Few issues are as important and as neglected as church history. God’s people need to understand how their faith is not something new but rather something old, and rooted in the history of God’s redeeming purposes. Church history helps God’s people not only understand what they believe and why it matters but also what the Church has taught throughout its history. This is important since we live in an age where biblical illiteracy is the norm rather than the exception. By studying the Bible and church history, God’s people can begin to understand some about how God has worked throughout the story of history which is His story. In the first volume of 2000 Years of Christ’s Power The Age Of The Early Church Fathers, N.R. Needham writes to help Christians to help Christians learn what God has done in past.
The book covers all the usual territory you would expect a church history volume to cover. Since the scope of this particular book is the early church and the early church fathers the author explains the significant events and beliefs that shaped the early church. Along the way the author also examines what I think is the most unique aspect of this volume and that is the theological significance of particular movements in the church. While other church history books do this I enjoyed how Needham explained crucial events in the history of the Church.
This volume is part one of a four part series which aim to cover the history of the church from the earliest days to modern times. Those who enjoy church history will enjoy these well-written volumes. Those who haven’t studied church history will find this volume very accessible and easy to understand. Pastors and preachers in particular will gain from this series and want to add the other volumes in this series to the library. Every Christian will benefit from reading this book. This particular volume examines the early church father and includes the stories of martyrs such as Polycarp, theologians like Athanasius and Augustine of Hippo and preachers like John Chrysostom.
Whether you’re well-read on the topic of church history or you’re brand new, this series of volumes on church history will help you gain further insight into what the Church has taught throughout its 2014 years. I enjoyed the theological reflection of the author and the insight he provided even to someone whose read and owns quite a few church history books. I highly recommend this volume and can’t wait to read and share my thoughts on the other books in this series in future reviews.
Title: 2000 Years of Christ’s Power Part One The Age Of The Early Church Fathers
Author: N.R. Needham
Publisher: EP Books (1997)
I received this book for free from EP Books for this review. 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 and communion with Christ are two of the least understood and among the most important doctrines in the Christian life. Many people in my experience get confused about only resting in Christ to the neglect of still actively working out their salvation with fear and trembling. How does the Christian bear fruit that glorifies God? In his helpful new book A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ Pastor Stanley D. Gale seeks to help readers understand the grace that stimulates the fruit and maturity of a sanctified life comes to God’s people is through Jesus Christ.
The book is an extended look at John 15 where Jesus teaches about the Vine and how we as the branches, must live and grow to bear the fruit of a grace-grown life. Along the way the author provides helpful examples from his own life and ministry experience that help the reader understand what he is teaching.
The author comes time and time again back to the biblical text and to the work of the gospel. In this book there is no confusion between what Christ has done and what God’s people are commanded to do. We are living in a day when confusion exists between what Christ has done and what God’s people are to do. The end result of this is that many slip into the living however they want to live. When this occurs we do what Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned about namely succumb to cheap grace instead of costly grace. We have been won to Christ at the price at the cost of the Son of God and Son of Man Jesus Christ. We are called to put our sin to death because of the finished work of Christ. We abide in Him who has already won the victory and yet will triumph at the final Day over Satan and his host. In other words, A Vine-Ripened Life will help you understand the already/not yet of our salvation.
A Vine-Ripened Life is a very helpful treatment on an important topic. Christians need to understand how to abide and work out their salvation with fear and trembling. We rest and we work but neither for our salvation but because we’ve been saved through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
A Vine-Ripened Life is an excellent book that will help readers understand our union and communion with Christ. I recommend this book for every Christian but in particular new Christians. Read this book slowly. Digest what the author has written. You may just find like I did that what he says will help you to not only grow in Christ but to rest in and enjoy Him all the more.
Title: A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ
Author: Stanley D. Gale
Publisher: Reformation Hertige (2014)
I received this book for free from Reformation Hertige for this review. 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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This is our weekly roundup of posts for 10/20/2014-10/25/2014. 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.
Eight Ways to Fight for Purity by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/eight-ways-to-fight-for-purity/
Burning Hearts: Preaching to the Affections by Mike Boling http://servantsofgrace.org/burning-hearts-preaching-to-the-affections/
Read the Bible for Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word reviewed by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/read-the-bible-for-life-your-guide-to-understanding-and-living-gods-word/
Why You Aren’t Benefitting From Sermonsby Jeff Medders http://servantsofgrace.org/why-you-arent-benefitting-from-sermons/
Three Things to Remember When Visiting Christian Websites by Joey Cochran http://servantsofgrace.org/three-things-to-remember-when-visiting-christian-websites/
That You May Know: Assurance of Salvation in 1 John reviewed by Mike Boling http://servantsofgrace.org/that-you-may-know-assurance-of-salvation-in-1-john/
Hidden in the Gospel: Truths You Forget to Tell Yourself Every Day reviewed by Dave Jenkins http://servantsofgrace.org/hidden-in-the-gospel-truths-you-forget-to-tell-yourself-every-day/
The Shock of the Ordinary in Romans 1:8 by Mike Leake http://servantsofgrace.org/the-shock-of-the-ordinary-in-romans-18/
When A Pastor Gets Depressed by Jeff Medders http://servantsofgrace.org/when-a-pastor-gets-depressed/
Deuteronomy: Loving Obedience to a Loving God reviewed by Mike Boling http://servantsofgrace.org/deuteronomy-loving-obedience-to-a-loving-god
Prayer: Just Do It! by Mike Boling http://servantsofgrace.org/prayer-just-do-it/
Sermon: Hosea & Jesus: Mercy, Not Sacrifice by Dr. Brian Cosby http://servantsofgrace.org/3-hosea-jesus-mercy-not-sacrificesermon/
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Coming October 31 is our second Issue of Theology For Life on the person and work of Jesus Christ titled “Christology: Christ, the Church, and the Christian Life“. This issue will help you to not only understand what the Bible teaches about this vital topic but also to be equipped to answer objections to this doctrine. I encourage you to read our second issue Friday October 31 and be encouraged, but for now I hope you’ll enjoy our giveaway sponsored by our friends at Crossway, B&H Academic and Dutton Adult and please encourage your friends and family to check out our second issue of Theology For Life Magazine.
The books being given away are three copies of Truth in a Culture of Doubt, one copy of Edwards on the Christian Life, one copy of God’s Design for man and woman, one copy of The Stories We Tell and two copies of Tim Keller’s new book on Prayer. There are eight books in total available and there will be eight winners.
Enter the giveaway below through punchtab:
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Preaching the gospel took on a whole new significance for me several years ago. I was going through a period where I was battling anxiety and fighting what to me seemed a losing battle. During this time preaching the gospel became one way I was able to face my battle with anxiety and other issues in my life head on. Even today, preaching the gospel has become a way to help me deal with the stress of life and ministry. In his new book Hidden in the Gospel, William Farley writes to help readers take hold of the truth of Scripture and apply it to their lives.
The book takes a journey through basic Christian doctrine with a view to help the reader apply it to their lives. The author states, “This book is about how to know God through the gospel story. It is about the joy that proceeds from getting to know God through the discipline of talking back to yourself—what some have called “preaching the gospel to yourself” (6).
Paul David Tripp is a well-known author, pastor, writer and counselor. On preaching the gospel to ourselves he talks about how we’re already preaching a message to ourselves. Our world is full of negativity and difficulty at every turn. How are we doing as God’s people eat looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith? Are we only being hearers of the Word and not doers. Farley wants us to take hold of our faith and appropriate it into every area of life. In chapter one he helps us do that through seven points: First, the gospel regularly and repetitively exposes us to the glory of God. Second, it helps us grow in humility. Third, preaching the gospel to ourselves will help us to be delivered from guilt, inferiority and low self-image. Fourth, preaching the gospel to ourselves accelerates our sanctification. Fifth preaching the gospel helps us to abound in thankfulness. Sixth, preaching the gospel to ourselves helps us to be hopeful. Finally, preaching the gospel to ourselves culminates in worship.
Maybe you’ve never considered the importance of preaching the gospel to yourself. Perhaps, you don’t know how to preach the gospel to yourself. Either way, Hidden in the Gospel has something for you. This book will help you to understand what it means to preach the gospel to yourself. This book will help even those who have experience preaching the gospel to gain further insight into this important spiritual discipline. Wherever you are at in your Christian life, this book has something for you. It will help you to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This would be a good book to get in the hands of a new believer to help them understand not only what preaching the gospel to themselves means but also how to do it. I highly recommend this book and pray the Lord would use it in the life of His Church to awaken God’s people to their first love in Jesus and deepen their love and understanding of the gospel.
Title: Hidden in the Gospel: Truths You Forget to Tell Yourself Every Day
Author: William P. Farley
Publisher: P&R (2014)
I received this book for free from P&R for this review. 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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