Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review of Taking God at His Word

I am a big fan of Kevin DeYoung he is very insightful and one of the best writers of this generation. This book is good but not great I would have loved to have seen him take things slightly a bit deeper. This was a good read that helped solidify my appreciation of Scripture. With that being said I am a seminary student that does a lot of reading and has a deeper understanding of Scripture than your average person on the street may have. I would recommend this work to anyone in my church to help them grow in their understanding of the power of Scripture.
This book is not an extremely long work, I was able to read it in less than a week getting through a chapter or two a night, made quick work of the eight chapters. DeYoung started his work off with a focus on Psalm 119 and ended it focusing on the authority of 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  In an attempt to be completely fair to this book I would say that this book is excellent for the average reader. DeYoung lays great ground work for a greater understanding of Scripture and the  uses of it in out lives. Hey says of God and his word that, "He does not give orders so that we might be restricted and miserable. He never requires what is impure, unloving, or unwise. His demands are always noble, always just, and always righteous."(location 167 in Kindle) That is just one of the many highlights I made in this book. He lays out four major areas that protestant theologians have highlighted as essential characteristics of Scripture, they are: clarity, authority, sufficiency, and necessity. 
He offers a chapter to each of these characteristics. Today as I sat in a home going service for a child not even a week old I heard his mother proclaim the sufficiency of Scripture to comfort her in this trying time. It was as I listened to her that this book came to mind, and the power that Scripture holds. This was a time when all four characteristics shown true.
With all that being said I would recommend this work to just about anyone except for those who hold advanced degrees in Christian ministry. For the new believer this work is great to establish a respect and understanding of Scripture that would take years to come to with out it. For the more mature Christian this work will help to solidify an appreciation Scripture. I was given a copy of this book for review by Crossway's Beyond the Book program in exchange for a fair and honest review.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review of Paul Washer’s Gospel Assurance and Warnings

            This work is the third so far in a series called Recovering the Gospel. It is a very good book that is full of footnotes, but the majority of his footnotes are Scripture references. While reading this book there were several time I felt gut punched, and then comforted by Washer’s words. For instance listen when he say’s “Because of an evangelical pulpit weakened by ignorance, pragmatism, and fear the professing church is filled with individuals who have never really been confronted with the gospel of Jesus Christ, have never heard any of the gospel’s warnings, and have little understanding of genuine biblical assurance.” (pg7)
            He goes on to condemn the teaching that there is such a thing as a carnal Christian ( I agree with his assessment). All of this is just in the first chapter there are nineteen chapters that take up just over 250 pages.  It is broken up into two parts, with part one focusing majorly on the book of 1 John and its contents. This is not something I would recommend as casual reading you must read this with the intent to solidify your stance in Christ or to figure out if you have been deceiving yourself. Washer never left the reader in a place of despair even for those who are not true believers he offers the gospel of grace to them in every turn allowing for repentance.
            He not only shows where a person can deceive themselves but how to on the right path or if a true believer may have gotten off the path there is a way of course correction. He does a good job throughout the book explaining that true Christians are going to make mistakes and fail but there is grace to bring us back in.  At the end of section one there is a summary of all that he had discussed and he offers twelve tests, for us to sure up our salvation.
            In making a recommendation of this book I would possibly hold off on giving it to a new believer because I would not want to scare them that they are a false convert but I say after a year of calling yourself a Christian that is a good amount of time, I would give this book to someone then. I would especially give it to a person who calls themselves a carnal Christian or even believes that there can be such a thing. He gives some very clear evidences as to why this term is oxymoronic.  Out of a five star rating system I give this book 4.5 stars.

I received a copy of this work for an honest and fair review from Cross Focused Media, I in no way had to give this work a positive review.