Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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14 New and Upcoming Books You Might Be Interested In


There are a number of new and upcoming books, in a variety of genres, that I would like to share with you that you may be interested in.

Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need by David Platt

This book, by the author of Radical, is one of the best, and certainly the most challenging book I’ve read this year. Here’s my review. Continue reading


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Dust to Glory: An Overview of the Bible

How well do you understand the “big picture” of the Bible? Not just the New Testament, but the entire Bible. I recently re-listened to Dust to Glory, R.C. Sproul’s 57-part teaching series on the Bible. I had listened to the series years ago when it was first available, and also taught an adult Sunday School class using the videos at my church.
I’ve written previously how much the ministry of Dr. Sproul meant to me. Re-listening to this series confirmed for me why. Here was someone who took difficult theological concepts and communicated them in a way that I could understand. Throughout these messages, Dr. Sproul brings his characteristic passion to the lectures as he goes over the major themes, events and people of the Bible. Dr. Sproul himself felt that Dust to Glory was the most important teaching tool that Ligonier Ministries ever produced. His hope was that Dust to Glory “will encourage, stimulate, and assist you to master the Scriptures so that the Scriptures may master you.”
The teaching series comes in both audio and video formats. You can purchase the entire series from Ligonier Ministries, or just the Old Testament or New Testament messages. At the above link you can also watch the first message free.  I would recommend purchasing the entire 57-part teaching series so that you can get a complete overview of God’s Story.
Don’t let cost keep you from this wonderful teaching series. Twice each year, Christianaudio offers this series for just $7.49 for each of the two parts, or just $14.98 for the 57, 23-minute messages as a part of their “Twice Yearly Sale”.
Not all books of the Bible receive equal treatment in Dust to Glory. For example, the “prison epistles” and the “general epistles” each get one lecture. On the other hand, the book of Revelation gets three lectures.
Dust to Glory would be an excellent addition to your home or church library. It’s a resource that you will want to go back to again and again.


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby. Zondervan. 256 pages. 2019
****

This was a difficult book to read, as it should be. In his “Foreword”, Lecrae writes that the author challenges us to take history seriously and account for it. He warns us that the account we are about to read is sobering and challenging. I would add to this that it is heart-breaking. I believe that it is an account that all Christians should read, especially Christian leaders. It is a well-researched survey of racism in America, what the author refers to as more than 300 years of race-based discrimination. The author tells us that this history of racism and the church shows that the story is worse than most imagine. He states that the stories in the book tell the tale of racial oppression. It is up to the reader to determine whether the weight of historical evidence proves that the American church has been complicit with racism.  Although the entire history is essential to know, I focused on the author’s emphasis, that is, the role of the church in racism.
The author focus is primarily on Protestant churches, and when he talks about the “Religious Right”, he focuses on those white evangelicals that align with the Republican party. The book focuses on prominent figures, precipitous events, and well-known turning points in American history. He writes that, historically speaking, when faced with the choice between racism and equality, the American church has tended to practice a complicit Christianity rather than a courageous Christianity. Even if only a small portion of Christians committed the most notorious acts of racism, many more white Christians can be described as being complicit in creating and sustaining a racist society. Christians deliberately chose complicity with racism in the past, but the choice to confront racism remains a possibility today. The book is a call to abandon complicit Christianity and move toward courageous Christianity. The author tells us that it is time to practice courageous Christianity.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review…And reviews of Seven Leaders: Preachers and Pastors by Iain H. Murray, and How Can I Be Blessed? (Crucial Questions No. 24) by R.C. Sproul
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


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Two New Crucial Questions Books from R.C. Sproul (Free in the Kindle Edition)

Reformation Trust Publishing recently released two new books in R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series. Here is the complete listing of all 30 books in the series.

Below are reviews of the two new books in the series – How Does God’s Law Apply to Me? and Does God Exist? Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hillburn. Simon and Schuster. 449 pages. 2018
****

I’m a long-time fan of Paul Simon and was excited to see this major new biography of him by respected rock music writer Robert Hillburn. Unlike the recent new biography of Tiger Woods, Simon fully participated with the author via more than a hundred hours of interviews and did not insist on editorial control. The well-researched book saw the author interview Simon’s friends, family and colleagues.  The result is a fascinating look at one of America’s greatest songwriters
Simon was born in 1941 to Lou, a musician and Belle, a teacher.  He played baseball through high school and is a die-hard New York Yankees fan. The family was Jewish, but not very religious, nor is Simon, though references to the Bible have appeared in some of his more recent music, and he has written about science and faith.
Early musical influences for Simon were doo-wop music, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brother and folk music. Simon met Art Garfunkel in the 6th grade. They had some early success as Tom and Jerry, even appearing on American Bandstand.  Paul would write some of the songs they played and his father tended to be judgmental of them.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review…and reviews of Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock by Gregory Thornbury; Who is Jesus? by R.C. Sproul; Anchored in Hope: Security in the Storm by Donna Marie England
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics in a Divided Age by Jonathan Leeman
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Book Reviews
Moses and the Burning Bush by R.C. Sproul. Reformation Trust Publishing. 96 pages. 2018
**** 

This short book by the late Dr. R.C. Sproul is based on one of his last teaching series of the same title. He writes that the burning bush has been a significant symbol throughout the history of the church, and for good reason. The account of the burning bush is a story about the holiness of God. He tells us that God Himself appeared, through the manifestation of His Presence in the bush and that what Moses experienced at the burning bush is what God’s people experience today: a holy, transcendent, all-consuming God who comes down to dwell with His people. He knows us.
This book considers the significance of the burning bush event, looking at Moses’ life leading up to that encounter and focusing on the knowledge of God that is revealed in that particular incident. In this book Dr. Sproul looks to answer the question of why the bush was burning and yet not being consumed.
Moses was the mediator of the old covenant. That office made Moses one of the most important people in the entire Old Testament. As a mediator, he stood between God and the people of Israel. Moses foreshadowed the greater Mediator who would come later—the Mediator of the new covenant, Christ Himself.
The author tells us that there are occasions in redemptive history where the invisible God makes Himself visible by some kind of manifestation. That is called a theophany, and it’s what we see with the burning bush. What Moses saw in this fire was a supernatural, visible manifestation of the glory of God. He had a momentary encounter with the Holy, and the closer he got, the more afraid he became.
The author tells us that he believes that the greatest weakness in our day is the virtual eclipse of the character of God, even within our churches.
The first thing that God reveals about Himself in that name is that He is personal.
The author addresses such topics as God’s self-existence, His transcendence and His aseity. Self-existence means that He depends on nothing and no one for His existence. Only God has the concept of self-existence. The author tells us that if God is self-existent, eternal, and pure, then He is, by definition, transcendent. When we consider the transcendence and aseity of our God, we will respond in worship and awe—just as Moses did at the burning bush.
The author tells us that the second most important act of redemption ever accomplished in history, and the second most difficult mission ever given by God to a human being, was the mission God gave to Moses.
The author tells us that in the burning bush we see the revelation of the person of God, of the power of God, and of the eternality of God. We see the revelation of the compassion of God, the redemption of God, and now, finally, the truth of God.
The author was known for his teaching on the holiness of God. This book is another wonderful look at that attribute of God.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEW ~ The Prayer of the Lord by R.C. Sproul
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB   ~ How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics in a Divided Age by Jonathan Leeman
I’M CURRENTLY READING….

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3 Free E-Books from R.C. Sproul

Here are the last three Crucial Questions booklets from R.C. Sproul that were published before his death in December.

How Can I Be Right with God? (Crucial Questions No. 26) by R.C. Sproul. Reformation Trust Publishing. 69 pages. 2017
****

The late Dr. R.C. Sproul writes that the gospel tells us how we can be right with God. In this short book looking at the doctrine of justification. That doctrine explains how we, as unjust people, can be reconciled to a just and holy God. Justification takes place when God declares a person to be just in His sight.
The author tells us that the good news of the gospel is that we don’t have to wait until we become perfectly righteous before God will consider us and declare us righteous. We are made and declared righteous by virtue of God’s imputing to us the righteousness of Christ. Christ’s righteousness and merit are attributed to us while we are still sinners.
God declares us just, not because He looks at us and sees our righteousness, but because He sees the righteousness of Christ. God counts the righteousness of Christ for us, and does not count our own sins against us.
The author compares the Reformed view and the Roman Catholic views. In the Reformed view, the righteousness of Christ is imputed by faith to the believer. In the Roman Catholic view, the righteousness of Christ is infused into someone via the sacraments. That person must then cooperate with this infusion of grace in order to become truly righteous.
We are told that faith is the instrument by which we are linked to the righteousness of Christ. Faith is the conduit through which His righteousness is given to us. The instant someone has true faith, God declares them justified and imputes to them all of the merit of Christ, so that all that Christ is and all that He has accomplished becomes his.
The author tells us that throughout, the Bible describes the relationship between a holy God and unholy people as a relationship of estrangement. However, when we are justified, we have peace with God that is forever.

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