The Calvin 500 Blog has now worked out a deal with Reformation Heritage Books for a store that is selling books on and about John Calvin for his 500th birthday. Check out the Blogshoppe now.
This weeks Book of the Week is, Michael Haykin, and Steve Weaver: Devoted To the Service of the Temple: Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins, (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books 2007).
Summary of the Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the writings of Hercules Collins:
When seeing the name Hercules Collins, not many postmodern individuals even know who the man is. Collins lived during the later 1700s and early 1800s as one of the most profound Calvinistic Baptists in London, England. Being one of the greatest Baptist figures of all time, this short biography shows a life of piety that the believer today could only wish to experience personally. In this biography, Dr. Haykin and Steve Weaver outline the beginning of Collins’ life in England, his pastorate, his imprisonment, his popularity among the London Baptists, his piety in knowing God, and his persecution while building the Baptist faith in London. Although many have never heard of him and do not know anything about him, it was his gospel-centered ministry that helped redeem London from the cesspool of sin in his time. Despite the drunkards, the prideful, the profane, homosexuals, and adulterers, Collins’ dedication to the gospel was to preach the good news to all types of people. Collins truly knew how to preach, and one of the characteristics of his preaching was how he prepared for his sermons. In preparing and giving sermons, he aimed to be plain and simple so that even the unregenerate could easily see sound words that soon became light and fire to their hearts. If you are looking for an easy biography to read, there is nothing like that of Hercules Collins’.
Summary selected writings of Hercules Collins:
Dr. Haykin has closely selected 35 different sections from Collins’ writings to show the magnitude of his “plain Jane” writing that was so profound. These writings reveal the relationship he had with his Father, the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of these sections include writings from when he was in prison, and deal with topics such as how to submit to God’s will. Many people in the 21st Century often look at one of the most prolific speakers of our day, John Piper, because of how he speaks, writes and preaches. If there were a Reformed Baptist that was as insightful to the Scriptures, as vigorous in the pulpit, and as striking with their words as John Piper, it would have to be Collins in the early 18th Century. Writings like: God is the Gospel, The Christ-Finding Soul, Grace Sweetens the Music, and An Old Gospel are just some of the topics of which you can read when picking up Devoted to the Service of the Temple. Not only were his writings profound, but he was also known to be a pastor like no other. Included are articles on being a pastor, such as: The Art of Preaching, The Value of Pastoral Ministry, Interpreting Scripture, Plain Preaching, Sermon Preparation, Preaching the Whole Counsel of God, Advice about Preaching, The Use of Notes in Preaching, and The Believers Ultimate Comfort.
Recommendation: 9 out of 10
Having no clue who Hercules Collins was when I began this book, I was surprised that by the time I had read 125 pages I found out just how gospel-centered he was. These inspiring writings that Dr. Haykin and Steve Weaver compiled are tremendously valuable, and truly Christ-saturated. Although half of them seemed to be more geared towards pastoring, there was still a great amount of theological emphasis placed upon Collins’ writings. Whether about preaching or about the gospel, Collins’ focus was always centered on both the unregenerate and regenerate, to see the promises of God and to live a life of piety for Him.
Summary of the Piety of Horatius Bonar:
Volume 4 in the Profiles in Reformed Spirituality series was written and edited by Dr. Michael Haykin and Darrin R. Brooker (the latter being the editor and publisher of the Life and Works of Horatius Bonar CD-Rom).
This volume – entitled Christ is All – gives a biography of Horatius Bonar and picks many glorious writings that help reveal his piety. Bonar is greatly known for his preaching of the gospel, which in turn saved many souls. Throughout his biography, it is shown how many great theologians influenced his life. Dr. Haykin also provides a brief summary of some of Bonar’s early pastorates in Leith and Kelso, and tells about the many writings that created revivals in Scotland. This book summarizes what was clearly seen in Bonar’s life, pastorate, and writings: that Christ is all. Bonar’s whole life centered around Christ, in Whom he served.
Summary of the selected works of Horatius Bonar:
The second section of Christ is All includes 65 selected writings from Horatius Bonar. These writings clearly reveal Bonar’s love for Christ. It seems that on every page Bonar points to Christ… whether it is the way we read, the way we grow, the way we do our work, or the way we pray – every aspect points to Him. Bonar saw that Christians were to be above reproach, were to be a strong and bold witness, and were to stay true to their Christian walk until the end of their ministry. He placed emphasis on the way that Christians use their time – not in things of the world, but spending time in the Scriptures, which led to a life of piety. Bonar knew the trouble of sin, and that is why his writings made it clear that believers are to aim to glorify God and focus their faith on Christ. He believed that all of Christianity was to be summed up in the lives of believers in how they lived out their doctrines. One of my favorite sections of Bonar’s writings is found in section 41, entitled Christianity: Doctrine in Life, where he says, “Christianity is both a life and a dogma; quite as much the one as the other.”
Recommendation: 8 out 10
Christ is All is lengthier than the first 3 volumes in The Profiles of Reformed Spirituality. Where the others had 28-30 sections, Bonar’s selected writings include 65. For the sincere Christian that wants to see and know how to live a life in tune with Christ, Bonar is a great example. His spirituality is clearly shown throughout his life and throughout these particular sections of writings. No matter if you are young or old in age, or young or old in the faith, like Dr. David Murray says, “As Bonar would wish, every word points us to the Christ of all ages for all ages.” And the same goes for us in the 21st Century, as Christians need to be reading substantial theology and substantial writings that point us to Whom saved us. When we read such writings as this, the believer will truly see that Christ is all.
Earthly adoption is horizontal. It is one human being establishing a relationship with another human being. Heavenly adoption isvertical. It is the eternal God graciously establishing a relationship with fallen human beings, creatures who are by nature “children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2) or “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).
God is an adoptive Father. Jesus, our Elder Brother, is God the Father’s eternal, only-begotten, natural Son. We believers are His children through adoption. This identity is central to who we are. As adopted children, we enjoy all the rights and privileges of the relationship that God the Father enjoys with His eternal Son. This is an amazing reality and eternal privilege.
Adoption is heavenly before it is earthly. One is what God does; the other is what we do. Adoption is something God has done and is doing before it is something we have done and are doing. Adoption was invented by God even before He created the world. Adoption is how God brings us into His family.
If adoption is first heavenly before it is earthly, why do we Christians so often think of earthly adoption before we think of heavenly adoption? Why do we think horizontally before we think vertically? I think one reason for this is the neglect of the doctrine of adoption in the history of the church. In his massive, 2,600-page work The Creeds of Christendom, the church historian Philip Schaff only includes six creeds that contain a section on adoption because they are the only ones he could find while scouring almost 1,900 years of church history.
The early church was primarily concerned, and rightly so, with the doctrines of the Trinity and of Christ because those doctrines were being attacked within the church. The Reformation and post-Reformation church necessarily focused on defending the doctrine of justification. These battles were all essential for the church to fight in the defense of Christian truth, but unintentionally they resulted in the church’s failure thoroughly to develop Scripture’s teaching on adoption.
Even though adoption has been relatively neglected in the history of the church, the Puritans have not contributed to that neglect. To my knowledge, no tradition in the history of the church has rejoiced in and proclaimed the truth of adoption as have the Puritans. Though the Puritans, as f late, have received bad press in their treatment of this great doctrine, their writings demonstrate that they esteemed nothing higher than the incomparable privilege of being God’s children through adoption.
Dr. Joel Beeke offers a great service to the contemporary church by examining the Puritans’ substantial and worship-filled treatment of the believer’s adoption by God. Beeke does a masterful job of setting the record straight on behalf of the Puritans. He has extensively studied the Puritans and is uniquely qualified to write on this most important subject.
The church today should richly benefit from this exposure to Puritan teaching on the biblical doctrine of adoption. If we as Christians even begin to approach the Puritans’ love of heavenly adoption, we will be spiritually richer for it. Therefore, I highly recommend Dr. Beeke’s book Heirs with Christ: The Puritans on Adoption.
By: Dan Cruver, Co-Founder of Together for Adoption.
Pre-Order: by calling 616-977-0599 or clicking here.
About the Author: JoeL R. Beeke is pastor of Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and a prolific author.
Endorsements: Heirs with Christ: The Puritans on Adoption
“Dr. Beeke is well-known for his landmark work setting the record straight on the Puritan doctrine of assurance. Now he comes to our aid again with a superb treatment of the Puritans on adoption. I welcome his expert entry into this important field, and commend his keen insights and careful analysis to all who are interested in knowing ‘what the Puritans really said’ about adoption.” —Ligon Duncan
“In this short but spiritually substantive book, Dr. Beeke—a wise and careful ‘pastor theologian’ in the best sense of both words—introduces us to the Puritans’ comforting and transforming work on spiritual adoption. More than just historically informative, this volume should be warmly welcomed by all Christians who want to learn more about this crucial aspect of our identity as sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ.”
Pre-Order: @ Reformation Heritage Books
There is a new book being published by Reformation Heritage Books coming out June 3rd. Heirs with Christ: The Puritans on Adoption, by Dr. Joel R. Beeke will survey the beauty that lied in the Puritans firm foundation of the Spiritual Adoption. Below is some of the information that is on the book. Later this week will come more information about the book, samples from the book, and what you can expect to read in Heirs with Christ.
Description: The Puritans have gotten bad press for their supposed lack of teaching on the doctrine of spiritual adoption. In Heirs with Christ, Joel R. Beeke dispels this caricature and shows that the Puritan era did more to advance the idea that every true Christian is God’s adopted child than any other age of church history. This little book lets the Puritans speak for themselves, showing how they recognized adoption’s far-reaching, transforming power and comfort for the children of God.
Check out RHB’s blog in top sells of 2007. They are blogging for the next two weeks over both RHB publications and others.
“The long overdue republication of Robert Rollock’s Select Works introduces us to one of the greatest Reformed thinkers of the sixteenth century. Robert Rollock (c. 1555–1598), first principal of Edinburgh University, able preacher and philosopher, and a renowned biblical commentator in his own day, was a seminal Reformed theologian particularly as an early exponent of covenant theology in Scotland. His treatises on God’s effectual calling and the passion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ are themselves worth the purchase of this two-volume Select Works. These volumes represent the cream of sixteenth-century Reformed theology, and should be treasured by all who love biblical truth. May they whet the appetite for more of this prolific Scotsman, who wrote five volumes of sermons and nine commentaries.” —Joel R. Beeke
“Partly because of his reluctance to engage in the rough and tumble of church and state relationships, Robert Rollock’s name has been almost unknown outside of a small circle of scholars interested in the history of covenant theology—in which he features significantly. But for all his irenic spirit, Rollock was a powerfully intellectual and spiritual influence in late sixteenth-century Scotland. He was wonderfully endowed with remarkable intellectual gifts, possessed a rare ability to inspire University students, and was an outstanding preacher whom the common people of Scotland’s capital listened to gladly.”
“An added bonus to this edition of Rollock’s long unavailable Select Works is a splendidly informative and sensitive introduction by Dr. Andrew Woolsey—further underlining that the republication of these volumes is an event to be celebrated by scholars, pastors, and ordinary Christians alike.” —Sinclair Ferguson
***New Biographical Introduction by Andrew Woolsey, in 2 Volumes, 1420 pages at the retail price of $95.00, at RHB $68.00. You can order this by calling 616-977-0599.
For those of you who read my blog, please head over to Reformation Heritage Books blog to check out the information about the conference they are at and the blog post. You can see who the speakers are, what they are speaking on and blog post about the messages given at the conferences.
For myself (Michael Dewalt) I have never sold books, nor sold anything to anyone in my life. This week I however am selling books for RHB at a conference in Grand Rapids, MI. So, I have decided to jump on the band wagon and blog “live” for RHB publications as I sell books. This conference that we (RHB) are selling at happens to be twofold. The dates of the conference are February 25th through the 27th. First, during the day the pastors’ seminar goes on with pastors from around the state and even out of state come to hear a number of speakers focusing on the conferences topic this year, “the Living Word.” Secondly, In the evenings is a Bible conference that all are welcome to attend, that starts at 6:45 PM and will be done by Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. and Dr. Steven J. Lawson. You can read more information and news about this conference and the evenings sessions here. If you are in the area of Grand Rapids, MI and haven’t heard about these totally free evening sessions may consider in coming out and hear “the Living Word.”
Instead of the this week’s “book of the week,” i felt the need to use this post to mention that Reformation Heritage Books have now taken over the publications rights to Soli Deo Gloria Publications. For more information you can check out Reformation Heritage Books blog site at www.heritagebooktalk.com Enjoy!
The final point of value in Buchanan’s Justification is the thorough-going, experiential warmth that pervades the book. This is something the NPP and even some of its critics lack. Yet, it is precisely the personal and experiential relevance of the doctrine of justification that makes it so extremely precious to God’s children. Their acceptance with God, their assuaged consciences, their hope of eternal life all depend on the proper construal of this doctrine. Buchanan simply excels in brings this gloriously to the fore. Again, allow one quotation to represent thousands of instances through the book:
Some vague opinion in regard to His [God’s] general mercy, or some undefined purpose to propitiate His favour by future repentance and amendment of life, before they are brought face to face with the awful realities of death, and judgment, and eternity, may suffice, in the meantime, as an answer to the accusing voice of conscience, and as an opiate to allay its forebodings and fears. But minds in this state never grapple with any of the real difficulties of the problem, and can scarcely be said to have the slightest apprehension of its true meaning. They overlook all the most momentous conditions which are involved in it, and on which its right solution depends. The Gospel of Christ alone has presented that problem in all its magnitude, and in its just proportions; and the Gospel of Christ alone has offered a solution of it, based on a full view of the Attributes of God, — of the unalterable requirements of His Law, — of the principles and ends of His Moral Government, –, and of the stat, character, and prospects of man, as a dying yet immortal being, chargeable with past guilt, and still depraved by inherent sin (406).
Here and throughout the book, the godly will find justification not only a doctrine consonant with the Bible, vindicated throughout history, theologically integral, but also experientially vital.
Reformulations of the great doctrine of justification seem to require little ingenuity, whereas the defense of the doctrine obviously demands rigorous acumen. In Buchanan, we such an excellent specimen of this rare acumen. May God use this magisterial treatment of this crucial doctrine to expose the NPP for what it is and settle the current controversy in its disfavor.
Steve Renkema works for Reformation Heritage Books in Grand Rapids, Michigan. One of the goals at Reformation Heritage books is to print and most of all reprint Christian material that were great help knowing Christ. No matter what age you might be, Reformation Heritage books has material for children, to the most in depth wealth of knowledge to the novice. Reformation Heritage books exists to glorify God and strength His church through the publication and distribution of Puritan and Reformed Literature.
Steve was interviewed by Ingrid Schlueter of Crosstalk America about Reformation Heritage books and their purpose. As Schluter says, “Steve reminds listeners that we need to remember that God gave us His revelation via the written word. The Bible contains poetry, the historical books, the letters, etc., so becoming a good reader by reading good books will help us understand God’s revelation to us.” The interview can be listened to here.