Category Archives: Book Notes

A Festschrift to Norman Shepherd

Obedient FaithAndrew Sandlin and John Barach have done a great service in providing these essays in honor of Norman Shepherd. Obedient Faith  is “a tribute by students and friends to a courageous theologian’s lifelong stand for a full-orbed, obedient Christianity.” In the preface, Andrew Sandlin observes:

His influence is not thought to rank with his Calvinist contemporaries like J. I. Packer, John Piper, and R. C. Sproul. Yet in the end it may be Shepherd’s distinctive views that prove to be the more lasting and influential. Those views spring from his recovery of the older Reformed idea of the covenant as the overarching theme of the Bible and of the church and Christian life… Shepherd does not merely argue that individual salvation is the outworking of the covenant of grace (true enough); he insists, moreover, that man’s entire relation with God from creation to consummation, from birth to death, is governed by covenant.

I will be posting some quotes along the way. Also, stay tuned for an interview with editor, Andrew Sandlin on the life and theology of Norman Shepherd.

Praise for “The Trinitarian Father”

The Trinitarian Father (Trinitarian Living)The Trinitarian Father is not another work by an expert father to the rest of us — no, it’s better than that. Rather than offering his own wisdom, Uri Brito guides fathers through the whole biblical sweep of our Heavenly Father’s redemptive wisdom in his Son in order to unfold to us what true fatherhood is. In this work, we learn that the future of the church and of the culture is fathers — fathers who instruct their children from the the wisdom, example, and self-sacrifice of their Trinitarian Father.

John Fraiser, Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in La Grange, Kentucky

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).