Ryle on Modern Thought

“The tendency of modern thought is to reject dogmas, creeds, and every kind of bounds in religion. It is thought grand and wise to condemn no opinion whatsoever, and to pronounce all earnest and clever teachers to be trustworthy, however heterogeneous and mutually destructive their opinions may be.—Everything forsooth is true, and nothing is false! Everybody is right, and nobody is wrong! Everybody is likely to be saved, and nobody is to be lost!—The Atonement and Substitution of Christ, the personality of the devil, the miraculous element in Scripture, the reality and eternity of future punishment, all these mighty foundation-stones are coolly tossed overboard, like lumber, in order to lighten the ship of Christianity, and enable it to keep pace with modern science.—Stand up for these great verities, and you are called narrow, illiberal, old-fashioned, and a theological fossil!”

J.C. Ryle in Holiness

Book Review: One God in Three Persons

In One God in Three Persons, Bruce Ware and John Starke have assembled a collection of articles and essays focusing on the relational aspects of the Trinity and the implications to the Christian life. The authors offer different viewpoints in defending the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father. Ware and Starke point out that this topic has gained more attention in recent years as debates on gender roles have drawn upon the doctrine of the Trinity as evidence to bolster each side’s arguments. For egalitarians, the fact that all three Persons of the Trinity are one essence in all eternity is foundational to their argument for equality. However, complementarians point out that the essence of all three Persons is the same (immanent Trinity) but the functions attributable to each distinct Person (economic Trinity) shows a hierarchal relationship amongst the three in eternity. In the book, all eleven authors evaluate the issues from a Reformed perspective and draw upon Scripture and historical orthodox formulations of the Trinity to base their arguments. The scholars also take serious efforts to present the proofs offered by those of the opposition to allow readers to weigh the evidence on both sides.

With my limited ability and knowledge, I would not venture to summarize the contents of all the articles as it would certainly leave out too many details and likely cause readers much confusion. Thus, I urge interested readers to engage the arguments for themselves and consider the evidence being presented. The material is intellectually challenging but yet still readable to the astute lay person who wants an accessible primer on the topic. Most certainly, I would recommend this book to every Christian as it is essential for believers to have a biblical, orthodox understanding of the Trinity and its manifold implications on the Christian life.

In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a free review copy of this book from Crossway.

Book Review: The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses

In The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses, Chris Bruno takes readers through the storyline of the Bible. From creation to the new creation, Bruno illustrates how God’s will to establish His kingdom on earth has never changed. By highlighting 16 verses in the Bible, the author shows how the biblical storyline builds on this underlying theme and how the story still involves us today. Each chapter begins with the specific verse to be discussed and ends with key terms and a recap of how the story is unfolding each step of the way. Bruno has shown mastery in weaving all sixteen chapters together to form a logical, streamlined perspective of understanding the story of the Bible. His target audience is wide encompassing both new believers and mature Christians so he is careful not to incorporate terminology that would confuse readers. Moreover, his writing style is easy to follow and includes applicable examples and humorous asides.  Using only 127 pages, Bruno has given readers a tantalizing taste of how marvelous and wonderful the biblical narrative is. Indeed, no screenwriter or playwright could possibly write such a beautiful story as the God whose eternal love for His people know no bounds.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read in one sitting what is the story of the Bible. After reading Bruno’s work, I find that I often feel more comfortable teaching Bible stories rather than proclaiming the grand Bible Story itself. Furthermore, this book reminded me that the Bible is a story that has not ended though the canon is closed. Rather, followers of Christ should invite those who are unaware to join in this magnificent story of the King who reigns forever.

In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a free review copy of this book from Crossway.