Book Notes

Book Endorsement from Peter Leithart

Families are founded on death―the separation of a man and woman from their families of origin. Families end in death―the dispersal of children and finally the death of parents. Like seeds in the ground, families must die to bear fruit. There are hundreds of books on the Christian family on the market today, but few that get these basic truths right. The Church-Friendly Family is a rare exception. With biblical insight and pastoral practicality, Pastors Randy Booth and Rich Lusk show how the Father can use our families to fulfill the promises He spoke to our father Abraham.
―Peter Leithart

The Church-Friendly Family

After three years of editing, The Church-Friendly Family is finally available for purchase.

You can purchase the book from Covenant Media:

PhotoOf the making of books about marriage and the family, there is no end. The family is in trouble today―and has been since the sin of our first parents. But the rescue of the family requires more than just good advice, helpful as that can be. It requires more than just a focus on the family. It requires that the family be brought into the church of Jesus Christ. In The Church-Friendly Family, Randy Booth and Rich Lusk set marriage and family in the context of the church, showing how putting the church first enables the family to bear a rich harvest in culture, education, missions, and more.

Essays Include:

The Family and Culture –Randy Booth

 The Family and Worship –Randy Booth

The Family and Education –Randy Booth

The Family Table –Randy Booth

Missional Parenting –Rich Lusk

What is Marriage For? –Rich Lusk

The Blessed Family –Rich Lusk

Saints and Scoundrels

Saints and ScoundrelsI’ve begun reading through portions of Robin Phillips’ new work Saints and Scoundrels. The book is a selection of biographies of the great “dragon -slayers and kingdom-builders” of history. Phillips’ preface serves almost as an introduction to postmillenial thought, or a strong Kuyperianism of sorts. The author believes firmly that God “does not work alone but uses the faithfulness of His people throughout the ages to accomplish His purposes” (13).

His conclusion captures these ideas succinctly:

…though villains may rise and fall, the people of God will always be there, pocketing their remains to show the next generation” (15).

Communism is Doomed

Solzhenitsyn observed in 1983 that Christianity would one day triumph over communism. He observed:

For no matter how formidably Communism bristles with tanks and rockets, no matter what successes it attains in seizing the planet, it is doomed never to vanquish Christianity (13).

{Saints and Scoundrels, Robin Phillips}

“I Smelt a Rat”

Patrick Henry’s famous “I smelt a rat” response had to do with the invitation to participate in the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Patrick Henry, according to author, Thomas S. Kidd, “scented that decaying rodent in the notion that the states should surrender more power to a new national government.” –Patrick Henry, First Among Patriots, 183.

Revivalism and Anglicanism

Patrick Henry: First Among PatriotsThomas Kidd elaborates further on the rage of Anglican ministers in the days of the Great Awakening:

“Anglicans raged against these itinerant preachers because they intruded upon the turf of Anglican parishes and exhibited no respect for the established pastor’s authority.” –Thomas Kidd, 34. Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots

Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots

The Introduction to Thomas Kidd’s Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots provides a helpful series of questions when considering the life of this great orator and hero of the Revolution. In light of Henry’s Anti-Federalism, how is one to view the ratification of the Constitution? Was Henry’s concern about the Constitution valid, especially in light of its minimal emphasis of state’s rights? Did the Constitution leave an open door for the entrance of tyranny? Since the people had won liberty, how is this liberty going to be preserved in the 21st century? These questions were worth considering in the 18th century, and seem even more important to consider in our own day.

Thomas Kidd summarizes his introduction with these words:

Can we still place Henry in the pantheon of leading Founders if he opposed the Constitution? Can a sincere patriot question the Constitution itself, the document that has ostensibly become the bedrock of national freedom? Whatever we think of his resistance to the “more perfect union” embraced by other patriots, Henry’s opposition to the Constitution was born out of the cause that defined his career, an unshakable commitment to liberty (xiii).

Being Human is Good

N.T. Wright presses this point in his outstanding The Resurrection of the Son of God. Paul contrasts the biblical view of the Resurrection with that of the ancients:

The problem he faces is not the same as the one Plato and Cicero dealt with in their exposition of “astral immortality.” They were eager to escape the prison-house of the body; but for Paul the problem was not the body itself, but sin and death which had taken up residence in it, producing corruption, dishonor and weakness. Being human is good; being an embodied human is good; what is bad is being a rebellious human, a decaying human, a human dishonored through bodily sin and bodily death (346).

The Trinity and the Explicit Statement Fallacy

The Dispensational rush to explicit statements, in order to prove one point or another fails miserably. This is particularly striking when it comes to the doctrine of the Trinity, and by implication, when it comes to the eternal covenant of the Father, Son, and Spirit.

Ralph Smith argues that “some dispensationalists forsake the theological methodology of implications, which gave them the doctrine of the Trinity, and  flee to the demand for explicit statements? Is this not a counsel of despair (41).”

Covenant as an Aspect of God’s Own Being

Ralph Smith concludes by answering critics of the Trinitarian Covenant:

The compellingly consistent and comprehensive character of God’s covenantal relations with the creation suggest that the covenant is not a mere secondary feature of the world, but an aspect of God’s own being (37).