Dying well, trusting in Christ

Visitation of the Sick.
ALMIGHTY God, with whom do live the spirits of just men made perfect, after they are delivered from their earthly prisons: We humbly commend the soul of this thy servant, our dear brother, into thy hands, as into the hands of a faithful Creator, and most merciful Saviour; most humbly beseeching thee, that it may be precious in thy sight. Wash it, we pray thee, in the blood of that immaculate Lamb, that was slain to take away the sins of the world; that whatsoever defilements it may have contracted in the midst of this miserable and naughty world, through the lusts of the flesh, or the wiles of Satan, being purged and done away, it may be presented pure and without spot before thee. And teach us who survive, in this and other like daily spectacles of mortality, to see how frail and uncertain our own condition is; and so to number our days, that we may seriously apply our hearts to that holy and heavenly wisdom, whilst we live here, which may in the end bring us to life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ thine only Son our Lord. Amen.

Reading: William Still, “The Work of the Pastor”

Book Cover: Still, The Work of the PastorThis is a fantastic little book on Christian ministry, from lectures given at the UK Inter-Varsity Theological Students’ Conference across 1964-1965. William Still was the pastor at Gilcomston South church of Scotland in Aberdeen for over 50 years.

This is a short and hard hitting book if you are considering entering full time Christian ministry. If you are already working as a pastor, it is a wonderful encouragement to stay on track.

God is the Gospel:

There are profounder things by far in the Bible than what is called ‘the simple Gospel’, although they issue from it. Indeed, in a sense, those who proclaim almost exclusively forgiveness of sins and justification, only make known the preliminaries to the best Good News, which is not that our sins are put away and that we are justified in God’s sight, wonderful though that is, but that God wants us for Himself and to that end brings us to the birth in Christ. After all, the death of Jesus, for all its wonder, is a means to an end, which is not merely that we may be right and clean but that we may be His, which involves personal relationship in love. (p51)

The judgement of God and the multi-faceted jewel of the gospel:

there is the darker backcloth to the Good News, namely, the penal and corrective judgements of God, upon which the scintillating diamond of the Gospel shines with a thousand facets. (p52)

Teaching the whole counsel of God is plain old hard work:

Once you are are convinced that your people need the whole Word of God, and you get over the shock to your indolent flesh that you are not in the ministry for an easy job, you simply roll up your sleeves, and, having gathered, or being in the process of gathering, the most helpful library of commentaries and reference books you can find, you get down to it: and book by book you give your people a balanced diet of the truth. (p52)

Still challenges to go beyond evangelistic froth and bring the whole Word to God’s people who willingly resist:

I could bring ministers of various denominations to testify that although the unconverted in their congregations made their lives miserable, the most fiendish persecutions have come from evangelistic people who wanted a perpetual preaching of that part of the Gospel which they thought (often wrongly) did not touch them, and who, when the Word of God in its fullness was unleashed upon them, went virtually mad with rage. There is nothing too vile for such people to do when their futile evangelistic round with its patronage of the unconverted has been ended, and the myth of their conceited superiority has been destroyed. It takes a courageous man in these circumstances to preach the whole Word of God without fear or favour, whoever it hurts – himself, his loved ones, his friends, or his enemies. (pp 14-15)

How dare a minister with a balanced view of the Word of God, and with full intention of ministering it, face such a people. I know many who would rather face a firing squad than a congregation of irate Christians upon whom the Word of God has been turned. I have known far greater cruelty to the Lord’s servants from such people than from nominal, unconverted church members who detest the Gospel. The devil always does a deadlier work through hardened Christians than through the unconverted, and gets far more diabolical pleasure from it, too. (pp 78-79)

Not everyone can thunder with power in preaching like a Luther or a Spurgeon, or a Lloyd-Jones, does that mean the average minister should not exert himself too much in preaching? Still’s answer is gold:

I am sure that the personality of the one who ministers is not unimportant. Nor do I believe that God calls us to be timid little mice, or ineffectual little ‘yes-men’ in the ministry. But this I know: that, as God can use those with no more than turnips for heads and make them exude the sweetest and most nourishing spiritual juices to their people, so He can take the most frightened and frightening little bookworms – boring little creates who bore into books all the week and bore their heads into manuscripts on Sundays so that they bore all the poor people who are bored enough to put up with them – and can make them both might and courageous. Like Jeremiah, for instance. God does not call us to this gigantic task to be flops.

The “boring” play on words is not a mandate for staleness:

If the Holy Spirit is not in our hearts, in our life and in all our teaching of the Word of God (and He will not be if our characters are not being moulded according to the moral and spiritual pattern of the Word), then we had been not open our mouths. For there is nothing so boring, stale, flat and unprofitable as holy things retailed in the absence of the Spirit. (pp 11-12)

Pray and keep praying, and get your flock praying for you:

We must challenge our people to pray for the ministry, and must see to it that however we meet, and whatever you call it, there is a backing, a support, a power-house of prayer behind our ministries. (p98)

The danger of being side tracked:

People who are too easily intimidated by the wickedness of any one generation and who panic over things which go wrong, are living so near their own day that they have lost the message of the ages which is full of such seeming disasters. It is they who run with their poultices and eyewash to meet the needs of the hour instead of abiding by the radical measures of the Word of God which gets down to the elements of the case. It is like trying to purify foul water at the tap, instead of at the reservoir or the poisoned stream. There is an application of the Word of God for even the most urgent contemporary situations, but if we get all hot and bothered about it, and myopically concentrate all our ministry on that, for ever moaning from our pulpits about the evils of the day, what are the hungry sheep going to feed upon the while? The devil is a master of sidetrack. (p108)

So we are to understand the difference between feeding sheep and warding off wolves:

A shepherd is no mere warder-off of wild beasts. To save the sheep from wild beasts and all other dangers is not to feed them; and if they are not fed, what matters whether they are safe or not? What is the good of being saved to starve? We must be saved in health and strength, unto maturity and power to reign with Christ in His kingdom. And for that we must be fed. Every temptation to be sidetracked from the task of eternity which is the task of the hour – your hour – must be seen in relation to the finished product. What is the end of what you are doing? The God-appointed end? (pp 112-113)

Another danger of course, is to pander to the goats:

The pastor is called to feed the sheep, even if the sheep do not want to be fed. He is certainly not to become an entertainer of goats. Let goats entertain goats, and let them do it out in goatland. You will certainly not turn goats into sheep by pandering to their goatishness. Do we really believe that the Word of God, by His Spirit, changes as well as maddens men? If we do, to be evangelists and pastors, feeders of sheep, we must be men of the Word of God. (p8)

Highly recommended!

 

Christmas Day 2007

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

I thank and worship you Lord Jesus for your entry into our world, incarnate Deity, eternal Son of the Father. Come to rescue, redeem and transform our lives and world forever. You are my life and my all. Amen.

Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:

I honor and exalt you Lord Jesus, seated at God the Father’s right hand, promoting the cause of the spreading of your powerful and glorious good news. Thank you for your action and mercy shown in my life and in my family life in 2007. We long to see you face to face. Amen.

Generosity of Christian Business Leaders

Where are the generous Christian business people in Melbourne willing to do something like this to support some gospel ministries? Who knows what impact a venture like this could have?

In 2006, a Christian businessman purchased a 6-story building 2 miles from our current office and converted it into a ministry center to provide select Evangelical ministries very inexpensive operational space. The building was named Hope Commons.This owner immediately offered Desiring God as much space as we wanted for a $1.00 per year lease and a $5.00 per sq. ft./year for maintenance and utilities. After a season of prayer and evaluation, the DG Board determined that Hope Commons was the Lord’s provision. We selected the entire 6th floor and part of the 5th floor.

Building Capacity Project :: Desiring God

JC Ryle – Knots Untied

This is an excellent little defence of the evangelical basis of Anglicanism. JC Ryle was the evangelical Bishop of Liverpool at the turn of the 19th Century.

Knots Untied is a collection of his essays on Anglicanism and a biblical and historical defence against the rising anglo-catholicism of the time. He is full of wisdom and passion:

I know it is one of the hardest things in the world to realize the sinfulness of sin. To say we are all sinners is one thing; to have an idea what sin must be in the sight of God is quite another. Sin is too much part of ourselves to allow us to see it as it is: we do not feel our own moral deformity, p26.
The more any man considers calmly what God really is, the more he must feel the immeasurable distance between God and himself; His conscience, I think, will tell him, if he will let it speak, that God is perfect, and he imperfect; and that if ever he is to stand before Him in judgment with comfort, he must have some mighty Helper, or he will not be saved, p27

There is place in Christianity for godly hatred and intolerance:

There is a hatred which is downright charity, that is, the hatred of erroneous doctrine. There is an intolerance which is downright praiseworthy, that is, the intolerance of false teaching in the pulpit. Who would ever think of tolerating a little poison given to him day by day?

True Anglicanism, what Ryle calls being a ‘true Churchman’, is bound up with holding to the Bible and the Biblically derived “39 Articles”:

But as long as I have breath in my body, I shall always contend that there is such a thing as [Biblically] revealed truth, – that men may find out what truth is if they will honestly seek for it, – and that mere earnestness and zeal, without Scriptural knowledge, will never give any one comfort in life, or peace in death. But how are we to find out who is the “true Churchman”? The answer to all these inquiries is short, plain, and most decided. The Church of England has provided a test of true Churchmanship, and one that is recognized by the law of the land. This test is to be found in “the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion.” p47

Although Ryle is a faithful supporter of the Book of Common Prayer, he qualifies:

The Book of Common Prayer was never intended to be the Church’s standard of doctrine in the same way that the Articles were. It is a manual of public devotion: it is not a Confession of faith. Let us love it, prize it, and use it. But let us not exalt it to the place which the Thirty-nine Articles alone can fill… The Articles, far more than the Prayer-book, are the Church’s standard of sound doctrine, and the real test of true Churchmanship, p55.

If I could only reach the ear of all thinking lay Churchmen, I should like to say, “Do read your Articles.” As for clergymen, if I had my own way I would require them to read the Articles publicly in church once every year, p62.

He argues that there is no “regulative principle” in the New Testament, that is, there is no detailed agenda for Christian gatherings provided in the New Testament. But there are principles upon which there is freedom of application:

The contrast between the Church of the OT and the Churches of the Ne, in this respect, is very great. In the one, we find little, comparatively, about doctrine, but much about forms and ordinances. In the other, we have much about doctrine, and little about forms. In the OT Church the minutest directions were given for the performance of every part of the ceremonies of religion. In the NT Churches we find the ceremonies expressly abolished, as no longer needed after Christ’s death, and nothing hardly, except a few general principles, supplying their place. The New Testament Churches have got no book of Leviticus. Their two chief principles seem to be, “Let all things be done decently and in order; Let all things be done unto edification” (1 Cor. xiv. 26, 40). But as to the application of these general principles, it seems to have been left to each particular Church to decide, p163.

One of the most exciting articles is the first one, “Evangelical Religion” with its grand metaphor of how the gospel can be “spoiled”:

  • You may spoil the Gospel by substitution. You take eyes of Christ and put another object in his place – the church, the Ministry, baptism, the Lord’s supper – and the mischief is done!
  • You may spoil the Gospel by interposition. You only have to push something between Christ and the sinner to draw his attention away from the Saviour, and the mischief is done.
  • You may spoil the gospel by disproportion. You only have to attach an exaggerated importance to the secondary things of Christianity, and a dimished importance to the first things, and the mischief is done. (pp18-19).

Recommended!

Evangelicals Over-Committed to Over-the-top Language

“How Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What can be Done about It”

 Click the link above to read J. P. Moreland’s paper recently delivered at a recent “Evangelical Theological Society” gathering.

His basic thrust is that recently evangelicals haven’t had a good creation theology or a good natural theology, and a there has been lack of good evangelical ethical reflection and reasoning. Amen to that.

It is a good article and I agree with him at most points though he probably doesn’t have enough of a “Fall” factor in his creation and charismatic theology as I would like.

But I’m stunned at the title “Over-Committed to the Bible”. Why is a lack of a robust biblical theology of creation and public ethics a fault of being too much committed to the Bible? Surely the Bible itself pushes us to have a biblical creation theology and unified ethical approach to science and knowledge?

He gives the game away when he says the problem is a result of “the influence of secularization on the church and not of biblical or theological reflection” (p5). So if evangelicals had done more biblical and theological reflection they wouldn’t have this problem. So shouldn’t the title of the paper be evangelical “under-committment” to the Bible?

Preaching & Biblical Theology – Peter Adam

This is one of the best essays on biblical theology I have read. Well worth careful reading:

The study of biblical theology will help the preacher to preach from the text in the context in which it was placed by God. There is great need for such preaching today, when so many think that the OT provides nothing more than background to the NT, that it is just a part of its social and cultural context. On the contrary, the OT is the essential basis of the complete biblical revelation, and we cannot understand the NT without it. There can be no local cultural substitute for the OT, and those who read the NT without the OT are sure to misread it.

Theologians should never be satisfied when their theology serves only the needs of the academy. Any theology, including biblical theology, must serve the Christian ministry of the word. Likewise preachers should not be satisfied when they have communicated only their own insights, the ideas of contemporary sociologists, political commentators, or psychologists, or even current theories of Christian or church life. Nor should they be content with the ritual repetition of a text of Scripture, reference to a token Bible verse, or preaching on a text to which they have not first applied Paul’s instruction to Timothy: ‘Reflect on what I am saying’ (2 Tim. 2:7).

Preaching & Biblical Theology – Peter Adam (originally published in the IVP New Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

Augustine’s exegetical presuppositions

Some of the most difficult parts of the Confessions are the final chapters as he reflects on Genesis 1:1. But you do see a great model of interpreting Scripture:

I wish to have none with any who think that Moses wrote what was not true. But I pray that in you, O Lord, I may dwell in harmony and joy with those who feed upon your truth in the fullness of charity. May they and I together approach the words of your Book, and in them may we seek your meaning as we were meant to understand it by your servant [Moses], through whose pen you delivered those words to us. (Book XII, s23)

Firstly, he equates Moses words with God’s words. God’s truthful meaning is tied to objective authorial intent. This is a good doctrine of dual authorship and infallibility, if not inerrancy.

Secondly, he reads the Bible prayerfully using all his cognitive gifts, looking to spiritually feed upon the Bible.

Thirdly, he reads the Bible with others, not controlled by some ecclesiastical interpretative authority, but seeking harmony with others and charity.

In this paragraph alone you see Augustine modelling in the fourth century what was taught to me as basic Protestant evangelical hermeneutics, such as in J. I. Packer’s, God Has Spoken.

UPDATE 3rd Nov:

One comment I didn’t engage with was Augustine’s allegorical or figurative exposition of Genesis 1 throughout the last sections of the Confessions. I don’t think this is a good way to read Scripture, in most cases. Augustine himself comments:

But let my confession, too, find favour in your sight, O Lord, for I confess that I do not believe that you used these words except for a special purpose, and I shall not hesitate to give the explanation which occurs to me as I read them. My explanation is consistent with the truth and I see nothing to prevent me from interpreting the words of your Scriptures in this figurative sense. (Book XIII, s24)

Augustine shows he is more controlled than your typical allegorical reading because a) he seems to be submitting them in the context of authorial intent as outlined above. i.e.: Moses had such figures in mind, b) he is still relying on cognitive reflection rather than supernatural imposition on the text, c) he cross-references and cross-checks himself with lots of other biblical quotes more literally derived, and d) he seems cautious, even unsure, about what he is doing.

So I think although he does cross a line into allegory, he is at the more saner end of the allegorical spectrum, and I think the first quotes above about authorial intent are still his overarching hermeneutical foundation.

The Cardinal Has It…

I’m not a card carrying fan of Cardinal Pell or any Roman Catholic, but this article is worth reading and in particular this quote:

The key public task facing all Christians today is to make the case for Western civilisation and to replenish the sources from which it takes life and strength

I will have to read the book he has published about this. I wonder if we will agree exactly on the role of Christianity as the driving basis for Western civilisation. His challenge remains.

www.smh.com.au – Christianity vital to democracy’s future

Ridley Melbourne

The college where I studied my MDiv has changed there name from Ridley Theological College to Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College. They are undertaken a whole change of strategy and vision under the leadership of Peter Adam.

This is a very exciting time for the college. If you are looking for somewhere to study or invest financially in a worthy gospel cause, I couldn’t think of a better place.

Reading: David F. Wells, “No Place For Truth, or, Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?”

Protestant evangelical churches have grown numerically in leaps and bounds in the 20th century. But is all growth good? Is there any case to be made that evangelicalism has “sold-out”?

This well-regarded book, over a decade old now, is an analysis of what has happened to (American) evangelical churches in the last 100 years, trying to see how “modernity” has contributed to the theological thinning out of American evangelicalism. It is the first of a series of 4 books on the state of evangelicalism in America. The books are very USA-centric.

Wells argues that modern Western culture has had the effect of diluting or even “banishing theology from its place in the center of evangelical life” (p136). He sees modern evangelicals retreading the path of traditional theological liberalism, a path which has been proven to be spiritually bankrupt.

It is a difficult and challenging book. He seems to slide awkwardly between carefully accumulating evidence to build a case, to simply providing anecdotes to illustrate what he assumes is going wrong. Either way his analysis “feels right”, even from the perspective of Australian evangelicalism. It is a sobering, negative assessment.

I have accumulated below some significant quotes from the book that struck a chord with me:

Continue reading “Reading: David F. Wells, “No Place For Truth, or, Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?””

Book Review of Iain H. Murray’s “D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years (1899-1939)” and “The Fight of Faith (1939-1981)”


Martin Lloyd-Jones (MLJ) was a Welshman and one of the great preachers of the 20th century. He famously put aside a bright career in medicine to go into Christian ministry without any formal theological training. He went on for over 40 years to powerfully preach the Word of God over 3 times per week. Murray has produced a wonderful two volume biography of this great mans life and ministry.

Continue reading “Book Review of Iain H. Murray’s “D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years (1899-1939)” and “The Fight of Faith (1939-1981)””

Colin Gunton on the Trinity

These days everyone is writing about the doctrine of the Trinity. It is very popular. I have been reading some Colin Gunton, who is a great exponent of classical Trinitarian theology (ala Nicene-Constantinople Creed), without drifting off into the confusing wonderland of other significant 20th century theologians (names withheld to protect the guilty!).

The two books I have been reading are, “The Promise of Trinitarian Theology” and “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. Sadly Gunton died in 2003 and was unable to complete a major project in Trinitarian theology.

Here are some notes that I found helpful and interesting from Gunton’s books…

Continue reading “Colin Gunton on the Trinity”

Has post-modernism self-destructed yet?

Some web sites make me wonder whether the inevitable self-destruction of post-modernism has begun.

The first is the “Postmodern essay generator”. Just keep clicking reload on this page to get a different randomly generated post-modern essay. Funny.

The second was reading about the Alan Sokal “Social Text” hoax article in 1996. Alan Sokal is a physicist who was concerned that the trendy postmodern academic world of literary and social studies was pointless – so he submitted a fairly blatant nonsense article to a peer reviewed academic journal, which got accepted!

The third would be all the new Christian trends and movements embracing postmodern substance or style. A sure sign that its faddish value is gone.

Related Article: Rhys Bezzant: “Why I am so Over Post-Modernism”

Stott gems on the motivations for world mission

Another Stott gem on an important topic:

“How then, can Christians justify the continuance of world evangelization? The commonest answer is to point to the Great Commission, and indeed obedience to it provides a strong stimulus. Compassion is higher than obedience, however, namely love for people who do not know Jesus Christ, and who on that account are alienated, disorientated, and indeed lost. But the highest incentive of all is zeal or jealousy for the glory of Jesus Christ. God has promoted him to the supreme place of honour, in order that every knee and tongue should acknowledge his lordship. Whenever he is denied his rightful place in people’s lives, therefore, we should feel inwardly wounded [like Paul in Acts 17:16], and jealous for his name.”
John Stott, “The Message of Acts”, IVP, p279.

What are our motivations for world and local evangelistic mission? Obedience, compassion but most of all jealousy for the honor of Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ is both the “subject and object, source and goal, of evangelism, we have to repent of all self-centred, self-confident concepts of Christian mission”. Stott, “The Message of Acts”, IVP, p204.

Heavenly Father, show us the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ and give us the joy of seeing those riches discovered by peoples all over the world and by those closest to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sermon: “Turning to the Goodness of the Living God” Acts 14:8-20

A new sermon in our church series on Acts.

“Wayne Schuller – ‘Turning to the Goodness of the Living God’ Acts 14-8-20 11-11-2005 10 30am”

I now have a cheapo ebay Asian mp3 player and recorder so it’s easier to make recordings.

Note to friends #1: I’m thankful for any feedback you could give – I want to be more faithful in this important part of my job. (email is probably better than blog comments)

Note to friends #2: Some of you have signed up for “notifications” of updates to this site. This doesn’t really work well from my end of things. So you won’t get emails reminders of updates on this site anymore. If you want to get automatically reminded of updates, you can subscribe to my RSS feed – there are special programs that do this, but I think Firefox can do it with it’s live bookmarks feature.

Preaching With Clarity and Courage

John Stott on Ephesians 6:
“Clarity and courage remain two of the most crucial characteristics of authentic Christian preaching. For they relate to the content of the message preached and to the style of its presentation. Some preachers have the gift of lucid teaching, but their semrons lack solid content; their substance has become diluted by fear. Others are bold as lions. They fear nobody, and omit nothing. But what they say is confused and confusing. Clarity without courage is like sunshine in the desert: plenty of light but nothing worth looking at. Courage without clarity is like a beautiful landscape at night time: plenty to see, but no light by which to enjoy it. What is needed in the pulpits in the world today is a combination of clarity and courage, or of ‘utterance’ and ‘boldness’. Paul asked the Ephesians to pray that these might be give to him, for he recognized them as gifts of God. We should join them in prayer for the pastors and preachers of the contemporary church”.
Stott, “The Message of Ephesians”, Bible Speaks Today Series, p286.

Heavenly Father, help preachers today to proclaim the infinite worth of Jesus Christ with great clarity and fearless courage. To your glory and for our joy, Amen.

Strength for perseverance

I was encouraged by the observations and insights of John Piper in “The Roots of Endurance”:
“One of the pervasive marks of our times is emotional fragility. It hangs in the air we breath. We are easily hurt. We pout and mope easily. We blame easily. We break easily. Our marriages break easily. Our faith breaks easily. Our happiness breaks easily. And our commitment to the church breaks easily. We are easily disheartened, and it seems we have little capacity for surviving and thriving in the face of criticism and opposition… we are surrounded by, and are part of, a society of emotionally fragile quitters.” (p79-80).

These hard words ring true of my experience of Australian culture, including Christians. In one way, I am glad it is not just me. Only by comparing ourselves with Christians from other ages can we see this spotlight on ourselves.

John Piper’s suggestion is to watch people closely who are good at persevering in gospel commitment through emotional turmoil. That is why he wrote his book surveying the lives of Newton, Simeon and Wilberforce. I think this is good, and part of the answer.

Reflections on Peter Bolt “The Cross from a Distance” and RT France “Divine Government”


I love the gospel of Mark. Stop what you are doing and go read it right now – you can easily read it in one sitting.

These are two great books that I have read recently that offer a way of understanding Mark’s gospel. They are two quite different approaches so I thought it would be interesting to compare them.

RT France’s “Divine Government: God’s Kingship in the Gospel of Mark” (I’ll call it “DG”) was published in 1980 by Lancer. Peter Bolt’s “The Cross From a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel” (“TCFaD”) was published recently in 2004. Both books were based on special lecture series at Moore Theological College in Syndey.

Continue reading “Reflections on Peter Bolt “The Cross from a Distance” and RT France “Divine Government””

Book Review of “John Stott; The Making of A Leader” and “John Stott: A Global Ministry” by Timothy Dudley Smith

Thanks to a gift from a friend I was able to get my hands on these two great volumes documenting the life and ministry of John Stott. These two books are the result of many years work of Timothy Dudley-Smith. In my mind he has struck a real chord with these books in opening up both the person and ministry of Stott so a new generation of Christian leaders might be able to learn from his example and experience. He has had full access to John Stott’s diaries, and drawn on interviews of both Stott and hundreds of people who have been influenced by him. These books are highly recommended.

Continue reading “Book Review of “John Stott; The Making of A Leader” and “John Stott: A Global Ministry” by Timothy Dudley Smith”

Book Review of NT Wright’s “Jesus and the Victory of God”


I finished it! It was long, difficult, but very stimulating. There is so much one can say in a book review of “Jesus and the Victory of God” (JVG). There are some real gems, insights, and positive material that ought to radically change the way many evangelicals read and preach the gospels. NT Wright (NTW) asks the RIGHT questions, even if some answers are found wanting. Possibly he goes overboard at a few points. This book is not the last word, but the opening up of a very important conversation concerning the question of the identity/life/mission/message of Jesus of Nazareth. Read on for more…

Continue reading “Book Review of NT Wright’s “Jesus and the Victory of God””

Review of Peter Adam’s “Hearing God’s Words”


There is something special about reading books by great bible teachers whom you personally know and have been shaped by. I eagerly awaited getting my hands on Peter Adam’s book “Hearing God’s words – Exploring Biblical Spirituality“. I was not disappointed.

Continue reading “Review of Peter Adam’s “Hearing God’s Words””

Web site review: desiringGOD.org

I am a big fan of the writings of John Piper and desiringGOD.org is one of my favourite Christian websites. John Piper is a Baptist minister in the USA. His theology is heavily influenced by 18th century American preacher Jonathan Edwards. At first glance Piper feels very right-wing American, but if you read him carefully, there is much more depth, discernment and self-critique to what he writes.

Continue reading “Web site review: desiringGOD.org”