Recent P&R Books I Have Received

I have received a number of books from P&R for review purposes, and I’d like to say a few words about them. The Bavinck biography deserves its own post, so I will wait on that one a tad.

Almost deserving of its own post also is the Festschrift for Al Groves. I loved him dearly. He was one of those people who gets his way into your heart and won’t let go. However, it was often almost unconsciously done. I was far more affected by his death than I thought I would be. I was very happy to see a volume come out in memory of him. His contributions to scholarship are also more on the hidden side. He was a wizard with computers, and was a clearing house for information on the new critical edition of the Hebrew Bible (the Biblia Hebraica Quinta). So, I commend this series of essays, written by colleagues and students who loved him.

Most of these sermons are available in other formats (although some are occasional sermons for Easter). However, it is very nice to have them all together in one place on one topic, especially if you are trying to find help on the resurrection for your sermons. Anything Boice writes is worth reading.

This book has a very intriguing message. By our beliefs and by our actions, we often treat Jesus as less than He is. The picture on the front is a dog-tag with the title of the book on it, a very clever idea. And the writing itself is also clever. Consider the title of the chapter “Yawning in the Presence of a Mighty God,” a chapter on complacency in worship. This is a book to give to Christians who have grown up in the Christian world, since they are the ones most susceptible to this kind of sin. Prepare to be shocked again by how big our God is.

The cross of Christ is always the most astounding thing about the Christian faith. Rather than sentimentalize it, we should revel in its sheer “foolishness.” For the “foolishness” of God is wiser than the wisdom of men. We should not marvel that God is just. We should instead marvel that God is merciful, even to worms like us.

There are several good books on parenting that have come out recently. This book re-orients our parenting back to the central truths of the Gospel. This book reminds us that, instead of being overwhelmed at the enormity of the task (which is very easy to do!), we should overwhelmed by the centrality of the Gospel. If we do that, we will have all the resources of God’s grace to combat the forces of evil that seek to undermine the family.

The focus of this book is different, in that it looks at all the different stages of growth, and analyzes how parents can address the heart issues of their children. This book is heavily dependent (healthily so, in my opinion!) on the book by Tedd Tripp. Highly recommended for those seeking help on a particular stage of childhood development. There is an especially good chapter on the situation of children who rebel in major ways “When Things Don’t Go As Planned.”

Picking up where the previous book left off, what about parents of adults? To date, I have rarely, if ever, seen a complete book devoted to the parents of adults, and how to handle adult offspring. That’s where this book comes in very handy, indeed. I would also strongly recommend it to pastors who don’t have adult children, but need to have some help in counseling parents of adults. I love the title: “You Never Stop Being a Parent.” All too often, parents of adults simply let go entirely. Obviously the relationship is different, but how can parents of adults help without interfering? This book helps us navigate these difficult waters.

A book sorely needed today is one that seeks to expose and counteract our modern age’s obsession with materialism and greed. It is worth clicking through to look at the cover, which is a not-so-subtle reference to the glass empty or glass full, a matter of Gospel perspective. Barcley relies heavily on the definitive Puritan treatment of the subject, as he should. In fact, you can think of this book as an update of Burroughs.

The entire series “Basics of the Faith” are good things to have on your church book table to hand out to people. The one I received was the little booklet on belief in God. In our day, where the new atheism is gaining quite a militant public hearing, we need all the help we can get on this, and not just for pastors, but also the people in the pew need to hear why these views are wrong.

Lastly, but not least, this book on eschatology does such a wonderful job of bringing the subject into the realm of the practical. The volume is solidly Amillenial, and argues for a present understanding of “these last days.” For pastors, I would particularly direct them to Richard Phillips’s essay on counseling those who are about to die, and the bereaved. But all the essays are important and needed, particularly since pastoral treatments of eschatology seem to be a bit rare. If there are any out there who do not believe that eschatology can be practical, then read this book. You will revise your opinion, I assure you.

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14 Comments

  1. Dan said,

    April 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    These reviews would be a lot more reader-friendly if you would mention the title and author of each book rather than requiring readers to click through the WTS Books links to get that information.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    April 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Dan, every time I do that, NO ONE clicks through to the WTS bookstore. I have had this conversation countless times, and I do not intend to change, unless a thousand people said that they would click through even when I give the title and author.

  3. Cris Dickason said,

    April 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Dan: try this: just place your cursor over Lane’s hyperlink. You can then look down to your browser’s status bar (lower-left most likely) and see the “raw” url, which will contain some aspect of the title, such as

    wtsbooks.com/product-id/why+Believe+in+God%3F+%5BBasics+of+the+Faith%5D+%28Paperback%29

    This lets you decipher the title is “Why Believe in God”.

    Another option, right-click the hyperlink and select open in a new tab to readily see the title referred to and then refocus to the tab from which it was referred.

    Lane: do you have a way to embed the product link, while fomratting the displayed text as the book’s title? I’m not a WordPresser, so I don’t know your WYSIWYG options.

    -=Cris=-
    Former Asst. Manager of ye old WTS Campus Bookstore (Before the interwebs was invented)

  4. greenbaggins said,

    April 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Yes, Cris, there is a way to do that. But it leads to the same problem: if people can see everything about the book without going to the bookstore, then I get no clicks and therefore no rewards. No doubt some people would advertise for WTS bookstore out of the goodness of their hearts (such as yourself!). However, I am not really willing to do that.

  5. Dan said,

    April 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Ah, I didn’t realize that you get paid for click-throughs.

  6. Cris D. said,

    April 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Lane you give me too much credit. My heart doesn’t have that much goodness. I do see that your issue remains with my formatting suggestion.
    WTS Books needs that read the buyer’s mind feature to know where customer learned about the title.

  7. Mark Kim said,

    April 26, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Thanks for the notifications for these books, Lane. Many of the books I have read from P & R have been worthwhile and edifying. The most interesting one for is the one on eschatology. As a historic premill I have yet to find a standard amill interpretation of the last days satisfying. Hopefully that book with its collection of essays will change my mind.

  8. reiterations said,

    April 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Mark Kim: Ah, another historic premil! There aren’t many of us (yet) but, eventually, we’ll take over the entire church! Bwahahahahaha!

  9. Jack bradley said,

    April 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I don’t think so, reiterations. We posties are becoming a multitude that no man can number!

  10. Mark Kim said,

    April 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Jack Bradley: as long as you’re not a theonomist (esp. of the Rushdoony variety) you’re still cool in my books, lol.

  11. Jack Bradley said,

    April 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Mark,

    I’m definitely not a theonomist, although I know postmil and theonomy are inseparable in some people’s minds.

  12. Jack Bradley said,

    April 29, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Okay, since we’re still on the subject, here’s some gems from a non-theonomist postmiller. Treasury of David, Vol. II:

    p. 30: Easily are we victors when Omnipotence leads the way. The day shall come when the church shall with equal ease subdue China and Ethiopia to the sceptre of the Son of David.

    p. 90: Many come to thee now in humble faith, and are filled with good, but more shall be drawn to thee by the attractiveness of thy love, and at length the whole earth shall bow at thy feet.

    p. 108-109: Happy the day when no shouts shall be presented to Juggernaut or Buddha, but all the earth shall adore the Creator thereof. “All ye lands.” Ye heathen nations, ye who have not known Jehovah hitherto, with one consent let the whole earth rejoice before God. . . May the knowledge of the Lord soon cover the earth, that so the universality ofintelligent worship may be possible: such a consummation was evidently expected by the writer of this Psalm ; and, indeed, throughout all Old Testament writings, there are intimations of the future general spread of the worship of God.

    pp. 129-130: our prayer and labour should be, that the knowledge of salvation may become as universal as the light of the sun. Despite the gloomy notions of some, we cling to the belief that the kingdom of Christ will embrace the whole habitable globe, and that all flesh shall see the salvation of God. . . Whole nations will do this when Jesus reigns over them in the power of his grace. . . Every believing Jew must feel a holy joy at the thought that the nations shall all be blessed by Abraham’s God; but every Gentile believer also rejoices that the whole world shall yet worship the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is our Father and our God. . . “And all the ends of the earth shall fear him.” The far off shall fear. The ends of the earth shall end their idolatry, and adore their God. All tribes, without exception, shall feel a sacred awe of the God of Israel. Ignorance shall be removed, insolence subdued, injustice banished, idolatry abhorred, and the Lord’s love, light, life, and liberty, shall be over all, the Lord himself being King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen, and Amen.

    p. 152: This rising up, for which the psalmist prays, is connected with the restoration of Israel, the establishment of universal peace, and the conversion of all nations.

    p. 169: we may note, that the kingdom of the Messiah should at length be submitted to by all the potentates and learned men in the world.

  13. doug sowers said,

    May 7, 2012 at 11:37 am

    “If” he’s not a partial preterest, then he’s waaaaay of the mark. I would suggest everyone reading, “The Last days according do Jesus” by RC Sproul. BTW, when the Bible speaks of the “Last days” it’s referring to the “Last days” of the old age, prior to 70 AD.

  14. Andrew Buckingham said,

    June 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Looks like some great book recommendations. I may buy one, since I am in a buying mood. Looking forward to the next GB post! Peace, AB


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