Friday, March 31, 2006

A Consumer's Guide To Preaching: How to Get Most out of a Sermon

"A Consumer's Guide To Preaching: How to Get Most out of a Sermon" By Dr. Jay Adams. I came across this book at one of those buck a book places (Yes, one man's trash is another man's treasure!) and at fist I must confess the title threw me off, A consumer? how anthropocentric? how arrogant? but then again you can't judge a book by its cover, and in this case by the title (BTW, the cover looks funny - just sharing some thoughts here). Anyway, turns out to be an insightful book for a layman with practical helps and ideas on the topic described as the sub title. A very helpful book! 160 pages, soft cover published by Victor Books.

Chapter 1 There Is A Problem - neat little chapter that puts the blame where it most likely belongs (in the pew and not necessarily the pulpit).

Chapter 2 Before You Begin
Chapter 3 Preparing for Preaching - very practical suggestions
Chapter 4 Your Basic Attitude
Chapter 5 Expectations, Predispositions and the Spiritual State
Chapter 6 Work at Getting the Message
Chapter 7 Understanding the Message
Chapter 8 How To Handle Poor Preaching - 'good luck' on this one
Chapter 9 Berean Listening
Chapter 10 Distractions - Dr. Adams uses a funny illustration to open this chapter pointing out that distractions are really nothing new
Chapter 11 The Preacher and You
Chapter 12 Implementation - He provides excerpts ranging from good to heresy and basically asks his readers to think about what is being said.

Baker's Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics

"Baker's Encyclopedia of Chrisitian Apologetics" by Norman L Geisler. Apologetics (not apologetic or apologizing because of an error, it is a branch of study devoted to the defense of the faith). Geisler has an amazing way of putting things into words and writing with a lot of simplicity and helpful charts. If you are interested in finding answers to perplexing questions about the Christian faith then this is a book you may want to consult. Also he writes about some of the men that have been most influential in the medieval and modern Christian era. 1 Volume, and 841 pages of good stuff no doubt. Since the prolifiration of books on CD-DVD, Geisler's complete work on Apologetics is also available somewhere out there in cyberspace or your nearest "Christian" Bookstore. That one contains a boat load of his other writings - but that is beyond the scope of this blog thread.

A Guide to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament

"A Guide to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament" By Edward Miller is a book worthy of consideration. Although it is writen some time ago (1886) it is available (thanks to the ministry of Dr. Donald Waite and Bible For Today) and an 'easier' read in comparison to Burgon's works. I am not shifting the blame: I am at fault for not being able to 'read Burgon' but at least Edward's level of writing is on a shelf where I can reach (hopefully the cookie jar is there too).
"THE ensuing treatise is intended to be a brief Manual on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament for ordinary students of the Bible, and induce those who may be disposed to enter more deeply into the important subject of it to prosecute further research in "The Plain Introduction" of Dr. Scrivener, the learned works of Dean Burgon, and in other well-known sources of information upon Textual Criticism." (Preface by Miller)

Chapter 1 Intro. Importance of the Subject - a short chapter laying the foundation of the seven verses in question: Luke 11:2-4; 22:19-20, 43-44; 23:34; 24:15; Matt. 6:13; among many others 'by addition of other omissions.'

Chapter 2 - History of Textual Criticism - great insights in the early stages of text crit.

Chapter 3 - " "- enter the chop shop (mine): Greisbach,Lachmann, Tregelles, Tishendorf, Wescott, and Hort. Also Miller introduces the opposition to the modernist Revision Committe: Scrivener, Burgon, Cook among many others.

Chapter 4 - School of Extreme Textualism - an asessment and refutation of Wescott and Horts theories.

Chapter 5 - The Rival School - highlighting Burgon and companies expertise on the issue. (relatively short chapter - but thoughtful and carefully worded).

Chapter 6 - History of the Traditional text till the era of Chrysostom - an amazing chapter that answers a lot of question: particularly who were the gnostics in Alexandria that corrupted the MSS (manuscripts).

Chapter 7 - From Chrysostom till the Printing Era (title mine - his was too long) - Covering the supremacy of the Traditional Text.

Chapter 8 - Materials of Criticism - exploring the actual documents.

Chapter 9 - Principles of Criticism - basically if any one does their homework they would not chuck the verses out that was thrown out by the modernists.

Like every good book there is an appendix and index to this one also. All that in just 147 pages.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Eternal Sonship of Christ

"The Eternal Sonship of Christ" By George W. Zeller and Renald E. Showers. This book is certainly one of a kind. An extremely helpful book in combating the false teaching known as the "Incarnational Sonship" theory (that Jesus became the Son of God at His birth). I was reading the book "Kingdom of the Cults" (W. Martin) - which happens to be a good book on Cults -except where Dr. Martin promotes the false view of the Sonship issue trying to defend his position against the Jehovah's Witnesses teachings. Also another proponent of the false view is John MacAurthur, Jr. With this book the issue is laid out in simple to understand terms. Any student of the Bible can profit greatly from this book, basically it is an easy read. The kind of book that if you owned it, you probabbly will be highlighting it or underlining it (or whatever you do or don't do). 10 relatively short chapters are:

Chapter 1 - The Diety of the Son
Chapter 2 - The Pre-existence of the Son
Chapter 3 - The Incarnation of the Son
Chapter 4 - The Doctrine of Eternal Sonship
Chapter 5 - The Denial of Eternal Sonship
Chapter 6 - The Defense of Eternal Sonship
Chapter 7 - The Meaning of the Term "Son of God"
Chapter 8 - The Meaning of Ps. 2:7
Chapter 9 - Dealing with Problems and Objections
Chapter 10 - The Necessity and Importance of the Doctrine

Like all good 'juicy' books it has an Appendix (two as a matter of fact):Appendix A - The Term "Son of God" In Light of Old Testament IdiomAppendix B - The Testimony of MenEnd notes and Resources for further study are also included in the book. Well documented!

(All that in just 128 pages)

BTW, It has been brought to my attention that John MacArthur has changed his position on the Sonship issue. It is the good kind of change.