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2009 Reading Log

You can find me on Goodreads!

January 2009

Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament, Christopher Wright –Fantastic and Approachable

The Preexistent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, And Luke, Simon Gathercole – Insightful, Difficult, and Excellent

Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman, John R. Muether – Good Bio, not very good at articulating Van Til’s ideas

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson, D. A. Carson – Just Great!


February 2009

Divinity and Humanity: The Incarnation Reconsidered, Oliver Crisp – Wonderful, yet difficult introduction to some ancient christological discussions.

Christian Apologetics, Cornelius Van Til – Classic, best foundation for Christian epistemology

Total Church, Timmis and Chester – Great, challenging for pastors to think about “how” they are doing church

March 2009

Guide to the Writing of Herman Bavinck, Eric Bristley – Helpful in reading Bavinck himself

Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3: Sin and Salvation in Christ, Herman Bavinck – Best since Calvin! – Mainly read through Bavinck’s christology

Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity, Richard Bauckham – Great!  Paradigm shifting

The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ As the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology, Jürgen Moltmann – Interesting and Heterodox!

Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels, Craig Evans – Helpful at times, but not very compelling overall.

April 2009

Love is an Orientation, Andrew Marin – Boring and lacks any substance

Reasons (for Faith): Philosophy in the Service of Theology, K. Scott Oliphint – Best understanding of Reformed epistemology and philosophy since Van Til

Lloyd-jones: Messenger of Grace, Ian Murray – Good addition

May 2009

Marriage at the Crossroads: Couples in Conversation About Discipleship, Gender Roles, Decision Making and Intimacy,  Aída Besançon Spencer, William David Spencer, Steven R. Tracy, Celestia Tracy – Blah, Blah, Blah, Tries their hardest to not say anything.

The Person of Christ: A Biblical and Historical Analysis of the Incarnation, David Wells – A real classic, and yet out of print – shame on Crossway!

Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory ChristologyKlaus Issler – Good at times, but doesn’t give a clear picture of what it is trying to accomplish.

June 2009

A Primer on Postmodernism, Stanley Grenz – Ok – Ho-hum

Who’s Tampering with the Trinity?: An Assessment of the Subordination Debate, Millard Erickson – This is not a helpful contribution to the debate… poor arguments.

The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, D. A. Carson – Read large sections of for the second time.  Its Carson, can’t say much more than that.

Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ In A Postmodern World, David Wells – Read it for the first time.  Would have been more helpful two years ago.  Still great!

July 2009

Revelation and Reason: New Essays in Reformed Apologetics, Oliphint & Tipton – Helpful essays on a reformed and presuppositional apologetic.  Great Stuff!

The Glory of Christ (Works of John Owen, Volume 1), John Owen – Reading book 1 on the Person of Christ.  Fantastic.

Humility: True Greatness, C. J. Mahaney – Something every Christian should.

Solomon among the Postmoderns, Peter Leithart – Great book, but has some significant failures.

August 2009

John Calvin: A Pilgrim’s Life, Herman SelderhuisCurrently reading.

The Trinity Augustine – Classic!

Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament & Contemporary Contexts, Joel Green and Mark Baker – Thoroughly unhelpful!

September 2009

The Glory of the Atonement by Frank A. J. L. James – A great line-up of essays on the doctrine of Substitutionary Atonement!

The Battle Belongs to the Lord: The Power of Scripture for Defending Our Faith by Scott Oliphint – I guess I expected more, but still a good, solid book, 3/5 stars.

The Nature of the Atonement: Four ViewsPaul Eddy – A frustrating and good read on different views of the atonement.  I’m thankful for Schreiner’s contribution!

The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism: Responding to New Challenges to Biblical Authority – Greg Beale – Really helpful for understanding the Peter Enn’s controversy and also for reminding us again and again about the importance of the doctrine and the implications included in it.

October 2009

The Holy Trinity by Robert LethamA brilliant historical display of the doctrine of the Trinity and interaction in contemporary issues.  However, Letham leaped from Calvin to Barth without ever mentioning the Puritans or Edwards – Strange.  Very readable, but assumes a good bit of knowledge on the subject.

Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon – A good, “David Wells-like” critique of contemporary preaching in evangelical churches.  While Gordon has some good things to say, he is overly critical and simply pessimistic throughout this very short book.

November 2009

In the Beginning Was the Word: Language: A God-Centered Approach by Vern Poythress – Excellent.  I highly recommend this book for pastors, evangelists, missionaries – anyone communicating the Truth of the Gospel.

Counsel from the Cross by Dennis Johnson and Elyse Fitzpatrick – Very good book on how the Gospel applies to the Christian life – informing, instructing, and sanctifying our hearts.  Just great!

Jesus: Made in America by Stephen Nichols – Great book.  Very David Wellsian throughout.

New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ by Thomas Schreiner – Equally as helpful to the scholar as its to the pastor.  God has blessed the Church with this volume, and will for quite some time.

December 2009

The Westminster Assembly: Reading Its Theology in Historical Context by Robert Letham – Robert Letham’s work sets the table for further great study on the Assembly. His historical corrections and utilization of new primary source discoveries lay a solid trajectory for helpful scholarship. This is the new standard. It has given Reformed Christians insight into their rich heritage and should enrich our understanding of confessionalism.

Four Views on Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology -I am less and less inclined towards these books anymore. Doriani’s contributions were good and Vanhoozer was compelling at times, but it turned into a situational ethic debate, rather than a theological method. It may be worth your time to skim, but I would suggest that you read a thorough review of the book instead of the book itself – Tom Schreiner is writing one to come out in the Spring SBTS Journal 2010.

Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ by Thomas F. Torrance – Has some keen theological and biblical insights into the work of Christ – especially along the lines of redemptive history and how the Person relates to the work. Yet, Torrance’s view of revelation ends up distorting many of his conclusions.

Speaking the Truth in Love: The Theology of John M. Frame – I truly enjoyed plowing through this volume. It is astonishing to see Frame’s fingerprints in almost every single theological discipline – including worship wars. His contribution is massive. I have a deeper appreciation of John Frame after reading these articles, which I am grateful for.

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