Tag Archives: Founders Press

On Earth as it is in Heaven by Wyman Lewis Richardson

On Earth as it is in HeavenRichardson, Wyman Lewis.  On Earth as it is in Heaven – Reclaiming Regenerate Church Membership.  Cape Coral: Founders Press, 2011.  182 pp.  $13.95. Purchase at Amazon for much less.

Introduction

Wyman serves as pastor of Central Baptist Chruch in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  His website is WalkingTogetherMinistries.com.

Summary

Divided into three parts, Wyman first offers a clear diagnosis of an issue plaguing many churches and most denominations today.  In so doing, he rips off a scab that has been plucked at before but has never healed properly.

In the second part, he offers the best balm and salve to the festering wound that is burgeoning church roles. He does this from the only source with any real authority in the church – the Bible.  IN this part he looks primarily at the New Testament and offers discussions on metaphors, membership, ekklesia, and the importance of one another.

In the third and final part, he offers 7 practical steps to help a pastor lead his congregation on the importance of having a regenerate church role and how to move from point A to point B.

Review

Written in 2011, this work is still needed today.  Yes, the SBC has worked towards renewing an understanding of regenerate church membership, but there is always much work still to be done.  His argument is rooted in Scripture and, as far as the SBC is concerned, historic Southern Baptist ecclesiology.

While one may disagree with his assessment, it cannot be said that he has arrived at his conclusions without studying Scripture.  Further, his writing style is easy to read and understand.  Dividing the work into three parts offers the reader a pyramid approach to understanding the urgency of the problem and the challenge of our pride as denominational and congregational leaders.

The third part, while not fool proof or guaranteed to effectively move a congregation toward an understanding of regenerate church membership does offer sound and practical advice that will more often than not facilitate a much needed discussion, and consequent action, on the subject at hand.

Recommendation

Regardless of denominational affiliations, I personally recommend this resource to all church leaders and members.  May the Lord continue to use this work to stir the hearts of believers to a fundamental understanding of church membership while at the same time challenge those who are not regenerate members of a local body to understand their need of Christ.

Ministry by His Grace and for His Glory Edited by Thomas K. Ascol and Nathan A. Finn

Ministry by His Grace and for His Glory – Essays in Honor of Thomas J. Nettles.  Edited by Thomas K. Ascol and Nathan A. Finn.  Cape Coral: Founders Press, 2011.  348 pp.  $29.95.  Purchase at Founders.org.

Introduction

Dr. Tom Nettles is one of those Baptist leaders that not everyone will have heard of, but, since the time of the “Conservative Resurgence” in the SBC, he has undoubtedly had an influence on anyone who holds to a Baptistic understanding of Christianity.  His first work, co-authored with L. Russ Bush, was Baptists and the Bible.  It was this resource that formed a foundation for the Conservative Resurgence.  His second work, for which this current title is modeled, was By His Grace and for His Glory which detailed the Calvinistic roots of the Southern Baptist Convention.  This title, Ministry By His Grace and for His Glory is a compilation of essays written to celebrate the ministry that the Lord has granted Dr. Tom Nettles.

Summary

Divided into three parts: Historical, Theological, and Practical, the contributors offer many and diverse essays addressing many of the subjects that Dr. Nettles has written and taught.  The historical section looks at the history of howBaptist and the Bible came to be written and used as well as various men throughout history that have either defended historic Calvinism or attacked it.  In these five chapters, the reader will be introduced to John Gill, Crawford H. Toy, 17th century English Baptists and the African-American Baptist perspective.

The second part looks at the the theological aspect of Tom’s career.  Beginning this section, Dr. David S. Dockery looks at the authority of the Bible in the Baptist faith.  Russell Moore writes of the need for the gospel to be proclaimed.  From there, the final few chapters look at the various parts of the acrostic known as TULIP with a final chapter on justification.

The final part, and perhaps the most helpful for the pastor, is the practical.  In this part, essays are written on preaching, evangelism, missions, catechizing, church membership, believers baptism, and more.

Review

What the reader will find in this work is a compilation of essays that show the far ranging effects one man’s ministry has had on a denomination.  Obviously, there are still “discussions” taking place within the SBC regarding the validity of biblical Calvinism, but, if these essays are any indication, the conversation is finally being held on solid terms and biblical evidences.

Easily the most controversial chapter of the book will be Roy A. Hargrave’s chapter on evangelism.  You can learn much from a title and in this case, you know where Hargrave is coming from and where he is going.  The title is “An Idol Called Evangelism — And it’s Remedy.”  Suffice it to say, he will ruffle some feathers to the glory of God!

I appreciated the candor and the not so narrow selection of contributors for this work.  Not everyone who contributed would agree fully with the Founders Organization on every point, though they all agree on the essentials of the Christian faith and that Tom Nettles has been used by God to bring about a revival within a denomination and a renewed love for historic doctrine and theology.

Recommendation

It is sad to say that very few outside the Southern Baptist Convention will read this work.  I wish this were not the case, but I know it to be true.  Having known Tom Nettles outside the classroom while on campus at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I was always impressed with his graciousness and meekness, his knowledge and wisdom on whatever he discussed, his love for God, and his knowledge of baseball history.  To read these essays is to catch a glimpse of a man who has become one of those in that “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1).  I recommend this resource to all Christians of every denomination.  Soli Deo Gloria!

 

The Baptism of Disciples Alone by Fred A. Malone

Malone, Fred A.  The Baptism of Disciples Alone: A Covenantal Argument for Credobaptism Versus Paedobaptism – Revised and Expanded.  Cape Coral: Founders Press, 2007.  326 pp.  $21.95.  Purchase at the publishers website.

Introduction

Fred Malone is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Clinton, LA.  He serves as a board member for Founders Ministries, the Midwest Center for Theological Studies, the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, and also serves on the Administrative Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches in America.

Summary

At 326 pages, Malone has authored an almost comprehensive resource on the subject of cred0baptism versus paedobaptism.  He introduces the book by offering his own testimony of moving from a Presbyterian view to a baptistic (more biblical view he would say).  In part one of the book, Dr. Malone states John Murray’s argument for infant baptism and then offers biblical principles of interpretation and their use in arguing for infant baptism.

Part two consists of twelve chapters or ‘pearls’ that look at the argument for paedobaptism.  In essence, Dr. Malone systematically unstrings the string of pearls that comprise the seemingly insurmountable impasse that is the argument for a Presbyterian view of covenantal baptism for infants.  He discusses the “household” argument and the understanding of the much necessitated expanded blessings of covenant children.  He concludes by looking at the testimony of tradition and the argument from silence.

There are six appendices that also help to equip the baptistic reader to discuss the issue of baptism.  Included in these appendices are two book reviews of paedobaptistic books as well as an article on Spurgeon and his views on baptism.

Review

There is much in the way of technical language in this resource which may limit its audience to those who are seriously interested in engaging the discussion of baptism.  For those that are interested in this topic, this work is worth the effort to read and understand.  Malone deftly handles the “good and necessary inference” claims made by covenantals Presbyterians and does so in a gentle, yet confrontational manner.  It is important to note that this discussion is certainly not an issue of essential belief for being a Christian.  It is, however, a very important discussion as it has major ramifications in the life of the local congregation, parenting, and evangelism.

Dr. Fred Malone writes as one who has argued for both sides of the discussion which, in my estimation, makes this work all the more credible.  You will not want to read this work without a writing utensil as you will definitely find yourself underlining paragraphs, sentences, and words as well as writing copious notes in the margin.

The arrangements of the chapters follow a logical order and help the reader to better understand what is at stake.  The arguments themselves are written in a winsome and congenial manner.  Instead of adding to the heated rhetoric, Dr. Fred A. Malone presents a calm and loving discussion on one of the most debated doctrines in all of Christendom.

Recommendation

If you are looking for a resource to equip you to engage the discussion of baptism, you need not look any further than The Baptism of Disciples Alone.  The Founder’s Ministries has done Reformed Baptists (and Baptists in general) a great service in continuing to keep this work in print.  Wherever you fall on the discussion of baptism, you will be well served in reading this work.  I’d tell you to read it and give it to someone else, but I am afraid the notes you take in the margins will limit your ability to give it to another.

Reason for the Season Edited by Roger D. Duke and Bob R. Agee

Reason for the Season: Ministerial Reflections on Grief & Suffering as Spiritual Formations. Agee, Bob R. and Roger D. Duke.  Cape Coral: Founders Press, 2010.  114 pp.  $9.95.  Purchase through Founder’s Ministry for $8.25.

Introduction

Everyone experiences suffering.  Everyone wonders just what in the world God is up to whenever one does go through the valley of the shadow of death or in one of life’s many seasons of trials.  Rarely does one take the time to seek out those who have “been there, done that.”  Fortunately, Roger Duke and Bob Agee have edited an invaluable resource in Reason for the Season that deals with just those seasons of life.

Summary

The book was divided into two parts though more for the sake of continuity than anything.  The first part consists of nine chapters offering the minister’s contributions while the second part consists of only two chapters from a physician’s perspective.  The contributors include Dr. Curtis McClain, Fred Luter, David Miller, both editors, and L. Rush Bush (1944-2008) among others.

Each chapter can stand alone from the others, but when brought together into this one volume, the unity found only in Christ is striking.  You have eleven contributors all sharing various and different stories of grief and suffering yet striking one common theme–Christ is sufficient.  In some of the stories, loved ones die.  In other stories, loved ones come so close to death and then the Lord graciously grants them new life.  In all the stories, you hear of how the Lord granted faith amidst the darkest of times.  In each story, you will be challenged to have the same faith.

Review

Most of the contributors appeal to M. Robert Mulholland definition of spiritual formation: “The process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.”  With this definition as the basis, the reader can easily see how the Lord uses the suffering in the Christian’s life to bring about glory and honor for His name as well as the means by which many are saved–once they hear the gospel message that under-girds one’s faith at such a time in life.

Having experienced many seasons of suffering and grief (though not death of a close loved one), I found that I could identify with many of the “lessons” learned.  It was also nice to see that it is only by faith that one can experience such seasons and still maintain their love for God.  In essence, we are all equally needy of God’s grace and mercy, not just in times of grief and suffering, but in every day living as well.

Recommendation

Pastor, purchase this book and have it readily available to lend out.  That being said, it is not just a book for pastors.  We all experience suffering.  Many will look for resources that deal with a theology of suffering and many others will strive to find the silver lining.  Instead of seeking for those, why not sit down and “talk” with eleven ministers and doctors who have experienced similar circumstances in their lives and have come through the other side more resolute in the goodness of God?  I understand how difficult it is while in the Valley to think about coming through.  Allow these men to be a guide used by Christ to help.

Stray Recollections, Short Articles and Public Orations of James P. Boyce by Thomas J. Nettles

Nettles, Thomas J. Stray Recollections, Short Articles and Public Orations of James P. Boyce. Cape Coral: Founder’s Press, 2009. 185 pp. $14.95. Purchase at Amazon.

Introduction

The year 2009 will be remembered in Southern Baptist history as the year of the sesquicentennial of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the year that the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force was initiated, and, I hope, the year that her history came to life on the pages of many books.

Added to the long list of books published about the history of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is Tom Nettles somewhat companion to James Petigru Boyce-A Southern Baptist Statesman entitled Stray Recollections, Short Articles and Public Orations of James P. Boyce (Stray Recollections).

Review

Stray Recollections is a unique look “behind the scenes” at the man many would argue is solely responsible for the founding and sustaining of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Nettles introduces Boyce through his daugher, Lizzie, who was asked by John Broadus to write what she could remember about her dad shortly after his death.  It is always interesting to read what the children say about the great figures in history.

We next are treated to a collection of Boyce’s letters as the editor of The Southern Baptist, a position he held from November 1848-May 1849.  His article entitled I Blot Out a Day, written 20 December 1848, struck a chord in my heart, personally and I am sure would get anyone reflecting on what they did the previous day.

Parts IV, V, and VI look primarily at Boyce as an educator, pastor and ambassador for theological education.  It is fascinating to see the man grow into the statesman (as described by Tom Nettles) for which he now most remembered.  I do want to quote a specific section to show that “there is nothing new under the sun” especially in Southern Baptist life.

There was a write-up in The Broadway Baptist Magazine in 1887 of a question and answer session with Boyce at a Minister’s Conference.  Here is one question with Boyce’s answer:

Question: What is your opinion as to the character of the wind used at the Lord’s Supper?
Answer: The scholarship of the world is in favor of fermented wine on that occasion, though it may have been greatly diluted. If others prefer to use unfermented wine, there is no objection to it, unless their attempt in so doing be to bind the consciences of their bretheren who believe otherwise. The main thing is to have the juice of the grape.

I include this quote simply because of all the rhetoric blasting through the blogosphere and papers regarding alcohol. Many of those who blast the mere drinking of alcohol might be surprised to read what Boyce has to say. Then again, they may not even care. At any rate, it is safe to say that the debate rages on as it has for at least 160+ years. With that being said, you ought to read what he says about the use of benedictions.

Included in this book is the complete address entitled Three Changes in Theological Institutions given at the Furman University’s commencement in July 1856. This is the foundation upon which the movement for a Southern Baptist Seminary would be laid.

Recommendation

I recommend Stray Recollections as it offers a unique look at one of the great saints of the faith. The reader will learn firsthand what made James P. Boyce tick. Having his daughter’s thoughts increases the “realness” of the man as both a father and minister and educator. It is very easy to look back on the life of a man after 150 years and “forget” the negatives. It is another to look afresh at the life of a man from his own writings after 150 years. Dr. Nettles offers us the man as he was in the late 1800’s and for that we shall always be thankful.

Truth and Grace Memory Books edited by Tom Ascol

***Originally posted at Ministry-to-Children***
Ascol, Thomas K. Truth and Grace Memory Book, 3 Volumes. Cape Coral: Founder’s Press, 2005. $15.00 (or $5.95 ea.). 

Purchase at Amazon

Introduction and Background Information

Dr. Tom Ascol has been the Senior Pastor of Cape Coral Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida since 1986. He also serves as the director of Founder’s Ministries which, according to their website, says that part of the purpose of the ministry “is the recovery of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the reformation of local churches.” He is editor of the books Reclaiming the Gospel and Reforming Churches and Dear Timothy as well as Truth and Grace Memory Book (3 books). His heart is for the local church and that shows through in these books that he has edited.

These three books are based upon the instructions of the Lord to fathers (and mothers) found in Ephesians 6:4: “bring them (children) up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” While these books can be used by Sunday School teachers and children and youth ministers, they are meant for use in the home during a time of family worship, dinner, or anytime throughout the day. Continue reading Truth and Grace Memory Books edited by Tom Ascol