A Snyder’s Soapbox Review of, “The Fatal Flaw: Do the teachings of Roman Catholicism Deny the Gospel?” Kindle edition, by Dr. James R. White.

fatalflaw
I know this book has been around a while, and it isn’t a very big book, but it is new to me, and possibly to some of you. This is such a useful book, I figured you should know too. By now I think it is obvious that I agree with much of what Dr. White writes. I find his work to be accurate, nuanced, and properly tempered by scripture. It is scholarly, includes bibliographies of cited sources, and still completely suitable for the laymen. This book is no different. Dr. White cites long tracts of text from Vatican II, and the Council of Trent. This way nobody can claim that the citations were out of context, or twisted. The focus is on the Roman mass, and purgatory, as well as the ramifications they have on the work of Christ, the gospel, the authority of scripture, objective truth, the doctrine of justification, and your eternal destination.

I would recommend this book for your Christian library. I think it distills the essential differences between the Roman works righteousness system, and the true gospel of Christ, and His imputed righteousness. This book would be great as a hand out to people who are in similar cults, like Mormonism, or Jehovah’s Witnesses. They would be able to see their own doctrine as very similar to that of the Roman system.

You can get your copy of the kindle version here, or the paperback.  This ISBN number is for the paperback.

  • ISBN-13: 978-0925703101

I am really enjoying, “Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion” the Banner of Truth edition as translated by, Robert White.


I just got a copy of the Banner Of Truth edition of, “Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.” He wrote this edition in French and it has been translated into English. I have another edition from Hendrickson that was translated from Latin into English by Henry Beveridge. I have to say, the Banner of Truth edition that was translated by Robert White is much more accessible. I’m enjoying it. It is much easier to follow and read. It is almost like reading a modern work. I highly recommend it if you have ever wanted to read Calvin, but found the Latin to English translations difficult. I’ve been told by a very educated man that Latin is a comparatively small language. I can see how the difference between the source material being written in French provides for the English translation being as easy to read as it is. If you don’t have this edition, go Get it.

Get your copy on Amazon.

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 the Holman HCSB Military Families Bible in Navy and Crimson Leathertouch, Red Letter Edition.

DSCN5692
I want to get the failings of this Bible addressed right off the bat.  In my opinion it fails at what it aims to accomplish.  Here is a quote from the B&H product page, “Family, friends, and loved ones of military service members want comfort and guidance in how to pray for those in harm’s way and in how to cope with those tensions in their own lives so that they will have peace of mind. The Military Families Bible provides 60 pages of devotionals and prayers that minister to family members and loved ones of military personnel as well as equip the reader to minister to and intercede for those in the military.”  All of these articles are in this Bible, but (come on, you knew there was going to be a but…)  They are all in the back of the Bible.  They don’t have page numbers, and they are not indexed in any way shape or form.  You might be asking, “What’s so bad about that?”  Well, say for instance you are having a specific problem, that one of these articles addresses, wouldn’t it be great to be able to look it up?  The next problem is that these articles should be interspersed throughout the Bible and be attached to relevant scripture passages.  As it is, they are just lazily thrown into the back of this Bible.  Sure, it puts them in one convenient place to read, but they literally could be a separate devotional book instead.  My final problem with the devotionals is that some cited scripture passages have been torn out of context and misapplied by the writer.  This doesn’t happen a lot, but it shouldn’t happen at all.  

I would offer a solution instead of just seemingly complaining.  First, get the feel good authors out of the exposition business.  Second, get some vets, their families, and some theologians together, to talk about their experiences, and to help them connect with the Biblical doctrines that comforted them.  Third, intersperse the articles throughout the Bible, and connect them to sections of scripture in context, and properly apply the scripture to the situations the military families and soldiers are going through.  Fourth, index the articles so that people can find them and the scriptures that can offer them soul care pertinent to their situation.  See, was that so hard?  Seems legit to me…

Now let’s get into the physical attributes of this Bible.  It is a handsome little Bible in the HCSB translation.  It came in a two piece, sturdy, retail box.  The cover is a synthetic Navy blue, and crimson color leather like material.  It is perimeter stitched and case bound, with a paper liner.  The page edges are silver, the spine and corners are rounded.  This Bible’s spine is smyth sewn, regardless of what the retail sites say.
DSCN5694

DSCN5698 DSCN5699

DSCN5727

There is some page crinkling at the beginning of the Bible, but it isn’t very bad.  There is a patriotic themed presentation page.  The single ribbon marker is red/crimson, to match the stripe on the cover.  The publisher’s information page indicates this Bible is manufactured in China…  patriotic Bible… made in China…  just sayin’

DSCN5705 DSCN5702 DSCN5718 DSCN5706

I found this Bible to be just the right size.  It measures approximately, 8 ½” by 5 ¾” by 1 ½”  It is really more of a text Bible with devotions in the back.  The paper is opaque enough, and the print is a 10 pt. font, printed uniformly throughout the Bible.  This is a double column, paragraph format, red letter edition.  The red print is pretty average, not too bright, not too dull.  It is an easy to read Bible, mostly because of the size of the font.

DSCN5712

DSCN5715

It would be even better if line matching was employed.  While the paper is decent, and the font is a good size, there is still some ghosting.  Limited footnotes at the bottom of the page reduce clutter.  The sewn spine makes this Bible nice and flexible, right out of the box.  It lays flat on the table, and that is a big deal for an inexpensive Bible.

DSCN5714

DSCN5728 DSCN5729

It truly is a great value with just the legibility and sewn spine.  The 60 pages of devotional material are useful.  Don’t get me wrong.  I just wished a better implementation had occurred.  Of the 60 pages, 30 are devotions and 30 are prayers.  I believe that theology makes a difference, and that a firm foundation in God’s word will help you through the storms of life better than anything else.  The sovereignty of God, God’s omniscience, and omnipresence, as well as all that those attributes entail gives me peace and comfort in difficult times.  Besides these features there are HCSB bullet notes, “Where to turn to” scripture index, and 8 full color maps.

DSCN5717 DSCN5719

DSCN5725

Make sure to check out the rest of the pics at my Flickr page.  You can pick up your copy at Christianbook, or Amazon.

ISBN-13: 9781433619670

Review of the Crossway ESV UltraThin in Black Top Grain Cowhide Leather.

DSCN5522

 

I purchased this Bible on sale from Christianbook.com  I was curious because it was listed as having a top grain leather cover.  I was glad I ordered it.  It turns out that it is now out of print.  So if you can find one, I suggest you purchase it.  I was pleasantly surprised by this less than a half inch thick little gem.  This UltraThin came in a clamshell retail box with a clear plastic window.  I retained the box for storage purposes.  Once you open the box up you smell the leather and not glue or dye.  The leather was very supple and soft to the touch.  The grain appears to be natural.  There is a nice perimeter groove and spine hubs.

DSCN5525

 

The hubs add to the ornamentation along with the gold letters stamped into it.  From the top of the spine down it reads, “Holy Bible, ESV, the ESV logo, English Standard Version, Then the Crossway logo.”

DSCN5528 DSCN5528

 

The spine is sewn affording this very thin Bible with great flexibility for a paste down, case bound Bible.  In my opinion the cover offers a perfect compromise of flexibility, and structure.

DSCN5531

DSCN5691

 

The head and tail bands are gold and black, complementing the color of the cover, and the gold page edge gilt.  There are two ribbon markers, even though the retail site only lists one.  The ribbon markers are narrow, but thicker than most employed in Bibles under $100.

DSCN5530

 

In the front of the Bible there is a presentation, marriages, births/adoptions, and deaths pages.  They are printed on a thicker matte finish paper that takes ink well.  Unlike higher gloss papers, these won’t crack or tear as easily.

DSCN5536

 

Then there is the copyright/publishers page.  Before Genesis begins the Old Testament we have the table of contents, preface, and explanation of features. DSCN5539

 

The text of this Bible is double column, paragraph format.  This is a red letter edition.  The red lettering is not too red or too light.  It contrasts well against the white paper and surrounding black text.  The main text is a 7.5 pt. lexicon font.  Line matching is employed to aid in reduction of, “ghosting” or the appearance of the text from the opposite side of the page showing through the paper due to the opacity allowing it.

DSCN5546 DSCN5543

 

The paper’s opacity is pretty good considering how thin this Bible is.  At just under a half inch, it is one of the thinnest UltraThins I’ve seen.  I had assumed that they used a thinner paper.  That was not the case.  The paper is 31 g.s.m. 20# Thincoat Max.  This is not a thin or lightweight paper.  It looks like they made up for the thickness of the paper by not having any cross references.  There are some footnotes at the bottom of the pages.  This way they could fit the entire text into this UltraThin.

DSCN5544

 

So we have a nice, legible, well printed, and bound Bible in this truly UltraThin format.  It is also so soft and flexible due to the quality binding and cover, that I can fold it over itself.  It is almost as flexible as an edge-lined Bible. DSCN5688

DSCN5690

 

At the end there is a weights and measures page, and an abbreviations page.  A three column concise concordance follows.  Finished off with eight maps in color.  DSCN5550

DSCN5553

 

Make sure to check out the pictures I took of this Bible on my Flickr page here.  You can still purchase these on Amazon until they run out.  Then you’ll have to get them used. ISBN-13: 9781433538834 DSCN5524

 

Review of the Crossway E.S.V. TruTone Single Column Heritage Edition Bible.

DSCN5653

I purchased this Bible because it was on sale for 80% off.  I figured I could write a review, and then gift it to someone.  After receiving it, I might just keep it for a rebind project.  It arrived undamaged.  It was in a cardboard box with two other ESV Bibles, I ordered at the same time.  This one has a clamshell retail box.  If you need to store your Bible, it is always a good idea to keep the retail box.

  DSCN5655

This Bible is the soft leather-look, TruTone brown/burgundy, with band design.  TruTone is a synthetic cover material that simulates leather.  It is one of the better synthetic covers on the market.  

DSCN5661

The inside liner is paper as this is a case bound Bible.
DSCN5665
The cover around the spine is ornamented with, “Holy Bible, ESV, the ESV logo, English Standard Version, and the Crossway logo” in gold.  

DSCN5659

There are brown head and tail bands, as well as one brown ribbon marker.  The spine, and corners are rounded.  The page edges are gold gilt.  
DSCN5663 DSCN5664
DSCN5681

There is a presentation page up front, along with the typical copyright/publisher’s information page.

 
DSCN5673

I really like the size of this little text edition.  It isn’t too big, or small.  It measures about 5.5”x7.5”  It is pretty portable, though not as much as a true compact, pocket size, thinline, or ultrathin.  
DSCN5662

Of course you would lose the font size and paper quality to drop down to those sizes.  I think this is a pleasing compromise in Bible design.  Since it is a single column text edition, it can afford to be smaller than a reference Bible.  It also utilizes a 9 point Lexicon font, which is a great choice for a Bible of this size.  Crossway also employed line matching, which greatly reduces ghosting. (being able to see the text from the opposite side of the paper)  The paper is 31 g.s.m. Thincoat Max, 1720ppi.

DSCN5677

Between the great paper, clear uniformly printed text, and line matching, this Bible is very legible.  
DSCN5678

The spine is smyth sewn.  

DSCN5667

This in conjunction with the soft cover, make this a very flexible Bible.

 
DSCN5683

I can fold it over on itself.  Then, hold it like a magazine in one hand.  This is my prefered way to read.  It also opens fairly flat. I don’t think it is suited well to pulpit duty as it is a paragraph format Bible.  It lends itself to devotional, and daily reading.  It would be perfect for that with one more ribbon marker.  There is not a concordance or any other helps or features except for some colored maps in the back.
DSCN5684

My overall impression of this Bible is favorable.  I think it fulfills the purpose for which it was designed in an exemplary manner.  It is a great value, legible, portable, durable, and flexible.  It is not so nice, that I’m afraid of hurting it.  It is a good value and should provide you with years of service.

You can pick up your copy at Christianbook.  Amazon also sells them.

Make sure to check out all of the pictures of this Bible on my Flickr page.
ISBN 9781433537370

Review of the Chronological Study Bible in NKJV from Thomas Nelson. Earth Brown/Auburn Leathersoft.

DSCN5461
It is a novel idea, but not very practical. It is also not a study Bible. It is more of a reference Bible with added notes. If you want to look up a verse you have to go to the verse index in the back, find the verse you are looking for, then go to the page indicated by the index. I know that if you have purchased this Bible it is probably for the chronological arrangement, but the trouble of finding your way in this is not worth the trouble in my opinion. There is a good reason for having the Bible arranged in books instead of epochs. They could have scrapped the book, chapter, and verse, format altogether and went solely with the epoch arrangement. This would have required the user to learn the location of verses within their historical location, but would have negated the need for an awkward index system utilized by this hybrid arrangement. Of course they wouldn’t be able to reach as many customers that way. The best option, in my opinion is to stick with the book, chapter, and verse arrangement, and use book introductions with the appropriate notes. The typical commentary notes you’d expect from a study Bible are missing. Instead there are features, or small articles interspersed throughout the Bible. Many of these are not Reformed, or complementarian friendly. They also seem to employ a cultural hermeneutic to many scripture passages instead of the proper hermeneutic for the particular passage. It is obvious that this Bible’s articles are focused on appealing to the modern cultural sensitivities in hopes of selling more Bibles. If you are a Methodist, Nazarene, Arminian Baptist, or any other non-Calvinistic confessor you will like the notes.
The heading for Romans 8 says that it is about the rejection of the gospel by Israel. From that heading it is meant that Romans 8 is about a national election not an individual one. Which is quite odd considering how most of the converts of the early Church were Israelites. The gospel came to them first and then the gentiles. In Ephesians 5 there is an article imposing a cultural hermeneutic on the passage instead of making it prescriptive it is implied that this was just for that culture. The same thing is done with 1 Timothy 2.

The Bible was shipped in a cardboard box with air bladder packing material.  The Bible arrived undamaged.

DSCN5459

It has a two piece retail box.

DSCN5463

The synthetic cover has perimeter stitching.

DSCN5464

The stitching would have been a nice feature if the inside liner were not paper.

DSCN5470

The cover is pretty flexible.  That in conjunction with the sewn binding makes the entire Bible flexible.

DSCN5518

There is a single ribbon marker, along with gold gilt page edges.

DSCN5517

The text is in a double column format with full color features interspersed throughout.  The 9 pt. font is legible and uniformly printed.

DSCN5497

There is a substantial concordance in the back and some ruled paper for notes.

DSCN5501

DSCN5508

This Bible is advertised as a study Bible, but it is definitely not.  It forgoes them for biased articles.  If this were just a NKJV Bible I would recommend it, but due to the bias in the articles, and notes I cannot. I would definitely not purchase this Bible unless I was not a Calvinist. I found it insulting to be honest.

2383E
ISBN 9780718040536

If you’d like to purchase this Bible you can get a copy here.

Make sure to look at all the pictures I took of this Bible on the Flickr album page.

Review of the, “The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible in Genuine Leather.

DSCN5335
I requested a review copy quite some time ago, and was refused.  This is why it has taken a while for me to do a review of this Bible.  Recently I purchased a copy, at my own expense for the purpose of review.  I was curious about this Bible because of the title.  I am a Reformed Baptist.  I hold to reformed soteriology.  Since I affirm believer’s baptism, or credal baptism, I cannot be said to have Reformed theology proper, as that would include infant baptism, or paedo-baptism along with some other theological distinctions.    

This Bible came shipped by Amazon in a cardboard box with no padding.  
DSCN5328
One of the corners of the retail clamshell box was dented.  The Bible inside was undamaged.  
DSCN5332
When I first examined the Bible I didn’t notice that some of the pages were folded under and failed to be trimmed with the text block.  I had to trim them myself with an exacto knife.  I contacted Reformation Heritage by e-mail.  It has been several weeks without a response.  I was waiting to do the review because part of my e-mail had to do with questions about this Bible’s manufacture.  I wouldn’t let their failure to respond stop you from purchasing this Bible.  

This edition has a genuine cowhide leather cover and not pigskin leather.  On the front cover, “Holy Bible” is hot stamped in gold color foil.  The texture of the leather seems to be natural and comfortable to hold.  this is a case bound Bible.

DSCN5333

DSCN5339

DSCN5340

It is not as high grade as some, but far exceeds many lesser quality covers on Bibles in the same price range.  This Bible lists for about $80.00, but I purchased it on sale for $55.88 from Amazon.  You would be hard pressed to find a study Bible with all of the features this Bible has for the same price.  We are talking about an American printed and bound Bible with smyth-sewn spine, cowhide leather cover, unique study notes, creeds and confessions, notes on family application, and numerous articles in back along with a concise concordance and maps.

DSCN5369

DSCN5346

This Bible is only available in the King James Version. (KJV)  It is a verse format, double column,  layout with notes at the bottom of the page.  

DSCN5362

Before each book is an introduction and outline of the book.  

DSCN5355

A sharply printed and uniformly inked 9.8 pt. Minion Font is used for the text of the Bible, and 8 pt. Myriad SemiCondensed Font for the notes is employed.  

DSCN5358

DSCN5356

The page margins are pretty small, so you won’t be making many notations in them.  The page edges are gold gilt.  The corners are rounded, the spine is not.  

DSCN5394

DSCN5336

Since this Bible employs a sewn binding it lays flat without having to fight the binding or cover.  It is pretty flexible.

DSCN5361

DSCN5389

DSCN5390

There are gold and burgundy head and tail bands as well as two narrow yet, substantial black ribbons.  

DSCN5360

The ribbons are both fixed in the spine at the same place making them a bit awkward compared to others that are glued in differently.  

DSCN5337

I truly like the paper used for the presentation/records section in the front and the maps in the back.  RHB made the best decision of not using the glossy papers that crack.  Instead they went with a thicker matte paper that will last a long time.  

DSCN5343

DSCN5386

I would have liked to see a thicker, more opaque paper employed, however, to include all of the features in one volume without making it a behemoth like the ESV study Bible, I can understand why the chose the paper they did.  Don’t misunderstand me, the paper isn’t bad.  It is just a little less opaque than I would like.  Ghosting isn’t bad at all and it appears that line matching was employed.  For the money, there aren’t many full study Bibles on the market that could compete with this one.  I highly recommend this Bible if you are a fan of the KJV, and historic creeds and confessions.  It is an all around solid study Bible.  Here is a link to the publisher’s page for this edition.  Here is a link to this edition on Amazon.  Finally, here is a link to this Bible on Christianbook.

Don’t forget to visit my flickr album of all the pictures I took of this Bible.

ISBN: 9781601783264

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

A Review of the ESV Verse-by-Verse Reference Bible, in Black Top Grain Leather.

DSCN5229

Crossway sent me this beautiful Bible for review.  It is a wonderful value.  You get so many great features with this Bible.  It is also a good multipurpose Bible.  Initially I thought the font might be too small for Pastors to use it from the pulpit, but I was wrong.  The verse format layout, terrific paper, and crisp clean print, make it well suited to serve as a preaching Bible.  It is a reference Bible, so it also lends itself to study.  The references and notes are out of the way at the bottom, so it also works good for reading.  If you are in the market for a new Bible to fill a few roles, keep reading.  I think you’ll be as impressed with this edition as I am.

The ESV Verse-by-Verse Reference Bible was packaged in a small white cardboard box.  

DSCN5222

The Bible itself was inside the retail clamshell box.  Keep the box for storage.  This is not a Bible to be stood up on edge like a hardback book.  The Bible arrived undamaged from Crossway.  Inside the packaging the Bible was wrapped in clear plastic.

DSCN5228

Once removed, I was able to begin assessing the top grain leather.  It had a very supple feel to it.  It was nice and soft. There is also a perimeter groove on the cover.

DSCN5232

2016-02-11_07-44-22

2016-02-11_07-46-11

The inside liner seemed to be a bit different than the outside cover.  I e-mailed Crossway and asked them about it.  They informed me that it is Cromwell® bonded leather.  For those of you who are balking at that, keep in mind that Cromwell® bonded leather is not the same as the low grade bonded leather you are used to seeing in the past.  It is a far superior product and should last as long as the top grain leather cover, if not longer.  One of the bonuses of using this material as a liner is that it can be had in thin sheets.  This makes it possible for the bindery to get the cover mated to the liner with more precision and less bulges on the corners.

DSCN5237

This, being an edge-lined Bible, it is important to not use a heavier material that would reduce the supple feel of the cover.

DSCN5239

In my opinion, it was implemented quite well.  For the price, I would definitely recommend purchasing this edition over the ones with genuine leather or synthetic covers if you can afford the extra money.

DSCN5289

In the front you’ll find a Presentation Page, Publisher’s Page, Table of Contents, Books of the Bible in Alphabetical Order, Preface, and an Explanation of Features.  

DSCN5250

DSCN5255

DSCN5253

DSCN5257

DSCN5258

The spine is ornamented with four spine hubs, and gold lettering.

DSCN5230

The page edges are gold gilt and the corners are rounded.  There are also decorative gold and black, head and tail bands.There are two black ribbons that are decent quality.

DSCN5270

DSCN5242

DSCN5243

They are thicker than some less expensive ribbons.  For me two ribbons or more is a must.  Three ribbons is perfect in my opinion.  You get one for the Old Testament reading, one for devotional reading of Proverbs, and one for the New Testament.  Of course, two will suffice, and is certainly better than only one.  Four just seems supernumerary to me.

Of course where this Bible shines is the paper and print.  Crossway has done a good job utilizing superior paper compared to their competitors.  Rarely do you find Bibles in this niche with paper of the same weight and opacity.  Crossway is employing a 36 g.s.m. Apple Thin Opaque paper.  Keep in mind that many of their competitors call 28 g.s.m. paper top notch.  The print in this black letter edition is sharp and uniform throughout.  I haven’t run into any areas where the print fades or is smudged.  The font is 9 pt. in size and is Lexicon face.  At first glance it seems larger than it is, in my opinion.  I think that is due to the opaque paper, print, and line spacing, making it very legible.  It is easy on the eyes.  

DSCN5268

DSCN5260

Preaching from the pulpit and looking down at a 9 pt. font in another Bible with lesser paper and more ghosting would be a bad idea, but with this Bible you could easily do it.  There is also a generous outside margin for some limited note taking.

DSCN5265

The drawback of course is that some of the type gets lost in the gutter.

DSCN5245

In some regards, like the paper and print,  I would rate this Bible up there with the premium ones.  Due to the lack of some of the more ornate features, like art gilt page edges, better ribbons, gilt perimeter lines, and better leather for the inside liner I can’t call it a premium Bible.  Of course the price on this edition more than makes up for what little quibbles I might have.  I’ve paid over $200 for an Allan.  This Bible can be had for a bit over $80.  That makes it an outstanding value.  The suggested retail is  $149.99.  Some publishers list a suggested retail that I would never pay.  This Bible is worth the suggested retail.  On some retail sites it can be found for as little as $84.99.  Other than the gutter complaint, the layout is great.  You get a double column, verse format, with approximately 80,000 cross references located at the bottom of the pages.  You also get a 76 page 3 column concordance, and 8 color maps in the back.

DSCN5262

At the start of each book is a brief introduction.  I personally love well written book introductions.

DSCN5261

You also get a smyth-sewn spine with this edge-lined Bible adding to the durability and flexibility.

IMG_20160211_193641

You would be hard pressed to find a Bible with all of these features even in a higher price range.  In my opinion, Crossway has hit the ball out of the park with this edition and set the standard for their competitors in the $80 to $150 range.

Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my Flickr page.

ISBN-13: 9781433545689