Ex Libris • Thoughts on things I've read
Read and Pending Review:
Read and Reviewed:
• Luther: Commentary on Galatians • Douglas Wilson: Joy at the End of the Tether • James R. White: The King James Only Controversy • Keith Mathison: The Shape of Sola Scriptura • Patrick Fairbairn: The Interpretation Of Prophecy • Milton Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics • Augustine’s Confessions
This is on my all-time top-ten list, and close to the top. Apart from the Holy Scriptures, it may be the most important book I have read in my short life. In this consideration, I am in the good company of many others, including John Bunyan:
“I do prefer this book of Martin Luther upon the Galatians, excepting the Holy Bible, before all books that I have ever seen.”
Luther, after years of personal agony and torment in his quest for God, had at last been liberated from the death of salvation by works into the glorious freedom of the true gospel — salvation by grace alone through faith! As the new man in Christ, he writes with keen insight, fearless passion and penetrating spiritual power. Remember that the Church of Jesus Christ had been mired in theological confusion and ignorance for hundreds of years, when at this signal moment in history, the Doctor of Wittenberg took quill in hand to write. He knew what he was doing was monumental and would affect many souls. As you read, you can sense the cataclysm being unleashed in the heavenly places, as the long-standing walls of deception and darkness come tumbling down. And so, if you are in a spiritual muddle, and yearning to be renewed in the simple and pure gospel of Christ, at which the demons tremble, this is the book for you.
If you should take this treasure in hand, then I earnestly urge you to find an unabridged edition. Typical of the dumbing down of our times, modern editors want to shorten and simplify, and “make accessible.” But you want Luther as Luther wrote Luther, not Luther cut up, sliced and diced, thinned and simplified. They protest that he repeats himself. And I say yes he does, to good purpose, as did the apostle Paul. There may not now be any unabridged editions in print, so search the used bookstores. It will be well worth your trouble.
This is the best commentary on Ecclesiastes I have ever read. Okay, it’s probably the only one I’ve ever read, but I still heartily recommend it. Wilson shows that the book of Ecclesiastes is anything but the nihilistic ramblings of an existentialist in despair, with a few pithy aphorisms thrown in to get it into the canon. Rather he convincingly demonstrates that it is a coherent and consistent reflection on life under the sun, with a cogent argument, and clear intent to demonstrate the sovereignty of God, and His blessings which belong only to the believer: to be wise and to rejoice in this vain world of sin.
Wilson writes in such a way that the wisdom on Ecclesiastes sinks in, and penetrates into your heart. With his characteristic wit to disarm you, and with verses of Psalm 119 interspersed throughout, you remain focused on getting wisdom from the very Word of God. And when you might start to drift off into a profitless point of speculation, Wilson shows you how The Preacher has already anticipated and answered it.
The author addresses a serious issue for our churches today that is actually causing harm and division among God’s people, namely the King James Only movement. By way of addressing this issue, hereafter “KJV-only,” the author provides the reader with an accessible introduction to the basic principles of textual criticism, the academic discipline which endeavors to establish the original text of Scripture. In the context of the issues addressed in this book, the reader comes to understand that textual criticism is not merely an obscure and impractical branch of scholarship, but rather that it is vitally important to our common Christian faith.Read more...