My Top Five Favorite Reads of 2010Posted: December 1, 2010 Filed under: Top Five, Top Five Favorite Books of 2010 2 Comments
1. Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms: A Study in the Development of Reformed Social Thought
Conventional wisdom holds that the theology and social ethics of the Reformed tradition stand at odds with concepts of natural law and the two kingdoms. This volume challenges that conventional wisdom through a study of Reformed social thought from the Reformation to the present. / “The strength of this book is the overwhelming amount of historical evidence, judiciously analyzed and assessed, that positions the Reformed tradition clearly in the natural law, two kingdoms camp. This valuable contribution to our understanding of the Christian life cannot and should not be ignored or overlooked. The growing acceptance of the social gospel among evangelicals puts us in jeopardy of losing the gospel itself; the hostility to natural law and concomitant love affair with messianic ethics opens us up to tyranny. This is a much needed and indispensable ally in the battle for the life of the Christian community in North America.” — John Bolt, Calvin Theological Seminary
2. Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture
“The Apostle Peter writes that Christians are God’s own people, sojourners and exiles in this age. What does this calling mean for the way in which believers work in their jobs, raise their families, educate their children, and vote at the polls? In Living in God’s Two Kingdoms, David VanDrunen addresses these questions and more, offering a robust and reasoned alternative to transformationalist understandings of Christianity and culture. Whether or not readers agree with every argument in Living in God’s Two Kingdoms, they will find themselves engaged and challenged to think constructively and biblically about a critical issue in the life of the church. VanDrunen has done a great service to the church in promoting continued reflection on Christianity and culture, and in offering sound practical counsels to Christians eager to serve God in their pilgrimage heavenward.” —Guy Prentiss Waters, Associate Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS
3. Dual Citizens: Worship and Life Between the Already and the Not Yet
The saints of old acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth (Hebrews 11:13b). This is no less true for Christians today; as Paul writes, “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20a). But though we are on the road to that homeland, we are not there yet. It is from this understanding of Christians as pilgrims wayfaring strangers on the road to their true home but living in the meantime in a foreign land that Rev. Jason J. Stellman has written Dual Citizens: Worship and Life between the Already and the Not Yet. Stellman wrestles with the implications of the Christian’s dual citizenship in the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man, showing that the great challenge for believers today is maintaining their distinctiveness as redeemed people. Believers are free to participate in culture (though the Bible guides the way they participate), but they must not so immerse themselves in it that they obscure their true identities. Dual Citizens is a call for believers to see the present from the standpoint of the future, for doing so will enable them to see their lives, with all their trials and triumphs, as part of God’s great unfolding story.
4. Tributes to John Calvin: A Celebration of His Quincentenary
The essays in Tributes to John Calvin: A Celebration of His Quincentenary illuminate Calvin’s times, thought and legacy, and provide a celebratory tribute to one of the most influential people in history. This book commemorates the quincentenary of Calvin’s birth (July 10, 1509), and attests to the remarkable fact that a French religious leader from a tiny village is still
remembered half a millennium later. Twenty-three leading Calvin scholars exhibit a firm understanding of Calvin’s era, theology, and the heritage he bequeathed the church. Their articles cover Calvin’s theology, soteriology, and ecclesiology, as well as his doctrines of assurance, worship, and Scripture. They examine Calvin as a Frenchman, lawyer, and liturgist. Other articles explore Calvin’s impact on the arts, Calvinism in Asia, and the influential women in Calvin’s life.
5. Preaching Like Calvin: Sermons From the 500th Anniversary Celebration
Not only was John Calvin a magisterial theologian and one of the great transformative forces of modern history, he also was a consummate preacher who delivered over two thousand sermons in St. Pierre’s Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, where he pastored from 1536 until his death in 1564. What better way to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth and his towering legacy to the church than by gathering sixteen of the preeminent Reformed pastors of our day to preach commemorative sermons in St. Pierre’s! Preaching Like Calvin faithfully presents the text of these sermons. Reading the sermons shows how Calvin’s theology grew from a clear understanding of the Bible—an understanding and a theology that are alive and well in the church today