Three Influential Books

The LORD has gifted many people, by grace, to equip people  (minister or layperson) to fight the good fight of faith in their various callings. Though He does this primarily (and most importantly) through the local church, He works through other means as well. This layperson has had  some of the most significant influence through reading a good book. Not just The Good Book (66 good books that are essential  and  necessary to  the Christian Faith to be exact) but books written toward educating people on the various applications of that Faith. In my journey of  “fides quaerens intellectum”   (The term that St. Anselm of Canterbury used in describing an “Active faith and love of God seeking understanding”)  these three books have been some of the most influential.

1. Reasons For Faith by K. Scott Oliphint

0875526454m

In this book, Dr. Oliphint (with Paul’s worldview presented in Colossians in mind, particularly 2:2-8) surveys the history of philosophical thought, from ancient to modern, and demonstrates the philosophical bankruptcy in each system of thought. He also examines the Christian theologians and apologists of the Church, and how their thought has contributed to us in ways that we take for granted. In and among all of this, Dr. Oliphint presents what he calls “philosophical good news”, and encourages those of us in Christ in Him we have “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.

2. In Christ Alone by Sinclair B. Ferguson

9781567690897m

In this book, Sinclair Ferguson walks through the scriptures, and demonstrates that the central theme is Christ. He walks us through the biblical doctrine Union with Christ, by grace,  what it means to be “abide in Him”, and the importance of understanding that “without Him, you can do nothing”. The chapters are very short, and the books works very well as a devotional.

3. “The Infallible Word”  edited by N.B. Stonehouse and Paul Woolley

0875525431m

This book is a compilation of essays from gifted theologians in the 20th century on the doctrine of Scripture. The essays have to do with Scripture’s attestation, authority, transmission, and relevancy; scriptural preaching; and Scripture and Nature (Yes, trees, plants, animals etc.). This book is one of those volumes that demonstrate how the skepticism that surrounds the scripture is anything but new. In fact, the particular essay written by 2oth Century apologist, Cornelius Van Til, traces the question back to the Garden of Eden. This is an important work for any and every student of the Faith.

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G.K. Beale on Genesis and Revelation

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4)

Dr. Greg Beale makes an interesting note of this passage, and how it alludes to Genesis 19. I’ll summarize a brief point he makes in the beginning

Particularly v.13-22 it’s repetition of the commands “Get Out! Up! Escape!” in light of the coming judgment of the city. Another note he makes is the force in which the angels took in getting him out. They not only commanded them to leave, but because he “lingered” ” the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand” and this was paired with “the LORD being merciful to him”. Then they commanded again to “Escape”.

The LORD’s commands, Lot’s refusal, and The LORD’s force and constraint in the obedience of those commands against his “lingering”. This says a couple of things, mainly that the LORD is sovereign, and concerning us, He is merciful on us despite the fact that we linger in sin, in dragging us out of it.

The audio is here

 

Some of Beale’s works are here and here

Dr. Gregory K. Beale is Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia