I’ve been reading the Bible since I learned to read as a young child, but started studying the Bible when I was thirteen years old. As I became more involved in ministry in high school I quickly realized even with growing up in church that there was a whole lot I didn’t know (I still know this today even after going to seminary and being a Christian for a long time that there are things I don’t know). Study Bible’s for me have been helpful but can also be dangerous when one doesn’t read the actual text of Scripture before reading the notes that accompany study Bible’s.
Henry Morris was considered in the twentieth century to have set the terms of debate about evolution by one Pulitzer Prize winning academician. Dr. Morris was the founder and leader of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) and died in 2006. The Henry Morris Study Bible is full of annotations to help explain the Bible’s most difficult passages, resolve its alleged contradictions, points out the evidence of its divine origin, confirm its historical accuracy, note its remarkable anticipations of modern science, demonstrate its fulfilled prophecies and in general remove any doubt about the inerrancy, authority and its ability to withstand the attacks of the secular world.
The Henry Morris Study Bible will be helpful to new or seasoned believers to learn from a man who set the terms of the debate on evolution during the twentieth century. For those with the ESV Study Bible or a study Bible in the New King James Version, The Henry Morris Study Bible in the King James Version will be a helpful addition to any collection of Bible’s. This study Bible will help its readers by having Apologetics commentary and explanatory notes from the father of Modern Creationism, Dr. Henry Morris.
Title: Henry Morris Study Bible, The
Author: Henry Morris
Publisher: Master Books (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Master Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Union with Christ is one of the most neglected doctrines in Christianity today and also one of the one of the Gospel’s greatest mysteries. In his helpful book Union with Christ in Scripture, History, and Theology, Dr. Robert Letham notes that “Union with Christ is right at the center of the Christian doctrine of salvation” (1). Calvin agrees with this comment and notes that, “For we await salvation rom him not because he appears to us afar off, but because he makes us, ingrafted into his body, participants not only in all his benefits but also in himself.”[i] The Westminster Larger Catechism describes our entire salvation as union and communion with Christ in grace and glory. Dr. John Murray considered that “nothing is more central of basic than union and communion with Christ,”[ii]for it “is the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation.”[iii] In the words of Dr. Lane Tipton, “there are no benefits of the gospel apart from union with Christ.”[iv]
Union With Christ covers topics such as creation, incarnation, Pentecost, union with Christ and representation, union with Christ and transformation and union with Christ in death and resurrection. Since the entirety of the Christian’s relationship with God can be summed up in union with Christ this review could be quite long to examine everything Dr. Letham teaches in this book, but in an effort to remain focused I am only going to touch on chapter five, which I believe is the most helpful in the book.
In chapter five after discussing the external aspects of union with Christ, Dr. Letham turns to examine how union with Christ transforms us from within. He notes that “when Christ died and rose from the dead, we died and rose with him, and so our status and existence was dramatically changed” (85). The author doesn’t stop at the death and resurrection but continues with the ascension explaining that “following Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit was sent to bring us to spiritual life and indwell and renew us, our participation in Christ’s death and resurrection is vitally dynamic and transformative” (85).
The believer’s union with Christ will lead to our being like Christ “for it is the intention of the Gospel to make us sooner or later like God” (Calvin). The Christian is now a “partaker of the new nature,” (2 Peter 1:4) having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. At His Parousia we will see Him as he is, in his glorified humanity, and will be finally and climatically transformed to be like his glorious body (Phil. 3:20-21).
Union with Christ is an important book that will help Christians to think through one of the most neglected doctrines in Christianity today. Union with Christ would be a good book not for a new believer but for the intermediate to advanced student of theology. Union with Christ is a well-written, biblically faithful and Gospel-centered book that will help Pastors and seminary students understand the importance of their union with Christ. This book will help its readers explore from Scripture, and church history what union with Christ is and what the Church has taught on this vital topic. I recommend you pick up a copy of Union With Christ and learn how union with Christ is the central truth of the whole biblical teaching about salvation.
Title: Union with Christ: In Scripture, History, and Theology
Author: Dr. Robert Letham
Publisher: P & R (2011)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the P & R book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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[ii] John Murray, Redemption Accomplish and Applied (London: Banner of truth, 1961), 161)
[iv] Lane G. Tipton, “Union with Christ and Justification,” in Justified in Christ: God’s Plan for Us in Justification, ed. K. Scott Oliphint (Fearn, Ross-shire, UK: Mentor, 2007), 34.
Father’s Day on June 17, 2012 marked six and a half years since I’ve seen my father. The last time I saw my father was in his physical therapy office. That day I waited four hours to talk to my father and all I remember was that the conversation didn’t end well. The sad thing about this meeting was around Father’s Day my junior year in 1999 my father and I were reconciled as the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin while reading the Word of God the day before. The next day, after getting convicted of anger, bitterness and resentment, my father and I went on a walk and I told him that I forgave him for all the hurt and pain he had caused me.
While I truthfully don’t give much thought about my father these days, this past Father’s Day was particular hard on me as I started thinking and then dwelling on memories I had of my father. Normally I enjoy watching golf tournaments after church on Sunday (and throughout the week) but I found it so hard to watch the US Open that my wife told me to turn off the TV and had to give me a hug. The reason this was hard is my father and I spent considerable time together playing and talking about golf. Before I left for church, I had already cried, and when I got to church Sunday morning I went into the associate Pastor’s office and asked him to pray for me which he gladly did.
Since I’ve been in ministry for some time, I know I’m not the only one who has experienced the pain of a father who has abandoned his family. I also know I’m not the only Christian who has reconciled with his father only to have his father turn his back on his family. While I’m still processing and healing from what happened on Father’s Day, I thought it would be helpful to share and discuss why the “father wound” is so prevalent in our day.
While my family has no explanation for why my father left, and we’ve tried to find out where he is. I do know that my father’s father (my grandfather) left his sons (my uncle and my father) the same way my dad did. As a child I heard this story of my grandfather leaving his family from my mom. After hearing that story I committed as a child at an early age that when I got married I would never leave my family.
While the memories are painful of my father leaving our family behind, the Lord truly blessed me with a lot of great godly men who’ve helped me to heal from the mess my father caused. In high school He sent several godly men who helped me through my parent’s divorce. After high school the Lord sent several godly men who showed me what it meant to be a godly husband. While I made a lot of mistakes after high school, the Lord was always with me and continues to woo me, amaze me, and overwhelm me with His grace.
Men, you may have a father wound in your life, and this past Father’s Day may have been hard for you. Maybe you have a father who abused you verbally, mentally, physically or sexually. The fact is the problem of absentee fathers is not going away and will continue to increase in our society.
My own father was a leader in his local church, an intercessory prayer warrior for Cleaning Streams Ministries, and helped train fathers to be better dads; however, he still abandoned his family. The point here is not to shame my father or his involvement in ministry, but to point out that just because someone is involved in ministry does not necessarily make them a godly person. Being a man or woman of God involves actually bearing fruit in keeping with one’s repentance and displaying evidence that one has been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus.
The problem of absentee fathers is one of the effects of living in a world that is experiencing the consequences of the Fall. Thankfully the Bible doesn’t end at the story of the effects of the Fall but continues to teach us about how God sent forth His Son to be virgin born, live a sinless life, die a brutal death by dying in our place for our sin, being buried, rising again and ascend to the right hand of our Father in heaven. The good news for those who’ve experienced an absentee father is that our heavenly Father, who is the Creator, sent forth His Son Jesus to deal with sin and now longs to adopt those who have experienced brokenness (that absentee fathers cause) and bring healing to such brokenness through His death, burial and resurrection.
Many people who’ve experienced the fall out of an absentee father struggle with viewing God as loving. Rather than viewing God as loving, kind, good and just, such people view God as distant, unloving, unjust and not good. While this is understandable that people feel this way, and I myself have struggled with this at times, the Word of God teaches that God is the God of the fatherless. The Bible uses the word fatherless more than 40 times by more than 10 different authors from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
Psalm 68:5 declares that God is the, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” God said that He is the Father of the fatherless which means that God isn’t disinterested in those who are fatherless but rather deeply interested in those who have experienced the pain of a father who has abandoned his family. The Lord longs to adopt all those who’ve experienced the pain of an absent father and does this through the Gospel.
When God transfers us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, He immediately places us into His family and adopts us as His sons and daughters. At the very moment this happens God who is sovereign in and over the entire work of salvation, no longer calls us His enemies, but His friends. This is especially good news for those who’ve experienced the “father wound.”
This past Father’s Day (June 17th) was one of the hardest days I’ve had in a long time. Whether it was thinking about my father or reflecting on the memories of the good and bad times I had with my father, I cried more that Sunday than I have in a long time. As I reflected on that Sunday I came to realize how much I have to be thankful for. The Lord opened my eyes even further to the Truth of the Gospel, even as He exposed the pain of hurtful memories in order to drive me closer to Himself. Through this situation, God also used my wife’s tender words of care and compassion to show me His love.
The “father wound” is becoming more real to many people every day as more and more adults are getting divorced. Divorce is causing many children to experience the father wound. The best way to minister to those who have experienced the “father wound” is to testify to the love of Christ (1 John 13:35; 1 John 3:18). Throughout the ages, one of the greatest witnesses to Christ has been the church caring for orphaned and disadvantaged children. By caring for the fatherless, the Church is not only following God’s command, but we are showing His heart to those who may or may not Him, as well as making the Gospel message more real to people.
As I’ve reflected on that Sunday, I’ve come to realize even more how precious the gift of God adopting me as His son really is. Instead of being under His wrath I am now under His grace and covered by the blood of Jesus, given new life through the resurrection and indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The story of fatherless is a sad story, but it is not the end of the story. The Gospel is supreme over the fatherless because God tells us that we have a Father in heaven who truly cares for us and sent forth His Son to bring reconciliation between fathers and sons through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel is good news for those who’ve experienced the pain of an absentee father because it tells us that we have a Savior who truly cares for us and who longs to adopt us as His own sons and daughters to love them, hold them, value them, cherish them and use them for His mission of seeking and saving others who’ve experienced the pain of being fatherless.
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This is our weekly roundup of posts for 6/18–6/23/2012. If you have any feedback on how we can serve you our readers better, I would appreciate it. Thank you for reading and allowing us to minister to you throughout this past week through these posts.
Monday 6/18- Book Review Gospel Centered Discipleship by Pastor Jonathan Dodson Reviewed by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/06/18/book-review-gospel-centered-discipleship-2/
Tuesday 6/19- Video Post: Men, Integrity and Purity by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/06/19/men-integrity-and-purity/
Wed 6/20- 5 Ways to Deal with difficult people by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/06/20/5-reasons-we-need-difficult-people/
Thursday 6/21- Who is a murder? by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/06/21/who-is-a-murderer/
Friday 6/22- Book Review Solid Ground the Inerrant Word of God in an errant world edited by Gabriel N E Fluhrer Reviewed by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/06/22/book-review-solid-ground-the-inerrant-word-of-god-in-an-errant-world/
Friday 6/22- Sermon Jesus, the Son of God by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/06/22/jesus-the-son-of-god/
Saturday 6/23- Book Review: Mapping Modern Theology by Kelly Kapic and Bruce McCormick Reviewed by Craig Hurst http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/06/23/book-review-mapping-modern-theology/
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