Resources on Book Reviews

Booknote: God’s Ambassadors: The Westminster Assembly and the Reformation of the English Pulpit, 1643–1653

By Charlie Wingard · August 2, 2019 · 0 Comments
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God’s Ambassadors: The Westminster Assembly and the Reformation of the English Pulpit, 1643–1653, by Chad Van Dixhoorn. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage, 2017, xxi + 215 pages, $40.00. The mere convening of the Westminster Assembly in 1643 is a wonder. Since the days of Edward VI, reform efforts in the church of England had stalled or been reversed under his Protestant successors, Elizabeth, James, and Charles I. The eruption of the English Civil War, with its political and military tumult, made the convening even more unlikely. But convene it did, and over the next decade, the fruits of its labors were prodigious. General histories and expositions of the assembly’s Confession of Faith and Catechisms are many. What distinguishes God’s Ambassadors: The Westminster…

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Booknote: “The Faithful Preacher” by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

By Charlie Wingard · May 10, 2019 · 0 Comments
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  One of my goals at RTS Jackson is to introduce students to the “neglected voices” of the evangelical church. I am not the best qualified to remedy this neglect, but have made it my habit to assign readings that will help. One such book is Thabiti Anyabwile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors. The book presents biographical sketches of Lemuel Haynes, Daniel Payne, and Francis Grimké, along with selected writings. First, Lemuel Haynes. Born in 1753, he was abandoned by his parents when only a few months old. He became an indentured servant to a Connecticut family who treated him as their own child, and where he was to receive the blessings of family…

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Booknote: “The Missionary Fellowship of William Carey” by Michael A.G. Haykin

By Charlie Wingard · May 9, 2019 · 0 Comments
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  Michael A.G. Haykin gives a concise and inspirational account of the life and work of William Carey, English missionary to India and often called “The Father of Modern Missions.” Reformed theology was the solid foundation of Carey’s ministry. Haykin explains: In his theology, Carey married a deep-seated conviction regarding God’s sovereignty in salvation to an equally profound belief that in converting sinners God uses means.… Without understanding Carey’s consistent delight in Calvinism throughout his life, we cannot understand the man, his motivation, or eventually the shape of his mission. (43–44) One example of Carey’s firm grasp of the doctrines of grace appears when he writes that one “may well expect to see fire and water agree, as persons with…

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Henry Martyn (1781-1812)

By Charlie Wingard · February 18, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Today is the anniversary of the birth of pioneer missionary Henry Martyn. Reading Christian biographies is a devotional practice I find valuable, and especially ones about ministers and missionaries. One missionary who deeply impresses me is Henry Martyn. Henry Martyn was born on February 18, 1781 in Truro, England. As a young man he excelled in classical and mathematical studies. The tender concern of a believing sister, the pain of his father’s death, and the godly counsel of a Cambridge mathematic’s instructor compelled him to read the New Testament. During his personal study of the scriptures, Martyn came to a living faith in Jesus Christ and was soundly converted. While at St. John’s College in Cambridge, Martyn sat under the…

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Booknote: “Discovering the Joy of a Clear Conscience” by Christopher Ash

By Charlie Wingard · January 8, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Paul took “pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man” (Acts 20:16). So should we. Christians must prize and protect a biblically informed conscience. Heed our conscience, and we shall honor God and faithfully serve our fellow man. Resist conscience, and we wreck not only our lives, but also harm others, leaving a trail of brokenness, heartache, and misery. Given the stakes, it is tragic that conscience is a word that has largely slipped from our vocabulary. That’s why I am grateful for Christopher Ash. In Discovering the Joy of a Clear Conscience he proves himself a skilled physician of the soul. Aiming straight to the heart, he asks: “If you die today and have some time…

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Booknote: “The Preacher’s Catechism” by Lewis Allen

By Charlie Wingard · January 5, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Many years ago someone pointed out to me that one of the principal values of a catechism is to teach us to ask the right questions. Since the 17th century, the Westminster Shorter Catechism has taught believers to ask the right questions about the Bible, the Trinity, the person and work of Christ, man’s duty to God, the way of salvation, and the means of grace (the preaching of the word, sacraments, and prayer). Employing the Westminster Shorter Catechism as his model, Lewis Allen’s The Preacher’s Catechism helps ministers ask the right questions about life and ministry. The book’s 43 brief chapters, each in question and answer format, are divided into four sections: The Glory of God and the Greatness of Preaching…

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