The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family

Westminster Bookstore:

Husbands and dads play a crucial role in the health and survival of the family. That’s why leadership expert Tim Witmer has written this book—to strengthen our efforts to lead well. He applies a biblical framework to the role of leadership in the home, showing how effective shepherding involves “knowing, leading, protecting, and providing for your family”; all the while communicating solid principles with a down-to-earth, relatable tone.

Find in this book the wise counsel and practical direction that is sure to make a difference in your family today.

Includes questions For Further Reflection at the end each chapter

More Free Media:

Listen to a lecture by Tim Witmer entitled Shepherding in the Home.
Requires a free account at Westminster Theological Seminary

About the Author:

Timothy Z. Witmer (DMin, Reformed Theological Seminary) is professor of practical theology and coordinator of the practical theology department at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has served as senior minister of Crossroads Community Church since 1986 and is the author of The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church.

Seeing Beauty & Saying Beautifully

Did you know John Piper has loads of free books on the Desiring God website?  Did you know he just released a new one, that is, again, FREE?  Gotta love it.  The new book is called Seeing Beauty & Saying Beautifully.  It’s in the series The Swans are Not Silent, and in this next offering Piper gives us a look into the hearts of George Herbert, George Whitefield, and C.S. Lewis.  Click here to get it for FREE.

Desiring God:

full_1400523950Read John Piper’s article on why he thinks this particular book of his is “the one most different from all the others.”

Herbert. Whitefield. Lewis.

In the sixth volume of The Swans Are Not Silent series, John Piper celebrates the importance of poetic effort by looking at three influential Christians whose words magnificently display a commitment to truth and a love of beauty.

Examining the lives of George Herbert, George Whitefield, and C. S. Lewis, Piper helps us appreciate the importance of carefully crafted words by exploring how Christians can use them to testify to God’s glory, wonder at his grace, and rejoice in his salvation.

Whether exploring Herbert’s moving poetry, Whitefield’s dramatic preaching, or Lewis’s imaginative writing, this book highlights the importance of Christ-exalting eloquence in our praise of God and proclamation of his gospel.

First Edition 2014
Crossway Books (Wheaton, Illinois)

Him We Proclaim – The Core of Our Message

1596380543mFor this “On My shelf Monday” I want to recommend one of my favorite reads in the past few years.  It’s called Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All of Scripture, by Dennis Johnson.

As the twenty-first century dawns, the global church needs a rebirth of Holy Spirit-illumined, apostolic proclamation of Jesus Christ from every text of Scripture. The weakening church in the West finds itself marginalized by a culture that increasingly manifests indifferent pluralism and hostile paganism strikingly similar to what the apostles encountered in the Greco-Roman world two millennia ago. Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere the church’s rapid numerical growth frequently is accompanied by converts” superficial grasp of Scripture and fragile connection to the faith, giving little evidence of the gospel’s power to create communities of disciples distinguished by purity, integrity, compassion, and hope.

Him We Proclaim argues that today, twenty centuries after the good news of Jesus the Messiah first burst like lightning across the ancient world’s global cultures, pastors and evangelists must rediscover the Christ-centered way of reading and preaching the Bible that the apostles learned from Jesus and practice the apostolic hermeneutic that God’s Spirit used to capture the hearts of ancient peoples by the world-shaking power of divine grace. (WTS Books)


This is an important book, a timely book much in need of being written and one that will be read with the greatest profit. This is especially so for those who, committed to a redemptive-historical or covenant-historical reading of the Bible, recognize and seek to honor and proclaim as its central theme, Old Testament as well as New, Christ in his person and work as the consummate revelation of the triune God.
Read the entire review
– Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Charles Krahe Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

Him We Proclaim is by far the most comprehensive study of what the Bible says about preaching. Through a very wide-angle lens, Johnson is able to show that none of the popular theories of preaching says everything that should be said; but each has some insights and can be seen as an aspect of the biblical picture. The book also gives a clear and full account of the hermeneutical questions that preachers must deal with. Johnson’s arguments are cogent, his evaluations sound. If I could have only one book on preaching, this would be the one.
– John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

Every once in a while, a book comes along that is truly worth reading, and Dennis Johnson’s meaty volume, Him We Proclaim, is one of them. Although this work is indeed about preaching, it is no mere homiletics manual, for Johnson provides rich exegetical fare and incisive theological reflection in an understandable, literate style. In an area where considerable disagreement exists, the author’s commitments are clear, but he refuses to be drawn to extreme positions, and his irenic treatment of competing views can only affect the discussion in a positive way. Even those who may not be fully persuaded by Johnson’s arguments will be deeply grateful by what they have learned.
– Moises Silva, Formerly Professor of New Testament Westminster Theological Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Dennis Johnson has written a magnificent book that magnifies Christ in all of Scripture. Every preacher and teacher of the Scriptures should read this gem of a book. Johnson convincingly explains and defends the thesis that Christ should be proclaimed from all of Scripture. But he also illustrates with specific examples what it looks like to proclaim Christ in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. This book is exegetically faithful, theologically profound, and practically helpful. I wish I had a read a book like this when I started my theological education thirty years ago.
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Apostolic hermeneutics? Dare we read the Scripture backward as well as forward? Dennis Johnson’s answer is a marvelously informed, and convincing “yes!” Yes, we can read and interpret and teach as the apostles did. Him We Proclaim is sure to be widely read and discussed both in the academy and by groups of serious-minded preachers of the Word. Sure to become a staple in the homiletical discussion of the twenty-first century.
– R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

This book is dedicated to the memory of Edmund Clowney, who inspired many of us to find and preach Christ in all the Scriptures. Clowney was a brilliant practitioner of Christocentric preaching. The question for the rest of us is how to do it well. In a wide-ranging discussion, Dennis Johnson brings his deep knowledge of the Bible and hermeneutics together with his experience and teaching of preaching to reflect on just this question. One need not agree with all his arguments or assumptions to appreciate the value and importance of what Johnson offers as the fruit of years of wise reflection and practice. The first part of his work defends the whole enterprise of Christological interpretation and preaching in the light of issues in present-day biblical scholarship and homiletical debates. Not content simply to theorize, he provides extended expositions of apostolic preaching and teaching, samples of Christological readings of OT and NT passages, and an appendix proposing basic procedures for moving from text to Christological proclamation. There is much, then, to stimulate thought and to give practical help in this major contribution. Not the least part of that contribution is Johnson’s persuasive argument that preaching that makes Christ its primary focus should at the same time be preaching that addresses the needs of its hearers in their particular cultural setting.
– Andrew T. Lincoln, Portland Professor of New Testament, University of Gloucestershire

Him We Proclaim is a masterful work that should help preachers to understand the necessary interplay between hermeneutics and homiletics that results from a comprehensive biblical theology and a deep commitment to preaching the Word of God. This book holds the promise of the recovery of biblical preaching for those who will give themselves to the demanding and glorious task of setting each text within the context of God’s redemptive plan. This is a book that belongs on every preacher’s bookshelf.
– R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Rediscovering Eden – The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes

9781596384682mWestminster Bookstore:

“The Preacher” in Ecclesiastes reminds us that life under the sun does not play out according to neat and tidy rules. He asks us to see the world around us in all its messiness and explores what that messiness reveals about us, our world, and God. The Preacher is plainspoken, because people live in the midst of this mess and we have to talk about it. Zack Eswine gives us a meditation that engages people where they are and invites them to draw near to God who enters their world to redeem it and them.

About the Author

Zack Eswine (PhD, Regent University) is lead pastor at Riverside Church in Webster Groves, Missouri. Zack was an Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Director for the Doctor of Ministry program at Covenant Theological Seminary and has also written many books on preaching and Christian living.

About the Series

Iain M. Duguid (PhD, University of Cambridge) is Professor of Old Testament and Religion at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, and Co-pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church (ARP) in Grove City.


“There are books that are theologically significant, books that are pastorally relevant, and books that are beautifully written. But it is rare to find all three in a single work. Zack Eswine’s masterful treatment of Ecclesiastes will feed your mind, heart and soul in a unique way. This is probably the best volume in the Gospel According to the Old Testament series so far.”
– Iain Duguid, Professor of Old Testament, Grove City College; author, Living in the Gap Between Promise and Reality: The Gospel According to Abraham

“When you are leading a Bible study, or preaching on a text, one thing you look for in extra-biblical resources is a trustworthy approach that can also help the text sparkle with new connections to the rest of the Bible’s grand narrative. It seems a popular thing for commentators to argue over the nuances of Ecclesiastes to the point where it becomes disjointed—your study can easily get lost in what seems to be conflicting detail. Zack Eswine will bring you a clarity to the themes of Ecclesiastes that can literally make you stop, slap your forehead, and exclaim ‘Ah! That makes sense.’ If you are leading a Bible study on, or preaching from Ecclesiastes, you need this book to orient your study.”
– Ian Thompson, Vice President, P&R Publishing

“In Recovering Eden, Zack Eswine has provided a pastorally poetic guide to the endlessly ‘wild and strange wonder called Ecclesiastes.’ He reliably reminds the reader that a search for life’s significance begins with a trustworthy God who fills life with meaning throughout life’s seasons and ends with this One who makes all things new in Jesus Christ. Be sure to reflect on the weighty questions that Zack provides after each chapter. They offer the reader a timely opportunity to respond to the author’s thoughtful observations of an ultimately hopeful text.”
– Donald C. Guthrie, Director of the PhD (Educational Studies), Professor of Educational Ministries, The Jeanette L. Hsieh Chair of Educational Leadership, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“While very few of us are professional philosophers who deal with the abstract problems of meaning, all of us are daily dealing with the functional problems of meaning. We all want our lives to count for something. Every one of us craves meaning—it’s human nature to yearn for it. The question is, where are we looking to find it … What are you depending on to make life worth living? What keeps you going?

“Ecclesiastes won’t allow for pat answers to these deeply existential questions—it forces us to look beneath the surface…. The writer of Ecclesiastes is not interested in pious platitudes and theory. He’s not some ivory-tower pontificator. Rather, he’s slogging his way through life on the ground, desperately looking for something to make him feel alive, something that will satisfy, something to give him the meaning he longs for. Ecclesiastes is an honest look at life without God. It explores the ways in which people try to save themselves apart from God, and in doing so, it blows our cover—it removes our fig leaves. It leads us to the abyss and drives us to despair. It reveals the meaninglessness of life ‘under the sun’ and causes us to cry out, ‘Who will rescue me?’

“My friend Zack Eswine helps us to see that all the answers sought for by the writer of Ecclesiastes (and us) under the sun come to us from above the sun, in the person and work of Jesus. Reading Ecclesiastes in the light of Christ’s finished work tells us that ultimate meaning is found in God through Christ, who defeats death and brings meaning to life. Jesus subjected himself to the curse of a meaningless world in order to free us from it.

“For those who see no end to their laborious search for meaning and satisfaction, Jesus promises rest…. Only in Christ are we freed from the bondage of vanity. Christ has completed our labors, he’s secured our meaning, he’s rescued us from futility. Thank you, Zack, for reminding me of this. I keep forgetting.”
– Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, FL


Churches, Revolutions, & Empires (1789-1914)

9781845507749m1789 to 1914 was a time of momentous and often violent change religiously, socially, politically and economically in the western world. The revolutions in the churches and the powerful empires of the day were to have a profound effect upon society at large both then and in the years that followed. In this detailed yet fascinating study, Ian Shaw gives context and understanding to this legacy which has been passed on from that era by providing an expert analysis of the period with a focus on the key leaders, influences and issues.

Listen to a lecture by Ian Shaw entitled Jonathan Edwards: Preacher as Community Theologian.(Partners in the Gospel)

About the Author:

Ian J. Shaw is currently the Director of Langham Scholarship programme in the UK. He previously served as Lecturer at International Christian College, Glasgow. Ian also served in pastoral ministry in London and Manchester.


“Clear, comprehensive, well-informed about the history of western churches, unusually perceptive about Christian developments elsewhere in the world, and throughout written in entirely accessible prose. Students and experienced readers should both welcome this most helpful volume.”
– Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

“I have long been looking for a text that would help my students in Africa understand the double development of a post western Christianity as well as a post Christian west. With Ian Shaw’s extraordinary book Churches, Revolutions and Empires, that search is over.”
– Mark Shaw, Director of the Centre for World Christianity, Africa International University, Nairobi, Kenya

“I think this is a most impressive book. A book like this should become a standard work in the way that Alec Vidler’s Church in an Age of Revolution used to be.”
– Ian Randall, International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague

“The book is clear, well arranged and up-to-date in its absorption of recent research. It covers the full range of denominations across the globe, setting religion firmly in its socio-political context and so addressing central historical issues such as empire and national identity. It is likely to command a wide readership in universities, theological colleges, ministers’ studies and private homes. It well deserves to be published.”
– David Bebbington, Professor of History, University of Stirling

“Ian Shaw’s book will give a sure and illuminating guide to these multiple processes of revolutionary change which began to redraw the contours of world Christianity.”
– Brian Stanley, Professor of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh and editor ofCambridge History of Christianity: World Christianities, 1815-1914

Every Story Whisper’s His Name

0310708257mFor this weeks “On My Shelf Monday” I am going, not onto my shelf, but the bookshelf of my 2-year-old son Jack.  He has a Bible we read to him every morning from, and we’ve found this Bible teaching us just as much as it’s teaching our son.  It is the best children’s Bible I’ve ever read – and now will be the only children’s Bible I recommend.

Publisher’s Description:

Containing forty-six Bible stories from creation to Revelation with beautiful, rich, and vibrant artwork,The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures and discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation – and at the center of their story, too.

About the Author:

Sally Lloyd-Jones was born in Uganda and raised in several different parts of Africa. She worked in children’s publishing for several years but now writes full-time. Sally resides in Manhattan and has been a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) for over ten years. Sally’s web site.

About the Illustrator:

Jago is an accomplished illustrator with several prestigious awards to his credit, including a Macmillian “Highly Commended” Award for Children’s Illustration in 2003, an AOI Silver Award in 2004, and the National Literacy Association Wow! Award. Jago lives in Cornwall, England, with his wife and daughter.


“I would urge not just families with young children to get this book, but every Christian–from pew warmers, to ministry leaders, seminarians and even theologians! Sally Lloyd-Jones has captured the heart of what it means to find Christ in all the scriptures, and has made clear even to little children that all God’s revelation has been about Jesus from the beginning–a truth not all that commonly recognized even among the very learned.”
– Rev. Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

“Sally Lloyd-Jones, a Redeemer [PCA, New York] member for many years, has done a wondrous thing. She has captured the plot line of redemption in a children’s story Bible that sings the praise of Jesus and his saving grace on every page, in every story.”
– Kathy Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
Read all of Kathy Keller’s review

Christ in All of Scripture – Grace for All of Life

9781433538674mOn my shelf Monday is a big one today.  Why?  I want to recommend the study Bible I use the most.  The reason this study Bible is the best one I’ve ever used is due to two things: the clear text of the ESV translation along with the best study notes on the text I’ve ever read.  All focused toward one goal, proclaiming Christ through the whole Scripture, the notes are life-giving, informative, and inspiring to say the least.

ESV Gospel Transformation Bible from Crossway on Vimeo.Free Downloadable Resources:

Publisher’s Description:

The apostle Paul summed up his whole ministry as existing “to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). That single-minded goal is the heartbeat of the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.Produced out of the conviction that the Bible is a unified message of God’s grace culminating in Jesus, it is a significant new tool to help readers see Christ in all the Bible, and grace for all of life.

The Gospel Transformation Bible features all-new book introductions and gospel-illuminating notes written by a team of over 50 outstanding pastors and scholars. This specially prepared material outlines passage-by-passage God’s redemptive purposes of grace that echo all through Scripture and culminate in Christ. The notes not only explain but also apply the text in a grace-centered way. Focusing on heart transformation rather than mere behavior modification, their points of application emphasize the Hows and Whys of practical application to daily living—in short, how the gospel transforms us from the inside out.

Every print edition comes with free access to the Online Gospel Transformation Bible, hosted at

The Gospel Transformation Bible will equip both new and seasoned believers with a gospel-centered reading of Scripture, enabling God’s people to see that the message of the Bible is a unified one—“to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”


Editor Interview:

 Old Testament Contributors:

  • Genesis – Willem VanGemeren
  • Exodus – Sean Lucas
  • Leviticus – Jay Sklar
  • Numbers – Michael Morales
  • Deuteronomy – Mark Futato
  • Joshua – Mike Horton
  • Judges – Brian Aucker
  • Ruth – Mary Beth McGreevy
  • 1–2 Samuel – Phil Long
  • 1–2 Kings – Miles Van Pelt
  • 1–2 Chronicles – Miles Van Pelt
  • Ezra – Kathleen Nielson
  • Nehemiah – Kathleen Nielson
  • Esther – Elyse Fitzpatrick
  • Job – Paul Zahl
  • Psalms – George Robertson/ Bruce Ware
  • Proverbs – Ray Ortlund
  • Ecclesiastes – Doug O’Donnell
  • Song of Solomon – Doug O’Donnell
  • Isaiah – Kelly Kapic
  • Jeremiah – Graeme Goldsworthy
  • Lamentations – Graeme Goldsworthy
  • Ezekiel – Greg Gilbert
  • Daniel – Bryan Chapell
  • Hosea – Jim Hamilton
  • Joel – Tim Witmer
  • Amos – David Helm
  • Obadiah – Michael Glodo
  • Jonah – Colin Smith
  • Micah – Nancy Guthrie
  • Nahum – Michael Glodo
  • Habakkuk – Julius Kim
  • Zephaniah – Darrin Patrick
  • Haggai – Iain Duguid
  • Zechariah – Iain Duguid
  • Malachi – Iain Duguid

New Testament Contributors:

  • Matthew – Frank Thielman
  • Mark – Hans Bayer
  • Luke – Jonathan Pennington
  • John – Scotty Smith
  • Acts – Justin Holcomb
  • Romans – Bob Yarbrough
  • 1 Corinthians – Jimmy Agan
  • 2 Corinthians – Stephen Um
  • Galatians – Ian Smith
  • Ephesians – Kevin DeYoung
  • Philippians – Jon Dennis
  • Colossians – Julius Kim
  • 1–2 Thessalonians – Burk Parsons
  • 1–2 Timothy – Kent Hughes
  • Titus – J. D. Greear
  • Philemon – Julius Kim
  • Hebrews – Robert Peterson
  • James – Dan Doriani
  • 1–2 Peter – Jared Wilson
  • 1–3 John – Mike Bullmore
  • Jude – Jared Wilson
  • Revelation – Jim Hamilton

About the ESV

The ESV Bible® (English Standard Version)® is an “essentially literal” translation of the Bible in contemporary English. The ESV Bible emphasizes “word-for-word” accuracy, literary excellence, and depth of meaning. The ESV is ideally suited for personal reading, for public worship, for in-depth study, and for Scripture memorization. The ESV Bible is available in more than 200 print editions, and it is free online anytime everywhere in the world. Find out more →


“I strongly recommend this edition.”
– Michael Haykin, Professor, Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“This is a profound resource for those who want to understand more deeply and be transformed most thoroughly by the Christ-centered story of the gospel unfolded throughout the Scriptures.”
– Jay Thomas, Lead Pastor, Chapel Hill Bible Church, Chapel Hill, NC

“With introductions and notes from trustworthy pastors and scholars, this Bible clearly shows the ways in which all of Scripture points to Christ.”
– Mike McKinley, Senior Pastor, Guilford Baptist Church, Sterling, VA

“The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible is a helpful resource for students of the Scriptures. The work integrates exegesis, theology, and application in a clear and compelling way.”
– Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Crossway has enlisted the skills of foremost theologians like Bryan Chapell to create this wonderful tool. May God use it to inspire and educate a generation of God-seekers.”
– Max Lucado, Pastor; bestselling author

“This is a seminary education packed into one book.”
– Justin Buzzard, Lead Pastor, Garden City Church, Silicon Valley; author, The Big Story

“Christ the Redeemer shines through every book of the Bible like a multi-faceted diamond. TheESV Gospel Transformation Bible draws our attention to those diverse displays of grace throughout redemptive history and sacred Scripture. Read to behold, and to be changed by, your Savior’s glory.”
– Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California

“’Gospel-centeredness’ is just a buzzword unless we can tie it back to the text of Scripture, and this Bible edition helps us do just that.”
– Matt Carter, Pastor of Preaching & Vision, Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, TX; co-author, The Real Win

“This is a fantastic tool for Jesus-centered Bible study compiled by a world class team of Bible teachers.”
– Mark Driscoll, Founder, Mars Hill Church, Resurgence; Co-Founder, Acts 29

“This Bible wisely combines doctrine and devotion.”
– Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Bethlehem College and Seminary

“I’m delighted to see the development of a Bible that connects life application to gospel reality, and the imperatives of the Bible back to the indicatives of the gospel.”
– Trevin Wax, Managing Editor, The Gospel Project; author, Gospel Centered Teaching andCounterfeit Gospels

“This Bible is a wonderful tool to see the unity of the Scriptures as a continuous testimony of Christ and his salvation.”
– Herman Selderhuis, Director, Refo500; Professor of Church History, Theological University Apeldoorn, Netherlands

“The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible emphasizes application of Scripture to life, not by drawing out simplistic moralisms, but by helping readers perceive the implications of a gospel-saturated reading of Scripture for the way they live.”
– Kenneth Berding, Professor of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

“I spent years blind that the gospel story was threading through all of Scripture and the Bible came to life when I got that truth. The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible shows Jesus and the gospel everywhere, and will empower your heart for Jesus, your love for the gospel, and your ability to share it with others.”
– Charlie Hall, songwriter; Worship Pastor, Frontline Church, Oklahoma City, OK

“Study Bibles of varying usefulness abound, but the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible uniquely assists the reader to understand how Scripture unfolds as the magnificent epic of the mission of God in Christ for the cosmic renewal of all things.”
– Christopher A. Beetham, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Evangelical Theological College; Associate Professor of New Testament, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

“The Gospel Transformation Bible helps the reader taste sweetness of God’s grace and treasure the infinite worth of Christ. The team of pastor-theologians have served the church well by putting texts in their larger redemptive-historical context.”
– Tony Merida, Founding Pastor, Imago Dei Church, Raleigh, NC

“Filled with amazing insight and yet highly accessible, this is an outstanding resource for understanding what it really means for the gospel to be at the center of our entire lives—and why this matters.”
– Matt Perman, author, What’s Best Next

“The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible beautifully shows how the entirety of God’s word is fixed upon Christ, and centered on the good news of relentless grace.”
– Matt Boswell, Pastor of Ministries and Worship, Providence Church, Frisco, TX; President, Doxology & Theology

“The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible contains invaluable resources for helping us understand how God’s power in the gospel shapes every moment of our lives.”
– Gloria Furman, author, Glimpses of Grace

“The excellent, easy-to-read expositional notes in this Bible demonstrate how every passage of the Bible is useful to us today as they all come from the mind of the same gracious God who inspired all of Scripture.”
– Ajith Fernando, Teaching Director, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka

“It is difficult to conceive of a better way to keep us gospel-focused in all of life than this.”
– Derek W. H. Thomas, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, RTS Atlanta; Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC; Editorial Advisor, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

“Today, there is a famine of the Word of God. This new study Bible’s superb commentaries, excellent aids, and fine introductions help address that need. It is outstanding in every way.”
– David F. Wells, Distinguished Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible is a wonderful new tool that can help you read the Bible the way it should be read: as a unified whole, and with a thirst for life transformation. I can’t wait to use it in our family devotions and to give a copy to my pastor.”
– Andreas J. Köstenberger, Senior Research Professor of New Testament & Biblical Theology,Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Founder, Biblical Foundations

“This new edition of the ESV is a stunning accomplishment. With all our talk of being ‘gospel-centered’ we now have a remarkable resource that highlights the biblical testimony of what God has so graciously done for the salvation of sinners in and through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.”
– Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Vision and Preaching, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, OK

“The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible, with its emphasis on Christ-centered reading, reflection, and application of God’s word, will equip the church and its growing numbers of leaders.”
– Lazarus Phiri, Principal, Theological College of Central Africa

“I cannot even begin to fathom the benefits that the Gospel Transformation Bible will have on the Church universal.”
– Jessica Thompson, author, Exploring Grace Together; co-author, Give Them Grace

“This is more than just another study Bible packed with useful information. The Gospel Transformation Bible helps us develop a deeper understanding of the glorious riches of Scripture by showing us how the Scriptures reveal our greatest treasure: Jesus himself.”
– Elliot Grudem, Lead Pastor for Leadership Development and Church Planting, Vintage Church, Raleigh, NC

“I love this Bible! With gospel warmth and wisdom the study notes instruct and inspire us to reflect our redemption in all of life.”
– Susan Hunt, Former Director of Women’s Ministries, Presbyterian Church of America

“Christians need the message of the gospel. Every day. The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible will help you and me remember the gospel and be transformed by the gospel. Every day.”
– C.J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Louisville, KY

“The notes steer you away from self-obsessed cherry-picking towards a focus on Christ and the deeper heart-change that only comes through knowing the grace and love of God.”
– Michael Reeves, author, Delighting in the Trinity and The Unquenchable Flame

“This is a remarkably helpful resource, both an accessible Bible commentary and a theology of redemption. The Word of God is a living symphony, with many sections and parts, and in this unique resource we hear the harmony of salvation.”
– Owen Strachan, Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History, Boyce College

“…a Christ-magnifying, grace-saturated study Bible for life. Personally, I look forward to using theESV Gospel Transformation Bible extensively and recommending it widely.”
– Rob Lister, Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, Talbot School of Theology

“Its many notes, cross-references, and introductions, all geared to a readable and accurate Scripture translation, make this one a winner for anyone who is ready to study the Bible up close and personal.”
– Timothy George, Dean, Beeson Divinity School; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

“… a tremendously helpful guide to understanding the trees of Bible passages in light of the forest of redemptive history. This is an outstanding resource and I pray that it helps many to know and honor Christ according to the Scriptures.”
– Erik Thoennes, Professor of Theology, Talbot School of Theology; Pastor, Grace Evangelical Free Church, La Mirada, CA

“I dare you to spend time reading and thinking and praying through this Bible; you might be floored at how much God intends to do!”
– Josh Fenska, Lead Pastor, Redeemer Community Church, Oswego, IL

“What a happy marriage! The literary excellence of the English Standard Version combines with first-rate, accessible scholarship from contributors who plumb the gospel’s unfolding from Genesis to Revelation.”
– Mindy Belz, Editor, World Magazine

“The ESV Gospel Transformation Bible is a unique resource blending biblical, systematic, and practical theological insights to help us understand what the Bible teaches about grace and personal change.”
– Tim Keller, Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City, NY; author, The Reason for God

Reformation: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

PrintI just begun reading a wonderful little book which I’d like to recommend to you all today.  It is called “Reformation: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” by Carl Trueman.  Anyone who wants to know why the one of the principles of the Reformation was “Semper Reformanda” (always reforming) should read this book.  We are in need of it today.

Publisher’s Description:

Dr. Trueman examines the origins of contemporary Reformed theology in the Reformation world of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. After tracing how this heritage shaped and transformed the intervening period, he then describes some of the major challenges being faced by the evangelical church at the present time and suggests ways of responding which remain faithful to the Scriptures and the theology of the Reformers drawn from it and points towards a future that embraces and disseminates these wonderful doctrines of grace.

About Carl Trueman:

Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is Paul Woolley Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary. He was editor of Themelios for nine years, has written more than a dozen books, and has contributed to multiple publications, including the Dictionary of Historical Theology and The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology.


“Western Christianity has been willingly hypnotized into a pre-Reformational state becoming religiously ecumenical and morally bankrupt. Simply put, we are in need of a new Reformation mindset which recaptures the tenets of the Reformers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The re-release of Carl Trueman’s Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is a needed corrective and powerful antidote for the spiritual anemia that has infected our chapter of church history. It is historically compelling, wonderfully practical, and spiritually motivating.”
— Rick Holland, Executive pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA

“The present has inextricable links to the past. This is obvious, though possibly not to some moderns who think themselves wiser than reality. Trueman is thankfully not one of these moderns and, drawing upon a rich fund of knowledge of the Reformation, he here shows that the Reformation is not at all over but has ongoing relevance. A great introduction to the present-day meaning of this world-changing event.”
— Michael Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

“This fine book should be required reading for all Christians—and especially for those who doubt whether the Protestant Reformation has anything left to say to us in our day. Stating that “the Reformation represents a move to place God as he has revealed himself in Christ at the centre of the church’s life and thought,” Trueman then retrieves Luther’s theology of the cross, argues that because the Reformation “was above all a movement of the Word—incarnate in Christ and written down in the Scriptures,” and because the Spirit works through the Word, “the Word written and the Word preached are both central to Christianity and are not simply cultural forms which can be shed when culture moves on,” and then closes with a chapter on Christian assurance that recognizes our assurance as the foundation for our Christian activity. Along the way, he scatters nugget after nugget of insight into what is core to the Reformation legacy, motivating his readers to embrace this core again.”
— Mark R. Talbot, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Wheaton College, IL

“With knowledge, wit, and clarity, Carl Trueman brings key insights from the Reformation on Christ, Scripture, and our appropriation of both to bear on the life of the modern evangelical church. This is not antiquarian theology. Rather we’re given a sharp diagnosis of our current shallow experience of God, and prescribed instead the rich, deep, satisfying currents of Biblical Christianity. This little volume will repay both the minster and the layman’s repeated reading. I am so glad to see it back in print.”
— Michael Lawrence, Senior Pastor, Hinson Baptist Church, Portland, OR

“Dr. Trueman calls us to build on the work of Reformers by a continuing reformation of the church under the Word; especially with regard to the cross of the Christ, the written and preached Word, and thirdly, the assurance of salvation… I commend them to a wider Christian public for reflection, prayer and appropriate reforming action.”
— Eryl Davies, Head of Research, Wales Evangelical School of Theology, Bridgend, Wales

Dr. Steve Lawson – Did You Really Mean This?

I just finished reading through Dr. Steve Lawson’s The Expository Genius of John Calvin, and enjoyed much of it.  I do really enjoy reading Lawson, but he made a comment in this book that was simply wrong.  In it he says,

“Because a sermon is simply an overflow of a preacher’s life, the man of God must prepare his heart well.  A sermon rises no higher than a preacher’s soul before God (page 40).”

“The success of the preacher depends on the depth of his holiness. (page 43).”

Now before I tell you why this is unhelpful let me tell you why this is helpful.  A sermon really is the overflow of the pastor’s life and study.  If the pastor is not prepared, there is a good chance that the sermon will be bad.  If the pastor has not spent much time with God, it will be plain to the people, and the opposite is just as true; if the pastor is prepared and has spent much time with God, there is a good chance the sermon will be good.

Okay, now why this is just bad.  Lawson should have felt this wrong-ness about the statements, ” A sermon rises no higher than a preacher’s soul before God.”  “The success of the preacher depends on the depth of his holiness.”  This is simple.  According to these statements, the hope of preaching comes from the preacher’s own holiness and passion for God.  This is wrong, because it means that God cannot work robustly through the sermon if the preacher is not a robust lover of God.  It means that a sermon can never rise above the level of a sinner.  This cannot be true. The hope for preaching is found in no man, especially the preacher, because the preacher is sinful.  The hope of preaching therefore is God, who is working in, for, and through the preacher.

How do I know this to be true?  Because of three things: 1) I am a preacher.  2) I know who I am.  3) I know who I am not.

If Lawson’s statements are true, I have no hope in my preaching, because I know who I am, and know that no hope lies within me or my holiness.  I also know who I am not – I am not God, I am not perfect, and my being can benefit no person on this planet at all.  The same is true of every preacher of the gospel – the hope of our message is not based on the power of our own holiness. Our hope in preaching does not in any way come from us!  If our sermons will rise no higher than our own holiness and passion for God, I need to find another job, because I am merely a man in the middle of my own sanctification.  I’m a mess.

Thus, I do not preach because I am an angel of a man.  I preach the gospel because the gospel is not only my hope for the whole world, it is the hope for my own soul – that is why I preach, and that is my hope in preaching – that God would use what is foolish (me) to shame the wise (not me), and use the weak (me) to shame the strong (not me).

Dr. Lawson, in an absolutely phenomenal book which this book on Calvin is, you really should know not to write such things.

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full – Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms.

9781433538889mAnother on book recommendation Monday is upon us, and this one is for Mom’s :).  It’s good, and hopefully all you Mom’s out there will be eager to get this one.  It’s called “Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full – Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms.”

Publisher’s Description:

Grocery shopping. Soccer practice. Dirty dishes.
Motherhood is tough, and it often feels like the to-do list just gets longer and longer every day—making it hard to experience true joy in God, our children, and the gospel.

In this encouraging book for frazzled moms, Gloria Furman, a pastor’s wife and mother of four, encourages us to reorient our vision of motherhood around what the Bible teaches. Showing us how to pursue a vibrant and ever-growing relationship with Christ—even when discouragement sets in and the laundry still needs to be washed—this book will help you treasure Christ more deeply no matter how busy you are.


About the Author:

Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of four young children, doula, and blogger. In 2008, her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai, where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home, and blogs regularly at The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, and


“These pages are filled with such helpful honesty and gospel centrality as we’re invited to look at the wonderful and messy world of motherhood! Reading it was like opening a window in the stuffy room of pretense, guilt, and self-focus that often press in on us as mothers. Let the windows fly open and come breathe the fresh air of grace!”
– Kristyn Getty, hymn writer and recording artist

“As mothers, our to-do list is never ending, and many well-meaning people pile on how-to lists to try to help us manage it all. Here’s good news: Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full refreshes the soul with gospel truths and is not a how-to book. Gloria Furman shares the liberating gospel on every page, helping us fix our eyes on eternity rather than on our circumstances. You won’t come away with yet another thing to do; instead you’ll know the one who gave it all for you and has much to say in his Word to sustain you.”
– Trillia Newbell, author, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity

“Moms do not need another book telling them how short they fall or what they can do to ‘be a better parent.’ Moms need a book that will lift their eyes away from themselves and onto Christ. Gloria Furman has delivered just that book. Her honesty about her daily struggles and her hope in her strong Savior are a delightful encouragement. The grand picture of God and his redeeming love that Gloria paints gives courage to face each day. We will be recommending this book to future moms, new moms, and moms that have been at it for years.”
– Jessica Thompson and Elyse Fitzpatrick, co-authors, Give Them Grace

“Oh, how I wish I had a voice like Gloria Furman’s to whisper such sweet gospel truths into the frustrations and discontent of my younger mothering days! There’s nothing simplistic or syrupy here. This book presents rich and deep wisdom that is sure to generate joy and peace in the homes and hearts of many moms.”
– Nancy Guthrie, Bible Teacher; author, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible study series

“A stunning invitation to see Christ in and through the everyday mundane. Every mother needs to read this book, to bathe her soul in the truth of the gospel, to ‘stamp eternity on her eyeballs,’ and then come back tomorrow and do it all again. This book should sit on every nightstand of every weary mother wondering if there is anything more to look forward to than another sink full of dirty dishes, another day full of cleaning and wiping, cooking and scrubbing. The answer Gloria points us to is Jesus. And he is more than enough. I will be buying this book by the case and giving it away to all the moms I meet!”
– Joy Forney, missionary mama; proud wife; blogger at

“I was wonderfully blessed by this book. With personal examples and teaching immersed in Scripture, Gloria invites us to savor Christ, the deepest need and joy of every mother. I certainly will reread it and look forward to recommending it to others.”
– Trisha DeYoung, happy wife to Kevin DeYoung, author, Just Do Something andCrazy Busy!; stay-at-home adventurous mother of six

“We need this book. In the frenetic and sometimes overwhelming task of parenting, it’s hard to remember the gospel. Thank God for Gloria Furman! She helps us worship Jesus in the midst of chaotic commotion and see ‘interruptions’ as invitations to joyfully trust him. Both mothers and fathers will find deep encouragement here!”
– Jon and Pam Bloom, President, Desiring God, and his wife

Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace

9781781912522mOn my shelf Monday, today, has become “wish it was on my shelf Monday.”  I do not yet have this recent John Piper book, and though I have listened to his 9 part series on TULIP (the five points of Calvinism) I am eager to get and read this one.  Here is some info for you:

Grace is the heart of God to do you good when you deserve it least.  But do we really know how deeply we don’t deserve it? Only God can reveal that to us. He does it through the Bible. And when he does, the wonders of his grace explode with brightness as never before.

These Five Points are about how Christians come into being, and how we are kept forever by his grace.

  • It reaches back into times past where we were freely chosen.
  • It reaches forward into the future when we will be safe and happy forever.
  • It reaches down into the mysteries of the work of Christ, purchasing the gift of faith for all God’s children.
  • And it reaches into the human soul, glimpsing the mysteries of the Spirit’s work as he conquers all our rebellion and makes us willing captives of King Jesus.

Piper believes that our experience of grace grows with our grasp of God’s gracious work. He invites us to come with him in this quest.

Listen to a 9-part seminar by John Piper entitled TULIP.
Source: Desiring God

About the Author:

John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis Minnesota. For 33 years, he served as pastor of vision and preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church. He is the author of more than 50 books.


“I love this new book by John Piper. I don’t know of any other brief book on this subject that so manifestly takes us down into the Scriptures and then so wonderfully lifts us up to see the glory of God. Many people will be encouraged, and not a few will have their faith jolted in the best way possible.”
– Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church. East Lansing, MI

“Nothing has changed my perspective and made more sense of God, life, and the world than the doctrines of grace. John Piper makes a complex theology understandable. Five Points will assist you to see how big and good our gracious God actually is.”
– Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, MO

“Imagine being able to chat over a meal with John Piper about the five points of Calvinism. That’s pretty much what you get in this book: a clear statement of these life-changing truths delivered with warm pastoral sensitivity in a conversational style. You won’t find yourself being browbeaten. Instead, you’ll find yourself invited to marvel at God’s wonderful grace. The only thing missing is the meal.”
– Tim Chester, Co-Director of the Porterbrook Network; Pastor, The Crowded House, Sheffield

Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology

9781567693652mOn this Book recommendation Monday I want to point you toward a new book from R.C. Sproul.  It’s a good one.  Here is what it’s about.


Many people react negatively to the word theology, believing that it involves dry, fruitless arguments about minute points of doctrine. They prefer to focus on the basic truths of Scripture and may even declare, “No creed but Christ.”

But as Dr. R.C. Sproul argues, everyone is a theologian. This is because any time we think about a teaching of the Bible and strive to understand it, we are engaging in theology. Therefore, it is important that we put the Bible’s varied teachings together in a systematic fashion, using proper, time-tested methods of interpretation so as to arrive at a theology that is consistent and founded on truth.

That is precisely what Dr. Sproul does in Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology. This book is anything but a dry discussion of minute points of doctrine. Instead, Dr. Sproul, again demonstrating his trademark ability to make complex subjects easily understood, surveys the basic truths of the Christian faith, reminding us once more of what God is like and of what He has done for His people in this world and the next.

About the Author:

Dr. R.C. Sproul is the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry based near Orlando, Florida. He also serves as co-pastor at Saint Andrew’s Chapel, a Reformed congregation in Sanford, Florida, and as the president of Reformation Bible College. His teaching can be heard on the daily radio program Renewing Your Mind…. Dr. Sproul and his wife, Vesta, make their home in Longwood, Florida.


“Have you ever wanted Christian theology made simple? R.C. Sproul has the gift of making things simple without dumbing them down. Like a father teaching his child to swim, he can bring us into waters too deep for us to touch bottom, but he wont’ let us drown. So I invite you to jump into this pool of the knowledge of God. Whether you want to learn more about what makes the Bible different, who God is, why Christ died, how the Holy Spirit works in a person’s soul, or what happens on judgment day, in these pages you will find clear answers from a wise teacher.”
– Joel R. Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI

“R.C. Sproul is a consummate teacher, especially skilled at explaining difficult theological concepts in uncomplicated terms. Here, he tackles every major category of systematic theology in a succinct, lucid, evenhanded fashion. this is a tremendously valuable resource for everyone from the newest believer to the most seasoned pastor. It is quite true that we are all theologians. Dr. Sproul helps us all be better theologians.”
– John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church; President, The Master’s College and Seminary, Sun Valley, CA

“R.C. Sproul has written a brief, comprehensive summary of systematic theology that I intend to recommend to my classes for years to come. It is biblically faithful, solidly Reformed, grounded in the two-thousand-ear-old Christian tradition, and up to date on questions crucial to the minds of people in our secularized culture. He writes with his typical clarity and economy of words. As always, he hold the reader’s attention. For a long time I have recommended to students Berkhof’sSummary of Christian Doctrine as a reliable and succinct source of Reformed systematic theology. It is still very useful, but I suspect I shall now be recommending Sproul’s Everyone’s a Theologianore than anything else in this category. Trinity, predestination, creation, sin, the extent of the atonement, justification, speaking in tongues, angels and demons, heaven and hell: all of these, and many another topic, are fairly and responsibly set forth in a way that honors the Word of God written, and will edify those who are open to its truth.”
– Douglas F. Kelly, Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC

Taking God At His Word

9781433542404mBook Recommendation Monday is back!  From now on, I’ll be recommending one book each Monday on the blog.  Do not be afraid, there are many books out there and a lot of them need never be read or picked up, BUT many of them do and that is the reason why I want to spend each Monday directing you to resources that I think will help you.

Today’s book is called Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What that Means for You and Me.  Kevin DeYoung has done it again it seems, and written a wonderfully doctrinally careful piece on the most important book ever written, the Bible.  Below is the publisher’s description for you:

Can we trust the Bible completely?
Is it sufficient for our complicated lives?
Can we really know what it teaches?

With his characteristic wit and clarity, award-winning author Kevin DeYoung has written an accessible introduction to the Bible that answers important questions raised by Christians and non-Christians. This book will help you understand what the Bible says about itself and the key characteristics that contribute to its lasting significance.

Avoiding technical jargon, this winsome volume will encourage you to read and believe the Bible—confident that it truly is God’s Word.

Here are a few endorsements:

My trust in God’s Word is greater, my submission to God’s Word is deeper, and my love for God’s Word is sweeter as a result of reading this book. For these reasons, I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
– David Platt, Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, AL; author, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

“This little book is a highly readable introduction to Scripture’s teaching about Scripture that preserves the contours of a responsible and informed doctrine of Scripture, without getting bogged down in arcane details. Buy this book by the case and distribute copies to elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers, and anyone in the church who wants to understand a little better what the Bible is. Bad doctrine springs in part from ignorance. Blessed are those teachers and preachers in the church who, like the author of this book, combat ignorance by getting across mature theology in a lucid style that avoids generating theological indigestion.”
– D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“One of my prayers for the next twenty years of ministry, if the Lord sees fit to grant me that, is that we might see the level of biblical literacy exponentially grow. For that to happen we must learn what the Scriptures are and how heavily we can lean on them. Kevin DeYoung serves this end well inTaking God At His Word. May the God of the Word be known and cherished all the more because of this little book.”
– Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, TX; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network

“This is a brilliant, succinct, yet thorough study of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, based on what Scripture says about itself. Clarity and passion are the distinguishing marks of Kevin DeYoung’s writing, and this may be his finest, most important work yet.”
– John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA

“If you’re looking for a clearly and simply stated doctrine of Scripture, here it is. Kevin DeYoung has accomplished his aim of communicating what the Bible says about the Bible. He’s done it with the qualities we have come to anticipate from him: efficiency, pastoral care, wit, and rigor. Most of all, he has let the Word speak for itself.”
– Kathleen B. Nielson, Director of Women’s Initiatives, The Gospel Coalition

“This is the book that I will be handing out to those searching for true spirituality, those who want to hear a special word from God, and to those who want an improved knowledge of God. Kevin DeYoung convincingly teaches that God has adequately spoken to his people. Taking God At His Word is an accessible defense of the doctrine of Scripture, from Scripture, aiming to renew our trust and delight in God’s word.”
– Aimee Byrd, author, The Housewife Theologian

Free Downloadable Resources

Related Media

Listen to an 11-part sermon series by Kevin DeYoung entitled The Doctrine of Scripture.
Source: University Reformed Church

About the Author

Kevin DeYoung (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is an author, popular blogger and conference speaker, and senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. His books include Just Do Something, The Hole in Our Holiness, and Crazy Busy. He and his wife, Trisha, have six children.

Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology: Now Free as an eBook

Announcement from Justin Taylor:

berkhofThanks to, Berkhof’s classic theology text is now freely (and legally) available here.

Berkhof (1873-1957) was born in the Netherlands, and his family moved to Grand Rapids when he was 9.

After graduating from Calvin Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary, he returned to Calvin and joined the faculty. For the first two decades he taught biblical studies, and then for almost two decades after that he taught systematic theology. He also became president of the seminary in 1931 and continued so until his retirement in 1944.

His Systematic Theology was published in 1932 and revised in 1938.

Wayne Grudem has said Berkhof’s Systematic Theology is “a great treasure-house of information and analysis . . . probably the most useful . . . systematic theology available from any theological perspective.” Richard Muller calls it “the best modern English-language introduction to doctrinal theology of the Reformed tradition.”

It tends a bit toward proof-texting‚ which is not to say that Scripture is regularly misused but that he does not generally show his exegetical work. Further, the book is not very original or creative. In many ways, it is an English summary of Bavinck and a compendium of mainstream Reformed theology.

But having read every word of this influential work, I have no hesitation in warmly commending it as one of the most useful ways to get an excellent summary of virtually all areas of systematic theology.

Three Books You Must Know About

I know, it’s Sunday, and I’m blogging.  I never do this, really.  I love the Sabbath rest in God and from God, and one way I get rest is by reading really good books.  Recently three of them came out.  You must know about them all.

9781433678820mFirst John Piper has a new edition of Brothers We Are Not Professionals out with 4 or 5 new chapters included in it, and in usual Piper like fashion the new edition is a must get.  Here is what Piper himself and Westminster Bookstore has to say about it:

In this updated and expanded edition of Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, John Piper pleads with fellow pastors to abandon the professionalization of the pastorate and pursue the prophetic call of the Bible for radical ministry.  “We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry,” he writes. “The mentality of the professional is not the mentality of the prophet. It is not the mentality of the slave of Christ. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and heart of the Christian ministry. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake. For there is no professional childlikeness, there is no professional tenderheartedness, there is no professional panting after God.  “Brothers, we are not professionals. We are outcasts. We are aliens and exiles in the world. Our citizenship is in Heaven, and we wait with eager expectation for the Lord (Phil. 3:20). you cannot professionalize the love for His appearing without killing it. And it is being killed.”  “The world sets the agenda of the professional man; God sets the agenda of the spiritual man. The strong wine of Jesus Christ explodes the wine- skins of professionalism.”

Second, David Platt, Pastor and Author of best selling “Radical” has written a new book called Follow Me.  Be warned, God’s Word changes you, it afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted.  This book will rock you to the core and change you for the better.  Here is the review of it from Westminster Bookstore:

9781414373287mWhat did Jesus really mean when he said, “Follow Me”? Is it possible for people to say they believe in Jesus but not truly be born again? Is it possible for people to claim they have accepted Christ into their hearts yet not actually be Christians?  Not only is it possible, but according to Pastor David Platt, it’s also highly probable. the author of the bestselling book Radical is convinced that many people in our churches today are misled as to what it truly means to be a follower of Christ. Western culture has drained the lifeblood out of Christianity and replaced it with a watered-down version of the gospel that is so palatable it isn’t even real anymore.  Revealing a biblical picture of what it means to truly be a Christian, Follow Me explores the gravity of what we must forsake in this world, as well as the indescribable joy and deep satisfaction to be found when we live for Christ.  “Follow me,” Jesus calls. Two simple words that change everything. You will never be bored. You will always have purpose. You will never lack joy. But it will cost you. This call is not an invitation to pray a prayer. It is a summons to lose your life.  A call to die. A call to live. Have you answered that call?  Includes an Introduction by Francis Chan.

Third and definitely not last is Who Do You Think You Are? by Pastor and Author Mark Driscoll.  For those of you who know and have heard of Mark Driscoll, you’ll love this because it’s more of the same robust Biblically saturated greatness in reading.  For those of you who don’t, be prepared to meet God in one of the most realistic ways you ever have through reading this book.  As with the above two, here is the info on it for you:

Listen to a sermon series by Mark Driscoll from Ephesians entitled Who Do you Think You Are?. (Mars Hill Church)

Who are you? What defines you? What is your identity?

How you answer those questions affects every aspect of your life: personal, public, and spiritual. So it’s vital to get the answer right.  Pastor and best-selling author Mark Driscoll believes false identity is at the heart of many struggles—and that you can overcome them by having your true identity in Christ. In Who Do You Think You Are?, Driscoll explores the question, “What does it mean to be ‘in Christ’?” In the process he dissects the false-identity epidemic and, more important, provides the only solution—Jesus.9781400203857m