Book Briefs: Christ and the New Creation by Matthew Y. Emerson

By Billy Doolittle

christ-and-ncMatthew Emerson is the Dickinson Assistant Professor of Religion at Oklahoma Baptist University.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and his M.Div and Ph.D. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He has published numerous articles and books in his specialty, biblical hermeneutics and theological method of the Old and New Testaments.  He is currently serving as co-editor of the Journal of Baptist Studies and is involved in numerous biblical societies.

Continue reading “Book Briefs: Christ and the New Creation by Matthew Y. Emerson”

Book Briefs: Idolatry in the Pentateuch: An Innertextual Strategy by Tracy J. McKenzie

By Billy Doolittle

idolatry-in-the-pentTracy McKenzie teaches at the undergraduate program at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Idolatry in the Pentateuch is an interesting and well put together read.  Readers seeking foundational interpreting skills of the Hebrew Bible and solidifying their hermeneutic would gain greatly from this small informative book.  The final shape of the Bible is indispensable in acquiring the meaning of the text.  McKenzie informs us of not only the diachronic complexities in the composition of the Hebrew Bible but also its impact on how the Bible intends itself to be read. Continue reading “Book Briefs: Idolatry in the Pentateuch: An Innertextual Strategy by Tracy J. McKenzie”

Book Briefs: Practical Religion By JC Ryle

JC Ryle was born in 1816. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1841. He became the rector of St. Thomas’s, Winchester in 1843, then to Helmingham, Suffolk the following year. From 1843 to 1879, he wrote various works and gospel tracts. In 1880, Ryle became the bishop of Liverpool and retired in 1900 at age 83. He died later that year.fullsizeoutput_5b9

I have benefited from the writings of Bunyan, Calvin, Luther, etc. But none have been more beneficial than JC Ryle. In his work Practical Religion, Ryle cuts to the heart of the Christian life. He saw problems in his day and addressed those. But those same problems are present today.

Practical Religion is divided into 21 Chapters: Self-Inquiry, Self-Exertion, Reality, Prayer, Bible Reading, Going to the Table, Charity, Zeal, Freedom, Happiness, Formality, The World, Riches and Poverty, The Best Friend, Sickness, The Family of God, Our Home, Heirs of God, The Great Gathering, The Great Separation, and Eternity.fullsizeoutput_5b8

Ryle addressed the skewed views of the gospel of grace such as “nominal Christianity”. Ryle calls it “churchianity”. But it is the same problem that still exists in many of our Churches today. Some claim Christ when it benefits them, but when life is tough, those  “nominal” believers are found not to be true. In reading Practical Religionthe Christian will be encouraged in Praying and Reading their Bible. But they will also feel conviction on living this life for eternity, not for the “here and now”.

fullsizeoutput_5baI am thankful to God for the life of JC Ryle and his influence in my life. But I am also thankful for Banner of Truth for publishing his works and other various works that are so important for the Christian life.

If you would like to purchase Practical Religion, you may do so here.

Banner has recently released Ryle’s Autobiography, you can purchase it here.

Evan Knies is a student at SBTS, grad of Boyce College, and Minister of Students at Bullitt Lick Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. He is married to Lauren and you can follow him on Twitter at @Evan_Knies.

Book Briefs: The Doctrine of Justification by James Buchanan

buchanan_justification_front-650x1024-203x320By Evan Knies

James Buchanan was born in Paisley in the west of Scotland, and later studied at the University of Glasgow. In 1840 he was appointed to be minister of the High Church (St. Giles) in Edinburgh, where he became colleague to Dr. Robert Gordon, another evangelical preacher. After Thomas Chalmers’ death in 1847, Buchanan took up the Chair of Systematic Theology, which he held until 1868. In 1866, Buchanan was invited to deliver the Cunningham Lectures, and it was these addresses that became, in printed form, The Doctrine of Justification. 

In this classic work, Buchanan addresses a variety of different issues under the umbrella of the important Doctrine of Justification. In the introductory essay, JI Packer uses an analogy of Atlas with the weight of the world on his shoulders and compares this to the Doctrine of Justification. The Doctrine of Justification is vital for the Christian faith. Packer also writes about authority/submission to the Bible, understanding of God’s wrath against sin, and the substitutionary satisfaction of Christ. img_2244

In the Introduction, Buchanan addresses the basic overviews of Justification and lays out what will come up in the rest of the work. In Chapters 1-5, they discuss the history of justification in the Old Testament, in the Apostolic Age, during the Early Church Fathers, during the Era of the Reformation, and in the Romish Church after the Reformation.

In Chapters 6-7, Buchanan discusses the History of Doctrine as a Subject of Controversy Among Protestants and Doctrine in the Church of England. In these chapters, Buchanan reflects upon the different views of Justification among protestants, they implications in their day, but the reader can also learn how they are still impacting views in the current day. In Chapters 8-15, Buchanan simply breaks down the doctrine of Justification, meaning in scripture, nature of blessing, relation to the Law and Justice of God, relation to the Work of Christ as Mediator, Imputed Righteousness of Christ, relation to Grace and Works, relation with Faith, and the relation to the work of the Holy Spirit.

img_2242The Doctrine of Justification like many other Banner books is beneficial for the Christian to own, read, and read again. This work helps readers understand a primary doctrine of the Christian faith, has a rich scriptural foundation, and shows how Justification provides assurance for the Christian. Those who believe in Christ, are assured in Christ, and are able to rest in Christ. The Doctrine of Justification is not only a dense theological work for a professor or pastor, it is available for the church member who struggles in his faith week to week.


You can purchase The Doctrine of Justification here

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Book Briefs: Transforming Homosexuality by Denny Burk and Heath Lambert

By Evan Knies

Denny Burk is professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College and has served as the editor of the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Heath Lambert is the executive director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and professor of biblical counseling at SBTS and Boyce College.

Transforming Homosexuality is a work that helps a pastor, someone who struggles with homosexuality or just your “average, everyday person” understand the importance of the gospel. After the beginning of this book showing us our need for its work in the preface. This book is broken up into two parts: Ethics of Desire and the Path of Transformation. In the Ethics of Desire, the authors discuss trues and misconceptions in What is Same-Sex Attraction?, Is Same-Sex Attraction Sinful? and In the Path of Transformation. The authors discuss the myths about change, a Biblical path to change, and How Evangelicals can change.

How can is this book helpful for you? 

1.  This work is a short work that provides clarity to a difficult topic that is pressing in our day.

2. This work shows compassion and provides readers to think about what it said whether they agree with it or not.

3. The authors provide practical advice for readers to engage with people who are struggling with Homosexuality.

4. This work is clear that All Men and Women are Sinners and Need a Redeemer. That Redeemer is Jesus Christ!

Friends, you only get one life and it will soon pass. Only what is done for King Jesus will last!


Evan Knies is an undergrad student at Boyce College. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies.