Archive for September, 2015

September 27, 2015

Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression

Spurgeons Sorrows CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

Christians should have the answers, shouldn’t they? Depression affects many people both personally and through the ones we love. Here Zack Eswine draws from C.H Spurgeon, “the Prince of Preachers” experience to encourage us. What Spurgeon found in his darkness can serve as a light in our own darkness. Zack Eskwine brings you here, not a self–help guide, rather “a handwritten note of one who wishes you well.”

Zack EswineAbout the Author

Zack Eswine is the Senior Pastor at the Riverside Church, St Louis, Missouri. He previously served as Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Covenant Seminary, St Louis.

Book Details

144 Pages
Publisher: Christian Focus
Publication Date: December 2014

Source: WTS Books

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

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September 25, 2015

The Creedal Imperative

Creedal ImperativeStatus: Available

The Creedal Imperative by Dr. Carl Trueman was the subject of our first ever DFW Reformation Conference, held on October 10-11, 2014 at Mid-Cities Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Trueman spoke on:
Why Creeds Are Biblical
Survey of Creeds from the Reformation
Usefulness of Creeds for Today

See also: “Reformation Creeds for Today—OPC DFW RefCon 2014 Audio & Picture Gallery” at The Misadventures of Captain Headknowledge

Book Description

Recent years have seen a number of high profile scholars converting to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy while a trend in the laity expresses an eclectic hunger for tradition. The status and role of confessions stands at the center of the debate within evangelicalism today as many resonate with the call to return to Christianity’s ancient roots. Carl Trueman offers an analysis of why creeds and confessions are necessary, how they have developed over time, and how they can function in the church of today and tomorrow. He writes primarily for evangelicals who are not particularly confessional in their thinking yet who belong to confessional churches – Baptists, independents, etc. – so that they will see more clearly the usefulness of the church’s tradition.

Dr. Carl Trueman speaking on "Reformation Creeds for Today" at DFW Reformation Conference 2014 at Mid-Cities Presbyterian Church

Dr. Carl Trueman speaking on “Reformation Creeds for Today” at DFW Reformation Conference 2014 at Mid-Cities Presbyterian Church

About the Author

Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of historical theology and church history and vice president for academic affairs at Westminster Theological Seminary. He was editor of Themelios for nine years, has written more than a dozen books, and has contributed to multiple publications, including the Dictionary of Historical Theology and The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology.

Book Details

205 Pages
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers
Publication Date: September 2012

Source: WTS Books

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

September 22, 2015

Shining Face of Moses, Sabbath Regulations, Contributions for the Tabernacle (Exodus 34:29-35:19)

Chuck CainOn September 20, 2015, the adult Sunday School class studied Exodus 34:29 through 35:19.

The last verses of Exodus 34 record the seventh and final descent of Moses from Mount Sinai. He brings with him the tablets of the testimony. His face shines as a result of his time with God and the lingering effect of his having been shown God’s glory (33:18). This appearance serves to authenticate Moses as mediator and leader, God’s presence and guidance, and the Law. Based on 2 Corinthians 3:7 through 4:6, in the face of Moses we see the glory of any person who meets with God by faith through his word. That is, being with God has a transforming effect on people. Also in this passage we see the glory of the gospel as the old covenant fades away.

In chapter 35 we see Moses resuming his discussion of the sabbath after he was rudely interrupted after 31:18 upon his finding Israel engaged in idolatry. Moses then proceeds to announce God’s commands regarding the tabernacle. He solicits contributions and craftsmanship from the Israelites. He orders the manufacture of the the tabernacle, particularly listing the seven articles of furniture (35:12-16). Note that this is the third such listing. The first was in chapters 25-30, and the second occurs in 31:7-9. There will be seven such listings before Exodus is concluded.

Note that Aaron has apparently been forgiven his sins and his lame excuses recorded in chapter 32, for according to 35:19 he is to be consecrated as high priest. This plus God’s renewed promise to dwell with his people shows that there is always hope for sinners.–Chuck Cain

Listen to “Shining Face of Moses, Sabbath Regulations, Contributions for the Tabernacle (Exodus 34:29-35:19)” at mcopc.org.

September 22, 2015

Ears to Hear (John 8:39-47)

Podcast Art JohnOn Sunday, September 5, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “Ears to Hear” from John 8:39-47.

The only way to have God as your Father and to have Christ as a Brother is through faith in him as your Lord and Savior.

1. Children of a Different Father—The Jews show by their works that they aren’t children of Abraham, because Abraham believed God when he spoke.

2. True Sons of God—Those who have God as Father will hear, love and believe the words of Jesus.

3. Faith Comes from Hearing—Christians have God’s revelation in full in Scripture. We have an advantage over those who lived during Jesus’ earthly ministry.

Listen to “Ears to Hear (John 8:39-47)” at mcopc.org.

September 21, 2015

The Truth Will Set You Free (John 8:31-36)

Podcast Art JohnOn Sunday, August 30, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “The Truth Will Set You Free” from John 8:31-36.

If you abide in Christ’s word, you abide in the truth, and the one who is the Truth will set you free.

1. Only Time Will Tell—. If you abide in God’s word, you will know the truth and be free.

2. Even a King Can Be a Slave—God’s Spirit will bring true disciples to repentance but not those who aren’t.
3. Declaration of Independence—Fix yourself on God’s word and it will spiritually set you free.

Listen to “The Truth Wil Set You Free (John 8:31-36)” at mcopc.org.

September 20, 2015

Yesterday, Today and Forever (John 8:48-59)

Podcast Art JohnOn Sunday, September 13, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “Yesterday, Today and Forever” from John 8:48-59.

By faith, Old Testament saints eagerly looked forward to Jesus’s coming in the flesh, and by faith we look back. All those who look to him by faith will be saved.

1. Are We Not Right?–Since Jesus questioned their pedigree, they dishonor him with their question to which he does not respond. His honor comes from his Father who is their Judge.

2. Are You Greater?–The Jews ask Jesus the right questions, but their sin blinds them to his answers. God not offended by our questions, but they must be asked knowing he is under no obligation to answer us. The Jews’s question of Jesus expressed disrespect for him. When you confront your Creator and Judge, you must do so humbly.

3. Who Do You Think You Are?–Jesus seeks not to glorify himself, as the Jews assume, but his Father, whom he knows and they do not.

4. Have You Seen?–Jesus was, is, and always will be the eternal Son of God and Mediator between God and man for sinners who believe in him as Abraham did.

Listen to “Yesterday, Today and Forever (John 8:48-59) at mcopc.org.

September 17, 2015

Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church

Heresies CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

The history of Christian theology is in large part a history of heresies, because Jesus and the claims he made . . . seemed incredible,” writes the author. Heresies presents “the story of how succeeding generations of Christians through almost twenty centuries have tried to understand, trust, and obey Jesus Christ.” Particularly concerned with christology and trinitarianism, the author calls on the four major creeds of the church—Apostles’, Nicene, Athanasian, and Chalcedonian—to separate orthodoxy from heresy. He acknowledges that heresy has done much more than confuse and divide the church. It has also helped the church to classify orthodoxy. Just as heresy served this purpose historically, so it serves this purpose pedagogically in Heresies.

This volume presents a clarion call to evangelicals to preserve tenaciously “the faith once delivered to the saints.” Frank E. James III wrote in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society: “Brown deserves to be commended not only for his insightful scholarship and his readable style but also and more importantly for providing a sorely-needed jab to the soft underbelly of modern evangelicalism.”

Source: Hendrickson Publishers

Harold OJ Brown

Harold O.J. Brown

About the Author

Like so many others who graced the halls of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Harold O. J. Brown (1933-2007) was an evangelical statesmen, demonstrating high intellectual acumen, steadfast theological conviction, and compassionate, prophetic social engagement. While a mentor in the classroom and beloved teacher, Brown was most known for his role in arousing a slumbering pro-life movement.

His Life: A Thumbnail Sketch

Born on July 6, 1933, Brown seemed to have a natural draw to the intellectual life. He studied vigorously at Harvard throughout his 20s and early 30s, where he earned four degrees from Harvard: A.B., Harvard College (1953); B.D., Harvard Divnity School (1957); Th.M., Harvard Divinity School (1959); Ph.D, Harvard University (1967).

During that same period, Brown was also ordained in the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (1958) and served in pastoral ministry first between 1958 and 1965. That pastoral tenure ended with postdoctoral work in Europe, having received the prestigious Fulbright and Danforth fellowships. His primary educational home, however, was Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he taught in 1971, 1975-83, and 1987-1998. (He also had an extended tenure at Reformed Theological Seminary.) On all accounts, he was a beloved teacher and mentor. As TEDS faculty member John Woodbridge fondly recalls,

Brown was an intriguing lecturer. He could awe with displays of vast erudition regarding theology, ethics, journalism, politics, and church history. He could entertain by spouting Latin verse or by bursting into the hearty singing of an old German song. He could charm with flashes of wit and colorful anecdotes. But students especially appreciated Brown’s care and concern for them as persons. He wanted them to be educated (“civilized” with a wide-ranging culture), articulate, and activist Christians.

This account is evidenced by the fact that students elected him “Faculty Member of the Year” in 1989.

Theological Accomplishments

Brown’s significance as a theologian, pastor, professor, and social activist lies primarily in his influence on the pro-life movement. He both anticipated the problem of abortion before it was legalized and was one of the more significant organizers and strategists afterward. It is reasonable to suppose that without Brown there may not have been a pro-life movement.Indeed, according to Matthew Miller, had it not been for Brown (and with him, Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop), “there may not have been a pro-life movement in the 1980s at all, nor in the years that followed.”

In 1975 (two years after Roe v. Wade), Brown and Koop founded the Christian Action Council (now Care Net), which was a leading “right to life” advocacy group on Capital Hill for some time and remains active in the promotion of “life.” He was also the editor of The Human Life Review, among many other publications. Furthermore, Brown was the Christianity Today editor responsible for writing the editorial in response to Roe v. Wade, which Mark Galli (CT) described as “[o]ne of the finer moments in CT history.” Published on February 2, 1973 with the title “Abortion and the Court,” the editorial is a scathing, insightful, bitingly witty, and intelligent critique of the Court decision. Besides his critique of the absurdities of the decision, and its moral consequences and pagan undertones, Brown’s prophetic articulation of the changing shape of society is also eerily spot-on:

Christians should accustom themselves to the thought that the American state no longer supports, in any meaningful sense, the laws of God, and prepare themselves spiritually for the prospect that it may one day formally repudiate them and turn against those who seek to live by them.

Besides his work in the “right to life” movement—indeed, in relation to it—Brown’s work in the Evangelical-Catholic dialogue is also noteworthy. As one Catholic, Scott Richert, remarks, Brown was “perhaps the best example I have ever known of an uncompromising ecumenism.”

For these reasons and many more, Harold O. J. Brown is the ideal theologian after whom to name our academic scholarship for doctoral students, designed to encourage excellent theological argumentation with compassionate, prophetic social engagement.

Source: Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding

Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Hendrickson Pub (March 1998)
ISBN-10: 1565633652
ISBN-13: 978-1565633650

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

September 17, 2015

Covenant Renewal (Exodus 34:1-28)

Chuck CainOn September 13, 2015, the adult Sunday School class studied Exodus 34:1-28.

Verses 6-7 are often quoted throughout the Old Testament. Listed are seven attributes by which God expresses himself. These would have been particularly welcomed by Moses and Israel in light of the nation’s recent idolatry. God is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, forgiving, yet just. These verses also identify the occasion that God “passed before Moses and proclaimed his name” as stated in 33:19.

God’s renewal of the covenant is expressed in verses 10-28, with particular emphasis on commandments that would prevent further idolatry. In verses 10-16 he warns Israel of making covenants with neighboring peoples as they enter the promised land and falling sway to their religions, especially through intermarriage. Verses 17-26 list another set of 10 commandments with a further emphasis on warnings regarding idolatry. In particular they emphasize worship through God’s prescribed festivals rather than pagan festivals.

In verse 27 Moses is commanded to record these words, which may have also included God’s commandments regarding the tabernacle in chapters 25-31. In verse 28 it is God who wrote the 10 Commandments on the stone tablets as promised in verse 1.–Chuck Cain

Listen to “Covenant Renewal (Exodus 34:1-28)” at mcopc.org!

September 13, 2015

The Spirit of Revival: Discovering the Wisdom of Jonathan Edwards

Spirit of Revival CoverStatus: Available

Publisher’s Description

America is gripped in an ongoing war that has divided our nation over issues of sexual morality, the relation between church and state, the collapse of the family unit, the emergence of a drug culture, and a radical change in the customs of polite speech. Because of this cultural war, America desperately needs revival.

In The Spirit of Revival R.C. Sproul and Archie Parrish take the classic work by Jonathan Edwards, The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, and make it more accessible to the common reader. Edwards’ original discourse is carefully broken down into powerful sections, allowing theologians and the common lay worker the opportunity to recognize the true marks of revival: love and humility.

About the Author

Archie Parrish

Archie Parrish

Archie Parrish is the founder and president of Serve International and faithfully works to train evangelical churches in prayer discipleship.

Dr. R.C. Sproul

Dr. R.C. Sproul

Dr. R.C. Sproul is the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry located near Orlando, Florida. His teaching can be heard on the program Renewing Your Mind, which is broadcast on hundreds of radio outlets in the United States and in 40 countries worldwide. He is the executive editor of Tabletalk magazine, general editor of The Reformation Study Bible, and the author of more than seventy books and scores of articles for national evangelical publications. Dr. Sproul also serves as president of Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies, and Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. He currently serves as senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew’s in Sanford, FL.

Book Details

224 Pages
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers
Publication Date: December, 1999
ISBN:

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

September 12, 2015

Unless You Believe (John 8:21-30)

Sermons JohnOn Sunday, August 23, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “Unless You Believe” from John 8:21-30.

God graciously warns us about our sins, and tells us of the free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

1. Inability—Because Adam sinned, we are fallen in him. Unless there is an intervention by God, we will die in our sins. What you can’t do Jesus can do for you, if you believe in him.

2. Ignorance—From Jesus’ first appearance, he told the Jewish authorities that he is Yahweh. They refused to believe him, and so persisted to feign ignorance of his identity and true place of origin. When they “lift Jesus up,” his death and resurredtion will show them he is Messiah and Yahweh and that God hates sin. Our sins sent Jesus to the cross. The responsibility you and I bear was borne by Jesus Christ so that we bear it no more. If that is not love, then there is no such thing. If Jesus always does what pleases the Father, then how could he die for the sins of others? By willingly taking their sins upon himself.

3. Consequences of Sin—If left in our sin, we will die in our sin. If God did not hate sin, then Jesus would not have been crucified for our sin. His death shows the severity of God’s anger with sin and the reality of imputation. There is no escaping the consequences of sin, which is death, but by trust in Christ, his death will count as ours and we will receive eternal life which only Jesus deserves. There is hope for the sinner—his name is Jesus Christ. God promises that all who call on Jesus Christ will be saved.

Listen to “Unless You Believe” (John 8:21-30) at mcopc.org.