Category Archives: Book Reviews

Whiter than Snow by Paul David Tripp

Tripp, Paul David. Whiter than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008. 154 pp. $12.99. 33% Off At Westminster Bookstore

Book-whiter-than-snow-Paul-David-TrippIntroduction

Paul David Tripp is most noted for his book, Instruments in the Redeemers Hands and Lost in the Middle. More recently, he has started writing little booklets that are being used by churches across the nation to help counsel and instruct many Christians struggling with sin. With his experience in biblical counseling and engaging writing style, Dr. Tripp offers us 52 meditations on Psalm 51.

Continue reading Whiter than Snow by Paul David Tripp

The Pocket Puritans Series

Banner of Truth has done us a great service by publishing what they are calling the Pocket Puritans. On the back of every book they include this quote from Sinclair Ferguson that best introduces the series:

To read the work of a Puritan doctor of the soul is to enter a rich world of spiritual theology to feed the mind, heart-searching analysis to probe the conscience, Christ-centered grace to transform the heart, and wise counsel to direct the life. This series of Pocket Puritans provides all this in miniature, but also in abundance.

Continue reading The Pocket Puritans Series

The Missionary Call by M. David Sills

Sills, M. David. The Missionary Call: Find Your Place in God’s Plan For the World. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008. 246 pp. $13.99.

Introduction and Background

missionary-call-book-david-sillsDr. Sills is the A. P. and Faye Stone Professor of Christian Missions and Cultural Anthropology, the Director of Great Commission Ministries, and the Director of the Doctor of Missiology program for the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. As if that was not enough, he also leads many small-group, short-term missions trips for the Seminary as well as his church, Ninth and O, in Louisville, KY. You can read more about him on his faculty bio page. He has a website and a blog that is a valuable resource in addition to this book. Check out the website here. You can read his blog here. He also has another website, Reaching and Teaching, chock full of free missionary resources and other pertinent information to Dr. Sills’ ministries. Continue reading The Missionary Call by M. David Sills

The Letters of Samuel Rutherford

Loveliness Of Christ BookThe Loveliness of Christ ($14.00)

This was originally going to be a book review on The Loveliness of Christ, the new soft, red-covered edition pictured to the left.  However, as I read this book, I realized that no review would do it justice.  After reading the first few pages of this book, I also realized that I already owned two other editions of this book in my personal library.  The Loveliness of Christ is simply a pocket-sized edition of choice quotes from The Letters of Samuel Rutherford.

The more I read this book, the more I could see the impact that these letters would have on the lives of every Christian and even more so the impact on the seminarian who is studying the things of God.  Therefore, this will not be a book review per se.  Rather, I would like to share a few of the choice quotes from The Loveliness of Christ.

Faith liveth and spendeth upon our Captain’s charges, who is able to pay for all.

The weightiest end of the cross of Christ that is laid upon you, lieth upon your strong Saviour.

When we shall come home and enter to the possession of our Brother’s fair kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings; then shall we see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of time – suffering is not worthy of our first night’s welcome home to heaven.

One of the nice features of The Loveliness of Christ is the inclusion of a dictionary for words like “bairn” (child), “rueth” (regrets) and “empawned” (laid down as a pledge).  Perhaps the only negative to this particular book is that Banner does not let you know there is a dictionary in the back of the book.  It is simply tucked back there waiting to be discovered.  Fortunately, I only had to look up two words before I discovered it.

Samuel RutherfordThe Letters of Samuel Rutherford – Abridged ($7.00)

The nice thing about The Loveliness of Christ is that it merely whets your appetite to learn more about the man Samuel Rutherford.  In the introduction to Loveliness, you are made aware that the quotes are extracted from a greater work known as The Letters of Samuel Rutherford.  After reading this book, it almost becomes necessary to read the quotes in context of the actual letters.

This abridged version does just that.  Here you are introduced to a selection of sixty-nine letters penned by Samuel Rutherford.  These present yet a deeper look at how Rutherford wrote and what he believed concerning the joy of knowing Christ.

At the end of this edition, Banner of Truth did us a great service by including brief biographical information about the letters.  They also included an outline of the life of Samuel Rutherford.  Both of these greatly enable the modern-day reader to become better acquainted with Samuel Rutherford.

However…

The Letters of Samuel Rutherford ($39.00)

Andrew Bonar put together a classic edition of The Letters (I am not sure when this was done) which included 365 letters.  What is of value in this edition is Bonar’s sketch of Rutherford along with a list of his works.

The edition I own (I believe it is a 1905 edition) has an appendix that gives information on the 30 different editions to date (in 1905) of the book.  It also includes a poem created from The Letters arranged by a Mrs. A. R. Cousin.  I am not sure if this is in the edition to the left, but it is in my edition.

Recommendation

Perhaps the best thing that can be done with these three books is to, at the very least, purchase The Loveliness of Christ.  I would highly recommend that you purchase the $39.00 edition that contains all 365 letters and use it as a devotional in 2009.  I will be writing about this again toward the end of the year in case anyone might be interested and forget.  I plan on using mine as a devotional next year and if Loveliness is any indication, I will be blessed beyond measure in so doing.

What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

Anyabwile, Thabiti M.  What is a Healthy Church Member.  Wheaton:  Crossway Books, 2008.  117 pp.  $12.99.

healthy church member book

I would consider this book to be the third book in an ongoing series about a healthy church from IX Marks ministry located in Washington, DC.  The first book was entitled 9 Marks of a Healthy Church and the second book was What is a Healthy Church. Thabiti (thu-bee-tee) Anyabwile (onya-bee-wee-l-a) seeks to answer the next logical question from these first two books in What is a Healthy Church Member.

Thabiti is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman Islands.  Before you might think that that is an awesome place to be called to pastor, I think you should know something.  I have heard from his own lips, at the Band of Bloggers Conference, that he does not like the beach!  It is amazing when God calls you to a place that you would never want to vacation at while everyone else in the known world would love to go there.  For the record, I am with Thabiti on this one…I am not fond of the beach, either!

Summary of What is a Healthy Church Member?

As I said above, this book offers insight into how a church member can best participate in the local church.  Through 10 chapters marks, Thabiti shows how the original 9 marks of the healthy church must be under-girded by the church member.  In his foreward, Mark Dever states that “living the Christian life is not something that we’re supposed to do alone.”  This would include each individual member of the church as well as the church staff and leadership.  Unfortunately, many of us build invisible walls so that no one may help us (or know when to help us) when we need it.

Mark one is expositional listening whereby the church member is encouraged to listen to God’s purpose in His word for that week.  Mark two exhorts the reader to understand biblical theology and its importance in protecting them from heretical beliefs.  The third mark is a challenge to live a life saturated with the gospel.  Marks four and five deal with evangelism and true conversion as integral to our understanding of who is and who is not a true believer in Christ.

Mark six offers an apologetic for making membership in the local church a very serious concern for all believers-especially new believers.  Corrective and formative discipline is the seventh mark while mark eight deals with the spiritual growth of all members.  Mark nine offers ways that the church member can support the staff and leadership of his or her local church.  Mark ten, as a bonus, is that every member should be prayerful.  All of these marks assume that the reader and/or church member is a born-again, regenerate believer.

Critique of What is a Healthy Church Member?

Perhaps the only negative critique of this book is that the author (as well as the series) assumes a particular church polity.  That is made somewhat obvious throughout this book.  However, that does not mean that these “marks” cannot be implemented in other churches that hold to a different church polity.  It may prove somewhat difficult in some cases, but they are all still doable.

The positives are plentiful in this book.  I would begin with the manner in which Thabiti writes the book.  You get the feeling as though you are in a church membership class or a theology of church membership class at a Bible College or seminary.  He anticipates any questions and offers answers to a few objections along the way.

He also offers quite a few suggestions for resources if you would like to read further into one of the marks.  By the way, I love that the chapters are not chapters.  Rather, they are called marks.  It helps to divide them for easier consumption.  This also aids in the studying of the book.  Thabiti included questions after the discussion of each mark entitled “Further Reflections.”  This book could easily be used for a new members class or even a youth group study to help teens understand what is to be expected from them as church members in the local church.

Conclusion

If you have read the previous two books, then this book is a must read.  If you are in the ministry at a local church, then this book is a must read.  I would have multiple copies as a pastor to give away to new members whether you have adopted the IX Marks approach or not.  If the members of the local church would even read snippets of this book and work to incorporate some of what they read, I believe the local church would look more like a body of Christ than what most of them do now.

The Cure: The Divine Rx for the Body of Christ – Life-Changing Love

The Cure BookKraus, Harry MD.  The Cure:  The Divine Rx for the Body of Christ-Life-Changing Love. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008.  187 pp.  $14.99. Buy From Amazon.com

 

Harry Kraus, MD, is a general surgeon who practices his discipline with the African Inland Mission in Kenya a the Kijabe Hospital.  He has written a total of eleven books to date, including this one.  He is married with three sons.

Summary of The Cure

Using Paul’s analogy of the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12 as a spring board, Dr. Kraus explains how the church is best able to fulfill the mandate of love found in 1 Corinthians 13.  His biggest charge against the church is that we have forgotten that love is the most important quality of a Christian.

We are awash with conferences and filled to the brim with discussions about methods for effective evangelism, contextualization, cell churches, culture-appropriate dress, and techniques for language acquisitions…Don’t misunderstand.  There are other important components of effective ministry…But it’s still not the main thing…What am I talking about?  Agape.  Love?  Yes, love…It’s the most important component of effective evangelism (p. 12-13).

In part one, Dr. Kraus explains that what sustains the Great Commission mandate given to us by Christ is nothing less than agape love.  He uses wonderful life experiences that we can all relate to and shows how we all crave that love that can only be filled by Christ and can only be shown by one who has been born again in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Part two shows how the church, comprised of individual bodies, must maintain a proper balance of health and nutrition if she is to remain viable.  With chapter titles like Anorexia and Spiritual Insomnia, Dr. Kraus shows how we must intake food (the Bible), maintain proper rest, hydration (soul-thirst), and oxygen (breathing grace).

Whenever we skip a meal, our stomach lets us know in short order.  A lack of rest over a period of time takes a toll on the health of the entire body.  If we go without water for three days, we will die and if we do breathe in oxygen in a few minutes, we will cause major damage and ultimately death.  Using these analogies, Dr. Kraus implores us to maintain a healthy “diet” in our spiritual life so that we may survive as a church and be more able to help those who are in need.

The third part is the prescriptions for the church.  You go to the doctor because you recognize certain symptoms as being wrong and unhealthy (part one).  He then begins asking questions to see what may be the root cause of those symptoms (part two).  Finally, the doctor prescribes whatever is needed to get you back onto the road to health (part three).

In one chapter, he discusses the approaches to cancer.  We have allowed many various cancers into the church today.  The only way we can get rid of a cancer is through treatment or surgery if it does not respond to treatment.  The most radical procedures include cutting the cancer out of the body.  In so doing, usually there is some healthy material cut away as well.  This is to assure that the cancer is completely removed with nothing left behind upon its removal.  We must be aggressive in dealing with these cancers before they deal with us!

In perhaps the most important chapter, Dr. Kraus deals with loving our enemies.  We usually define our enemies as those people whom we do not like.  However, that is not true.  An enemy is someone who hates us-sometimes for no reason at all.  We are called to love that person.  Unfortunately, the church does not have that reputation today.  His prescription is that we must strive to get love back as our identity.

Conclusion

This book is cross-centered in that Dr. Kraus says over and over that we are unable to love without Christ.  He points us to the cross in each chapter and explains that that is where we are to find the source of our love so that we may love.  His view of the human body is heavily rooted in the design of God.  Nowhere does he stray from the fact that God designed the body.  He explains that because we were designed, God has given us a manual on how to make the best use of our body-the Bible.  Our biggest problem is that most of us do not use our manuals.

At the end of each chapter, there are discussion questions that are great for small group study.  His engaging style of writing is quite honestly amazing to me.  He discusses some pretty heavy medical jargon but then explains it in such a way that even I can understand it.  I would recommend this book to anyone (I have already to quite a few of my friends).  I think this book would serve as a great tool for those thinking about missions work as well as those contemplating church planting.  The cry for love in this world is perhaps the loudest cry that is most often ignored.  If you do purchase a copy of this book, please buy one for Kevin as well.

“Truth” A review and discussion of The Courage To Be Protestant, chapter 3

This is the third part of our team book review & forum based on The Courage To Be Protestant by David F. Wells. (series index here) It was written by Terry Delaney, an M. Div. student at Southern Seminary who writes here, and at Going To Seminary and in his Diary.

The Courage To Be Protestant

SUMMARY

The classic definition of truth is, “the correspondence between an object and our knowledge of it” (72). However, we live in a post-modern world where truth has no absolutes. Because we live in a post-modern world, we should not be surprised that the erosion of absolute truth has found its way into the church. In chapter three, Dr. Wells looks to answer five questions:

  1. What in the culture has led us to such a jaundiced view of truth?
  2. Why do so many Americans believe neither in truth nor in morality that is absolute?
  3. How should we think about truth?
  4. What is the biblical teaching on truth?
  5. Why is the church that professes this truth (question 4) so untouched by it?

Wells contends that our understanding about the self is the thread that connects the Age of Enlightenment to today’s post-modern age. This thread of how we understand the self also impacts every chapter that follows in this book.

Unfortunately, with the decline of the community, we have lost the ability to transmit important ethics and values from generation to generation. The past, our heritage and tradition, has no value to much of the population today. It is in this context that truth has become less important and more suspect. It is in this context that we see a clash of worldviews on a daily basis that can easily lead one to a relativistic understanding of truth. After all, we coexist with those who have completely opposite beliefs than we do. Therefore, not only is truth relative, but there is no need for an absolute truth claim. It is no longer needed.

Perhaps the most glaring problem in the church that is founded upon the loss of truth is the struggle for power. Wells contends that today, “everything is about power. Everything is about control, manipulation, domination, using or being used for someone else’s purposes” (71). Post modern (as well as the emergent church) speech is intentionally confusing. Even though most people want to deny absolute truth, they still live in a world where they expect a proper correspondence between what is said and what is. By that, I mean that the truth corresponds with reality.

Although the church seems to espouse this low standard of truth, the Bible does not. I must include this paragraph simply because Dr. Wells says it so well.

In the biblical view, we know the truth and not just arbitrary rules and approcimations. This knowledge of what is “there” includes the truth about Christ (1 John 5:20), about God (2:13-14), his character (3:16), his redemptive purposes (3:5), our own nature (1:6, 8-11), and the (postmodern) “world” we inhabit that is filled with “the deisres of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions” and is also “passing away along with its desires” (2:16-17). On all these matters we have God’s truth, and for the truth to be shy about saying “We know…We know…We know” is an act of self betrayal.

In keeping with the theme of the correspondence of truth, the Bible is unapologetic in declaring Jesus “the way, the truth, and the life.” The emergent truth cannot say this because they desire to put the world before the church and therefore call into question the validity of their Christianity.

Dr. Wells concludes this chapter with a discussion of the parable of the sower (Mt. 13:3-8; Mk. 4:3-8, 14-20; Lk. 8:5-8, 11-15) as well as a challenge to look at missionaries who go into foreign lands and adapt to a culture without accepting that culture’s worldview. The church must remember two points: “Christianity is about truth…and those who say they are Christians must model this truth by their integrity” (92).

ANALYSIS

Dr. Wells assessment of the erosion of the assimilation of the culture into the church is dead on. I would agree that the church seeks too much to be relevant to the world–how many churches cancel regularly scheduled services for holidays and/or special events (see Super Bowl Sunday)? By trying to be so relevant, the church loses not only its relevance but its credibility as well.

We, as Christians, must be unashamed of the Truth we claim to believe. Because of passages like Romans 1:18, it is safe to assume that everyone accepts absolute truth at some level and that the Bible is the only book that is able to answer all of their questions about life. There is an oft-quoted cliche that very much applies to Christianity today: If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. It seems to me that the church must once again take a stand for truth and do so unashamedly.

We must be willing to engage the emergent church at the foundational truths that are essential to Christianity. We must also be able to engage the likes of N.T. Wright at the elitist level of scholarship. It is at both of these levels (low and high) that we must take our stand all the while preaching the Scriptures faithfully and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to change the lives of your hearers.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

  1. Do you think we as evangelical Protestants spend more time trying to convince our hearers that absolute truth does exist and that it is found in the Word of God rather than just preaching the Truth and trusting in the Holy Spirit to change the lives of your hearers? Do you? How would you go about changing the focus of arguing for truth to preaching the truth?
  2. In this age of post-modern Christianity, how does one go about deciding what is and what is not Christian? Are essential (foundational) truths necessary?
  3. On page 88, Wells says, “The church is, to put it charitably, very distracted right now.” How would you help the church regain its focus? What would/should be its focus?

PURCHASE THIS BOOK

Worship that Pleases God by James W. Bartley

Purchase at Amazon

worship that pleases God book cover Introduction and Background

About The Publisher

Before I introduce this particular book and author, I would like to introduce the publishing company behind the book since they are based out of Nigeria with an office in New York. I must admit that I chuckled at first at the name Baal Hamon Publishers for the (hopefully) obvious reason of the name “Baal.” However, the name is found in Song of Solomon 8:11 where it reads, “Solomon has a vineyard in a place called Baal Hamon. There are farmers who rent it from him; each one pays a thousand silver coins. (GNB).

I was pleasantly surprised to discover their views of publishing and their standard for what they will publish. According to their website, “publishing is not just business. It is ministry. Our ultimate goal in publishing books is not profit but to affect lives and the society positively for Christ.” Baal Hamon says they are an “imprint” of the Joy and Truth Christian Ministry, which “is committed to promoting non-denominational, non-discriminatory, non-racial brotherliness among Christians from ALL backgrounds.”

About The Author

Dr. James W. Bartley has a Bachelor of Divinity (1951), a Master of Theology (1965), and Doctor of Theology (1975) from the Baptist Theological Seminary though I am not sure where this seminary is located. I can only assume that it is Uruguay since he taught there as well as became a missionary in that country until 1993. He has taught at numerous Baptist Seminaries throughout the world and according to the back of the book, “has earned an enviable international influence and recognition.”

Given all of his international ministry and teaching, he confesses that “This book is his confession [that] at 57 years of age and after 35 years of ministry, [he] came to discover for the very first time many of the biblical principles of worship” (p. i). That sentence is the second sentence of the Preface of the book and shows the reader the humility in which he writes. This humility is found on every page. His heart is to better equip believers to worship our awesome Triune God who alone is deserving of worship.

Summary of Worship that Pleases God

When I first picked up the book to read it for this review, I assumed that I would be reading an apologetic for the Regulative Principle of worship. In a sense, that is what I read; however, there was nothing about what we call the Regulative Principle to be found in the book. Dr. Bartley sticks to the scripture alone as his guide and offers a biblical theology for what kind of worship it is that pleases, and brings glory to, God.

The book is broke down into three sections: the Old Testament, the New Testament and a synthesis of the two. He breaks down both testaments according to the genres of books (OT: law, history, poetry, and prophets; NT: gospels, history, Pauline epistles and apocalyptic). He then systematically, and in canonical order, goes through each passage wherein the word worship is translated from the original languages. In Hebrew, the word is shachah. In the Greek, the word is proskuneo.

Dr. Bartley shows how the five modes of worship (response, dialogue, offerings, drama, and celebration) are found extensively throughout the Old Testament. He also shows how the Bible is clear in explaining what kind of worship is not pleasing to God and is considered idolatry. He has the same approach in the second section of the book looking at the New Testament.

In the final section, Dr. Bartley offers up a synthesis of what the whole Bible says regarding worship. He groups his findings under three general categories with subdivisions found in each. First, there is what precedes worship. This would include becoming aware of God and His nature. Second, there is what happens in the act of worship itself. Recognition of God’s glory and grace and man’s sinfulness are a couple of elements found in this category. Finally, there is what follows the act of worship. Here we discover God’s manifestations of pleasure (or displeasure with sin) and He is glorified further.

Critical Evaluation of Worship that Pleases God

I am not sure if Baal Harmon is a self-publishing company or not, but this book gives the feel of having been self-published. By that, I am referring to spelling and grammatical errors throughout the entirety of the book. They are not as glaring as many self-published titles, but they are present.

About the only other real critique, other than not always agreeing with his understanding of a few passages (this is to be expected for no other reason than we don’t all agree on everything), is his writing style. I realize this is more personal matter and therefore will not cause problems for others, but I found his style of writing a bit cumbersome at times. I only include this because I was asked to give the book reviewn In no way did it take away from the content of the book.

Conclusion

While I am highly suspect of smaller publishing companies who seem more along the lines of a self-publishing company, I found this book to be fairly sound theologically and exegetically. I find the subject matter to be unique in the sense that most people write for a particular historic understanding of worship with an appeal to the Bible. Dr. Bartley, on the other hand, appeals to the Bible in order that we may worship God according to what pleases Him.

I cannot recall seeing a book or bible study devoted to solely to understanding what the Bible says about worshiping God and therefore would recommend this volume to be added to your library for a couple of reasons. First, the author sticks to the Bible alone for his study material. Second, he writes with passion and humility on a topic that, while it has been divisive in the past, should be at the heart of everything we do in our lives. Obviously, you will not agree with everything Dr. Bartley says, but that is not the point of his book. His goal is to offer a systematic and biblical study of what kind of worship it is that God finds pleasing. I believe he met his goal.

Holiness by Henry Blackaby

Book Review Holiness Henry BlackabyBlackaby, Henry. Holiness: God’s Plan for Fullness of Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003. 106 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Amazon.com

Introduction and Background Information

Henry Blackaby has been in the ministry for over 50 years. He has served in the local church, as a college president, as a missionary, and as an executive in the Southern Baptist Convention. Of the many offices he has held in the convention, his role as the leader of the Revival and Spiritual Awakening division is why Dr. Blackaby is qualified to talk about revival. Currently, he serves as the president of Henry Blackaby Ministries.

He states on the first page of the introduction he states, “these messages are the heart of my present ministry. They are my life-messages to God’s people, as God calls us to renewal, revival, and spiritual awakening” (ix). Having traveled all over the United States, Blackaby has witnessed revival in local churches and communities. However, he has witnessed more lip service about wanting revival than ministers and lay people actually doing something about it. This book is about the prerequisite for God’s people that must be met if true revival is to break out across the land or in your own church.

Summary of Holiness

The book is broke down into three chapters easily read in one sitting. The first chapter deals with a general sense of a loss of the fear of God by His people. Blackaby contends that it is the people of God who steer the nation. Many believe that because God does not judge immediately, He will not judge ever. We are too dull to notice God’s judgment on our nation.

In chapter two, Blackaby discusses seeing sin from God’s perspective. He traces the problem of a loss of fear of God in America (in a general sense) back to the 1960’s and then builds his case that most Christians in America no longer see sin as an offense to God. Rather, we now proclaim sin to be that which is not acceptable by the culture in which we live. He makes the point that most of what we find “acceptable” would have led to our being stoned in the Old Testament.

By far the longest chapter of the book is chapter three. This chapter entitled, “The highway of holiness” comprises more than 40% of the entire book. Based upon Isaiah 35, Dr. Blackaby shows how God moves in the lives of His people when they live a life holy unto the Lord. He argues that as Christians, we need to be accountable to living a holy life to God. We must first seek holiness if we expect God to bring about revival.

Critical Evaluation of Holiness

Given the nature of the book, my critiques are to be held subjectively in that not everyone will agree with me. For some, what I view as a weakness will be a strength. With that in mind, I felt there were two glaring problems with Holiness.

First is Dr. Blackaby’s use of his own paraphrase of Scripture. While he does not violate the texts, in my opinion, he does reword some passages to make his point come more into focus. This is especially evident when he discusses the sins of David and God’s dealing with him. He uses his paraphrases so frequently that it is sometimes a bit difficult to discern what he is saying versus what God has spoken in His Word.

Second, on pages 24-26, Dr. Blackaby sounds the alarm that he believes this generation to be the generation in which Christ returns. I guess at some level, we must all think as though this is the case-it seems as though every generation since the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ has thought this. While there is nothing wrong in thinking like this, I believe that those who preach this particular message have caused many to become callous to the call of the gospel. How many preachers must proclaim that “this is the generation” and then the next generation comes and goes and we are still here?

I realize this is an extremely volatile issue for many so I do want to be careful with what I am saying. In my opinion, we should preach, “the end is closer than you think” because for you, it may be that you will die today. However, I think to preach the end of time will be this generation is extremely dangerous and unnecessary.

Conclusion

I have owned this book for more than three years and have read it at least a dozen times (I try to read it once a quarter). This book should be on the shelf of any believer whose heart cries out for revival. This little book, easily read in a couple of hours, is a must read for ministers and missionaries. Actually, a missionary serving in Botswana recommended the book to me. There are many “gut-checks” found within the pages of this book that ought to be meditated upon. Every time I have read this book, I find myself putting down in order to stop for prayer. It is a sobering call for personal holiness, which we could all use, in order that we may experience true revival that is of God and not man.

Available at Amazon.com

Dr. Whitney Reviews Two Best Sellers on New Age Christianity

Chances are you have heard of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne or A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Both of these books have garnered much attention when Oprah Winfrey showcased them on her daily program. These books are nothing less than heresy but are being studied by Christians and churches as a new way in which to view the Bible and Christianity.

About The Secret, Dr. Whitney says, “So as with nearly all false teaching, the flaws of The Secret are most visible when you examine what it has to say about the Bible and Jesus.”

About A New Earth, he says

Tolle declares that “a new heaven and a new earth” are “the awakened consciousness, . . . not a future state to be achieved.” He’s sure that these “are arising within you at this moment” (p. 308). He believes you can achieve these with a self-centered, self-sufficient awakening based upon his teaching. You do not need Christ, the Bible, or the church for this. Do not think of death, judgment, and eternity. You are god. Just live in the “Now.”

Check out his review for The Secret and his review of A New Earth. While there, listen to Dr. Whitney’s recent interview (there is a transcript as well when you click on the link) on Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ radio ministry Revive Our Hearts with Dr. Erwin Lutzer.