The Whole Armour of God

The Whole Armour of God: How Christ’s victory strengthens us for spiritual warfare
Iain M. Duguid
Crossway, 2019

Iain Duguid, well-known for his helpful Old Testament expositions, here turns to the New with a book on the Armour of God. It began life as a sermon series, and has an introductory chapter and then one on each part of the armour (including prayer) – so 8 chapters in all. Duguid is particularly helpful on two aspects: the Old Testament background to the armour, and how Jesus wore it on our behalf.
Reading the book has definitely made me want to preach on the Armour of God, so that’s a good thing. It’s also the sort of book you could give to laypeople to read – though using a word like ‘sartorial’ on the very first page isn’t particularly helpful!

Thanks to Crossway for a complimentary copy of this book through their Beyond the Page review programme.

The Promises of God

The Promises of God: a new edition of the classic devotional based on the English Standard Version
Charles Spurgeon (edited by Tim Chester)
Crossway, 2019

First thing’s first, you may already own the original version of this book under the title The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith. This is lightly edited and more attractively presented edition. You can read Tim Chester’s introduction to the new edition here. If you don’t have the original, the book takes 366 promises of God, gives you one for each day and adds some devotional thoughts for each one. Unsurprisingly, it’s a bit uneven. Some of the ‘promises’ aren’t really promises, some of the devotional thoughts are more exegetically-rooted than others, and the quality of the devotions is also a bit uneven.
All that said, I’ve stuck with it for a couple of months and on the whole am enjoying it. It would make a good Christmas present for those in your life who would read something by Spurgeon but wouldn’t necessarily read much else you might give them.

Thanks to Crossway for a complimentary copy of this book through their Beyond the Page review programme.

An Introduction to the Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge

An Introduction to the Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge
Dirk Jongkind
Crossway, 2019

The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge (short title Tyndale House Edition, abbreviated as THGNT) was released in 2017. The most well-known name associated with it is Peter J Williams. This is a 120 page introduction to the particular features of that edition – though it also answers bigger questions, about how we got the Bible, what textual criticism involves, etc. Although ‘through the ages the existence of textual variants has been seen as a danger to, or an argument against, the notion of the divine nature of the Scriptures’, Jongkind disagrees. The book is concise, though most of it is probably aimed at seminary level and above.

In terms of the manuscripts, Jongkind believes ‘no single textual family has preserved the best wording of the text’. A chapter entitled ‘Why not the Received Text?’, makes a number of helpful points. Firstly, Jongkind identifies this as a uniquely Protestant problem, saying ‘I don’t know of any Christians within Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism who defend the Textus Receptus’. He also points out that ‘Accepting the Textus Receptus as the authoritative text of the New Testament means that one accepts the printed text of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In practice, this means that even if the Textus Receptus offers a text not found in any Greek manuscript dating from before the published editions, still the Greek text of a printed edition is accepted. An example is Revelation 22:19: the Textus Receptus has βίβλου τῆς ζωῆς, “book of life,” instead of ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς, “tree of life,” as all Greek manuscript evidence testifies’. He then goes on to answer the question ‘So why are defenders of the Textus Receptus willing to go against all preserved evidence?’

Jongkind uses an Old Testament example to argue that God’s Word ‘has always been available to the church, though sometimes with more clarity than at other times. This is even illustrated in the biblical history itself. Who knew the details of the law in the days immediately before the rediscovery of the scroll in the temple during Josiah’s reign (2 Kings 22)? As far as the historical evidence suggests, not everyone has had access at all times to the perfect, original wording of the New Testament’.

An introduction to a Greek New Testament obviously isn’t for everyone. It’s also quite expensive for what it is. But for a conservative evangelical, and yet bang up-to-date, approach to textual criticism, it is well worth having. A good alternative for the layperson would be Peter J William’s Can we trust the gospels?

Thanks to Crossway for a complimentary copy of this book through their Beyond the Page review programme.

Rosaria New Horizon talk 2

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Firstly, it would have been impossible to mix this up with preaching/bible teaching. It was simply her telling her story, along with some challenges and encouragements.

Secondly, some quotes:

“You cannot have a commuting relationship if you genuinely care for people.”

“There is no gospel for righteous people”

“But what about the children? Yes my children have grown up in this environment and they are doing just fine. They love the Lord Jesus Christ. They know how to witness to their friends. They have seen some of the most unlikely people come to Christ because Christ specialising in unlikely converts. We could all use a good dose of courage in loving the stranger!”

Loving the Stranger

Behold, the end of Protestant Ulster

Great – though thoroughly depressing – article by Crawford Gribben

“For in Northern Ireland, as throughout the secular west, politics trumps faith.”

“Bowing to the inevitable, and being willing to sacrifice almost anything in the hope of maintaining the union, DUP strategists are enabling some of the most radical legislative changes in the history of Northern Ireland.

They do not need to do so. The DUP’s confidence and supply arrangement with the minority Conservative government provides them with formidable negotiating power. Throughout the Brexit crisis, the DUP made repeated threats to derail key votes when they believed that government policy was threatening the unity of the United Kingdom. But they have made little fuss about this more recent threat to the values that party members once found axiomatic.”

“The party of former fundamentalists will hold its nose during one of the most significant changes in public morality in living memory. ”

“Forced to choose, the DUP will prefer power to piety.”