Book is well written and comprehensive. The only problems I had with the book were my disagreements with the author's theology in particular areas, hiBook is well written and comprehensive. The only problems I had with the book were my disagreements with the author's theology in particular areas, his view on the non-Pauline authorship of certain books (which exempted them from discussion), and his method of "dialogue" which used sources other than the epistles themselves as sources for Paul's theology. Whether or not one agrees with Dunn, the book makes a solid contribution to the study of Pauline theology and forces readers to grapple with New Perspective on Paul assertions, a necessary exercise in the study of Paul today....more
I don't agree with every detail of the book, but overall, it is a good book for the layperson to read in order to learn more about Christian doctrine,I don't agree with every detail of the book, but overall, it is a good book for the layperson to read in order to learn more about Christian doctrine, especially from a Baptist standpoint....more
As the title indicates, John Mark Terry wrote a concise history of the church’s work of evangelism from the time of Jesus until the modern day. InspirAs the title indicates, John Mark Terry wrote a concise history of the church’s work of evangelism from the time of Jesus until the modern day. Inspired by a chapter on the history of evangelism in Delos Miles’s book, Introduction to Evangelism, he set out to write a longer, fuller treatment of the subject. The book was written primarily for ministry students in colleges and seminaries in North America. He said the book was designed as a supplemental text for introductory courses in evangelism or as a primary text for courses on in the history of evangelism. The book was written in chronological order from the time of Jesus until the modern day. The first two chapters dealt with Jesus’ own practice of evangelism and the evangelistic work of the New Testament church. In the chapters, he discussed the characteristics of their evangelism and the strategies they used. The third and fourth chapters of the book covered the history of evangelism from the Second Century through the Middle Ages. He noted the change in methods as people were forced by governments to convert to Christianity. Chapters 5 and 6 described the work of evangelism before and during the Reformation. Chapter 5 unpacked information leading up to the Reformation, emphasizing the preaching of the Bible, ministry to common people, the importance of preaching over the sacraments, and the relatively new communication of Bible truth in the common language of the people. Chapter 6 covered the evangelism of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and the Anabaptists. He said that each of these emphasized biblical preaching in the language of the people, exalted the authority of the Bible, used the printing press, and seized the opportunities of their day. Chapters 7 and 8 discussed the work of evangelism as it unfolded in Europe through the 18th Century. He described the pietism movement which reacted against the dead orthodoxy of the Lutheran Church in Germany in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 discussed the revivals that occurred in England during the 18th Century. The work of George Whitfield and John Wesley were covered. Chapters 9 through 12 discussed the work of evangelism on the North American continent from the 18th Century forward. He began in Chapter 9 with a discussion of the Great Awakening which occurred in New England in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Chapter 10 covered evangelism as it occurred on the American Frontier, including the Second Great Awakening. Chapter 11 covered the work of Finney and Moody as revivals became a primary means of evangelism in the 19th Century. Chapter 12 continued in that vein, discussing the mass evangelism work of Billy Sunday and Billy Graham in the 20th Century. Chapters 13 through 15 discussed different methods which were being used in the latter part of the 20th Century. Chapter 13 dealt with the different para-church organizations committed to evangelism which were oriented to youth and college students. Chapter 14 discussed the need to promote and train people for personal evangelism, which Terry said was the model in the New Testament church. Chapter 15 was a discussion of Media Evangelism which was more critical that complementary. In Evangelism: A Concise History, Terry accomplished his stated purpose of writing a longer, fuller treatment of the history of evangelism than that which is contained in many introductory works on evangelism. Readers of the book will come to a greater knowledge about the work of evangelism throughout the history of the church. This knowledge will help students appreciate the different ways in which evangelism was practiced in order to evaluate their own evangelistic efforts and those of the church today. It will also help students see the connection between events in church history and how each generation’s evangelism played a role in these events. The book was well written and organized into a logical flow. This is to be expected in a book on history. The concise nature of the book prevented the author from going into great detail, but he did maintain a good balance by discussing the work of individuals who were active in each period. The book gave the reader enough information to understand the general character of evangelism in each period without weighing him down with details. In a sense, the material whetted the appetite of the reader and inspired him to do more research on the subject. This book will serve students of ministry in North America well. It is written much like a family tree, helping the student trace the lineage of their particular identity when it comes to evangelism. The focus is on the events that led up to the current situation in America today. The North American focus of the book, however, limits its usefulness for a number of students both in America and abroad. The book does not discuss the efforts of evangelism in other parts of the world. The continents of Asia, Africa, and South America are not discussed at all. Europe is not discussed beyond the 17th Century. Students who are interested in other parts of the world for the sake of missions or church history will need to seek other sources for this information. This is not uncommon in works of church history as a whole. Overall, the book is to be recommended for beginning students of church history and evangelism. It covers the basic work of evangelism in the history of Christianity as it leads up to modern day America. However, other works will need to be consulted in order to complete the student’s education on the history of evangelism in the world as a whole. ...more
The book gave readers an opportunity to explore a question that is often left unanswered in their minds. The fate of the unevangelized is a topic thatThe book gave readers an opportunity to explore a question that is often left unanswered in their minds. The fate of the unevangelized is a topic that touches a number of issues important to Christians. It touches the theological topic of soteriology as a whole as it considers the eternal fate of those who never hear the gospel. It contributes to a theology of missions. It anticipates the honest questions of the unsaved in personal evangelism. And finally, it deals with the larger questions of theodicy as a whole. The book required the reader to think through his own understanding of the fate of those who have never heard the gospel, while being exposed to views that challenge his thinking. One strength of the multi-view format of this book, and others like it, is that it allows the voices of those who espouse a particular view to speak. This prevents those who may disagree with their view from misrepresenting it, thereby creating a distorted caricature of it in their arguments. The fact that the book allowed for response to each view also contributed to the reader’s better overall understanding of them. Each particular essay needs to be judged on its own. In this, all three essays have areas that need improvement. In the case of Sanders and Fackre, their conclusions are drawn from a misunderstanding and mischaracterization of the biblical data. For Nash, he never systematically explained or defended his view, choosing rather to spend his allotted space refuting the others. Sanders’ view is supported by faulty interpretation of bible passages. Further, his appeal to prominent theologians of the past does not improve his argument. He actually sought to mislead his readers concerning the views of many prominent writers and theologians of the past by quoting them in defense of his view. He used quotes from William G. T. Shedd, B. B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, J. Gresham Machen, and G. Campbell Morgan to espouse his view of inclusivism. A casual reader with little knowledge might be led to believe these prominent Christians held to the same view. Fackre’s essay did well in recognizing the question of the fate of the unevangelized as a part of the larger problem of evil. However, he redefined terms used to describe God in order to argue for his view. He redefined God’s power as God’s powerlessness or weakness. Therefore, according to Fackre, God does not exert His power to accomplish His will, but chooses rather to remain powerless to accomplish His good pleasure, depending rather upon the actions of men to accomplish God’s plan. Further, he redefined God’s goodness and justice to mean that God must provide every guilty sinner an opportunity to be saved in order to be good. This is paramount to an earthly judge refusing to punish a guilty criminal until he refuses an opportunity for pardon. According to Fackre, every person is in God’s grace until he decides to reject it. This is clearly unbiblical. Unfortunately, Nash’s essay, which represents the biblical view, did not offer an explanation and defense of his view. Rather, Nash made a robust, and less than kind, refutation of the other positions. The result was that restrictivism was left with a seemingly angry voice with nothing of its own to say. The editor of the book would have been better served to require Nash to rewrite his essay or turn to another writer for a contribution to the topic. Overall, the multi-view format is good for providing an introductory explanation of differing positions in Christian theology from those who espouse each view. However, they do not provide adequate space to fully develop each view. This particular book was useful in explaining and refuting errant views concerning the fate of the unevangelized, but did little to teach the biblical view. It is recommended for students, but not without an additional work which develops the restrictivist view more thoroughly. ...more
Redemption: Accomplished and Applied is a statement and explanation of the work of God in redeeming people from sin and unto salvation. The book, as iRedemption: Accomplished and Applied is a statement and explanation of the work of God in redeeming people from sin and unto salvation. The book, as implied by the title, examines both the accomplishment of man’s redemption by Christ and the application of that redemption in the lives of individuals. The book is not a polemic against any particular view concerning soteriology but rather is an explanation of the Reformed doctrines of salvation. However, the author dealt with differing views at various points in the book where he thought it necessary.
Redemption: Accomplished and Applied is a very good explanation of the doctrine of salvation. Murray certainly holds to and teaches from a Reformed perspective, but those who may hold to different views can learn a great deal from the book. For anyone seeking to understand salvation from a doctrinal perspective, the book is a great read. The book has a number of strengths. First, because of the nature of the book, the author covered practically the entire scope of salvation. Beginning with the atonement in Part 1, he explained how man’s salvation was accomplished by Christ, leaving no doubt about the work Christ performed on behalf of the elect. Then, by describing the application of redemption in the lives of the elect, he helped the reader to understand the different aspects of salvation and the order, logical and sequential, in which they occur. This left the reader with a great overall understanding of the entire scope of the work of redemption. A second strength of the book was its didactic nature. The book was not a polemic against an errant view of redemption. Because of that, the author was able to logically lay out the concepts without them being defined by errant ideas. This helped the reader to better follow the logic and flow of redemption as a whole. Were it written as a polemic, the subject matter may have been used to defeat the errant view while leading the reader down a more difficult path to learning. A third strength of the book is its readability. While technical in nature, the book really could be read on a popular level. Because of the way in which the author defined terms and built a biblical case for his arguments, a person with an elementary knowledge of salvation and the Bible could follow along without much fear of getting lost in technical jargon. A fourth strength of the book is thoroughness with which the author dealt with the subject of salvation. By examining each of the finer details of redemption, Murray painted a very detailed picture upon which the reader might study and appreciate the very small details or the work as a whole. The strengths of the book certainly outweigh any weaknesses that might me mentioned. However, a couple of improvements might be recommended. First, as the author highlighted union with Christ as the “central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation,” he could have spent more time explaining the concept and its consequent meanings. If it really is that important to consider, the reader deserves more information about the subject. A second weakness in the book may only be found by those who do not whole-heartedly agree with Murray on every aspect of the atonement. Particularly, his exegesis concerning the extent of the atonement seemed to stretch the bounds of proper exegesis. Overall, the book is a great work and should be read by students of theology and ministers alike. The book is also a great asset to the devotional life of believers. It is highly recommended by the reader. ...more
A good explanation of the book of Revelation from the amillennial view point. I really enjoyed the read. It has serious exegesis and sound arguments iA good explanation of the book of Revelation from the amillennial view point. I really enjoyed the read. It has serious exegesis and sound arguments in defense of the view. I think it is a must read for serious students of Revelation, even if you don't agree with his view (which I do not). ...more