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Calvin, Bavinck, and Beeke! Oh My!

I recently wanted to take up reading Bavinck’s Wonderful Works alongside Calvin’s Institutes. I haven’t read either of them, and both are systematic theology staples in reformedom. I had been hoping to find a reading list that matched the authors’ chapters up with their systematic topics sequentially. After not finding anything, I decided to take the plunge and make my own. However, after starting with the tedious task of building the reading list, I came across another systematic that I’ve dabbled in, but as of yet haven’t read all the way through, Beeke’s Puritan Theology.

Thomas Boston’s Directions on Theological Meditation

These directions on how to meditate are taken from the 18th century Puritan theologian Thomas Boston. The type of meditation Boston is describing is the Puritan practice of meditation by theological subject.

Fear & Trembling

This is an updated version of my last post, Beholding the Glory of the Gospel. Essentially this is a step by step guide for what to do when reading your Bible. I have updated this post to better reflect what most helps me get into the presence of God and to experience him. This is something to go through once you have your Bible in front of you and have a Bible reading plan to start.

The Family Expositor: Republishing Philip Doddridge’s Classic Devotional New Testament

If you don’t know what the Family Expositor is, and if you’ve never heard of Philip Doddridge, you’re not alone. Philip Doddridge is an obscure later puritan, and the Family Expositor is his commentary and devotional on the New Testament. Most people have not heard of him or his great New Testament work. Even modern enthusiasts of Puritan literature mostly haven’t heard of him, let alone had the luxury to read him.

Recent Reviews

The Unseen Realm: a Review

This book was truly fascinating. Heiser has created a biblical theology of the spiritual realm. This area is sadly a very neglected one in biblical studies and systematic theology. Heiser’s immensely popular work will hopefully go a great way to correct this issue. Heiser takes the reader from Genesis to Revelation and shows them the key passages and themes that highlight the spiritual realm throughout Scripture…

Sapiens: a Short Critical Review

This was an interesting read, however Harari takes up the mantle of philosopher rather than historian too often throughout the book. He tends to have a cynical eye toward anything surrounding religion, and makes many sweeping statements about it that are just incorrect, and several that are flippantly asserted with no evidence. He also attempts to solve many modern problems using a nihilistic take on evolution as his archetype for morality…

Determined to Believe? a Critical Review

John Lennox is an amazingly talented intellectual figure. I was turned on to his apologetic work after seeing very high reviews, and then reading his ‘Seven Days that Divide the World,’ which is an absolutely remarkable book on how science and Scripture meet – especially concerning the book of Genesis. Lennox has also had several debates with intellectual figures from various backgrounds, and he is typically charitable and winsome and wise in his banter in these events. I recently saw that he had written this book on the free-will/Predestination | Calvinism/Arminianism debate, and I knew I had to read it.

Spiritual Depression: a Short Review

This book was one of my most life changing reads. I picked this one up years ago, after seeing it quoted extensively in John Piper’s great book: ‘When I Don’t Desire God.’ At the time I had no idea who Martyn Lloyd-Jones was, or how much of an impact this book would make on me. Lloyd-Jones, a prolific mid 20th Century London preacher, preached these messages in the mid 1950s! Through this excellent book, he taught me how to apply the gospel to my thinking situationally. Before reading this I didn’t know how to analyze my own thought life, or how the gospel came to bear on guilt, sullenness, or shame and condemnation. This is an absolutely life changing book!

How to Master the English Bible: a Short Review

This very short 100 year old book was great! I had heard this recommended a few times and was intrigued by the (near audacious) title and finally decided to explore this one. Honestly, there is not a lot that’s profound about this book, but it does hone in on the obvious in a marvelously striking way. The author’s primary task is to show how to read Scripture with the most profit for knowing it well. The plan is actually very simple. He recommends that the reader start with Genesis, read it, and re-read it until the reader can generally outline it, and judge they have an excellent grasp on it. 

Saving the Bible from Ourselves: a Short Review

I loved Glenn Paauw’s main argument in this book, which is that our Bibles are long overdo for a makeover so that we can actually enjoy reading them like we can do with any other book. I did have some misgivings about the book when the author started getting into theology, however this book was still absolutely great.

Paauw points out that the cheap way most Bible’s are mass produced, the overwhelming presence of tiny numbers and cross references, tiny print, thin pages, and the over-all poor appearance contribute to the general abandonment of Bible reading in our culture.