The Expository Genius of John Calvin – Steven Lawson

21 11 2008

Anyone that writes another biography about the 16th Century reformer better have a good reason to do so. I’ve lost count at how many of them are out there. So when I got a copy of Lawsons latests book I was a little unsure of what to expect. Its a short book weighing in at 139 pages so anyone expecting a full history of Calvin’s life will be dissappointed. It focuses exclusively on style of preaching known as “Expository” preaching, something Calvin did extremely well. Having read a few of Calvins sermons I can vouch for that. Clearly the man had a gift. Lawson is best know for his book “Foundations of Grace” which traces a long line of Godly men who have defended the doctrines of Grace. Read the rest of this entry »


In the News

18 11 2008

This morning before my wife and I left for work I flicked on the TV to one of the news shows. An elderly man was being interviewed about statistics on Child Abuse. What I heard took my breath away and gave me hope. Recently in New Zealand there has been a lot of coverage about a young child that was abused by some of its family members in horrific ways. The Child sustained massive injuries and died as a result. The ones accused of murdering the child were sentenced to life in prison and showed little remorse and this is what the elderly gentleman was going on about. I’m not sure which organisation he stood for, but its ones I would seriously consider supporting.
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Too much of something…

16 11 2008

Everyone remembers that Spice Girls song with the line “Too much of nothing is bad enough…Too much of something is just as tough.” I know you’re singing it now, come on theres nothing to be ashamed of here! This weekend was one of those “too much of something is just as tough” moments. Two of our close friends got married and we were part of the ceremony. I had to read a poem, and my wife and I did tag team filming for them. It was tough going as the wedding became a twelve hour extravaganza. Our friends, and I say this in the nicest possible way, have a flair for the dramatic.
We had a great time and it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with some friends from other churches that we hadn’t seen in a long time. But the amount of food, and particularly rich food, at a wedding always gets me. How can you turn it down when its so good?
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In Christ Alone

11 11 2008

in-christ-alone1Recently I was sent a copy of “In Christ Alone” – Living the Gospel Centered life, by Reformation trust. Its a collection of articles that Sinclair B. Ferguson wrote for Tabletalk and Eternity Magazines. Trying to sum up Jesus can be monumental task. Some have said its like a blind man trying to draw an elephant after feeling it. Reviewing this book wasn’t easy. There is so much I could write about. Each of these articles is like a gold mine of truth about Jesus. I hope you enjoy my review and can gain a deeper appreciation for our Lord.

 My Parents had a holiday in Europe recently and while they were away my wife and I looked after their house and kept their cats alive. When they came back we all went out for dinner to our favorite local restaurant. In and amongst the tales of mischief they got up to (for my dad has been and always will be a hooligan even at age 58) they shared some profound thoughts.  “His providence is my inheritance” & “Our sole purpose is to make Jesus famous in our lives” These were etched onto the walls of some Cathedrals they visited. The quotes have stuck with me and play on my mind constantly, particularly the later. How do I make Jesus famous in my life? What is it about my life that shows Jesus to others. I suggest to you that it starts with a decent, solid understanding of the Person of Jesus in both his historical and Biblical contexts. 

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Pleasantly Surprised by Wright

9 11 2008

It has often been said that Christianity stands or falls on its doctrine of Justification by faith. In fact it as Martin Luther who said that (surprise surprise). I would offer a hearty Amen to that statement. But a better statement woud be, I would say, is that Christianity stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Recently I got a copy of N.T. Wright’s “Surprised by Hope” and it blew me away. I’ve always been skeptical of Wright but there was very little occasion for it this time. Taking on the subject of death, heaven, resurrection and everything associated with that is not easy task but Wright does it so well. His experience with death mirrors my own. The only funeral I’ve attended was my Grandmothers when I was 20. Apart from that one time I have had very little contact with death. I suspect this may be the case for many. In the west we are seldom confronted with the sheer ugliness of death compared with someone in Africa or other parts of the third world where life carries a lot less currency.

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Book Review: A Taste of Heaven – R.C. Sproul

6 11 2008

Worship is one of the hardest things to define. We recognise it when we see it, fight over styles of it, read about it, write about, but defining it is really hard. Often our disputes over what does and does not constitute worship are about methodology rather than Scripture or Theology. I picked up a copy of this book, care of Reformation trust, in the hope that it would better help me to understand the true nature of worship. When reccomending books on worship I take a cue from David Hume . If a book on worship doesn’t help you to understand worship better or strengthen your resolve to worship God then “commit it to the flames”.
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