Spring Books

Believing God: 12 Biblical Promises Christians Struggle to Accept – R.C. Sproul, Jr. Good book explaining some beloved biblical promises that we often gloss over, disbelieve, or forget. His treatment of 1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:28 are especially pastoral, convicting, and encouraging.

Brighton Rock – Graham Greene. A good novel about sin, corruption, love, anger, and redemption. Catholic overtones, but an enjoyable read.

A Case for Amillennialism – Kim Riddlebarger. Excellent in his response to dispensationalism and premillennialism regarding the end times and biblical interpretation, especially in his treatment of the rapture, Israel’s future, literalism, and Christ’s return. Lots of overlap with postmillennialism, but I’m not completely on board with his defense of his type of amillennialism. His defense of the historicist/idealist position (as opposed to the orthodox preterist position) position is lacking.

Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman – John Muether. Excellent, balanced biography of one of the giants of the Reformed faith in the twentieth century. I really enjoyed learning about one of my dad’s heroes and one of the founders of the OPC.

Escape from Reason – Francis Schaeffer. Small but fierce. Schaeffer slogs through philosophical thought in the first several chapters, but his defense of historic, factual Christianity and the truths of the gospel are a powerful antidote to modern and postmodern thought.

Everlasting Man – G.K Chesterton. I’m not sure what it is about Chesterton, but he is at times brilliant and eloquent and at other times dry, rambling, and unclear. Anyone else get that impression? Preferred his Orthodoxy to this, which is a defense of Christianity over against pagan systems.

Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-help Book – Walker Percy. A witty and satirical, but deadly serious, self-help book. Insightful, fun, sarcastic, and enlightening, for at least the first 100 pages. After that, it kind of gets old and Percy loses the reader.

Necessity of Reforming the Church – John Calvin. Anyone who claims to take Calvinism or the Reformed faith seriously should actually read Calvin at some point in their life. If one doesn’t have time, energy, or the gumption to tackle his Institutes, this little book acts as a summary of the most important aspects of the Protestants’ beef with Rome in the Reformation. Almost like a Cliff’s Notes version of the Institutes.

Twilight of American Culture – Morris Berman. Devastatingly accurate in its critique and description of current American culture, prescient in its predictions, but lacking in its solutions. Berman likens the decline of America to the fall of other great civilizations. Written in 1999, Berman predicted the current economic collapse, and more. His solution, however, is lacking; he wants those of us who recognize this collapse and care about passing on the best of culture to become Enlightenment-devoted monks. Ultimately, without Christ or the gospel, any solution is doomed to fail.

What is Faith? – J. Gresham Machen. I’m not sure why Machen isn’t regarded as one of the best Christian defenders of the 20th century, or at least why he isn’t more popular than he is. He is an amazing writer who is clear, biblical, and timeless. One of my favorite authors of all time. This work, though not as potent as Christianity and Liberalism, is still much needed in the mainstream evangelical and Reformed churches of today.

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4 thoughts on “Spring Books

  1. Joel, this must be one of the more prolific blogging furloughs I've seen in a while! Since Jeff agreed about GK, I'll agree about Schaeffer – love his trilogy and it was very formative for me. Not as accessible to those without inclination for philosophy but I especially like the logic and approach of "He is there and is Not Silent."

  2. Ken – I'm hoping to read that Schaeffer book in the fall or winter. I like Schaeffer a lot…But not as much as Machen. Anyone out there ever read Machen? Can Machen get some lovin'?As far as the furlough, it is still in effect, and I was just following through on a promise made earlier to my faithful readers to post my seasonal reviews. I may break furlough again to post my summer furlough reading list :-).

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