Archive for May, 2012

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1. Homiletics and Pastoral Theology By William G.T. Shedd


Shedd explores not only the intellectual responsibilities of clergy, but also the pastoral function of leadership. Although Shedd is often remembered as a theologian and historian, he also devoted his writing to the theory and practice of preaching. He forcefully argues that rhetorical elegance—the kind required for good preaching—is not merely a matter of aesthetics, but of ethics. He describes the relationship between eloquence and exegesis, the process of choosing a text and crafting a sermon, and the nature of extemporaneous preaching. The second half of this volume defines and explains the relationship between preaching and pastoral theology.

Dr. W.G.T. Shedd expounds almost every aspect of preaching, analyzing its nature, outlining the main features which should characterize powerful preaching and describing the approach, plan, actual construction and refinements of a sermon. This volume was used for many years as a standard textbook in several theological seminaries throughout the United States.

The second part of the volume is devoted to the vital subject of Pastoral theology. Here Shedd is equally thorough and deals with the essential character of a minister, his way of life, his duties, his work of visitation and finally, his work of catechizing his people so as to be informed as to their progress and position in relationship to the preaching.

2. Spectacular Sins: And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ By John Piper


“Pastors, make sure your people read this book! I know of no one who has so clearly addressed the relationship of man’s sin and God’s sovereignty as John has done in Spectacular Sins.”
-Randy Pope, Pastor, Perimeter Church, Duluth, GA

About Spectacular Sins
John Piper delivers powerful biblical reassurances to bolster readers’ trust in the sovereignty of God and the supremacy of Christ when evil and tragedy come. 

If God governs the sinful acts of men, then does the devastation caused by those terrorists, dictators, murderers, cheats, and abusers discredit Jesus’ words: “All authority in heaven and earth belongs to me”? When heart-rending news comes of the latest accident, illness, or natural disaster, can we really believe that in Jesus, “all things hold together”?

Though God has not answered all of our questions about sin and suffering, there are things he wants us to know, things he declares in his Word-such as what’s at stake in the “spectacular” sins of others and the horrible tragedies of this life; their global purpose, both historically and today; and what these events say to us personally.
As John Piper works through these biblical truths, this book will bolster readers’ trust in the utter sovereignty of God such that they’ll be less timid in their witness and less afraid of whatever may come. It is also a joy-infused declaration that because everything occurs through Christ and for Christ and his glory, they are forever secure in him.

“When it comes to holocausts or other horrors, most of us assume God has his hands tied and his back to the wall. We figure the devil wreaks havoc when God’s not looking; we rationalize the Lord’s ‘mistakes,’ figuring he absentmindedly took his hands off the wheel when tragedies happen. But John Piper paints a different picture from the pages of Scripture that will strengthen your heart, bolster your faith, and deepen your understanding of the ‘largeness’ of God’s sovereignty.” Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

“I had to read this book twice. The weighty truths about the sovereign wisdom and power of God unpacked in these pages created in me an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and ultimate safety. To be reminded of his might over everything is priceless, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to preach the same again.” Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Highland Village, Texas; author, The Explicit Gospel

“Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ. Wow! Spectacular and sin! I’ve never seen those words together before. And who but John Piper could so brilliantly weave them into the same lyric as the global, purposeful glory of Christ! This man never ceases to inspire me to be more awestruck with the supremacy of Jesus.” Chris Tomlin, Recording Artist, Song-writer and Lead Worshiper


Mormonism Explained: What Latter-day Saints Teach and Practice By Andrew JacksonA concise, informative introduction to the origins, teaching, and practices of Mormonism today contrasted with historic Christianity. Appendixes include LDS articles of faith, organizational structure, and terminology.

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About Mormonism Explained

Sociologist Rodney Stark estimates that by 2080, Mormonism will have 267 million adherents. As a leading rival to biblical Christianity in both America and Latin America, it is a religion to be reckoned with. However, Mormons are not so much a group to be feared by Christians, says author Andrew Jackson, as a mission field to be cultivated.

As a professor and a pastor in a city that boasts a large LDS community, Jackson has had not only many discussions with Mormon neighbors but with current and ex-members from every level of the church hierarchy. These conversations have led him to study this religion and write this book.

His systematic, concise, and well-documented work offers an easy-reading explanation of Mormon teaching and practice today. This book is the first place readers will want to turn for a primer on Mormonism’s origins and specific doctrines, and what Mormons believe and why.


“Mormonism Explained lays out clearly what Mormons believe. Chapters on Mormon history are especially enlightening. Jackson shows how Mormonism diverges from orthodox Christianity in key matters of theology, but his tone is that of a careful teacher who seeks to explain rather than merely to debunk.”

-Mark D. Roberts, Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence, Laity Lodge; Author of Can We Trust the Gospels?

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a rapidly growing, international religious movement whose leadership allows for more diversity of thought than many outsiders realize. Jackson is aware of these obstacles, has worked hard to overcome them, and has succeeded admirably.”
-Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

“With Mormonism ever more in the mainstream and with much confusion as to what it really teaches, this is a valuable, accessible, and timely contribution.”

-Tim Challies, Christian Blogger; Editor, Discerning Reader; Author The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment


Andrew Jackson (MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary; DMin, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is a seminary professor and an ordained minister in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. He has traveled to the original homelands of all the primary religions of the world, taught world religions on the college level, and is a frequent blogger and author.

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Our Awesome GodLove That Lasts: When Marriage Meets GraceGod, Marriage and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical FoundationGod's Plans For YouTrue Sexual Morality

Our Awesome God By John MacArthur

Packed with Scripture and day-to-day applications, this fascinating book witnesses to the awe-inspiring majesty of God through the eyes of prophets, kings, mighty men of faith, and God’s own Son, Jesus Christ.

Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace By Gary & Betsy Ricucci

Marriage is a profound and marvelous mystery established by God for his glory-and that is for our good. So many marital relationships never reach their greatest potential because they have the fatal limitation of being focused on one another. When our focus is solely on God, our marriages have the potential to thrive and not merely survive.

God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation By Andreas J. Kostenberger and David W. Jones

We live in a time of crisis regarding marriage and the family, and only by a return to the biblical foundation can these institutions be rebuilt. To provide an integrated, biblical treatment of the full range of marriage and family issues, the authors of God, Marriage, and Family examine what Scripture says about God’s purposes for humans in their marriage and family interactions. Their examination covers the special issues stemming from marriage, childrearing, singleness, homosexuality, and divorce and remarriage.

God’s Plans for You By J.I. Packer

Many today want their religion to be laid-back, undemanding and fun. Yet Christianity should be anything but an opportunity for relaxed complacency. With this in mind, J. I. Packer offers his biblical reflections on life’s tough issues. Discussing topics like pleasure, health, disappointment and holiness, he maps out problematical situations and then superimposes the relevant biblical teachings. Through this work, readers will better understand their own journey through life and come to understand how to navigate it in a godly way.

True Sexual Morality: Recovering Biblical Standards for a Culture in Crisis By Daniel R. Heimbach

Daniel Heimbach examines the biblical teachings on sexual morality as well as four counterfeit views that have crept into our “sexually revolutionized” society. He gives us an in-depth look at the moral relativism that has spread through our culture and opens our eyes to the effects that nonbiblical sexual choices have on individuals, the family, the church, and the culture.

Personal Declension And Revival Of Religion In The SoulOctavius Winslow wrote this magnificent book Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in The Soul in 1841,—on the vital subject of backsliding to which every believer is prone and from which every child of God needs deliverance.

Octavius delivers practical, biblical counsel for those who have lost their decisive commitment to the Lord.

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“Octavius Winslow has been one of my favorite authors for more than forty years.—His “Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul” is one of the first books I turn to when I feel my spiritual life slipping into the early stages of backsliding. I love Winslow’s spiritual optimism and integrity. For me, he represents devotional writing at its best. He is always leading me to Christ and stirring my soul to love Him more fervently. His writings are always biblical, spiritual, deep, and inspirational. They engage the heart as they transform the will and sure-footedly guide us in the good fight of faith on the way to glory.”  Joel Beeke of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.

A Guide To Fervent PrayerAll the writings and published sermons of Arthur Pink were closely reasoned from the Bible and addressed Christian life issues or doctrines that Pink believed needed special attention.  “A Guide to Fervent Prayer” covers the apostolic prayers of Scripture.

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Looking for help for your prayer life? Arthur Pink’s “A Guide to Fervent Prayer” can help.     Let this man whom God so powerfully used take you through the biblical antidote for a dry prayer life. Step by step, you will learn what it means to have fervent, effective prayer and    be drawn daily into the presence of God and enjoy communion with Him.

Who among us hasn’t at one time or another felt that their prayer life was dry and uninspired? Originally titled Effectual, Fervent Prayer: Studies in Apostolic Prayer and Praise, this book provides “encouragement to faithful worship toward and communion with the Triune God.” As you read Pink’s reflections on the prayers of the apostles, your own prayer life will be revitalized!”

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Till He Come C.H. SpurgeonFor many years, whether at home or abroad, it was Mr. Spurgeon’s constant custom to observe the ordinance of the Lord’s supper every Sabbath-day, unless illness prevented. This he believed to be in accordance with apostolic precedent; and it was his oft-repeated testimony that the more frequently he obeyed his Lord’s command, “This do in remembrance of Me,” the more precious did his Saviour become to him, while the memorial celebration itself proved increasingly helpful and instructive as the years rolled by.
Several of the discourses here published were delivered to thousands of communicants in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, while others were addressed to the little companies of Christians,—of different denominations, and of various nationalities,—who gathered around the communion table in Mr. Spurgeon’s sitting-room at Mentone. The addresses cover a wide range of subjects; but all of them speak more or less fully of the great atoning sacrifice of which the broken bread and the filled cup are the simple yet significant symbols.
MR. SPURGEON had intended to publish a selection of his Communion Addresses; so this volume may be regarded as another of the precious literary legacies bequeathed by him to his brethren and sisters in Christ who have yet to tarry a while here below. It is hoped that these sermonettes will be the means of deepening the spiritual life of many believers, and that they will suggest suitable themes for meditation and discourse to those who have the privilege and responsibility of presiding at the ordinance.