Archive for December, 2015

December 31, 2015

The History of Christian Doctrines

10255782_10153353036287005_6923211936264919954_oStatus: Available

Book Description

The History of Christian Doctrines is a major, widely respected work on the definition, transformation, development, and preservation of basic Christian doctrines throughout the history of the church.

Comprehensive in scope, it provides the necessary historical background for all who are studying systematic theology or current trends in the religious world. Although the theologian must constantly assess the present situation of Christian theological thought, he cannot neglect with impunity, Dr. Berkhof counsels, the lessons of the past.

The text is concise in style and conveniently outlined with headings and subheadings for maximum effectiveness as a textbook or reference tool. As a plus for classroom teachers and students, questions follow each chapter.

Source: Back Cover

Louis BerkhofAbout the Author

Louis Berkhof (October 14 1873 – May 18 1957) was an American-Dutch Reformed theologian whose works on systematic theology have been influential in seminaries and Bible colleges in the United States and Canada and with individual Christians in general throughout the 20th century.

Berkhof was born in 1873 in Emmen in the Netherlands and moved in 1882 with his family to Grand Rapids (Michigan). About the time he graduated from the seminary he married Reka Dijkhuis. They had four children before her death in 1928. He then married Dena Heyns-Joldersma who had two daughters.

In 1900, he graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids after which he was appointed pastor of the First Christian Reformed Church in Allendale Charter Township, Michigan. Two years later he attended Princeton Theological Seminary where he earned his B.D. in two years. He returned to Grand Rapids to pastor Oakdale Park Church. In 1906, he joined the faculty of Calvin Theological Seminary and taught there for almost four decades. For the first 20 years he taught Biblical Studies until in 1926 he moved into the systematic theology department. He became president of the seminary in 1931 and continued in that office until he retired in 1944.

Berkhof wrote twenty-two books during his career. His main works are his Systematic Theology (1932, revised 1938) which was supplemented with an Introductory Volume to Systematic Theology (1932, which is included in the 1996 Eerdman’s edition of Systematic Theology) and a separate volume entitled History of Christian Doctrines (1937). He wrote a more concise version of his Systematic Theology for high school and college students entitled Manual of Christian Doctrine, and later wrote the even more concise Summary of Christian Doctrine. He also delivered Princeton Theological Seminary’s Stone Lectures in 1951. These were published as The Kingdom of God. In addition to this, he worked on many papers for the Christian Reformed Church as well as collections of sermons.

Berkhof was not known for being original or speculative but for being very good at organizing and explaining basic theological ideas following in the tradition of John Calvin, Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck. Theologian Wayne Grudem has called Berkhof’s Systematic Theology “a great treasure-house of information and analysis […] probably the most useful one-volume systematic theology available from any theological perspective.”[1] Berkhof’s writings continue to serve as systematic presentations of Reformed theology. They are organized for use in seminaries and religious education as well as individual reference, though his systematics works are demanding reads.

Source: Wikipedia

Paperback, 285
Publisher: Baker Book House
Publication Date: 1937 (original edition), 1975 (first paperback edition), 1992 (eleventh printing)
ISBN: 0-8010-0636-8

Purchase the latest edition at 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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December 30, 2015

Polycarp of Smyrna: The Man Whose Faith Lasted (Heroes of the Faith)

Polycarp of Smyrna CoverStatus: Checked Out

Book Description

There are lots of ‘idols’ these days. But do you have any heroes? What’s the difference? Idols are people we say we ‘adore’ because they are famous, or rich, or good looking, or because they have amazing talents, or special abilities perhaps we wish we could have. Heroes are people who are willing to live and die for what they believe.

Polycarp of Smyrna: The Man Whose Faith Lasted tells the story of a hero. He was a follower of Jesus Christ. He loved and served his Lord for over eighty years. And from the beginning to the end – his faith lasted. This large hardback book for children, from the pen of Sinclair Ferguson, is beautifully illustrated by Allison Brown. A wonderful start to a wonderful series that currently includes this, and two other titles:

Ignatius of Antioch: The Man Who Faced Lions
Irenaeus: The Man Who Wrote Books

Sinclair Ferguson

Dr. Sinclair Ferguson

About the Author

Sinclair Buchanan Ferguson retired in 2013 as Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and returned to his native Scotland. Prior to this he held the Charles Krahe chair for Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary and served Church of Scotland congregations in Unst (Shetland) and Glasgow (St George’s Tron). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen (1971).

Dr. Ferguson has authored several books published by the Trust, of which he is a trustee, and a former editor. He retains his position as Professor of Systematic Theology at Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas, and serves as a Teaching Fellow with Ligonier Ministries. He continues to preach God’s Word in churches and at conferences.

Sinclair and his wife Dorothy have three sons, a daughter, three grandsons, and three granddaughters.

Hardcover, 40 pages

Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9781848710924

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.

December 29, 2015

Irenaeus of Lyons: The Man Who Wrote Books (Heroes of the Faith)

Irenaeus of Lyons CoverStatus: Checked Out

Book Description

There are lots of ‘idols’ these days. But do you have any heroes? What’s the difference? Idols are people we say we ‘adore’ because they are famous, or rich, or good looking, or because they have amazing talents, or special abilities perhaps we wish we could have. Heroes are people who are willing to live and die for what they believe.

Irenaeus of Lyons – the man who wrote books tells the story of a hero. He was a follower of Jesus Christ. He served him far away from home. And to help his fellow Christians – he wrote books. This large hardback book for children, from the pen of Sinclair Ferguson, is beautifully illustrated by Allison Brown. A wonderful start to a wonderful series that currently includes this, and two other titles:

Ignatius of Antioch: The Man Who Faced Lions
Polycarp of Smyrna: The Man Whose Faith Lasted

Sinclair Ferguson

Dr. Sinclair Ferguson

About the Author

Sinclair Buchanan Ferguson retired in 2013 as Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and returned to his native Scotland. Prior to this he held the Charles Krahe chair for Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary and served Church of Scotland congregations in Unst (Shetland) and Glasgow (St George’s Tron). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen (1971).

Dr. Ferguson has authored several books published by the Trust, of which he is a trustee, and a former editor. He retains his position as Professor of Systematic Theology at Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas, and serves as a Teaching Fellow with Ligonier Ministries. He continues to preach God’s Word in churches and at conferences.

Sinclair and his wife Dorothy have three sons, a daughter, three grandsons, and three granddaughters.

Hardcover, 40 pages

Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9781848710948

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.

December 28, 2015

Ignatius of Antioch: The Man Who Faced Lions

Ignatius of Antioch CoverStatus: Checked Out

Book Description

There are lots of ‘idols’ these days. But do you have any heroes? What’s the difference? Idols are people we say we ‘adore’ because they are famous, or rich, or good looking, or because they have amazing talents, or special abilities perhaps we wish we could have. Heroes are people who are willing to live and die for what they believe.

Ignatius of Antioch – The Man Who Faced Lions is the story of a hero. He was a follower of Jesus Christ. He was prepared to live and die for his Lord. And one day – he faced lions. This large hardback book for children, from the pen of Sinclair Ferguson, is beautifully illustrated by Alison Brown.

Source: Banner of Truth Trust

Sinclair FergusonAbout the Author

Sinclair Buchanan Ferguson retired in 2013 as Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and returned to his native Scotland. Prior to this he held the Charles Krahe chair for Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary and served Church of Scotland congregations in Unst (Shetland) and Glasgow (St George’s Tron). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen (1971).

Dr Ferguson has authored several books published by the Trust, of which he is a trustee, and a former editor. He retains his position as Professor of Systematic Theology at Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas, and serves as a Teaching Fellow with Ligonier Ministries. He continues to preach God’s Word in churches and at conferences.

Sinclair and his wife Dorothy have three sons, a daughter, three grandsons, and three granddaughters.

Hardback, 40 pages
Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9781848710931
Source: Banner of Truth Trust

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.

December 17, 2015

The Thunder: A Novel on John Knox

The Thunder CoverStatusChecked Out

Book Description

John Knox, the Thundering Scot, lives a life of adventure and danger in turbulent, corrupt sixteenth-century Scotland. Finding himself a wanted man, Knox is besieged in a castle by French soldiers, seized, and made a galley slave. Yet he is unflinching in his stand for the gospel, even in the face of assassins and death, and even when his fiery preaching makes him an enemy of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Told from the perspective of a young student resolved to protect Knox no matter the cost, Douglas Bond’s thrilling biographical novel provides a look at the harrowing life story of a giant of the faith. Discover the fascinating story of a timid man transformed by the grace and power of the gospel into one of the most influential figures in Scottish history. [From the back cover]

Douglas Bond

Douglas Bond

About the Author

Douglas Bond is the author of a number of books of historical fiction and biography. He and his wife have two daughters and four sons. Bond is an elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, a teacher, a conference speaker, and a leader of church history tours. Visit his website at http://www.bondbooks.net.

Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: P&R Publishing Company
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59638-214-5

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.

December 16, 2015

To See the Glory of God (John 11:28-44)

Sermons JohnOn Sunday, November 29, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “To See the Glory of God” from John 11:28-44.

Just as Jesus had the power to raise Lazarus from the dead and unbind him from his grave clothes, so he has power to raise us from spiritual death and unbind us from slavery to sin.

1. “Deeply Moved,” or Indignant?—Jesus was angry both at the enemy that death itself is, and by the fact that so many chose to remain ignorant that he is the God-sent remedy to death.

2. Jesus Wept—In his full humanity, Jesus shed tears for Lazarus, and for the disbelief on display around him.

3. That They Might Believe—In his full deity, Jesus commanded Lazarus to come out, raising him physically, signifying our spiritual resurrection and foretelling our future bodily resurrection, yet contrasting it with that of the Lord Jesus.

Listen to “To See the Glory of God” (John 11:28-44) at mcopc.org.

December 16, 2015

John Knox and the Reformation

John Knox and the Reformation CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

Commemorating the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Knox, this little book will encourage readers to not only remember the man but also consider the outcome of his life and imitate his faith.

Table of Contents

Publisher’s Preface
John Knox Timeline
Remembering the Reformation
John Knox: The Founder of Puritanism
John Knox and “the Battle

D Martyn Lloyd-Jones

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)

About the Authors

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was born in Cardiff and raised in Llangeitho, Ceredigion, Wales. Educated at Tregaron County Intermediate School and then in London at Marylebone Grammar School between 1914 and 1917, he went to St Bartholomew’s Hospital as a medical student. He then worked as Chief Clinical Assistant to the Royal Physician, Sir Thomas Horder.

After sensing a call to preach, in 1927 Lloyd-Jones returned to Wales – having married Bethan Phillips (with whom he later had two children, Elizabeth and Ann) – as minister at the Bethlehem Forward Movement Church (known as ‘Sandfields’) in Aberavon (Port Talbot).

After eleven years at Sandfields, he was called in 1939 to be associate pastor of Westminster Chapel, London, working alongside G. Campbell Morgan. During the same year, he became the president of the Inter-Varsity Fellowship of Students (known today as the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UK)). In 1943 Campbell Morgan retired, leaving Lloyd-Jones as the sole Pastor of Westminster Chapel, a position he was to hold for the next 25 years.

After retiring from Westminster Chapel in 1968, due to illness, for the rest of his life ‘the Doctor’ concentrated on editing his sermons for publication, counselling other ministers, answering letters and attending conferences. He preached for the last time on June 8, 1980, at Barcombe Baptist Chapel. He died peacefully in his sleep at Ealing on March 1, 1981, and was buried at Newcastle Emlyn, near Cardigan, west Wales.

[See Iain H. Murray’s 2-volume biography D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years 1899-1939 and The Fight of Faith 1939-1981; also his The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1899-1981.]

Iain Murray

Iain Murray

Iain Hamish Murray, born in Lancashire, England, in 1931, was educated at Wallasey Grammar School and King William’s College in the Isle of Man (1945-49). He was converted in 1949 through the ministry at Hildenborough Hall, Tom and Jean Rees’ Christian conference centre in Kent. It was at Hildenborough later that same year that he first met Jean Ann Walters, who was to become his wife (they married in Edgeware on April 23, 1955).

After service with the Cameronians in Singapore and Malaya, he read Philosophy and History at the University of Durham with a view to the ministry of the English Presbyterian Church (his parents’ denomination). It was at Durham that he began to read the Puritans, whose writings were to become a lifelong passion. After a year of private study, he assisted Sidney Norton at St John’s Free Church, Oxford, in 1955–56, and it was here that The Banner of Truth magazine was launched, with Murray as its first editor.

From 1956 he was for three years assistant to Dr Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel and there, with the late Jack Cullum, founded the Banner of Truth Trust in 1957. He left Westminster in 1961 for a nine-year pastorate at Grove Chapel, Camberwell. With the world-wide expansion of the Trust, Iain Murray became engaged full-time in its ministry from 1969 until 1981 when he responded to a call from St Giles Presbyterian Church, Sydney, Australia. Now based again in the UK, he and Jean live in Edinburgh. He has written many titles published by the Trust, in whose work he remains active. He is still writing.

Paperback, 144 pages
Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 9781848711143

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.

December 15, 2015

John Knox (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)

John Knox CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

From armed bodyguard to galley slave, from loving husband and father to fiery preacher, John Knox was moved by a relentless passion for the honor of God and the purity of His truth and worship. Yet when he was a schoolboy growing up in the small Scottish town of Haddington, he could never have imagined that he would become a major leader of the powerful movement that transformed Scotland into one of the most committed Protestant countries in the world. Simonetta Carr tells the story of how this great Reformer, whose life began humbly, in a faraway, mysterious part of the world, influenced the church and its beliefs far beyond the borders of Scotland, shaping our thinking still today.

Simometta-Carr

Simonetta Carr

About the Author

Simonetta Carr was born in Italy and has lived and worked in different cultures. A former elementary school teacher, she has home-schooled her eight children for many years. She has written for newspapers and magazines around the world and has translated the works of several Christian authors into Italian. Presently, she lives in San Diego with her husband, Thomas, and family. She is a member and Sunday school teacher at Christ united Reformed Church.

Matt-AbraxasAbout the Illustrator

Matt Abraxas has traveled from California to France, studying different approaches to art. He enjoys creating and teaching art and currently exhibits his work at the SmithKlein Gallery in Boulder, Colorado. Matt lives with his wife, Rebecca, and two sons, Zorba and Rainer, in Lafayette, Colorado.

Hardcover, 64 pages
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781601782892

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.

December 14, 2015

Radicals Reject the Ecumenical Creeds

 

SONY DSC

Faustus Socinus

On Sunday, November 22, 2015, Elder Wayne Wylie led a discussion on the Radical Reformers’ Rejection of the Ecumenical Creeds.

The ecumenical creeds, namely, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Chalcedonian Definition confess the foundational doctrines of the Christian Faith. The “Magisterial Reformers,” or the Lutherans, Calvinists and Anglicans, retained confession of the ecumenical creeds in their reforms of theology and practice.

The “Radical Reformers,” known also as the Anabaptist movement, however, rejected the ecumenical creeds. They emphasized a more individualistic form of divine revelation at the expense of Scripture. They, therefore, repeated many errors of the ancient heretics like Adoptionism and Docetism , among others. Socinianism was introduced. Faustus Socinus denied the deity of Christ and the exclusivity of salvation through him.

The communions born out of the Magisterial Reformaiton divided regionally due to blocks of nations establishing the various churches. Those who confessed a particular tradition moved to that tradition’s region of Europe.

The controversy over freewill was discussed. The freedom to do what one wants is limited by various factors, chief of all the moral nature of the individual. Semi-Pelagianism finds expression in post-Reformation era in the form of Arminianism. Crisis in the Reformed Churches recommended for an introduction to the debate at the Synod of Dort.

Listen to “Radicals Reject the Ecumenical Creeds” at mcopc.org.

December 14, 2015

I Am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:17-27)

Podcast Art JohnOn Sunday, November 22, 2015, Pastor Joe Troutman preached “I am the Resurrection and the Life” from John 11:17-27.

Faith in Jesus Christ takes away our fear of death because he’s the one who raises the dead back to life.

1. Four Days Dead—For the glory of God, it must be undeniable that Lazarus was raised by the power of Christ.

2. Misunderestimation—Despite Martha’s grief, she expresses her faith that Jesus would have healed Lazarus if Jesus had been with them. Martha mistakenly thinks there are limits to Jesus’s ability to raise Lazarus from death.

3. Greater Than Expectation—Not only will God raise all on the Last Day, not only can Jesus raise a man from death who is dead four days, but he can raise one to eternal spiritual life today as well.

Listen to “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:17-27) at mcopc.org.