them to die in just the way that they died.

So his son was raised from the dead, because his relationship with God, and how he prayed.  When my father died and stayed dead, when my friend’s 2 year old died and stayed dead, it was our fault because we don’t pray right, or have the same communion with God?  What a load of garbage.  Andrew Wommack needs to stop teaching and repent.

Here’s a good one, “The heart attitude behind your prayer interests God much more than the actual words you say. Just because you spend an hour, or more, in what you call“prayer” doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing anything. If your attitude is wrong, you’re praying wrong!”

Guess what… we are all praying wrong.  None of us can pray a prayer on our own that is acceptable to God. The Holy Spirit makes our prayers acceptable to God along with the justifying work of Jesus.

Apparently Wommack teaches universal or general atonement.  Here it is from his own book,

“As far as God’s concerned, the sins of the entire world have already been forgiven. The Lamb’s perfect sacrifice dealt decisively with the past, present, and future sins of every believer and nonbeliever alike. This doesn’t mean that all are just “automatically” saved (or healed). All individuals must receive for themselves by faith what Jesus Christ has already provided in order to actually benefit from it. A gift given isn’t fully yours until it’s received!”

Did you catch that?  Apparently Jesus justified everyone’s sins with the Father.  Apparently He atoned for everyone.  So I guess Jesus’ work was not perfect or sufficient.  I guess it was wasted on those who would not repent.  Here is the problem with claiming He made salvation available for everyone, it means that all sin has already been paid for, so then even if a person doesn’t repent and believe in Christ, their sin is already atoned for.  That means they have no guilt before God.  There is no need for anyone to accept salvation or the gift as he puts it.  It is a ridiculous statement.  This is what happens when you let bad theology, emotions, and tradition dictate your faith.

It is apparent that Wommack has used an Arminian highlighter (black sharpie) to highlight/redact all of the verses about predestination and election.  The lady he mentions on page 7 who was unsure if she was saved or not could have been helped by good theology, not Wommack’s hodge podge, grab bag, word of faith nonsense.  If the lady had not been granted saving faith and repentance, then no matter how much she intellectually affirms the gospel, she will not be saved.  Being saved requires God to grant you true repentance, and faith along with the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.  He only does this for His elect, whom He has predestined from before the creation of the world.

And yet more nonsense, “What if someone in a wheelchair came forward for healing during a service? If I prayed and didn’t see him rise out of the wheelchair immediately, I could ask the audience, “How many of you will stand in faith together with me? Let’s fast and pray in agreement, not letting go of God until He heals this person.” I bet I could persuade 90 percent of the people to go along with that! Yet God’s Word clearly proclaims, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Col. 2:6). In the same way you appropriate and walk in forgiveness of sin, you receive healing, deliverance, prosperity, and everything else! If begging God to save the lady in the first scenario is inappropriate, then doing so for healing or anything else in the Christian life is absolutely wrong too! Christ already made full provision for the abundant life through His atonement. It’s now not up to Him to do, but you to receive what He’s done!”  

How about the Christians of the early Church or the middle east right now?  The martyrs of the Church live an abundant life in Christ, even in their poverty and deaths.  Christ talked more about suffering for the faith than living in comfort and health.  Matter of fact, those are signs you are doing it wrong.

And more idiocy, “Sometimes Christians approach God, praying, “I know You can heal me, but You haven’t done it yet. Therefore, I want to learn how to make You heal me.” This is rank unbelief! They don’t believe that He’s already done it and they think they can make Him do it.Wrong! Such unbelief explains why more people aren’t experiencing healing.”  

So how about Christians who suffer long lingering deaths?  You can pray for life and health if you want, but you should be praying for God’s will to be done, and for Him to be glorified, after all isn’t that what Christ did before the crucifixion?  Luke 22:42, “saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.””

We haven’t even made it to the 2nd chapter of this disservice to Christ, and twisting of His word to bilk people out of money and true peace.  

“In our Bible schools and teaching seminars, we confidently instruct people not to “pray” for the sick, but to heal them. Jesus commanded us in Matthew 10:8 to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, [and] cast out devils.”There’s a huge difference between healing the sick and just praying for them!”  

Matthew 10:8 is not an instruction to the Church.  It is instruction to the Apostles during the foundation of the Church.  The Apostles who were specifically personally appointed to their office by the incarnate Christ during His earthly ministry were to fulfill Matthew 10:8.  Bad hermeneutics lead to Wommack’s horrible interpretation.  The wages of sin is death.  We are all under the curse of original sin.  We all will die.  There is not a single person alive today who will not die unless the Lord returns first.

And more false teachings,

“Jesus Christ completed everything necessary to save and heal every person. You believed and received salvation.  Healing comes the exact same way!  It shouldn’t be any harder to receive your healing since He provided it at the same time as forgiveness for your sin. Neither does it take any more faith to raise someone from the dead than to see them born again!”

If this is the case, then Wommack and his cronies should all never die, and not wear glasses, get sick, or ever go to the doctor.  They need to go to each nursing home and raise all of the old people from the dead when they die.  This is just ludicrous and idiotic.  Anyone who believes this tripe is being deceived.  They join the health and wealth false gospel with their soteriology.  Do you see the problems here?   

You had to know this would show up sometime,

“As a citizen of the kingdom of darkness, the enemy legitimately dominated your life. At the time of your salvation, you hadn’t been fasting, praying, studying the Word, attending church, paying tithes, or living a holy life.”

Never mind that we are not Jews, we are not under the ceremonial law, and we have the instruction to prayerfully consider and give with a cheerful heart.  There is no set tithe for Christians.

Here Wommack perverts the gospel,

“The good “news” of the gospel is that God has already forgiven you. Why would you choose to go to hell with your sins forgiven?”  

with this I am done.  I can’t take anymore false teachings.  I’m not even out of the 1st chapter of this mess.  The good news of the gospel my friends is that you and I are filthy, wretched sinners, who like the people God killed during the flood, deserve death and hell for all eternity, but God being rich in mercy, and grace, provided a way for us to be saved in the work of Jesus on the cross.  While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Christ took on our guilt.  He took the punishment we deserve as sinners, and when He finished suffering the punishment for every sinner who would repent from sin and believe in His works on the cross, Jesus died, was buried, and resurrected on the third day.  He now sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us.  The Holy Spirit regenerates the elect and according to the Father’s will the elect will repent and believe in the work of Christ.  They are saved and cannot be lost.  The Holy Spirit indwells them and is their seal for redemption.  Here is another link to why you should stay away.

Read these instead of Wommack’s book, http://www.ligonier.org/blog/if-god-sovereign-why-pray/

https://snyderssoapbox.com/2014/04/22/the-theology-of-prayer-and-an-omnipotent-sovereign-god/

 

 

A Review of, “Stressed Out: A Practical, Biblical Approach to Anxiety” by Todd “Freakishly Tall” Friel.

StressedOut
First off, I must issue a disclaimer.  I am a fan of Wretched Radio, and Wretched TV.  That being said, I will still give an honest review of this latest work from Todd.  If you aren’t familiar with Todd, and the gang over at www.WretchedRadio.com I suggest you go look at their web page.  Make sure to stop by the Wretched Store and peruse their wares.  You can also pick up a copy of this book there.  If you prefer you can get it at Amazon or Christianbook as well.

The thought that I kept having while reading this book was, “Where was this when I was in my 20’s?”  I had so many issues with stress then.  I got married to my Wife when I was 19 years old.  She had 2 little baby boys from a previous marriage.  I was an instant Daddy.  I was working part time for K-mart, and Wendy’s.  We lived in a low income apartment with people using drugs near by, and couples fighting, police in the parking lot every weekend breaking up said fights, and little to no opportunities to get out.  So, I was stressed.  My Wife was stressed.  Our families were stressed.  It was a stressful time.  I think you are getting the picture.  I was a new Christian.  I didn’t have anyone to disciple me, and the only resources I had to draw from were the Bible, and prayer.  I had to swallow my pride, and ask my Dad for money for hamburger to feed the kids dinner.  I worked as much as I could, and we kept going forward, even when we got knocked down.  What it has taken me the better part of 25 years to learn, Todd has isolated in his new book.  The Biblical principles detailed in, “Stressed Out” have been distilled from the Bible skillfully with a focused effort to apply the knowledge for the benefit of the reader’s peace of mind, and sanctification.

Before you get all upset and… triggered, don’t assume that Todd is one of those wacky guys who wants you to, “Name it, claim it!” your mental illness away.  He makes sure to acknowledge the differences between situational stress/anxiety from biological/chemical problems with the brain.  This book is for people who are experiencing situational stress and anxiety, who are having difficult times dealing with it.  I don’t want to give too many details away.  I also don’t want to leave information out that would encourage you to pick up a copy.  I want you to have an idea of what is in the book so take a look at this screen capture I did of the Table of Contents;
stressedoutcontents
So much of our peace of mind depends on our view of God, and ourselves.  In this book, Todd helps you to see the sovereignty, omniscience, omnipotence, righteousness, and love of God, as well as our own condition in relation to Him.  With the Bible applied to properly inform us, and correct us in areas where needed, we can discover a deeper, satisfying, peace with God.  That peace and contentment will affect every aspect of your life.  So to say, I recommend this book is an understatement.  It is a quick read, but by no means “lite, cotton candy theology.”  If you are a young person, who is struggling to make sense of things, pick up a copy of this book.  Even if you are older, and need a reminder of the peace that comes with trusting God and who He is, this book is for you.

Todd’s book is a good reminder for us. When we don’t see things rightly, we are like Don Quixote. He didn’t see things as they truly were, and he wasted his time tilting at windmills. He thought they were enemies. In reality they were faux-foes or pseu pseu pseudo-foes whoa oh oh… (The butchering of Phil Collins’ song is for mature audiences only, “old people.”) We can see the things, and situations, that we have anxiety, worry, and stress over as ominous, and potent enemies. Todd reminds us in his book, via abundant scripture references, that we are in sin if we succumb to these assaults. In light of God’s word, His attributes, and our place in His redemptive plan, we should know peace, security, gratitude, and contentment.

 

 

 

Stressed Out: A Practical, Biblical Approach to Anxiety

ISBN-13: 9780892217434

A Review of, “Evangelical Influences” by Dr. J. I. Packer.


In honor of Dr. J.I. Packer’s 90th birthday this July 22, I offer this review.

I’d like to start out by saying that there are some good books written, and published in Christendom still today, and this is one of them.  I would contrast it with my most recent review of, “Audacious” by Beth Moore.  One is a piece of fluff, with virtually no value at all to the reader.  The other is a wonderfully educational book that enriches the reader.  Of course, Dr. Packer’s book is the latter.  It should also be noted, that I don’t affirm Dr. Packer’s ecumenism, views on evolution, or the age of creation.  In light of these differences, I still recommend this work for your Christian education, as our differences are not of primary import, but rather of secondary or tertiary consideration.   I think this book should be on the reading list for men going into seminary. I admire his passion for knowing God, strength of conviction, and his intelligence.  Here is a link to a short bio if you are not familiar with J. I. Packer.  I am also including this link, so you can read about his character.

In Dr. Packer’s book, “Evangelical Influences” he introduces us to three sets of men via short biographies and citations of their works.  These three sets of men come from three distinct times during Church history.  The first is comprised of Martin Luther, and John Calvin.  They represent evangelicalism during the Reformation.  The second group is Richard Baxter, and George Whitefield.  They represent evangelicalism as Puritans.  The third and last set is Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, and Francis Schaeffer who could be considered Dr. Packer’s contemporaries representing modern evangelicalism.  One thing that impressed me most about the biographies is the kind affection that Packer expressed for, “The Doctor” Martyn Lloyd Jones.  Even though they didn’t see eye to eye on every issue, the fond recollections Packer expresses are very touching.  Sometimes we let our differences cause undue animosity towards one another.  It is encouraging to read these fond memories.

The rest of the book is spent relaying historical information about the works of these men, and the effects those works had, and continue to have on evangelicalism.  They have done much of the heavy lifting for us fleshing out the doctrines so that we could have concise expressions of them, which are precise and nuanced.

I especially like the section where Packer explains how we have benefited from Calvin’s work on the inerrancy of scripture. Through cited passages from Calvin’s work, we can read what he thought about scripture and how it should be thought of. Much of our conservative modern understanding comes from the work these predecessors did. In the 1970’s Rogers and McKim criticized Calvin’s explanations of inerrancy. Dr. Packer’s answers to their criticism are well worth reading. I think this conclusion on pages 166 and 167 expresses perfectly how Packer understands Calvin’s convictions “…For Calvin, Scripture was able to fulfil its God-given function precisely by virtue of its God-given form, and the Holy Spirit, through whose agency that function is fulfilled, was directly responsible for producing the words in that particular form. The Spirit teaches from a textbook that in effect he wrote himself. For Calvin, therefore, anyone who set the form and the function of Scripture, its givenness and its usefulness, in antithesis to each other, treating them as alternative rather than complementary theological concerns, would be talking a kind of nonsense, just as one would if one set food in antithesis to eating…” As you can see, Packer understood Calvin’s work differently than Kim Rogers and McKim. I tend to agree with Packer.

In the section about predestination Packer lists 10 things predestination does not mean. I found this helpful for explaining the topic to my 15 year old daughter. I hope she found it helpful. Many people have questions or presuppositions about predestination that make them biased against it, even though it is blatantly taught throughout scripture. We dare not disregard it. Number 6 said, “Predestination does not mean that the door of mercy is barred to anyone who actually wants to enter. To no such person does God say, ‘No, you can’t come in; there is no redemption, no mercy for you. You were predestined to stay outside, and outside you must remain.’ The reason why this never happens is because no one ever wants to come in except God’s chosen, whom he draws to Christ and brings to faith according to his predestining purpose. We are dealing, remember, with God’s action towards our fallen race, in which nobody naturally seeks God. Nobody naturally wants to come to Christ. One who wants to come to Christ is already the subject of a work of grace, and will find the Saviour whom he or she is seeking.” Instead of being a cause for distress or anxiety about predestination, this should give the Christian great peace.
Dr. Packer cites large sections from the works of these fellows. He does so to examine the work they did, and to provide the historical context, so we can see the effect they had on us. It is always noteworthy to me, to understand how our situation today isn’t much different from our predecessors. The issues that Luther and Calvin dealt with are still being dealt with today. By studying their works we can see how they recognized, understood, and dealt with them. Dr. Packer’s proficiency at engaging the reader, while simultaneously educating them is appreciated. Even though this material can seem a bit difficult to get through for some, I adjure you to read all of it. For the rest of us, who are accustomed to reading works laden with theology and history, I think you’ll find this to be a good read.

Pick up your copy here or here.

 

  • ISBN-13: 978-1619701564

A Review of, “Answering Jihad” by Nabeel Qureshi

ansjihad
The full title of the book is, “Answering Jihad A Better Way Forward.” The majority of the book is a concise primer on Islam, and some of its doctrines. It also briefly juxtaposes some facets of Islam with corresponding aspects Christianity.

The big question, in my summation, that it answered definitively was, “Do the authoritative founding documents of Islam prescribe violence as an integral part of the practice of Islam?” It would seem that the answer is, “Yes.” He also answers another question that has got our liberal friends in a tizzy, “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?” Of course, this is simply answered with a resounding, “No.” by people like me. Qureshi does answer in the negative but is more diplomatic with his response. He takes some time addressing why some people might think that they do. He also explains why some Christians from other countries might use the word, “Allah” as an interchangeable word for God. As an American, this would never enter my mind, so it was interesting to learn why it would happen in other countries. Nonetheless, we should answer the liberals in this nation with a, “No.” He explains how similar does not equate to same. It is not enough to have some similar attributes and then coincidentally make it consequential.

Nabeel Qureshi takes just enough time to flesh out the truth, without weighing the reader down with minutia. He utilizes a writing style that the layman will be comfortable with while maintaining accuracy. It is a quick read, that can be read in a day. It is a good resource to hand to friends who may have new Muslim co-workers or neighbors. I agree with Qureshi’s conclusion that the best way forward is friendship, not fear. If we can take the time to understand where they are coming from, and then invite them into our culture, it would go a long way to improving relations with the moderate muslims of the world. With the help of men like Qureshi we can also spot the Muslims who are educated in the founding documents of Islam and are engaging in the prescribed violence from the quran and hadiths.

I recommend this book as a primer. Definitely, get a copy for yourself, and then give it to anyone who would be in a position to befriend muslims. I would look for any other books this author might have coming out in the future.

 

ISBN-13: 9780310531388

Soap Box Review of, “Audacious” from Beth Moore.


As most of you know, I am a bit biased due to Moore’s sloppy ecumenism and claims of extra-biblical personal revelation. (some of that she has attempted to correct.)  That being said, I am not on a witch hunt, and I am not a heresy hunter.  I don’t run a discernment ministry site.  I simply review Christian books and Bibles, so people can make informed decisions before laying down their hard won sheckles.  

I could easily dismiss her book as a simple edit of her, “vision statement.”  She basically has just added two words to her old vision statement, and contrived a book around it.  Instead, I decided not to discount her offering based on my bias.  I should also let you know that I am not the target audience for a book like this.  I prefer more specific language and less color when reading a theological book. Before you get upset at me stating that her book is theological, perhaps you should consider that any study or writing about God is considered theological.  

There are feelers and there are thinkers, and I’m not saying that these two groups are mutually exclusive.  There is a spectrum, and we all think and feel.  Some of us are predominantly motivated by reason and thought, where others are moved more by emotions and feelings.  I am in the first category.  That, along with being a fortyfour year old male, and a Reformed Baptist, is why I am not the target audience.  If you are a woman who likes to get into someone’s personal life, thoughts, emotions, history, and you want to have a little information about God sprinkled in, then you are the target audience.  Feelers, aren’t so persnickety about precise language.  They understand the intent of the author who paints with their colors.  People who are on the other end of the spectrum, are concerned that the wrong ideas will be conveyed if the language is not precise.  We don’t want to be responsible for someone falling into heresy.  Our motto is, “If you can’t improve on the silence, then don’t say anything.”  In regards to theology it looks more like, “The Bible says it better, just read and quote the Bible.  If you must write a book, be sure that you are faithfully, accurately, and truthfully, expositing the word of God in a beneficial manner that edifies, and educates, the reader.”  If you aren’t doing that, stop writing.  

Beth Moore’s book takes 178 pages to express the Shema, or the Greatest Commandment of God’s word, and what could be said in one short blog article.  I would be glad to read 200 pages or more dealing with this topic if each sentence were valuable.  Moore’s book had very little of value to me.  She writes 178 pages by pumping up the word count, adding all of her quiche Mooreisms, out of context, sometimes misapplied scriptures, personal stories, and wordsmithing.  She does all of this without adding that much quality content.  It is a piece of fluff.  Some people may be encouraged by it if they care about all of Moore’s stories. On the other hand, if you want to learn about God, instead of Moore’s books, there are plenty of other worthwhile books to invest your time in.  It was a painful for me to push through and read.  I would have liked to have had a strainer to filter out the sound little tidbits, and discard the copious amounts of page filler.  This is my personal experience with her work.  If you enjoy her style then you will like this book as it seems to be more of the same.

  • ISBN-13: 978-1433690525

Dr. R. Albert Mohler’s new book, “We Cannot Be Silent.” is a must read for Christians trying to make sense of all the gender chaos going on around us.

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If you have been a regular listener of, “The Briefing” you’ll find Dr. Mohler’s newest book to be quite familiar, as he has addressed much of the subject matter on his program.  The book offers a fuller fleshing out of the history, and circumstances, that have lead to our current state, as well as a Christian analysis of it.

The chapter titles in the table of contents paint the picture of what you’ll read in the book;

1 In the Wake of a Revolution

2 It Didn’t Start with Same-Sex Marriage

3 From Vice to Virtue: How Did the Homosexual Movement Happen?

4 The Impossible, Possibility of Same-Sex Marriage

5 The Transgender Revolution

6 The End of Marriage

7 What Does the Bible Really Have to Say About Sex?

8 Religious Liberty and the Right to Be Christian

9 The Compassion of Truth: The Church and the Challenge of the Sexual Revolution

10 The Hard Questions

 

Dr. Mohler takes you step by step, setting the scene with historical information, about how the foundation for this revolution was put in place, so that in the right environment of postmodernism it could explode.  follow along step by step, to see how the plan of the enemy has been unfolding for decades.  Dr. Mohler cites the work of opponents, and proponents to Christian values effectively, and fairly in this book.  He uses their own words in thorough quotations from their published works.  You can trace a line from no-fault divorce, birth control, abortion, and now all of the gender issues.  As we deal with the consequences of these doctrines of death culture, Dr. Mohler educate and offers a Biblical analysis. He explains what these changes in our culture will mean for us as a nation, and for Christians.  

Dr. Mohler also explains what the Church’s response should be in light of our past failures to inform culture.  Bad theology, watered down truths, attractional models, moralism, and pragmatism have all gotten us where we are at today.  Real love, tells the truth.  We have to proclaim the truths of the Bible to the lost.  The things that seem difficult are often what are necessary.  The gospel is the only hope for the people of this nation.  Chapter 10 offers valuable Biblical responses to questions that are already being asked.  If you haven’t given these issues much thought and would like to, or if you are a bit confused and don’t know how we got to where we are today, I would recommend reading this book and referring back to it from time to time.

Todd Friel’s, “Judge Not” is an Ambitious Book that Attempts to Assess the Maladies of the Modern Church in America.

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It is a daunting undertaking.  One I was apprehensive about.  I was doubtful that the problems could be covered in a book that is only 320 pages long.  Overall, Todd’s book accomplishes what it was intended to do.  In an effort to promote what I deem a necessary work, I would strongly encourage all Christians to purchase and read this book.  However, I don’t want to spoil any of the, “Ah-ha!” “Amen!” or “Ouch!” moments.  This means that I won’t reveal all of my favorite quotes.  The full title of the book is, “Judge Not, How A Lack Of Discernment Led To Drunken Pastors, Peanut Butter Armpits, & The Fall Of A Nation.”  The title is no misrepresentation to act as a hook.  It is a hook, don’t get me wrong.  It is just very true and disturbing.  The astonishing authenticity of it is the hook.

 For those tens and tens of loyal listeners, Todd needs no introduction, but for the rest of the world, Todd Friel is the host of the Christian radio program, “Wretched Radio.”  He is also the host of, “Wretched TV” on NRB network.  Todd and the guys over at Wretched, put out quality programs, Biblically addressing issues and trends, that concern us as Christians.  Todd’s previous book, “Jesus Unmasked” detailed, and highlighted Christ through the entire Bible.  I was curious about his latest book, because his previous one was so good.  Even though it was a hard act to follow, he can be happy with his latest book.  It was quite different from his previous one.

We look around and wonder how we got here.  As a kid, I was raised in a home without Church.  My parents were both former Roman Catholics.  Mom is Italian.  Her family was traditionally Roman Catholic.  My Dad’s family is German, and very Roman Catholic as well.  Both of my parents deserted the religion of their families for different reasons.  My Mom left because her family deserted her, and disowned her because she was a child of mixed blood.  Her Dad was Lithuanian, NOT Italian!  My Mother was also enjoying the freedom of the 60’s.  My Father left Roman Catholicism after reading the Bible for himself.  They decided to raise us without formal religion and to allow us to figure it out for ourselves.  I grew up thinking that all of the people who went to a Church were Christians.  I had now idea how wrong I was.  Whenever I was invited to a Church for Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Mormon Talks, SDA, Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall, or Mass, I thought they were all Christians.  I was so confused by the variances and disparities I witnessed.  From the 60’s on  to present day, Churches in America have done little to help people like me who were lost.

With chapter headings like, “Happy Clappy Church, Twisting Scripture, Messed-up Messianic Movements, and Gospel Off-centeredness” Todd takes aim at pretty much all of the problems with the modern Church in America.  Many of the things he brings forward have been concerns of mine for years.  Some of the things were new to me.  I had no idea some of those things were going on.  If you are like me and have been keenly aware that something is wrong, and perhaps you weren’t quite able to put your finger on it then this is the book for you.

Here is the Table of Contents,
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We’ve probably all been to a, “Happy Clappy” Church.  They are the ones that solely focus on God’s love.  They are generally pretty seeker sensitive and rely on entertaining the masses.  Many of us have friends or family in the Messianic movement and have concerns.  Todd echoes these concerns and talks frankly about the problems within the movement.  Todd also shines light on the New Apostolic Movement.  Very troubling things are coming out of it.  It also is being accepted as orthodox by many well meaning Christians.

This book was a quick read.  It usually takes me quite a while to read a theology book, but with Todd’s sense of humor and direct approach, I was able to read it pretty quick.  If you have read some religious books and found them to be dry or slow, you won’t have this problem here.  Todd’s writing is engaging and intelligent.  Get this book and read it.  After you are done, you’ll be able to think of at least a few people you know who will need to read it as well.  I really enjoyed it and it helped me gain some needed perspective on the state of the Church, the gospel, evangelism, and what I can do to help.  You can purchase your copy from Wretched’s store, or Amazon

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Just the gift for the child in you life this Christmas

Just the gift for the child in you life this Christmas,
the, “Heroes of the Faith” Series from, The Banner of Truth Trust.   On Sale Now!

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This is a picture of all three books next to a ruler and a copy of the the Westminster Confession of Faith, for scale.

The initial Series Set includes: Ignatius, Irenaeus, and Polycarp.  These three, compellingly written and illustrated books, will captivate the attention of the child in your life.  What a wonderful way to spend storytime with them.  There are few other stories more worthy of telling children.  Learning about the early Church Fathers from these brief, colorful, books will stick with your child or grandchild over their lives.  They will know how these men lived out what they believed.  I recommend the entire set.
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Sinclair Ferguson manages to condense his vast knowledge down into stories that will edify children, and the adults reading to them.  The gospel message is proclaimed so simply that your children will hear it and see how it was lived out by these Church Fathers, Heroes of the Faith.  The illustrations are colorful and skillfully done.  Alison Brown’s illustrations will help bring history to life.
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Each hardcover book has a Timeline in the back, and a, “Personal Word to the Parents About Heroes of the Faith” from Sinclair Ferguson.  The books are printed in the U.S.A. and the font size is 15/18pt in size.  These books are well made and should last for years properly taken care of.  I hope you enjoy reading them to your kids and grandchildren as much I enjoyed reading them for the review.

You can purchase your set from the Banner of Truth

or you can buy them individually from Christianbook.com

Irenaeus of Lyons: The Man Who Wrote Books ISBN-13: 9781848710948

Polycarp of Smyrna: The Man Whose Faith Lasted ISBN-13: 9781848710924

Ignatius of Antioch: The Man Who Faced Lions ISBN-13: 9781848710931

Check out the rest of the pictures on my flickr page.

 

“God Wins” from Author Mark Galli, is a Mature Response, to Bell’s, “Love Wins.”

Hello, Soapbox fans.  Today we are going to look at the book, “God Wins” written by Mark Galli the Senior Managing Editor for Christianity Today.  In his book, Mark answers many of the questions raised by Rob Bell’s book, “Love Wins.”  First and foremost, I have to applaud Mark for his maturity, and propriety in handling the heresies of Rob Bell.  I tried to read Bell’s book without getting angry and could not.  It made me furious with him every time.  The slick, used car salesman, shysterly, manipulative, methods he employed to convince people of heresy seemed to me, to slip supplely, from this silver tongued devil’s mouth.  So, bravo Mark!  You are a better man than I, and I mean that.  Furthermore, I admire Mark’s maturity when dealing with this book.  Mark even explains his reasons for doing so in Appendix 3.  

I am Lutheresque in my polemics at times.  I tend to attack, without considering the effect I’ll have on the followers of the false teacher.  Instead of seeing the correction and accepting it, they see me slaughtering their golden calf.  When I read a work like this, I can see how it is better for  the sheep.  In dealing with the sheep we must be gentle.  If this book were for Rob Bell alone, I would expect a more belligerent approach.

Mark takes a very thoughtful and thorough approach addressing the major issues of heresy in Bell’s book.  It is almost impossible to talk about Mark’s book without mentioning Bell’s book, since it is an antithetical response to  Bell’s.  As Galli draws out, isolates, and entertains, the questions Bell asks, he offers orthodox answers and corrections that are easily understood.  He explains doctrines that the Church has affirmed for over two thousand years.  Don’t think that Galli is using kid gloves.  He deals with the false gospel, and universalism of Bell.  He even explains and contrasts the differences.

I encourage all of you who have read Bell’s book, have family who are fans of Bell, or plan on reading Bell’s book, to read, “God Wins.”  For those of you with Bell fans in the family, after you have finished reading, “God Wins” give it to them as a gift, and pray for them to accept godly correction with humble repentance, and godly sorrow.  

ISBN-13: 9781414366661