The Words of King Lemuel

The Words of King Lemuel, The Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31 by James Daughtry (Bridgeview, IL; Abidan, 2021), 117 pp.   The Words of King Lemuel is a short practical commentary on Proverbs 31.  The author claims that the keys to understanding this chapter are the careful examination of the Hebrew words and the study of the lifestyle of the people (p. 8).  Using these keys, James Daughtry unlocks the meaning of King Lemuel’s instruction, and specifically the description of the virtuous woman, which encompasses most of the book.  Realizing that many have distorted and/or misunderstood this woman, Daughtry systematically works through the description given her in twenty-two short chapters, plus an introduction and an initial chapter.   The design of the book is to offer helpful insight and appropriate application drawn from the life of this excellent Old Testament woman, which relates to that of modern women.  In...

Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, How the Church Needs to Rediscover Her Purpose by Aimee Byrd

Aime Byrd is known as the housewife theologian. She is popular conference speaker, a prolific author with several books to her credit and, until the publication of this book, co-host of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals podcast Mortification of Spin.  Her earlier work, No Little Women, made some valuable contributions concerning women and their ministries, but even there I registered some concerns in my review (http://tottministries.org/?s=little+women). Byrd takes several steps forward, or backward, depending on your perspective, in her understanding of women’s “role” (a word she detested and claims is unbiblical) in the church and within ministry. As a member of an Orthodox Presbyterian church, she still maintains that ordination and preaching within the local church is reserved for males (p. 121), but views virtually all other ministries, both within the church and through parachurch organizations, are accessible to qualified Christian women. As a matter of fact, Byrd’s primary...

Preparing for Eternity by Mike Gendron

Mike Gendron was a devout Roman Catholic for 37 years before he found Christ. Since his conversion, he has passionately sought to proclaim the truth of the gospel to Roman Catholics who are deceived by their church. To that end he founded and leads “Proclaiming the Gospel Ministry,” producing written resources and speaking throughout the world warning of the false doctrines of Rome and teaching God’s Word. Preparing for Eternity is a virtual encyclopedia on Rome’s dogma and its misalignment with Scripture. Gendron is comprehensive in his research. He draws from official Catholic resources, such as Trent, Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting them verbatim to demonstrate what Rome officially teaches. He then contrasts many of its doctrines with Scriptures, showing that much of Rome’s dogma is not based on the Bible but on tradition and extrabiblical pronouncements. There are few stones left unturned as...

The American Puritan by Dustin Benge & Nate Pickowicz

For anyone who enjoys reading American church history, or has an interest in the Puritans, The American Puritans is a treat.  Dustin Benge and Nate Pickowicz have showcased the lives of nine Puritans who were greatly influential in the early settling of America including John Cotton, Thomas Hooker, John Eliot and Cotton Mather.  These individuals established “The New England Way,” “an expression of Congregationalism that sought to impact all areas of public life” (p. 7), and that embedded Christianity into the fabric of American society (pp. 54, 68-69, 110, 181).  The stated aim of the book is threefold: “First we hope to clarify and correct many of the myths and half-truths associated with the American Puritans.  Second, we hope to showcase their story—without hiding their faults—in order to inspire and edify this generation of Christian believers.  Lastly, we hope to encourage further study into their lives, beliefs, struggles, and...

The Cessation of the Prophetic Gifts

The Cessation of the Prophetic Gifts is Timothy Dane’s doctrinal dissertation in partial fulfillment of the requirements for his Doctor of Philosophy degree at Baptist Bible Seminary.  It is a scholarly work with thousands of footnotes (which happily are not endnotes, making for easier reference) and an extensive 69 page bibliography. Dane clearly defines the goal of the book: This dissertation will strive to demonstrate a plausible statement of cessationism based on the mature-body view from three main lines of reasoning: (1) a plausible exegetical defense of cessationism from 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 and Ephesians 4:7-16 that to teleion is a reference to a mature-body in Christ that Paul foresaw, (2) a plausible support from a theological level that a mature-body explanation has broader theological support in directly relevant issues, and (3) a plausible validation at a historical level that the church did experience a cessation of the revelatory gifts...

Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America

David Horowitz is a conservative commentator and bestselling author of literature addressing primarily the radical left and rise of Marxism in America. His books, well-represented by Dark Agenda, are interesting, informative, and filled with stories, accounts and statistics that support his conservative views and expose the true agenda of those on his radar. In this book, that agenda is the destruction of Christianity because it stands in direct opposition to the goals of the Marxist Left (pp. 15, 34-35). As Bill Maher says, “Religion must die for mankind to live” (p. 15). Horowitz provides much evidence for his accusation that the political left is attempting to stamp out Christianity and its morals and virtues, and along the way to radically reshape America to reflect Marxist principles. He offers New Atheism (pp. 7-35), the efforts of Madalyn Murray O’Hair (pp. 63-74), Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood (pp. 77-83), abortion and...

Coronavirus and Christ

John Piper has written a timely and beneficial book, which is broadly applicable to all suffering and pain, but specifically targeting the coronavirus. The pandemic, which is raging in 2020, has not only wreaked havoc throughout the world but has also unsettled even mature Christians. How are believers to understand and handle something so devastating and ugly? This short work is Piper’s attempt to provide a biblical answer. He begins exactly where he should – with theology, which is the content of the first part of the book. Before we can engage with the coronavirus, we must recall and believe what is true about God: He is our Rock and hope (pp. 15-19); He is sovereign over all things (chapters four and five) and therefore appoints all things (p. 19); He is righteous and good (chapter three); He has given us the Bible, His Word, to guide and instruct...

Biblical Discernment in Christian Literature

Volume 26, Issue 4, August/September 2020 Biblical discernment today, if not at an all-time low, is surely bumping along at the bottom of the pond, and nowhere is that more evident than in Christian literature.  Most people, if a book or blog post is written by a credentialed Christian author, and published by at least a semi-respected Christian publishing house, let down their guard and accept unquestionably whatever is disseminated. This is true not only of the average believer but also of many in leadership. For example, Subversive Sabbath, the Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World by A. J. Swoboda, won Christianity Today’s 2019 Book of the Year award in the spiritual formation category, and thus would presumably represent spirituality as understood by mainstream evangelicalism today. Written by a pastor/seminary professor, the book’s strength lies in its reminder that the believer needs rest as grounded in the...

God, Marriage, and Family, Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation (2nd Edition)

Köstenberger and Jones have written what amounts to a textbook on marriage and the family, which they hope will point the way to return and rebuild the biblical foundation of marriage and the family (p. 16).  The catalyst for this expansive work is the authors’ belief that, “There remains a need for a volume that does not treat issues related to marriage and family in isolation from one another but that shows how human fulfillment in these relationships is routed in the divine revelation found exclusively and sufficiently in Scripture” (p. 19). The authors maintain a solid, conservative, biblical approach to marriage and family, exegeting Scripture well throughout.   Not only do they address scriptural teachings on family and marriage, but they also work through controversial cultural issues such as abortion (pp. 118-120) and human sexuality (pp. 199-222).  Of course evangelicals are not monolithic when it comes to the home,...

Messiah’s Coming Temple, Ezekiel’s Prophetic Vision of the Future Temple

This updated version of Messiah’s Coming Temple is exactly what it claims to be, an examination of the millennial temple as revealed through the prophet Ezekiel in chapters 40-48 of that Old Testament book. But it is much more, as it provides details of the first two Jewish temples, as well as the tabernacle, and lays out ten reasons why a study of Messiah’s temple is important (pp. 19-20). The authors take a literal view of Ezekiel 40-48, although they irenically explain the other prominent interpretations (pp. 100-101). They also ably defend literal sacrifices during the kingdom age, which is the primary objection of those who reject the literalness of the text (pp. 138-159).  Schmitt and Laney see the original purpose for Ezekiel’s prophecies as encouraging a disheartened Jewish community, both those in exile and those remaining in the land witnessing the crumbling of their nation. Ezekiel was telling...