Book Review – Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets Humanity (13/8)

When I read the gospels, one of the things I most enjoy reading is how Jesus often rebuts his questioners with a stumbling question. Seeing how this book deals with questions that Jesus raises, I eagerly took it up and read it. And I have to say I come away from this book having benefitted much from what Israel Wayne has written.

Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets HumanityWayne first talks about one of the few paradoxes a christian has to live with: Is Jesus omniscience? He tackles the problem in a easily understandable manner and lists out why certain options are wrong or right. Next Wayne then goes on to the various questions that are raised by Jesus within the bible.

In the midst of tackling these questions, Wayne uses these questions to teach doctrinal lessons to the readers. For example in the chapter on John 8, where the adulterous woman was brought to Jesus. Wayne first tackles some of the historical knowledge of what usually happens when someone is accused of committing adultery. Next, he presents some problems within this situation, and how Jesus resolves the issue and forgiving the women. Yet, this forgiveness has to come at a great cost. He brings the readers to how Jesus is able to declare that our sins for forgiven — He took on our punishment. God has made him who knew no sin to be sin. Here he ends off beautifully with this question which I would like to quote to show you how he ends this chapter:

“Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we hear His words addressed to us: “Has no one condemned you?” We receive our answer in the words of Scripture.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:1–2; KJV).”

Wayne writes in a humorous and engaging manner while at the same time letting the readers interact with the words of Jesus in each of the chapter. I highly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend this book to anyone who is new to the christian faith to read it. Pastors who are interested to grow their youth groups in doctrinal studies can also use this book as a platform to discuss about the points raised in each chapter.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Book Review – Common Grace and the Gospel (21/6)

Those who are in the reformed circles for some time, will quickly be aware of the importance of Cornelius Van Til. And If you have dabble into various works by the students of Van Til (Frame, Oliphint, etc), you would often see them refer to this work by Van Til. However, you would quickly realised that this book was last published in the 1970s, that is until now.

Common Grace and the GospelP&R Publishing has very recently republished this very title, and so I eagerly picked up this book to read and review it. This book has been one of the most enlightening and thought-provoking book on common grace I have read so far. 7 to 49

K. Scott Oliphint has written an excellent forward for this book that alone is worth the price of the book. The forward is around 40 pages, which spells out clearly what the Van Til will address within the book. For any readers who intends to read this book, it is recommended that you do not skip the forward. Instead take time to read through the forward which will be a sure guide for the book.

As the readers of the book will quickly see, Van Til is addressing what he sees to be incorrect understanding of common grace by Kuyper, Dooyeweerd, Vollenhoven, Schilder  and Herman Hoeksema. As compared to other writings by Van Til, this is surprisingly very readable. What one will take away from reading this book is how Van Til desires to remain faithful to the Word of God, not matter what. He is willingly to disagree when scripture shows clearly that they are wrong.

Well this book is surprisingly readable as compared to Van Til’s some other book, it can be difficult to follow at times. But for those who reflect deeply on what Van Til has written, they will benefit much from this valuable volume.

Recommended for those who wants to have a good understanding of common grace, however this book is not meant to be an introduction to those who are unfamiliar to the topic. Seminary students or avid fans of Van Til will find this volume to be extremely rewarding.

Rating: 5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping).

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Review – The Problem of Good: When the World Seems Fine Without God (17/12)

Grace is topic that’s often talked about, especially in the reformed circles. But how much does an average christian know about common grace? Surprisingly, I doubt one will have much to talk about it.The Problem of Good: When the World Seems Fine Without God

The problem of evil is not a strange question for christians. But what about the problem of good? What do you do with non-christians who live morally good and proper lives, who’s happily living without God? Common grace is the answer!

Marion Clark starts by giving a good introduction to common grace and also a grand overview about what the book will cover. The first two chapters then explores and explains what the doctrine of common grace is, the first from the negative aspect, in the way God restraints evil in the world. And the second from the positive aspect, in the way God blesses all men.

After that comes the applications of the doctrine in various areas of life. I found the second part especially helpful as they are practical and discusses about topics that relevant for all christians. They cover from topics like how common grace should shape our worship, how it will affect the way we evangelise and love our neighbours, how christians can and should learn from what non-christians have discovered, and how to enjoy the pleasures that God gives to all men.

As someone who’s not well versed with common grace. I found the book especially enlightening. Furthermore, sometimes in a book that has multiple authors, the quality of the chapters sometimes can vary quite a bit. However, I have to say that I found these chapters to be consistently well-written, each and every one of them.

If you are a christian, or even a pastor who wants to learn about common grace, there is no better introduction that this book. Pastors may have to supplement their reading from other sources that is referred to within the book, but this book does already have a substantial amount of good teaching in itself already. Highly recommended.

Rating: 5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.