Reviews

Hawker’s Guidebooks to Zion

Hawker’s Guidebooks to Zion Genesis 33:12       Robert Hawker (1753-1827) combined sound Biblical doctrine with intense evangelistic fervour. Wherever he ministered, crowds longing to hear the Word of Life thronged to hear him. Hawker preached with great feeling and compassion because he knew that his labour was not in vain and God’s Word never failed in its purpose. Some years ago, longing for more of Hawker’s works, I approached an international ‘Christian’ bookseller who had a complete set for sale. His price would have rigged me out with a complete computer system so my fond idea was dropped. Then I heard from a friend who had actually been given a set. How envious I was! But the circumstances of the gift made me wonder what… Full Article

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The Problem of Fullerism

The Problem of Fullerism by Paul Fahy (Understanding Ministries)      The system of unbiblical doctrines known as Fullerism is becoming popular in our present-day Reformed churches. Originally launched by a small Latitudinarian clique in the late 18th cent., it was denounced by Fuller’s Reformed contemporaries as ‘a gangrene in the churches’. In 1877, the Gospel Magazine joined most of the major Christian periodicals in condemning Fuller’s “excessive and antiscriptural ideas” and testified to their “unfeigned abhorrence of a system that robs God of His glory”. Some modern ex-Reformed evangelicals think they know better and are now proclaiming that Fullerism is the surest way to sound evangelism and the… Full Article

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Battle for the Church (1517-1644) by David Gay

Disobeying the Golden Rule      I must admit that I turned to David Gay’s new book on the period between “the break with Rome and the rise of the Particular Baptists” with some reserve, knowing that the author has antagonised many by his anti-Trinitarian claim that the Son and the Father had contradictory wills, reflected by irreconcilable contradictions in the Scriptures. My reservations proved to be justified. I have seldom read such a disturbing book.      The author warns us that he has done no original research. This quickly becomes obvious, though original documents on this period are readily available. Indeed, Gay’s inept and unscholarly use of his mainly secondary sources is most frustrating. Page after page… Full Article

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Selina Countess of Huntington

Selina Countess of Huntingdon by Faith Cook, BOT, £19.95. A new rival to Seymour’s work      Faith Cook is well-known as a chronicler of the lives and times of Christian worthies of the past and her biography of Selina Countess of Huntington has been eagerly awaited. The work is a solid, sound, honest portrait. Nevertheless, it lacks the bounce, sparkle and catching narrative of Aaron Seymour’s two volumed, indexed biography, republished shortly before Mrs Cook’s book appeared. This was bad timing. If the Banner of Truth had produced the book before the long-announced reprint of Seymour, it would have been without a rival. Now it seems that the BOT aimed at just that – to produce a rival. This is verified by the… Full Article

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Princeton Versus The New Divinity

Banner of Truth Trust, £11:50   A long hoped-for sign from the Banner of Truth      New Divinity, alias New England theology, modified Calvinism radically. Its adherents, termed Edwardeans, took the go-ahead from Jonathan Edwards, hence their nick-name. However, they drew conclusions from Edward’s highly philosophical view of man, that were wildly speculative. This was particularly the case regarding man’s supposed ‘natural’ and ‘moral’ attributes. Joseph Bellamy (1719-90), Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803), Jonathan Edwards Jr. (1745-1801), Nathaniel Emmons (1745-1801) and Timothy Dwight (1752-1817) popularised themselves with such catch-phrases as ‘true religion delineated’; ‘God… Full Article

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Pink on Satisfaction

Arthur Pink, The Satisfaction of Christ: Studies in the Atonement, Truth for Today Publications.      Arthur Pink hardly needs an introduction to the bulk of present day Reformed evangelicals as many of us have grown up with Pink’s books and grown in grace whilst reading them. Pink’s massive tome An Exposition of Hebrews has opened our eyes to covenant blessings, his Elijah (now being translated into Dutch) has shown us how God is still working his purpose out in this modern world and his The Sovereignty of God fills us with awe before our great and glorious Heavenly Father. Pink’s Profiting from the Word is a very handy tool for young Christians and, together with Grier’s The Momentous Event has been the work I have presented a… Full Article

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Puritan Papers

Puritan Papers Volume I, 1956-59: A Review Article A Conference downgraded      Puritan Papers brought back memories of my early years in England as a new born Christian and the help which I received from the teaching of the Puritan Conference up to 1964 and my continued interest during my later sojourn in Sweden and Germany. When the Puritan Conference ended in 1970, my interest waned. The Westminster Conference became more narrow in spiritual scope but broader in political and denominational tub-thumping. It radically redefined Puritanism. The shutting out of Jim Packer, one of my first mentors in Christ, was a tragic move on the part of John Knox-like Martyn Lloyd Jones. It bordered on an excommunication and forced Jim to find… Full Article

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Portraits of Faithful Saints

Portraits of Faithful Saints, Herman Hanko, Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1999.      When the postman called with my author’s copies of Mountain Movers, he also brought Herman Hanko’s  similar book entitled Portraits of Faithful Saints. A peep into the Preface confirmed this similarity as Hanko, like myself, makes Heb. 12:1 ff. his starting point. Where I, however, have merely portrayed those Christian stalwarts who have personally influenced my faith, Hanko’s aim is to demonstrate “the works of God in His providential government of the world.” Whereas I merely list my mentors in chronological order, Hanko covering a wider sphere, divides his book into seven parts, each dealing with a different… Full Article

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Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel

David Engelsma, Reformed Free Publishing Association      Prof. Engelsma’s book which reveals the follies of what he terms preaching the ‘well-meant offer’ has been around for a number of years, providing much food for thought. This book has now been revised and reprinted. As the subject has become a common topic of debate amongst Reformed Christians, readers may value the comments of one long familiar with the book before purchasing it themselves, a purchase I urgently advise them to make.      Not that I can wholeheartedly recommend the entire work. The book has great strengths and most obvious weaknesses. Its main strength is that it examines the motives of those who claim that all who do not indiscriminately ‘offer’… Full Article

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The Life and Thought of John Gill

The Life and Thought of John Gill (1697-1771): A Tercentennial Appreciation Ed. Michael A. G. Haykin Brill Anxious thoughts repelled      I turned to The Life and Thought of John Gill edited by Michael Haykin with apprehension because of former highly negative comments on the subjects by several contributors to this Festschrift. I read the book, however, with increasing delight as it became obvious that the winds of change are blowing away the myths that have encompassed Gill in recent years.      In his introduction Dr. Haykin reviews the research done on Gill up to the present and rightly argues that there is little deep, sound work on Gill’s theology available. The book under his editorship book seeks to make good the… Full Article

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