Tag Archives: Master Books

The Genesis Factor Edited by Ron J. Bigalke Jr.

Genesis FactorBigalke, Jr. Ron J. The Genesis Factor: Myths and Realities. Green Forest: Master Books, 2008. 260 pp. $13.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for much less.

Introduction

Ron Bigalke Jr oversees Eternal Ministries which is a ministry devoted to discipleship and evangelism dedicated to teaching and proclaiming the Word of God. This work is a conglomeration of many authors speaking on subjects from fossil evidence to geologic and historic evidence in order to “reinforce the validity of the Scriptural account of Creation, the Great Flood, and the Tower of Babel.

Summary

Divided into nine chapters with an introduction and an appendix, Ron assimilates nine different authors to speak to specific topics in which they are most equipped.  Henry Morris is the only author to write more than one chapter (he writes the introduction in addition to a chapter).

Morris does introduce the book with the importance of a literal 6-day creation account. Christopher Cone offers a survey of the Biblical/Scientific Creation conflicts throughout history. Next, Terry Mortenson discusses the boundaries on Creation as well as Noah’s Flood.

Eugene Merrill explains why Genesis 1-11 is a literal history while Ron adds a chapter on the preeminence of Biblical creationism. Tas Walker shows how the geological evidences point to a young earth and Jonathan Henry explores the evidence beyond earth for a young earth. Lary Vardiman concludes this mini-subsection with evidences of a young earth from the ocean and the atmosphere. Finally, John Whitcomb writes a chapter on the Genesis Flood while Henry Morris is back to discuss neocreationism.

Don DeYoung concludes with an explanation of the RATE Project.

Review

The value in this book is found in the many different authors and scientists and theologians who contributed to it. Some of the chapters are based on presentations and lectures while others are articles that have appeared elsewhere. By bringing all of these together in one source, Ron Bigalke has compiled a condensed encyclopedia of who’s who in the creation discussion.

By having various individual writers focus in on their specialty, each chapter is, in essence, the strongest in the book on that particular perspective in the larger conversation that is young earth creationism. I personally found the first chapter to be very interesting as Christopher Cone showed how the debate has evolved (intended) through the years and how Christianity has largely given ground to science in order to understand the Scriptures rather than allowing the Bible to formulate our worldview on all things…including Science.

At the end of each chapter is an introduction to the author and some of the works they have written. Further, as you read through the book you will be introduced to a number of additional resources in the footnotes. If one is industrious and wanting to compile a library of young earth creation apologetic resources, they would do well to comb through The Genesis Factor and cull the notes.

Recommendation

Granted this resource is a bit older (published in 2008), it is worth your time and money to invest in. I recommend this resource for all who are interested in understanding the intricacies of the young earth creation account of Genesis 1-2 and the historicity of Genesis 1-11.

Mark Twain: A Christian Response by Ray Comfort

Mark TwainComfort, Ray. Mark Twain: A Christian Response to His Battle with God. Green Forest, Master Books, 2014. 160 pp. $12.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

Mark Twain needs no introduction to those who read books. Then again, he may given the perspective of this book. Ray Comfort’s books and movies and study courses have been reviewed quite regularly here at Christian Book Notes.  I have also been blessed to interview him.

Summary

Divided into 15 chapters, Comfort attempts a conversation with Mark Twain based on Twain’s writings. In the course of the book, Comfort establishes via Twain’s own words, that he was indeed a theist and that he was appalled at the God of the bible. Instead of seeking to understand God on His terms in the Bible, Twain used human reasoning to establish that the God of the Bible was not a God worthy of praise. If anything, the God of the Bible was to be derided and mocked and ridiculed because of His willingness to kill “innocent people” and take virgins captive.

Review

To be honest, the book was a bit difficult to understand at first. I could not tell if I was reading the words of Mark Twain or Ray Comfort. After a few chapters, I figured out how Comfort had organized this work and from there I found it to be quite enjoyable.

I enjoyed how Ray actually penned a conversation with Mark based upon his own writings. The obvious caveat is that Twain was limited to what he wrote and Comfort could easily anticipate the answer.

The charge could be leveled that Comfort was able to ask the question or offer a response such that Twain “loses” or looks bad. The truth is, Comfort is very generous with his conversation. He strives to keep Twain in his proper context and does not commit the sin of eisogesis (stripping a sentence or phrase out of a context in order to make it say something contrary to what was actually said).

Ultimately, however, Comfort did a wonderful job of exemplifying how one should engage an unbeliever and skeptic in the course of conversation. This work ultimately becomes an apologetics class on how to share and defend your faith. In the end, Comfort shows that while Twain was a theist, i.e., he believed that something existed that created everything, he was certainly not a Christian. In fact, he went so far as to mock Christianity and deride those who would worship a god such as the one depicted in the pages of the Bible.

Recommendation

Once I figured out the style of the book, this was a very enjoyable read. I found that as I read I was treated to a plethora of methods of evangelism and apologetics. Further, this work strips away the veneer and shine of the carefully crafted image that is Mark Twain and allows the reader to look underneath and see, in his own words, how genuinely angry he was. I recommend this resource to all Christians. It would make a great gift to the one you know who is a fan of Mark Twain.

The Lie by Ken Ham

The LieHam, Ken.  The Lie: Evolution/ Millions of Years.  25th Anniversary Edition.  Green Forest: Master Books, 2012.  220 pp.  $13.99.  Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

Ken Ham needs no introduction here at Christian Book Notes.  I have reviewed over a dozen of his works as well as having interviewed him for my friend Tony Kummer at Ministry-to-Children.com a few years ago.  The Lie can be said in one sense to be the launching point for Ken Ham and the ministry the Lord has granted him.  It was first published in 1987 and served as a warning shot about the compromising of the book of Genesis and the consequent undermining of Scripture as a whole.  Twenty-five years later, the work has been revised and updated.

Summary

Divided into eleven chapters, Ham begins with the attack on the Christian faith rooted in human secularism.  He challenges the prevailing ideology of evolution and offers a biblical view of origins.  In chapter four, he cuts to the chase so to speak and offers the reason why so many want to deny a literal 6-day creation.  In so doing, he argues, this leads to an erosion of biblical foundations.  As he progresses through this work, he offers practical advice to those who will listen and pleads with the pastors to understand the importance of a literal Genesis.  He concludes with a sermon from 2 Peter 3 that warns against a denial God as Creator.

Review

On one hand, not much has changed in 25 years.  On the other hand, the situation has become more dire.  Ken Ham points to both of these as why the necessity remains to preach and believe in a literal six, twenty-four hour day creation.  Now, twenty-five years later, Ken has the ability to see what he wrote and what has transpired in the church since.  Without saying ‘I told you so”, Ken is able to say “I told you so.”  In essence, while the Southern Baptist Convention had fought and won the battle over inerrancy in the late 70’s and 80’s, Ham ably shows how not taking Genesis as literal history has eroded a belief in an inerrant Bible.

Recommendation

His words need to be read and heeded now more than when he first wrote them in 1987.  To quote another theologian, “a half lie is a whole truth.”  Ham shows that in this book, The Lie.  I recommend this work to all believers including those who do not believe in a literal 6-day creation.  Ham’s work is both logical, concise and consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Advice for Seekers by Charles H. Spurgeon

Advice for SeekersSpurgeon, Charles H.  Advice for Seekers.  Green Forest: Attic Books, 2013.  142 pp.  $14.99.  Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for as low as $.99.

Introduction

I have reviewed a number of Spurgeon’s books in the past.  To make this even more sweet, this particular book is part of the Attic Books label under Master Books.  You can read about the other Attic Books here.

Summary

Spurgeon needs no introduction and neither does his zeal for evangelism.  In Advice for Seekers, Spurgeon penned a short treatise for those wanting to know more about the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the words of the jailer, what they must do to be saved.  He begins by explaining that you cannot save yourself.  He offers the open invitation to all and then encourages the seeker to continue seeking.  In the end, he explains how one is saved through faith in Christ alone.

Review

Can I add anything to what has already been said about Spurgeon?  I hardly doubt it!  Nor can I say anything negative in what he has written in this work.  In this day and age of “seeker sensitive” churches and people-centered, psychologically-based evangelism, Advice for Seekers is welcome addition to the conversation.  Originally published after Spurgeon’s death in 1896, this reprint shows the importance of the old message of salvation unchanging in its practical application.  The glory of this work is the foundation laid with Biblical precept after Biblical precept.

By the time you read Advice for Seekers you will have a solid, biblical foundation for evangelizing the lost as well as a handy book-length tract to offer anyone seriously considering the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Recommendation

This books deserves to be on every Christian’s bookshelf.  You can buy a number of copies and have them ready to give away to those who are genuinely seeking salvation in Christ.  Spurgeon was a man of God used to advance the Kingdom of God during his lifetime.  Advice for Seekers continues that advancement for today.

Defending the Faith by Henry Morris

Defending the FaithMorris, Henry.  Defending the Faith: Upholding Biblical Christianity and the Genesis Record.  Green Forest: Master Books, 1999.  266 pp. $12.99.  Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

I have reviewed a couple of Dr. Morris’ (October 6, 1918 – February 25, 2006) books here.  He was a reputable young earth creationist.  As with anyone who stands for biblical truth, he has been criticized even after his death.  Regardless, Dr. Henry Morris was a man of faith and truth and he wrote to that end.

Summary

Divided into eight chapters, Dr. Morris explains the importance of being equipped and ready to defend your faith as a believer in Jesus Christ.  In the first chapter, he speaks of a general defense of the faith.  Chapter two, he narrows the reader’s focus to a defense of Christ.  Chapter three becomes the springboard to which Dr. Morris returns to his first apologetic love – creation.  Chapters three through seven serve that purpose.  Chapter eight concludes the book with a defense against compromises to a literal reading of Genesis 1-2.

Review

I have always enjoyed Dr. Morris’ work and this work is no different.  Before one “tees off” on the Genesis debate, we must understand that this is where Dr. Morris believes the argument must be won.  For if we call into doubt the historicity of Genesis 1-2, then we call into question the entirety of the Bible.  To that end, Dr. Morris is to be commended.

I do think, however, he shot himself in the foot a bit with a somewhat lengthy section on a defense of the King James Bible.  It was only four pages, but, as I read the book, it seemed to me to undermine the rest of the work.  He merely introduces this discussion and, in essence, calls into question anyone who might read anything other than the KJV.

Nonetheless, four pages in a 266 page book do not destroy the veracity of the argument for the historicity of the account of creation.  Dr. Morris defends the faith and in so doing provides a model for all of us to engage Christians and non-Christians on the important matters of Scripture

Recommendation

For anyone wanting to understand the importance of defending the Christian faith, I highly recommend Dr. Henry Morris’ work Defending the Faith.  As with all apologetic resources, we must be in tune with the Spirit and bathe our conversations with those we disagree in much prayer.  We may not always agree on the non-essentials, but the essentials must be affirmed if we are to be genuine Christians.

Text Book: British History by James P. Stobaugh

British HistoryStobaugh, James P. British History: Observations and Assessments from Early Cultures to Today.  Green Forest: Master Books, 2012.  $35.99.  Purchase at Amazon as a set.

Note:  This is a review on the student text book of this curriculum.  If you want to read a review on the student’s textbook, check out the review on World History.

Introduction

From the Website:

Teacher’s Guide: This convenient teacher’s guide is all a parent or teacher needs to easily grade the 11th grade student assignments for British History: Observations & Assessments from Early Cultures to Today. Assignments, learning objectives, grading criteria, and short essay questions for all 34 chapters are included. As the teacher, you will enjoy partnering with your student as he or she processes British history while developing or strengthening a Christian world view.

Summary

The teacher’s guide offers the condensed version of the text book sans the readings each day.  You have the “first thoughts” and the “chapter learning objectives” and then the various assignments for each lesson of each week.  Also, they include the answer for each question to the daily assignments.  Furthermore, the exam questions are included along with what would constitute an acceptable answer.

Review

From the perspective of a teacher’s guide, there is everything here to aid the parent or instructor to teach the high school student British history.  Unfortunately, the major assumption being made in this is that the student is dedicated enough to persist in the class each day.  Sometimes this is a safe assumption.  Sometimes it is not.  Regardless, it must be noted that the parent will need to be more involved than just checking the answer to make sure the student is correct.

Recommendation

If you are teaching this curriculum, you will definitely need the teacher’s guide.  The curriculum itself is second to none.  I am again amazed at the pervasiveness of the course work.  I highly recommend this history curriculum for all high school students.

Text Book: World History by James P. Stobaugh

World HistoryStobaugh, James P. World History: Observations and Assessments from Creation to Today.  Green Forest: Master Books, 2012.  $35.99.  Purchase at Amazon as a set.

Note:  This is a review on the student text book of this curriculum.  If you want to read a review on the teacher’s guide, check out the review on British History.

Introduction

From the website:

Student book: Respected Christian educator, Dr. James Stobaugh, offers an entire year of high school world history curriculum in an easy to teach and comprehensive volume. World History: Observations & Assessments from Creation to Today provides challenging assignments for twelfth grade students. In this study, students will develop a Christian worldview while forming his or her own understanding of world history trends, philosophies, and events. This 288-page student resource should be used with the Teacher’s Guide. American History and British History are included in this comprehensive high school history curriculum for 10th, 11th, and 12th grades offered by Dr. James Stobaugh and Master Books.

Summary

The student text is divided into 34 chapters representing 34 weeks of class, a common school year.  Each chapter is further divided into 5 lessons each that run approximately 30 minutes per lesson.  The final lesson is an exam that tests the comprehension of the week’s work.  Each student will is responsible to complete all the assignments within the chapter on time.  This textbook is designed for independent study.  Each chapter has a short reading followed by critical thinking questions with some of those being specific fill in the blank style and others being more essay open-ended in which the student must assimilate all that was taught.

The book begins with the history of Mesopotamia and moves through the Old Testament looking at various world governments like Rome and Greece and into the early history of the Church.  Once the history leaves the parameters of the Bible, Stobaugh looks at particular countries each week.  For example, one week looks at Japanese history while another looks at Chinese history.  There are chapters on the Crusades, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the World Wars and even the Jazz Age.

To read a summary of the teacher guide, check out the review on British History.

Review

I found the approach and breakdown of the various chapters to be fascinating.  For example, why include a chapter on the Jazz Age and not the Industrial Revolution (though there are chapters on the French and Russian Revolutions.  I will say that daily work is fairly deep and pervasive for each chapter.  I was impressed with amount of work necessitated to complete the daily studies as well as the extent in which the exams challenge the students.  I took a couple myself just to see and am not happy to report that I would’ve failed a couple.  (To be fair, I didn’t exactly do the homework assigned, either.)

For those wondering about the exams, they are found in the teacher’s guide so that the student cannot prepare and study throughout the week according to what will be on the test.  The exam questions could be just about anything from the week including some minor detail mentioned on day 1 that became a thread throughout the week.

Recommendation

On one hand, I am grateful I did not have this curriculum when I was in high school (public).  On the other hand, I regret not having this curriculum when I was in high school.  I am very impressed with the extent in which Dr. Stobaugh writes this history course.  Your high school student will learn far more about world history one time through this book than what many college students learn in their history class.

God and the Nations by Henry M. Morris

God and the NationsMorris, Henry M.  God and the Nations – What the Bible has to say about Civilizations – Past and Present.  Green Forest: Master Books, 2005.  176 pp.  $10.99.  Purchase on Amazon or Kindle for less.

Introduction

I have reviewed Dr. Morris’ study bible also published by Master Books.  Dr. Morris is known to many as “The Father of Modern Creationism.”  He is a respected scientist and is the founder and president emeritus of the Institute for Creation Research in California.

Summary

God and the Nations is divided into 13 chapters over 168 or so pages.  Dr. Morris begins with what the Bible says is God’s purpose for the nations and how they began.  He then moves from the Tower of Babel to the chosen nation that God in essence creates from one man, Abraham.  The second half of the book looks at the nations today and the importance of the missionary mandate many refer to as The Great Commission.  He concludes with a discussion on the day of God’s wrath and what the world will look like in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

Review

Undoubtedly, many will disagree with some of Dr. Morris’ eschatology, but that is not the main subject of this book.  The main idea behind this resource is to look at what the Bible has to say about the nations of the world and the importance of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.  In that regard, Dr. Morris nails it.  He references the Bible as the authoritative guide to understanding the civilizations from biblical times and allows it to aid our understanding of what archaeology is discovering today.

It is refreshing to read any resource that holds to sola scriptura while allowing current findings to help understand Scripture better without capitulating to the current findings and jettisoning the Bible.  Ultimately, Dr. Morris beleives that if there is any contradiction between Scripture and current archaeology, it is a deficiency in archaeology and not the Bible.

Recommendation

If you are wanting to study the nations of the world, this resource is a great place to begin.  Dr. Morris has proven himself over and over again through his numerous writings and research as a first rate scientist.  To sit at his feet in God and the Nations and learn about the beginnings of the nations as we know them today is both fascinating and challenging.  I say challenging because Dr. Morris drives home the importance of sharing the gospel with all as well as the necessity of translating the Bible so that it may be read and believed.  I recommend this resource to all Christians as well as anyone wanting to understand what the Bible says regarding the beginning of the various people groups in the world.

The Genius of Ancient Man Edited by Don Landis

The Genius of Ancient Man: Evolution’s Nightmare.  Don Landis, General Editor.  Green Forest: Master Books, 2012.  112 pp.  $16.99.  Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

Pastor Don Landis is the founding chairman of the board of Answers in Genesis as well as a graduate of Moody Bible Institute.  More importantly, he serves as Pastor of Community Bible Church in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he also is the president of Jackson Hole Bible College.  More to the topic at hand, Pastor Landis has taught on ancient man for many years.

Summary

Rooted in presuppositional apologetics, this work is divided into 12 chapters that provide a mountain of evidence that what commonly think of as an unintelligent ancient man (ancestor of modern man) is actually surprisingly more intelligent than we could ever imagine.  Chapter one offers various perspectives and makes the case that one’s worldview (presuppositions) will determine how one interprets the information presented.  Here, the team from Jackson Hole Bible College make the case for holding to a biblical worldview.  Chapter 2 offers a discussion on presuppostional apologetics as well as a few starting points from which to base the discussion.

Chapters 3-12 offer one piece of evidence after another culminating in a picture of ancient man being far more intelligent than modern man.  Throughout these chapters, a case is made for a biblical understanding of God’s priority of sequence and time as well as a look at the various structures and their precision crafting without the convenience of modern tools and computers.  They look at the music and art from the ancient past as well as their advanced technology and architecture in accordance with astronomy and the seasons of the Earth.

The final two chapters argue that Babel is alive and well today and if we are not careful, we are going to lapse back into forgetting that God exists completely.  The last chapter whets one’s appetite for further study in the subject of ancient man from a biblical perspective.

Review

Not only does this resource show beyond a shadow of doubt that ancient man was, in fact, more intelligent than we care to admit, it shows explicitly how.  Through pictures and scientific evidences, Landis has compiled many instances that have left the worldly scientist baffled.  Consequently, he has also shown how sin has corrupted man’s ability to think and act and be creative.  While not the main thrust of the work, the reader quickly can surmise that when sin came into the world, it’s impact was far more reaching than we thought.  (I speak in general terms.)

I appreciated the timelines and the challenge the evolutionary premise has in trying to understand the evidence in order to fit into there presupposition.  Ultimately, the case is made, successfully in my opinion, that if one were to look at the evidence without any preconceived notions, they would have to, at the very least, accept the truth of a Designer who created all things including man and that something went very wrong somewhere early in the history of this creation.

Recommendation

This is certainly a book to consider purchasing for your high school or college student.  It is not only engaging because of all the information but also the photographs and the charts help in digesting the information being presented.  Also, this work will provide a rudimentary education for the Christian to be able to have a conversation with the evolutionist to the point of showing the he is not a religious fanatic opposed to science.  Rather, he will show that the evidence indeed points to a Creator and that presupposition ought not be jettisoned in light of science and should be considered in the discussion.  I highly recommend this resource to all.

The True Account of Adam and Eve by Ken Ham, Illustrated by Bill Looney

Ham, Ken.  Illustrated by Bill Looney.  The True Account of Adam and Eve.  Green Forest: Master Books, 2012.  60pp.  $15.99.  Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

Ken Ham needs no introduction.  You either love him and the ministry given to him by God or you don’t.  Sadly, that is the way defending the importance of Scripture goes these days.  I have reviewed a number of Ken Ham resources and you can read those here.  This particular resource was written to “instruct readers about the historical account of the first two people, Adam and Eve, and to teach them to think with a Christian worldview…rooted in the Bible.”  Mission accomplished.

Summary

The book begins oddly enough with an account of the biblical view of Creation mixed with an apologetic for a non-evolutionary understanding of how humans and this universe came into existence.  Also, Ham offers an apologetic for the biblical understanding of marriage between one man and one woman.  Afterward, we see how Adam and Eve disobeyed God and committed the first sin.  The rest of the book shows how that one sinful act has decimated the world as it was then to what it is now.  On most every page, the hope of Christ is offered and the Christian worldview is proclaimed as a holistic worldview that should never be compartmentalized.

Review

First, let me say that I am biased at this point.  Ken Ham’s ministry has been extremely influential in my life and ministry.  I have moved from a non-thinking (let me be honest) old earth theistic evolutionist (I had to keep god in there somewhere!) to a critical thinking young earth creationist.  That is not to say that I am correct (though I believe I am) but it is to say that I have found that a young earth creationist understanding of Gen. 1 is the only way I can maintain consistency with the rest of my theology.

Ok, now that that is said, I really enjoyed this work.  Ken wrote it in such a way that he shows the importance and necessity of maintaining a Christian worldview in all areas of one’s faith. Furthermore, Bill Looney’s illustrations are top notch and would make great posters for your child’s bedroom.  He has illustrated one other book with Ken Ham that I have reviewed.  His illustrations are visually stimulating and extremely thought provoking.

The work as a whole is well written and developed.  It offers an excellent introduction to your children about the historicity of the account we read in Genesis 1-3 and beyond.  I liked the most that this book shows how much the fall of man has affected the world today and offers real reasons (and solutions) to the problems we see on our nightly news casts.

Recommendation

As with all of Ken’s books, I highly recommend this resource.  For what it’s worth, this may be one of his finest books to date for children.  This is more because an adult will find it interesting and it may perhaps even strike up a conversation that could lead to a paradigm shift in one’s thinking or even better…an opportunity to share the gospel and lead someone to salvation in Christ.