Category Archives: Book Review

I’ve decided to add a books page so I can recommend some of the books I read in seminary. I hope to update it several times, even during semesters, as I start and finish new books.

Book Review – “The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God” by D. A. Carson

This is an excellent book. I often struggle with cultivating love. So, it was very helpful to see the depth and differences in the love of God.

Carson explores 5 types of love existing in God: 1) love within the Trinity; 2) love for creation; 3) love for fallen humanity; 4) love for those who are/will-be saved; 5) love for those who are obedient. Carson also reflects on how God’s love interacts with the rest of God’s character. Each section is backed with Scripture and helpful for the cultivation of your own love, especially of God, your spouse, the church, the unsaved and creation.

I would recommend this book to everyone who is familiar with the Bible and seeking to discern what it says about the love of God.

Book Review – “According to Plan” by Graeme Goldsworthy

I read this for my Systematic Theology I class during Spring semester. Mostly, I’d like to recommend it for everyone, especially non-theologians.

This book is great for everyone who wants to know how the Bible fits together, centered around Jesus Christ. The closing couple chapters could be improved by showing more specifically how Jesus’ life and teaching fulfills the themes that are built up through the book but overall a great and worthwhile read.

I recommend it specifically for the every-week church-goer because of how many people are losing sight of the purpose and focus of the Bible. Reading the Bible can become a segmented phenomenon, a compilation of stories based around the theme of moral goodness. The Bible is so much better than that! By centering your reading of the Bible around Jesus Christ and recognizing the themes that Goldsworthy highlights (along with others), you can greatly improve your knowledge of God and what He’s doing, and thus increase your love for Him, His plan to glorify Himself and your participation in it.

Book Review – “The Truth of the Cross” by R. C. Sproul

The Truth of the Cross“If you take away the cross as an atoning act, you take away Christianity.” (p. 15)

As many have said, R. C. Sproul is excellent when it comes to describing orthodox Christianity in words that can be understood by all. He does so again in The Truth of the Cross.

The centrality of the atonement is assailed in our day. And most church members cannot explain their own faith. Sproul does a great job starting from ground zero to make sure the atonement is properly understood. He starts with the human inability to be perfect and challenges us to evaluate ourselves.

The second chapter focuses on the character of God. God must be just in order to be morally good. God has to hate sin and punish the disobedient in order to uphold His own righteousness.

The third chapter relates the previous two calling the chapter “Debtors, Enemies, Criminals”. He delineates the Bible’s presentation of what sin is, who sinful man is, who righteous God is and what role of Christ mediates between God and man.

In chapter four Sproul makes sure that the idea of the ransom paid, is actually paid to the right person – to God. The old fallacy that a ransom was paid to Satan is put soundly to rest.

Chapter five is entitled, “The Saving Substitute”. Sproul explains the necessity of Jesus Christ being the believer’s substitute to suffer God’s wrath in the place of the believer. And, he writes, “if somebody argues against placation or the idea of Christ satisfying the wrath of God, be alert, because the gospel is at stake”. It is refreshing to know not only the essentials of the faith but what makes them essential.

The sixth chapter, “Made Like His Brethren”, explores Jesus’ humanity and how He was without sin, fulfilling all righteousness so it might be imputed to sinners.

Sproul uses the seventh chapter to explain the role of the Old Testament prediction of “The Suffering Servant”, where “God provided clues about His intention to send One Who would take the place of His people in order to make satisfaction to God”.

“The Blessing and the Curse” is the eighth chapter. Sproul shows the necessity of Jesus being “cursed” for us (Galatians 3:13) because of the curse God places on those who disobey Him and the blessing He provides for those who obey, which was established in the Old Testament.

The ninth chapter, “A Secure Faith”, may be difficult for some. R. C. relates the importance of definite atonement to our understanding of the cross. As always, he uses the pages given well. He brings out the security of our salvation and how it was secured in the work of Christ on the cross.

The last chapter is titled “Questions and Answers”. R. C. uses it to review misconceptions like what value each drop of Jesus’ actual blood had, whether God is present in Hell, whether God died on the cross and others.

This is an excellent book. I would especially recommend it to new believers or as a gift for them. Others, if you are not sure how the atonement fits together or why it is necessary then this book is perfect for you too.

Book Review – “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald S. Whitney

I’ve decided to add a “Book Review” category so I can recommend some of the books I read in seminary. I hope to update it frequently, even during semesters, as I start and finish new books. I’ll start with my first semester recommendation from the class ‘Personal Spiritual Disciplines’ with Dr. Whitney

“Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald S. WhitneySpiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney (NavPress, 1991). One group of things protestant Christians have lost sight of is spiritual discipline. Roman Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus and others all give practices for the followers of their false religions. If there is one things we know about Christianity, it is that God saves visibly. We are saved then expected to walk in the good works God has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:8-10). This book focuses on how we can train ourselves for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7). These exercises are lacking and we need to devote ourselves to them again so we will be diligent while awaiting our Lord’s return (Matthew 25:13).