Studying the doctrine of God – some concerns

For too long, evangelicalism neglected the doctrine of God. Most of our theological energies had gone into questions of personal salvation. We were well versed (at least in theory) in the doctrines of sin, the atonement and justification. We knew that everyone had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We knew that … Continue reading Studying the doctrine of God – some concerns

Review: Lester Ruth & Lim Swee Hong, A History of Contemporary Praise & Worship: Understanding the Ideas that Reshaped the Protestant Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2021)

Why do so many evangelical churches use bands on a stage to lead their sung worship? Why are there extended periods of singing? What motivates the choice of song? Why do so many evangelicals equate worship primarily with music and singing? These are some of the questions that this book helps to answer. It does … Continue reading Review: Lester Ruth & Lim Swee Hong, A History of Contemporary Praise & Worship: Understanding the Ideas that Reshaped the Protestant Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2021)

Charles Spurgeon on encouraging men for Christian ministry

There used to be a certain mindset among some Reformed ministers, according to which young men who expressed a desire, or asked about, going into full-time pastoral or preaching ministry should first be put off. No encouragement should be offered and, certainly, no invitation should be extended generally to men to consider the possibility of … Continue reading Charles Spurgeon on encouraging men for Christian ministry

New book: Ryan King & Andrew King, eds., ‘Association: Local Independent Baptist Churches in Fellowship and Mission’

As I have written a chapter for this book, this blog is more for information than review. The book is published by Grace Publications in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Grace Baptist Association (South-East), which began life in 1871 as the Metropolitan Association of Strict Baptist Churches. Paul Smith's chapter gives a fascinating … Continue reading New book: Ryan King & Andrew King, eds., ‘Association: Local Independent Baptist Churches in Fellowship and Mission’

Book notice: Sharon James, ‘How Christianity Transformed the World’ (Christian Focus, 2021)

Christians naturally believe that the church has been good for society over the centuries. Increasingly, that view is under attack in western society. The opposite opinion is rapidly gaining ground: Christianity has been very bad for society in the past and stands in the way of the further reform that is needed in the West … Continue reading Book notice: Sharon James, ‘How Christianity Transformed the World’ (Christian Focus, 2021)

C. H. Spurgeon on ‘top-down’ evangelism

Some evangelicals in Britain have advocated and adopted a 'top-down' evangelistic strategy. Evangelistic effort is focused narrowly on the top echelons of society, in the belief that conversions at that level will have a trickle-down effect on the rest of us. Particular effort is made to evangelise young people at leading universities and schools and … Continue reading C. H. Spurgeon on ‘top-down’ evangelism

Review: J. V. Fesko, ‘The Need for Creeds Today: Confessional Faith in a Faithless Age’ (Baker, 2020)

Like some others (e.g. Carl Trueman, ‘The Creedal Imperative’, 2012), John Fesko is persuaded that the church today needs to recover the use of historic confessions of faith. He has written this book to prove it. It is, as always with this author’s writing, clearly written, well argued, biblical and persuasive. It is also quite … Continue reading Review: J. V. Fesko, ‘The Need for Creeds Today: Confessional Faith in a Faithless Age’ (Baker, 2020)

Review: Mostyn Roberts, ‘Coping with Criticism: Turning Pain into Blessing’ (EP Books, 2020)

This short book began life as a paper given at a ministers’ fraternal. It addresses a subject that is sadly much needed in our fallen world: criticism and how to cope with it. It is written primarily for pastors, preachers and elders who may be on the receiving end of criticism, but has a more … Continue reading Review: Mostyn Roberts, ‘Coping with Criticism: Turning Pain into Blessing’ (EP Books, 2020)