What am I Reading this Week?

This week I am studying for a paper titled, “Law and Apostasy: The Pathway of Apostasy” for my Decalogue class with Dr. James Grier.

I am reading the follwoing…

The Rule of Love

ruleoflove_small__20707_thumbIn The Rule of Love, J. V. Fesko gives an introductory exposition of the Ten Commandments. Beginning with the importance of the prologue, and then addressing each Commandment in turn, he sets forth a balanced and biblical approach that places the law in proper perspective. Throughout the book, Fesko analyzes the historical context of God’s giving the law in order to help us accurately understand the moral demands God places upon humanity. Yet, Fesko does not stop there; he also discusses the covenantal and redemptive context in which the law was given. Thus, he shows that the law is not presented to us in order for us to present ourselves right before God. Rather, it demonstrates our failure to love God as we should and points us to Christ and His perfect obedience in all that God requires of us. Fesko also shows how Christ applies the commandments to His people by the indwelling power and presence of the Holy Spirit. This is an excellent survey of the Ten Commandments that promises to bring about a more accurate understanding of the proper uses of the law, as well as engender profound gratitude for all that God is for us in Christ.

An Exposition of the Ten Commandments

durham_exposition_commandments__25417_thumbMaybe the most popular work of James Durham. A Practical Exposition of the Ten Commandments, by James Durham. New Edition. Newly edited and Typeset. Text has been carefully corrected and compared from several editions.

The Ten Commandments

watsont_10commandsoft_700px_interspire__59821_thumbC. H. Spurgeon said, “This volume is one of three that make up Thomas Watson’s complete Body of Practical Divinity. ‘One of the most precious of the peerless works of the Puritans, and those best acquainted with it prize it most.”

The Ten Commandments for Today

edwards_ten_commandments_for_tod__28331_thumbAt a time when the nation’s morality is in alarming decline it is surprising that so little has been written on the Ten Commandments. Brian Edwards gives us a modern commentary, carefully uncovering their true meaning and incisively applying them to our contemporary society. Probably never in the history of western civilisation have the Ten Commandments been more neglected and therefore more relevant than today. Andrew Anderson writes, “Brian Edwards has turned his probing mind and expositor’s skill, along with a Pastor’s heart, to this vitally significant part of God’s word. This book unpacks the crammed meaning of these terse commands and applies them pointedly to life in a deregulated age.


My Summer Reads

Some people have asked me what I am reading this summer. After last semester with taking 20 credits to finish my Masters of Arts degree, I have planned on taking a 3-month vacation from studies, which means I plan on not reading very much. However I have bought a few books to read this summer and felt like sharing what I’ll be working through, any suggestions?

#1 Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries, by Everett Ferguson

Performing an almost Herculean task, Ferguson has evaluated every important document and baptismal font from the first five centuries of the Christian era. By delineating the diversity of beliefs and practices he discovered, he sheds enormous light on how we should understand this powerful rite of initiation. 

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#2 Church History: Volume One: From Christ to Pre-Reformation, by Everett Ferguson

Ferguson’s fresh yet scholarly work integrates the development of church doctrine with the cultural, intellectual, and political climates of the period—as the church weathered controversy after controversy. With a readable format featuring illustrations, charts, and sidebars, this excellent resource will be a welcome addition to the library of the serious historian or seminarian.

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#3 Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality, by Rob Bell

Just as the physical world is linked with deeper spiritual realities, sex and God are intimately connected. But how? With unusual beauty and insight, Bell addresses this intriguing question to help you better understand that we can’t talk about ourselves as sexual beings without asking who made us that way. An enlightening exploration of sexuality and spirituality.

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#4 Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have We Missed the Truth about Christianity?, by N. T. Wright

A publishing phenomenon, The Gospel of Judas soared to the top of bestseller lists—and sparked a worldwide debate about its impact on Christianity. What exactly is this ancient document, and how significant is it for today’s believers? Wright tackles these provocative questions, offering a much-needed theologically sound response to this controversial “Gospel.”

Judas and Gospel of Judas

#5 Cash: The Autobiography, by Johnny Cash

A humble, happy look back from the man in black. Johnny Cash answers to many names; he’s JR to childhood friends and family, John to bandmates, and Johnny to fans. “Cash” is the name wife June Carter reserves for “the star, the egomaniac.” The star gets plenty of ink here, from the early days at Sun Records–with Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis–to his current status as a darling of the alternative rock set. But it’s the private man who’s most compelling and surprisingly complex. Cash writes candidly of his recurring addiction to amphetamines and his concomitant shortcomings as a father, addresses his spirituality without sounding maudlin, and displays genuine humility at his success and very little bitterness at his abandonment by the country music establishment. A more accurate subtitle might be “The Second Autobiography,” since this volume covers some of the same ground as Cash’s previous work, The Man in Black (1986), but a life so chock full of oddments (he once started a forest fire with an automobile and on another occasion was nearly disemboweled by an ostrich) and renegade stands (he opposed Vietnam, heresy to the nation’s blue- collar constituency) easily merits a second look. Organized around the domiciles where he divides his time–homes in Tennessee, Florida, and Jamaica, as well as his tour bus–the book stays grounded in the present, mixing reflections on his 40-year career with a running chronicle of an ongoing tour. This novel approach minimizes the as-told-to blahs that plague many a celebrity autobiography and highlights Cash’s wry humor and introspection. With the help of Carr, editor of Country Music magazine, Cash keeps the pace lively until the end, when the roses he throws everyone from grandkids to music biz buddies bog things down. Mostly, though, a pungent, substantive autobiography from one the most iconoclastic talents on the American music scene. (32 pages b&w photos, not seen) ($200,000 ad/promo; author tour) — Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. 

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#6 The Ten Commandments, By Thomas Watson

This volume is one of three that make up Thomas Watson’s complete Body of Practical Divinity. ‘One of the most precious of the peerless works of the Puritans, and those best acquainted with it prize it most.’ – C. H. Spurgeon

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What Am I Reading this summer? Baptism in the Early Church

This summer I intend to take a break from most of my studies at PRTS, and read maybe one, two or three books at the most. I intend to relax either hanging with friends and family, doing a little bit of work here and there, and playing some video games like always. About a month ago on Justin Taylor’s (I believe) blogged a post on Everett Ferguson’s newest title published by Eerdmans titled, Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries. When first seeing the title, I wanted it as soon as I could, and with Eerdmans Publishing Co. being about 5 blocks from my townhouse, I was going to get it as soon as I could! However, I went to the store and it was $60.00 which is about half of my weekly income. So therefore I started to think of a plan to buy this massive 912 page book. A week later I was in Chicago at the Gospel-Coalition Conference and Eermands happen to be there selling it for only $40.00! However by the end of the conference I was already given 17 books from different publishers, I still had one week of classes then five exams, so I figured it was best to not stick my nose in this yet. During exam week I had heard all seminary students, professors, and pastors got 50% OFF of the retail value on any commentaries or references works (this is still good until May 30th.) With a gift of $30.00 from my grandparents for graduation I walked down to the Eerdmans store and picked it up. Besides the naked picture of Jesus Christ on the front cover, the book is amazing! This great comprehensive work done by Ferguson no matter what view one holds, either infant-baptism or believer’s baptism will influence your thought of the history of baptism in the early church. From dealing with pre-NT Church washings, pagan cultures, biblical teachings, literature of the period and the massive amount of examples of baptismal fonts throughout the early church is a MUST read for the serious student in seminary, pastor or one the is dealing with the issue. 

9780802827487_lThe book is broken down into 7 main parts having 55 chapters dealing with baptism, mainly in the first three centuries of the church and also with the fourth and fifth centuries.  It breaks down as followed;

1. Antecedents to Christian Baptism
2. Baptism in the New Testament
3. The Second Century
4. The Third Century to Nicaea (325)
5. The Fourth Century
6. The Fifth Century
7. Baptisteries

At first when hearing about the title and being published by Eerdmans I figured it was Traditional/Confessional Reformed in infant-baptism. Then after talking to the store manger when buying the book he told me, “it was believer baptism” baptist in view. Now after reading the book for the last week I believe it is neither. I may be wrong on this so please do not quote me (I’ll look into Ferguson’s views later, or see them in his writings maybe?) but he seems to have the stance of believer’s baptism yes, but that baptism is what washes the sins away from the individual. Meaning that regeneration happens at baptism, by emersion. No matter what his stance is, one that is looking to study the topic (baptism) this is a must have, and a must read for its historical value in which Ferguson has done for the church today.

As the back of the book says best:

“Everett Ferguson’s work here is a compendium of almost everything that is currently known about the Christian ritual of baptism, with extensive citations to the primary and secondary literature, and as such is destined to be an extremely valuable reference work.”


What am I Reading Today?

2808514_1_ftc_dpBuy Here —> The Bible and the Future 

This book is an attempt to set forth Biblical eschatology, or what the Bible teaches about the future. The point of view adopted in this study regarding the coming of the kingdom of God: both present and future, recognizes a distinction between the “already” ,the present state of the kingdom as inaugurated by Christ, and the “not yet”, the final establishment of the kingdom which will take pla ce at the time of Christ’s Second Coming. This is the third in a compendium of doctrinal studies that includesCreated in God’s Image and Saved by Grace.


What am I Reading Today?

Bible doctrine student workbook: An introductory course

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The Bible Doctrine Student Workbook is part of an introductory course based on The Compendium, an abbreviated form of the Heidelberg Catechism that was compiled by Herman Faukeel in 1611. This course covers core concepts of biblical doctrine, aiming to promote a Reformed balance of truth in which head knowledge provides the soil in which the Holy Spirit may plant the saving seeds of heart knowledge. The workbook may be adapted for various uses, including church Confession of Faith classes, units in junior high and high school Bible courses, adult Bible classes, Christian school teacher courses, sourcebook for catechism instructors, and family or individual study. The Teachers’ Guide provides detailed answers for all 568 questions.