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...

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...

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...

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...

Love Thy Body, Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality

Nancy Pearcey is a professor, scholar, apologist, and award-winning author. She received much of her early biblical training at L’Abri under the teaching of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. In her best known book Total Truth, she reintroduced to contemporary Christians the apologetic approach of the Schaeffers (see my review of Total Truth here: www.tottministries.org). In Love Thy Body, Pearcey is “uncovering” the worldview that drives the secular ethic (p. 9). Christians must understand the core principles of the secular worldview in order “to engage intelligently and compassionately on all of today’s most controversial moral challenges” (p. 9). Her thesis is that our society’s moral free-fall rests on a worldview that “doesn’t fit the real universe” (p. 11). We live in a moral wasteland, Pearcey claims, “Where human beings are desperately seeking answers to hard questions about life and sexuality. But there is hope. In the wasteland, we can cultivate...

The Death of the Grown-Up, How America’s Arrested Development is Bringing Down Western Civilization

Syndicated columnist, Diana West, has written a hard-hitting book to proclaim, and document, that Western societies are coming apart at the seams because adults have left the playground of our world and turned it over to the children. Worse yet, adults have become children and there is no one left to monitor the playground at all. She writes, “If The Death of the Grown-up tries to unravel the mysterious disappearance of adults in society, along with the manners and morals that once defined the lines and boundaries of ‘conventional’ behavior, it also examines what, over the past half century or so, has happened in their absence… we have lost our bearings (p. xi). She traces the shift not back to the Baby Boomers and the 1960s but to their parents, the so-called Greatest Generation. Before Baby Boomers had grown out of their diapers, their parents had stopped behaving as...

One Foundation, Essays on the Sufficiency of Scripture

One Foundation was published as a tribute to John MacArthur’s verse-by-verse Bible teaching for 50 Years. Thirteen authors each write a chapter, not in praise of MacArthur but in praise and defense of biblical inspiration, infallibility, inerrancy, and sufficiency. R.C. Sproul writes the lead article providing foundational definitions and necessary background. Voddie Baucham follows with an excellent chapter on why we can believe the Bible. The Grace to You staff inserted a classic study by MacArthur himself, exegeting Psalm 19:7-9. They consider it, “the best discourse on the sufficiency of Scripture we have seen since the Puritan Era” (p. v). That might be a stretch but, nevertheless, it is an excellent exposition of the Psalm and its praise of God’s Word. I deeply appreciated Steven Lawson’s teaching on 2 Timothy 1:13 (pp. 91-104), and Mark Dever’s overview of Psalm 119 is a marvelous example of solid biblical teaching in...

Scatter, Go Therefore and Take Your Job With You

Andrew Scott, President, and CEO of OM USA, unpacks a radical idea in Scatter. He is “convinced that if we are to see significant change in our world through the light of the gospel going out, we need to set a generation free to be all God has created them to be, using what He has given them to use for His purposes” (pp. 14, 65, 175, 195). His big idea is that Christians will never fulfill the Great Commission (p. 161), and in turn change the world, unless they fulfill the Cultural Mandate as well (pp 15-16 43-45, 47-49, 134, 150). The Cultural Mandate was given to the first couple before the Fall, commanding them to “be fruitful, and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). The author sees the Mandate still in force, even though it is not repeated anywhere in Scripture after...