Book Briefs October 2000

Celebrating the Sabbath Finding Rest in a Restless World by Bruce A. Ray ISBN 0-87552-394-3 (Paperback, 144 pages). Retail $8.99

The Sabbath. Just another day? Or a special gift from God…a gift worth “keeping” as He commands?

This book explains what’s so special about the Sabbath and how we can make the best use of Sundays in a fast-paced world. It is available from P&R Publishing.

“A wise, balanced, helpful, biblical, and encouragingly fresh what the Lord’s Day should be for every Christian. Ray’s work is meant to instruct, but also to stimulate sound thinking and encourage practical application. Each of these eight readable chapters is followed by questions to deepen the perceptions of the reader and promote a God.pleasing response. I do not know what more could reasonably be asked of a book on this subject.”– James M. Boice


McSabbath is here — worship services that are quick, easy, convenient, and user-friendly. No muss, no fuss, little or no sacrifice required. Consumers can be in and out in under an hour. McSermons may not be as nutritional as the real thing, but, like big Macs, they have a predictable quality that fills a void at least for a while. The question is, however, do they fulfill the purpose of worship, which is to please God?

Conflicts occur when what we want to do on the Sabbath clashes with what pleases God, when our will contradicts His. Am I the Lord of the Sabbath and therefore free to do whatever I please, or is the Son of Man? Is it my day or His?

Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism (Second Edition) by John H. Gerstner Foreword by R. C. Sproul ISBN 1-57358-068-6 (Hardback, 476 pages). Retail: $29.95

The late Dr. John Gerstner came to saving faith in Christ while a student at the Philadelphia College of the Bible, under the teachings of a dispensationalist professor. Only his study in the writings of Jonathan Edwards received more time and attention than did his study of dispensationalism. The first draft of this book was over 1100 pages in manuscript form. It was first published in 1991, but for various reasons contained several research errors which received excessive criticism. Those errors have been corrected in this printing. This second edition contains three responses by Dr. Gerstner to critics of his original work: Dr. Zane Hodges (Grace Evangelical Society), Dr. John Witmer (Dallas Theological Seminary), and Dr. Richard Mayhue (Master’s Seminary). This work is important for the ongoing dispensational/covenantal discussions of our day. It is polemic to be sure, and Dr. Gerstner pulls no punches. It is available from Soli Deo Gloria, P.O. Box 451, Morgan, PA 15064.

The Mystery of Godliness by John Calvin ISBN 1-57358-094-5 (Hardback, 212 pages). Retail: $20.95

This book is a collection of 14 rare sermons preached by Calvin. The sermons included are: The Mystery of Godliness, The Call to Witness, The Doctrine of Election, Pure Preaching of the Word, The Word Our Only Rule, The Sure Foundation, The Salvation of All Men, Behavior in the Church, The Proper Use of Scripture, Vessels Unto Honor, The Character of the Faithful, The Need of Reproof, The Privilege of Prayer, and The Only Mediator. It is available from Soli Deo GlOria, P.O. Box 451, Morgan, PA 15064.

Evangelicalism Divided by lain H. Murray ISBN 0-85151-738-8 (clothbound, 352 pages). Retail: $21.50

Why has Christian unity proved to be such a divisive topic? In the 1950s two movements—evangelicalism and ecumenism—offered differing paths to unity in the church. But as the decades have passed the influence of ecumenism has exposed a fault line in evangelicalism. Questions of critical importance have been brought to the surface: Is the gospel broader than evangelicals have historically insisted? Can there be unity with non-evangelicals in evangelism and church leadership? Does the gospel have priority over denominational loyalty?

These gained high profile in the crusades led by Dr. Billy Graham on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the subsequent interaction among evangelicals in North America and Europe. At first a new policy of “cooperation without compromise” promised an “evangelical renaissance.” Those who feared an inevitable devaluation of the gospel were viewed as destined for the kind of isolation to which fundamentalism had been consigned earlier in the century.

Evangelicalism Divided traces the fascinating saga of the personalities, institutions and publications involved in this fifty-year period. lain Murray’s account is not simply a black and white narrative. But using the mass of sources now available, he shows how the new policy involved concessions which seriously weakened biblical Christianity. The first and greatest need, he argues, is to answer the most fundamental and divisive question of all: What is a Christian? It is available from Banner of Truth Trust (publisher).

A Treatise on Satan’s Temptations by Richard Gilpin ISBN 1-57358-110-0 (Hardback, 530 pages). Retail: $29.95

This is a classic Puritan work describing the devious and deceitful methods which Satan employs to ensnare believers. As Peter Lewis says in Genius of Puritanism (also published by SDG), the Puritans knew their worst enemy better than most people know their best friend. They took seriously the admonition that we are not to be ignorant of his devices. Gilpin, a non-conformist, vicar of Greystroke in Cumberland, England, deals meticulously with the malice of Satan, the power of Satan, the knowledge of Satan, the cruelty of Satan, the diligence of Satan, the cunning and craftiness of Satan, the deceitfulness of Satan, and shows numerous ways that Satan uses to hinder and discourage believers. The importance of this knowledge cannot be overstated. The book is available from Soli Deo Gloria, P.O. Box 451, Morgan, PA 15064.