“Another Jesus” Calling, How False Christs are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer by Warren B. Smith

Jesus Calling, written by Sarah Young and published in 2004, is one of the best-selling books in history, and has had a powerful influence within the church.  Young, who holds degrees from Wellesley College and Covenant Theological Seminary, has served as a missionary in Japan and Australia, and travelled in Christian circles all of her life, yet felt a need for something more than she had known in her Christian walk.  What she sought was new revelations from Jesus.  Her first extrabiblical encounter with Jesus, she claims, was while living at L’Abri following her college days.  There one night she experienced a unique presence that she interpreted as being the Lord.  She describes His presence as a warm mist which enveloped her (p. 19).  Some years later Young read God Calling, touted by some as a devotional book written by two women who claimed that they were channeling words...

Reclaiming Authentic Fundamentalism by Douglas R. McLachlan

The author clearly outlines the direction and purpose of this book in the Preface, and I believe he succeeded in what he set out to accomplish. We begin our task by defining the hindrances to a balanced Fundamentalism and identifying those ingredients which have prohibited authenticity in its super-structure.  Following that we continue with a discussion of four key areas of ministry, which, if understood properly and fleshed out biblically, could enable us to take a giant step toward reclaiming an authentic variety of Fundamentalism.  These areas have to do with servant leadership, urgent evangelism, expository preaching, and Christian separation.  Finally, we close with a call for Biblical revival, the ultimate solution to the ills which face any community of believers in Jesus Christ. McLachlan warns of many pitfalls facing Fundamentalism, deals with important issues and biblical texts, such as 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (pp. 126-132), and offers much guidance...

Him We Proclaim by Dennis E. Johnson

Reviewed by Shaun D. Lewis, Director of Civil Servant Ministries, Springfield, IL It is humbling that the sovereign God of the universe chose to redeem sinners with the precious blood of His Son. Adam’s fall was not the end of man, but the beginning thread of a rich redemptive tapestry that would reveal the Messiah. Christ must be proclaimed from the Gospels and Epistles, but the Law and Prophets look forward to His coming and proclaim Him as well (Lk 24:27). What does it mean to preach Christ from these? Him We Proclaim by Dennis Johnson seeks to answer this question by drawing from the insights and disciplines of the apostles (2). Rather than focus on homiletics, the author provides a theology of preaching. Since God is sovereign over history and His Word is an inspired unity, the author contends that preachers should emulate the apostles’ doctrine and hermeneutics...

The Prayer of the Lord by R. C. Sproul

The best known prayer in Scripture is surely what is normally called the “Lord’s Prayer.” Sproul rightly declares that when the Lord gave this prayer to His disciples in response to their request to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1), He was not giving a prayer that He expected us to recite regularly. Rather, it was to serve as a model which teaches us the important components of prayer which honors God. In nine very readable chapters Sproul analyzes each part of the prayer, offering helpful insights, addressing difficulties, and providing appropriate illustrations. He concludes in chapter ten by analyzing some common questions about prayer, followed by an appendix on the sovereignty of God in relation to prayer. Sproul’s “already, not yet” eschatological understanding shows up, as would be expected, when discussing the Kingdom of God coming to earth as it is in heaven (pp. 46-48). I would not...

Senders: How Your Church Can Identify, Train and Deploy Missionaries by Paul Seger

Paul Seger is the Director of Biblical Ministries Worldwide, a conservative mission agency with hundreds of missionaries serving throughout the world. Prior to taking the helm at BMW Paul was a missionary in South Africa for 17 years and grew up as a missionary kid in Nigeria. With this background Seger is well-equipped to offer insight into sending missionaries in the 21st century. Seger discusses to some extent the qualifications and job description of missionaries (pp. 89-93, 103-104), although it should be noted that he targets missionaries on the frontlines of church planting and discipleship with little attention given to support missionaries. Presumably, missionaries who work in maintenance, IT, construction, etc. would not require the same skills as those starting churches. Seger also clarifies that those devoted to social justice issues are not missionaries in the biblical sense, even though they are engaged in meaningful work, because they are...

Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views by Stanley E. Porter and Beth M. Stovell

Hermeneutical approaches have greatly expanded in recent years even within conservative Christianity. Proponents of various methods often share much common ground and therefore come to many of the same conclusions, and yet important differences often arise. In this volume the editors selected five prominent hermeneutical views and assigned a scholar to describe and defend each approach and then apply their methodology to an interpretation of Matthew 2:12-16 and its use of Hosea 11:1. A response section follows in which each scholar critiques the other four views. Craig Blomberg champions what is normally called the historical-grammatical hermeneutic which seeks to discover the original meaning of the biblical text as intended by the author, and then make application to the current readership. While Blomberg claims to appreciate the other approaches he rightly sees his as foundational to all others (p. 28). Rather strangely, he adds the word “critical” to his methodology,...