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Re:Train Books #2

October 16, 2009

Click here to view the Re:Train Books Series.

Here is my reading from the “Missional Christology” class at Re:Train with Dr. Bruce Ware. (See my previous posts about my 2nd class.) If you haven’t already, visit my post titled “The Door Opened” to find out a bit more about me and where I’m at with Church Planting and Re:Train. Again, the links are to the Canadian Amazon website, but if you are purchasing from the US, visit this page on theResurgence.com to help them out.

Enjoy!

An Introductory Christology: Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective. Fred Sanders & Klaus Issler

  • I have to be honest, I loved this book, yet it was on the side of “heavy academic reading”. I kept my dictionary close. The language and delivery was a bit of a stretch for me to be able to grasp because of its academic weight, but addressing a topic where is “the greatest need for theological precision” (p.6) is no small task. Each of the contributors indeed answer with a resounding YES, questions like, “Could an argument covering so much doctrinal territory be relevant to the gospel?” (p.4) It would be a rewarding task, but I personally found myself having to remain positive and focused as I worked through some of it. I would recommend this book if you are up to the challenge of trudging through the technical aspects inherent in an academic study of the more difficult (but very important) doctrines of the Bible.

Father, Son, & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, & Relevance. Bruce Ware

  • Buy this book. Make it a priority in the near future to read this clear, biblical, inspiring work on the Trinity by Bruce Ware. (And I’m not just saying that in hopes of a good grade.) The task of “Father, Son & Holy Spirit” is “to examine especially the ways in which the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit relate to one another, how they relate to us, and what difference this makes in our lives.” (p.14) One of my biggest issues with doctrinal books is that they are usually very weak on the “SO WHAT?” I firmly believe what 2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches and that if we are going to study anything to do with the Bible that it has implications for the life of the believer. It bothers me to no end when a sermon, a book or a study of any kind leaves us hanging from the ivory tower of academia with no way of getting what we’ve learned back to the everyday paths of life. But Ware delivers the goods. “In the end, the doctrine of the Trinity is eminently practical, and the church can benefit much from understanding and modeling its own life, work, and relationships after the Trinity.” I absolutely loved it, and I suggest you get a copy, read it and discuss it with a friend.

Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. John Piper

  • “Seeing and savoring Jesus Christ is the most important seeing and savoring you will ever do.” (p.9) That’s the gist of the book. Piper describes portions of who Jesus is to spark in us a desire to know him more through the Bible’s revelation of him. If that works, then he’s done his job. He believes that if we see Jesus for who he truly is, then our response will be to savor him with joy. A common prayer throughout is for God to “open the eyes of our hearts” (p.49). I recommend it. You can also read it online for free

Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution. Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey, Andrew Sach

  • “Penal substitution” can be defined in these terms: “God gave himself in the person of his Son to suffer instead of us the death, punishment and curse due to fallen humanity as the penalty for sin.” (p.21) In light of the fact that there are many who deny penal substitution, the writers of Pierced for Our Transgressions, make the case arguing FOR penal substitution primarily with clear and understandable Biblical teaching. They do not shy away from surveying a great deal of Early Church Fathers, down through the ages even unto present-day men of Truth. And not only do they reveal where critics of penal substitution have gone wrong, but they also lay out some logical and insightful outworkings of penal substitution’s effects on our understanding of the Bible, culture, violence, God, justice and the Christian life. There is no better chapter for the Pastor’s among us than Chapter 4 titled, “Exploring the Implications: the Pastoral importance of penal substitution,” where the authors reveal how “the implications of penal substitution for the Christian life are profound.” (p.150) If I were you (believer or not), I would get this book and my Bible & read. As I read and understood clear teachings of the cross, my heart was lifted to worship my God who would provide such a salvation.

Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions. Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears

  • Vintage Jesus is a very readable book about Jesus Christ. It is a book that Driscoll and Breshears hope “will be readable, practical, and biblical so that everyone from seminary professors…to non-Christians would benefit from our work.” (p.9) The authors also address common questions and misconceptions about Jesus such as, What did Jesus say about himself? and Did he really fulfill ancient prophecies as the true Messiah? I would seriously recommend this book to anyone who is interested at all about what the Bible says about Jesus.

Your Jesus is too Safe: Outgrowing a Drive-thru, Feel-Good Savior. Jared C. Wilson

  • Jared C. Wilson’s book, Your Jesus is too Safe, is similar to Vintage Jesus in that it is a cool and new book about Jesus and the language is quite easy to understand. However, Wilson approaches the truths about Jesus assuming the reader has an understanding of Jesus already that he/she is bringing to the table. Wilson’s battle is against these pre-formed and perhaps not-so-true-to-Jesus ideas. His aim here is that since we “make our Jesus in our own image…” and have “reduced the fullness of Jesus Christ to whatever portrait suits our fancy,” the challenge to us now is to see Jesus for who he is and know the “unsearchable riches of Christ.” (p.8) I’d say that if you’re one of these people that has been a Christian since before you were born, then you need to read this book.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2009 7:18 pm

    Thank you Mark for these excellent reviews. David

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